If you’re in a stable long term relationship and feel like weakening that foundation, go ahead and watch “Honeymoon.” If the vaginal alien parasite doesn’t make you cringe the overly romantic sentiments probably will. The ambiguity was a tad cumbersome, but the overall experience is a disgustingly good time.
I remember watching the trailer for Snowpiercer a few years ago and thinking that it was going to be a tremendous failure. Korean CGI always looked odd, the studio didn’t seem to be behind the film, and there seems to be a trend brewing where bad foreign films hire familiar tent-pole actors (Dragon Blade). I wasn’t ready for an insanely well crafted experience riddled with symbolism and axe fights. I’m sure the axe fight was a metaphor for something I totally missed.
In my eyes, Borgman may be the scariest movie of the year. Nothing lunges at the camera nor is there a physically threatening maniac hunting innocent folks down. Instead, we’re introduced to a group of people that subtly influence their victims into destroying themselves. They’re supernatural, but they never really define what the hell they are or what they can do. I think their incubuses…that’s the plural for incubus? Huh. Anyway, you still have your integrity when Michael Myers stabs you to death. Once Borgman pollutes your mind, your life is irrevocably ruined.
Late Phases –
Ah Late Phases…you were a treat. You somehow walked the line between endearing and campy. The werwolves were more of a cipher than a legitimate threat. Aging was the real monster in the shadows. With a blind protagonist, you can’t help but question if this movie can hold on to its dignity by the end. It barely does, but Nick Damici’s performance is strong enough to not fall into “Buba Ho-tep” territory. It’s pretty much 90 minutes of a senior citizen preparing for a werewolf attack.
The One I Love –
I wish there were more movies like this. Two hour twilight zone episodes that use sci-fi as a tool for poignant symbolism and not explosions. The story of having a couple taking a weekend retreat and finding their ideal doppelganger is intriguing. Do you want the ideal version of your significant other or is their some perfection in the imperfections? I also just started watching “Black Mirror” so this paragraph is kind of void.
Found footage movies have become so intricate and glossy that it’s hard to get lost in the illusion. Willowcreek returns found footage to the unrefined clunkiness that made “Cannibal Holocaust,” “Man Bites Dog,” and “The Blair Witch Project” so terrifying. I wouldn’t say “Willowcreek” deserves a spot next to those three examples, but “Willowcreek” feels more like someone found a videocamera in the woods. And that someone is not J.J. Abrhams.
Grand Piano –
But what about “Whiplash?” Why did speed-on-a-piano make this list and not the other better movie by the same writer? Because “Whiplash” was amazing in every facet of filmmaking and will most likely have some oscar praise. “Grand Piano” will probably get lost in a Netflix queue and never be appreciated for being a tight and intense thriller with a goofy premise. When the execution outweighs the premise, even just by a little bit, that movie deserves some attention.
The Babadook –
This movie was horrifying before “The Babadook” even showed up. What do you do when your child becomes so possessive, overbearing, and paranoid that you start to lose your boundaries in reality? Shot, edited, and performed incredibly well, “The Babadook” makes some creative choices that keeps you uncomfortable throughout. Was there an actual storybook monster haunting a mother and child or did ones latent schizophrenia unlock the others;’? Either way, it’s a solid and creepy flick. One of scariest, according to the guy that directed “Killer Joe.”
There seems to be a reoccurring theme of great movies fumbling their endings this year. The story of a sexually liberated teenager and her battle with an anal fissure is surprisingly sweet. It was on its way to being one of my favorite movies of the year, but the ending punts that idea away into just really really good. It’s worth your time and I’m excited to see what this production team(and Carla Juri) do next. The “Ameliee” like whimsy makes the debauchery easier to swallow (I don’t like that sentence).
Cheap Thrills –
One of my favorite movies of the year is also one of the simplest. With a cast of about four and the bulk of the action taking place in one location, “Cheap Thrills” is a streamlined piece of graceful filth. Upping the ante to just see how far your dignity will let you go is a fun plot device. I know I would have made a little bit of money before I started to cry.
Really Good Crazy Shit:
The Raid 2, Nymphomaniac, Dead Snow 2, Occulus, Under The Skin, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, The Guest, Stage Fright, Life After Beth, Afflicted, Big Bad Wolves, Open Grave, Dom Hemingway, The Rover, Blue Ruin,
Really Bad Crazy Shit:
Tusk, The Sacrament, Odd Thomas, Haunt, Nurse 3D, Knights of Badassdom
Favorite Movies of 2014:
Locke, Only Lovers Left Alive, Snowpiercer, Birdman, Whiplash, Guardians of the Galaxy, Boyhood, Nightcrawler, Calvary, Blue Ruin, 20,00o Day on Earth, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lego movie, Edge of Tomorrow, The Rover