Wednesday 2 January 2013

The top 10 movies of the year 2012

It´s that time of the year to present my top ten of the films that I had the pleasure to watch during 2012, I have seen many good feature film and shorts so it has been pretty hard but here are ten films that made a huge impression on me

Familiar (2011)
Through a series of events, a middle aged man grows to suspect the negative impulses plaguing his mind may not be his own. Familiar is a short film written and directed by Richard Powell. It´s a very well acted film, especially Robert Nolan as main character John Dodd is exceptional, with high production values. The special fx and gore, it gets bloody, are first class. The only complaint I have is that I wish that the film would have been longer...
Rating: 7 out of 7. Familiar is truly impressive film, it pulled me in from the start and I was glued to the screen for the full 24 minutes.

Worm (2010)
A day in the mind of Geoffrey Dodd (Robert Nolan), a seemingly kind, gentle and sane High School teacher. As we follow Geoffrey through the course of a typical school day we gain an eerie insight into the darkest corners of his soul and beyond. Beneath the carefully constructed veneer of Geoffrey Dodd lies something wretched, insidious and foul rotting him from the inside out. Worm is written, directed, produced and edited (along with Zach Green) by Richard Powell. The acting is very good and Robert Nolan is simply fantastic as Geoffrey Dodd, on the surface he seems like your average everyday mild-mannered man but he is a disturbed sociopath. He harbours disturbing bottled thoughts inside of him, dark and violent thoughts (which we hear in voice overs). He´s like a ticking time bomb and you keep wondering if Dodd will explode into a violent rage, or not. Worm is very well made, it´s professionally shot and edited. The soundtrack is good and the setting almost feels claustrophobic and the atmosphere is unsettling. There is no gore, barely any blood and no nudity instead we get an look into a very dark mind which is truly frightening.
Rating: 7 out of 7. Worm is an incredibly dark, sadistic and well psychological thriller and Nolan's performance is very impressive. It gets my highest recommendations! Be sure to check it out!!

Red Kingdom Rising (2013)
Mary Ann (Emily Stride), a troubled young woman, has been tormented her whole life by dreams of a sinister figure called the Red King and his morbid fairytale kingdom. Following the death of her father, Mary Ann returns to her family home where she recalls the childhood stories of the Red King and Alice from 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' that her father once read to her. Haunting events and suppressed memories propel Mary Ann through the dark corridors of her parental home into the realms of her nightmares where she must finally confront the Red King and gain closure to her scarred past. Red Kingdom Rising is produced, written and directed by Navin Dev. It´s a very good looking film as it´s professionally shot and edited, there are some very nice visuals on display. There are a lot of visul symbolism, the soundtrack is fantastic and helps to add to the atmosphere. As usual I try to be rather vague about the plot but that´s because I hate spoilers but it´s well written film and it has a good cast, Emily Stride is excellent as Mary Ann. The sets and locations are good and helps too add to the mystery. There is gore in Red Kingdom Rising and it´s good looking make-up fx and creature fx but keep in mind that this isn´t a gorefeast instead it offers us a fantasy with a dark gothtic theme.
Rating: 7 out of 7. Red Kingdom Rising is original and interesting. It´s beautifully-made, filled with stunning visuals (often both intense and macabre) and intriguing images. Red Kingdom Rising is the first feature from Navin Dev, he has previously made shorts, and it’s a very impressive debut. I recommend it highly!

Nailbiter (2012)
Janet Maguire (Erin McGrane) and her three daughters Jennifer (Meg Saricks), Alice (Emily Boresow) and Sally (Sally Spurgeon) are on their way to meet her husband at the airport in Kansas as he´s on his way home from overseas military service despite warnings of tornado weather along their route. But all these plans get monkey wrenched when a tornado decides to touch down, in panic the family seeks shelter in the cellar of a nearby house....The acting is very good, especially the performances from Erin McGrane, Meg Saricks and Sally Spurgeon & Emily Boresow. Nailbiter looks awsome thanks to excellent camera work and editing. The soundtrack is very good. There is little gore in it and most of the violence takes place off screen but when there is gore, practical make-up fx, it looks good. There is some CGI in the film but it´s used only for some visual fx. The creature fx design is very nice and once again it´s all practical make-up fx.
Rating: 7 out of 7. Nailbiter is wonderful, it´s creepy, smart and looks fantastic. It´s a must see! Highly recommended to horror fans and especially to fans of Lovecraft!

Gut (2012)
Something is missing in Tom's (Jason Vail) life. His marriage has lost its spark, his job is suffocating him, and his childhood best friend Dan (Nicholas Wilder) still clings to the past. Every day he goes through the motions, becoming increasingly detached from those around him. Dan thinks he has the solution, a mysterious video Tom's got to see to believe... tonight. What Dan shows him leaves Tom unsettled, flooding his mind with disturbing images and desires, and binding the two friends together with its ugly secret. One video soon follows another and another, blurring the line between reality and voyeuristic fascination, and threatening to dismantle everything around them. Gut is written and directed by Elias. As usual I won´t go into any details, this is to avoid potential spoilers that would ruin the film for the viewer. The acting is top notch with strong performances from the whole cast, it´s looks beautiful with excellent camerawork and editing, the soundtrack is haunting and unsettling. This isn´t a gorefeast for the hungry gorehounds out there but there is gore and it consists of nice and very effective looking practical make-up fx. There is nudity, both male and female, and the film has one of the sexiest scenes I´ve seen for some time.
Rating: 7 out of 7. Gut is fanfreakingtastic! The acting is first class, the production values are very high. It manages to be very creepy and erotically charged. This is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best films I´ll see this year and it gets my highest recommendations.

Where the Dead go to Die (2012)
Where the Dead Go to Die revolves around a troubled group of children living on the same block. they are haunted by a talking dog named Labby who brings them on surreal hell-rides between different dimensions and time periods. On the night of a lunar eclipse he informs Tommy (Joshua Michael Greene) about the devil fetus living inside his mother. The same night he attempts to help Ralph (Joey Smack) court the girl across the street, who is an unwilling participant in her father´s child porn trading ring, Add in a memory stealing junkie living inside an abandoned church and you have 90 minutes of pure mind melting insanity. I could give you more detailed description of the plot but if you are interested in this it´s better to go in knowing as little as possible about it. Where the Dead Go to Die is written and directed by Jimmy ScreamerClauz and uses a experimental and surreal style of animation which will not apppeal to everyone but I liked it. The film has a nonlinear structure, I didn´t like the voice over for Tommy, it just sounds fake and is pretty annoying but otherwise the voice-overs are good. There is a tense, creepy and unsettling atmosphere throughout the film. This film literally takes you into the abyss. It´s grotesque and totally unhinged imagery brings on nudity, sex, bestiality, necrophilia as well as an abundance of very graphic violence and gore. This is not faint-hearted!
Rating: 7 out of 7. What the fuck did I just watch? That was my first thought when this flick had ended. Where the Dead Go to Die gets my highest recommendations. This film is not for everyone, it´s extremely disturbing and definitely not for the faint-hearted! I´m convinced that many will find Where the Dead Go to Die downright offensive as it´s dark, depraved and horrific. It pushes the limits and crosses several taboos. If this had been live action it would have caused a lot of controversy and I can imagine it wouldn’t pass the censors in a number of countries and quite possibly risk legal actions. Check it out but don't say I didn't warn you.

Velvet Road (2012)
Amidst the racial tensions of the Deep South in the early 60s, a plague runs rampant. Bobby is trying to save his infected wife and their unborn child from the disease spreading across the South. Velvet Road is written and directed by L.Gustavo Cooper. The cast is strong, it´s professionally shot and edited. The soundtrack is very nice, quite emotionally powerful and supplements the imagery perfectly. The film oozes atmosphere, No gore except some bitemarks, all the potentially graphic violence occur off screen and it works to the its advantage, your imagination is often far worse... No T & A in this.
Rating: 7 out of 7. Powerful, tense, sad and well made, Velvet Road is one of the best zombie flicks I´ve seen for a long time.

Rose White (2012)
Through Lilly's (Deneen Melody) eyes, the world is a dark but beautiful place, where she and her sister, Rosalyn (Erin Breen), live happily in the heart of a deep forest. In reality, however, each day is a battle for Rosalyn, who has been forced to take up prostitution in order to provide for herself and her delusional sister and simply pay the rent for their inner-city, tenement apartment. An odd twist of fate brings an unlikely ally into their lives, in the form of a local drug addict. Together, they form a plot against a vicious crime boss; a plan that will either lead to their salvation or their doom. Rose White is written by Deneen Melody and Dan Kuhlman, it´s directed by Dan Kuhlman and Brian Kilborn. Strong cast with some excellent perfomances especially from Deneen Melody and Erin Breen. Professionally shot and edited, it looks very nice on the screen. It oozes atmosphere and some scenes are quite painful to watch. There is brief gore in it, it´s good looking practical make-up fx. No T & A in this.
Rating: 7 out of 7. As I´ve said again and again, good things comes in small packages. Rose White is a well made adult fairy tale/dark fantasy in the short film format with high production values. It´s a sad and beautiful flick.Very nice and highly recommended!

Brutal (2012)
I will not divulge too many details about the plot, at first glance it might look as one of many of the so called torture-porn flicks that came after Hostel but there is much more to it. It begins with Carl (A. Michael Baldwin) finding himself strapped to a chair in the basement of a house... And the owner simply called Brutal (Michael Patrick Stevens) has special plans for him. Brutal is written, produced and directed by Michael Patrick Stevens. Strong performances from the cast, it´s professionally shot and edited and soundtrack is good (it´s composed by Alan Howarth). This film kept me on the edge, and just when I thought I had it figured out it took an unexpected turn... And there is more than one twist in this film and it´s these twists that makes the movie what it is. It´s violent and as the title implies it´s brutal stuff. It´s gory, the make-up fx are very well done. Almost all of it is practical fx but I believe there are one or two moments of CGI rendered fx. Even if some stuff occur off screen I think that gorehounds will enjoy this. No T & A in this.
Rating: 7 out of 7. I love that Brutal has several layers, that there is much more under the surface than expected. It´s dark, and gritty. It´s well made, features good acting and is very brutal. Recommended!!

Hate Crime (2012)
The plot is pretty basic as a family is held hostage by sadistic home intruders. Hate Crime is written by Jarret Cohen and James Cullen Bressack who also is the director. The acting is good and in some parts very strong, it´s shot point of view so it´s shaky cam. The atmosphere is distressing, there are several very tense scenes that packs a punch. It´s a very violent and brutal flick, it´s not for the squemish viewers. There is several unsettling scenes, violent rape, degradation and sadism. There is very little graphic violence, most of it occurs off screen or it´s shot that you don´t see it but the make-up fx that we do see are of good quality. No T & A in this except for scenes of female cast members in their underwear..
Rating: 7 out of 7. Raw, brutal, unsettling and uncompromising. Hate Crime is powerful stuff that is sure to provoke some viewers, enrage the politically correct and shock the squemish. Highly recommended and definitely one of the best home invasion/terror flicks out there


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