‘Tis the season for happy new years posts. I guess. I kind of hate those posts, living through the year can be hard enough. But I do like lists. So I’ve decided to look back at the ten best and ten worst films I’ve seen in 2011. This way, you’ll have something to read when the Mayan comet comes and the cable goes out.
The lists are in no particular order and encompass all the movies I’ve watched in 2011, not just movies released in 2011.
1. The Beyond: Atmospheric. Creepy. I finally was able to see the uncut version of this movie and it’s stuck with me ever since. The ending is bleak and scary. This movie makes next to no sense but it’s fun taking the trip and watching it.
2. Cronos: Unsettlingly beautiful is the best way to describe Cronos. Plus, it seems appropriate to include Cronos in a year-in-review list, since it’s a movie about mortality and endings. The imagery is shocking but not necessarily graphic. Plus, the handiwork and love that went into making the movie are obvious. I think that Jesus Gris is one of my favorite movie characters. Even if he licks blood off of the bathroom floor.
3. Cropsey: This movie is the only documentary on my list. In fact, it’s the only documentary I’ve reviewed. The topic, a series of child abductions and their connection to the satanic panic of the 1980s, is something that fascinates me. More than that, it helped me understand events in my past.
4. Don’t Look Now: Another Italian flick on my list, this time a slasher/thriller. There’s an overwhelming sense of sadness that pervades the movie. The beauty of the Venetian setting keeps you watching.
5. The Eclipse: This Irish flick isn’t as loud or as brash as the other movies on my list. It’s not in-your-face horror. It’s a quiet, subtle movie defined by strong performances, beautiful music, and gorgeous scenery.
6. The Ghost: Well, the impossible has happened and a Mills Creek flick made it on the list. Another Italian flick! Even with the poor audio and visuals that are standard with these public domain movies, I still enjoyed the story. The twist was fun and the performances were over-the-top but still compelling.
7. Paranormal Activity 3: I know that I’m really hard on this series and I myself am surprised that I added it to my list. But, I found the movie to be evocative and I loved the attention the filmmakers paid to detail. The ending was goofy but it definitely had scary moments. Plus, I loved the camera attached to the oscillating fan set-up.
8. A Serbian Film: People are probably howling that I’m including this movie but you know what? I liked it. There, I said it. I liked the non-linear storytelling and I liked the characters. I especially loved Srdan Todorović’s performance as Miloš. He gave a human face to a character that you could hate. This is quite possibly the most violent movie I’ve ever seen but focusing on the violence takes away from the heart of the story and the pain Miloš and his family experience. As an aside, I’m kind of terrified by how many people find my blog by searching for the scene with the baby.
9. The Silence of the Lambs: I saw this movie many years ago but this is the first time I’ve written about it, so I’m counting it. I love this movie. I love it so much. It’s the kind of movie that I put on when I have an art project to work on and I need something to inspire me. I’ve seen it so often but it still entertains me and still manages to shock.
10. The Thing: I love this movie because I think it elevates practical effects to an art form. I watched the behind-the-scenes special on this DVD and was amazed by the work Rob Bottin put into making the Thing scary. The movie was made in 1982 but holds up remarkably well. Aside from that, it still manages to be scary and has one of my favorite Kurt Russell performances. R.J. MacReady is one of my heroes of fiction.
1. Black Sheep: Oh, Black Sheep, how you failed me. I still don’t know how it’s possible to make a movie about killer sheep that’s boring.
2. Death Rage: Death Rage, I barely remember you. All I know is that you weren’t scary or interesting but you’re the reason that people find my blog by looking for pictures of Yul Brynner with hair.
3. The Demon: This movie featured no demons but it did have my favorite place to dance. Also, Cameron Mitchel.
4. The Demons of Ludlow: This low-budget The Fog rip-off doesn’t make one lick of sense. It does feature an entire Party City’s worth of fright teeth and liquid fog.
5. Dream House: So far, a lot of the movies in the worst column have been low-budget grindhouse flicks with no big names. Dream House proves that a movie can suck even with a big budget and Kalle Blomkvist.
6. Driller Killer: Poorly acted, poorly shot, literally, the only good thing to come from this movie is a nostalgic view of 1970s New York City.
7. Drive-In Massacre: Drive-In Massacre stars no one and is about nothing. Enjoy!
8. Jaws 3D: The ultimate pointless sequel to a movie that didn’t need a sequel.
9. Jaws: The Revenge: An even more pointless sequel to the ultimate pointless sequel. If you watch Jaws 3 and Jaws: The Revenge back-to-back it creates a vacuum made of pointlessness that will suck the universe into it.
10. Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus: I could deal with the bad acting, crummy CGI, and the nonsensical script if it weren’t for the fact that we barely see the giant octopus. I always root for the cephalopod and the lack of an octopus was very disappointing.
So, that’s it, a year of movies. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for almost two years now. Now, I’m off to spend the night with The Twilight Zone and Twin Peaks and nachos. Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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