4 items from 2014
Have you ever wondered just exactly what you’d be prepared to do in exchange for $100? How about $1000? Or $10,000? In his compulsively watchable debut, Cheap Thrills, director E.L Katz pushes this speculative game to the limit, submerging the film’s characters and its audience into ever-more squalid depths of humiliation, nastiness, and eventual horror. Uncomfortable to sit through, and yet impossible to turn away from, Katz’s stomach-churningly addictive film is an assured first feature, confirming the director’s place as a talent to watch out for in the future.
Pat Healy plays down-on-his-luck everyman Craig. Behind on his rent, facing eviction, and with a wife and baby to support, Craig is plunged into despair after unexpectedly losing his job. He heads to a local bar to drown his sorrows, where he encounters old school friend Vince (Ethan Embry). Also in the bar, conspicuously out of place amongst the blue collar clientele, »
- Becki Hawkes
The best horror films make you question your own values, psychologically forcing you to rationalize the unthinkable – for my money, at least. Slasher films about murderous dolls or angry undead groundskeepers possess their own kind of supernatural terror, but to this day, I still haven’t heard of a doll coming to life and slaughtering its owner. There’s a fantasy element that provides safety, unlike a movie such as Cheap Thrills, an unnerving presentation of man’s biggest folly – ourselves. People are vile, greedy, self-obsessed beings who react based on survival instincts when backed into a corner, forgetting moral normals like loyalty, compassion, and civility – but of course we chose to believe otherwise. Such silly, ignorant, naive souls we are.
Staring eviction in the face, newly jobless family man Craig (Pat Healy) decides to drown his sorrows for a bit at the local watering hole, not knowing his life is about to change forever. »
- Matt Donato
Another year has come to an end, which means it's time for the Dread Central staff to weigh in with their picks of the best and worst of 2013's horror offerings. We're giving you a full dozen lists this time, and per usual they come in a variety of formats, each reflecting the unique styles of our writers.
We've also compiled them to come up with the year's overall winners and losers. We averaged out the top and bottom five vote getters on everyone's lists, and here are the results:
Worst: Texas Chainsaw 3D
Runners-up: The Purge, The Last Exorcism Part II
Check out the Dread Central staff's Best of and Worst of lists for 2013 by following the links below!
[Buz "Danger" Wallick]
[Debi "The Woman in Black" Moore]
[Gareth "Pestilence" Jones]
[Scott "Doctor Gash" Hallam]
[Staci Layne Wilson]
Andrew Kasch's Picks
- Uncle Creepy
Happy 2014 Everyone! Looking back, I thought 2013 was an exceptional year for horror, especially for independent genre fare that ended making up most of my favorite films over the last 12 months. In fact, 2013 ended up being so good, even a number of remakes that came out this year managed to be as strong as their original horror peers and that’s pretty damn impressive.
Here’s a look at some of my very favorite things that happened in horror along the way during 2013:
I’d been waiting patiently to see Don Coscarelli’s John Dies at the End ever since I chatted him up about the project at SXSW 2012. Thankfully, the film didn’t disappoint at all when it was released last January. Wonderfully weird and oddly heartfelt, no one has quite mastered the art of the unexpected like Coscarelli has throughout his career »
- Heather Wixson
4 items from 2014
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