Gorepedia 2014: The Year in Horror Movies (Best Gore, Horror Heavies, Sc(a/o)res and More)by spencergrande6 | created - 18 Jan 2015 | updated - 12 Dec 2016 | Public
The best horror movies of the year 2014 (original theatrical release), from shock-induced highs to pits of hell lows.
A compendium of the... -Sickest Splatter -Honorable Horror Heavies -True TERRROR Scares -Nightmarish noises and whatever the hell else makes unsane sense.
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1. The Babadook (2014)
Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Horror
A single mother and her child fall into a deep well of paranoia when an eerie children's book titled "Mister Babadook" manifests in their home.
Votes: 177,343 | Gross: $0.92M
Horror as metaphor for grief, suffering and the ways in which they haunt and invade everyday life. The ending is a bit hackneyed, in respect to the sound design and some reveling in horror tropes. Maybe a bit too tidy too, but it works for what it's worth.
Far from the "scariest" horror of all time, instead it's just a great film that happens to be very creepy and very literal.
Best Horror Heavy: Real Dramatic Chops Variety- Essie Davis comes out of nowhere (at least here in America) to deliver a magnificent performance that captures Amerlia's shame and anger and love nearly effortlessly. It's nuanced and empathetic.
Strangely Affecting Guttural Noise Creep Out Award-"Babadook-dook-dook!" A line that could easily have been silly but is instead somehow quite unnerving.
2. Oculus (I) (2013)
R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery
A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.
Votes: 108,948 | Gross: $27.70M
Oculus is a movie full of atmosphere and rhythms. As directed by Mike Flanagan, there's a steady building undercurrent of dread at its core, something that works so gradually you forget how silly the initial premise is. Kaylie (a fun Karen Gillan) takes killing the eponymous mirror seriously, but she's full of wit and joy so it doesn't hang as needless portentousness on the audience. Tim (Brendon Thwaites), her brother, is the voice of reason that actually manages to goose the movie with some moments of genuine curiosity (is it the mirror that's crazy or them? It's actually an impressive feat that Flanagan makes you buy that these characters could indeed be crazy, and not just being used as unnecessary plot padding).
Edited flawlessly (also by Mike Flanagan), cutting between past and present on scenes that feel natural, all while building to a surreal and sustained climax of unease and terror. Even if it is a bit of letdown (the filmmaking makes you think you are watching something just a tad more exciting than it really is. It hits very familiar beats on its way to a predictable ending).
What's ultimately most impressive is that this movie full of unease and steady movements, and plot and character development (the movie casually asks questions about perception and reality, especially within the context of marriage; a point which Katee Sackhoff in particular helps drive home), and not based on any existing property, while also having an R rating (and not a very hard one at that; which is a compliment, evoking more like last year's The Conjuring) got a nationwide release. It's too bad it didn't do better at the box office, but the mere fact this exists as a theatrical movie is a good thing.
Spine-tingling Hypnofreakout Score Award- The Newton Brothers, with not a very diverse or far reaching score, but one that operates on the same level as the movie's pacing. The repeated use of snyth-y sounding "wuhb wuhbs" was genuinely hypnotizing and worked extremely well within the context of the movie.
It's Not That Gory, but Still Painful to Watch Award- Kaylie chomps into an apple, that turns out to be a lightbulb. Her horrified face as the sound changes to cracking glass and blood starts trickling out her mouth is enough to make your own mouth tingle in pain.
3. Housebound (2014)
Not Rated | 107 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery
A young woman is forced to return to her childhood home after being placed under house arrest, where she suspects that something evil may be lurking.
A fun and funny trapped in a place maybe ghostly haunted house movie. Not terribly original, but there's some surprises to be had and it's also down with such goofy and sometimes creepy charm it's hard to resist.
Funny + Scary Together In Harmony Award- The scene that most perfectly captures this tricky balance is towards the end, when Dennis has a knife and is about to stab Amos trying to get in a door, who turns around at just the right time and thinks the knife is for him, to help him open the door. He nonchalantly grabs it and carries on. Brilliant.
4. Honeymoon (2014)
R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A newlywed couple finds their lake-country honeymoon descend into chaos after Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night.
Votes: 23,237 | Gross: $0.01M
Debut Shocker Film of the Year- Leigh Janiak makes a great intense little horror movie, that doesn't quite deliver in the end. It's a tense and at times riveting look at what happens after the white glow of marriage, when life kicks in and people continue to change and develop until you maybe don't recognize the person right next to you anymore.
5. The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
R | 103 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Three groups of people intertwine and are left stranded in the streets on Purge Night, trying to survive the chaos and violence that occurs.
Votes: 128,349 | Gross: $71.96M
Sometimes Sequels Are Better Award- A marked improvement over the original. Actually begins to explore themes, implications and realities of a Purge. It still goes about it in a rather straight-forward way, never going deep enough, but still it's fun and thrilling.
6. Starry Eyes (2014)
Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
A hopeful young starlet uncovers the ominous origins of the Hollywood elite and enters into a deadly agreement in exchange for fame and fortune.
A not that new concept wants to be the horrific version but never truly delivers on its lurid premise. That's all there is, no surprises. It goes exactly where you suspect and would guess.
Posters Can Still Be Creepy and Badass Award- The original poster with Alex Essoe nearly naked surrounded by hooded figures and the Hollywood sign hanging ominously above is perfect. It sold me (and countless others I'm sure) without nary a trailer or a review. It can still be done people, stop with the *beep*
7. [REC] 4: Apocalypse (2014)
R | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Horror
An ill-fated television reporter is rescued and sent on a voyage across the ocean, but she is followed by the deadly virus that has plagued her and numerous others.
Votes: 14,734 | Gross: $0.00M
A fine conclusion to the [REC] saga, although Apocalypse may be pushing it. It's basically a kind of version of The Thing, with people trapped on a boat in the middle of the sea, no escape, worried about who's infected and if it's going to get back to the mainland. It's fun and concludes, although one may have hoped for a bit more ambition, especially considering the abandonment of the found footage that made the series famous.
8. Proxy (I) (2013)
Not Rated | 120 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
The life of three parents who have all shared the loss of a child. Motives are not what they seem and sanity is in short supply in this thriller.
The strangest hardest to figure out "horror" movie of the year. It's audacious, but unfocused, compelling, and yet also obtuse and distant. Props, but it doesn't quite work.
Strike Dos Times In One Year Award For Most Exciting Up and Coming Composers-Not as chilling or memorable as the Oculus score the Newton Brothers provided, but still a very solid and potent score that announces them as a duo to absolutely be looking out for in the future.
9. Night of the Wolf (2014)
Not Rated | 95 min | Horror
When deadly beasts attack from the forest, it is up to a grizzled veteran to uncover what the residents of a secluded retirement community are hiding.
A pretty solid old guy vs werewolves flick that uses old school makeup and costumes, and a scaled back premise to get across its point. It's not the most ambitious or surprising movie, but its effective and fun, and has a few solid performances from Nick Damici and Tom Noonan.
10. WolfCop (2014)
Unrated | 79 min | Comedy, Horror
As a series of strange and violent events begin to occur, an alcoholic policeman realizes that he has been turned into a werewolf as part of a larger plan.
Wolfcop, by all appearances, should be one of those parody movies with no good wit, none too clever and a just a whole bunch of juvenilia thrown at the screen in spouts of random blood-letting. This is mostly not that, thank God, it's actually played mostly straight and a lot of the humor comes from character and situation and not just gags. And even the gags are earned in their sparing use -- I'm thinking the first transformation scene using his member as the first thing to transform.
The practical effects are really good. Lou has a solid dry deadpan sensibility (and the amount he drinks is unholy).
Too short, and a seeming lack of ideas after a while (explaining the brevity) ultimately hurt this film and hold it back from true cult status. All the good characters are killed off or revealed to be bad guys. Willie steals all his scenes ("Street name: see you in a *beep* week." while goading Wolfcop into taking horse tranqs) and the bartender Jessica are treated poorly in the end and without much regard to their overall value to the film as a whole.
11. The Sacrament (2013)
R | 99 min | Horror, Thriller
A news team trails a man as he travels into the world of Eden Parish to find his missing sister, where it becomes apparent that this paradise may not be as it seems.
Votes: 15,810 | Gross: $0.01M
It feels wrong to call this a waste of Ti West's talents, or at least the strengths he's shown so far as a director, but that's kind of how it feels. A good chunk of that is the found footage aspect, although admittedly it does lend itself to slow burns quite well (West's specialty), but still, it just feels so prosaic and derivative. Gene Jones is perfection but the rest is mostly just, well broadly anti-personal.
Best Horror Heavy: Charismatic Cult Psycho- Gene Jones is perfection as said above. He's charming, sinister and riveting.
12. Annabelle (I) (2014)
R | 99 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A couple begins to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists.
Votes: 128,967 | Gross: $84.27M
2 Halves From 2 Different Movies Don't Make a Whole Award-The first half (roughly) of this film is quite good, with subtle suggestions of late 60's paranoia (Manson) and a few effective scare scenes that so desperately do no belong with the dully unoriginal later half.
13. Wolf Creek 2 (2013)
Not Rated | 106 min | Action, Horror
The outback once more becomes a place of horror as another unwitting tourist becomes the prey for crazed, serial-killing pig-hunter Mick Taylor.
If the original is an Australian Texas Chainsaw Massacre then this is the Aussie Nightmare on Elm Street 4. John Jarratt is still great, but man is this taken to the campiest most vamped up place possible. It would be more disconcerting if you didn't at least appreciate the fact that Greg McLean and co. were trying something different.
Horror Heavy Hall of Fame: Even In Lesser Sequels I Shine- John Jarratt reprises his role from the first film and he's just as great but in a different way. Not as scary, a bit more cracked Crocodile Dundee but he makes it work anyway.
14. The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014)
R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
65 years after a masked serial killer terrorized the small town of Texarkana, the so-called 'moonlight murders' begin again. Is it a copycat or something even more sinister? A lonely high ... See full summary »
15. Deliver Us from Evil (I) (2014)
R | 118 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
New York police officer Ralph Sarchie investigates a series of crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest, schooled in the rites of exorcism, to combat the possessions that are terrorizing their city.
Votes: 64,788 | Gross: $30.58M
A mostly tame exorcism thriller, but with a a nice procedural twist and a decent attempt at an ending even if it is just a big ol' "Here you go!" game of one upmanship.
Solid Gore In an Otherwise Tepid Exorcism Scene Award-The final exorcism sequence is the money scene climax, and it's not really that great or exciting until the demon rips off his own leg and begins munching on it right there as the exorcism goes on around it. Cool.
16. The Canal (2014)
Not Rated | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A depressed and stressed film archivist finds his sanity crumbling after he is given an old 16mm film reel with footage from a horrific murder that occurred in the early 1900's.
Some nice bits, but really a just another tedious exercise in the same old schlock. It's Irish and has an eye for color, but that doesn't excuse a mundane plot that doesn't take many chances.
17. Nurse 3D (2013)
R | 84 min | Horror, Thriller
By day, Abby Russell is a dedicated nurse, but by night, she lures cheating men to their brutal deaths and exposes them for who they really are.
Wants to be some lascivious slasher flick about a killer nurse taking out bad boys, but just turns into Single White Female with a nurse who's a bit too obsessed with her protege even though she's probably not a lesbian (bi maybe?). CGI gore runs rampant, for the 3D, but it's still ugly and intrusive
Best Horror Heavy: Captain of the T&A Squad Variety- Paz de la Huerta as the titular sexy nurse. She's almost always bottomless (yes, you read that right), and almost topless just as much. She uses sex to kill, and looks to thrill, so it only makes sense.
18. ABCs of Death 2 (2014)
Not Rated | 125 min | Comedy, Horror
Another 26-chapter anthology that showcases death in all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty.
Directors: Rodney Ascher, Julian Barratt, Robert Boocheck, Alejandro Brugués, Kristina Buozyte, Alexandre Bustillo, Larry Fessenden, Julian Gilbey, Jim Hosking, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, E.L. Katz, Aharon Keshales, Steven Kostanski, Marvin Kren, Juan Martínez Moreno, Erik Matti, Wolfgang Matzl, Julien Maury, Robert Morgan, Chris Nash, Vincenzo Natali, Hajime Ohata, Navot Papushado, Bill Plympton, Dennison Ramalho, Todd Rohal, Jerome Sable, Bruno Samper, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Sôichi Umezawa | Stars: Eric Jacobus, Andy Nyman, Simon Barrett, Teela LaRoux
Votes: 7,508 | Gross: $0.01M
19. At the Devil's Door (VI) (2014)
Not Rated | 91 min | Horror
A real-estate agent finds herself caught up in something sinister when she has to sell a house with a dark past and meets the troubled teen who used to live there.
Climax undoes any good will built up by a few good scares and solid plotting.
Best Throwaway Scare of the Year (Or Maybe It Just Feels That Way)- The unzipping of a literal human suit to reveal the demon beneath. Just great and unexpected, all in shadow.
20. Cub (2014)
Not Rated | 84 min | Adventure, Horror
Over-imaginative 12 year-old Sam heads off to the woods to summer scout camp with his pack convinced he will encounter a monster...and he does.
21. When Animals Dream (2014)
R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
16-year old Marie lives on a small island with her seriously ill mother and her father, who takes care of the family. But suddenly mysterious deaths happen and Marie can feel something strange happening to her body.
22. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)
R | 84 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
When a young man becomes the target of a malevolent entity, he must uncover its true intentions before it takes complete control of him.
Votes: 37,705 | Gross: $32.46M
A decent attempt at a spin-off, but still forgettable and the same old *beep* PA meets Chronicle is just not that great of an idea.
23. The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
R | 90 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
An elderly woman battling Alzheimer's disease agrees to let a film crew document her condition, but what they discover is something far more sinister going on.
Another interesting premise, but so-so execution. A trend this year it seems.
24. As Above, So Below (2014)
R | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
When a team of explorers ventures into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead.
Votes: 68,878 | Gross: $21.20M
Awesome setting, initial set-up and such, blah execution and ending.
25. The Den (2013)
R | 81 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
While studying the habits of web cam chat users from the apparent safety of her own home, a young woman's life begins to spiral out of control after witnessing a grisly murder online.
Solid ending, but most of the movie is thoughtless. It's like premise and then nothing, no other feelings or thoughts.
26. Life After Beth (2014)
R | 89 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
A young man's recently deceased girlfriend mysteriously returns from the dead, but he slowly realizes she is not the way he remembered her.
Votes: 18,451 | Gross: $0.08M
A smug, mostly unfunny zombie comedy, I guess.
27. Banshee Chapter (2013)
R | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Journalist Anne Roland explores the disturbing links behind her friend's sudden disappearance, an ominous government research chemical, and a disturbing radio broadcast of unknown origin.
Interesting at times, but fails to go anywhere new or exciting. Never capitalizes on its intent.
28. The Houses October Built (2014)
Not Rated | 91 min | Horror, Thriller
Five friends are stalked by a group of mysterious and disturbed individuals while on a road trip looking for the ultimate haunted house attraction.
An intriguing premise, undone by sloppy narrative and no direction.
29. Mr. Jones (2013)
PG-13 | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A young couple moves to the woods and soon finds their nightmares and reality colliding.
Almost an intriguing premise, but goes nowhere drunkenly and incoherently.
30. V/H/S Viral (2014)
R | 81 min | Horror, Thriller
A Los Angeles police chase sends a fame-obsessed man on a wild ride to save his girlfriend from a cybernetic terror.
Votes: 14,059 | Gross: $0.00M
Not even a shadow of the former entries. Listless, pointless, feckless.
31. Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (2014)
R | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Horror
Still on the run from a group of Nazi zombies, a man seeks the aid of a group of American zombie enthusiasts, and discovers new techniques for fighting the zombies.
What a disappointing movie. It seems wrong to say that it's boring and lifeless, considering what happens in it. But it's just not energetic or gleeful, its haphazard and clumsy, ugly and kind of dumb. Like really dumb.
32. Stage Fright (I) (2014)
R | 89 min | Comedy, Horror, Musical
A snobby musical theater camp is terrorized by a blood-thirsty killer who hates musical theater.
Votes: 4,142 | Gross: $0.01M
A weird hybrid that just doesn't work.
33. Afflicted (2013)
R | 85 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Two best friends see their trip of a lifetime take a dark turn when one of them is struck by a mysterious affliction. Now, in a foreign land, they race to uncover the source before it consumes him completely.
Votes: 20,437 | Gross: $0.12M
One trick pony, with some admittedly neat special effects. Offers nothing new, and not a lot of logic.
34. Almost Human (2013)
Unrated | 80 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Mark Fisher disappeared from his home in a brilliant flash of blue light almost 2 years ago. His friend Seth Hampton was the last to see him alive. Now a string of grisly, violent murders ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,807 | Gross: $0.01M
Heart is in the right place, but still this movie is just terrible. Even the old school gore effects just feel tacked on and deliberate. And as old school as it wants to be, it looks just a like a low budget straight to video pic of today (shaky cam and ADD editing).
36. See No Evil 2 (2014)
R | 90 min | Action, Horror, Thriller
An undertaker's birthday party is interrupted when Jacob Goodnight rises from the dead and proceeds to terrorize her and her friends.
37. The Pact II (2014)
Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A woman who is plagued by nightmares involving a serial killer learns her dreams have a horrifying connection to the real world.
38. Devil's Due (2014)
R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
After a mysterious, lost night on their honeymoon, a newlywed couple finds themselves dealing with an earlier-than-planned pregnancy.
Votes: 15,630 | Gross: $15.82M
Take Every Horror Movie Premise and Found Footage It Award for Uninspired Incompetence- Rosemary's Baby found footage. Solid, but this movie absolutely not. The worst elements of all genres and tropes involved.
39. The Quiet Ones (2014)
PG-13 | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A university professor and a team of students conduct an experiment on a young woman, uncovering terrifyingly dark, unexpected forces in the process.
Votes: 18,183 | Gross: $8.50M
Dull and wholly unoriginal or interesting in the slightest.
40. Ouija (II) (2014)
PG-13 | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.
Votes: 44,944 | Gross: $50.86M
Boring and unoriginal.
41. Mockingbird (2014)
Not Rated | 81 min | Horror, Thriller
A couple are given a camera and a set of instructions which they must follow or else someone will die.
Just really pointless.
42. Leprechaun: Origins (2014)
R | 90 min | Fantasy, Horror
Not related to the previous Leprechain films. Two young couples backpacking through Ireland discover that one of Ireland's most famous legends is a terrifying reality.
Seriously, WTF Was Anyone Thinking Award for General Incompetence- Nothing to do with leprechaun lore (not in any real sense, there's no gold coins or rainbows, just goblin things in Ireland), nothing to do with the previous films, nothing to do with basic coherence or originality or common sense, no sense of humor or sense of atmosphere, scares or blood-letting. Dreadful on nearly every conceivable level.