Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011- A Horrific Year In Review

With only five hours left in the year 2011 as I write this, I can honestly say this has been the best year of my creative life.
Inspired by numerous independent films and having had the chance to chat with dozens of amazing people in the horror community over the last nine months (I began my freelance gig with Ravenous Monster in March), I was able to produce the most successful year I've ever had as a writer, filmmaker and fan of the genre.
Early spring time was jam packed with writing- the screenplay for my debut feature length film 'Voices In The Woods' was scribbled out over a span of five days back in late February, and I also popped out a handful of short stories. Most of which have yet to see the light of day.
With the summer season came filming like crazy! Zombies invaded the streets of my hometown and after several hectic days of shooting, a few headaches here and there, and the omnipresent support of my cast, crew and family, I was proud to premiere my debut short, 'DEAD.' in late October.

As the year winds down, I have been up to my neck in interviews to get ready to celebrate the 3rd annual Women In Horror Recognition Month. I've loved every minute of it!

In fact, I've loved every second of my horrific life since March 17- check out my debut into the horror zine scene here!

I cannot wait for the next twelve months. There will be short stories, screenplays, short films and horror conventions to be conquered. There are over fifty interviews that will be posted to celebrate the amazing Women In Horror. There will no doubt be a ton of stories and memories along the way. I'm going to love every minute of it.

With all of that being said, let's take a look back at what I deem a pretty solid year in horror. We were treated to independent gems, arguably the best haunted house film since 'Poltergeist', and enough blood and guts splattered across the calendar to keep us rolling into the new year!

Without further ado, I present to you my 'Best Of 2011', my Top 10 Horror Flicks of The Year.

Enjoy folks. I look forward to your thoughts, criticism and hate mail.

Happy New Year!



Before seeing this film, I would have never imagined it making my Top 10 of the year. With the Hammer name backing it up, I should have known 'The Resident' was destined to earn a spot in my DVD collection.
Hilary Swank and Jeffrey Dean Morgan deliver excellent performances on a modern day take of the 'Psycho' story.
The disturbing peeping tom and night time home invasion scenes are enough to make anyone check behind their shower curtain one last time before bed.


The 'Scream' series will always own a tender spot in my heart. While the third installment left much to be desired, a mulligan is more than deserving considering the Columbine tragedy had just occured and every studio was toning down the violence big time.
With that being said, mastermind Wes Craven did what he does best in this fourth entry of the series.
Craven revived the franchise while also doing what every 'Scream' is supposed to do- take the mainstream trends of horror and toss them under the spotlight in ways only Mr. Craven can.
Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox repreise roles dear to my horror heart and the final sequence in the hospital was enough to make me applaud in triumph at the theatre.
You don't fuck with the originals.


How many times have we seen the hopeless, post-apocalyptic backdrop in a horror film? (Answer: too many times)

How many times have we seen it with rabid vampires instead of zombies?

This creative twist on humankind's demise is just one of several reasons why 'Stake Land' makes my list.
Vampires are restored as the soul-less, blood-thirsty cretins that are supposed to be and I assure you you will not find a better 'refugee camp torn to pieces' action sequence out there.


'Black Death', while #7 on this year's list, is also one of my favorite horror films of the last five years.

Packed with the bleak outlook that befell England during the bubonic plague's rampant destruction, the film follows a group of crusaders and a young monk on their quest to investigate the only village not mired in death and suffering.

They have no idea what they're getting themselves into- a horror greater than the pestilence itself.

Witches, plagues and quartering, oh my!
'Black Death' will get to you.


The only non-film entry on the list, Alice Cooper proves he is- and always WILL be- the man.
36 years after his debut solo album, 'Welcome To My Nightmare', Cooper has delivered a sequel album that is almost as good as the original.

THIRTY-SIX YEARS after the original.
Who else can do that, in any form of creative entertainment? No one.

Whether you're headbanging or groovin' to one of the fantastic instrumental pieces or solos, 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' will not disappoint.

There are far too many imitators, but there will never be one to duplicate the almighty Alice Cooper.


Rutger Hauer frikkin' rocks.
Vigilante stories soaked in blood, grindhouse-style violence and seedy punk rock colors will always catch my attention.
'Hobo With A Shotgun' kept my eyes glued to the screen with my jaw hanging from opening to end credits.

A Canadian success in a year highlighted by indie dominance, 'Hobo' will make you pump your fist in triumph.


Quite possibly the most inventive story I've ever seen.
Complete with awesome CGI (while I tend to despise CGI with a passion, how else are you going to make 50 foot tall trolls?) and a great story that stays true to native mythology, 'Trollhunter' is also one of the best 'found footage' films I've ever seen.


A low-budget Hollywood film that hits a homerun where big-budget horror flicks have whiffed over the last few years.
The creative minds behind 'Saw' take the haunted story premise and give it a handful of fun, new twists and turns that will have your eyes unblinking right up until the final credits.

'Insidious' will go down as the best haunted film since 'Poltergeist' and thanks to a little boy and a record player, this film gave us one of the creepiest scenes in horror cinema of the last decade.


I haven't watched a horror flick with a pillow pressed against my chin in a long time.

This fantastic Canadian project is exactly what every fan of a ghost hunting show is dying to see- truly frightening images, coupled with a solid storyline and a film crew you find yourself rooting for at the same time you're counting down to their demise.

I pray we haven't heard the last of the Vicious Brothers.
'Grave Encounters' brings the good in heavy doses from start to finish.


The indie scene hasn't produced a flick as downright kick ass as 'Dead Hooker In A Trunk' since John Carpenter introduced the world to a boogey man named Michael.

The minds behind this ode to the gritty grindhouse glory of yesteryear are fast becoming the leading ladies of independent horror.

Jen and Sylvia Soska envisioned this film as a one-finger salute to a crappy film school experience. What they created was a bloody, fun and truly amazingly bad ass movie that is only the beginning for the ridiculously talented Soska twins.

Hollywood, take notice.
'Dead Hooker In A Trunk' friggin' rocks!!

Read the awesome article I had the chance to write that includes a review of the film and an interview with the beautiful and maniacally genius Soskas!!!

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