The Year in Fear: rating Hollywood's 2013 horror flicks, from killer to crap
The recently released Carrie was the last Hollywood horror flick slated for theatres this year, so with Halloween upon us, here's a handy-dandy guide to what Ear of Newt reckons is the best and worst of 2013's scary-film output.
I reviewed 15 theatrically released fright flicks this year, and according to my calculations, 2013 was no great shakes in the horror department.
Then again, this year produced nothing nearly as godawful as 2012's The Apparition, which earned a whopping zero out of 10 on the Newt-o-meter.
Evil Dead ******* (seven out of 10) "In memory of beloved horror-booster Roger Ebert I'm gonna give it one hideously mangled tongues-up".
Stoker ******* (seven out of 10) "...a visually engrossing portrait of upper-class evil and psychosexual suspense that leaves you with a lingering case of the creeps".
Berberian Sound Studio ******* (seven out of 10) "...stylishly creepy psycho thriller that pays homage to the Italian horror scene of the ’70s."
The Call ******* (seven out of 10) "The Call does falter near the end when some scary-movie cliches sneak in, but things are just so damn enthralling up until then that its winning sheen remains mostly untarnished."
Texas Chainsaw Massacre ***** (five out of 10) "...it deserves a modicum of credit for actually making you despise a chainsaw-wielding maniac less than a bunch of lowlife redneck scum."
Carrie ***** (five out of 10) "...by the time the pig's blood has splattered (three times) and Carrie has wreaked her awkward destruction (sprinklers set off before the fire?) you'll be convinced that the new Carrie is average at best."
The Last Exorcism Part 2 **** (four out of 10) "The avian-suicide thing wasn't that scary when we saw it last week in Dark Skies."
You're Next **** (four out of 10) "The film’s transformation from bleeding-out grim to blender-on-the-head silly is pretty hard to take..."
Riddick **** (four out of 10) "Even 80 minutes of this hokey macho hogwash would have been too much."
The Purge ***** (four out of 10) "The rest of the film is a checklist of predictable home-invasion antics rolled out in the name of heavy-handed socio-political commentary."
The Conjuring **** (four out of 10) "The team of director James Wan and scripters Chad and Carey Hayes comes up short with this demonic-possession flick that is scary at times but basically uncalled-for."
Dark Skies *** (three out of 10) "...any quote that uses the adjective 'terrifying' doesn't belong within a billion light years of a lame-ass flick like Dark Skies."
Warm Bodies *** (three out of 10) "Warm Bodies is a whoppingly insignificant zombie rom-com clearly aimed at scraping up any cash the horror-lite crowd hasn’t already blown on Twilight."
Mama *** (three out of 10) "Poor Jessica Chastain. Just one week after the release of the acclaimed Zero Dark Thirty, out comes Mama, a patently ridiculous kids-raised-by-a-ghost flick."
Insidious Chapter 2 * (one out of 10) "It starts off lousy and goes downhill from there. I hereby pronounce it the worst horror flick of 2013."