Best of 2013 - Craigy's take.
Allegory as subtle as a jack hammer didn't ruin a film that I admired for at least trying to be science fiction. The characters are conflicted and desperate, and seem to be living moment to moment. In an age were sci-fi films (really, all of genre) are dominated by super geniuses that always make the right moves, it was refreshing.
9. Evil Dead
An unnecessary remake that actually added something to new to the concept, while upping the gore to a staggering level. A lot of fun.
8. John Dies at the End
Though David Wong's excellent book is essentially reduced to "Bill and Ted vs. Monsters", veteran director Don Coscarelli delivers the laughs.
7. You're Next
Come for Ti West's terrible acting, stay for a super fun (if brainless) movie.
6. Warm Bodies
If "Return of the Living Dead" is the zombie genre's punk rock dark comedy, then "Warm Bodies" is its emo rom-com. Everything about this concept screams failure, but romanticizing flesh eaters worked in this case, heavy handed Romeo and Juliet references included. An excellent performance by Nicholas Hoult, who is able to hold emotional weight as both a shambler and his more human internal monologue. The film also manages to add a bit to the zombie mythos too, with a pretty original explanation on why zombies prefer to eat brains.
5. The World's End
An update on the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" that succeeds where many recent entries into the genre fail. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost continue to have masterful comedic chemistry, and the movie actually lives up to the title.
4. V/H/S 2
Good enough to hope for a yearly entry in this series.
3. This is The End
Dominated by the underused Danny McBride, "This is The End" is worth the price of entry for the "Rosemary's Baby" send-up alone. This movie has it all: Giant swinging Satan penis, a built in sequel to "Pineapple Express", Michael Cera dying horribly... I really could go on.
2. Bad Milo
Easily the best movie about ass demons ever made, this is a clever mash-up of "E.T." and "Basket Case". It was great seeing Ken Marino (from TV's "Children's Hospital" and "Veronica Mars") finally in the lead role, and it was also great that said role involved a lot of ass play. With plenty of practical effects (and the titular puppet character; think 80's era creature features like "Ghoulies", "Gremlins" and "Critters") in an era devoid of them, this is definitely worth a monster (and ass) lover's time.
1. Spring Breakers
I resent that many may see this as an ironic choice. Yes, Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers" is bizarre and trashy, a fever dream of great, atmospheric cinematography and near experimental, Terrence Malick-esque editing, but it's also a commentary on white privilege, post racial America, and millennial entitlement. It also features James Franco performing fellatio on a firearm. Enjoy.
1. World War Z
I'll never understand why this movie got such a pass from fans. I thought it neutered the zombie way worse than "Warm Bodies" (which I expected to hate). Cinema war crimes committed: Terrible computer generated FX, an utter lack of gore, comical cut aways from the violence (it seemed like all the zombies were doing was tackling people and hugging them), and Brad Pitt wearing a vast array of fashion scarves. Painful.
The fact that this is an unnecessary remake aside, it's impossible to buy Chloë Grace Moretz, who projects confidence and intelligence as the socially stunted and tortured Carrie White. Toss in that a 2013 update had little to add setting-wise, and you have a wasted two hours.
3. The Last Exorcism Part II
The title alone pretty well sums it up.