LUNKHEAD’s Will Cross guides you through his top three horror films of 2015. As always, head to the comments section if you disagree.
3) The Green Inferno (dir. Eli Roth)
Uneven, not nearly grasping enough of its vast setting and nowhere near as good as it should have been, but still loads and loads of fun. Roth’s heavily delayed tribute to the cannibal horror classics and takedown of modern internet warriors and slacktivists felt like a giant leap toward bringing back the widescreen multiplex horror that we miss so dearly. Despite its faults, there was a fantastic use of scenery and wildlife here (wild panthers, ants on face) with serious moments of old-school gore and hand-on-mouth comedy (the munchies scene, unbelievable). If Roth had harnessed all of his crazy ideas here we could’ve had a classic, but this is still a hugely entertaining step in the right direction for horror in a relatively flat year.
2) Tales of Halloween (various directors)
A new instalment in the anthology genre (a true guiding light in a weird time for horror), this reminds of modern macabre holiday classic Trick ‘r Treat and while not quite as good, there are moments of genius to be found here. Not least in the standout moment, Greg Commons and Adam Gierasch’s Trick, in which child trick or treaters attack a group of adults having a Halloween party, but all is very much not as it seems with a reveal so horrible, so well pulled off and choreographed that it has more scares in five minutes than most other films managed all year.
1) Knock Knock (Eli Roth)
The closest we came all year to a genuinely great horror movie as a full and rounded work, Eli Roth’s second film on this list placed Keanu Reeves in the middle of a timely and disturbing examination of the age of the social justice warrior and the power nothing more than accusation holds nowadays. Compared to Roth’s other films, there’s surprisingly very little in the way of actual gore here. Instead, the horror is very real and psychological, with a brilliant and terrifying dual performance from Ana De Armas and Lorenza Izzo – the scariest thing about any horror film in 2015. The pair play mind games with Reeves, with no clear view as to where the film’s going to go, bringing the viewer to the edge of the seat for pretty much its entire duration. There’s an argument that the closer horror moves to reality the more horrific it becomes, just ask Chuck Palahniuk, and this is a lucid example of that ethos.
Now read Will’s countdown of the ten best films of 2015.