REC 3 drew some heat from fans of the franchise because it broke the formula, but that’s one of the main reasons that I praised it. Moving away from the "found footage" sub-genre and setting the film in a less confined space allowed the franchise to grow instead of being pigeonholed in to doing all the same things over again. That the film’s creators were willing to take a risk is commendable, and for me, it paid off.
#4 The Revenant
This film is terrific. The Revenant initially seemed as though it was going to be another Shaun of the Dead knockoff, but that’s just not the case. The Revenant employs old school vampire mythology and differentiates itself from anything I’ve seen before. The relationship between David Anders’ and Chris Wylde’s characters is truly authentic. There’s nothing forced or stilted about any of the performances in the film. Writer/director Kerry Prior was working on a nonexistent budget, but thanks to his background in effects, all of the gore and prosthetics look like they belong in a film with a much more substantial budget.
This movie made me uncomfortable. Much of the film made me sick to my stomach; but, not because of over the top or explicit gore. The effects are understated for a film of this kind, but the performances are so realistic that I was concerned for the characters all the way through the film. Robin McLeavy was phenomenal as Lola. The film’s concept doesn’t bring a lot of original ideas to the table, but the performances, the dialogue, the score, and the on screen dynamic between Lola and her father make the film.
I didn’t know that AnnaLynne McCord could turn in a performance like this. I think that a lot of the credit for that goes to writer/director Richard Bates Jr. for inspiring great performances from every member of his cast. Excision, which is based on Bates’ short film of the same name is not always easy to watch. But, the film was peppered with moments of the blackest of comedic brilliance, which serve to break the mounting sense of tension the film is constantly building. The ending, and the entire film really, is a total mind f**k.
I think of Cabin as a love song to the horror genre. It’s slick, ultra meta, fully functional, and extremely clever. Cabin invoked a nostalgia in me for the horror heyday of the late seventies and early eighties. It’s the best genre film to come out in some time. I think it’s safe to say that Cabin is an instant classic.
Other "Best of 2012" Lists: Ryan's Top 8