The Loved Ones is a peculiar film because it has so many layers that seem out of place and unnecessary but when viewed as a whole it all fits together. I think what really stuck with me about this film was how innocent and naive the filmmakers made the antagonist look. Though I knew that her kidnapping the main character was wrong I couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for her and then they pulled the rug out from under me and showed that she's a completely bat-shit psycho. There isn't a single bad guy in a horror movie in the past few years that I think is more crazy than this girl, and I loved it. This movie is twisted, funny, sick, and quite charming.
I'm a sucker for found footage movies and I feel like there hasn't been a good anthology film in a long time but this broke the curse. While some of the stories are better than others they all have an equal amount of crazy. It takes its time getting setup and into the stories but those moments that it takes off will have you glued to your seat. V/H/S is the kind of movie that you'll want to watch with a big group of friends or in a packed out movie theater. Though it sticks to cliches sometimes, more often than not it will take a sharp left when you expect it to go right and we need more horror films that do that.
Ti West is a divisive subject in horror films. Many love him, many hate him, but you can't deny his style works. The term “slow burn” is always used when talking about his flicks and of course it's appropriate for The Innkeepers but what this movie has that so many other ghost stories don't are the characters. Sara Paxton and Pat Healy make for very charming and relatable protagonists which are the qualities a cleve filmmaker will put in his film because how are we supposed to feel any connection to people we hate (Looking at you Paranormal Activity 4). I like the scares in The Innkeepers because they got me and ghost movies never get me, not like this one did.
I can hear you groaning now, stop it. Simply because a film isn't “scary” doesn't stop it form being a horror film, if the subject matter is unequivocally that of horror then it is horror (even if it's not trying to be scary). Paranorman not only had some of the most impressive animation of the year but it had a story full of heart. This is one of the few movies you'll ever see in your life that is a 'feel good movie' and also has zombies/ghosts in it. Filled with plenty of in-jokes and broken tropes for horror fans it is destined to become a cult classic.
As of this writing, this is the third time I've written specifically about The Cabin in the Woods for Shock. I love this film. There is no doubt in my mind that it's my favorite film of 2012. It's funny, it's surprising, it's smart, it's gory, it has everything you could possibly want in a horror film. This is the be-all end-all to horror films and there's no better fitting “end” for the genre. Cabin dissects the things we love about horror and shows us the inside with enough wit to shake a stick at. The Cabin in the Woods propelled itself to the top of my all time favorite horror films the instant I saw it and there are no signs of that ending.