Before we cut out for the long weekend, let us bring you one more “best of 2012” list. Today, we share with you Paul Doro’s picks. Again, another writer who has been contributing to Shock for some time and I think you’ll dig the diversity that he brings to his list. Read on! – Ryan Turek, Managing Editor
Ti West is a great director and his traditional but effective ghost story is pretty damn scary. The old hotel at the center of the action makes for an ideal setting and West milks it for all its worth. He’s also a master of slow-build horror, ramping up the terror at just the right moment after establishing the hotel as a seriously creepy place. He also gets superb performances from Sarah Paxton and Pat Healy, knowing that the scares are more powerful if you actually care about the characters. It’s low-key and not without clichés, but very well-made with a gripping ending.
It’s not perfect, as hardly any anthology movie is. Some of the segments work much better than others. But this is the most fun I had in the theater all year; the definition of a crowd-pleaser. The horror-loving crowd at the midnight screening was the ideal audience to see it with and the overall atmosphere was great. Not really all that scary, but there’s plenty of gore and the effects are solid. It’s dirty and nasty and not for the squeamish. It also functions as a good showcase for some of the genre’s most promising young directors.
Chiller’s documentary about three haunted houses in small-town Massachusetts and the extremely dedicated (and nutty) people responsible for creating them year after year is spectacularly entertaining from start to finish. It captures the pure magic of the Halloween season and why we love this stuff as much as we do. The amount of work that goes into planning and producing the haunted houses is staggering. Watching the creators at work and seeing them sweat it out before they open is completely gripping.
This one lived up to the positive advanced buzz. While it’s never truly frightening, in the end that doesn’t matter. It gets under your skin and is jarringly unsettling. No movie this year did a better job sustaining a potent feeling of dread. You knew it wasn’t going to end well but you couldn’t wait to see exactly how it would play out. Mr. Boogie is freaky as hell and a great new genre antagonist. Nothing this year gave me the creeps as much as this one. I didn’t like walking back to my car alone after it was over. What more can you ask for?
#1 The Grey
Not just a great genre film, it’s one of the best movies of the year. Liam Neeson delivers an exceptional performance and the supporting cast is excellent. The plane crash is riveting and one of the most harrowing of all-time. What follows is equally compelling. The wolf attacks are brutal and incredibly effective, and director Joe Carnahan does a remarkable job building and maintaining tension. It’s too bad that it was released nearly a year ago. Neeson’s performance is one of the year’s finest and deserving of a Best Actor nomination.
For more “Best Of” lists: Ryan’s Picks, Tyler’s Picks, Spencer’s Picks, Jeff’s Picks