Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Favorite Films of 2013 (that i was actually able to see)

And one more list for 2013.  Unfortunately i was unable to see all the movies i would have liked to last year, so this is hardly a definitive list.  I missed a lot...especially in the latter half of the year, but of what i was able to catch, here are my 9 favorites...

"You're Next":  Adam Wingard's home invasion horror flick is a perfect specimen of the genre.  It's scary, gruesome, exciting, and funny.  The film flopped at the box office which is a travesty, because it probably is the best horror movie of the year.  I command you all to buy the blu-ray whenever it comes out.

"Upstream Color":  Director Shane Carruth's second feature is an odd and beautiful little duck, playing like some sort of Philip Dick fever dream as envisioned by Terrence Malick.  I really don't think i can describe the just have to watch it...more than once.

"Evil Dead":  A remake of a classic horror film that's actually good!  And it just may be the goriest movie i've ever seen.  You can't beat that endorsement.

"This Is The End":  This movie is so much funnier than it has any right to be.  What could have played out as a bunch of Hollywood narcissism actually becomes a hilarious indictment of that whole culture.  Looking forward to the rumored meta-meta-sequel.

"The World's End":  Everything Edgar Wright touches turns to gold.  This finale to the "Cornetto Trilogy" pulls no punches, constantly making left turns, and consistently surprising the viewer (read me).  I want to be friends with Pegg and Frost.

"Only God Forgives":  This is a tough one.  After my first viewing, i really didn't know what to think of the latest Nicolas Winding Refn joint.  The film is a dark, slow-burning, occasionally hyper-violent, neon-colored meditation on revenge and the pointlessness there of.

"Escape from Tomorrow":  A quirky little movie made guerrilla-style on location at Disney theme parks, a perfect back drop for a horror film about anxiety and dread.

"Room 237":  This documentary of fan theories about "The Shining" actually hit the festival circuit in 2012, but i was unable to come across it until debuted on VOD last year.  I love all the different ideas (even the boneheaded ones), and how they interweave with clips from the original film and a killer soundtrack.  Definitely worth a watch from anyone who likes movies.

"Stoker":  Foreign directors' first forays into English language film making is usually more miss than hit, but "Oldboy" director Park Chan-wook offered up a beauty this year with "Stoker," an icky and creepy thriller about an icky and creepy family.  Despite the ugly nature of the movie, it's beautifully shot.  The grime is just an added bonus.  Plus, Nicole Kidman's lifeless plastic surgery has never been put to better use.

So, if you haven't seen all of these films, you have your homework ahead of you.  Hopefully i'll catch up with the rest of 2013's best sometime in July.

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