(Posted: 4 January 2010)

 

PRESTON PICKS
BEST OF

 

I'm So Proud of You
Don Hertzfeldt’s second film in his Bill trilogy. Much like Don's other previous films, he brings out the best in absurd black comedy amongst a mix-mash of art-house imagery and simplistic animation. “I’m So Proud of You” will leave you questioning existence with its unique approach at discussing the philosophical aspects of life, and actually pull an emotional response out of you with slick stick figure animation and an oddly touching story.

Red Velvet
A quite little independent film that came out swinging, with colorful and elaborate characters, sets, and story. It deconstructs the slasher genre and rebuilds it, into the movie’s own unique vision of the genre, while incorporating it with some truly beautiful visuals. While it may not be scary, it’s a whole lot of fun and extremely entertaining and one of the most original horror movies to come out this year.

Hanger
Ryan Nicholson’s much anticipated third feature film that really took everyone by surprise. With its gross-out humor that rivals movies like “Street Trash” or even the best Troma movie. Ryan manages to create one of the most disgusting and trashiest movies to come in quite some time that’s populated by some of the ugliest men and the most beautiful women. Add that with his always appreciated gore-gags, you have one of the very few films that manage to capture that 70’s and 80’s, back-alley grimy Grindhouse feel.

Trick ‘r Treat
With all of the hype and constant gabbing going on about this movie, I was expecting the absolute worst, just a complete and total turd. But I was quite surprised with the fact that I had a lot of fun watching it and that it was actually good too. It’s not a great movie by any stretch but it is good, and it was really able to capture the look and feel of Halloween. Each story was quite enjoyable and the ability to make the stories cross paths and intersect worked really well. Like I said, it’s not a great movie or some earth shattering experience but it’s just some good old fashion fun and works great as movie to be thrown in on the holiday.

Run! Bitch Run!
The one thing that I absolute hate about the movie “Grindhouse” was that it started this neo-grindhouse trend of movies very poorly emulating real Grindhouse movies. That and now everyone and their mother uses the term “grindhouse” as an adjective, even though they do not watch or even like those types of movies, but are basing their supposed knowledge off that damn movie. With that aside “Run! Bitch Run!” is one of the very few movies who have managed to capture the feel just right. Along with Nicholson’s “Hanger”, “Run! Bitch Run!” reflects that whole grimy-gritty feel of the sleazy trash flicks of the 70’s. So much so that you can’t even tell if the movie is suppose to be taking place in the 70’s or in modern time. While not exactly original, it gets the rape-revenge theme packed down just right in terms of story, characters, acting and how the whole thing plays out.

 

RONNY PICKS
BEST OF

 

The Tourist
Andrey Iskanov really knows how to make original mindfucks of movies, "The Tourist" is no exception. Even though he has decided to make the film into two films instead of one, I think I will always prefer the cut I was shown. Even though this isn't coming out yet, it's still a 2009 movie for me. It's fairly easy to follow if you compare it to some of his other films, yet it's probably one of the weirdest films I've seen. The special effect make-up might not be as incredible as the movie itself, but in the universe that Iskanov has created with this film, it's definitely not an issue. This is a colorful and surreal experience that ends with a ruthless bang.

Antichrist
The more I think about this movie, the better I think it is. Not only does it feel very thought-out (even though the director says everything wasn't completely thought-out) but it works on many other levels than just being a deep movie. It works as a psychological drama and it works as a horror movie. With it's graphic violence (especially the mutilation towards the end), the movie has really became the talk of the town. But even without that, it would hold up and still be the fantastic movie that it is. I'm glad to see that a film like this has hit the mainstream, but it's also sad that because a director has became known, his films get popular no matter how gruesome or graphic they are. Meanwhile, there are still filmmakers in the underground making just a powerful movies as this one.

Red Velvet
This film has become one of my all-time favorite slasher movies because of many things. First of all, Henry Thomas plays a very likable guy, even though he's somewhat of a douche in his charm. It also has the most original killer that I can think of. What more? Beautiful cinematography, amazing kills, gore, excellent use of colors and one hell of a fun story. Sure, it doesn't always make sense and it has it's flaws, but with this one it's all about being entertained. If this movie doesn't tickle your funny bone meanwhile it amazes you with above mentioned things, something is wrong with you.

Ink
The only movie on my 2009 list that isn't horror. In fact, it's one of the genres I hate the most; Sci-fi. Atleast it's part sci-fi. Part drama, part sci-fi. But it works. It's very easy to follow even though it's extremely odd, and the story is very interesting, and it tops it all off with a fairly emotional ending. But what makes this movie so impressive is how artistic it is. It may be using CGI, but it uses it in a way that makes sense. It has some really creepy elements and some crazy fantasy characters, and is all in all one fantastic movie.

Smash Cut
David Hess stars in this terrific grindhouse/exploitation homage about a director who's considered to be one of the worst out there. But when he one night drinks and drives with a stripper in the car and crashes, he comes up with the brilliant idea to use the body parts in his films. And obviously he gets successful by doing this. How is this not a fantastic plot for a film? This film is clever, funny, bloody and one hell of a good time. It has all the ingredients to be one of the best movies of 2009.

 

PRESTON PICKS
WORST OF

 

The Hills Run Red
A movie that felt the need to spend 81 minutes pointing out every single cliché in horror movies that we as fans are fully aware of. While also giving us every type of redundant archetype character that there is in horror movies. “The Hills Run Red” is what’s wrong with every homage-based genre film, by filling it full of lame self-aware jokes and less than subtle references. Not to mention an ending that is shameless lifted straight from Carpenter’s “In the Mouth of Madness”. Watch “Red Velvet” if you want to see a horror movie with clever writing that knows how to pay homage’s to a genre correctly. Watch “The Hills Run Red” if you enjoy having a movie spend its entire runtime saying, “You remember this cliché? You remember that cliché? You know how horror movies do this or how they play out like that? Isn’t this funny how we’re doing it too?”

Laid To Rest
Who knew a senseless gore film could end up being so damn boring and become such a tedious watch? Even though it was designed to strictly be nothing more than a gore film, its shallow story and characters still manage to find a way to intrude in on the senselessness of everything and get under your skin and irritate you the entire time. The gore gags and props certainly looked good, but it was far from being a fun and entertaining watch.

Grotesque
What’s worse than having to watch “Hostel”? Watching a terrible Japanese film that is trying to be like it. For a country that has had no problem dishing out some of the craziest, sadistic, and sexually psychotic films that most other film producing countries can’t touch, “Grotesque” is an embarrassment to those movies. A ridiculous cash-in title to movies like “Saw” and “Hostel”; “Grotesque” is a phoned-in, limp shock film that fails at everything it tries to accomplish and manages to produce one of the dumbest endings since “Haute Tension”.

The Uninvited
Don’t ask me as to what bug crawled up my ass that made me think that watching a movie that’s an American remake of a perfectly good Korean horror film, was going to be a good idea. Now I’m not a big fan of “A Tale of Two Sisters”, but it was still a good movie regardless, and certainly better than this god awful remake. It's not awful because it’s a remake, but because it’s a terrible adaptation of the movie and story, with atrocious acting, with even worst directing. Everything about the movie is annoying and frustrating, to the point that I felt that I’ve had rashes that were less irritating than this movie.

Friday the 13th
Now I’m not the biggest fan of Jason and the “Friday the 13th” films, actually I would go so far as to say I’m not a fan at all. (I enjoyed watching them when I was little, but I can’t stand them now.) But I don’t know somebody can take such a simple movie, setup, and character and make such an unbelievably boring film. Then again, these days I find the original films to be boring as well. But a simple-senseless slasher like this shouldn’t be boring, it should be fun, and it wasn’t. It was just an unnecessary remake to a series that had a sequel come out only 6 years ago, and even all it did was take the “best of” moments from previous films, and made a highlight reel.

 

RONNY PICKS
WORST OF

 

Friday the 13th
This fairly successful series of 8 good films (I'm a fan of part 1 - 8), and a few not so good films, should just be left alone now. There is no need to bring it all back, especially not if you are gonna do it as poorly as this one. The remake of "Friday the 13th" is in no way as entertaining as the original series was, and even though it tries to invent a few new things for the character, it still falls flat. Please let Jason die, he has already been in space for crying out loud. He definitely has lived his life-after-death to the fullest. Now let him rest.

My Bloody Valentine 3D
I still haven't seen the original film, but I hope that they managed to deliver the plot much better than they did in this one (if the original has the same story and twist, that is). This was just another run-of-the-mill slasher movie and making it a 3D film wasn't the way to go if you ask me. I'll gladly watch action or sci-fi in 3D, but I have no need to watch blood splatter towards me as it just feels a tad bit silly and definitely takes me out of the movie to realize that it is in fact just a movie. Never a good thing.

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane
By the time this movie was over I didn't know if I wanted to watch a new mainstream horror movie again. It's safe to say that the horror industry has became slightly worse the last decade, if you don't count the underground scene. "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane" is one of the best examples of this. It has a terrible plot twist, annoying characters and actors, forgettable kills, and let's not forget, the entire movie felt completely pointless and boring. The movie won't go down in history as the worst film ever made, there are worse out there. This one won't go down in history at all, only because people will have forgotten about it. And at the end of the day, that's a worse fate for a film.

Paranormal Activity
People have called this the scariest movie they've seen in years, but what I don't get is how they can get so scared when the movie pretty much tells you "Hey, something is about to happen so be focused" every time something is about to happen. The movie had so much potential. In fact, I was more scared by a small teaser video I watched a while back than I was during this entire movie. This movie definitely has "The Blair Witch Project" effect with ALOT of hype and little scares, except that I prefer "The Blair Witch Project" over this movie any day of the year. "Paranormal Activity" attempted things I want in a good ghost movie, but they had no idea how to deliver it.

Carriers
A movie that starts out with you hating the characters within the first 10 minutes can never be a good film. We don't care about the characters at all, and the only two people we care about are the father and daughter that we are introduced to in the beginning, but who's out of the film after a short while. Then we're left with a group of people we don't really give a fudge about if they die or not. The plot of the film isn't all that terrible. It's about a virus that is spreading cross the country (or world), and only a few people are still alive. It could definitely be worth watching, except this one really isn't. Trust me when I say that.

 

 

PRESTON PICKS
BEST UNDERGROUND / INDEPENDENT OF THE

 

The Gateway Meat
Ron DeCaro’s impressive feature length debut that combines a brutal underground horror element with an experimental-esque style to it, and features one of the most original death scenes.

Gutterballs
A true throwback to 80’s slashers if there ever was one; the standard slasher formula that is taken over the top with excessive amounts of gore, nudity, and swearing that makes it not just a throw back, but a fun and kick-ass flick.

The Cat with Hands
A movie that has more atmosphere and terrifying imagery in it’s 4 minute runtime than most full length horror films have in the past two decades.

Nails
Andrey Iskanov’s debut film, and in my opinion still his best. A unique filmmaking style combined with great visuals and a twisted story.

Special Dead
A fun and funny movie that goes to show not everything has been done before.

Honorable Mentions: Torched, Little Otik, Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV, Poultrygeist, Meatball Machine, August Underground, Red Velvet, Malevolence, Bone Sickness, Beyond the Limits, Everything Will Be OK, Orozco the Embalmer, Robot Bastard!

 

RONNY PICKS
BEST UNDERGROUND / INDEPENDENT OF THE

 

I Never Left The White Room
Few films have managed to be as twisted as this one. Definitely a surreal ride.

LOOP
A no-budget movie with meaning and thought.

Orozco The Embalmer
Seeing life and death through the eyes of an embalmer in Colombia. A reminder that life that be really ugly and dark.

Philosophy of a Knife
Extraordinary and surreal film on the Unit 731. Very epic if you consider the budget.

August Underground
If you ever did find a lost tape filled with murder, this is without a doubt what it would be like.

Honorable Mentions: Mécanix, Le Nécrophile, Nekro, Extase de chair brisée, Antichrist, Blood Feast 2, The Tourist

 

PRESTON PICKS
WORST UNDERGROUND / INDEPENDENT OF THE

 

Psycho Scarecrow
The movie ends with a scarecrow riding out of a city on a motorcycle. Yeah…

Din of Celestial Birds
E. Elias Merhige’s follow up to “Begotten” and it’s just as bad if not worse. Boring, dull, silly-pointless imagery with another failed message and failed attempt at making something interesting.

Swamp Zombies
An absolute mind numbing experience. I believe I heard the sound of angels weeping while watching it or it could have been the sound of me slowly dying on the inside. Either way, it wasn’t good, whatever it was.

Vampire Chicks with Chainsaws
If there ever was a movie that would make me kill myself from watching it, it’s this one.

Prison of the Psychotic Damned
It’s pretty bad when the best thing about your movie is the location.

Honorable Mentions: Girls Rebel Force of Competitive Swimmers, Zombie Self-Defense Force, Blood and Sex Nightmare, Dance of the Dead, House, Fearmakers, Exitus Interruptus, The House That Screamed 1-2, I Spit On Your Corpse I Piss On Your Grave, Scrapbook

 

RONNY PICKS
WORST UNDERGROUND / INDEPENDENT OF THE

 

Isle of the Damned
I'm sorry, but a Cannibal parody like this could work if everything wasn't completely gay.

Die Zombiejäger
A very forgettable zombie movie from Sweden, that I think has gotten it's exposure here just because it is from Sweden.

TrashHouse
Holy fucking christ, a baby could make better CGI.

Slaughtered Vomit Dolls
Puke, no plot, no meaning, no artistic value, and a little bit of blood.

ReGOREgitated Sacrifice
Pretty much the same as the above mentioned, but a little less puke and a little more blood. Pointless wannabe-art films.

Honorable Mentions: Porn of the Dead, Traces of Death 5

 

PRESTON PICKS
BEST MAINSTREAM HORROR OF THE

 

Botched
Any movie that features a killer who not only decapitates his victims but does a grand jeté while chasing them, deserves nothing but praise.

Dead and Breakfast
89 minutes of demon-zombie gore with country-western rapping interludes and bad jokes. Hoorah! Somebody hand me some chew.

Funny Games
There’s just something wonderful about an intelligent movie that's designed entirely to fuck with the audience. It’s even better when most of the audience doesn’t even realize it.

Shaun of the Dead
Come’on. It’s Shaun of the Dead.

The Abandoned
I’m a sucker for a good ghost flick and Nacho Cerdà delivered just that.

Honorable Mentions: Frailty, Session 9, Dog Soldiers, Black Sheep, Eden Lake, Ils, Calvarie, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Evil Aliens, Severance, R-Point, Noroi: The Curse, Fritt Vilt 1-2, Isolation, The Nameless

 

RONNY PICKS
BEST MAINSTREAM HORROR OF THE

 

Eden Lake
A fairly underrated horror that features very realistic but messed up kids.

Dead & Breakfast
C'mon, this is just gold. Zombies, country music, funny jokes, great characters, gore. It's a winner.

Ginger Snaps 1 - 3
My favorite "new" werewolf movies. I prefer watching the series from first to last in a row, which is why I picked all three for this.

Session 9
A really creepy tale about an asbestos removal company working in an old mental hospital. Features many chilling moments.

Ils
Might have lost some of the effect after a few times, but still remains a very effective punch in the face.

Honorable Mentions: Vacancy, Black Water, The Strangers, Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, 1408, 30 Days of Night

 

PRESTON PICKS
WORST MAINSTREAM HORROR OF THE

 

Machine Girl
I guess if you release a trailer where you compare your movie to Quentin Tarantino, everyone will just ignore the fact that it’s a really terrible movie and automatically decide to love it instead.

Tokyo Gore Police
Much like Machine Girl, TGP comes from the Tarantino style of filmmaking. Where the movie is composed of lifted scenes and styles from other movies and in addition, they tried to paste everything together with gore to help pass it off as a good movie. To bad it didn’t work.

Feast
A failure of epic proportions. Piss poor filmmaking and story combined with the worst in dick-and-fart joke humor that’s all tied together (very poorly) with a pathetic-asinine horror element. Seeing the ridiculous “baby scene” from part 2 helped me to decide that I would not watch such a stupid set of movies beyond the first one.

Hostel/Hostel 2
Like “Feast”, it counts as one movie because its sequel is nothing but self-repeating garbage. Eli Roth’s terrible frat-boy style filmmaking mixed in with safe-horror fluff that’s wrapped in a big package of hype.

Frontier(s)
You know, I always wanted to watch “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” in French except with Nazis instead of rednecks, and “Frontier(s)” made that possible. Fantastic.

Honorable Mentions: Mirrors, House of 1000 Corpses, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Dawn of the Dead, Underworld, Haute Tension, After Dark Horrorfest (excluding The Abandoned), Final Destination (the series as a whole as well), Ghosts of Mars, Queen of the Damned

 

RONNY PICKS
WORST MAINSTREAM HORROR OF THE

 

Queen of the Damned
I swear to God that this might be the worst thing ever made.

Haute Tension
If it wasn't for the shitty ending, the movie would've been slightly better. But, it's still bad and I prefer "Intensity" over this piece of junk.

Van Helsing
This film really pissed on alot of legendary monsters.

Rose Red
As a huge Stephen King-adaption-fan, it really bothered me that this movie was this bad.

Black Christmas
Yes, please do ruin everything that made the original scary by telling us EVERYTHING about the killer.

Honorable Mentions: Land of the Dead, Saw 2, Underworld, Frontier(s)

 

PRESTON PICKS
BEST MAINSTREAM NON-HORROR OF THE

 

Hot Fuzz
Come’on. It’s Hot Fuzz.

Mike Yokohama: A Forest with No Name
A surreal Japanese noir TV episode turned feature length movie that features a creepy atmosphere, a bizarre story and a great lead character.

Survive Style 5+
A vibrant, colorful, off-beat and absurd movie that crosses over many different genres that’ll drop you to the floor with its very bizarre humor. All that leaves then is one important question to be asked, “What’s your function in life?”

Spider
Probably Cronenberg’s most under-appreciated movie but equally as good as his other titles that takes us on an interesting journey through the mind of a schizophrenic.

The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes
The highly anticipated second feature film from The Brother’s Quay that manages to meet its expectations; a beautiful heart-breaking film that manages to capture the look and feel of a dream.

 

RONNY PICKS
BEST MAINSTREAM NON-HORROR OF THE

 

Team America
Trey Parker & Matt Stone does it again in this hilarious puppet movie.

Hot Fuzz
Probably the best cop movie out there.

Taking Chance
A very emotional movie that doesn't really need a large plot. It is what it is, and Kevin Bacon does it without a flaw.

Crank/Crank 2
By far my favorite action movies since First Blood. Over-the-top action has never been this good.

Final Fantasy: Advent Children
I grew up watching my brother play FFVII (only played it a bit myself), and thanks to that I really enjoyed this beautiful animation movie.

Honorable Mentions: The Illusionist, Memento

 

PRESTON PICKS
WORST MAINSTREAM NON-HORROR OF THE

 

There are so many that I couldn’t even pick a top 5 if I wanted to.

 

RONNY PICKS
WORST MAINSTREAM NON-HORROR OF THE

 

 

Twilight
One of those movies that makes me wanna strangle people. Terrible shit from start to finish.. Alright, that's not completely true. I couldn't finish it so I wouldn't know..

Kill Bill: Vol. 1
I'm sorry, Tarantino might not have been THAT bad before making this movie, but shit really hit the fan here. This is a puzzle of old movies like "Thriller: A Cruel Picture" and "Sex & Fury".

Son of the Mask
Jame Kennedy.. I don't completely hate you, but what the fuck was going on here?

Transformers
"Transformers: The Movie" (1986) is a fantastic film, and it's sad to see this new shitty Michael Bay film piss all over that by making way too annoying robot designs and add Linking Park songs.

Dr. Dolittle 3
I wish I know why I watched this. Clichés, clichés, clichés, and annoying kids.

 

 




 

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TOP 10 OF LAST YEAR:
1. Fires on the Plain
2. What We Do in the Shadows
3. We Are Still Here
4. Spring
5. Makeup Room
6. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
7. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
8. Shadow Zombie
9. Honeymoon
10. Nina Forever
Taken from Best of 2015



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