2016 Was a Banner Year For Horror

best horror movies of 2016

If you grab an average person off the street and ask them how they feel about the recently departed 2016, they’d probably give you a detached thousand yard stare. Or burst into tears. It was, for the world as a whole, not a great time to be alive. However, it was a great year for horror movies. And that makes a twisted sort of sense. As we discover new ways to fear and despair, the movies will react accordingly. Whether by accident or design, horror cinema represented everything we dread in 2016. How it will react to the actual events of this past year has me fascinated…and terrified.

Looking back at the past twelve months, it’s astonishing just how good horror cinema has been. It was there when we needed it, offering an avenue of escape and, when necessary, a dark mirror to examine our inner demons.

Read More »

The Eyes of My Mother featurette

Before you start doling out superlatives for the year in movies, you’ll want to check out what I’m pretty sure is still one of the most unsettling cinematic experiences of 2016. The Eyes of My Mother creeped the hell out of audiences at Sundance at the start of the year, and has spent the past several months traumatizing the rest of festival circuit with its odd blend of startling beauty and quiet but visceral brutality. Now, at long last, it’s available for everyone to see. But if you’re still not quite convinced, allow an exclusive The Eyes of My Mother featurette to make its pitch. Click through to watch. Read More »

The Eyes of My Mother Trailer

Since it’s Halloween, it’s the perfect time for a new trailer to promote the creepy indie horror flick The Eyes of My Mother. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and reviews are pegging it as a truly chilling nightmare. The first trailer was certainly ominous and foreboding, and now a new trailer has come along that’s even more creepy.

In the new The Eyes of My Mother trailer, we basically get a single scene that introduces us to Francisca, one of those children who you just know is going to haunt you when you go to sleep. It appears she has certain proclivities to making friends in the creepiest way possible. Closing your eyes during this movie will be just as much about being scared as it will be protection from Francisca.

Read More »

fantastic fest 2016 awards

You never know what you’re going to get at Fantastic Fest, the Austin-based genre film festival that takes great delight in immersing attendees in the strangest, wildest, and most unique movies from around the globe. Over the course of eight days, I saw 27 movies. I saw some of the best films I’ve seen all year. I saw oddities I will never forget. I saw some things I wish I could forget. As is always the case, I missed a few big titles, like Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, the divisive The Greasy Strangler, and the crowd-pleasing Bad Black.

But now, it’s time to put a bow on this year’s fest. Sure, the festival itself has juries on hand to recognize films in the line-up, but there’s only one awards ceremony that really matters here – the one that I create out of thin air to throw imaginary accolades at my favorite movies from the line-up.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in the best, weirdest, funniest, oddest, scariest, etc. movies to emerge from Fantastic Fest 2016.

Read More »

Everything We Saw at Fantastic Fest 2016

fantastic-fest-2016

When the smoke cleared, I ended up seeing 27 movies over eight days at Fantastic Fest 2016. The Austin-based genre film festival always has a strong line-up of odd, unusual, and unique movies from around the world, but this year was truly exceptional – I saw very few movies I wouldn’t recommend in some capacity. I even saw a handful of movies that are in serious contention for my end-of-the-year top 10.

For the sake of completeness, I have compiled all of my Fantastic Fest coverage into one place, with links to my reviews and smaller capsule reviews for everything that didn’t get their own post. If you’re looking for a something terrifying or unique or action-packed or tear-jerking or just plain unusual, there is something here for you.

Read More »

The Eyes of My Mother Review

There’s a scene in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre where Leatherface, the deranged serial killer who wears the skin of his victims, runs to the window of his isolated farmhouse. He’s just made quick work of two teenagers who wandered onto his property one after another and he has no idea where they came from, what they wanted, and if more are on the way. Through that grotesque flesh-mask, we can see his eyes: confusion and fear and concern for what else this day may bring him. For a few seconds, this monstrous figure is so oddly…human.

The Eyes of the Mother is like a feature-length version of that shot.

Read More »

The Eyes of My Mother trailer

It’s easy for smaller films to slip through the cracks at Sundance, drowned out by scandalized headlines for oddballs like Swiss Army Man and deafening buzz for multimillion-dollar acquisitions like The Birth of a Nation and Manchester by the Sea. But The Eyes of My Mother has refused to fade into obscurity, despite hailing from a first-time feature filmmaker (Nicolas Pesce) and centering on a mostly unknown cast, and there’s an excellent reason for it: it’s really freakin’ creepy.

The story centers around Francisca, whose idyllic if sheltered childhood is interrupted by a horrific act of violence. Except that the family’s reaction to said incident isn’t quite what you’d expect. As Francisca grows up into an isolated young woman (played by Kika Magalhaes), she develops a genuinely twisted way of connecting to the world. Watch the Eyes of My Mother trailer below.

Read More »