Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here. Happy Birthday to AICN HORROR which celebrates its sixth year on Ain’t It Cool News in October! And what a fantastic year in horror it was! Always hoping to pass on new and exciting films for all of you ravenous readers, I have once again compiled a list counting down my favorite horror film released since last October 1, 2014 and covered in my weekly AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column.
As far as how I compiled this list? Well, I simply looked over my AICN HORROR columns over the last year since October 1st, 2014 (which happens to be the birthday of this little column six years ago!) and worked and reworked a list throughout the year until I had 31. No real method to my special brand of madness; just my own personal favorites. The only rule qualifying the film for this countdown is that it had to be released to the masses (via theaters, digital download, On Demand, or DVD/BluRay) within the range of October 1, 2014 and October 1, 2015. Anything before or after that span of time doesn’t count in this haunted dojo. I’ll be counting down every day until Halloween to my favorite horror film of the year. I’ll also provide a second film suggestion at the end of each post that is worth noting or just missed making the list for those who can’t get enough horror.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the article and let me know what you think of the pick, it’s placing on the list, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, let me know your own personal faves from the last year in horror…let’s go!
Available on iTunes and on Netflix here!
CREEP (2014)aka PEACHFUZZ
Directed by Patrick Brice
Written by Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Starring Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
I can’t say enough good things about CREEP. It’s one of those films that is brilliant in its simplicity, but by saying that it isn’t giving the film the credit it deserves. This film is the polar opposite of all of the big budget, wham-bang horror films we are used to seeing in that it focuses mainly on strong performances and a rock solid story in order to convey a film that is unlike any you’re bound to see.
CREEP follows a struggling young filmmaker named Aaron (played by director/co-writer Patrick Brice) who answers a Craig’s List ad which leads him to a secluded house in the hills. There he meets Josef (THE LEAGUE’s Mark Duplass who also co-wrote this demented gem), an eccentric who tells Aaron that he is dying of a brain tumor and wants him to film a day in the life, “kind of like the beautiful film MY LIFE with Michael Keaton” as Josef explains. To tell you more would be a disservice to the film but trust me, as the title of the film indicates, Josef’s story is not on the up and up and things get a whole lot creepier.
CREEP plays with our expectations from the beginning. Aaron has no idea what this job entails and hypothesizes to the camera as to what he will encounter once he arrives at the place. Once there, Josef changes his story over and over as a means to get Aaron to stay with him longer. Simply casting Duplass; who most know as one of the knuckleheads from THE LEAGUE and immediately will make those who know him from the show smile, is misleading as the more we get to know this friendly character, the more bizarre and frightening he becomes. Those expecting bromance antics here when they see Duplass’ name are going to have their world flipped at what he does in this film.
Still, the whole thing plays out perfectly as Aaron, who is good natured and sympathetic to Josef from the get go, is lead into Josef’s twisted web. Duplass plays Josef a little too uncomfortably real; a manipulative and dangerous character that many may recognize from real life who looks harmless on the outside, but is able to bend and twist situations to drain whomever he is focused on simply to fill a need inside of him that cannot be filled. This is a perfect example of a person who is too gullible and kind hearted getting pulled into the life of someone too selfish and manipulative. The dark places CREEP goes is enough to unsettle and disturb just about anyone and while you want to laugh at how weird Josef is, you can’t help but just stand back and wonder what new kind of craziness is going to happen.
Both Duplass and Brice are amazing in their roles, making this no budget film engrossing simply through their performances alone. For the most part, this film feels like it cost nothing to make as it seems only a camcorder, a mountain home, a pancake lunch, and a weird werewolf mask is the extent of costs necessary to make it all work. But though the budget is small, the talent of the two men behind this film is priceless. Told in the oft scoffed at found footage format of first person handheld POV, CREEP is a deeply disturbing film that is going to get under your skin, camp out, and won’t leave—no matter how hard you try to get it to do so.
Worth noting: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD!
#31 – AN AMERICAN TERROR
#30 – WE ARE STILL HERE
#29 – FROM THE DARK
#28 – THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN
#27 – DEAD SNOW 2: DEAD VS RED
#26 – THE GREEN INFERNO
#25 – THE EDITOR
#24 – THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN
#23 – WITCHING & BITCHING
#22 – EXTINCTION
#21 – WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD
#20 – BACKCOUNTRY
#19 – POD
#18 – MAGGIE
#17 – A PLAGUE SO PLEASANT
#16 – THE NIGHTMARE
#15 – A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT
#14 – STARRY EYES
#13 – CLOSER TO GOD
#12 – THE FINAL GIRLS
#11 – LOST SOUL: THE DOOMED JOURNEY OF RICHARD STANLEY’S THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU
#10 – THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME
#9 – GOODNIGHT MOMMY
#8 – CUB
#7 – IT FOLLOWS
#6 – WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
#5 – SPRING
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of AICN COMICS for over 13 years & AICN HORROR for 6. Follow Ambush Bug on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
Find more AICN HORROR including an archive of previous columns on AICN HORROR’s Facebook page!