Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here. Happy Birthday to AICN HORROR which celebrates its sixth year in October! Always hoping to pass on new and exciting films for all of you ravenous readers, I have once again compiled a list counting down to my favorite horror film released since last October and covered in this here AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. Some of these films might be new to you since there isn’t a lot of horror in theaters these days. That said, there were more on this list that DID have a theatrical run than in previous years which means the horror genre does seem to be on the upswing. Some of these films have only seen the light of day on Video On Demand or simply go straight to DVD/BluRay or digital download.
As far as how I compiled this list? Well, I simply looked over my AICN HORROR columns over the last year since October 1st, 2015 (which happens to be the birthday of this little column five years ago!) and worked and reworked the list until I had 31. No real method to my special brand of madness. We’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 nothing or missed being on the list by a little bit for those who can’t get enough horror.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the article and let me know how you liked the film I chose, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own list…let’s go!
BODY (2015)Directed by Dan Berk & Robert Olsen
Written by Dan Berk & Robert Olsen
Starring Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen, Lauren Molina, Larry Fessenden, Adam Cornelius, Dan Brennan, Kimberly Flynn, Ian Robinson
Find out more about this film here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
BODY is a well acted, well structured ball of tension reminiscent of Hitchcockian thrillers of old.
The film begins with a trio of young women home from college and celebrating the night before Christmas Eve together. Holly (Helen Rogers, aka the adorable pixie from “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger” segment of V/H/S), Cali (newcomer Alexandra Turshen) and Mel (newcomer Lauren Molina) are winding down and bored, but Cali suggests they do something adventurous and visit her uncle’s abandoned summer home by the lake. When they arrive, they take in the extravagant surroundings until someone shows up (writer/director/actor Larry Fessenden who has been in too many movies to count this year) and they accidentally have a hand in killing him. Not wanting to get into trouble for being at the home without permission, the three girls debate on what to do with the body that lay at the bottom of the steps.
What I love about this film is the infectious likability of the three main leads at the beginning of the film. Not only are these three ladies fantastic actresses, but they are also damn funny in the casual, yet hilarious way they play around with one another in the first half of this film. These are not the dim-witted machete fodder you usually see in horror films. These are likable and fully formed characters who we get to know naturally in the first twenty or so minutes of the film where we follow them around simply having fun and relaxing. Every horror movie has a casual lead in where we are supposed to get to know the characters, but not all of them succeed in making you care simply because the writing is sub par and the acting is usually worse. Here, I wasn’t longing for the horrific stuff to happen as these girls are simply fun to watch.
And that’s what makes the latter 45 minutes of BODY so fascinating. Seeing these once close friends tear into and at each other in order to find a way to cover up this accident is fascinating and almost heartbreaking to see unfold. The ladies are panicked and a little drunk, so the lapses in judgment are acceptable here as they refuse to do the right thing and simply call the cops about the body. Instead, they go to elaborate lengths to cover up their involvement and I was almost screaming at the screen “Nooo!” every wrong step they take along the way simply because these three girls are so likable.
BODY is a film written to be watched on the edge of whatever it is you’re resting on. The acting is top tier and I know that all three actresses (Turshen, Molina, and especially Rogers who has an absolutely unique quality to her) are going to be big names very soon. Larry Fessenden is also top of his game giving a performance unlike anything I’ve seen from him before. Go see BODY. It’s a thriller that will stomp down your spine and have you wincing on the wrong but wildly entertaining turns these three women take.
#12 – BODY
#13 – THE WAILING
#14 – THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE
#15 – DEATHGASM
#16 – 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
#17 – DER BUNKER
#18 – HUSH
#19 – HOLIDAYS
#20– CARNAGE PARK
#21 – THE CONJURING 2
#22 – THE MIND’S EYE
#23 – DARLING
#24 – SUN CHOKE
#25 – THE HALLOWS
#26 – OVER YOUR DEAD BODY
#27 – SUMMER CAMP
#28 – EMELIE
#29 – BASKIN
#30 – I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER
#31 – SOUTHBOUND
2015 #1 – THE CANAL
2014 #1 – PROXY
2013 #1 - MANIAC
2012 #1 – THE WOMAN
2011 #1 – THE LAST CIRCUS
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of AICN COMICS for over 15 years & AICN HORROR for 5. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller and on his new website collecting posts for AICN HORROR as well as all of the most recent updates on his various comic book projects on MLMillerWrites.com.
A quick plug for my own work. I have a new comic book coming out this December called THE JUNGLE BOOK HOLIDAY SPECIAL: BAGHEERA’S SECRET. It’s a one shot reteaming my original JUNGLE BOOK artist Carlos Granda and myself (the same team who created PIROUETTE) and it is available to order now via Previews order# OCT162113. I’m getting pages of this book by the day and this book looks absolutely amazing so far. Fans of jungle adventure are going to love it! Please support me by telling your local comic book store to order tons of issues of this comic! Much appreciated, folks.
Look for Johnny Destructo, Stephen Andrade, Christian DiBari, and my own ramblings about random horror films on CultPop/PoptardsGo and Ain’t It Cool on AICN HORROR’s CANNIBAL HORRORCAST Podcast every other Thursday (or so…)!
Finally, if you’re having problems with the texts going over the image in this article, refresh the screen and that should do the trick!