Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel “THE I IN EVIL”, and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
The Dreadful Ten: Top 10 Horror Films We Hope You See in 2016!Fearful Features,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
2016 is so close, we can taste it in the air. And with one year of horror behind us, a brand new year of horror awaits to descend upon us. While there are many different types of horror to expect- festival favorites, studio scare fare and eerie independent releases- there are many innovative, fantastic horror offerings that have yet to secure distribution while purveying the festival circuit. So for this week’s Dreadful Ten, FANGORIA recaps some of the best fright films we encountered over the past year whose 2016 remains uncertain, though we certainly hope you get the chance to see ‘em for yourself!
For clarification sake, this list does not include films accepted into the FANGORIA International Online Film Festival, nor does it include films who have received U.S. distribution to this writer’s knowledge (including the festival fare acquired by A24, STX or Drafthouse Films).
10. THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE (dir. Perry Blackshear)
An exercise in minimalist dread, Perry Blackshear’s film about unsettling paranoia from those in your environment taps into the alienating terror that fuels the work of H.P. Lovecraft.
- SUN CHOKE (dir. Ben Cresciman)
A tale of psychosis and unspeakable delusion, Ben Cresciman’s surreal fright flick has one of the most visceral and unforgiving third acts this writer saw in 2015.
- LAST GIRL STANDING (dir. Benjamin R. Moody)
A clever, creepy twist on the “final girl” archetype, LAST GIRL STANDING examines life after a slasher film, turning in one of the most unexpected and contemplative psychological thrillers of the year.
- GODDESS OF LOVE (dir. Jon Knautz)
Gorgeous yet occasionally gruesome, this terrifying look into the stalker mentality offers a star-making performance from Alexis Kendra and further proof that JACK BROOKS, MONSTER SLAYER director Jon Knautz is a legitimately versatile fright filmmaker.
- WHISPERS BEHIND THE WALL (dir. Grzegorz Muskala)
A chilling erotic thriller that feels like a tonal mix between BASIC INSTINCT and REAR WINDOW, this horrifying film from Germany is as riveting as it is absolutely wicked.
- DEAD BODY (dir. Bobbin Ramsey)
With great characters, expert tension and a fantastic execution, DEAD BODY is the pick-’em-off horror film of 2015, and one sure to help continue ushering in the new wave of excellent indie slashers.
- NORWAY (dir. Yannis Veslemes)
One of the most unique terror titles this writer saw this year, NORWAY is an exceptionally fun and brilliantly twisted take on the vampire story, conveying the stylish tale of a vampire whose life as a late night raverat takes him into a bizarre, oddly tragic story.
- AMONG THE LIVING (dir. Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo)
An incredible horror effort from the filmmakers behind INSIDE and the upcoming LEATHERFACE film, this creepy and shocking French film could do big business if it captures the eyes of the AMERICAN HORROR STORY crowd with its macabre, stark scares.
- MORTAL REMAINS (dir. Mark Ricche & Christian Stavrakis)
A faux-documentary about a legendary cult filmmaker who may have served a more sinister purpose before his alleged death, MORTAL REMAINS is engrossing and absolutely fun, with one of the best bloody final moments in years. With a bigger playground and budget, this writer would love to see what Ricche and Stavrakis would have next up their sleeve.
- THE BIRTHDAY (dir. Eugenio Mira)
Now in its 11th year without U.S. distribution, this surreal, immensely satisfying horror film from GRAND PIANO director Eugenio Mira is begging for rediscovery by modern fright fans. Considering their track record for picking up missed masterpieces and genre gems, Drafthouse Films and Scream Factory should keep a keen eye on this epic freshman feature.
And now, here are some honorable mentions that unfortunately didn’t quite make the cut…
THE FORBIDDEN DOOR (dir. Joko Anwar)
The disturbing showstopper at the 2009 New York Asian Film Festival, THE FORBIDDEN DOOR is a shocking Indonesian effort worth bringing stateside.
THE DEVIL’S CANDY (dir. Sean Byrne)
The long-awaited follow-up to THE LOVED ONES, Sean Byrne’s THE DEVIL’S CANDY has been a festival favorite that will get snatched up sooner rather than later.
SHREW’S NEST (dir. Juan Fernando Andrés & Esteban Roel)
From producer Alex de la Iglesia, this mean, macabre tale of human horror will likely find a fitting home in 2016; it’s too damn good to remain a cinematic orphan for much longer.
THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ (dir. Hèctor Hernández Vicens)
A twisted psychodrama of the highest order, THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ could quickly become the next buzzworthy underground title if given the proper platform.
COSMOS (dir. Andrzej Zulawski)
Come on, goddamnit. There’s a frightening new film from the maker of POSSESSION and no one has the gumption to put it out?! For shame, U.S. genre distributors. For shame.