5. The Guest (2014) by Adam Wingard
This is the latest film of the list which is just released in September of 2014. It’s about David, a former soldier who visits the family of one of his soldier friends who died in combat. The family gives a warm welcome to David who starts helping around the house and solving problems for each family member. That is until one of them discovers David´s dark secret.
We never get to know David and his background and that works great for the mystery of the film. The script gives the right amount of information to leave you glued to the seat, trying to resolve who David is. It is often compared to John Carpenter’s Halloween and James Cameron’s The Terminator.
One of the surprises of the movie was the soundtrack which sounds like it comes out of an 80´s horror movie. The soundtrack includes bands like Sisters of Mercy, Love and Rockets and Clan of Xymox.
The acting relies on lead actor Dan Stevens who doesn’t disappoint with his mysterious portrayal of David. He makes you cheer and bow for David throughout the whole movie. There is also a small part by Lance Reddick who played Cedric Daniels on the classic TV Series The wire.
The Guest is a well delivered movie that doesn’t fail on any area. It will leave you craving for a sequel.
4. The Battery (2012) by Jeremy Gardner
First movie directed by Jeremy Gardner. He wrote it, directed it, and acted as of the main protagonists. It’s a fresh take on the zombie sub-genre. This film was made with a budget of $6,000 and in only fifteen days. There is also a documentary on how it was made which is a very interesting film on its own right.
The movie is about two guys who are teammates in a baseball team. Ben is the catcher who is a realist and just wants to survive and Mickey the pitcher who still has hope of finding other people alive. They are wandering around the woods looking for food and shelter.
Mickey has a Discman and every time he puts those headphones we get to hear one of the greatest soundtracks for a zombie film. Director Jeremy Gardner pick every song. He has explained that he wanted to do a zombie film with all of his favorite songs.
Mickey gets tired of Ben and obsesses with finding other people. At one point you get the feeling that you are watching an episode of The Walking Dead but don’t be mistaken, this film has more heart and rawness to its story, still with zombies at large and terrorizing Ben and Mickey, the monsters still are the humans. The story will leave no doubt about this as you view the credits roll down.
3. The House of The Devil (2009) by Ti West
Considered as one of the most innovative and passionate horror directors alive alongside Adam Wingard, Ti West created one of the best horror movies in the last decade. It´s also considered an homage to 70´s and 80´s horror movies.
Samantha has been given an extension to pay her rent so she finds a job as a babysitter for the Ulmans, but it turns out to be a job to take care of the ill mother of Mrs. Ulman and to convince her they increase the salary to $400 which Samantha can’t refuse. After that this slow burn film plays with suspense taking influences from Hitchcock himself.
The lead actress Jocelin Donahue steals the film as the innocent babysitter. Favorite mumblegore actor A.J. Bowen also stars as Victor, a stranger with little patience.
Everything from this movie has been crafted with so much care. From Samantha’s Walkman to the soundtrack which is also clear to be based around 70´s and 80´s horror movies.
Director Ti West takes the best elements from movies like The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby and gives birth to an intriguing and suspenseful film with one of the best endings in an horror movie in a while.
2. You’re Next (2013) by Adam Wingard
Writing and directing duo Simon Barret and Adam Wingard have ten collaborations under their belt including a future remake of Korean thriller revenge film “I Saw the Devil”. You´re next is the third film they worked together. They were given $1,000,000 dollars for budget and the movie collected $26.8 million at the box office.
Even though it was premiered at the festival circuit in 2011, it came out in theaters at 2013. Lionsgate acquired distribution when the film was going through the festivals for the sum of two million dollars.
The cast includes AJ Bowen who is also at number three of this list “The House of The Devil” whose director Ti West is also acting in this one alongside Joe Swanberg who also starred in Zach Parker film “Proxy” which is also on this list and most of this actors and directors also worked on V/H/S/ which comes at number eight on the list.
Judging by the posters of the film, it looks like another home invasion like “The Strangers”. But don’t get these two confused because “The Strangers” were terrorized by people just because they were home and with “You´re Next” the invaders have a reason and motivation to be there and terrorize this family.
The script, direction, acting and practical effects make this movie the most expected one of 2013, gathering amazing reviews around the festival circuit.
1. Cheap Thrills (2013) by E. L. Katz
This is the definitive mumblegore film. First timer director E.L. Katz gives us a look at what people are capable when they are greedy, when they love, when desperation makes us do the unimaginable. It sounds simple as a betting game. The first “bet” starts with “I will give you $50 if you hit the bouncer of the bar.” From there on things start to get heavier and heavier.
Two old high-school friends, Craig and Vince, find each other by surprise at a bar. Both of them are miserable and having financial problems. On the other side of the bar we have a couple, Collin and Violet, celebrating their anniversary and invite them to drinks. When the couple find out about their financial problems, they offer them money to do certain things to entertain the couple.
The evening starts slow with small dares and little money in return. But as the night passes, Collin starts to offer higher sums of money for dares that involves breaking and entering the neighbor’s house and leaving a grotesque gift and a dare involving a small dog.
At the end director E.L. Katz excels in making us contemplate how people can be corrupted by greed, actor Pat Healy perfectly captures the desperation and frustration that his character is living through.
Author Bio: Eduardo Trujillo has an MBA specialized in Human Resources. He spends days working from home and raising eight month son.