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The Best Horror Movies of 2012


2012 was a prolific year for horror. Terrible offerings continued to dominate the genre, forcing fans to search out quality films. As someone who spends a lot of time on Netflix, I know it can be a time-consuming process. Between moronic found-footage flicks and obligatory torture-porn, I found a handful of proven success stories. Here’s my list in no particular order*.

*except my number one pick, but, duh, right

10. The Revenant

Somewhere between Shaun of the Dead and Idle Hands is, The Revenant. This horror-comedy buddy flick is vulgar and violent, but contains a sense of propriety through its bloody character study. This was one of the funnest films of the year.

9. Sinister

Sinister lives up to its title. Remarkably dark and atmospheric, this heavily-marketed family thriller doesn’t mind invoking the darker pits of horror. Ethan Hawke is great as the true crime writer on the cusp of a story so evil, so personal, that it dooms him and his family the closer he gets to the truth. Not exactly 100% original, but worth the time nonetheless. Every twist has a twist, but I think it’s an acceptable tactic considering the investigative nature of the plot.

8. Chronicle

Props to the makers of Chronicle for finding a cool way to incorporate over-abused  handheld camera work  – it’s getting harder and harder to even touch found-footage with a shred of originality. Three teenagers find a meteorite and subsequently develop super powers. This is more sci-fi than horror, but the amazing end result is the same. The eventual disintegration of the friendship and basic morality paints Chronicle iinto a horror corner.

7. John Dies at the End

I was excited to squeeze this into 2012. As far as quirky comedy horror movies go, this was just beneath Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods. Just when you think original horror plots are a thing of the past, a film like this breaks and recasts the mold. Somewhere between a 1974 version of Grateful Dead playing Dark Star, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and crippling Psilocybin poisoning is John Dies in the End. Part comedy-horror, part inter-dimensional prophecy, and all weird. Watch it VOD immediately.

6. The Loved Ones

Another film that took me by surprise. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I rented this, but The Loved Ones is a gripping, stroke-inducing tale of unrealistic emotional entitlement. The juxtaposition between sparkly toenail polish and blood compliments the mundane subplot. Robin McLeavy wears her torment like a tiara, using facial muscles I wasn’t aware existed. Must see.

5. V/H/S

An undertaking of found-footage anthology love,  written and directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillette, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West, and Adam Wingard. The best anthology since Trick ‘r Treat.

4. Lovely Molly

I watched this film alone with the lights out, and it’s creepy as hell. The rural atmospheric vibe serves as a perfect backdrop for the ghoulish haunting Molly must endure. I didn’t have high hopes – I rarely do – and there’s one key to my approval. The skin-crawling implications moved this into darker waters. *shudder*

3. Juan of the Dead

The funniest take on the zombie genre since Shaun of the Dead, which it obviously admires. Juan of the Dead also offers heart, cementing its place on the list. A lot of people missed this one – go back to Cuba for it.

2. The Innkeepers

Ti West is back with a tale for the minimum wage earners of the world. Two desk clerks at a failing hotel dabble in the supernatural and the mundane – conducting paranormal experiments within their quirky relationship. Delightfully charming and well-made, the talented cast makes the movie believable. West knows how to get the most from Paxton.

1. The Cabin in the Woods

Here’s how the math goes here: Whedon + horror = guaranteed winner. Well, maybe not guaranteed – no, it’s a guarantee. Whedon takes the classic horror plot and transforms the traditional into the most refreshing new horror angle since Scream. Self-aware of the  typical horror cast, this film offers new explanations as to why they exist in the first place. Some big cogs are tipping the scales, adding a rather clinical approach to the Big Bad. Pick up the Blu- Ray and check out the bonus content.

Honorable Mention:

The Hole


About Fister Roboto (2239 Articles)
Just ring it up with the dong tea...

17 Comments on The Best Horror Movies of 2012

  1. Was into this list until V/H/S and Lovely Molly, all credibility lost.

    • I loved Cabin in the Woods. I rented V/H/S with high hopes – I heard many say it was really great. What a colossal waste of time. All the same, I’ve put Juan of the Dead and The Revenant onto my NF queue.

    • Sorry I was only 80% accurate for you, Corey. We take this as a huge failure on our behalf. We always said we would shut the website down if just one person didn’t agree, so thanks for snapping us back to reality.

      • Wally Schnitzer // January 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm //

        Yay, you’re a dick. Well done you.

        Always good to see when you’re Stumbling. Really makes people want to come back when the writers are twats.

  2. Seriously, whoever is sharing this like wildfire at StumbleUpon: THANK YOU!

    • Dude, you better watch your credit card as I have seen the “sponsored post” label right underneath the post on stumbleupon.

  3. I thought Cabin in the woods was terrible. One of the worse films I have ever seen.

  4. I really don’t think Chronicle should be on this list, but only because it isn’t a horror movie. Thought VHS was really good and can’t wait to watch Loved Ones.

  5. One of my favorite things about these types of lists is the commentary. Without fail you’ll get a group of people who see a flick they didn’t like and their only response is, “That one movie sucked. You fail at life and I hope you die by way of rabid beavers.”

    Personally I kinda hated Sinister. I can’t explain why without getting spoilery, but the overall plot just didn’t sit right with me. However, seeing as how I’m not a borderline sociopath, I can admit that your reasoning for liking the movie is somewhat solid (Hawke’s character and motivation was indeed pretty good), and also the rest of your list seems pretty great. Cabin definitely belongs in spot one, if only for being one of the most original horror movies in years. (I kind of agree with Mags that Chronicle isn’t quite horror, but that’s nitpicking).

    Well done. Revenent and V/H/S are on my list to watch now.

  6. Dude. Good list, Cabin in the woods, one of the best movies I have ever seen, looking forward to seeing how it effects movies in the future

  7. Wow, guys. If you’re one of the 45k+ that shared this article on StumbleUpon, I owe you a great deal of gratitude. THANK YOU!

  8. i personally found the concept of cabin in the woods horrifying. especially the big red button part

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