2016 My Year in Review: Top Horror Film Favorites and Other Stuff

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Both 2015 and, this year, 2016, was a strain on me as a member of the Fright Meter Awards. Part of it has something to do with my age. As of this writing, I am 51 years of age. I’m not really sure if I was the oldest member, but I have good reason to believe that I was. I believe this did lead to the final straw that made the decision to leave easier, especially, since I had planned on leaving at the end of this year. But, more on that later.

I believe the main reason for me leaving, really, is that I felt it was a chore in watching so many horror films in the year. I wasn’t watching them for pleasure anymore. It was feeling like a job, one that I wasn’t being paid for. It took me a couple months after leaving to shake that feeling and get back to seeing horror films again. I did watch a few during that period, but not many.

I think the age thing is part of what happened, as well, that led to the early departure. It’s the way I perceive the genre, I guess. In part, it’s the fact that I was a horror fan for nearly ten years before the 1980s even existed. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of great and, now, classic horror films from that decade, especially the first half of it; I just don’t have the view that it’s as great a time for horror as many people, my age and younger, do. That may be the time that many became a horror fan, due to the films being released at the time as well as the volume of releases. There’s far too many people that seem to stop at the 80s when it comes to having a favorite horror film on their list. My favorites can go back to the silent era. One of my top favorites is 1941’s The Wolf Man. Many of the people I’m referring to here won’t go back very far with their favorites. Night of the Living Dead might pop up. But, that may only be because zombies are hip nowadays. I simply can’t relate to that point of view and I often feel alienated by it.

Feeling alienated and the reaction to my suggestion of Barbara Steele for the group’s lifetime achievement award. One of our group had suggested that, upon his death, Christopher Lee was the last of the “classic” horror actors. I disagreed with that. Steele had been a contemporary of Lee, Cushing, and even starring alongside Vincent Price in Roger Corman’s The Pit and the Pendulum. She starred in one of the best Italian horror films of the 1960s, Black Sunday. It seemed like a no-brainer to me. In my view, there was a disrespect for classics in evidence. But, there was no question that there was clearly a misogynistic attitude from at least one other member of the group. This person felt it was being “too politically correct” to choose a woman for the honor. That was it for me.

Truth be told, I didn’t mean to make the above statement as long as I did. But, there it is. On to other things.

Besides leaving The Fright Meter Awards, this year saw me becoming a regular reviewer at Horrornews.net. So if you’re interested check me out there as well.

The Fright Meter Awards would have their best of horror within the last month of the previous year on until November of the current year as the points of eligibility. Since I no longer have that restriction, I have also considered films released 12/2016. There’s also an issue that I have not been able to see many films that others have deemed worthy for their respective lists. But, I did try very hard to do as best as I could.

So, now onto my Favorite Horror Film of 2016 List:

1.The Witch

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2. The Eyes of My Mother

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3. Emelie

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4. Green Room

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5.The Autopsy of Jane Doe

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6. Don’t Breathe

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7. Lights Out

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8. The Wailing

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9. I Am Not A Serial Killer

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10. I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House 

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I would also like to toss in two of my favorite non-horror fantastic films within the post. The first is my favorite film of the year, Kubo and the Two Strings.

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And my favorite superhero film is Doctor Strange, even though Deadpool came pretty close to winning that honor.

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Well, folks, that’s it! Sorry about that rant above. It seems that I really needed to say it.–Charles T. Cochran

Anton Yelchin (1989-2016)

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It was a lot like the time I had ordered David Bowie’s latest album online, then the next day we all were informed that he had died. I was watching Star Trek on MeTV and Chekov (Walter Koenig) could be heard over the ship’s intercom system. I then thought of Anton Yelchin and how he took the part and made it his own. I had thought of Mr. Yelchin the day before they told us all that he had died. Both these times it was like a kick in the stomach.

 

I didn’t just think about this young man’s take on a classic science fiction character. No. I thought about how good of an actor in general he was. And, how likable of an actor he was. (Was? Wow; it’s going to get hard to get used to that). I’ve liked Mr. Yelchin’s work for a number of years before his entrance into the Star Trek universe. It really was his likability that sealed the deal with me. He came off as approachable and down to Earth with his characters. A nice guy actor like Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, or, even James Steward. And, the acting chops to boot. By all the  accounts that are coming out from people that knew him, that worked with him, who loved him, he was very much the nice guy that he came off as on screen.

 

Based on Imdb there are five more of his films coming out, including the new Star Trek film. Five more times we as fans can catch this talented actor perform for us. He will be missed. But, it’s important to remember, no matter how much we fans will miss him, his friends and family will miss him so very much more. Respect.

 

To keep this post topic regarding the theme of this blog here’s a list of genre related titles for you to revisit.

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Terminator Salvation

The Smurfs (voice: Clumsy) This includes the sequel,a couple shorts, and video games

Fright Night (a remake that doesn’t suck)

Odd Thomas

Only Lovers Left Behind

Burying the Ex
And, even though it’s arguably a crime thriller, Green Room has as many frightening sequences as any horror would want to have.

–Charles T. Cochran

The Caller (2011)–review

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Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight) is Mary, a recent divorcee who has just moved into a new apartment. She also has a stalker problem. Her abusive ex-husband doesn’t acknowledge that there’s a restraining order issued against him, and Mary is also getting unwanted phone calls that are from a woman named Rose, calling from 1979.

Rose’s boyfriend once lived in Mary’s new apartment, and the old rotary phone that came with the place somehow works as a connection to its past. At first the calls just get on Mary’s nerves, but after some bonding regarding the respective ladies’ troubles with the men he their lives, Mary says something that she lives to regret. Rose takes it to heart, though, and after there’s a disturbing change to the apartment both ladies realize that whatever Rose does in the past can change the future. Shocked by this new turn of events, Mary unplugs the phone to block out Rose’s daily calls. This doesn’t sit well with Rose. When Mary finally plugs the phone back in-she can’t get a signal on her cell phone-she finds that Rose has discovered Mary as a child. Now the threats begin. And they turn deadly.

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Even though, at times, what Rose does can be predictable that’s really not what makes this film thrilling and terrifying. It’s the question, “How can one battle a monster from roughly thirty years distance?.” Screenwriter, Sergio Casci has not only presented this interesting premise, he’s created believable and likable characters. Lefervre, True Blood’s Stephen Moyer, Luis Guzman (Boogie Nights) and the rest of the cast breathe life into their roles. They all seem like real people. Even Rose, who we barely get to see, comes to life when played by Lorna Raver (Sylvia Ganush herself from Drag Me to Hell). She’s even scarier here than in Raimi’s film, and let’s not forget the director, Matthew Parkhill. He handles the film with a sure hand and he never falters. I believe he’s a talent worth watching out for.

This thrill ride of a film had me sitting on the edge of my seat ‘til ending. An ending that is both triumphant and tragic.–Charles T. Cochran

Rating: 4 out of 5

2015 Fright Meter Award Winners Are…

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The winners of 2015 Fright Meter Awards are now ready to be presented to the Horror Community! I’m not really pleased as I would like with all of the results. But, hey, the world isn’t perfect. Well, most of the winners are either ones I voted for or I have no problem with. Besides, 2015 wasn’t that good a year for horror, in my opinion.

Well, enough of my views; here’s the winners of the 2015 Fright Meter Awards! —Charles T. Cochran

 

Best Horror Film, Best Director (David Robert Mitchell), Best Cinematograph, Best Score–It Follows

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Best Actor–Mark Duplass (Creep)

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Best Actress-Nadia Hilker (Spring)

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Best Supporting Actor–Leigh Whannell (Cooties)

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Best Supporting Actress–Deanna Dunagan (The Visit)

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Best Screenplay–The Final Girl

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Best Makeup–Bone Tomahawk 

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Best Special Effects–Crimson Peak

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Best Editing–Unfriended

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Best Short Horror Film–Chomp

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My Top 5 2015 Horror Flicks

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Here’s just a quick look at my top favorites in Horror Cinema for 2015. In my opinion it wasn’t a great year for Horror. There’s some outstands films, but not much more than small handful of them. And, it should be noted that I was not able to see every film in release.–Charles T. Cochran

1. Goodnight Mommy

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2. Bone Tomahawk

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3. What We Do in the Shadows

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4. We Are Still Here

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5. Crimson Peak

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