Sunday, December 30, 2012

End of the year run-down: Goodbye 2012..(and Good Riddance!)

 2012 was really a mixed bag for me.
Personally, outside of horror my year was kind of distressing. And while I won't get into those boring details, I will say it caused me to have a very uneven year as far as entertainment goes. 

While I think I've finished some of the best books I've read in years,  I have to admit I think I may have seen more awful films than good ones, or at least less original ones.  Television was pretty damn good though, so it probably all evens out in the end.  And let's be frank, thank heavens it's THE END.
I'm ready for 2013, how about you?

One of the best things that happened in 2012 here at Fascination with Fear is the addition of a fresh new writer.  Due to life getting in the way more oft than not, I needed a bit of help to keep FWF from gathering dust bunnies. After a bit of poking and prodding around the interwebz, I was absolutely blessed with meeting someone who has become like a little sister to me - a kindred soul who has been kind enough to take a spot at my side and help me out more than words can say.  So to Marie I say a great big THANK YOU, and I hope that you lovely readers have enjoyed her stellar articles and posts over the course of the last several months!  Please, stick with us:  we have such sights to show you!

The Walking Dead
Best Horror Experience of 2012:  Hands down, The Walking Dead.  While there has been an unbelievable amount of horror this year, in particular on television, I have no choice but to single out this utterly fan-fucking-tastic trip through apocalyptic walker-land. The emotions displayed within the realm of this show are really far and above most other scripted television these days. AND IT'S A SHOW ABOUT ZOMBIES.  This. Is. Epic.

Coming in a lukewarm second would be True Blood.  I loved the Bill-Eric bromance this summer, and was happier than tits on a bull that Alcide showed off much as he did this year.  More of that, please.
I haven't been as big an advocate for American Horror Story as last year, but don't get me wrong - it's still one of my favorites. 

Favorite theater experienceSinister - I saw this on Halloween day, in a darkened theater, alone.  That made everything about it perfect, and the film itself was one of my favorites of 2012.  It really reeked atmosphere, had a terrific lead actor, and was truly chilling.

Eighteen Horror Purchases I'm Happy With:
*Absentia - Probably one of my favorite indie films, maybe ever. Just one of the creepiest little films I've seen in years.
*Lovely Molly  - Somewhat flawed with confusion at times but eerie and tense and right on the mark.
*Murder by Decree - A 1979 film with Christopher Plummer (one of my faves) starring as Sherlock Holmes investigating the Jack the Ripper case. A fellow horror pal recommended it - much appreciated!
*Alfred Hitchcock: Legacy of Suspense (2011) - A bargain DVD that includes some of Hitch's older flicks such as The Man Who Knew Too Much, Sabotage, The 39 Steps....among others.
*The Walking Dead: Complete Second Season - Goes without saying...
*The Woman in Black (2012) - While I still prefer the 1989 original version, I did like this one a lot. It still managed to capture the isolation of Eel Marsh House and the dread when the volatile title character appeared.
*Spider Baby - The 1964 (do we say) classic about one fucked-up family. A must see!

Event Horizon
*Event Horizon - Seriously one of the weirdest yet intriguing sci-fi films of the 90's, with a stellar cast.  Almost like Hellraiser in space.
*Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) - Funny enough, I didn't own this one till this past October. So glad it's finally on my shelf!
*Diabolique (Criterion) - The 1954 masterpiece of murder and suspense.  It's said Hitchcock was rather irked that he didn't get his hands on the classic novel first.  And this Criterion edition is superb.
*The Yellow Wallpaper (2012) - Though at times an uneven film, the heart of the story is unnerving, to say the least.
*Gosford Park - Robert Altman directed this period mystery starring some of Britain's best.
*Wendigo - I've been looking for this 2002 film on DVD for quite a while.  While not the most stellar film, there is something inherently spooky about a family spending time in the winter woods and happening upon a scary Native American myth that has apparently come to life. Little seen, but I like it loads.
*The Entity (1983) - While parts of this one don't hold up well nearly 30 years later, Barbara Hershey's performance is undeniably fantastic.
*Eden Lake - Because I love Michael Fassbender. Period.
*Jaws (1975) - Um, yes I have several editions of this, my favorite film, on both VHS and DVD, but hey - this is the just released Blu-Ray.  Never mind that I don't even own a Blu-Ray player yet...
*Prometheus - A Christmas gift from my astute hubby.  (Of course I did give him a list, but still....)
*Vertigo - Because my love for this film knows no bounds...

Seven favorite Netflix rentals this year:
*Excision - AnnaLynn McCord totally embodies the role of a misfit with a penchant for blood and sex fetishes.
*Grave Encounters - Generally I detest the found footage sub-genre, but this one really did light my fire and caused some actual chills.
*Trollhunter - Another film that used the shaky-cam to induce fear, I happened to enjoy this romp in the Norwegian woods. It never gets too serious, which is part of its charm.
*Martha Marcy May Marlene - Elizabeth Olsen is very good in this film that just goes to show cults are still alive and well and taking control.
*Rabies - Those Israeli's know how to make a horror film!  Who'd have thought???
*Dream Home - As opposed to Dream House, this one just rocked. Josie Ho was unreal. Watch this film!
*The Loved Ones - Just a seriously fun horror film that proves if someone asks you to the prom, just go. Take my word for it.

Dream House
Six "why the hell did I rent this?" rentals from Netflix -
*Beneath the Darkness - Just a god-awful piece of crap starring Dennis Quaid. Guess I should have known.
*The Woman - Everyone loved this. I did not. Matter of fact, I DISliked it, a lot. Just redundant and lame.
*Don't be Afraid of the Dark - Just not scary at all. Completely pointless remake. I cannot believe Guillermo del Toro wrote this screenplay and produced this lemon. Ugh.
*Dream House - Oh Daniel.  Really? All I can say is thank heavens you found your future wife while making this film or it would all be for naught.  Really, REALLY bad.
*Wrecked - I wish I could say I could give a valid opinion on this film, or understand just wtf was going on.  But I think I may have fallen asleep from boredom.

The Tall Man
Three "I wish I'd have rented this first so I'd have known not to buy it" purchases:
*The Tall Man - The new Mrs. Justin Timberlake in a massive fail with a great premise. I mean, who hasn't heard stories about "The Tall Man"?  See:  Slender Man. See: Marble Hornets. Please.
*The Cabin in the Woods - While I didn't dislike this one, I didn't love it like everyone else seemed to.  I feel like I could have just rented this and not bought it outright. Not sure when I'll really want to watch it again.
*Outcast - Though the atmosphere was really spooky, with celtic legends and witch-hunting and all, but parts of it were too damn slow. Could have rented and would have been happy.

Chernobyl Diaries
Eight films I'm pretty glad I DID miss and have no real intention of seeing in the future:
*Chernobyl Diaries
*House at the End of the Street
*Paranormal Activity 4
*Piranha 3DD
*Snow White & The Huntsman
*The Devil Inside
*The Collection

*Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

My thoughts on films I was looking forward to in 2012:
*The Woman in Black -  Many people didn't like this one, but I enjoyed it a lot.  I love the original story and certainly have been an advocate of the story as well as the 1989 version (still vastly superior), but I thought this one held its own, and showed that Harry Potter can move on to adult films. And I don't mean that in the porno sense. (Though there was that play with naked Daniel and the horse, right??)
*The Yellow Wallpaper -Not quite as creepy as the short story, but it has its moments.

The Awakening
*The Awakening - Very effective ghost story that I am still waiting on a DVD release
*Dunderland - Still unable to find this film anywhere
*The Raven - John Cusack is a funny guy. It shows here, with him playing Poe and lightening up the mood with witty banter amongst the dead corpses.  Interesting.
*The Silent House -  Yeah. Um. Pretty much the same as its Uruguayan counterpart, so I didn't see much reason to have re-done it.  But then again, I feel that way about most films.
*The Grey - It's Liam Neeson, folks. A very good man vs. nature adventure film. Wolves can be downright scary. But I think we already were aware of that after Frozen.
*Prometheus - Even if I hated this film to its core (which I didn't), I could not put down a film that I get to see Michael Fassbender act in.  I think you all know how I feel about him.

*Rabies - Lived up to my expectations and more, really.  Israel can do horror. Nothing wildly original, but I really did enjoy this one.
*The Dark Knight Rises - Holy crap! This was made in my backyard of Pittsburgh and I haven't even seen it yet.  I haven't rented or bought it I reserve judgement until 2013. But I have heard it rocks.
*Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter - Yet to see, not sure I'm going to anytime soon.  The book was fun but the film just looked flat to me. Hard to adapt that kind of silliness.
*Dark Shadows - Um. Okay, not my favorite Johnny Depp film. Was expecting (hoping) for a true gothic film,  at least more along the lines of Sleepy Hollow than what we were given.  I did like the use of Nights in White Satin over the opening credits. That's something, right?
*World War Z - Still not released yet, but I honestly haven't heard very good things about it, so I'll obviously be waiting for DVD in this one.
*The Expendables 2 - I love me some Jason Statham. The film was nothing but shooting guns and testosterone, but hey - I'll take it.  Again, I can't hate a Statham film. Bring on Expendables 3.

Fifteen upcoming 2013 films that have peaked my curiosity -
*Mama - This will certainly be my first horror experience in the theater in 2013, as it opens in January. I am loving the trailer and the television spots, so we shall see! Looks awesome!
*Pacific Rim - del Toro brings monsters from the sea back into the limelight?  Count me in. I hope the monsters kick the robots asses. Call me a sadist if you will. The added bonus of SOA's Charlie Hunnam makes it even more worthwhile.
*Stoker - Hey! The dude from Prison Break (Wentworth Miller) wrote a screenplay! And this is it. Oh, and apparently it is not a vampire film.
*Warm Bodies - A zombie rom-com based on a book and poised to be the next Twilight. Wait a I really want to see this?
*Horns - Based on the book by Joe Hill, it stars Daniel Radcliffe as a man who grows horns out of his head. Yep, it sounds weird. So it should be fab.

The Evil Dead (2013)
*Paranoia - A thriller with Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford.  How can we go wrong?  (Oh yeah, Amber Heard is in it.............crickets.........)
*I, Frankenstein - Not exactly sure what is going on with this one....but Bill Nighy is in it, so I'm on board.
*Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters - This could be fun, right?  I'm not much for horror comedy, so I'll have to wait and see how this one goes...
*Oz: The Great & Powerful - Sam Raimi makes an adventure film that's a prequel to the age-old favorite about the Wizard.  I'm just not sure how I feel about this one....
*Jurassic Park 3D - Normally, I don't go in for the 3D phenomenon. In fact, I hate it. But goddammit, it's dinosaurs!  I'll put on those annoying glasses one more time!
*The Conjuring - Dude from Saw and Insidious decides to make a film with two words in the title.  He's really changing things up, folks! Look out!
*The ABC's of Death - Sounds like a pretty big project: 26 horror shorts packaged in one film. Um...?
*Carrie - WHY this needed remade is beyond me, but I do like Chloë Grace Moretz a lot, so I'll give it a chance.
*The Evil Dead - Another remake. Sigh. But I think this one might be worthwhile. And I feel sure it will kick some ass at the box-office.
*The Lords of Salem - Satanic witches and Rob Zombie. Yes, I am interested.

Favorite Book I read in 2012 - The Seance (by John Harwood) - Though written in 2009, I just got my paws on it this year and I have to say it's one of the best gothic/victorian ghost stories I've ever read.  I loved it.

Non-Fiction: Reel Terror - A great book on the history of horror. I couldn't put it down.

Runner up The Wicked (by James Newman) - Originally published in 2007 but re-released in 2012, you can read how much I loved this book right here.

Book I'm most looking forward to in 2013 - Doctor Sleep by none other than Stephen King.  It's been a long time since I've been truly excited about a King release, but seeing as how this is the sequel to The Shining (my fave King title), I'm over the moon and anxiously awaiting.... (projected arrival 9/2013)

Favorite Movie Score: The Woman in Black by Marco Beltrami.  Moody enough to evoke chills and dark enough to make me happy.

Favorite Movie of 2012Skyfall. Yes, it's a non-horror entry but hot DAMN was it a fine film! I really can't say enough about the latest 007 installment, and it is actually speaking for itself by hitting the BILLION dollar mark this weekend.  I love Daniel Craig. Apparently everyone else in the world does as well...

Random Year-End Awards:

*The "I can't believe I sat through the whole movie" award:  Wrecked. I'm sorry Adrien Brody, this was all over the place.  I may have even snored.

*The "Surprise! This remake was actually good" award: The Woman In Black. While not crazy-fantastic, I still loved it.

*The "When the hell is this title going to get a domestic release" award: The Awakening....though last year's winner of this award (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane) STILL isn't available.  Ditto that to Cold Prey 2. You cut me deep, Norway. You cut me deep.

*The "What the hell is this movie about, anyway" award: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Oh heavens. I was waaay too tired when I put in this DVD. I know it's a good, critically acclaimed film, and maybe someday when I'm loaded up on caffeine and have a couple hours to kill, I will check it out again.

*Bloodiest movie I saw in 2012:  I watched Martyrs again, so...

Cabin in the Woods
*The "It better be as good as everyone says because I'm damn sick of hearing about it" award: Cabin in the Woods.  And while I liked it well enough, I have to say I didn't think it was the next coming of Christ or anything.

*Most curious title of an upcoming film
John Dies At The End.  I guess it begs the question of how he arrives at that point.

*The "SO didn't live up to the hype" award:  Dark Shadows. Oh Johnny, it was only mediocre, hun.

*The "I really don't give a shit whether I ever see this" award: Piranha 3DD. Ugh. Spare me, please. I've seen enough titties and blood for a lifetime, I don't need them all condensed into one movie.

A Christmas Carol
*The "I can't wait for a sequel" award:  Prometheus. As long as Fassbender shows up, I'm in.

*Movie I'm most looking forward to in 2013:  Mama.  And I don't have long to wait. (Jan 18, 2013)

*The "This is what I'm watching tonight so I have to get off the laptop" award:  A Christmas Carol (the George C. Scott version, natch) - because the hubby and I were too damn tired on Christmas night to watch it.


jervaise brooke hamster said...

Happy New Year Christine, have a great 2013 my internet dreamgirl.

Marie said...


Marie said...

didn't see V/H/S on here though!! ;)

Christine Hadden said...

JBH: Thanks for the well wishes. All the best to your perverted stalker self, as well. I mean that sincerely.

Marie: Hey, thanks :)
And didn't I tell you I couldn't even remotely get through V/H/S? I am waaaay too sensitive to motion and that handy-cam shit nearly made me ralph. My copy of it came from the studio, so I still have it and will try again at some point! Although quite honestly the initial segment and the first story (all I got through) didn't really light my fire. But I hated to completely trash it without seeing the whole thing...

Emily said...

Lots of stuff! Let's see:

-I need to see Sinister
-The last hour of The Entity is a mess, but Hershey is indeed spectacular in it
-Rabies rocked
-Don't Be Afraid of the Dark was such a waste
-Chernobyl Diaries is not worth energy. wait for Instant Watch
-The George C. Scott xmas carol is divine!

Happy new year!

Francisco Gonzalez said...

Id say give Ghost Rider: SOV a chance, Cage is hilarious in it and it has some cool images, the rider looks awesome. Kind of formulaic story, but still way better than the first.

Christine Hadden said...

Emily: Yes, you do need to see Sinister..I'm sure it won't be long before it hits DVD. It's been at least two months since it's been at the theater, and nothing ever takes much longer than that! And I will take your advice on Chernobyl Diaries - I hear nothing but crap about it!
And Happy New Year to you, too!

Francisco: I will probably end up watching the new Ghost Rider film, as my hubby has mentioned he wants to check it out. And if it's better than the first one, that's certainly a start! ;)