Hollywood certainly brought the scary in 2012. Movie Fanatic kicks off our best of the year series that continues through New Year’s and features everything from the Top 10 movies of 2012 to Top 10 Villains, Top 10 Trailers, Top 10 Comedies and more! First, we dissect the fear on film and start with the Top 10 Horror Movies of 2012.
10. The Possession
A realm of horror that has always compelled us is the exorcism story. With The Possession, that format took a unique turn in 2012. A Jewish religion-based demon possesses a little girl (thus, the title) when she comes across an old box at a yard sale. But, this is no ordinary box. What the daughter of Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick in fact has, is a Dybukk box, one that contains the ancient spirit of a demon. We adore The Possession for Matisyahu and allowing us to marvel at the rapper in his first turn as a rabbi who knows a thing or two about defeating that boxed demon.
9. The Collection
When Movie Fanatic headed into the theater recently to screen The Collection, never in a million years would we have expected that it would land on our Top 10 Horror Movies list. But there is something about it that is incredibly horrific and truly original. A serial killer commits mass murder and takes one survivor to his lair to torture within an inch of their lives. When he takes the daughter of a rich man with means to hire a private commando squad to hunt the killer down... our evildoer gets more than he bargained for. As seen in The Collection trailer, the film gets points for sheer originality in terms of how to off its characters.
8. Chernobyl Diaries
Found footage films have always been a friend to the horror genre. With the Chernobyl Diaries, audiences were treated to a birds-eye view of a horror that was man made. A group of American tourists solicit the help of an "extreme tourism" company to take them to the supposedly abandoned site of the infamous Russian nuclear disaster that decimated a town. When their car breaks down as the sun goes down... yup, you guessed it: That town isn't really deserted!
7. The Devil Inside
As shown off in the The Devil Inside trailer, the movie kicked off the new year by shocking audiences back in January. Another found footage movie, but this time out, it is a documentary crew chronicling a daughter searching for answers about her mother. It seems that good old mama went a little nuts during an exorcism in the 1970s and proceeded to kill everyone in the room. Sent to a top secret facility at the Vatican, she is getting help, or so it seems. Perhaps she is just sitting dormant until she can unleash hell when her daughter and the filmmaking crew arrive in Rome in modern day to document the reunion that goes horribly wrong.
6. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
As Movie Fanatic is quoted on the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Blu-Ray cover, the film is unlike anything you've ever seen. Director Timur Bekmambetov brings his action landscape from Wanted to author (and the film's screenwriter) Seth Grahame-Smith's novel that comes to life onscreen in the most original of ways. Sure, it's historical reinvention, but that is what is so devilishly delightful about it. Benjamin Walker does Lincoln as a man who lost his beloved mother to the bite of a vampire and has spent the rest of his life vowing to eradicate the world of the vermin -- right up to becoming president.
5. Silent House
We may have said in our Silent House review that Elizabeth Olsen commands in Silent House. But, that is only one aspect that has resonated since Movie Fanatic first saw the horror fest. The psychological thriller gets into the mind of Olsen's Sarah as she is trapped inside her family's rustic lakeside home. And that is because the script taps into our most primal of emotions... survival.
4. The Innkeepers
The most simple of films on this list, The Innkeepers captured our imagination in terms of one of the oldest scare tactics in the book: We're not alone. There are merely a few actors in the film -- Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis -- and filmmaker Ti West lets the audience's imagination go wild. A classic small New England town has an inn that may or may not possess deep secrets. Paxton and Healy's characters are amateur ghost hunters and believe they are on to something. Only they get much more than they bargained for -- to our delight.
3. The Woman in Black
Daniel Radcliffe leaped from the world of J.K. Rowling's to the supernatural with his first post-Harry Potter role. We knew from the first The Woman in Black trailer that this was the role of a lifetime for Radcliffe, and yes, that is saying something. When his young lawyer is sent out to a client's estate to get his affairs in order after his passing, it doesn't take long for Radcliffe to notice that there is something not quite right about this situation. A history is felt in this house, and it is not of the rosy kind.
Ethan Hawke made his horror movie debut with Sinister and brought a sense of desperation, urgency and parental power that made for an explosive combination of thrills. The Sinister movie trailer may tease the tense and deeply emotional horror portrayed onscreen, but it only is the tip of the iceberg of mental messes that this film brings at its audience. There's a deep "is this real?" sense of horror that bleeds through every inch of film.
1. Cabin in the Woods
Joss Whedon not only scored in 2012 with The Avengers, but he proved his magic touch by co-writing the Chris Hemsworth-starring scare-fest that is The Cabin in the Woods. When a group of friends head out in an RV to a desolate cabin... yes in the woods, the most unique of horrors ensues. Movie Fanatic will not say anything about the plot for fear of ruining the insane originality produced onscreen. But, beyond great The Cabin in the Woods quotes that show signs of a terrific script, the terror seen onscreen is the absolute best of 2012. Hands down.