December 29

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Horror Features in 2016 and Beyond: YOUR Top Picks and LGB’s Course Correction

YOUR Top Horror Feature Picks for 2016

Rather than bore you with MY personal choices, I’d rather take a look at what horror fans liked in the past year. While I’ve watched only a selection of 2016’s offerings, the aggregated audience has seen them all. So I did a search on IMDb (chosen as representative because of its popularity and its copious user bulletin boards) to discover the top horror feature films and their characteristics.

IMDb Search on 12/29/16

Search criteria: “Highest Rated Horror Feature Films Released 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31 With At Least 10,000 Votes, User Rating Between 5.0 and 10.0 and Production Status: Released”.

  • A cutoff of 10,000 user votes was necessary to narrow the search to a manageable number. This choice also ensured that each film had a minimum audience beyond its rabid supporters and detractors.
  • Some favorite films of 2016 that were officially released in 2015 will not be on this list.
  • Note: there is always bias based on selection criteria in any ranking list. YMMV.

Given these limitations, here’s what “you” (at least those of you who are active on IMDb) thought about the year in cinematic horror (with Fair Use claimed for all theatrical posters and lobby cards):

BLAIR WITCH poster

#13: Blair Witch – directed by Adam Wingard; starring James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid, and Brandon Scott; 5.1 stars.

 

 

 

 

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR poster

#12: The Other Side of the Door – directed by Johannes Roberts; starring Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto, Sofia Rosinsky, and Logan Creran; 5.3 stars.

 

 

 

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES poster

#11 (tie): Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – directed by Burr Steers; starring Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, and Bella Heathcote; 5.8 stars

 

 

 

 

MORGAN poster

#11 (tie): Morgan – directed by Luke Scott; starring Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie, and Michael Yare; 5.8 stars.

 

 

 

 

the-boy-poster

#10 (tie): The Boy – directed by William Brent Bell; starring Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, James Russell, and Jim Norton; 6.0 stars

 

 

 

 

THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR poster

#10 (tie): The Purge: Election Year – directed by James DeMonaco; starring Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, and J.J. Soria; 6.0 stars.

 

 

 

BEFORE I WAKE poster

#9: Before I Wake – directed by Mike Flanagan; starring Jacob Tremblay, Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, and Annabeth Gish; 6.1 stars.

 

 

 

 

OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL poster

#8: Ouija: Origin of Evil – directed by Mike Flanagan; starring Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Annalise Basso, and Henry Thomas; 6.2 stars.

 

 

 

 

Theatrical Poster for THE NEON DEMON, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50235396

#7: The Neon Demon – directed by Nicolas Winding Refn; starring Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, and Karl Glusman; 6.3 stars.

 

 

 

 

LIGHTS OUT poster

#6 (tie): Lights Out – directed by David F. Sandberg; starring Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello, and Billy Burke; 6.4 stars.

 

 

 

 

THE SHALLOWS poster

#6 (tie): The Shallows – directed by Jaume Collet-Serra; starring Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo, and Brett Cullen; 6.4 stars.

 

 

 

HUSH poster

#5: Hush – directed by Mike Flanagan; starring Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, and Samantha Sloyan; 6.6 stars.

 

 

 

 

DON'T BREATHE poster

#4: Don’t Breathe – directed by Fede Alvarez; starring Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, and Daniel Zovatto; 7.2 stars.

 

 

 

 

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE poster

#3: 10 Cloverfield Lane – directed by Dan Trachtenberg; starring John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr., and Douglas M. Griffin; 7.3 stars.

 

 

 

THE WAILING poster

#2 (tie): The Wailing – directed by Hong-jin Na; starring Jun Kunimura, Jung-min Hwang, Do-won Kwak, and Woo-hee Chun;  7.5 stars.

 

 

 

 

THE CONJURING 2 poster

#2 (tie): The Conjuring 2 – directed by James Wan; starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe, and Frances O’Connor; 7.5 stars.

 

 

 

 

TRAIN TO BUSAN lobby card

#1: Train to Busan – directed by Sang-ho Yeon; starring Yoo Gong, Soo-an Kim, Yu-mi Jung, and Dong-seok Ma; 7.6 stars.

Commentary

  • South Korean horror cinema was a force to be reckoned with in 2016. Besides taking the top spot with Train to Busan, the ROK tied for second place with The Wailing.
  • Asian directors made the top three films.
  • Director Mike Flanagan had a great year with three films on the list — all of them in the top 10.
  • Horror genre blends were more popular (on average) than ‘straight horror’ films.
  • Sharks are still scary (despite the Sharknado movies).
  • L.A. is still scary, too (but of course).
  • We scare ourselves.
  • No movie on the list scored in the 8.0 – 10.0 range. Were horror fans expecting better than they got?
  • No female directors????

 

A Course Correction for Loud Green Bird

To align fully with our horror-centric logo (and avoid confounding expectations based on it), Loud Green Bird will focus exclusively on horror movies (including mixed-genre films with horror elements) in 2017. This refocusing move also means that we’ll try to write about new releases as soon as one of us can watch them.

Given this commitment, we’re no longer accepting review requests. While we appreciate indie films, there’s just not enough time to keep up with new horror releases and all the new movies that have yet to find a distribution channel.

Along the same lines, except for the occasional ‘Throwback Thursday’ piece, we’re going to concentrate on horror from 2010 to the present when we’re not writing about 2017 horror films.

We hope that this new direction will be more enjoyable, both for our readers and for ourselves as writers. In the spirit of this change, we’re ending 2016 with our diverse takes on horror cinema in 2016. Check out Jonny Numb’s and Kim Mcdonald’s year-end posts . . . and look for intense and entertaining coverage of horror cinema in 2017 here at Loud Green Bird. Happy New Year to all!