Tags

, , , , , , ,

497606412_640

The lists have been published, films have been ranked and 2014 gets further in the rearview mirror by the minute…what could possibly be left to do? As it turns out, not a whole lot except for wrapping it all up and putting a bow on it.

But first, a few last-minute thoughts on this previous year. As I was preparing for my end-of-the-year viewing, I took a look around the ol’ blogosphere, just to make sure I hadn’t overlooked any potential gems at the last minute, and noticed one prevailing trend among the various horror and genre film critics: in general, the consensus seems to be that 2014 was a particularly bad year for film. Despite missing several theatrical releases that have been frequently mentioned elsewhere (Guardians of the Galaxy, Boyhood, Gone Girl, John Wick, The Lego Movie, Foxcatcher, As Above So Below), I must offer the following rebuttal: if you noticed an absence of quality horror/genre films in 2014, it was simply because you weren’t looking in the right places.

For most of my life, I’ve been an avowed lover of going out to the movies. Growing up and all the way through college, I would often see several movies at the theater every weekend, sometimes one after the other. Over time, however, I’ve found that I go out to the movies much less frequently. My patience has steadily eroded, over time, and the kind of crowd annoyances that I would normally have brushed off (talking, texting, etc…) in the past now seem like huge problems. This doesn’t even take into account the exorbitant cost of a night out at the movies, of course, which has crept up into “live show” ranges.

Since I tend to avoid the theaters nowadays, I’m almost always late to the party with new releases: I always wait until the film either goes to Netflix (DVD) or some equitable streaming service before I see it. There are always exceptions, of course (I proudly went to see Prometheus as soon as it opened and I’ll be there for the next installment, as well). Since I go to the theater so infrequently these days, I find that I rarely pay attention to what’s out, since I never see it right away anyway.

All of this, of course, is by way of saying that I didn’t notice a shortage of quality films this year. Why? Well, probably because I wasn’t focused on the box office. As an example, three of the more derided big-screen horror releases this year were Annabelle, Jessabelle and Ouija. If one were to take a look at all theatrical horror released last year, it’s undeniably grim. If one factors in all of the streaming/DTV options out there, however, the story is much, much different. On an indie/outsider level, 2014 was practically an embarrassment of riches. In fact, taking a stroll through streaming outlets like Google Play reveals the kind of “multiplex” that’s sadly lacking nowadays: it’s not so much a matter of trying to find “anything” to watch as it is trying to choose between a dizzying array of choices.

Is this the way it should be? Absolutely not: despite my general dislike of theaters these days, horror and genre films have every right to be represented on the big screen along with everything else. The crucial problem begins when critics (and regular folks) see the theater as the end-all-be-all: taking a look at the 6 or 7 clunkers that played in multiplexes has the effect of giving short shrift to the 90 films that didn’t. You can’t get a good, overall sense of how a year went unless you can take a look at the whole picture: honing in on box office takes, sales records and the like gives a good idea of the financials but does nothing whatsoever to discuss the overall quality. It may be true that some of the best, most well-received films of the year never opened in theaters (or opened so small as to be negligible) but this doesn’t impinge on them: if anything, it just means that the most interesting things are still happening on the fringes and margins, just where they always have.

And that’s enough of that. Thanks, again, to any and all who’ve taken this journey with me during 2014. In order to be complete, I’ve listed all of the films that I watched in 2014 below: save for the bottom handful, which I haven’t written up yet, details reviews of all of these can be found at The VHS Graveyard, starting all the way back on New Years Eve, 2013. I managed to watch 343 films in 2014: let’s see if we can’t do better than that in 2015. Stay tuned as we resume our daily reviews and don’t forget: we could all use a stroll through the VHS Graveyard, from time to time.

All Films Watched in 2014

The Roost
Juan of the Dead
The Sapphires
Somebody Up There Likes Me
The Guilt Trip
Stitches
A Lonely Place to Die
The Tunnel
Drinking Buddies
Exiled
Man With a Movie Camera
April Fool’s Day
The Achievers
Friends With Kids
Redemption
L’Age D’or
Tiny Furniture
Journey to Planet X
Norwegian Ninja
Drew: The Man Behind the Poster
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Messenger of Death
Freakonomics
Novocaine
The Northerners
Bounty Killer
Gallowwalker
Standup Guys
The Master
Funny Games (1997)
The Adventures of Tintin
The Hamiltons
The Butcher Boys
Amigo
Lovelace
Toad Road
This is the End
The Hidden Fortress
Big Trouble in Little China
Tabu
But I’m a Cheerleader
The Last Rites of Ransom Pride
Cutie and the Boxer
Stay Cool
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
Agora
Sharknado
The Square
Dirty Wars
Farewell to the King
Looper
The Rabbi’s Cat
The Naked City
Girl Walks Into a Bar
Star Trek IV
The Comedy
You’re Next
Curdled
The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Five Minutes of Heaven
The Iron Lady
Dark Touch
Blacula
The Castle
American Hustle
Blackenstein
One From the Heart
The Croods
Alois Nebel
Jacob’s Ladder
Black Moon
12 Years a Slave
The Hunt
Day of the Dead
Seven Psychopaths
Captain Phillips
Truck Turner
Radio Bikini
A Field in England
Walker
8 Million Ways to Die
To Be or Not To Be
Joe Gould’s Secret
Powwow Highway
The Butler
The Boys Next Door
Robot & Frank
Assault on Precinct 13
Two-Way Stretch
The African Queen
Cockneys vs Zombies
Dallas Buyers Club
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Blue Jasmine
Gravity
Nebraska
Hondo
Prisoners
20 Feet From Stardom
The Act of Killing
The Heat
We Are What We Are (2013)
All Is Lost
Love
Inside Llewyn Davis
Doghouse
Easy Rider
Bad Milo
Midnight Express
Mud
How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
Swashbuckler
Wishmaster
Signs of Life
The Station Agent
Lesser Prophets
The Haunting of Julia
Popatopolis
Red Obsession
The Last Days on Mars
Jobs
Insidious: Chapter 2
Frankenstein’s Army
Pacific Rim
Philomena
The City Dark
Street People
A Fantastic Fear of Everything
Don Jon
Wrong Cops
Odd Thomas
Breakfast with Curtis
All Things to All Men
Strictly Ballroom
Silent Running
Rapture-palooza
Entity
Twister (1989)
The United States of Leland
Loaded
As I Lay Dying
Plus One
Paranoia
Ghost Adventures
The Frozen Ground
100 Bloody Acres
Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Wish You Were Here
Short Term 12
Free Birds
The Moleman of Belmont Avenue
Swerve
The Source Family
The Final Cut
The Kitchen
The Incredible Melting Man
Contracted
Here Comes the Devil
Big Bad Wolves
A Fistful of Dollars
For a Few Dollars More
Nightmare City
Buck Wild
Death Wish
Death Wish 3
Son of a Lion
The Guard Post
Night of the Creeps
Maximum Overdrive
Wake in Fright
The Gray
Wishmaster 2
Wishmaster 3
Wishmaster 4
Godzilla vs Mothra
Godzilla vs Monster Zero
Candyman
Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh
Dragonslayer
The Birth of the Living Dead
Nightmare Factory
Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon
The Last Rites of Joe May
Good Guys Wear Black
The Octagon
El Dorado
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence
Doomsday Book
Someone Marry Barry
Escape From Tomorrow
Awful Nice
Almost Human
Grand Piano
Wolf Creek 2
Sanctum
The Blair Witch Project
The Art of the Steal
Vampires
After the Dark
The Conspiracy
Lawless
Devil’s Knot
Banshee Chapter
Cold Feet
Black Rock
No God, No Master
Hatchet 3
Cold Sweat
Homefront
Byzantium
13 Sins
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
The Experiment
The Last Days
The Dark Half
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Lizzie Borden Took an Axe
Dead Before Dawn
All Cheerleaders Die
Better Mus’ Come
HairBrained
Out of the Furnace
Goodbye World
The Nut Job
Cujo
Sweet Evil
Blue Ruin
Go For Sisters
Somewhere
Filth
The Sacrament
Whitewash
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
Halloween
Halloween 2
Alien
Hellbenders
Some Guy Who Kills People
Invaders From Mars (1986)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
The World’s End
Friday the 13th (1980)
The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Under the Skin
Stoker
Chillerama
Stage Fright
Only Lovers Left Alive
Kiss of the Damned
The Last Winter
The Thing
Blood Glacier
Dead Alive
Undead
Visitors
Dog Soldiers
The Descent
Witching and Bitching
Suspiria
Mama
The Haunting
Dead Silence
Dead Birds
The Burrowers
House of 1000 Corpses
The Devil’s Rejects
The Den
Antisocial
Thale
Kill Zombie!
The Returned
Botched
Inbred
Outpost
Outpost: Black Sun
Omnivoros
Ravenous
Cube
Haunter
Splice
Under the Bed
The Monster Squad
Mr. Jones
Static
Shivers
The Cottage
No One Lives
Infestation
Big Ass Spider!
Beneath
Land of the Dead
Diary of the Dead
All Hallows’ Eve
Trick ‘r Treat
Oculus
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Oranges
Locke
Dom Hemingway
The Oxford Murders
In A World…
Cuban Fury
Snowman’s Land
Snowpiercer
The One I Love
Arachnophobia
Knights of Badassdom
The Final Member
Mockingbird
The Guard
The Double
Rhymes For Young Ghouls
Alien Abduction
Willow Creek
Cold in July
Moebius
The Damned
We Are The Best!
The Taking of Deborah Logan
Borgman
Mercy
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Sabotage
The Missing Picture
The Interview
Fading Gigolo
Ida
Torment
Enemy
Doc of the Dead
Ragnarok
Bad Johnson
The Babadook
Stretch
The Lady in Number 6
Nymphomaniac Parts 1 & 2: Director’s Cut
God’s Pocket
Coherence
ABCs of Death 2
Housebound
Calvary
Advertisements