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The Best (and Worst) Horror Flicks of 2014

The Best (and Worst) Horror Flicks of 2014: Katee Sackhoff in Oculus

Katee Sackhoff in Oculus

2014 was by no means a strong year for horror. Movies like Ouija and Annabelle succeeded at the box office despite being completely terrible, while those wonderful indie flicks we search for, became harder and harder to find. That isn’t to say there weren’t some solid horror films in 2014, but the drop in quality was quite dramatic. Here are the best horror films of 2014, along with some of the worst…

THE WORST

7500
It’s hard to describe it any other way than not very good. Plus it has Turtle from Entourage in it, so that doesn’t help.

Annabelle
Nothing but a cheap attempt to cash in on the success of The Conjuring without any of the scares or wit.

Jessabelle
It starts out strong and intriguing, but completely falls into a giant glob of clichés with a very disappointing ending.

The Quiet Ones
This was one of those movies you either loved or hated. It wasn’t my thing, as the pacing is a bit slow, but don’t write it off without checking it out and judging for yourself.

The Purge: Anarchy
It’s not as bad as the first one, but far from something you’d recommend.

The Devil’s Due
It seems like there’s one of these found footage duds every January, doesn’t it? There’s no need to watch this one, either.

The Sacrament
I wanted to like The Sacrament and kept waiting for something to happen, but it just never seemed to go anywhere.

Stage Fright
Apparently musical horror isn’t my thing. It may be yours, but it’s not for me.

Wolf Creek 2
More of the same old gore. Fans of the first might enjoy it, but it’s definitely not going to bring in new fans.

Ouija
If you don’t hate this movie, go see a doctor immediately.

Wrong Turn 6
At this point they could just string together death scenes from the first five and call it a new film. No one would notice.

Treehouse
The trailer looks fantastic, but the execution lacks on almost every level, which is disappointing.


THE BEST

12. The Pact 2
The original movie was absolutely fantastic and while the follow-up doesn’t quite hit the levels of its predecessor, it still finds a way to be original and scary without tarnishing the previous film. They’re worth watching back to back.


11. See No Evil 2
I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out on this one. There’s no question as to what you’re going to get with See No Evil 2, but it’s actually quite fun. It never takes itself too seriously, but it doesn’t turn silly or goofy. If you want a slasher film that knows exactly what it is and colors within the lines, in the best way possible, you need to check it out.


10. 13 Sins
The acting is solid and the directing is spot on, which is a rare combination with indie horror. The best way to describe it is if Saw played out like a reality game show. You may not be left in complete shock by the twists, but there’s still plenty to like about it.


9. Horns
Daniel Radcliffe finally seems to be shaking the “Oh hey look, it’s Harry Potter” stage of his career and transitioning into his own. I wish Horns kept the feel of the first 45 minutes throughout the entire film, but it does stray a little into familiarity in the third act, which cheapens it a bit, but in no way ruins the entire movie. The world created within Horns feels genuine despite the absurdities that could make it feel cartoonish. Here’s hoping we see Radcliffe in many more roles like this.


8. Exists
I am 100% an Eduardo Sanchez fanboy and the only reason is because he does things that no one else is doing and he does them quite well. Exists takes the found footage format away from ghosts and demons and joins a group of young people being tormented by none other than good ol’ Sasquatch. It’s nice because the story is fun and you don’t hate the characters, which is so often the case in movies like this.


7. As Above, So Below
I liked As Above, So Below a lot. I wanted to love it, but the ending was quite anti-climatic, which is disappointing because the rest of the movie is very creepy and atmospheric. It taps into the claustrophobic and inescapable feel of The Descent, where your worst fears come to life. See it in the theaters or on a giant screen with loud surround sound if you can.


6. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
After Paranormal Activity 4, I was not excited for the future of the franchise. PA3 had hit such a high point, only to completely plummet with the fourth installment. Then came The Marked Ones and all faith has been restored. Even if you aren’t a fan of the Paranormal Activity series, this one is a complete change of pace and an excellent standalone movie.


5. Deliver Us From Evil
I waited quite a while to watch Deliver Us From Evil because the critical response was so negative; I couldn’t have been more pleased with the movie. It is genuinely creepy and, much to my surprise, I loved the casting. Even Joel McHale, who I was quite hesitant about in a horror movie, was great.


4. The Town That Dreaded Sundown
The last thing I wanted to see was another remake of a semi-classic, but this was more of a meta-sequel than anything else. The pacing is superb and the story is written quite well. If you were on the fence about this one, let me put your fears to rest; it’s easily the best slasher film of the year.


3. Oculus
A horror film from WWE Studios doesn’t exactly get me hyped up, but after Oculus, that may be a different story. It’s original and entertaining without relying on gore and shock. The ending felt just a little rushed, but hopefully that’s because a sequel is on the way? I would be completely fine with this becoming a franchise.


2. The Guest
If you were lucky enough to catch The Guest during its theatrical run, consider yourself blessed. It turned out to be one of the most entertaining movies of the year thanks to a brilliant performance by Dan Stevens and a script that finds a way to be both suspenseful and full of dark comedy. Plus, it’s from the guys that made You’re Next, so you know you’re in for a treat.


1. The Babadook
The amount of hype in the horror community when The Babadook was making its rounds in the festival circuit was unbelievable. It was almost frustrating because a movie hyped this much is usually good, but ultimately disappointing because of such high expectations. That is not the case with The Babadook: It’s one of the most dark and depressing movies you’ll ever see paired with absolutely stellar acting performances. The Babadook isn’t just a brilliant horror movie; it’s a brilliant film. Period.


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