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2012 is done, we got what we got in terms of genre films and from my perspective 2012 was a subpar year. If Hollywood keeps up this uninspired and assembly line like work ethic in terms of our beloved genre, it will slap it back in the gutter it used to rot in the 90s.

2012 saw more big budget reboots, sequels and a couple of quasi original titles (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter  and The Raven come to mind) that varied quality wise and the progression of the cheap-jack found footage films being passed on as real movies. Alas, the subgenre seems to have given Hollywood carte-blanche to churn out mediocrity. Don't get me wrong, I dig a good found footage movie as much as the next clown but this year they hit me with crap that beyond insulted my lack of intelligence and my wallet. Yes I speak of Chernobyl Diaries, The Devil Inside and Paragarbage Activity 4. How the hell did those wind up on the big screen???! Blows my mind. The Walmart bin would have been more appropriate.

Chernobyl Diaries... really Hollywood?

Outside of the found footage subgenre there was no reason for these sorry excuses for films to exist either: Piranha 3DD, The Apparition, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Gone, House at the End of the Street and Battleshit. Again, how did these get on the big screen? Maybe they would have gone down better STD. It's like Hollywood has stopped trying to make good genre movies for the big screen! They're just pumping out products and hoping for a profitable opening weekend. Sigh...

Then there was the Dredd debacle, which for me was a stand-out moment in 2012. The well rounded flick made JACK-SHITE at the box office and that acted as a statement as to how our society is changing, and is not really in tune with my own individual mind-set. Yeah the marketing was poor, Karl Urban wasn’t a huge draw, people didn’t know the comic or thought it was a remake of Stallone’s cheesy version. SO WHAT? What happened to going to see a movie cause it looks f*cking cool and badass? That's why I went to see RoboCop way back then! Cause it looked awesome! Not cause Peter Weller starred in it. Maybe if Dredd was wearing tighter than tight Jeans and listening to "We Are Young" it would have made money, but I digress.

People didn't want to see this? WTF? me no comprende!

Thankfully, the Studio system did put out a couple of winners. Efforts like: The Woman in Black, Sinister, The Possession, Prometheus, The Grey, The Cabin in the Woods and the aforementionned Dredd greased me right. The more low budget or/and Indie side of the genre also came through with the likes of Lovely Molly, Universal Soldier 4Chained,and The Tall Man. And of course foreign genre treats also lent a knife in gapping the void with offerings like Kill List, The Awakening, Citadel and The Raid: Redemption.

I wonder how long it will take for audiences to get sick of paying big bucks to see an obvioulsy half-cocked, money grubbing piece of shit on the big screen? I can only speak for myself and say: Yo Hollywood! Step up your horror game! I know you’re all about recycling, rebooting or taking a proven formula and beating it to death when it comes to horror, fair enough, I gave up on ya in terms of originality, but can you do me a f-ing favor! Start with a good script, stay out of the filmmakers way, keep the cocaine out of the editing room and give me good horror movies. Paying 14 bucks for a Chernobyl Diaries should be a f*cking crime in EVERY STATE. I should be able to sue you for that! Folks have sued for less (like coffee that's too hot). I feel better now. I needed to get that off my knife.

Thank you Sinister! Well done original horror! Needed that!

In closing, here are the TOP 10 MOVIES that cranked my dial the most in 2012 (out of the films I reviewed) and the ones that pissed me off cause they didn't even try to not suck that Panda ass. Enjoy! PS: If you're curious as to my TOP PERSONAL MOMENTS OF 2012, click HERE! If not, don't!

10 - Lovely Molly
> Buy This Film
It blows my mind that garbage like PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 gets a wide theatrical release and gems like LOVELY MOLLY get the VOD, limited release and straight to disk treatment. Itís like I live in Bizarro World! LOVELY MOLLY was a striving, expertly crafted, dread filled, frightening and moving film. It displayed a stand out performance by Gretchen Lodge and it stayed with me long after it was over.
9 - The Cabin in the Woods
> Buy This Film
What Scream was to Halloween, The Cabin in the Woods was to The Evil Dead... and beyond! The film asked me to have fun as it toyed with its lead characters and horror conventions and I went along with it! Result? GOOD TIMES! Well paced and acted, aggressively shot, with genuine laughs and enough beasties to fill up 13 genre flicks, I got my fill here and then some!
8 - The Raid: Redemption
> Buy This Film
What can I say; THE RAID: THE REDEMPTION acted as just that; redemption for Hollywood having forgotten how to do action right! It gunned out a potent initial premise, a tension filled action driven execution, a kinetic eye behind the camera, exhilarating gunfights, visceral hand to hand battles and all coated with a bang on score to boot.
7 - Kill List
> Buy This Film
Itís Get Carter, meets The Wicker Man by way of Lynch! After two sittings, KILL LIST did right by me! The acting was astounding whilst the vagueness of the HOW and WHY fairly refreshing. You really have to pay attention here, more so than the norm. Moreover, the tension laced bits got to me, the extreme violence splat hard and the finale threw me around like a rag-doll. I my world. any movie that immediately demands a second viewing out of me, and actually gets it, must have something special! I went back all right and got more!
6 - The Grey
> Buy This Film
Itís man versus nature, man versus man, man versus himself! THE GREY was a perfect marriage of mainstream thriller, art film and character study with a potent existential streak at that! Howís that for a full cinematic chow down! The performances were tops across the board (with Neeson really bringing it), the imagery stunning, the suspense cranked to high, the gory bits ample and the morose score amplified the emotional content masterfully.
5 - Dredd
> Buy This Film
DREDD made me want to read the comic book! I'm seriously gonna hunt it down now. This celluloid beast was a no BS, action driven, stylish and violent as f*ck action/sci-fi film that kept on delivering the goods. It was visually arresting, had a top notch cast (Urban IS Dredd), a bad ass score, moved at a clipped pace and left me begging for more! This is the kind of movie I live for!
4 - Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
> Buy This Film
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER DAY OF RECKONING could do no wrong in my ring! I relished its off the wall and deep storyline, its trippy audio/visual style, strong acting, insane action scenes and its "take no prisoners" attitude. A testosterone fueled orgy of violence matched with boldness, an original streak and smarts to boot.
3 - Sinister
A horror flick from Hollywood released around Halloween aimed at us lowly adults instead of the target teenage audience or little girls that still wet their pants. Wha???? Is this a joke? Is there a hidden camera somewhere? Am I gonna wake up tied to a lawn chair to then be pulled in a swimming pool? Nope it's real. About f*cking time! SINISTER had most of its bases firmly covered; acting, chilling visual style, effective scares, potent suspense, originality, a killer score by Christopher Young and a finale that hit home.
2 - Prometheus
> Buy This Film
PROMETHEUS divided people. Love or hate! And for me that's a sign of "something" that at least shot higher than the norm. For me PROMETHEUS was a worthwhile companion piece to ALIEN (I can't watch the latter the same way now) and on its own it was a striving and old school Sci-Fi flick that destroyed my spot. It was technically flawless, visually magnificent, had a stand out cast, sported an existential streak that I dug, eeriness galore, some tension laced bits, emotionally gripping moments and a handful of powerful horror uppercuts that had me squirming in my seat like a schoolgirl getting the spike laced paddle.
1 - The Dark Knight Rises
> Buy This Film
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES put the word epic in EPIC! To me, it was a beyond fitting cap-off to a stand out trilogy. A well written, skilfully shot, thought provoking and magnificently acted piece of cinema. And thatís what Nolan has given me with his trilogy; CINEMA. Films that managed to do it all at once and very well at that. Layered character studies, with relevant themes while wowing me with aces visual effects, extravagant imagery and genius action scenes.


LOOPER: It made for a full cinematic chow down! Intelligent, with layered characters/relationships, exhilarating action set pieces, a touching love story (ies), solid acting across the board and stunning imagery. And any movie that has me root for 3 people with 3 different agendas, resulting in me being conflicted as to whom to side with deserves a pat on the ass and hookers on the house.

CHRONICLE: It's X-Men meets Carrie with a pinch of Zapped, Superman 2 and Akira dropped in there for good measure! Chronicle entertained me on many echelons: as a drama, a comedy, a revenge fantasy and a bleak superhero flick. The acting was legit, the directing inventive and surprisingly mature (for a first timer) and the final act gave me lots of “wow” for my bucks.

KILLER JOE: A balls to the wall, no bull, remorselessly violent and sexually charged ride that simply did not give a f*ck! And I respected it for it. Filled with razor dialogue, outstanding performances (Gershon, McConaughey and Temple stood out for me) and fly visuals, I couldn't get enough!

THE EXPENDABLES 2: Real action lives again! The Expendables 2 won’t win any screenwriting Awards but it gave me exactly what I wanted from it. All of my favorite action heroes in one movie, all kinds of sick action, some nifty fights, mucho explosions, laughs galore, some gore and a body count that put the C in “count”. Everybody was on top of their game, Lundgren was hilarious, Adkins was the shit but Van Damme undeniably stole the show as Vilain. The man still has it! Hopefully Hollywood will wake up and give him another big budget shot!


THE APPARITION: What else can I say? THE APPARITION had no frights, a thin story, flat acting by Ashley Greene, a half cocked chain of events, boredom, boredom and more boredom. DARK CASTLE has now officially reached the bottom of the barrel! Too badÖ

CHERNOBYL DIARIES: An insult to my grey matter and wallet! It reeked of f*ck quality, "lets do it cheap", slum it, toss in the cliches, promote it right and cash in! It so tried to have its shaved twat and eat it too! It acted like a found footage movie with the "folks running" padding and the "shake the camera" fast instead of showing gore/fights; but... IT WASN'T A FOUND FOOTAGE MOVIE! So the f*ck you doing man?!!! The result was a product that came off as a SHAM, a joke and my money was the punchline.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4: Half-assed, redundant, clunky, generic whilst giving suspension of disbelief an all new definition, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 was a chore to sit through. It was boring, NOT scary AT ALL, boring, redundant, I think Iím being redundant now, boring, the cat rocked!

PIRANHA 3DD: So bad it's just bad! An inept, limp dick and dime-store softcore porno with killer fish in it? Yes. A well made horror/comedy? NO! Maybe if I would have clocked PIRANHA 3DD on VOD it would have went down better, but I didn't. I saw it on the big screen, booze in my veins, nachos on my lap, date by my side, 3D glasses on, ready to have a blast! I didn't think I could fail! Then I was given this half-assed CRAP! PIRANHA 3DD should have premiered in a bargain bin at Wall-mart. It had ZERO business being in cinemas.

© 2004 John Fallon All Rights Reserved