Brad Blackwell - Best of 2014

Best of 2014 - by Brad Blackwell

Behold, yet another contributor to The Children of Samhain presents his favorite films of the year in his BEST OF 2014 list. Brad Blackwell is 19 years old and has been writing for 7 years. He wrote, directed and produced two plays while in high school, and in 2014, he published the first of his horror novel series, The Curtain Call Chronicles. When he is not writing horror stories, he is working on his web-comic strip, Before & After.

14. The Babadook

So here's the unpopular opinion. I did not enjoy this film. I feel like it could have been a fairly decent horror film if it wasn't for two things. Number one, the dull and disappointing end to film. And number two, I would have been much more engaged in the film if it didn't spend the first 30 minutes introducing two of the most irritating and intolerable characters that I've seen in a long time.

13. Nurse 3D

I didn't like this film at all, and yet I just could not stop watching... so take that however you'd like.

12. V/H/S Viral

The V/H/S series started out as a messed up movie my two friends showed me in the same matter as when you were young teenagers and one of your friends got their hands on a porno mag. You weren't sure what you were watching and you felt a little weird since you couldn't look away. That being said, I didn't find it to be that enjoyable, and was even less into the sequel. So I didn't have high hopes for this third iteration. It turned out to be about as good as the other two, and i found myself in the same position, I enjoyed two of the segments, but was bored out of my mind by the rest of the stories. So my main opinion would be to watch the fist V/H/S film, and say that you've seen them all.

11. Cabin Fever: Patient Zero

What can you say about this movie? It's a bloody, bloody, bloody, fantastic bloody film. Just a gory good time all around.

10. As Above, So Below

This film had so much promise... but unfortunately it's just another great concept that's ruined by pointless plot points after pointless plot points. (Say that 5 times fast) I honestly enjoy a very big majority of found footage films, but this one really fell short for me.

9. Annabelle

When I watched The Conjuring, I was very upset when they mentioned the Annabelle doll, because it just continuously felt like the film was saying "Psst, I know you're watching this movie and all, but we're just gonna keep promoting this doll movie every chance we get." So I didn't see Annabelle for a while for that reason. And part of me believes that I didn't enjoy that much because of how angry I had been at it, so if I had never seen The Conjuring, I think that Annabelle might have been higher on this list.

8. Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones

I'm not ashamed to say that I am actually a very big fan of the Paranormal Activity series. Now, this spin-off(?) on the other hand, fell slightly short for me. I really enjoyed the story as a whole, and the twist ending was very satisfying to me, but the 15 minutes before that twist felt like the ending of PA3 all over again. But of course I am still going to be totally pumped when the next one comes out in 2015. So overall, it's a decent film, but I believe that you can skip it completely and not lose out on any storyline whatsoever.

7. Tusk

Kevin Smith has been sort of a hero of mine growing up. Building an empire, then burning it down and starting all over again. And now he's making films that he would simply love to see, and that no one else would ever dare to make. The only flaw I have with the film is that I feel he should have saved the big reveal until later in the movie.

6. Deliver Us From Evil

I've never been the biggest fan of possession films, but this film approached the subject from an angle that I had never seen before. Blending religion and the paranormal with almost a noir-style crime film. I've jokingly referred to it as a mix between The Exorcist and Seven.

5. Oculus

I was very surprised by Oculus. The story pulled me in from the start and I was hooked. The way the mirror mixed delusions and reality worked perfectly, even to the point where I was trying to figure out what was real and what were hallucination. It made it that more disorienting for the characters and the viewer.

4. The Purge: Anarchy

I wasn't a big fan of The Purge. The concept was great but the execution lacked severely. But the sequel I feel turned the franchise around. It was basically what I wanted to see from the first film; people on the actual streets during a Purge. At times it almost was reminiscent of a zombie flick, which made it all the better.

3. Grand Piano

I've always been a fan of Elijah Wood's performances, and Grand Piano most definitely continued that trend. The tension is built up so well throughout the film, that even though the ending fell slightly flat (No pun intended),  it was still an amazingly crafted film.

2. Horns

The film adaption of Joe Hill's Horns is a very well crafted story. It's hard to imagine how hard it must be to make a 2 hour film from a 14 hour (I'm an Audible man when it comes to reading), but I feel like this adaptation did an absolute fantastic job. I absolutely loved the performances from every actor, and Ig's dark path to evil is shown perfectly. Horns is a must see / read type of story that I feel almost everyone will relate to in some way.

1. Cheap Thrills

Went into this film not knowing a thing, and am very glad that I did. Getting to watch this story unravel before my eyes was a beautiful thing to watch. There was a never a dull moment nor was I disappointed with any one of the performances. Top it all off with one of the most satisfying endings to a horror film that I've seen in a very long time, and you have a film that was very easy to put at the top of this list.