The Horror Honeys: Revenge Honey's Best and Worst of 2015!

Revenge Honey's Best and Worst of 2015!

Well, here we are at the end of the year kiddies, and it has been a strange one for your Revenge Honey. Most years, I struggle to find a few movies I love, while I am awash in movies I want to stab until they die. But this year, the numbers are dead even instead, and that makes me a very happy girl. Because in 2015, I saw 387 movies for the first time, and if only eleven new releases were worthy of making the "worst" section of this list, I think we can all link arms for a happy dance!

So join me for the year that was for your Revenge Honey, and then hold on to your butts as we prepare for 2016!

May your new year be stabby and bright, my darklings...

*Note: Original reviews will be included in the film's titles where available!

Revenge Honey's Best of 2015!

I had the privilege of seeing The Ladies of the House early in the year and it remained one of my favorites throughout 2015. Dark, creepy, and fronted by a bevy of badass women, this grindhouse throwback is a must-see for anyone who loves the exploitation genre, and prefers for women to get some time behind the knife. 

It's looking like Juanfer AndrĂ©s and Esteban Roel's Shrew's Nest is going to be my Kristy of 2015. The fact that this film has no US release date on the horizon is a damn shame, because it is easily the most gorgeous movie I saw all year. Set almost entirely in a single apartment, Shrew's Nest is tense, beautiful, bloody perfection. The sooner everyone can see this film, the better!

Closer to God

Sci-fi is one of my favorite genres, and because of such, I am super picky of the films I will let into my heart. But when Sci-Fi Honey Katie gives a film a glowing recommendation, I always listen, and she didn't steer me wrong with Closer to God. This modern take on the Frankenstein myth is deeply upsetting, and utterly beautiful... You will never forget it once the credits have rolled.

There are several films on my "Best Of" list this year that I loved so deeply, so passionately, and that I will probably never, ever watch again. Hungry Hearts is the first of those films. Saverio Costanzo's film seems to be, on the surface, just an indictment of the elitist hipster East Coast lifestyle. But really, it is an examination of the mistake we make as a society when we trust a mother's instinct above all logic and reason. Full of lush visual metaphor and brilliant performances, Hungry Hearts is a horror film for people more afraid of reality.

As I'm sure you expected, White God is the second film I adored with every fiber of my being that I will never watch again as long as I live. Like Hungry Hearts, White God is a film full of metaphor and allegory, equal parts devastating and lovely, and the kind of movie that will leave your heart both broken and full. I will always treasure White God, even if I can never watch it again.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Like everyone else in their right mind, Fury Road blew me the fuck away. George Miller's return to the series that established his career was like an explosion of everything that made action in the 80s awesome: practical effects, truly nefarious villains, epic landscapes, and heroes that you could root for to the bitter end. But Fury Road brought us Charlize Theron as Furiosa, a woman every bit as capable and commanding as Tom Hardy's Max. Beefheaded bros be damned... Furiosa is the hero we needed this summer and I will never tire of watching her kick Warboy ass.

What We Do In the Shadows

It is extremely rare for a comedy to make my "Best Of" list at the end of the year, and rarer still for that comedy to feature Jemaine Clement, of who I am not a fan. But this Real World-style mockumentary about a group of disparately aged vampires living under the same roof is the perfect example of everything good happening in low-budget horror. Written by, directed by, and starring the same Kiwi comedians who made Flight of the Conchords, What We Do In the Shadows is the kind of comedy that never ceases to be funny, and you always find something new to make you laugh.

Ex Machina

Winner for my favorite sci-fi film of the year is obviously Alex Garland's Ex Machina. Carried entirely by a cast of three (included the luminous Alicia Vikander) in the most claustrophobic glass house ever created, Ex Machina is terrifying because of how inevitable the whole thing feels. Not only is the ending inevitable, but the real world application of a future in which human and machine are not longer distinguishable feels vital and impossible to avoid. Like 28 Days Later, which Garland wrote, Ex Machina is frightening in that it is science-fiction merely a blink away from science fact.

Turbo Kid

While it was neck and neck with The Final Girls for movies that were both utterly fun AND full of the feels, Turbo Kid just squeaked out the win. Both clever homage and brilliant genre film, Turbo Kid is the kind of movie we need more of: exciting, smart, full of wonderful characters, and enough gore to satisfy even the most hardcore horror fans. Plus, if you don't fall in love with Apple, you're a monster. Just sayin'.

Jack Bryan's The Living is likely to be the most "controversial" choice on my list this year, in that it's not the kind of film that is going to be everyone's cup of tea. But for me, it is a deeply moving character study, an attempt at figuring out how a marriage is meant to survive spousal abuse, but even more, an actual examination of the cost of revenge. The Living isn't an easy movie, but it's a movie that explored the best and worst of humanity, through the eyes of one broken family.

Goodnight Mommy is going to be on a LOT of people's "Best Of" lists and with good reason: this claustrophobic Austrian horror film is absolutely everything. Motherhood has become prime territory for horror again in recent years, but much like Essie Davis in last year's The Babadook, Susanne Wuest as Mother in Goodnight Mommy is so much more than just a mom at her breaking point. Grief, isolation, vanity, the loss of youth and innocence... This starkly shot and elegantly minimalist movie has the makings of an enduring classic.

During a year in which we were forced to say goodbye to Mads Mikkelsen's delicious portrayal of Hannibal Lecter, it only makes sense that we Fannibals sought out other means to fill that chiseled hole in our hearts. For me, it was filled by The Salvation, an old-fashioned western that was equal turns beautifully shot and wonderfully acted by Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Eva Green. The story at the center of The Salvation may not have been a new one, but everything about it was fresh and inspiring. Whether or not you love western, you will love The Salvation.

Special Mentions to Television Shows:
Jessica Jones, Hannibal, The Leftovers, and Flesh & Bone

Non-Horror Shout-Out to:
Obvious Child ~ support women in indie film, yo!

Revenge Honey's Worst of 2015!

Dawn Patrol wins the 2015 Award for Biggest Con Job perpetrated by a trailer. What presented itself as movie about family and surfing and stuff is actually one of the most racist movies to come out in quite some time. Dawn Patrol is so anti-Mexican, it might as well be a propaganda film for Donald Trump's campaign...


The Lake on Clinton Road

File this under a movie that makes me embarrassed to be from Jersey (and yes, I am usually proud of that). Based on true events my ass. The Lake on Clinton Road is just your typical supernatural lunacy, so standard in every way that it's only memorable for also being really racist and across the board obnoxious. Some roads should be left untraveled, and some movies should be left in a film student's head.

AKA: when dudebros are left to their own devices. This movie is offensive to EVERY possible creed, gender, and human. Women are whores, men are dogs, and Eric Stonestreet REALLY wants you to remember he's straight. This movie made want to punch James Marsden in his stupid beautiful face. Hard. 

Burying the Ex

Speaking of movies that are offensive... What hath become of you, Joe Dante? Burying the Ex aimed to be a funny take on the relationship comedy in a zombie coat, but instead, it was easily one of the most anti-woman movies to come from the horror genre in decades. Get your shit together, zombie genre. I hate you, and even I know you're better than this dreck.

Jurassic World

Inevitably, a few of the movies I hated will be on other Honey's "Best" lists, and I have learned to own that. Jurassic World was one of the most miserable movie-going experiences I had this year. I found it joyless, cynical, depressing, and was left in tears at the way the series has become a commercial enterprise with zero respect for the audience that made it so enduringly popular. Jurassic World shat on my childhood. I'm now returning the favor.

It takes a special movie to make a mockery of both the revenge genre and rape survivors at the same time. Return to Sender is a total train wreck, undeserving of its star. The only reason this garbage got a release was because of Rosamund Pike's newly found fame and she deserves better than this movie. Hell, Nick Nolte deserves better than this movie. Which is saying a lot these days.

Ghoul is the absolute apex of found-footage laziness: the camera work is terrible, it never makes up its mind whether it's found footage or faux-documentary, but worst of all, it never bothers to learn ANYTHING about the real life tragedy it tackily mined for its plot. Ghoul is everything wrong with horror right now, which makes me even happier than I managed to see so many better movies in 2015.

The Gift

Another movie I hated that everyone else in the world seemed to love, The Gift holds the distinction of being the only movie in my entire life that I've walked out of, and that was BEFORE the ending. An ending which, after being informed of it, made me want to punch a baby. In Joel Edgerton's film, women are merely pawns in the games men play, and they don't deserve to know whether they've been raped or not. Because little girlie women types don't matter, just the big strong men who pay for their stuff and put babies in them. I literally can't talk about The Gift anymore, because I'm getting mad again, and I'm leaving this piece of shit in 2015... or more aptly, the 40s, where its politics belong.

Gun Woman

Now THIS piece of crap. Where to begin. Gun Woman is a movie that tries to be so subversive, so edgy, that it's mostly just obnoxious. There is nothing badass about a movie in which a drug addict is forced to act as a tool of a selfish man's revenge against a disgusting and abusive necrophiliac. Gun Woman just reads as a film in which a bunch of dudes threw darts at a board of taboo subjects and then made a movie based on the worst of them.


#Horror is the worst kind of failure: one that had an opportunity to say something and wasted it on flash and irritating characters. A movie about a bunch of tweens who are so obsessed with their online lives that they forget how to be human seems like a good idea. But when EVERYONE is awful, and not one of those tweens is likable, you really don't care if they all kill each other by the end. Factor in a constant onslaught of images from a fake social media site that looks like Snapchat and Instagram had a Kardashian baby, and #Horror is just a giant mess.

But of course, the biggest FUCK YOU of the year goes to Eli Roth's Knock, Knock. I am 100% comfortable saying that if you liked this movie, you and I are probably not the kind of people who will get along. Of all the offensive pieces of trash Eli Roth has made, this one is offensive on every level. Technically, it's barely worthy of a first-year film student (and bonus "fuck you's" for not crediting the movie this is a remake of). The acting is insane across the board. And the fact that I seem to be the only one who picked up on the horrifyingly disgusting victim-blaming subtext and lack of respect Roth has for ACTUAL child victims of sexual assault... Let's just say Roth has set a bar pretty fucking high for 2016 for ANYTHING else to make me this angry. So, happy 2015 Eli Roth... and fuck you.

What were YOUR favorite movies this year?
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