The Horror Honeys: RAWR! Monster Honey's Top 5 Horror Films of 2015

RAWR! Monster Honey's Top 5 Horror Films of 2015

A Monster Honey Year-End Top 5 List by Jennica

At the end of every year, my biggest regrets are always that I never make it to the theater often enough and I never see enough new releases as I would like. And this year was no exception. While I spent the first half of the year cramming as many 2014 leftovers into my eye sockets, it really was not until the second half of the year that I started to lay my ear to the ground for the latest hellish creations to surface. Overall, 2015 was more miss-- and a lot of meh-- than hit, but shining through the heap of garbage were a few gems worth every dollar and every minute spent. Before laying this year to rest, here is a look at my top five horror movie picks for 2015...

1. Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival

As God (Paul Sorvino) is carefully selecting angels to join his seven ranks within the pearly gates, Lucifer (Terrance Zdunich) and his band of carnies are planning a war between good and evil.

The sequel to The Devil's Carnival (2012), Alleluia! stands on a plane all its own with distinct eccentric costumes and makeup effects as well as an original-- and unquestionably 2015's best-- soundtrack. Alleluia! cleverly depicts the commercialization of Christianity and reveals that both good and evil possess a seductive quality which is demonstrated through a mesmerizing, elaborate performance by famed violinist Emilie Autumn. Whether you are a horror fan, an artist, or simply a rock opera junkie, this film NEEDS to be promptly inserted into your eye holes. Composer Saar Hendelman returns to The Devil's Carnival and once again proves that he is a lyrical genius with each number flowing like poetry representing light and darkness powered by the contrasting sounds of bliss and torment. (Read my FULL LA premiere review here!)

2. The Green Inferno

College freshman Justine (Lorenza Izzo) is determined to prove herself to a group of campus activists by joining them on an unauthorized trip to the Amazon to protest against deforestation. However, when the group becomes stranded in the middle of the rainforest, it is evident that they have company and they are about to be taught a lesson that couldn't be learned from the safety of a lecture hall.

While Eli Roth has been widely accused of being uninformed, addressing social issues immaturely, and mimicking Cannibal Holocaust (1980) with his latest film, The Green Inferno does provide a fairly accurate representation of the sheltered, self-entitled lives of the millennial generation.

College is a time when many discover who they are and what they truly value, but they often still lack the life experience to fully understand the world beyond campus let alone beyond their nation's border. The millenial generation tend to be a self-righteous political bunch... or at least they like to pretend. But as they cling to their western culture and live in a bubble of regurgitated information from textbooks, professors, and their peers, they are quick to chastise the rituals of foreign peoples which contradict what they "know" to be humane.

Eli Roth brilliantly captures this common naivety by pulling the students out of the comfort of their classrooms and into the thick of an unfamiliar civilization. Although some remain firmly planted on the side of modern views, the real enemy in the story becomes ambiguous for others.

3. Tales of Halloween

Ten stories of things going bump in the night on Halloween are narrated and strung together by a radio DJ (Adrienne Barbeau). Shrieks of terror and laughter ensue in American suburbi during one sacred night of murderers, ghosts, demons, and alien encounters.

Often praised as being the best horror anthology since Michael Dougherty's Trick 'r Treat (2007), Tales of Halloween is more than a celebration of Halloween folklore and tradition. As a film made by a collaboration between horror's next generation of horror directors, it reads like a love letter to the horror community, especially to the close-knit horror family in the Los Angeles area where the film was first conceived. Adding to the endearment of the film are the numerous appearances made by iconic horror film veterans such as Caroline Williams (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), and Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp), to name a few. From pranking the neighbors, to telling scary stories with friends, to battling over spooky decorations, Tales of Halloween has a treat that is guaranteed to resonate with each and every participant in the holiday, both young and old.

4. Goosebumps

When teenaged Zach (Dylan Minnette) moves to a new town, he develops an interest in the girl next door Hannah (Odeya Rush) whose father (Jack Black) is anything but welcoming. One night, Zach hears a scream coming from Hannah's house and-- with the company of his new school friend Champ (Ryan Lee)-- he goes to investigate. While searching the house, they accidentally unleash an army of monsters from a shelf of Goosebumps manuscripts. Just as the team of teens are ready to give up restoring order to the town, they learn that Hannah's mysterious father is none other than R.L. Stine and only he can end the night of chaos.

Goosebumps is more than just a fun family friendly creature feature for kids and fans of the novels. It is sure to resonate with creatives and especially writers who have held on tight to their childhood imaginations. The film brings back fond memories of staying up late to read the demise of R.L. Stine's newest creations. But it also brings to the surface the pressure, obstacles (both real and imaginary), and patience that come with writing a good story from beginning to end. Deemed the Monster Squad of Generation Y, Goosebumps is a must-see whether you are a seasoned monster movie maniac or a budding creature feature kiddie. Read my FULL review HERE!

5. Landmine Goes Click

An American tourist in Georgia (the country, not the state) is lured onto an armed landmine and forced to witness his travel companion be violently tormented by a sociopathic local offering assistance in their already desperate situation... for a price.

Circulating the film festivals this year and winning several Best Feature awards, Landmine Goes Click is an intense cinematic experience that will leave viewers as frozen in their seat as the tourist on the death trap. An exceptional tale of brutality, betrayal, and revenge, the film nearly pushes the envelope over the edge just before restoring its sense of morality and good conscience. Not for the faint at heart, Landmine Goes Click is as beautifully shot as it is bloody.

Which horror movies caught your eye in 2015? 
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