Happy New Year everyone. Before I can start 2016, I have to look back at the best of 2015. It was one of those years where my viewing habits were mostly the Hollywood fare and horror films. On this list are films that I enjoyed a lot and had a great time whether at home or at the movie theater.
Before I start, here are my honorable mentions that missed my list. Felt, Minions, Headless, Digging Up the Marrow, Ten and Ant-Man.
Without any more suspense, here are my top 10 films of 2015.
10. What We Do In the Shadows
What happens when you have vampires in a mockumentary film, you get an entertaining and funny film from start to finish. That was the case with “What We Do in the Shadows”. One of things that I like about this film is the ability that it blends the horror and comedy genres into one film. Whether it was the funny dialogue to the entertaining performances, it felt like a fun time. The film has very good performances from Jemaine Clament and Taiki Waititi as they both made their characters engaging and entertaining. Check this film out, if you’re a fan of horror comedies. You will love this film.
9. Crimson Peak
I know there have been some people that don’t like this film, but I thought that this was a very good film from Gulliermo Del Toro. One of things that makes this very good was the film’s dark tone and its special effects. It helped conveyed some of the dark and gothic images that’s needed for the story to succeed. The film also has great performances from its three leads Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain which really made this very good. Hopefully, this film will find an audience on DVD & Blu-Ray.
This was the year of sequels as there are major three sequels on my list.
8. Jurassic World
After the disaster of “Jurassic Park 3”, I wasn’t in the mood to see this film until its killer opening weekend at the box office and the reviews that I heard about It also helped that it starred Chris Pratt from “Guardian of the Galaxy”. This was an entertaining entry in the series as director Colin Trevorrow does a very good job making sure that the film is entertaining and had the magic that the original “Jurassic Park” had. It also helped that this had a good screenplay that developed the characters to go with the action sequences.
This is a film that should’ve gotten more eyeballs from horror fans during the year than it did. “Spring” felt like a cross between a monster film and a Richard Linklater / Alejandro González Iñárritu film. What makes this great was the way that directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead did a great job directing their two main actors (Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker) as both of the actor develop a very good job chemistry with each other. It helped make this dark love story work so well. It also has some very good effects and great cinematography from Moorehead.
6. The Martian
Going into “The Martian, I wasn’t really interested in seeing this film as this looked like “Cast Away in Space”. But when my father wanted me to go as company and see this film, I did that. Man, was I wrong about first opinions on this film as this is one of Ridley Scott and Matt Damon’s best films to date. “The Martian” does a great job developing the main situation through its various characters both in space and back on earth. It made the story interesting to watch as it helped move the pace of the film along. It helped shed away the “Cast Away” image that I had going into this film.
It was a good year for the quality of horror films. Number five and Four are two horror films that were very good that horror fans should be watching if they haven't yet.
5. We Are Still Here
If there was a film that shocked me to my core this this year, it would be this film. Whether it’s the writing and directing of Ted Geoghegan or the great lead (Barabra Crampton, Andrew Sensenig) and supporting performances (Larry Fessenden, Lisa Marie, and Monte Markham), it was a shocking gorefest from start to finish. It’s easily the best ensemble cast of the year. If “It Follows” wasn’t the best horror film of the year, this would’ve been easily it. This is a film that you check if you’re a horror fan as I can’t wait for Geoghegan’s next film.
4. It Follows
This is one of those films that you feel like you’ve walked out of theater and knew that this might be a classic film ten or fifteen years down the line. From everything from the screenplay to the directing, to the actor and to the score everything had that certain ingredient that makes for a perfect horror film. Director David Robert Mitchell does a great job making the screenplay and the direction feel very dark and suspenseful. It made some of the film’s intense moments keep you on the edge of your seat. This film is also helped with very good performance from Maika Monroe and Keir Gilchrist. This is a must for horror fans who haven’t seen this film yet, as it’s a great film.
It's amazing that a post-apocalyptic film and two sci-fi films make up my top 3.
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
If in the beginning of the year you thought this film would be on my best of list, you would have been crazy but this felt like the perfect film. One of the things makes this Star Wars entry great was JJ Abrams directing. Whether it’s the way that he handles the action scenes to how he directs his cast, it had the level of intensity that made this a great film like the original. It’s amazing how he has been able to resurrect the most popular sci-fi franchises of all time with this and his first “Star Trek” film. Can’t wait for Rouge One next year and Episode VIII in 2017.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
This is the most surprising film of the year given the rumored stories that took place behind the scenes. I had no faith that this would be that great, as this is one of the best action films ever made. “Mad Max: Fury Road” is the fourth film in the Mad Max series and is up there with the original as the best film in the series. Director George Miller does an excellent job making sure this film moves at an intense pace through his direction. Whether it’s the way the action scenes were directed to the way John Seale handles the cinematography, it’s so attention grabbing that it kept my interest in the story and the action. The acting is also very good, as both Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron were very good in this film despite the problems they had on set. There’s never a dull moment in this action packed film as this film makes up for the lackluster “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” that Miller directed back thirty years ago.
This was an easy year determining my top film of 2015. I was very curious about “Ex Machina” because this was the directorial debut for writer Alex Garland, the man behind the screenplays for “28 Days Later” and “Dread”. Thankfully, I saw this film this in theaters as this was a great film from both a screenplay and acting standpoint. What I liked about the screenplay was that it had a 2001 Space Odessey vibe to go along with a suspenseful thriller feel to it. It makes all the action work and made the characters and story interesting throughout. The acting here is superb here. I thought the film’s stars Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac were great in their roles. It’s the best acted film of the year and wished it had some Oscar consideration. I guess when you release a film in April, it gets lost easily lost in the shuffle. Hopefully, the film is finding an audience on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD.