By most metrics 2020 SUCKED. As someone who believes movie theaters are akin to religious institutions, 2020 was an especially rough year for me. Without blockbusters and theater crowds to keep us entertained, movie fans turned to streaming services and VOD. Perhaps the only silver lining was horror. Horror killed it in 2020 with some tremendous early hits I was actually able to see in theaters and then tons more from the comfort of my couch thanks to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and above all Shudder. Shudder was a shining beacon in the dark of plague halted year for horror fans and for only $5 a month it is worth every penny.
In 2020 we saw the return of the horror anthology, typically great foreign horror and the rise of young promising writers/directors who can dominate this genre for years to come. So let’s take a look at my Top Horror Films of 2020!
Well folks, we made it through the crazy year that was 2020. Everything is different, but thankfully we still had movies to give us a few distractions and some much-needed laughs at time. But even that was different, we spent less time in a dark theater with a crowd of folks, replacing that experience with our TVs and sound systems at home with numerous streaming services to offer up movies to entertain us. I think I usually average around 70 new movies a year, but sadly this year it was only 42, and that includes even older movies I saw for the first time. And the back catalog of stuff on the various streaming services, I missed out on a bunch of movies too.
And as you can see from the title, we are doing things a little different as well. I had my list down to 11 movies and even after about a week of trying to narrow it down, I couldn’t, so you are getting 10 (+1) this year.
Climate of the Hunter is a new twist on the vampire subgenre of horror. Combining arthouse flair, ‘70s vampire mythos, dark humor, and psychological family drama, it was one of my favorites of the year. The film stars Ginger Gilmartin and Mary Buss as sisters Alma and Elizabeth, who begin to compete for the affections of Wesley (Ben Hall), a man from their past who returns to the secluded wooded community they live in.
The film received a limited theatrical run in December and will be available for streaming on January 12, 2021. Director and co-writer Mickey Reece has made over 25 films in the last decade and I got a chance to speak with him about his unique new film and his style of filmmaking.
With 2021 finally dawned upon us, it brings a new beginning to what was for sure one of the most tumultuous years in anyone’s recent memory in the year 2020, with a plethora of events that occurred (and many still recurring) that need no repeating. We all know of what went down and what’s going on, things which have spilled over and are still extreme challenges in this new year. In short, 2020 was a year most of, if not all, of us would soon rather forget.
However, what shouldn’t be forgotten are the names of the many luminaries in entertainment that we lost last year, also a stunning amount of creatives and well-knowns of seemingly every type and stripe. While in a lot of ways an “in memoriam” list seems rather arbitrary and irrelevant considering the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the United States alone last year during the pandemic and of people who became global martyrs by way of insurrectional behaviors by authoritative figures all across America, a list like this becomes in a way necessary, as it’s important to give the proper respect and final send off to some of the individuals who touched our lives in so many ways, especially during last year, when all forms of entertainment became not only entrenched in its typical “escapism,” but also became a healing balm in a sense, something that helped people push through during the darkest times of necessary state and governmental-enforced bondage on us all. And it is for that reason, that we present some of our heroes, guiding lights, inspirations, and illuminations who left us in 2020.
By Dr. Zaius
| November 30th, 2020 at 10:00 am
James Duval has had a long career in film, featuring in blockbusters like Independence Day and starring in major cult classics like Donnie Darko. The multi-talented actor, who is also a trained musician and yoga instructor, has a resume of well over a hundred credits on IMDb including many films in production right now. On December 1st, his latest film Beast Mode arrives on DVD and Digital. The film is a completely bonkers horror comedy which sees Duval star in dual roles: as the uber obnoxious Hollywood bad boy Huckle Saxton AND as Mike, a Huckle doppelganger. The film features a who’s who of big name talent including C. Thomas Howell, Leslie Easterbrook, Ray Wise, and James Hong. I got a chance to speak to Duval about the film, his career, and time during COVID.