Poll Result: Best Horror Film of the 2010s

The Cabin in the Woods

– The Cabin in the Woods: 10 votes
– The Conjuring: 7 votes
– Warm Bodies: 2 votes
– The Awakening: 1 vote
– The Bay: 1 vote
– Berberian Sound Studio: 1 vote
– Byzantium: 1 vote
– Evil Dead: 1 vote
– Insidious: 1 vote
– I Saw the Devil: 1 vote
– John Dies at the End: 1 vote
– Paranormal Activity 2: 1 vote
– Red State: 1 vote

In a bit of a surprise, this was basically a two-horse race from beginning to end. A lot of films received votes, but in the end this was The Cabin in the Woods‘ poll to lose. Nice to see The Conjuring, one of this year’s biggest surprises, finish strong as well.

This Week’s Poll: Until this past weekend’s takeover by Bad Grandpa, the box office had been dominated lately by two films: Gravity and Captain Phillips. We already had a Gravity-related poll this month, so let’s take a look at the latter. What are the TWO best Tom Hanks films? The man has had an amazing career, so this one should be interesting.

Have a great week, folks!

2012 Movie Review Roundup: The Raid, 21 Jump Street, The Cabin in the Woods, Damsels in Distress

I caught a handful of movies at the cinema last month but didn’t get a chance to write full reviews for them. Here are some quick thoughts on each:

The Raid: Redemption [2011]
The Raid: Redemption [dir. Gareth Evans]
I am a little surprised by the massive amount of love The Raid has been getting. There is no doubt that it is a crazy intense action film, arguably one of the most entertaining of the genre to come out in years, but I never quite fell in love with it as so many others did. The first act of the film, which focuses heavily on redundant gun warfare, is not much different from a Call of Duty game. However, once the characters drop the guns in favor of hand-to-hand combat, the film really kicks it up a notch. This is when the beautifully choreographed action setpieces shine, stunning in their execution yet grotesque in their aftermath. This is a violent movie, no doubt about it, and it’s not going to please everyone. In the end, I enjoyed The Raid, but it took me a little while to really get into the film. 7/10

21 Jump Street [2012]
21 Jump Street [Phil Lord, Chris Miller]
I never watched the 80s TV show that this movie is loosely based on, but this reboot is a hell of a lot funnier than I ever could have expected. Who knew Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum would make a formidable comedy tandem? The story of two cops going undercover in a high school is hardly anything new (and not just because this is a reboot), but it helps that the movie is self aware. There are several jokes about its concept, as everyone involved knows just how ridiculous it sounds. The two leads are likable, and both know how to bring the laughs. Some of the jokes have been recycled from elsewhere, but on the whole, 21 Jump Street is a fun, light comedy that most will enjoy. Keep an eye out for two awesome cameos near the end. 7/10

Cabin in the Woods [2012]
The Cabin in the Woods [Drew Goddard]
Speaking of self aware, how about The Cabin in the Woods? I wasn’t expecting much, if anything, from this horror film, but I left the theater with the biggest smile on my face. Original horror films are a rarity these days, but this one takes the cake. The film-within-a-film of a group of kids taking a weekend vacation at a relative’s mountain cabin is one we have seen a million times, but Cabin goes all meta with this and plays with all of the familiar tropes. There is a second, deeper storyline that makes the film what it really is, and once the big twist is revealed, it really kicks into another gear. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie, but the final act is a freakin’ blast. My only real beef with the film comes from Fran Kranza’s uninspired performance as the token stoner. 8/10

Damsels in Distress [2011]
Damsels in Distress [Whit Stillman]
I went into this film pretty much blind. Unfortunately, my first Whit Stillman movie left me unimpressed. I loved the beginning of the movie, as we are introduced to a peculiar group of college girls (led by the brilliant Greta Gerwig) who take a new transfer student under their wings, but it quickly spirals out of control after twenty minutes or so. There is no real purpose to the film, as it just meanders along aimlessly, jumping from subplot to subplot with no real connection. To call this film disjointed is an understatement, which is a shame since the dialogue is generally witty and enjoyable. Props to Gerwig, though — she is always fun to watch. 5/10

What do you guys think of these movies? Were you able to see any of them as well?