Here are my choices for best horror/suspense films released wide in theaters from January through December 2012. (For the purposes of this list, I'm defining "wide" as 500-plus screens.) Honorable mentions: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Gone, The Raven, Silent House.
8. The Woman in Black
7. Dark Shadows
A muddled script can't diminish Johnny Depp's endearing, giddy performance in the flawed but entertaining fish-out-of-water vampire tale Dark Shadows.
5. The Collection
The gleefully over-the-top sequel The Collection not only improves immeasurably upon its predecessor The Collector, but it functions as a refreshing throwback to '80s-styled slashers, delivering ridiculous kills, practical (read: no CGI) gore effects, a memorable masked villain and a simple, straightforward plot that barrels forward at a breakneck pace. The Collection knows it's not Schindler's List, and it embraces its pulpy content.
Stunning visuals highlight the larger-than-life Prometheus, whose script, despite much-publicized gaps and unanswered questions, works like a fascinating puzzle whose relationship to the Alien universe is never less than compelling, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats wanting more.
3. The Possession
2. The Grey
Taking a concept -- plane crash survivors stalked by large man-eating wolves -- that could be fodder for a SyFy movie of the week and turning it into something as dramatic and socially relevant as The Grey is nothing short of miraculous. That it delivers action and suspense isn't surprising, but the touching level of genuine emotion is a shock and could potentially be worth of Oscar consideration.