© Screen Gems
is big dumb fun, shallow and cartoonish but fast paced and full of high-octane action that utilizes its 3-D technology well.
Being the weakest in the series to date doesn't make Paranormal Activity 4
a bad movie. As "found footage" fare goes, it's still an effective entry, delivering the requisite spookiness and natural performances to overcome the lack of freshness.
8. The Woman in Black
© CBS Films
Despite a dearth of originality, the picturesque setting and relentless scares make The Woman in Black
a welcome return to the gothic horror of Hammer Films' heyday.
© Warner Bros.
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
's inventive structure helps imbue it with haunting imagery and an overwhelming sense of dread in a fine capper to producer Jason Blum's informal "spooky house" trilogy, following Paranormal Activity
5. The Collection
© LD Entertainment
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.
© 20th Century Fox
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
It may not introduce much new to the demonic possession
genre, but The Possession
manages to not only scare and shock, but it conveys a level of humanity rarely seen in horror movies, thanks to a smart script and superb cast.
© Open Road
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.
Like a love letter to horror, The Cabin in the Woods
toys with genre conventions while cleverly avoiding all-out parody. It strikes an inspired balance of laughs, thrills and splattery gore while pushing the genre boundaries and thinking outside the daunting horror box.