Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Top Five Horror TV Shows, Horror Films, and Horror Video Games of 2016

Yesterday the Fright Meter Awards announced it's nominees for 2016, I shall be covering that in the new year. Now in what I hope to be a yearly tradition I shall be announcing what I personally believe to be the top horror of the year. I shall be giving lists for best horror TV show, best horror films, best horror video game, and a small shout out. Some of the items on this list didn't come out this year but they are eligible to me if this year was the first opportunity I got to experience them.

Best Horror TV Show 2016

5. The Returned: Season 2

I never expected this to get a second season so was delighted it did. This French slow burn of a supernatural mystery can on occasion frustrate due to it's inscrutability but it looks so beautiful with some fantastic acting.

4. Z Nation: Season 3

By this point the utter craziness of Z Nation is no longer a surprise, this season could be accused of treading water a bit, and I didn't like the direction some of the characters were taken in but Doc never fails to entertain, and again a huge cliff hanger to leave you wanting more.

3. The Walking Dead: Season 6

Due to the way the show is shown there is always only half a season shown in any one year. As season 7 is only halfway through I don't think it's fair to include that. I am so invested in the characters by this point that I am never going to dislike The Walking Dead, however season 6 did suffer a bit by some infuriating plot decisions and a nasty ending. On the flip side some of my most hated characters got lovingly killed off and there were some amazing episodes (such as the mid-season finale).

2. Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 2

Despite doing more of the same I really enjoyed the second season of this hilarious and bloody show. The plot may be simple but with such likeable characters in the form of Pablo and Ash, and a deep love for the Evil Dead films this can do little wrong.

1. Stranger Things

For a while this was a show nearly everyone was talking about. I love it's deep rooted sense of the 80's, I loved the awesome score, and the young actors were all amazing. My only complaints for this are that it was too short, and I didn't totally like how it was blatantly setting up a future season at the end.

Best Horror Film 2016

5. Grave Walkers

This film has style in spades, the zombies look awesome, and there are some moments that rival anything I have seen in other films this year. This is let down only by some at times awful looking CGI effects, and kind of a patchy plot.

4. Morgan

I saw this movie in the optimal conditions, the cinematography is just so stunning, a film that I want to own purely for it's aesthetic qualities. The acting is understated and while the plot itself is predictable I was mesmerised by the whole thing.

3. Demon

I thought this was a well directed and edited film when I first saw this Polish horror but it didn't at first register as in the running for film of the year. However, over a month later and Demon has just never left my mind, there is just something about it that fascinates me, plus the acting of the main lead is phenomenal.

2. Train to Busan

My friend was far more excited to see this South Korean zombie flick than I was, but once I actually started watching I was enraptured. I have never seen such bizarre, unsettling looking undead before here. I cannot wait to own this one on Blu-Ray.

1. Asmodexia

It's been a year for great foreign horrors. Asmodexia is a Spanish excorcism film that manages to flip the whole genre on it's head. It has the addictive qualities of a half remembered dream, let down only by a sub plot that lost me a bit. The clever use of editing, and the way it all flows makes this my favourite horror I have seen in 2016.

Best Horror Video Game 2016

5. Zombie Army Trilogy

A very inventive, fun, 3rd person shooter in which your primary weapon is a sniper rifle. I love that it is three seperate games combined into one as you can see a huge shift in quality as you progress through the long campaign. Plus there is zombie Hitler...

4. Doom

I was worried that this latest entry in the saga would be too action orientated, after all Doom 3 is one of my favourite games of all time. Thankfully this does keep some of the exploration element, and I have to admit while the focus falls far too heavily on kill rooms the combat itself is deeply satisfying.

 3. Call of Duty: Black Ops III

The game came out last year but the DLC zombie maps were mostly released this year. Each new map was better than the last, culminating in Revelations that was a loving send off for the series. There are no better co-op horror games out there.

2. Inside

The fact that this was the follow up game to the over rated Limbo put me off getting this for a while, when I finally did I was blown away. Very attractive, very addictive, and a master craft in 2D adventure platforming.

1. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

This one game is what validated VR to me as a genuine way to play games. Never have I felt so immersed in something, it may just be an on-rails shooter but the effect of actually being there is one that I had never experienced before.

So there you have it, a few of the top things I have had the pleasure to experience this year in horror. Feel free to include your top 5 lists in the comments below if you so wish. May you all have a frightfully happy and horrific new year! Finally as a bonus, below is the most shameful act of the year...

Most Shameful Horror Moment 2016

1. Sister leaves the cinema in fear 

I went to the cinema earlier this year with my sister to see Blair Witch. Around ten minutes before the films end she decided it had got too scary and left the showing! This was actually the second week in a row she had left the film we were watching early, the previous week she had walked out halfway through Sausage Party. Maybe that too was too scary?

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