November 29 – 11
M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved starting with the year I began reviewing the genre officially October 1, 2010 through October 1, 2011. I have posted my best of lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around a bit. I’ve even added a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!

How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st 2010 and September 30, 2011 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number, 31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!

Released on November 2, 2010. Available On Demand, digital download, DVD/BluRay!

#11 – A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE (2010)

Directed by Adam Wingard
Written by Simon Barrett
Starring Amy Seimetz, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg
Find out more about this film here!

A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE is a compelling story which occasionally distracts you with overdone camera techniques and mumblecore verbiage. This tale of a victimized woman who must deal with the fact that her serial killer boyfriend has escaped from jail and may or may not be after her is one full of originality, twists, and thrills. Shifting focus literally and narratively, this film is sure to entertain those who are looking for something fresh in the oft played out subgenre focusing on the serial killer. A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE is an intimate portrait of how one madman can change the lives of so many.

A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE is successful in that it does a fantastic job of letting the viewer slip comfortably into the shoes of both aggressor and victim. You really do feel the torment Sarah (played by YOU’RE NEXT’s Amy Seimetz) goes through from suspecting her boyfriend is up to something to finding out what it is like dealing with the thought of starting over to fearing that her past will return to haunt her. This is a horrifying journey and Seimetz plays the part perfectly. At the same time, the viewer is also privy to the internal conflict of serial killer Garrick (played by genre fave AJ Bowen). Again, Wingard allows the viewer to slip into these characters’ shoes, even though the fit might be rather uncomfortable. For the most part, even the shifting timeline of the film is pulled off well (a hurdle what could prove tricky for some).

Where A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE falters is when Wingard relies way too much on shifting camera focus in and out and all about. This technique may work in moderation, but here it’s used way too often and had me really working on something to focus on. Because of this, a lot of scenes that could have played out perfectly fall short. It’s as if the director wasn’t confident enough in just shooting the film and letting the actors play out the story. He had to MTV shaky cam it up in order to either cover up or fill space he thought was lacking. This is unfortunate since the story is solid and it ends up hurting the film rather than helping.

Still, with some powerful performances and a kick-@$$ story with a gut-punch ending, A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE turns out to be a great film despite itself.

THE 2010-2011 COUNTDOWN!

#22 – RUBBER
#27 – HUSK
#30 – LA HORDE

M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.

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