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. Last month, counted down my favorite horror films from my first year of reviewing. Now it’s on to Year Two which began officially on October 1, 2011 and went through September 30, 2012. I have posted compilation 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 worked and 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, 2011 and September 30, 2012 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 February 21, 2012 and available on Video On Demand, digital download, and DVD/BluRay!

OUTCAST (2010)

Directed by Colm McCarthy
Written by Colm McCarthy and Tom McCarthy
Starring James Nesbitt, Kate Dickie, James Cosmo, Niall Bruton
Find out when and where you can see this film here!

This moody epic is not to be missed by fans of witchcraft films. OUTCAST is a modern take on the genre centering on Celtic magic and set in Edinburgh, Scotland. Though the accents are often thicker than witch’s snot, OUTCAST has more atmosphere and cool takes on magic than most films of its kind combined.

When Mary and her son Fergal move into a new apartment complex, the place is abuzz over the new tenants. Though the apartment is accomodating, Mary (played coldly by Kate Dickie) immediately does some home improvements which means she draws protective totems all over the walls and starts casting spells of protection all over the place. In the meantime, sheepish Fergal (played by a restrained Niall Bruton) is busy getting to know the neighborhood, including a sassy young chippie played by Hannah Stanbridge. Of course, this runs him into conflict with her old boyfriend. But while Fergal amps us the teen angst, his father Cathal (played with equal parts weakness and strength by James Nesbitt) is searching for him and his mother. After attaining permission from the high laird (BRAVEHEART’s James Cosmo), Cathal and another Scottish witch use all forms of down to earth magic to track Mary and Fergal down. In the meantime, a lanky pale demon creature is stalking and killing young people around the apartment complex.

Equal parts mystery and horror, OUTCAST’s most fascinating aspect is the way it makes its magic almost believable. There’s a sensible, grounded yin and yang to the way magic works in this one, which to me was much more appealing than the wand twirling and lightning bolt-blasting magic one has seen time and again in HARRY POTTER and LORD OF THE RINGS. Here, the magic lies in tattoos and candles made of insects and wax. Ink on a wall causes pain to those who trespass and eating a bird killed by a man makes one impervious to harm from that person. Stuff like that had my riveted to every minute of this one.

On top of that, the film is superbly acted and directed. Writer/director Colm McCarthy (along with co-writer Tom McCarthy) creates a damp and dour world which is not the most chipper of settings, but one vividly alive in its muck covered streets and shadowy corners. I can’t recommend OUTCAST more. It’s a down and dirty tale of magic that is unlike most magic tales you’ve probably seen.

THE 2011-2012 COUNTDOWN!

#24 – [REC]3 GENESIS
#28 – INBRED

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

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