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 October 14, 2011 and available on Video On Demand, digital download, and DVD/BluRay!

LA PIEL QUE HABITO (2011)

aka THE SKIN I LIVE IN
Directed by Pedro Almodovar
Written by Pedro Almodovar & Agustín Almodóvar, from the novel TARANTULA by Thierry Jonquet
Starring Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Jan Cornet, Marisa Paredes, Roberto Álamo, Blanca Suárez
Find out more about this film here!

Though it looks pristine and proper throughout the film, this modern day big budget Frankenstein tale is a messy one you won’t be able to shake. While Kenneth Branaugh and Robert DeNiro tried to modernize Mary Shelley’s tale as a blockbuster twenty-some years ago and failed, award winning director Pedro Almodovar does so my shedding all of the correct names and story beats, but still manages to capture the essence of that classic tale of a man powered by hatred and obsessed with being a god and his love/hate relationship with his creation.

I can understand why this isn’t a film many people saw. It’s a tough pill to swallow, the plot of this one. After watching it, I felt somewhat dirty, somewhat emotionally twisted, and altogether sympathetic to every member of this cast. And with the despicable things much of the cast does in this film, that’s a feat in itself to accomplish.

I am trying to be as vague as possible in describing specific plot points of THE SKIN I LIVE IN because I think going into it blind is going to dazzle and befuddle you all as much as it did me. The film starts out with Antonio Banderas as an accomplished doctor in the field of skin grafts and cellular manipulation. In a treatment room, he looks over a young woman who seems quite happy in her solitude in the sterile environment. But as AMORES PERROS director Almodovar zooms in closer to examine these characters, they are far from normal.

In the end, Almodovar has created a tale of twisted science and a doctor playing god, though having all too human faults of his own. Antonio Banderas is a standout in his role of the scientist driven in his studies and experiments to the point of madness, while Elena Anaya conveys both a physical strength in presence and a vulnerability that allows one to understand why Banderas’ character begins to fall for her. Nothing should be taken for granted in this film. The story goes to perverse and dark, dark places and surprised me as every second passed.

THE SKIN I LIVE IN is not your typical horror movie, but I’ll be damned if you don’t feel a horrific wave of unease as you watch it. Blurring lines of morality and good taste, biting hard into any and all belief in what you’re sure of is real, Almodovar builds this bizarre universe one sterile brick by brick. It is genius in its narrative construction and devastating revelations. THE SKIN I LIVE IN may not have ghosts, dark castles, and walking corpses, but it is very much a horror film that will sneak up for you and slice you deep before you even know it.


THE 2011-2012 COUNTDOWN!


#4 – THE SKIN I LIVE IN
#5 – ENTRANCE
#6 – AMER
#7 – KILL LIST
#8 – BEDEVILLED
#9 – THE LOVED ONES
#10 – CABIN IN THE WOODS
#11 – THE DIVIDE
#12 – HAROLD’S GOING STIFF
#13 – SOUND OF MY VOICE
#14 – COLD SWEAT
#15 – THE INNKEEPERS
#16 – THE PACT
#17 – V/H/S
#18 – OUTCAST
#19 – LITTLE DEATHS
#20 – JUAN OF THE DEAD
#21 – BLOOD JUNKIE
#22 – THE SNOWTON MURDERS
#23 – PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3
#24 – [REC]3 GENESIS
#25 – JULIA’S EYES
#26 – MOTHER’S DAY
#27 – EL PARAMO (THE SQUAD)
#28 – INBRED
#29 – THE SLEEPER
#30 – FATHER’S DAY
#31 – THE MOTH DIARIES


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

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