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. Moving on to Year Six of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2015 and going through September 30, 2016. 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, and even adding 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! 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 December 11, 2015. Available on Amazon Prime from Oscilloscope Laboratories!

BODY (2015)

Directed by Dan Berk & Robert Olsen
Written by Dan Berk & Robert Olsen
Starring Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen, Lauren Molina, Larry Fessenden, Adam Cornelius, Dan Brennan, Kimberly Flynn, Ian Robinson
Find out more about this film here

BODY is a well acted, well structured ball of tension reminiscent of Hitchcockian thrillers of old.

The film begins with a trio of young women home from college and celebrating the night before Christmas Eve together. Holly (Helen Rogers, aka the adorable pixie from “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger” segment of V/H/S), Cali (newcomer Alexandra Turshen) and Mel (newcomer Lauren Molina) are winding down and bored, but Cali suggests they do something adventurous and visit her uncle’s abandoned summer home by the lake. When they arrive, they take in the extravagant surroundings until someone shows up (writer/director/actor Larry Fessenden who has been in too many movies to count this year) and they accidentally have a hand in killing him. Not wanting to get into trouble for being at the home without permission, the three girls debate on what to do with the body that lay at the bottom of the steps.

What I love about this film is the infectious likability of the three main leads at the beginning of the film. Not only are these three ladies fantastic actresses, but they are also damn funny in the casual, yet hilarious way they play around with one another in the first half. These are not the dim-witted machete fodder you usually see in horror films. These are likable and fully formed characters who we get to know naturally in the first twenty or so minutes where we follow them around simply having fun and relaxing. Every horror movie has a casual lead in where we are supposed to get to know the characters, but not all of them succeed in making you care simply because the writing is subpar and the acting is usually worse. Here, I wasn’t longing for the horrific stuff to happen as these girls are simply fun to hang out with.

And that’s what makes the latter 45 minutes of BODY so fascinating. Seeing these once close friends tear into and at each other in order to find a way to cover up this accident is fascinating and almost heartbreaking. The ladies are panicked and a little drunk, so the lapses in judgment are acceptable here as they refuse to do the right thing and simply call the cops about the body. Instead, they go to elaborate lengths to cover up their involvement and I was almost screaming at the screen “Nooo!” every wrong step they take along the way simply because these three girls are so likable.

BODY is a film written to be watched on the edge of whatever it is you’re resting on. The acting is top tier and I know that all three actresses (Turshen, Molina, and especially Rogers who has an absolutely unique quality to her) are going to be big names very soon. Larry Fessenden is also top of his game giving a performance unlike anything I’ve seen from him before. Go see BODY. It’s a thriller that will stomp down your spine and have you wincing on the wrong but wildly entertaining turns these three women take.

Click here for the trailer!

THE 2015-2016 COUNTDOWN!

#13 – BODY
#16 – MORGAN
#20 – DECAY
#21 – EMELIE
#23 – HUSH
#28 – BASKIN

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

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