Saturday, October 8, 2011
A Rundown of the 13 Best Horror Movies I’ve Seen in the Past Year
[12 of 13]
Intense, grim, and merciless, Miguel Ángel Vivas’ Secuestrados is home invasion, as told in a series of protracted scenes; about a dozen, I think. I tried to keep track, but, well… things get wild and hairy in this one, so my count may have gotten muddled at a certain point…
Like Rodrigo Cortés’ Buried, this one’s an audacious bit of cinema that both impresses in the clearly high ambition of its storytelling, and disturbs with its uncompromising darkness.
Home Invasion Runner-up:
CHERRY TREE LANE (June 2010)
The home invasion sub-genre continues to bust down some doors, and Cherry Tree Lane, brought to us by writer/director Paul Andrew Williams, is a nasty piece of work that keeps the atrocity off-camera, and yet plays just as potently as other titles that have their horrors visible for all to see.
Instead of the violence and bloodletting, it’s the terrible intimacy that comes into existence between captors and their prisoners that gets centre stage here, that horrible sense of violation that comes when the sanctity and safety of hearth and home is infiltrated by foreign and unwelcome elements.
In my review of Williams’ The Cottage (lurking in the Archive), I believe I mention that while I wasn’t too fond of his second feature film, I did like Williams’ debut, London to Brighton. For the record, Cherry Tree Lane is definitely Williams’ best feature effort thus far.
With very controlled cinematography by Carlos Catalán, music by UNKLE, and a very lean, mean seventy-seven minute running time, this one is certain to unsettle, and to make you want to double- (and maybe even treble-) check the locks on your doors and windows, and be extra-careful when answering the doorbell.
(Secuestrados & Kidnapped OS’ courtesy of impawards.com; Cherry Tree Lane OS courtesy of bloody-disgusting.com; Cherry Tree Lane DVD cover art courtesy of amazon.co.uk.)