Ginger Nuts of Horror
FILM GUTTER'S TOP TEN OF 2016 – PART ONE
Well, 2016 was another epic year here at Film Gutter, with some phenomenal films to enjoy from the range of extreme classics as well as some stunning new releases. Last year's top ten list was hard enough to develop, but taking into account the fact that I dished out full marks to no less than six movies, this is going to be a seriously thorny task ahead. Once more into the breach then...
The criteria, as always, is for movies watched in 2016 and not necessarily movies made or released in 2016. The ratings are also based on the overall quality of the film rather than its shock value or 'disturbingness'.
10 – Singapore Sling (9/10)
Nikos Nikolaidis' magnum opus is a strange experience in black and white, with all the style and tones of a classic film noir. However I don't think most classic film noir offers up an array of vomiting, incest and torture – which barely covers the tip of the iceberg. This is a surreal experience, utterly disturbing in places and blackly hilarious in others. An experience quite unlike any I've ever had.
9 – Scrapbook (9.5/10)
Eric Stanze's brutal tale of kidnapping and abuse came with a strong reputation, and boy did it live up to it. Produced on a tight budget, but probably all the better for that, the film is lifted by two effective performances from Tommy Biondo and Emily Haack and is a truly breathtaking insight into the mind of a deranged lead character. Do yourself a favour and check this one out if you haven't yet.
8 – Antichrist (9.5/10)
A second entry on the list reviewed as part of our viewer poll in early 2016, Lars Von Trier's entry into the world of extreme is perhaps not as flat-out violent or shocking as some of the other movies on the list. However it is truly visually stunning, and Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourgh are absolutely phenomenal in this double-header. With that said, there are a couple of moments that still give me some pause...
7 – Lung II (9.5/10)
Phil Stevens' Flowers was an absolute highlight of 2015, and his latest feature once again delivered in spades. With Stevens taking the lead himself, this is a film every bit as multi-layered, visually intriguing and challenging to unpick as its predecessor. And again, all that without a single line of dialogue. Not only is this well worth a single watch, it's well worth a number of watches to fully decode the storyline here.
6 – Baskin (10/10)
One of the surprise horror hits of the year, this Turkish movie was a joy to watch from start to finish. Part ghost story, part extreme horror – and with visuals that will unequivocally stay with your for years to come – Baskin is clever, unsettling and intense once it gets into full cry. After so many hyped films of recent times had failed to deliver – It Follows and The Babadook among them – it was great to find something that lived up to its reputation.