So, back again, and this time we're counting down from five to one and giving you the finest of what Film Gutter enjoyed this year. To have Baskin – a film I rated 10/10 – missing out on the top five is a testament to the quality of the movies enjoyed this year, and all of the movies below were serious contenders for the top title. If you love your horror from the very edge, then all of these are well worth your time.
5 – Excision (10/10)
Richard Bates Jr's movie is a strange sort of teen, coming of age movie with a deeply disturbed sensibility. The main plot that the film follows is subtle and unnerving, and you have a sinking sense all the way of a car crash simply waiting to unfold. Throw into that the truly horrible dreams and fantasies of our lead and you have quite the combination. The casting here too is absolutely great, with some unexpectedly wonderful performances.
4 – American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock (10/10)
The highest-ranking movie released in 2016, with Marcus Koch taking the helm on the latest installment in Unearthed Films' reimagining of infamous Japanese splatter series. It's a hard watch on almost every level, with our unnamed male and female leads going through a hell of unnecessary surgery, all presented in a cold, brutal black and white. The tick of that metronome will ring in your mind for the longest time, not to mention that ending...
3 – The Woman (10/10)
Lucky McKee's adaptation of Jack Ketchum's novel has always been a firm favourite of mine, and this second viewing reminded me of how good this one is. Probably the finest look at gender relations in horror, this is a piece with a horrible misogyny running through it and a brutal finale that springs a host of surprises. The final word for to Pollyanna McIntosh, who absolutely steals the show as the animalistic and unnamed woman – the very best of a number of excellent performances on display here.
2 – Martyrs (10/10)
I had said for a long time that Martyrs was the finest piece of extreme horror ever made, and my 2016 rewatch drove home just how good this was. It's intelligent, it's stunningly performed, it's cleverly constructed and it has moments that will absolute resonate through extreme cinema forever. The US remake wasn't necessarily a bad movie in its own right, but it couldn't touch this French masterpiece – and I expect very little ever will.
1 – In A Glass Cage (10/10)
It was going to take some movie to knock Martyrs from top spot, but In A Glass Cage really is some movie. The finest of Agustin Villaronga's great array of work, this story follows a young man who becomes a nurse to a former Nazi – a young man who was one of many children abused by the disturbed and perverted officer. This one eschews too many unpleasant moments being directly presented, but is fabulously artistic and right among the most unsettling movies of the year for me. Could hardly find a single fault with this one, and it's a worthy top spot for an extraordinary year of extreme horror.
So, that concludes the top ten, but as an extra treat I'll also throw into the mix what was the most disturbing movie of 2016. This one is – big time – only for the bravest viewers out there.
Oltre La Follia (Beyond the Madness)
It bring a shudder down me to actually recall this one. L. Atomico's absolutely demented piece of 'adult horror' has a horrendous propensity for using raw animal brains and body parts in its scenes. Trust me, 61 minutes may not sound like much, but it was way more than long enough in this instance. Only for the absolutely gorehounds out there, and those that love to delve into the very deepest reaches of the Film Gutter.