James Simpson’s Top 10 Releases of 2014

James Simpson’s Top 10 Releases of 2014.

This list is based on what I, as a reviewer for UKHS and my own site Infernal Cinema, have reviewed throughout the year. It is a mixture of new titles, re-releases or recent movies getting their first UK home video release. All these films have impressed for numerous reasons, some of them given after each movie title. There is also what I consider to be the worst film I have had the misfortune to review in 2014, too.

So read on and hopefully this list won’t have anyone reading thinking “WHAT? He liked THAT?”

faust1. Faust (Dual Format, Masters of Cinema)
One of early cinema’s best movies, lovingly remastered for this Masters of Cinema release. This is a movie that was decades ahead of its time and still offers much to cinema now. This is F.W. Murnau’s masterpiece (although Nosferatu is pretty close). It’s also the only title this reviewer has ever given a 10 out of 10 rating.

2. Devils Tower (DVD/Blu-ray, Monster Pictures)
British director Owen Tooth has put together a lovingly crafted homage to the horror genre. Fine performances from a varied cast, highly entertaining.

3. Para Elisa (DVD, Matchbox Films)
Over the last few years Spain’s horror output has been fantastic and this is one of those movies. The scares on screen are simple yet do the trick, creating a sense of dread and of the uncanny. Fears a US remake could happen are reason enough to watch the original before it is bastardized.

4. Video Nasties 2: Draconian Days (DVD, Nucleus)
A follow up to the brilliant 3 disc Video Nasty release, this set covers the aftermath of the Video Recordings Act 1984 that showed the frivolous ‘moral panic’ over the Nasties was still in full swing. The release is full of clips from some quite brilliant and mad 80’s horror and slasher flicks.

reanimator5. Re-Animator (DVD/Blu-ray, Second Sight)
Stuart Gordon at his neon coloured best, this Blu-ray release heightened the glorious gore and effects on show.

6. The Last Horror Film (Blu-ray, 88 Films)
A gem of an 80’s slasher, this is a movie that features a stunning performance by Joe Spinell and a beautiful Caroline Munro. This reviewer thinks Spinell may be better in this than his more well known role in Maniac (1980). Just a thought.

7. Crystal Lake Memories (DVD, Stax)
At long last hitting UK shores, this loooong look at the Friday the 13th franchise is a must see for fans of the films and of the slasher genre in general.

8. Werewolf Rising (DVD, Image Entertainment)
A sleeper hit on DVD, BC Furtney’s young-woman-in-peril yarn is a good metaphor for someone dealing with withdrawal symptoms of giving up alcohol. Melissa Carnell, the star, has a bright future and Bill Oberst Jr is an actor that needs to be seen.

9. Shivers (Blu-ray, Arrow Video)
David Cronenberg’s first movie got it’s first Blu-ray release thanks to Arrow Video. The meaning behind Cronenberg’s work, as always, enhances any of his films and this is no exception. The extras on the release go into great detail about the films creation and impact.

10. Predestination (cinema release)
Starring Ethan Hawke and bright new talent Sarah Snook, this was to be released in December 2014 although it has been postponed to 20th February 2015. So technically not a film of 2014 but it technically is as well due to this reviewer seeing it for it’s originally intended date. Anyway, a highly complex plot with some fine acting makes it one to see when it hits UK cinemas.


moebiusMoebius (DVD, Terracotta)
A film from South Korea, Moebius is a strange tale of love, sex, incest and violence. ‘Highlights’ include a woman cutting off and eating her sons penis and a man having an orgasm via scissors being thrust into his shoulder. No dialogue is spoken, as if anything said could have helped with the unfolding carnage on-screen anyway.

James Simpson (@JSimpsonWriter)