This gory tale of surgery and success directed by the Soska sisters is smarter than your average torture flick. Following anti-hero Mary Mason as a medical student who rises to stardom by performing underground surgeries, it touches on fringe social elements and ideas of what it means to be "a success". Not for the faint of heart, there is a bunch of quality gore and splatter in this one.
Evil Dead (2013)
When I first heard the words "Evil Dead remake" I cringed. I'm happy to say when I finally saw this remake in the theaters I came away impressed. Fede Alvarez did a great job of channeling the rawness of the original Evil Dead films while adding his own twist on the formula. With some nice homages to the source material and some stuff that will make even hardcore horror fans squirm, this is easily the best horror "reboot" since the Dawn of The Dead surprised everyone.
OK, so I know a lot of you are saying "Pacific Rim wasn't a horror movie!" but technically it is. Godzilla and his Kaiju friends were classic Japanese horror films, and this is a love letter to the monster movies of that era. With so many fright films falling into the categories of "extreme gore" or "PG-13 ghost movie" this was a breath of fresh air. It combined action, humor and a really cool scenes featuring robots fighting giant sea creatures. If you missed it in theaters I recommend watching it on the largest, loudest possible home theater you can.
Far and away the best "found footage" and best "anthology" style horror movie I've seen all year. V/H/S 2 surpasses its predecessor and includes some really original ideas combined with sharp, concise story-telling. Featuring a "who's who" list of currently popular directors and ample amounts of blood and guts, this is one you definitely don't want to miss. If you're interested in a more details you can read my full review of it here.
I guarantee The Conjuring will make a lot of "Best of.." lists this year. A modern spin on the classic haunting/possession story, this movie hits all the right notes where so many others seem to fall flat. James Wan does a masterful job of adapting the recorded details of the Perron family's ordeal and their relationship with the Warrens into an effective film. Full of old school frights and some admittedly cheesy jump scares, it set the bar high for all other full theatrical release horror movies this year.
So there's my short list. Did I miss anything? (I probably did.) Share your favorite horror movie(s) from 2013 with me down in the comments. I'd like to know what you felt was the cream of the crop!