End of the Year Wrap-Up: 2013

With 2013 just about over, it’s time for my usual yearly wrap-up. Years ago I was nicknamed ‘The Hater’ due to my tendency to dislike most films, particularly critically acclaimed ones, though the more accurate title would be ‘The Meh-er’. My meh-ing was very much apparent this year because I didn’t really see that much worth writing home about. However, after wading through all the muck, I was left with some gems.

This year I was also lucky enough to be able to experience my first film festival – FrightFest – as well as being able to see some of my favourite films at the Prince Charles and putting my film knowledge to the test in the monthly film quiz at the Boogaloo (which I sucked at and forced me to actually watch lots of recent releases).

Firstly, there shall be stats and then the Best Of’s and Worst Of’s. All years are based on IMDb’s years for consistency.


First time viewings (FTV): 581
Rewatches: 20
Films released in 2013: 76

Average year of films watched: 1988
Average rating: 5.3

Ratings breakdown:

(told you I was a Meh-er)

Top 10 of 2013

10. Haunter (2013)

Despite not being particularly ‘strong’ in any aspect, it’s a nice looking (as usual) Natali film, that is somewhat suspenseful and creepy at times. Good performances from all involved, though it doesn’t quite get as dark as I’d have liked.

9. Machete Kills (2013)

I liked the first Machete but also found it a little bland. This one, however, was tons of fun. It’s not amazing or perfect, but it knows what it is and makes the most of it.

8. L’Inconnu du lac (2013)

I loved the romance aspect of the film – the leads had great chemistry, Franck was likable, I enjoyed his interactions with Henri, and I liked the way it all developed. It took on a weird twist in the second half though and I didn’t enjoy that as much. Still, a great film. Lots of penises, though.

7. Drinking Buddies (2013)

Wilde and Johnson’s chemistry was the most important part of this film’s success. It feels totally natural and genuine and, like all good ‘mumblecore’ films, even the dullest and pointless conversation topics end up being fascinating to listen to.

6. Before Midnight (2013)

I was worried it wouldn’t keep the tone of the previous two films, but it does it easily.

5. Gravity (2013)

I went into Gravity expecting to come out going ‘pfft, overhyped trash’, but no such luck. Although everything that happened felt way too convenient, the visuals and suspense were damn amazing.

4. Iron Man 3 (2013)

After being disappointed with #2, this installment brought back all the good stuff from the first one.

3. Big Bad Wolves (2013)

Amazing performance from Rotem Keinan. Not sure why it keeps getting listed as a comedy; it does have comedic moments to break up the tension, but listing it as a comedy seems to take away from how powerful it is as a mystery/thriller.

2. Cheap Thrills (2013)

The film shifts in tone throughout but handles these changes with ease. Hilarious and dark, and even uncomfortable at times (oh god, that sex scene). I felt like it could’ve gone further with the concept – but I think it could’ve crossed the line into stupidity if it had – so as it is, it’s a great – yet short – package of awesomeness.

1. Stalled (2013)

I love zombie films. Unfortunately, people have been milking the hell out of the genre and it’s just been wasted on trash. When a fresh and awesome zombie film comes along, I rejoice. And this was the best I’ve seen in a long time. Most people should know this by now because I haven’t shut about it since August. I couldn’t get it off my mind after FrightFest, so saw it two more times and it’s pretty much solidified itself here forever. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t need to be because it’s just so great at everything it does right. It fully utilises the limited toilet location, yet avoids all the obvious toilet humour.

Honourable mentions: El Desierto (2013), Side Effects (2013), Blackfish (2013), We’re The Millers (2013), Pacific Rim (2013), The Purge (2013), Willow Creek (2013), The World’s End (2013)

Top 20 FTVs

This is a list of the 20 best films I saw for the first time in 2013 regardless of their release date.

1. Stalled (2013)
2. Django Unchained (2012)
3. Jagten (2012)
4. Unter den Brücken (1946)
5. Calle Mayor (1956)
6. Cheap Thrills (2013)
7. You’re Next (2011)
8. Big Bad Wolves (2013)
9. Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly (1970)
10. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
11. World’s Greatest Dad (2009)
12. The Battery (2012)
13. Nothing Is Private (2007)
14. Chained (2012)
15. Iron Man 3 (2013)
16. Gravity (2013)
17. Anjô-ke no butôkai (1947)
18. Dead Heat (1988)
19. Before Midnight (2013)
20. Drinking Buddies (2013)

Worst of 2013

Avoid these crappy films.

10. Bad Milo! (2013)
9. Dark Touch (2013)
8. Stoker (2013)
7. Only God Forgives (2013)
6. Para Elisa (2013)
5. I Give It a Year (2013)
4. Magic Magic (2013)
3. Antisocial (2013)
2. The Demon’s Rook (2013)
1. The Machine (2013)

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