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Diabolique’s Top 10 Films of 2013 (Part 2)

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Continuing with our end of the year wrap-up, here is the first half of all the individual Top 10 Horror Movie lists we received as part of our poll. These personal lists of 2013 favorites were submitted by critics, filmmakers, and the staff and contributors of Diabolique magazine. From them we calculated the Top 10 list that was published on the site yesterday and can be seen here.

MAX WEINSTEIN

Editor-in-Chief of Diabolique

1) STOKER (Dir. Park Chan-wook)
Stoker is not just my favorite horror film of the year – it’s my favorite film of the year. Chan-wook Park is one of the best directors working today, period. This is his first English-language feature, and his first he didn’t write – yet his mark is unmistakably all over it, and not a moment is inaccessible. The film is dense, ambiguous and richly stylized, fittingly Hitchcockian without losing itself in homage. Plus, (not that it’ll actually happen, but it deserves to be said) Matthew Goode’s performance as Uncle Charlie is Oscar nomination worthy.

2) AMERICAN MARY (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska)
Like Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was adapted into the world of underground strip clubs and body modification. Surgery is a messy thing, and this film captures both the fascination and the terror associated with the performance of it and the surgical profession itself. Any one filmmaker – or, in the case of the Soska sisters, two – that can offer something this bold and subversive deserves to be on everyone’s radar.

3) THE LORDS OF SALEM (Dir. Rob Zombie)
Rob Zombie conjures vibe like few horror filmmakers can. The slight convolution of the plot of The Lords of Salem is moot; the movie can be watched on mute with your favorite doom metal record in the background as much as you could click into its hypnotic rhythm with the sound on. Beautifully shot, wildly imaginative and downright trippy. I’ll definitely watch it at least once every October from here on out, and as a horror fan, that’s saying something.

4) WILLOW CREEK (Dir. Bobcat Goldthwait)
Bobcat Goldthwait can do horror. Willow Creek is satisfyingly consistent with his skewering of kitschy aspects of Americana (in this case, Bigfoot mythos and the cultural obsession with unexplained phenomena). And the movie has one of the best, most assured uses of a long take in recent memory.

5) EXISTS (Dir. Eduardo Sanchez)
Another found-footage Bigfoot film, this time from Blair Witch helmer Eduardo Sanchez. Believable situations, convincing characters, and an astute weaving in and out of faux-documentary and omniscient narrative modes. Also, arguably the best creature suit and man-in-a-suit performance (from Brian Steele) in the Bigfoot subgenre.

Honorable Mentions

V/H/S/2 (The Safe Haven segment is one of the best horror films, short or otherwise, this year).

Pacific Rim (Great 3D and world-building, lots of dumb fun).

Maniac (Admirable reconfiguration of the original, and extremely well made and performed, its disgusting sexual politics notwithstanding).

Evil Dead (FX, FX, FX. There’s a scene where it rains blood. Come on now).

WORST: The Conjuring (A creepy doll! What was that? Did someone clap?! Am I scared or do I just want to be scared because James Wan turned me into a terrified child with Insidious? …Yeah, I think it’s the latter).

MADELEINE KOESTNER

Managing Editor of Diabolique

1) MANIAC (Dir. Franck Khalfoun)
Technically fascinating, strange and beautiful, with a pounding synth score that will stick with you. From the forced first person perspective, there is no way to be passive in viewing Maniac. I imagine that this is a film that will elicit an emotional response from every person who views it. Maniac is an exercise in the extremes of empathy when faced with an extraordinary moral dilemma; if Frank (Elijah Wood), is so desperate for connection, but so unable to have it due to his broken character, can you still sympathize with him when forced to watch him murder women through his own perspective?

2) MOTIVATIONAL GROWTH (Dir. Don Thacker)
A man exploring the depths of his own uselessness discovers new value in existence after befriending some mold, voiced by Jeffery Combs. It’s gross, baffling, and philosophically fulfilling. Watching this strange story manifest on screen is as delightful as it is impressive; the amount the cast and crew manages to do in a single location with a shoe-string budget is admirable.

3) HERE COMES THE DEVIL (Dir. Adrián García Bogliano)
It’s rare you have a chance to see a filmmaker with vision, skill, and knowledge push boundaries and make something that is as controlled and off-kilter as this film is. Adrián García Bogliano displays a lot of personality and takes some great risks that really pay off. It’s bizarre, from its cinematography to its sound design, and has some of the best acting I’ve seen all year.

4) ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY (Dir. Eron Sheean)
A well produced and excellently acted body horror a la very early Cronenberg, like Crimes of the Future. From my review: “…a flawless balance between being an intellectual science fiction and a verging-on-camp thriller.”

5) UPSTREAM COLOR (Dir. Shane Carruth)
More science-fiction than horror, but still frightening in its own right. Upstream Color is Shane Carruth’s sophomore feature, following the most science heavy time travel film ever made, Primer. It’s as convoluted, but much more artistically accomplished, exploring dependence, control, and substance. A love story about two broken individuals, worm-drugs, and pigs.

6) BLUE RUIN (Dir. Jeremy Saulnier)
I’m just so damn happy Jeremy Saulnier has returned with another feature, that might be even better than his first, my favorite Halloween film of all time, Murder Party. Blue Ruin is tense and richly textured, following the very talented Macon Blair as Dwight, a man attempting to get vengeance for a crime that tore his entire world apart many years earlier. It is not a simple revenge thriller though, it’s much more challenging than that, as questions of blame and the value of punishment arise.

7) CURSE OF CHUCKY (Dir. Don Mancini)
This is the Child’s Play film, nay, the franchise horror film that horror audiences have been wishing for. Don Mancini has proved himself a master of the genre by listening to everything that fans have complained about and hoped for and funneled it all directly into Curse of Chucky. It’s the perfect level of camp, scariness, and atmosphere; it’s not CGI heavy; and it keeps continuity whilst returning to what fans loved about the earlier films. Watching this may have been the most fun I had all year. I could watch the poisoned dinner sequence for the rest of eternity and never tire of it

8) THE WORLD’S END (Dir. Edgar Wright)
We are all Gary King.

9) HAUNTER (Dir. Vincenzo Natali)
Vincenzo Natali has added another phenomenal movie to his expanding filmography, further solidifying his spot as one of my absolute favorite directors. New life is breathed into the haunted house film in this complex supernatural thriller that kept me on my toes from start to finish. The script is brilliant, slowly revealing the secrets behind the house, and to top it off, it’s just really, really spooky.

10) HELTER SKELTER (Dir. Mika Ninagawa)
A classic story of a star who will do anything to keep her fame, updated in this lush Japanese fantasy-thriller based on Kyoko Okazaki’s manga of the same name. The beautiful Lilico has been completely constructed via black market plastic surgery to be the ultimate fashion icon. As her fame fades, she grows crazier and crazier, seducing, manipulating, and maiming to attempt to achieve the impossible — defying her body and keeping the public gaze locked on her face.

STEVE HEAD

Host of Diabolique Webcast and Film Critic

1) THE CONJURING (Dir. James Wan)

2) MAMA (Dir. Andrés Muschietti)

3) BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO (Dir. Peter Strickland)

4) THE PURGE (Dir. James DeMonaco)

5) NAILBITER (Dir. Patrick Rea)

6) BLACKFISH (Dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite)

7) CURSE OF CHUCKY (Dir. Don Mancini)

8) THE RAMBLER (Dir. Calvin Reeder)

9) MY AMITYVILLE HORROR (Dir. Eric Walter)

10) DARK SKIES (Dir. Scott Stewart)

JEREMY KIBLER

Diabolique Contributor

1) YOU’RE NEXT (Dir. Adam Wingard)
It may look like any old home-invasion slice-‘em-up, but this lean, viciously funny, and thrillingly creepy animal turns dusty genre tropes inside out with sharp shards of black-as-soot humor. Operating more on the level of a dysfunctional family drama and a really dark comedy with a body count and face-smashing, foot-stabbing booby traps, You’re Next deceptively and delightfully surpasses the expectations of moviegoers who are well-versed in horror conventions and will think they have it all figured out.

2) THE CONJURING (Dir. James Wan)
James Wan’s latest bid for homelessness is a retro-fashioned, classically crafted spooker that remembers it’s scarier not to always see what’s going bump in the night. The Conjuring is the genuine article of haunted funhouses, the fun, hair-raising, and well-made kind that makes you appreciate daylight.

3) STOKER (Dir. Park Chan-wook)
Park Chan-wook’s cool, deliciously sinister American Gothic psychosexual horror-thriller/coming-of-age fairy tale is visual storytelling at its most breathtaking. Shocking without being cheap and more akin to someone breathing down our neck than jumping out to say “boo!”, Stoker would make Hitchcock proud and will make De Palma envious.

4) EVIL DEAD (Dir. Fede Alvarez)
Evil Dead is how you do a remake — use the blessed ’80s original as a road map and respect and honor the source but deliver plenty of splatterific, gnarly good of its own. Sticky, balls-to-the-wall, and proudly and awesomely disgusting, it’s also non-stop fun.

5) V/H/S/2 (Dir. Adam Wingard, Eduardo Sánchez, Simon Barrett, Gregg Hale, Gareth Evans, Timo Tjahjanto, and Jason Eisener)
Even more fun, more consistent in quality across the board, and one segment shorter than before, V/H/S/2 one-ups itself time and again, choosely wisely as if the tapes were cobbled together by nightmare conjurers. It’s a freaky blast for a Friday night.

6) WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Dir. Jim Mickle)
An American Gothic horror-drama for the whole family, We Are What We Are is adult-minded, art-house horror that creeps under your skin and doesn’t forget to deliver the genre goods. It’s beautifully macabre, elegantly moody, and methodically suggestive.

7) CARRIE (Dir. Kimberly Peirce)
Sure, nothing can hold a candle to De Palma’s classic, but 2013’s Carrie is a mature and respectable retelling that stands on its own two feet. The themes of bullying, high school alienation, religious fanaticism, as well as The Worst Prom Ever, still resonate, and the valiant efforts of Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore don’t hurt either.

8) WOULD YOU RATHER (Dir. David Guy Levy)
If the dinner parties in House on Haunted Hill, Ten Little Indians, and Clue were married with the how-far-would-you-go torture games of Saw, you’d have this little number.Would You Rather is an extremely nasty, effectively squirmy and admirably thoughtful mortality horror pic that delivers a devastating gut-punch and brain food.

9) BYZANTIUM (Dir. Neil Jordan)
Neil Jordan’s stylish horror tale makes vampires erotic, beautiful creatures with bite again, as well as it making possible to take seriously the tragedy of immortal life. The bewitching Gemma Arterton and the ethereal Saoirse Ronan bring a lot more than razor-sharp talons to Byzantium, a seductively compelling take on the same-old mythology.

10) MAMA (Dir. Andrés Muschietti)
Valuing old-school chills over new-school gore, Mama works beautifully not only as an old-fashioned don’t-look-under-the-bed horror tale but a mournful ode to motherhood. While so many horror movies chicken out, this dark, PG-13 fairy tale builds to a haunting, unexpectedly heartbreaking conclusion.

SHEILA MERRITT

Diabolique Contributor

1) WARM BODIES (Dir. Jonathan Levine)
Although I’m sick of zombies, this modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet is well acted and smart.

2) WORLD WAR Z (Dir. Marc Forster)
Another zombie surprise! This so exceeded my expectations that it deserves to be high on the list. Tense and suspenseful.

3) MAMA (Dir. Andrés Muschietti)
Jessica Chastain gives a fabulous performance, and the two little girls are appropriately creepy. Nice atmospheric score, too.

4) THE CONJURING (Dir. James Wan)
In contrast to World War Z, I expected more from The Conjuring. While I admire certain parts of the film, the scariest part is over too soon: the possessed doll is the best part of the movie.

SKIP SHEA

Filmmaker

1) AMERICAN MARY (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska)
It’s as near a perfect a movie that you’ll find.

2) LEGITIMATE (Dir. Izzy Lee)
A short that has the most impact on me than the vast majority of feature lengths. What horror can be when done right.

3) JUG FACE (Dir. Chad Crawford Kinkle)
A true original with stellar performances.

4) HATCHET III (Dir. Adam Green)
Victor Crowley should be as well known as Jason, Freddy and Michael.

5) HAZMAT (Dir. Lou Simon)
Jacob should be as well known as Victor Crowley.

6) THE CONJURING (Dir. James Wan)
Talky Tina’s got nothing on Annabelle.

7) BYZANTIUM (Dir. Neil Jordan)
He has a way with vampires.

8) KISS OF THE DAMNED (Dir. Xan Cassavetes)
Sophisticated vampires for adults.

9) TRUTH OR DARE (Dir. Jessica Cameron)
Children’s games for adults.

10) YOU’RE NEXT (Dir. Adam Wingard)
What’s The Purge?

ALEXANDRA WEST

Diabolique Contributor

1) THE WORLD’S END (Dir. Edgar Wright)
Genre comedy done right with equal parts snark and heart

2) YOU’RE NEXT (Dir. Adam Wingard)
A tongue and cheek slasher that still adheres to all the tropes and history, which is way more impressive and entertaining than it sounds.

3) AMERICAN MARY (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska)
Sisters are doing it for themselves. Literally.

4) FOUND (Dir. Scott Schirmer)
A super creepy, incredibly performed micro-budget film that will make you think twice about going home for Christmas

5) MANIAC (Dir. Franck Khalfoun)
One of the most unsettling and disturbing films ever made. A remake that succeeds where the original failed.

6) WILLOW CREEK (Dir. Bobcat Goldthwait)
A great found-footage take on the Bigfoot legend with legitimately likable characters.

7) EVIL DEAD (Dir. Fede Alvarez)
A solid and interesting remake that inverted the story of the original film in really interesting ways. Though I feel like I’m in the minority on that one.

8) WORLD WAR Z (Dir. Marc Forster)
A much better film than it had any right to be.

9) THE LORDS OF SALEM (Dir. Rob Zombie)
The most honest look at organizing a rock show since Spinal Tap.

10) NOTHING LEFT TO FEAR (Dir. Anthony Leonardi III)
way better than the Axel Rose produced horror film.

DANIEL M. KIMMEL

Film Critic

Although I’m a professional film critic, horror is not my specialty. I enjoy a good horror film but by no means do I see most of what comes out in a given year. Given permission to be a little creative in my choices, here are my picks for 2013, from actual horror movies to a few other films that might disturb you:

1) MAMA (Dir. Andrés Muschietti)
This was an unexpectedly intelligent ghost story in which two feral sisters are rescued but continued to be visited by the mysterious “Mama.” They were extremely lucky in casting Jessica Chastain with the film coming out just after her star-making turn in “Zero Dark Thirty.”

2) WARM BODIES (Dir. Jonathan Levine)
What’s not to like about the first zom-rom-com (zombie romantic comedy)? After Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland the genre seemed played out on the big screen. Who knew a teen romance would bring it back to life… so to speak?

3) THE CONJURING (Dir. James Wan)
A haunted house story with a solid cast, eerie effects, and that actually made us care about the characters. People impressed with the moronic Insidious should watch this to see how it ought to be done.

4) THE PURGE (Dir. James DeMonaco)
Creepy story where all the laws are suspended for a day so that everyone can act out without retribution. If you can buy into the premise it’s a disturbing fable about how the veneer of civilization is mighty thin.

5) THIS IS THE END (Dir. Evan Goldberg)
Yes, it was a goofy comedy featuring the modern “Rat Pack” of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, etc., but it was also about the Apocalypse, with bizarre cameos, hellfire, demons and angels. Somehow it all hung together.

6) YOU’RE NEXT (Dir. Adam Wingard)
Criminally mishandled by its distributor, this was one of the most creative thrillers in years. Mysterious killers are picking off a family one by one. You’re not likely to anticipate how it all turns out.

7) THE WORLD’S END (Dir. Edgar Wright)
It’s a cross between The Big Chill and Invasion of the Body Snatchers as a group of friends try to relive an epic pub crawl and discover something strange has happened to their home town.

8) GRAVITY (Dir. Alfonso Cuarón)
One of the year’s best films, it defied pigeonholing. Is it drama? Is it science fiction? Certainly being trapped in space with no discernible way home is a horrific nightmare, and director Alfonso Cuaron and actress Sandra Bullock nailed it.

9) 12 YEARS A SLAVE (Dir. Steve McQueen)
This is real life horror: the true story of a free African-American in the 1850s who is kidnapped and drugged and finds himself sold into slavery. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity), Michael Fassbender (Prometheus), and Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) head the cast.

10) THE UNKNOWN KNOWN (Dir. Errol Morris)
This is a feature length documentary with former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld. Listening to him deny knowledge of torture (he claims never to have read the memos authorizing it) is truly scary when you realize this is for real.

MICHELE GALGANA

Diabolique Contributor

1) WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Dir. Jim Mickle)
While its predecessor is an excellent film, the acting, sense of dread, and pacing makes Jim Mickle’s version a masterpiece.

2) V/H/S/2
Another rare case of the sequel surpassing the original in every way imaginable; Gareth Evan’s brilliant “Safe Haven” segment will haunt you.

3) STOKER (Dir. Park Chan-wook)
Park Chan-wook’s first English language film is no less engrossing or disturbing than the rest of his impressively creepy filmography (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance).

4) YOU’RE NEXT (Dir. Adam Wingard)
Adam Wingard helms a roller coaster full of twists, red herrings, and exhilarating, bloody action.

5) BLUE RUIN (Dir. Jeremy Saulnier)
Fans of well-made, slow-burn thrillers will love this tale of bitter revenge.

6) THE SACRAMENT (Dir. Ti West)
Ti West has really evolved with this chilling Jonestown Massacre re-telling; this is a story of how sociopathic cult leader Jim Jones took his flock to Guyana… and killed them.

7) THE MEETING (Dir. Karen Lam)
Karen Lam directs a group of serial killers who attend a 12-step program in order to keep themselves from killing again.

8) JUG FACE (Dir. Chad Crawford Kinkle)
Backwoods Southern Gothic fans will find plenty to love (and be repulsed by) in this icky ensemble piece.

9) THE STRANGE COLOUR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS (Dir. Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani)
A diabolically sensual romp through an apartment building full of secrets that’s both colorful and aurally stimulating.

10) AMERICAN MARY (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska)
This rape-revenge story hits (and carves and slashes) all the right notes.

JOHN BLACK

Film Critic

1) BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO (Dir. Peter Strickland)
Who knew that sound could be so creepy? The Scariest Movie You Will Ever Hear.

2) WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Dir. Jim Mickle)
We Are What We Are is a gripping thriller with surprisingly less gore than you would expect (or fear) and a lot more chills and thrills than most so-called ‘horror’ movies supply. Sure, it’s about cannibals, but it’s also about family, faith, fear and overcoming that fear.

3) THE HAUNTING OF HELENA (Dir. Christian Bisceglia and Ascanio Malgarini)
Directors Christian Bisceglia and Ascanio Malgarini do an excellent job of giving their film a tense, atmospheric feel that will make the hairs stand on your neck, while at the same time keeping it firmly grounded in a twisted sort of reality that makes even the strangest visual images seem real.

4) SLEEP TIGHT (Dir. Jaume Balagueró)
Horror movie makers who think that gore equals terror should be forced to watch this white-knuckle thriller from director Jaume Balagueró ([Rec]). With a bare minimum of bloodshed he’s created a movie that will not only have audiences scared in theaters but have them sleeping with the lights on (and a baseball bat by their bed) for weeks to come.

5) STITCHES (Dir. Conor McMahon)
The film has an old school feel that doesn’t rely on cheesy CG or other cheap tricks to make you jump; he just lets the blood and guts fly. Ross Noble does a great job of bringing the spooky dead clown to life, particularly in the way he isn’t afraid to mix gallows humor with the gore.

6) EVIL DEAD (Dir. Fede Alvarez)
There’s so much blood and gore exploding on the screen in this gutsy new remake of Evil Dead that you almost need to wear a raincoat if you sit too close. And for fans sick of the PG-13 crap that’s been trying to pass for horror movies lately, it’s a welcome site indeed.

7) CURSE OF CHUCKY (Dir. Don Mancini)
The real star here, though, is writer/director Don Mancini (director of some of the less than stellar Chucky films) who has developed the sense to let the doll do what it does, while concentrating on tweaking the tension levels in the rest of the film. This time, he really gets it right.

8) EDDIE THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL (Dir. Boris Rodriguez)
From my interview with director Boris Rodriguez: “It’s got some blood in it, but it also has a sense of humor, and I think that’s just as important. Horror fans know that, and they’ve really enjoyed the movie, but it’s also been a hit with people who don’t think they like horror because they got stuck watching some disgusting torture porn and think that’s what horror movies are all about. It’s not.”

9) JOHN DIES AT THE END (Dir. Don Coscarelli)
Don Coscarelli has responsible for some of the most iconic images in modern horror movies, from the shining metal ball that sucks out brains in the Phantasm films to Bruce Campbell as Elvis battling an ancient Egyptian mummy in Bubba Ho Tep. With the release of his new film, John Dies at the End, you can add to that list the meat monster, something you just have to see to believe.

10) ABDUCTED (Dir. Lucy Phillips and Glen Scantlebury)
The key here is the actors, Tessa Ferrer and Trevor Morgan are actually believable in their roles, and the film gives us enough time to really get to know them before the mayhem begins. And when it does, the film is smart enough to avoid predictability – and an overdependence on gore – resulting in a rare treat for fans of any film genre.

BARRETT HOOPER

Film Critic

1) WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Dir. Jim Mickle)
The second cannibal movie on the list is about as far removed from Eli Roth’s bloodbath and still involve eating human flesh. It’s an arthouse movie that’s also a grindhouse movie (it’s also a remake of a Mexican film). It’s dark and somber and serious, while also being just a bit grisly, and it’s deeply disturbing.

2) SIGHTSEERS (Dir. Ben Wheatley)
A very British, very bleak, very weird, morbidly comic murderous rampage road movie with heart. And blood.

3) YOU’RE NEXT (Dir. Adam Wingard)
An instant mumblegore classic that turns the typical stalk-n-slash home invasion conventions into something wickedly playful. It’s like the best Wes Craven movie Wes Craven never made. And star Sharni Vinson turns heads (literally) with her refreshing twist on the “Final Girl.”

4) THE GREEN INFERNO (Dir. Eli Roth)
One of Eli Roth’s favourite movies is Cannibal Holocaust. This, then, is his love letter to that film. On the surface it’s a simple story: a bunch of tree-hugging college kids are taken captive by cannibals during a trip to the Amazon. The film’s success is in its, ahem, execution. While no one has ever accused Roth of being subtle, he shows considerable restraint in what could have been a far bloodier affair. That he shot on location with an actual Amazon tribe (whose first film experience was watching Cannibal Holocaust, which Roth showed them prior to production), and that the footage is as lush and rich as any national Geographic documentary, only lends to the verisimilitude. And there is an actual message—about our do-gooder instincts, about social media—if you’d care to look for it amid the flayings and dismemberments.

5) THE CONJURING (Dir. James Wan)
This artfully-crafted haunted house thriller pulls out every trick in the book to deliver its charmingly retro chills, ranking it up there with The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist for genuine old school scares.

6) HERE COMES THE DEVIL (Dir. Adrián García Bogliano)
From its opening moments you know you’re in the hands of a master as director Adrián Garcia Bogliano celebrates and subverts cinema tropes with dizzying speed and confidence, from smash cuts and zooms to bizarre aural blasts, all to provide punctuation for the physical and psychological trauma that’s unfolding. And Laura Caro gives a devastating performance as a mother whose sweet pre-teen kids go missing only to return as not quite themselves. (Look to the title if you need to know more.)

7) WILLOW CREEK (Dir. Bobcat Goldthwait)
A found-footage-style movie about Bigfoot by comic-turned-director Bobcat Goldthwait that starts off funny and ends up scary. That should tell you all you need to know.

8) AMERICAN MARY (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska)
Directing duo Jen and Sylvia Soska step into the big leagues with this twisted tale of a med student who makes ends meet by performing body mod surgeries in the back of a stripclub. It’s Jess Franco sutured to David Cronenberg, even if the ending doesn’t quite hold together.

9) BIG BAD WOLVES (Dir. Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado)
Quentin Tarantino called this Israeli horror-thriller the best film of 2013—and with its cocktail of rogue cop, child molester and vengeful father it’s easy to see why it appealed to him. But it’ll have to settle for number nine on this list. Darkly comic and slyly satirical, although just a bit too cruel for its own good.

10) WORLD WAR Z (Dir. Marc Forster)
It bears no resemblance to the source novel (get over it already), and the PG-13-dictated lack of gore is noticeable. But it’s still a $300-million zombie epic that actually feels like a $300-million zombie epic. The attack on Jerusalem is stunning and the reshot ending is a brilliantly intense exercise in restraint.

Check back tomorrow for part 3 of Diabolique’s Top 10 Films of 2013!

About Stephen Slaughter Head

Stephen Slaughter Head was co-editor of the Star Wars website TheForce.net, co-founder of the much-loved movie news website IGN FilmForce, and editor of the movie section at AOL’s Propellor.com. As a film journalist he has more than 2,000 published articles at IGN.com. His work has also appeared on AOL.com, and in Esquire magazine and the Boston Phoenix. Stephen hosts the Diabolique Webcast.

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