Today is my birthday! To celebrate I wanted to create a fun movies list for you all. I couldn’t decide what the basis for my list should be so I’m giving you not one, not two, but THREE movie lists! This list features my favorite films released in the month of January (my birthday month). January is generally considered a “dump month,” which sucks for me, but I found a surprising number of awesome horror films that were released during this month.
Here are my top five favorite horror films that were released in the month of January (in no particular order):
1. TALES FROM THE CRYPT: DEMON KNIGHT (1995)
Demon Knight is an awesome Tales from the Crypt horror comedy starring Billy Zane (Titanic) and Jada Pinkett Smith (The Matrix Reloaded). Zane plays a demon trying to get a relic to end the world, and Pinkett Smith is one in a group of unfortunate souls trapped in an old church turned boarding house. This film has awesome creature design for some of the demons, and Zane shows yet again that he can play one hell of a bad guy. This is arguably my favorite film on this list.
2. CLOVERFIELD (2008)
This is one of the better found footage style films. During a going away party New York is attacked by a giant monster and a small group of parygoers has to try to find their friend and escape the city before it’s completely destroyed. The film is really tense and I love that the filmmakers managed to take a Japanese-inspired giant monster movie and translate it into the not always love found footage format. Cloverfield has a killer creature design and keeps me at the edge of my seat from start to finish.
3. FORM DUSK TILL DAWN (1996)
Two bank robbers hijack a family in their RV to cross the Mexican border and meet a friend at a remote bar. Unfortunately for them, the bar is infested with vampires. The group has to band together to stay alive until the sun comes up. This was the first Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror) film I had ever seen, and he quickly became a favorite director. This film has copious amounts of gore, amazing creature design and practical effects, plus several great actors. It’s hard not to love this movie as you’re watching the limbs fly and laughing at the dark humor.
4. PHANTOMS (1998)
Phantoms has a really unique plot that still gives me chills to this day. Based on the novel by Dean Koontz, it follows a group of people as the enter a remote town where everyone has disappeared. From there it only gets more dark and twisted as an evil entity threatens them. Many of the cast members were just starting to become household names when the film came out, and their performances are stellar. The evil in this film is really anyone’s worst nightmare, and the film conveys that so well. No matter how many times I watch the film it still freaks me out.
5. DEEP RISING (1998)
Imagine going up to a fancy cruise ship with the intention of robbing the place, only to find a giant sea creature has already taken over and eaten everyone on board. That is what you get when you watch Deep Rising. This is a criminally underrated film that is probably one of the best water monster movies to date. It has a great cast and does a good job of bringing some fantastic scares and gore. This is a monster you wouldn’t want to meet, but it’s definitely a movie you should see.
Honorable mention: The Relic, Split, House on Sorority Row, Tremors, My Bloody Valentine (2009).