The year is ending and, as it is already becoming a bad habit, the trail it leaves behind is disturbing: when it is not The pandemic and its alarming outbreak in China it is the war in Ukraine, the economic crisis or environmental disasters. So, waiting for that 2023 be a little kinder and brighterthere is no better way say goodbye to this 2022 that in the worst possible way: in this case, with 12 films that have celebrated the transit of the New Years Eve to the new year based on psychopaths, satanic apparitions, ghosts, shipwrecks on the high seas, social unrest or, simply, chaos and apocalypse.
‘The Ghost Cart’ (Victor Sjöström, 1921)
On January 1, 1921, this silent film classic was released in Sweden, not in vain one of Ingmar Bergman’s favorite films. In the middle of New Year’s Eve, three drunkards drink in a cemetery and one of them, played by Sjöström himself, recalls an old legend: if a sinner is the last person to die before the end of the year, he must drive the Ghost Wagon for a whole year. who collects the souls of the dead. An iconic horror drama, pure movie history, endowed with captivating spooky atmospheres and amazing special effects in the form of overlays. Available in filming.
‘The Poseidon Adventure’ (Ronald Neame, 1972)
A lavish production by Irwin Allen, a master of 1970s catastrophe cinema, recounts the sinking of a luxurious ocean liner during the New Year’s Eve party, after being hit by a gigantic 30-meter wave caused by an underwater earthquake and dramatically upside down. A necessary cast of stars (Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Leslie Nielsen, Shelley Winters…) for a classic of the subgenre that had an estimable ‘remake’ (‘Poseidon’) in 2006 by Wolfgang Petersen, who died last August. Available for rent in Prime Video and Google Play. The ‘remake’, available for rent at AppleTV+Google Play, Microsoft Store, Prime Video and Rakuten TV.
‘Cursed New Year’s Eve’ (Emmett Alston, 1980)
The title, quite explicit, already says it all. A priceless Cannon production, its action takes place at a New Year’s party in which various punk and new wave groups perform, and which is being broadcast live. The presenter will receive a disturbing call from a guy who assures her that she will commit a murder every time the New Year arrives in a different time zone from the United States, including her. A balance ‘slasher’, but also irresistible, perhaps because of her involuntary humor, her large catalog of deaths or the psychopath with her mask. Available in Filmin.
‘Terror Train’ (Roger Spottiswoode, 1980)
A huge ‘slasher’ starring the queen of the genre in the 70-80s, Jamie Lee Curtis, and the very veteran Ben Johnson (actor in films by John Ford, Peter Bogdanovich and Sam Peckinpah). The action: a typical graduation party –for medical students– in which rivers of alcohol will flow and there will be sex. The setting: a train at full speed. But instead of fun and sex, there’s a knife-wielding psychopath out to avenge a past injury on a tragic New Year’s Eve. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode, a smart guy who trained as an editor with Peckinpah and later directed ‘Under Fire’. Available on Plex.
‘Ghostbusters II’ (Ivan Reitman, 1989)
Second installment of the comic-fantastic forays against the ectoplasms of Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. These two sign the script, Ivan Reitman directs and Sigourney Weaver restores works of art and cares for her baby. Five years after the first film, and since there are no ghosts to hunt, they live in anonymity hosting seedy television programs about paranormal phenomena or performing at children’s parties. But a sorcerer from the past is looking for a newborn to reincarnate as him on the last night of the year. Available for rent on Apple TV+, Google Play, Prime Video, Rakuten TV.
‘Four rooms’ (Various directors, 1994)
An ‘indie’ manifesto, with four episodes Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez and Allison Anders. The action takes place during New Year’s Eve in a hotel in Los Angeles. Tim Roth is the bellboy who chains each story in a different room, where he meets Antonio Banderas, Jennifer Beals, Madonna, Bruce Willis or Tarantino himself as clients. There are witches, gangsters and a devilish game inspired by an episode of ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’: either light your lighter 10 times in a row or they cut off your little finger. Available for rent on Apple TV+, Google Play, Prime Video, Rakuten TV.
‘Strange Days’ (Kathryn Bigelow, 1995)
Set in Los Angeles on the paranoid, dystopian night of December 31, 1999, when it seemed that the end of the millennium would precipitate the Apocalypse, ‘Strange Days is a fascinating and visionary work for which time seems not to have passed, so much so that it seems have been shot today. Racism, police violence, social struggle, urban chaos and virtual reality, in an America on fire, from the figure of a former agent who traffics in images recorded from other people’s memories and the murder of a rapper by police. Exciting and feverish as the very end of time. Available on Blu-ray.
‘The end of days’ (Peter Hyams, 1999)
Unjustly battered by the critics of the time, Peter Hyams’s film was able to express, from the highest levels of demonic delirium, the fears that surrounded the crazy traffic between 1999 and 2000. Here, an alcoholic ex-policeman traumatized by the murder of his The family (Arnold Schwarzenneger) must face Satan himself (Gabriel Byrne), who has returned to Earth after a thousand years in hell to impregnate a young woman at midnight on New Year’s Eve and make her the mother of the Antichrist. Blood, fire and unlimited madness to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Available in Disney+.
‘Assault on the 13th arrondissement’ (Jean-François Richet, 2005)
The French director Jean-François Richet dared with the ‘remake’ of a cult work by John Carpenter, ‘Assault on the 13th district police station’, which was in turn a remodeling of the western ‘Río Bravo’. The script is signed by James DeMonaco, creator of the saga of ‘The Purge’, who changed cities –Detroit for Los Angeles– and accentuated the tension of the original –the siege of a police station about to be closed by criminal gangs. – setting it on New Year’s Eve. Ethan Hawke is the cop trying to stop mobster Laurence Fishburne from being rescued. Available for rent on Apple TV+, Google Play, Prime Video and Rakuten TV.
”My great night’ (Álex de la Iglesia, 2015)
Raphael. Rehearsals for a special New Year’s Eve gala. At the moment, nothing strange. Real as Christmas life itself. But it is Álex de la Iglesia who directs the film, so it will not be about Raphael or the traditional television party to celebrate the arrival of the new year. A veteran star faced with a singer of Latin music ‘hits’ harassed by fans. Tired and hungry extras about to rebel while pretending to be happy on camera. The presenters are obnoxious. Choral comedy, anarchic, parodic, very black. Available on Disney+, FlixOlé, Movistar+ Y RTVE.
‘Kill God’ (Caye Casas and Albert Pintó, 2017)
Deserved award from the public at Sitges-2017, Casas & Pintó’s debut feature is a stupendous black comedy set, of course, on New Year’s Eve. In it, four members of a family are preparing to celebrate the party in an isolated house in the woods when a homeless dwarf who claims to be God breaks into the home. The thing doesn’t stop there, because he announces to them that, when the sun rises in the new year, he will exterminate the human species, but first he will offer them the opportunity to choose the only two survivors. Frozen laughter for a cruel portrait of the miseries of the human being. Available in Filmin.
‘All my friends are dead’ (Jan Belcl, 2020)
Polish cinema has not only produced directors of international prestige such as Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Agnieszka Holland or Pawel Pawlikowski. From time to time he leaves the cold and the serious subjects and immerses himself in adolescent ‘thrillers’ like this one, like elements of horror and black comedy distributed during the many events that take place during the New Year’s Eve celebration by a group of friends. There is ‘slasher’, gore, eroticism, violent reactions and secrets that come to light. Despite its American patina, it has a very elaborate invoice. Available in Netflix.