Mark’s Most Remarkable Movies of 2015: Vacation, Inside Out & The Visit

by | Dec 31, 2015

What a year it’s been for movies.  I’ve always given my opinion on movies, to anyone who’ll listen, but this year I’ve seen more movies than ever before.  I think the very fact that I saw so many made me change the way I look at them.  I’d like to give you what I think was the most remarkable movies of 2015.  

Think of it as my very own award show.  Only movies I’ve reviewed are eligible for this.  That way I know what I’m talking about and also if you’re curious you can go see what I thought in depth.  I’ll give you a small list of movies in each category, you see if you can guess which one I think wins.


I saw a lot of comedies this year.  I also saw a lot of movies that were funny without being comedies.  I laughed.  A lot.  When movies are funny, they’re just better, but one of these movies was funnier than any of them:

The Nominees:

1) Minions – frenetic and silly, I love those Minions and think they’re hilarious.  

2) Vacation – funny in so many ways, this movie was better than its 80s predecessors

3)  The Shaun the Sheep movie – I love Claymation and farm humor

4)  The Boy Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse – zombies are awesome and these guys were pretty funny

The Winner:



What a funny show, from beginning to end.  It was funny on so many levels and tried to go for all types of humor, plus it was a well made show.  Minions was funny but it was the same type of humor throughout (though very funny).  Same for Shaun the Sheep and the Boy Scout’s Guide, while very funny, had nothing on Vacation. (Full Review HERE)



This was the first year I really got into scary movies.  Before that I thought that horror was dumb, but now I’ve developed a taste for them.  Scary movies are satisfying.  Terrible things happen and then you leave the theatre and life seems safe and more controllable (at least your demons aren’t literal) There were some truly scary films this year, but which was scariest?

The Nominees:

1)  Sinister 2  – for ghosts, torture porn and jump scares.

2) Paranormal Activity: The Ghost dimension – for its eerie slow moving build-up and jump scares

3)  Krampus  – for scary winterland killings and freakish toys

4) The Visit – for its body horror and fear of old people.  

The Winner:


The Visit

It didn’t rely on the jump scares like Sinister 2, it didn’t try to hedge its bets by mixing with other genres like Krampus and it actually made an effort, unlike Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. The Visit relied heavily on the Uncanny Valley effect – taking something familiar and safe and making it subtly (and increasingly)  wrong.  A well done and terrifying movie. (Full Review HERE)


Best Visuals

Movies are a visual medium so it’s no accident that the best movies are also a joy to look at.  There were some very beautiful films this year and I actually had a hard time deciding between all these. There can only be one winner, though.  Here are the nominees:

The Nominees:

1)  Victor Frankenstein – for its Victorian era laboratories and shots of London

2)  The Last Witch Hunter – for its colourful and detailed magical side of our modern day world

3)  Crimson Peak – for its Victorian portrayal of decrepitude and excess

4)  Mad Max Fury Road – for a rich and detailed world brought to life like the originals never did

The Winner:


Victor Frankenstein

I’m sorry about this – ALL of these were breathtaking and to be honest no one is better than any of the other.  But I wasn’t going to give you a four-way tie so I gave it to the one whose subject matter I liked best.  The Victorian Laboratory with its wires and vials and hand-drawn schematics did me in.  I loved it. (Full Review HERE)


Biggest Turd

Not all movies were good.  There were some godawful ones as well and I enjoyed eviscerating them a lot.  I hope that you had forgotten these were even made and, after this, forget them all over again.  For each of these, I just don’t understand how a group of people could look each other in the eye and agree that their ‘movie’ was ready to be unleashed upon the world.  

The Nominees:

1)  Paranormal Activity:  The Ghost Dimension – for being boring and nonsensical

2)  Pixels – for being inane, predictable and creatively bankrupt

3)  Terminator Genisys – for being another cash-grab in a tired franchise

4)  Fantastic Four – for terrible pacing, boring dialogue and lackluster acting

The ‘Winner’:


Fantastic Four

Hands down.  What a piece of trash, I never get tired of hating on it. Bad writing, bad acting, bad everything.  I mean Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was really bad, and Pixels was dogshit, but Fantastic Four was something special. (Full Review HERE)

Terminator Genisys, it should be noted, while still being somewhat bad, was never actually in danger of winning Biggest Turd.  At least they put the effort in.


Handsomest Man

In my world, handsome men are the most important thing there is. Beauty is subjective though, so I use the Tatum Scale, a scientifically accurate, carefully weighted and statistically complex measuring system designed to objectively quantify male beauty.  There were many more gorgeous men than the ones listed below, but only those who spent some screen time actually shirtless can qualify for this category.  

The Nominees:

1)  Jai Courtney in Terminator Genisys – for his naked time-travelling hijinks

2) Chris Hemsworth in Vacation – for his enormous contribution to an already good movie

3)  Paul Rudd in Antman – for his fanservice in a superhero story I hadn’t heard of before him

4)  Zac Efron and Jonny Weston in We Are Your Friends – for their numerous near naked portrayals throughout a movie I wouldn’t watch otherwise

The Winner is:


Zac Efron and Jonny Weston in

We Are Your Friends.  

While Chris Hemsworth has a much higher Tatum Score (0.995 Standard Tatums) than anyone else listed here, Zac Efron and Jonny Weston (0.753 and 0.786 respectively)  gave a combined score of 1.539 Standard Tatums and that is not counting all the other shirtless men in that film. (Full Review HERE)

Honorable Mention in this category, of course, is actually Jupiter Ascending as it is a 2015 film and actually contains Channing Tatum, after whom the Tatum Scale was named.  He scores exactly 1.000 Standard Tatums, the highest of any known human.  However since I didn’t review that film, Jupiter Ascending sadly doesn’t qualify. 


Movie of the Year

The Last Category is Movie of the Year.  Unlike the others, it’s just the movie I thought was done the best.   There were many good movies, many perfectly made movies, but this category is for the best of them all.  There can be only one Movie of the Year though:

The Nominees:

  1. Mad Max Fury Road – I liked this movie more than I ever expected I could
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – it kept my interest in Star Wars despite an unforgivable amount of hype
  3. Inside Out – it’s colourful, insightful and tugs at the heart strings SO hard
  4. The Martian – for a movie about just one guy on Mars for 2 hours, it’s unbelievably good.

The Winner:


Inside Out 

That’s right- fuck you Star Wars, go win on someone else’s Top Movies list.

When I saw Inside Out, I felt the way so many 8 year old girls felt last year when they saw Frozen.  It just resonated with me, couldn’t stop thinking about it.  God help me (and everyone around me) if it had been a musical.  The other three were amazing films as well, fully worthy of Movie of the Year.    Really this was just the film I liked best. (Full Review HERE)

I hope you’ve enjoyed.  Be sure to let me know if you disagree.