Another great year for horror is wrapping up. 2018 had so many great horror films that this list goes to 11!
Hereditary (Director Ari Aster) What can I say about Hereditary that hasn’t already been said? It’s on my top 25 list and is a nearly perfect film but I still just can’t quite get over the last 5 minutes. I also met Scariest Things co-founder Eric Li at the Overlook Film Festival screening and kicked off a friendship built on horror…and isn’t that the best kind?
Mandy (Director Panos Cosmatos) Wow, WTF did I just see?! That was my reaction when I left the theater after seeing Mandy. Its heavy metal come to life. Andrea Reisborough is haunting and impossible to take your eyes off of while Nicolas Cage (who I normally think is a little “too much”) is just right in this role, and after watching Linus Roache as cult leader Jeremiah Sand, I can promise those Law and Order reruns will never be the same.
Incident in a Ghostland (Director Pascal Laugier) I was excited to see this movie because Laugier made my favorite horror movie, Martyrs. Like Martyrs, this film is bat shit crazy and once you think you know where it is going, it turns almost 180 degrees and takes off in a new direction- I love that and it seems to be a hallmark of Laugier’s films.
Summer of ’84 (Directors Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard and Yann-Karl Whissell) Capitalizing on 80’s nostalgia and riding the Stranger Things and It train; The Summer of 84 is a horror mystery about a group of teen boys who think that the weird, loner cop who lives next door is also a serial killer that’s been terrorizing their town. This movie is right up alley and I had a blast watching it.
Unfriended: Dark Web(Director Stephen Susco) Come on, they can’t all be highbrow horror! This one comes in with a little guilty pleasure vibe and I’m not sure how many more times the film on computer and phone screens gimmick can goon but while it’s relatively fresh the Unfriended franchise has it on lock.
Apostle (Director Gareth Evans) The man who brought you The Raid: Redemption and the most insane segment of V/H/S 2 brings you a horror movie about an old timey cult on an idyllic island that has the vibe of the Wickerman -there was no way this wasn’t going to be on my list. So. Much. Blood
Framed (Director Marc Martinez Jordan) Framed is a no holds barred, gory, visceral dive into how far we’ll go to get recognition online. It’s so creative and the acting is great, but I gotta warn you, when I say gory and visceral I mean it- there were scenes that had me covering my eyes and yelling “no, they didn’t!”- it is an absolute blast. Framed is still on the festival circuit so if you get the chance to see it don’t pass it by and check out Marc Martinez Jordan’s top 25 horror films!
TIE!Night Comes for Us (Director Timo Tjahjanto) and Hold The Dark (Director) Jeremy Saulnier Neither of these films is capitol “H” horror but they are both so bloody and violent that I had to include them. Night comes for Us is directed by the other half of the team who made the V/H/S 2 segment Safe Haven and a bloody, beautifully choreographed action movie so violent that it merits a place on my top horror of the year list. Hold the Dark is from the director of Green Room which is on my top 25 list and is also ultra-violent and has one of the longest shoot out scenes probably…ever. Both are Netflix original films, as is Apostle, so props to Netflix for bringing the blood this year!
Suspiria (Director Luca Guadagnino) I’m going to be real here, upon first viewing I give Susperia 2.5 stars, but it is haunting my thoughts and I had to include it just for that. The ending has me between pissed off that I sat over 2 hours for that and lining up to see it again because I loved it…I can’t really get a hold on this film yet and with so many throw away films out there, that earns it a place on my top 10.
P.S.- the horror film I was looking forward to the most this year, Lars von Trier’s The House that Jack Built is not on this list. I jumped at the chance to see the 1 night screening of the Director’s cut but unfortunately it was- something I never thought I’d say in the same sentence as Lars von Trier- boring. It wasn’t bad per se but when you have such a controversial director taking on the serial killer genre you’re expecting to be white knuckling the theater armrest but sadly, this is not that kind of movie.
Here’s looking forward to more of The Scariest Things in 2019!