Top Horror Movies of 2017

Horror in 2017 was a mixed bag: when it was good, it was good; when it was bad, it was bad. The following movies aren’t in any order until we get to the top three, which are solidly the top films I’ve seen this year. For the most part, the movies were released to a wide (American) audience in 2017, but I do have a couple earlier films that I watched for the first time this year and they blew me away, so I’m counting those, as well.

The Lure (2017) the_lure_282015_film29

The Lure is a weird film, and that’s why I love it. It uses mermaids in an interesting way; I love the dark cinematography coupled with the musical interludes. It just worked for me. The relationship between the sisters is great, and when the movie decided to be bloody, it was well done. I’d recommend this film, but check out the trailer beforehand––if the trailer doesn’t speak to you, I don’t think the film as a whole will.

 

mv5bmja2mtkxmdyzn15bml5banbnxkftztgwntc3mzc4mzi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_Creep 2 (2017)

I liked Creep, but it didn’t blow me away. The acting is good, and I like the concept, but it didn’t astound me. So, it’s kind of a surprise to me that I liked Creep 2 as much as I did. I thought the execution in this film was great––I loved the fact that Duplass’ character (Aaron, in this film) was able to admit his serial killer tendencies right away. It added a certain je ne sais quoi to the film that I enjoyed. I also liked Akhaven’s performance as Sara a lot––their relationship struck me more than the relationship between Duplass (Josef) and Brice (Aaron).

The Babysitter (2017)mv5bmty0mduwnzg5ov5bml5banbnxkftztgwnty4nju3mzi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_

The Babysitter is a Netflix original that dropped in October––and it’s a lot of fun. I don’t have much to say about this movie, because it’s not a groundbreaking or original horror film, but it is a lot of fun. The acting, for the most part, is good, and the atmosphere is so deliciously 80s. The kills are entertaining, as well. If you’re looking for a fun, absurd horror film, check this one out.

 

large_prevenge-poster-2017Prevenge (2017)

Prevenge is a dark comedy about a woman who believes her unborn child is guiding her to commit murder. It’s an absurd concept executed well by Lowe, who basically did everything from writing to directing to starring (while actually eight months pregnant). It’s another fun movie to watch if you’re in the mood for a horror comedy––the only thing that kind of ‘put me off’ was the baby’s voice. It was odd, and took me out of the movie a bit. Other than that, solid film.

 

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) mv5bmja2mtezmzkzm15bml5banbnxkftztgwmjm2mtm5mdi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_

I watched The Autopsy of Jane Doe in January––it certainly set the bar for me for horror in 2017. I love this film. I think the atmosphere and the tension is great. The acting is solid. The storyline isn’t unique, but it’s executed well. It just works for me. And, I love horror movies that are set in the coroner’s, so the environment is a plus for me. It can be difficult to pull off a movie in such confined spaces and keep the tension throughout the film, and I thought this movie did just that. I’d highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet!

raw_28film29Raw (2017)

Raw is the latest French horror, though I wouldn’t attach it to French New Wave horror (a lá Martyrs, High Tension, Inside, etc). I was expecting a movie along the lines of the previously mentioned, and that is not what I got with Raw, so I initially left the theatres I bit disappointed. However, I gave it a rewatch in October and because I knew what to expect, I enjoyed the film a lot more. Certainly don’t go into this movie with any of the “it’s so gross it made people vomit!” marketing that went around, because, honestly, it’s a pretty tame French horror film that involves cannibals. This is more of a movie about the relationship between two sisters and trying to grapple with an identity that is far, far from the norm.

The Devil’s Candy (2017) large_devils_candy_ver3

The Devil’s Candy is such a joy to watch if you’re a fan of the horror genre who has sat through numerous shitty mainstream films. It’s indie horror at its finest. The acting is superb (Ethan Emery is fantastic in this film), and though the plot is simple, it’s done extremely well. I love the grunge and vibe of this movie a lot, and the relationship between Jesse (Emery) and his daughter is wonderful. And Pruitt Taylor Vince nails his role as Ray Smilie. Just watch this movie if you haven’t––it’s a breath of fresh air in the horror genre.

 

get_out_xlgGet Out (2017)

Obviously, Get Out is going to be on this list. I’m assuming everyone has seen this, but if you haven’t, watch it immediately. I’m so excited to see what Peele does next, because this is a fantastic film. It juggles horror, social commentary, thriller, and humor so well, and the acting is excellent. There was a lot of hype around this movie when it was released, but the film holds up viewing after viewing. It’s a keeper.

 

Boys in the Trees (2016) 35dd07b2ccaae7bef3350277b12ac39762b0c290

Boys in the Trees is close to my top horror of the year. It’s a quiet film that snuck up on me. I wasn’t expecting to love it, but love it I do. I don’t want to give too much away, because I think it’s important to go into this knowing nothing. I will say, it’s pretty surrealist, and it revolves around friendship, loss, fear, and growing up. It’s a beautiful film: The cinematography, the acting, the plot…everything is wonderful. It’s not your typical horror film, but it does solidly fit into the genre, which you’ll understand if you’ve seen it. It’s a film I think about all of the time, even though I haven’t rewatched it since I first saw it in October. I just love it, unapologetically.

Top Horror

mv5bmja5ndeymjqwnv5bml5banbnxkftztgwndq1mjmwmdi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_The Love Witch (2017)

The Love Witch is such a delight. It’s unapologetically feminist, it’s about witches, it feels as if it’s actually a film set and produced in the 70s…honestly, it’s me in a film. Like Lowe (Prevenge), Anna Biller did everything for this film: she starred in it, directed it, wrote it, made its costumes and its set…she did everything. It’s not a film that everyone will love, but it’s easily one of the best films I saw in 2017. Elaine is a beautiful, complicated character, and I love her. Like with The Lure, you’ll know if you’ll like this film once you see the trailer.

 

Shape of Water (2017)* the-shape-of-water-teaser_poster_rgb-e1504487100887-216x300

Shape of Water is the one movie that I’m not entirely sure belongs on a horror list, but it IS based off of Creature from the Black Lagoon so I’m including it. It’s more fantasy than horror, but this is my blog, so here we are. I love this film. I’ve seen it twice thus far, and I plan on watching it over and over again as soon as the blu-ray comes out. It’s a visually stunning film (I mean, it’s del Toro, so obviously), the characters are fantastic, the music is perfection…it’s beautiful. The film centers around identity and belonging and it’s just perfect. If you love del Toro (specifically Devil’s Backbone & Pan’s Labyrinth del Toro), you will love this film. Watch it. Be amazed.

it_85b0f17c__36677-1496221062-450-659It (2017)

Obviously, It is my favorite horror film (and probably film) of the year. If you’ve read my review, you know how I feel about this fim. I won’t wax and wane here (that’s what the review is for), but I bloody loved this adaptation. The acting is fantastic, the cinematography is fantastic, the sound is fantastic. It’s just a winner. It took the best parts of the book and brought them to live fabulously, and it left out the weird parts that probably shouldn’t have been included in the first place––you know what I mean if you’ve read the book. I cannot wait for the second part to come out. Is it 2019 yet?

Well, that’s it: my favorite horror films of 2017. What horror did you watch last year? What did you love? I might do a worst horror of 2017, because I love ranting, and there were some terrible movies released last year.

Until next time, stay scary.

–E.

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Movie Review: Get Out (2017)

Stats get_out_xlg

Release: 24 February 2017 (USA)
Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Actors: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener
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Synopsis

A young black man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate where he learns that many of its residents, who are black, have gone missing, and he soon learns the horrible truth when a fellow black man on the estate warns him to “get out”. He soon learns this is easier said than done.

(via IMDB)

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There’s something important that you should know before going to see Get Out: it’s definitely more of a social horror and psychological thriller. So, while it may not be the traditional horror film that we’ve come to expect (which, frankly, is a good thing), it is so, so good. And, if you have pals who don’t like horror movies (or you yourself get scared easily–no judgement here), this is one to bring them to. It’s moreso the concept that’s frightening (racism), not any particularly gruesome or tortuous image. This is a horror movie for everyone, really.

This movie wouldn’t have been nearly half as good as it is without suburb acting. Kaluuya is fantastic in this movie. He creates a complex, emotive character that I rooted for throughout the entire movie. The relationship between him and Williams is believable–they’re the sweet, cute couple that you want to see get out alive at the end of your traditional horror. The parents were also great in this. I thought Keener’s nuances and complexities she brought to her character were great–and you’ll definitely catch the small actions she does throughout the movie that foreshadow to the denouement the more you watch the movie. Whitford played the oblivious “I’d vote for Obama a third term if I could” middle class white man that we see reflected often in our contemporary world. These small, but powerful microaggressions that, ultimately, still single out black (in the case of the movie) men and women as Other.

Two other stand out characters were Walter (played by Marcus Henderson) and Georgiana (played by Betty Gabriel). They were fantastic, and I loved every moment they were on the screen. They get the best “creepiest” moments of the film in the first 2/3 of the movie, and I thought they handled them perfectly. Those moments bordered on jump scare territory but always had great payoff. We also get great comedic relief from LilRel Howery, who plays Rod Williams. He’s Kaluuya’s friend (who works for the TSA) and his moments in the film are fantastic. He kind of steals the show a bit when he’s on the screen, he delivers his lines so well.

The pacing and cinematography of the movie are great–I never felt like moments were dragging on too long, and there are multiple shots in this movie that are gorgeously constructed. One of the most striking images occurs in the first ten or so minutes of the movie, when the couple run into a deer on their way to her parent’s house. That moment is so brutal, but so important towards defining Kaluuya’s character, and it’s incredibly well shot.

I’m obviously not going to go into spoilers here, because that would ruin the surprise, but it’s a great ending. Peele has discussed the original, alternative ending, and I think that one offers an important message, too. Once you’ve watched the movie, I recommend checking it out. I’m hoping the alternative ending comes on the DVD, because I would love to see how it changes the tone of the movie.

What I loved the most about this movie–past the acting, cinematography, and story–are the small but important nods to genre defining movies such as Rosemary’s Baby and Night of the Living Dead (Peele has discussed the movies that influenced Get Out in interviews–I suggest checking them out!). Get Out adds to the current horror conversation in such an important way and highlights quite beautifully how monstrous racism is. It’s a breath of fresh air in a genre oversaturated in remakes and (sometimes) unoriginal content. Get Out is new, it’s relevant, and it’s horrifying. I can’t recommend it more.

Have you seen Get Out? What did you think? Let me know! If you haven’t, check it out while it’s still in theatres!

Until next time, stay scary.

–E.

Movies to (Maybe) Look Forward to in 2017

Seeing as how it’s December (a simultaneously joyful and frightening thing), I decided to peer into our horror prospects for next year. Outlook: possibly grim. While there are some releases I’m excited for, I wonder why others exist. Let’s see what’s on the docket, shall we?

  1. Amityville: The Awakening–6 January 2017; I’m not quite sure why we’re still making Amityville movies. It might be time to let this franchise die, y’all.
  2. The Bye Bye Man–13 January 2017; Originally, this was supposed to come out this year, but then they pushed it back. It’s too bad they didn’t come up with a better title.
  3. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter–27 January 2017; Not going to lie, I kind of love the trailer to this movie. I’m excited.
  4. Rings–3 February 2017; Another movie that got pushed back. Still not really looking forward to this one, but–of course– I’ll be seeing it.
  5. Get Out–24 February 2017; This is probably the movie I’m most excited for. It looks like it’s going to be amazing.
  6. Annabelle 2–19 May 2017; Another movie whose existence I question. The first one was terrible, so why is there another one being made?
  7. Alien: Covenant–4 August 2017; I didn’t actually know about this movie. It’ll make for a great Trailer Tuesday.
  8. It–8 September 2017; I’m pretty excited for this remake. It could use some updating.
  9. Friday the 13th–13 October 2017; We know nothing about this except for the release date. I remain cautious (like…do we need a remake of the remake).
  10. Insidious: Chapter 4–20 October 2017; I don’t know how I feel about this. I thought the third Insidious movie was a great way to end the series, but I remain optimistic that Leigh Whannell could do something cool. We shall see.
  11. Saw: Legacy–27 October 2017; Why?
  12. Wrong Turn 7: At the End of the Road–Release Date TBD; Again, why?
  13. Suspiria?!?! Why? There’s no information about this, but I am perturbed.

Movies that are TBA: Jeepers Creepers 3, Hellraiser: Judgement, Chucky 7, Children of the Corn: Runaway, Halloween (?!).

I don’t know how I feel. I don’t know what to feel. Let me know what you think about the possible line up. Is there anything I missed?

Until next time, stay scary.

–E.