Best Horror of 2017 | Karen's Picks

10. Better Watch Out

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Keeping up with the nostalgia trend in movies and television, Better Watch Out is reminiscent of Home Alone but takes it one step further. It features some very promising young actors including the kids that we all loved from The Visit. Better Watch Out is a very fun Christmas movie that had a twist that I didn’t see coming.


9. The Girl With All the Gifts

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I have read a good amount of zombie novels in my time. Any movie based on a book that I loved automatically makes me nervous, which is why I waited so long to watch this. I am pleased to say it was a beautiful, faithful adaptation with great acting and some very tense scenes. It’s on Amazon Prime, so check it out!


8. Happy Death Day

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I was so sick of watching these trailers by the time this movie came out that I had no intention whatsoever of seeing it. Luckily, I mistakenly believed we were recording an episode on it. It was much better than the trailer suggested and such a fun movie! It doesn’t take itself too seriously while still maintaining a certain level of dread.


7. Creep 2

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The first thing I saw Mark Duplass in was The League, which if you don’t know, is a comedy series about a fantasy football league. This is just a tad different. Even without watching the first one, this was great. Sara is a great foil to Aaron and made the movie a lot of fun.


6. IT

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Did you really think this wouldn’t be on my list? Get out of here. There was no way this was going to be as scary as I remember the original being, but I was also way too young when I watched that. Bill Skarsgard did a fantastic job portraying Pennywise (so much drool!) and the kids were great. Excited to see them as adults!


5. The Blackcoat's Daughter

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Whoo boy can Oz Perkins make a pretty movie. I liked The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House but this was a more cohesive story and still so pretty. I have loved Kiernan Shipka since Mad Men and she just keeps getting better.


4. Thelma

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While I wasn’t able to record the episode on Thelma, I heard so many good things that I had to check it out. It is a beautiful coming of age tale set in Thelma’s first semester of college. As if that’s not a hard enough time for any teenage girl, leaving her strict religious home for the first time has some interesting consequences.


3. Get Out

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There is nothing to say about this movie that hasn’t already been said.  I want Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener to be my movie parents and Allison Williams was incredibly successful as their ‘innocent’ daughter.


2. Split

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James McAvoy crushed it in this movie, you could tell which personality was in charge just based on his body language. M. Night Shyamalan is back on his game and I am very excited to see the last movie in the trilogy.


1. Raw

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There was no movie even close to this one for me, it is probably my favorite horror movie of the last 5 years at least. I could watch it every week and not get sick of it. Why are you still reading this? Go watch it now!

Best Horror of 2017 | Amy's Picks

It can't be overstated that 2017 was a huge year for horror movies. We had the biggest movie of the year in IT & artistic credibility & social relevance with Get Out. Of course, this has meant zillions of silly think pieces from news outlets about how horror has suddenly become this valuable reflection of society's fears again, as if this hasn't been the case with good horror all along. But on the positive side, it means more backing, for horror blockbusters & indies alike. Which means 2018 will probably be an even better year for horror than 2017 was. So we got that going for us, which is nice. Anyway, here's my list...


10 | The Void

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Weird Lovecraftian death cults, man.  I love em.  The Void had by far the best special effects this year, & was the most viscerally thrilling film I saw.  It shared a lot in common with one of my picks from previous years, Baskin, but was lacking some of what made Baskin special.  Namely, the the non-linear timeline.

You can listen to our episode on it here.


9 | The Killing of a Sacred Deer

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It's about time Yorgos Lanthimos made a horror film. His movies are always uncomfortable, regardless of the genre. Might as well lean into it. This thriller in the vein of Michael Haneke's Cache uses that trademark Lanthimos skeevy awkwardness to full effect. Plus, the performances are great. Especially Barry Keoghan. Man, what a creepy role. 


8 | Killing Ground

There hasn't been a really interesting "killers in the woods" movie since 2012's Black Rock, so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. Not so surprisingly, it's another Australian film. Killing Ground's fractured timeline set it apart, as does the unexpected but refreshing final act.

You can listen to our episode on it here


7 | The Girl with All the Gifts

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The bar is set awfully high for zombie movies nowadays. I know plenty of people who refuse to watch another zombie movie regardless of how far afield that take on the mythology promises to be. I'll admit that's why it took me so long to watch this one. But, as usual, I was a fool. This is just as unique & fascinating as you've been told, & its star gives one of the very best performances of the year. Stop putting it off & watch this one already.


6 | We Go On

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This movie's got the least name recognition on the list, & the premise isn't groundbreaking - a guy who's paralyzed by his fear of death offers a cash reward for proof of the afterlife. Sometimes a movie doesn't need to be groundbreaking to be good. We Go On is just a really solid ghost story, with all the warmth & humanity that's necessary for a movie about death (which is what ghost stories are, really) to be effective.

Listen to our episode on it here.


5 | Thelma

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This was definitely the prettiest horror movie of 2017. Thelma rivals last year's The Eyes of My Mother in gorgeous shots illustrating the turmoil roiling under their heroine's meek exterior. 

Listen to our episode on it here.


4 | mother!

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I have no idea how this movie got a wide release. Seriously, do you know how many people have to sign off a wide release movie? Neither do I, but I'm sure it's a lot of people, & a lot of money. I love a scrappy indie success as much as the next guy, but the coolest story of 2017 is that Darren Aronofsky & Jennifer Lawrence were able to use their fame to trick mass audiences into watching an art film in the theater. 

Listen to our episode on it here.


3 | Get Out

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This was by far my most anticipated movie of 2017. I'd been excited since the first articles started hinting Jordan Peele was interested in making a horror movie. Watching his sketches you just knew he had a great understanding of horror & that he would have a cool approach. I also had a feeling it would be the smartest movie of the year. And look, I was right. Never doubt me!

Listen to our episode on it here.


2 | Raw

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Yeah yeah, it's real gross. But look, going from a teenager to an adult can be a really gross process. And all the biting & the gnawing & the face chewing aside, this is one of the very best coming-of-age movies I've seen. All the gore is just a bonus.

Listen to our episode on it here


1 | The Blackcoat's Daughter

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Here's what it comes down to - I really like Oz Perkins's style. I like the subject matter, I like his approach, the way he paces his movies, who he casts, the music he uses, the books that inspire him, all of it. If I ever made a horror movie, I'd want it to be a lot like The Blackcoat's Daughter. Hopefully he keeps on making them for me. In case he's taking suggestions, hey Oz! If you could make the next one even more Satan-y, that would be cool. Keep up the good work!

You can listen to our episode on The Blackcoat's Daughter here.


 

Honorable Mentions

As discussed on the program, the Twin Peaks return was my favorite thing of 2017. As it was technically not a movie, it was not included. Also, it would be unfair to the other contestants to compare them to my main man Mr. Lynch. Beware the Slenderman was really great, but I wasn't sure how to fit in a documentary on the list. Lastly, two of my favorite movies of 2017, A Ghost Story & Colossal, were sort of kind of almost but not quite horror movies, so I didn't include them,  either. But all these things are real good & Auntie Amy says to check em out! The end.

Best Horror of 2017 | Jamie's Picks


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10 | Happy Death Day

I’m not usually a fan of the “teen scream” type movies but Happy Death Day was definitely an exception. It quickly won me over with its simple yet entertaining and unique plot; a college student finds herself forced to live the day of her murder over and over again until she’s finally able to discover the identity of her killer. It’s basically Groundhog’s Day meets a horror slasher - what doesn't sound awesome about that?!? I watched it on my own and lol’d at quite a few parts so I imagine it would be even better with a group of like-minded pals.


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9 | Get Out

I really debated whether or not I wanted to include Get Out in my top 10 list for this year. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good movie and I had a lot of fun watching it - I just feel like it got a lot more hype than it deserved (especially considering some of the other titles that came out in 2017). I finally decided to include it because, ultimately, I did have fun watching it (I mean, Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford!!). It was well acted and did manage to get a lot of folks out to see it and then talk about it. I can't help but be pleased that more people are getting into horror now because of blockbuster hits like Get Out.

The Bloodlust Podcast - Episode 67


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8 | Split

Oh, Split. The movie where I found myself oddly attracted to James McAvoy dressed as a woman. Not just any woman, of course. He was dressed as Patricia, one of his 23 personalities. While I certainly enjoyed this movie in its entirety, it was McAvoy's performance that really sealed the deal - he stole the show (even from new horror darling, Anya Taylor-Joy!). Split is M Night's second movie since 2015's The Visit and though it doesn't necessarily have the sort of twist you might expect, it does have a surprise treat at the end for folks who have seen Unbreakable. Here's hoping M Night keeps it up!

The Bloodlust Podcast - Episode 64


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7 | Creep 2

This second installation to Mark Duplass’ planned trilogy builds on the same general plot as Creep, but manages to feel more authentic - and far more uncomfortable -, largely due to the chemistry and interactions between the two characters. While I can’t say I liked Creep 2 as much as I liked Creep, I can say that I had just as much fun watching it. 

The Bloodlust Podcast - Episode 88


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6 | Beware the Slenderman

This HBO documentary covers the highly publicised case of Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser and the Slenderman stabbing. If the idea of two impressionable and disturbed young girls becoming influenced enough by a fictional character to attempt to murder their friend isn’t one that sends a couple chills down your spine, this may not be the documentary for you. If it is, however, then borrow your friend’s HBO password and check out this movie.

The Bloodlust Podcast - Episode 65


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5 | Black Mirror

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Not only did this season feel more tonally balanced than last season but, I just flat-out enjoyed it more. It’s hard to even pick a favorite episode; The season opener, USS Callister, was entertaining, tense, and visually beautiful to watch. Black Mirror can be a tricky show to recommend to folks, due to its often dark and emotionally devastating themes, but I feel like Charlie Brooker has found a balanced way to create new episodes that appeal to a wider and more diverse group of folks. If we could be guaranteed a new season every year, I would be a very happy camper.


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4 | Super Dark Times

Super Dark Times was an unexpected, end-of-the-year win for me. Almost every technical aspect felt expertly conceived and executed, and the actors delivered performances that felt genuine and painfully authentic. There was a point during the movie where I felt physically sick from anxiety because of what was taking place on screen. All of this being said, I was really hoping it would end differently and when it didn’t, I was thrown off. Regardless, I loved this and highly recommend it.


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3 | The Void

I think I can confidently say that, of all the horror movies I saw this year, I had the most fun watching The Void. The not-so-subtle Lovecraftian feel that's present throughout the movie only adds to the overall viewing enjoyment. The story-line may not be the cleanest and the acting may not be the best, but I was so enamored by the visuals and practical effects that I didn’t care. If you’re anything like me, once the movie hits a certain point, you’ll be at the edge of your seat, grinning like an idiot.

The Bloodlust Podcast - Episode 71


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2 | Thelma

Joachim Trier really nailed it with this beautiful and well-acted story about Thelma, a young woman away at college - and away from her parents’ strict, religious home - for the first time. The story only focuses on a small snippet of her life, but it's a very significant snippet. Some of the scenes felt so hauntingly tense and yet, were relatively simplistic in their design and setup. Color me impressed. This will probably be a tough sell for your “blood & guts only” kind of horror fan but if you’re interested in something a bit more subtle, you should definitely give this a try.

The Bloodlust Podcast - Episode 87


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1 | Raw

When I saw this movie earlier this year for the first time, I knew it would top my "Best of 2017" list. Honestly, this is one of the most impressive and satisfying movies I've seen in a while - even outside of the horror genre. Julia Durcournau created a terrifically disturbing yet, weirdly relatable story about a young girl, away at college for the first time and coming to terms with her new...urges. Raw was visually stunning, well-acted, and felt like something refreshingly new. You're doing yourself a great disservice if you don't give this movie a try. 

The Bloodlust Podcast - Episode 68