Best Horror of 2018 | Jamie's Picks

It’s important to note these aren’t really in any particular order - but, here you have em - my favorite horror films of 2018.


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Upgrade

Upgrade was one of those 2018 horror movies that I had added to my list from the get-go, but then didn’t get around to watching it until the end of the year. As a long-standing fan of Black Mirror, the premise was right up my alley (artificial implants that cause super strength) and I was happy to see Logan Marshall-Green (The Invitation) stepping back in to the world of horror. Not usually a fan of Leigh Whannell, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie.


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Hereditary

I didn’t jump on the Hereditary hype-train right away. The first viewing wasn’t enough to really blow me away, despite there being two scenes that were delightfully shocking and completely unexpected. It wasn’t until my second watch that I really understood why people were raving about this movie. It’s a crazy story made real with solid camera direction and an amazing cast of actors. This will absolutely be a movie I revisit multiple times.


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Suspiria


Remakes and reboots have been all the rage for the last 5 years or so, and the announcement that Argento’s Suspiria would be getting the same treatment was enough to make many horror fans a wee bit nervous. Luckily, Luca Guadagnino’s vision was bizarre, visually captivating, and more than a little unsettling. I appreciate Argento’s original for what it is but, I enjoyed watching this reboot even more.


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Annihilation

Ex Machina has stuck with me since the first time I watched it and I have been waiting for director Alex Garland’s next movie ever since. Luckily, we got it last year in the form of Annihilation, a visually stunning movie that explored the idea that humanity’s destruction (and the destruction of all life on Earth as we know it) came as the result of some cosmic accident/genetic anomaly. Sure, some of the CGI is wonky but it didn’t take anything away from the movie - the story itself is more than compelling enough to keep you engaged and interested.


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Mandy

Oh, Mandy, you came and you gave…
This movie was a seriously wild ride from beginning to end. Visually, it was one of the most interesting movies I’ve seen in years - the colors, the sound, the acting, the costumes, etc., it’s all just so wonderful and I couldn’t tear my eyes away. Nic Cage is quickly become horror’s new darling and his performance in Mandy confirms that horror is where he belongs.


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The Ritual

The Ritual is easily my most re-watched movie on this list. It’s a tense and creepy story, set in the ancient woods of Sweden, and it just so happens to have the absolute coolest looking movie monster in the history of movie monsters. I highly recommend checking out both the movie and the novel it’s based on (The Ritual, by Adam Nevill) - you’ll find they have wildly different endings but they both work and I wasn’t disappointed in either.


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The Endless

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are quite the dynamic duo when it comes to film-making. I count Spring and Resolution among my favorite horror/thriller films, and their 2018 release, The Endless, is no different. Despite being a sort of companion piece to Resolution, The Endless is a seriously trippy — and often unsettling — ride that is perfectly capable of standing on it's own. It’s a truly bizarre story about two brothers, who receive a cryptic video that drives them to revisit the UFO death cult they had escaped when they were younger. If that’s not enough to pull you in, The Endless also shows us unsettling time loops, weird phenomenons that cause a “mirroring effect” in nature, and a night sky with three moons - you can’t say that doesn’t sound intriguing. Finally, if you’re a fellow fan of Benson and Moorhead, you’ll be pleased to know they have recently wrapped up filming on their next film, Synchronic.


Best Horror of 2018 | Karen's Picks

Well another year has come to a close, which means I have been trying like mad to catch up on all the horror movies from 2018 that I haven’t had a chance to watch yet. There are still others I want to see, but I had to call it at some point.


10. Ravenous

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A French-Canadian film. There is no shortage of zombie movies, but this one was just different enough to keep my interest. The zombies don’t act like you would expect and it makes you feel just as unsettled as the characters trying to survive.


9. Mom and Dad

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Only one of the Nicolas Cage movies in my top ten, which is a sentence I never thought I would type. Who knew that he was just a horror star waiting to happen? This movie was a fresh take on the kids trying to kill their parents movie and Nic and Selma Blair played the roles perfectly.


8. Revenge

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This is one of the movies that kept growing on me well after I watched it. There were some gratuitous ‘artsy’ shots that got distracting after a while, but this is a very well done revenge movie that empowers the main character and has the audience cheering along.


7. A Quiet Place

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Why do movies always have to show the monsters? It hardly ever helps and it is definitely the case in this movie. This was a terrifying concept and well-made, but the ending was a bit over the top and that’s why it’s not higher on my list.


6. Mandy

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I predict next year, Nic Cage will be in 3 of my top 10. He seriously cannot be stopped. I had a hard time even picking an image for this because the movie is just so cool looking. It’s a bit longer than I would have liked, but watching Red get revenge for a solid hour was mesmerizing enough to keep my interest.


5. Terrified

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I finally broke down and got Shudder mostly to watch this (and Summer of 84, but meh) and I was not disappointed. An Argentinian horror movie about weird happenings in a neighborhood that keeps us guessing with what will show up next. Very solid practical effects and good acting made this movie stick with me long after it was over.


4. The Endless

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Cults?  Weird time loops? Benson and Moorhead? You had me at cults. I loved Spring and I love these guys. The movie looks awesome and is definitely a fresh take on the cult film. I cannot wait to see what they come up with next.


3. Bird Box

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I had very high expectations for this movie as I absolutely loved the book (by a Michigan native and a quick read - check it out!) and I think this was a great adaptation. It was pretty faithful to the book and the things that they changed made sense and didn’t take away from the overall story.


2. The Ritual

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Another film based on a book that I loved. This book kept me up at night and that never happens anymore. This movie has cults, monsters, Norse mythology… what else could you want?


1. Halloween

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If you’re surprised by this, you don’t know me at all. This movie was made for me.

Top Ten NoSleep Podcast Stories (Seasons 7-10)

By popular demand, here's your all new list of the best NoSleep had to offer in seasons 7-10. If you're looking for the best of the early years of the show, check out our definitive list here.


Wallmart

Season 8, Episode 22    

A mundane trip to the eponymous store turns into a surreal nightmare in this brief but effective tale. Some of the most terrifying stories (to me, anyway) take place in an ordinary world that suddenly becomes strange & unfamiliar in small ways. Addison Peacock, a new addition to the NoSleep cast in these later seasons, shows here why she's quickly become one of the show's best narrators, & stalwart composer Brandon Boone's score lends an extra layer of eerie to the proceedings. 


Down in the Library Basement

Season 7, Episode 22     

This one typifies the type of creative storytelling that gives NoSleep its staying power. The show has always known that horror fiction encompasses a huge variety of styles & feels. It's not all morbid, dark & bloody; horror can be funny or heartwarming too, & "Library Basement" is both. The first part of the story originally appeared as a season pass offering; proof that the show runners don't just fill their paid content with fluff.


500 Yards

Season 10, Episode 18    

This tale of a group of track stars forced to run for their lives from a snarky monster is easily one of the most immediate & intense stories the show has ever aired. Erin Lillis is clearly having a blast as said snarky monster.


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Dogs in the Drywall

Season 10, Episode 9     

Here we have another everyday horrible scenario turning into actual horror. This story of an office drone pursued through his cubicle farm by monsters only he can see is a chilling & often awkward depiction of what a psychotic break might look like from the perspective of the one having the breakdown.


A Seaside British Pub

Season 7, Episode 5    

Quick, who's your favorite female NoSleep narrator? Is it: a) Erika Sanderson, b) Erika Sanderson or c) Erika Sanderson? Yeah, she slays every role, every time, but this one might be her best. No surprise there, when one of the show's very best authors, C.M. Scandreth, is providing the words. The strange denizens of the titular pub exist in a fully fleshed-out world, each with their own fun backstory. For extra credit, check out the season 10 finale, which revisits the pub.


The Forest of a Thousand Legs

Season 9, Episode 7 

You should've known you weren't getting out of this list without a spider story, & this one's a doozy. Not only will it make you itch for days, "Forest" is also filled with warmth & relatable details, not to mention a hell of a surprise.


The Slog

Season 7, Episode 9     

From time to time NoSleep likes to tweak its usual pattern of introduction then story by integrating a creepy tale into David Cummings's introduction. Sometimes it doesn't work, but in the case of "The Slog," it works very well. This surreal story of a man growing old & dying while stuck in traffic pretty much describes my own personal version of hell. It's also a clever cautionary tale about not putting things off "til you get there."


What Happens When the Stars Go Out

Season 10, Valentine's Day Bonus    

Let me preface this by assuring you that I have very little patience for sappy, lovey dovey horseshit, so when a Valentine's Day special popped up on my NoSleep feed I was skeptical at best. Despite starting off with a pretty cornball meet cute, the relationship drama at the center of the story ends up ringing true. Surprisingly, we're even treated to some genuine wisdom about love & loss. Color me impressed. Mick Wingert, who has been an invaluable addition to the cast, gives his best performance thus far.


The House in the Field

October Opening (Between Seasons 7 & 8)

What would you do if a full-sized house suddenly appeared in your yard? Shit your pants then call the police, right? Sure, but what if you're 7 years old, & none of the adults can see the house? That's the premise of this tale, which has the distinction of being the only story in NoSleep's run to have given me actual goosebumps. Somebody turn this into a short film, STAT.


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Best Finale Episode:

(tie) Borrasca & My Dad Finally Told Me What Happened that Day

Season 7, Episode 25 & Season 8, Episode 25

Yes, "Borrasca" is an epic story with an all-star cast. Yes, it's basically an audio feature-length film. And yes, it is a must-listen for fans of audio horror fiction. But allow me to plead the case for my preferred finale of these later seasons, "My Dad Finally Told Me What Happened that Day." First off, this might just be a personal preference, but I like my horror to come with some loose ends. How often in life are we privy to the entire story? How often are the motivations of others fully revealed to us? That our narrator is left with so many unanswered questions makes "My Dad" all the more realistic & chilling. And second, it's nice to hear a story as far into the show's run as season 8 that is this faithful to the subreddit’s original premise - a first-person account of unexplained, unsettling events. Amy says try em both!


There you have it, folks - the very best of seasons 7-10. According to moi, anyway. What did I miss? Let me know in the comments. Or, y'know, just yell at me for not including "Feed the Pig."

(Credits for all the neat original artwork seen here can be found by clicking on the respective episode link)