Happy 2018, ya little creeps! Welcome to my list. I did miss out on seeing a few horror offerings from 2017 that probably would have made the cut. But from the grip of movies I did see, here’s my favorites.
Honorable Mention | The Shape of Water dir. Guillermo del Toro
This movie is not a horror movie. So I won’t try to shove it on to my top 10. BUT it is a creature movie. And it is Guillermo, who I consider to be modern day horror royalty, while also a potential future husband of mine.
10 | Mother! dir. Darren Aronofsky
I love me a good old fashion polarizing piece of art. I’m a big fan of Aronofsky and his genre defying works. This movie is at times horrific, lordy yes. Whether you loved it or hated it, this movie gets people talking and thinking. That’s the type of discussion Aunt Sandy lives for.
9 | Annabelle: Creation dir. David F. Sandberg
As a big fan of the creepy doll trope, this movie did not disappoint. Unlike that first Annabelle stand alone, which really disappointed. How about the cast of great young actresses here? Wow. I enjoy a period horror piece that manages to feel authentic. AC nicely has a tie in to the upcoming Nun/Valak feature in a way that makes me excited to explore more of this Conjuring universe.
8 | Happy Death Day dir. Christopher Landon
I am a sucker for a “teen scream” vibe horror movie. Good or terrible, I usually enjoy them. Happy Death Day stood out for me because it was smart, funny, ultimately self-referential, but still gives the audience some scares and violence for their time. The casting choices here were spot on, especially with Jessica Rothe managing to carry this movie on her shoulders. A lesser actress wouldn’t have the charisma and chops to pull it off like she did.
7 | 1922 dir. Zak Hilditch
Based on a phenomenal short story by the master, Stephen King, comes another historical horror offering. Director and writer Hilditch managed to craft something true to the novella, but still strong enough to stand on its own. Thomas Jane embodies the role of Wilfred James to a disturbing level. Can someone give this man an acting trophy, please?
6 | Creep 2 dir. Patrick Brice
A damn fine horror sequel. Yes, you most definitely can see Creep 2 without having seen Creep, but do yourself a favor and watch both of these fantastic films. Mark Duplass is a serial killer in a rut. Will filmmaker Sara help him get his grove back? I was happy with Desiree Akhavan as the badass lady documentarian who manages to stand toe-to-toe with one of the creepiest of creeps around. Thanks for the memories, Aaron…er…or is it Josef? Who the hell knows.
5 | Gerald’s Game dir. Mike Flanagan
Mr. Flanagan has become one of my most favorite horror directors. Mike and Jeff Howard managed to make a fantastic adaptation of a Stephen King story. Like many female horror fans, I devoured this feminist psychological thriller. I felt an emotional connection to Jesse, a true survivor, beautifully played by Carla Gugino. Let’s hope 2018 gives us more kickass women.
4 | IT dir. Andy Muschietti
One of my favorite King novels got one hell of a face lift in 2017. The changes made were completely justified and did nothing but add dimension and originality to the story. The heart, humor, and nostalgia rang true to the book. This young ensemble cast can outperform actors twice their age. Perhaps most importantly? The movie is creepy af.
3 | Raw dir. Julia Ducournau
This movie was love at first viewing. Raw was a breath of cool air for me. Here is one of those stories that makes me excited for all the places horror can go in the future. Mix together a girl’s coming of age tale, body horror, cannibal feasting, and gore. Serve fresh.
2 | The Blackcoat’s Daughter dir. Oz Perkins
Hi Oz Perkins. Keep making horror films and I will gobble each one up. Another female led cast on my list, and deservedly so. Cold, bleak, beautiful, fatalistic, and unsettling. This was one of those scary tales that grabbed me and hasn’t relinquished its hold after several months and viewings.
1 | Get Out dir. Jordan Peele
Sometimes, the hype is real. Those of us in the horror community know that our beloved genre has depth. Our movies (and books) often get looked over by the snobs out there despite the social messages and cultural reflections they offer. Once in a while, a horror film can break through that elitist crust and remind the world we are here, we are smart, and we have good stuff to offer. Get Out added something important and relevant to a national conversation about ethnicity in our country. It also managed to do it while being creepy, inventive, and entertaining as hell.