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