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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.

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!