Horror Movies

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

The Endless.jpg

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


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

The Ritual.jpg

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 "Back-to-School" Horror Movies

It’s that wonderful time of year where parents send their precious little angels back to school to fill their heads with whatever nuggets of info the Board of Education has deemed appropriate. To celebrate, I bring you a list of school-related horror to fill your kid-free hours during the day.

Detention (2011)

Director: Joseph Kahn | Writers: Joseph Kahn, Mark Palermo | Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Shaley Caswell, Spencer Locke, Dane Cook (ikr?!)

An entertaining horror-comedy about a group of highschoolers who find themselves being terrorized by "Cinderhella", a killer named after a character from a popular horror movie. I happen to be a particular fan of these meta/self-referential horror-comedies and this one is funny, clever, and rather underrated, if I do say so myself.

The Faculty (1998)

Director: Robert Rodriguez | Writers: David Wechter (story), Bruce Kimmel (story), Kevin Williamson (screenplay) | Stars: Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Shawn Hatosy, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen, Piper Laurie, Christopher McDonald, Bebe Neuwirth, Robert Patrick, Usher, Jon Stewart, Elijah Wood, Daniel von Bargen, Summer Phoenix, Danny Masterson, Louis Black

Ok, so did you read that cast list?! Not only is this movie an entertaining and exciting piece of scifi-horror, but it has an impressively solid list of names. Granted, there are the typical “90’s movie” names (I’m talking to you, Josh Hartnett & Shawn Hatosy!), but you’re also lucky enough to see the likes of Robert Patrick & Famke Janssen. Shit, even Usher makes an appearance. If you’ve never seen this, do yourself a favor and give it a watch. You’ll learn how to defeat aliens with drugs - a lesson you probably weren’t taught in school.

Battle Royal (2000)

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Writers: Koushun Takami (novel), Kenta Fukasaku (screenplay) | Stars: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Yamamoto

Most horror fans are familiar with this dystopian novel & film, set in a future Japan. In this future, the Japanese government captures a group of unwilling high school students and forces them to fight to the death - all under the guise of the government's “revolutionary” Battle Royal act. The result is a bloody and vicious fight for survival - and you thought your high school years were tough.

Cooties (2014)

Directors: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion | Writers: Leigh Whannell, Ian Brennan | Stars: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Leigh Whannell, Nasim Pedrad, Jorge Garcia

Listen...people love seeing kids turn into little monsters and start running around, offing all the adults -- It’s a perfect setup for a dark comedy! So when a mysterious “cooties” virus hits an elementary school, the sweet, innocent little schoolchildren are transformed into feral, flesh-eating savages. Watching the remaining teachers attempt to work together to fight off hordes of snarling students is as entertaining as it is hilarious.

Check out The Bloodlust's review of Cooties here.

Carrie (1976)

Director: Brian De Palma | Writers: Stephen King (novel), Lawrence D. Cohen (screenplay) | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving

I shouldn’t even have to explain this movie to you. If you’re a fan of horror (or of movies, in general), you’ve seen the original Carrie. You know exactly what scene is being referenced should you ever hear a group of highschool girls start to chant, “Plug it up! Plug it up!” This is one of those iconic horror films you watched when you were in your early teens and already had an ever-growing list of things to be afraid of. Puberty is no picnic, and when you add a religious, domineering mother and newfound telekinetic powers to the mix, it’s no wonder Carrie lost her cool.

Prom Night (1980)

Director: Paul Lynch | Writers: William Gray (screenplay), Robert Guza Jr. (story) | Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens

This movie has a perfect setup for a successful slasher: a terrifying, masked killer, upset about the accidental death of a young girl, stalks the four high school students who have been hiding this secret for years. It basically writes itself! Fans of the slasher-themed horror probably have this movie permanently placed in their movie canon. It’s really one of the classics that seems to get better (and cheesier) with age.

Scream (1996)

Director: Wes Craven | Writer: Kevin Williamson | Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy, Drew Barrymore

“What’s your favorite scary movie?” We’re all very familiar with this 90’s horror favorite from the master, Wes Craven. How could a person not be familiar with it? It did, after all, spawn a series of sequels, a series of parodies, numerous quotable lines, and was meta before being meta was cool. Granted, it wasn’t the first piece of metacinema in the horror genre - it wasn’t even the first for Wes Craven (check out Wes Craven’s New Nightmare)! However, just because it wasn’t the first, doesn’t mean that it didn’t significantly help pave the way for films like Cabin in the Woods and Final Girl. As a fan of the meta-style of film, Scream will always have a place in my lists.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Director: Peter Weir | Writers: Joan Lindsay (novel), Cliff Green (screenplay) | Stars: Rachel Roberts, Anne-Louise Lambert, Vivean Gray

A teacher and group of students from an Australian girls’ school, vanish without a trace while out on a excursion to Hanging Rock. Personally, I’m a fan of the horror-mystery movies involving people or groups that go missing and the search for clues, etc. etc. They generally have just enough of that “true crime” touch to get me really interested. If you like this movie and others of a similar ilk, I recommend checking out Yellow Brick Road.

Suspiria (1977)

Director: Dario Argento | Writers: Dario Argento (screenplay), Daria Nicolodi (screenplay) | Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci

This stylish Argento classic is an absolute must-see for fans of horror. In fact, if you haven’t seen it, stop reading immediately and go watch it. Everything from the music, to the colors, to the setting is all expertly used to create a seriously unsettling atmosphere. The story is a simple one: a dancer arrives at an elite German ballet school only to discover it’s actually being run by witches who will kill anyone who threatens them. That’s it. It’s a perfect example of how a good director can make a gorgeous, yet, unnerving horror film without relying heavily on plot.

The Awakening (2011)

Director: Nick Murphy | Writers: Stephen Volk (screenplay), Nick Murphy (screenplay) | Stars: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton

This is one of those movies that doesn’t seem to get talked about much and I find that to be a shame. Set in 1920’s post-war England, paranormal activity debunker, Florence, heads to an appropriately creepy boarding school to investigate the sightings of a ghostly child. Ghosts have been used as fodder for horror movies since about forever and, because of this, many (if not most) ghost movies are complete shit. The Awakening, however, is a much-appreciated exception. I’m still a bit creeped out by a particular scene involving a dollhouse...

Suicide Club (2001)

Director: Sion Sono | Writer: Sion Sono | Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Masatoshi Nagase, Mai Hosho

High school can really be a rough time for some kids. I mean, puberty is hitting most people (some harder than others), hormones are all over the place, the desire to fit in and belong is a constant presence...the list goes on. However, regardless of how bad your high school experience may have been, chances are 54 of your fellow students didn’t throw themselves in front of a train, sparking a string of student suicides across the country. Welcome to Suicide Club.

The Blackcoat's Daughter / aka February (2015)

Director: Osgood Perkins | Writer: Osgood Perkins | Stars: Emma Roberts, Lauren Holly, Kiernan Shipka

I’ll be honest, I have yet to see this one. However, since it’s on my “to watch” list, I’m adding it to the list. If you are familiar with Osgood Perkins (or Oz Perkins), you’ll know that his movie background isn’t exactly filled with horror titles. In fact, the two movies I recognized him from are Not Another Teen Movie and Legally Blonde. All that aside, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a horror-thriller about two girls, who get left behind at boarding school and must deal with some mysterious evil force. If that’s the sort of storyline that does it for you, this may be a movie you’ll want to check out.

The Substitute (2007)

Director: Ole Bornedal | Writers: Ole Bornedal (screenplay), Henrik Prip (screenplay) | Stars: Paprika Steen, Ulrich Thomsen, Jonas Wandschneider

Our favorite token dude, Eddie, puts this movie in his favorite subgenre of “kids knowing something up but the adults don’t believe them.” It’s similar to The Faculty in that the kids are convinced their teacher is actually an alien. If you ask me, there should be more alien-related horror because I seem to dig most of the ones I’ve seen. This is a fun horror movie that has as many funny parts as it does creepy - there’s a particular scene where the teacher reads the kids’ minds that’s particularly great. A great watch if you’re with a group of friends!

Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments!