Another year, another list of some of my faves. These are prolly interchangeable from moment to moment but for this particular moment, this is the order I’m goin with. Hope you folks enjoy, and have a pretty neato holiday and New Year.
# 7. RAW
The world was in much need of some cannibalism in its diet and boy did we get a radical heaping helping of it in the form of Raw. Director, Julia Ducournau unleashed a heck of a coming of age, cannibal story on us in this seductively, provocative and dangerous experience. Raw is full of cringe-worthy sequences, heavy gross outs and an overall expertly constructed, and at times touching film.
# 6. Get Out
I feel like this one was enough of a cultural phenomenon to not have to say much about it other than it fucking rules in all of its long form Twilight Zonish nature. Jordan Peele created something super terrifying, special and synonymously socially relevant. If you haven’t seen this one yet, shame you ya, get on it.
# 5. Tragedy Girls
Gosh darn, I love this movie. It’s immensely self-aware and a totally joy-filled experience. The meta nature of the film, combined with its two compelling leads (Brinna Hildebrand and Alexandra Shipp) make this one hard not to love. In, fact this was probably the one from my list that had the most re-watchability. The subversion of the slasher genre, the whip smart comedic timing and direction are charming as all heck. Can’t wait to see more from director, Tyler MacIntyre.
# 4. Gerald’s Game
The “un-filmable” nature of this one is a feat in itself. Easily one of the best Stephen King adaptations out there. Director, Mike Flanagan nails the experience of what King’s pages contained. The claustrophobia, hopelessness and inevitable heart are all captured brilliantly. Even the small liberties Flanagan takes are earned and helps to enrich the story. Gerald’s Game does everything right and features one of the most talked about and cringe-worthy moments of 2017.
# 3. Mother
Director, Darren Aronofsky has always had the ability to subtly make the most mundane of things absolutely terrifying and he does a heck load of that here. This one is a poetic horror film, but a horror film nonetheless. It is filled with dread from frame to frame on its surface. But the subtext within the pages of this one are some of the most thought provoking and prevalent that 2017’s panic nature had to offer. Some of my favorite film discussions have come for out of this one. It’s a masterpiece that I hope will one day become a cult phenomenon and get some of the attention it deserves. Even if you aren’t into the deeper meaning stuff, this one has plenty of extremely fucked up visuals for gore hounds and horror hounds alike.
#2. The Shape of Water
Guillermo Del Toro’s latest is a moving love story with classic horror elements that give it the framework that helps it stand. There is nothing not to love about this one. There is a romanticism with film in every frame. Outside of that love, Del Toro presents some of the most memorable characters and moments of the year. An all-time favorite for me has to be Michael Shannon’s rattily villain that displays all the intensity Shannon is known and loved for. It was a tough decision to put this one on a horror list. Del Toro has created his own subgenre, but I figured it would be a safe place to put it considering how it lives in reverence of the classics.
# 1. Hounds of Love
I was able to catch this one at SXSW 2017 and was entirely not prepared for the sheer horror show that was about to be unleashed into my eyeballs. This Aussie film directed by Ben Young, is an intensely dark ride through some seriously bleak unbeaten pathways. The film follows a young girl who is kidnapped by two sexual predators is haunting on multiple levels and is one mean spirited bastard of a film. Its well-acted and masterfully directed. My advice for watching this one is clearing your schedule for the day, the dark rhythms are malicious and may leave you rattled for a while.
Honorable mentions: Annabelle: Creation, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Better Watch Out, The Blackout’s Daughter, Super Dark Times and A Dark Song.