Thursday, January 24, 2019

Phil's Top Ten Horror Films of 2018 - January 3, 2018

2018 was another banner for the horror genre!! Horror hounds as we were treated  once again with a plethora of outstanding, thought provoking and truly terrifying movies to watch! There was so much great films that I thought I died and gone to Hell! Now this was really a daunting task, due to the fact that there were some truly incredible and remarkable films that I saw in theaters, Blu-Ray, DVD as well as on VOD and streaming services like Shudder and Netflix. So boils and ghouls, here is my Top Ten Horror Films of 2018!

10) THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT: A family's road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family's every limit as they struggle to survive. Right from the beginning, the film has the aesthetic of a 70's horror film, right down to it's logo design. And I was digging it man! While the first installment was extremely unnerving and highly suspenseful, the sequel knows exactly what it is, as that your straight forward slasher flick. And there's nothing wrong with that. Over the duration of the movie, director Johannes Roberts keeps his eye of the prize; providing shocks, scares, suspense, and shenanigans to keep horror fans happy. And that freaking pool scene!! An intense, thrill ride of a slasher movie that's short on plot but makes up in sheer joy and enthusiasm!

9) THE BABYSITTER: Cole (Judah Lewis) loves his babysitter (Samara Weaving) Bee. She's hot, funny, and popular. One night, in a moment of defiance, Cole secretly stays up past his bedtime to discover she's actually a cold-blooded killer who's in league with the Devil. He now must spend his night evading Bee's band of killers who will stop at nothing to prevent Cole from spilling their dark secret. It's up to Cole to survive the night (and blow up a few people along the way). The characters are very relatable and sympathetic. I mean, c'mon, who didn't have a crush on their super hot babysitter when they were kids?!? Now, add in some awesome gore, bloodshed, and hysterical hijinks and you have yourself on hell of a film!! It follows along the lines of recent horror comedies like SHAUN OF THE DEAD, TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL, and BETTER WATCH OUT.One of the most outrageous, blood stained, batshit crazy, bonkers as hell, flat out gross out horror comedies of all time!! I freaking loved this movie!

8) NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE: Five teenage friends set out for the beach on their Spring Break vacation. Good times are cut short when one of the group, Carrie, contracts a deadly sexual transmitted disease during a bathroom stop. When they stop for the night at an isolated motel, the real terror begins when the STD virus starts running rampant, turning those infected into the living dead. However, there's more going on at the motel than meets the eye. f there was ever a film that promotes that abstinence as well as the dangers of necrophilia, it's this film! Writer/director Jonathan Straiton, along with co-writers Ron Bonk and Mean Gene, crafted one of the most insane, gory, fast paced, darkly sexual, horror film I have ever seen! One of my favorite independent horror films of 2018!!

7) CULT OF CHUCKY: After accused of murdering her family, Nica (Fiona Dourif) is taken to an asylum and thinks that she's the cause of the deaths of her family. However, when grizzly deaths start to occur, she then realizes that Chucky (Brad Dourif), her illusion might not be make believe. She also finds out that the doll is slowly starting to possess anyone or anything to join a huge cult to kill off Chucky's victims, but things don't go to well in the asylum, including for Chucky's long lost friend Andy Barcley (Alex Vincent) who tries to stop the cult from getting bigger while also trying to get past Chucky's wife, Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly). I am so impressed with Mancini's directing. He clearly has a vision and, despite its very low budget, he is able to capture some outstanding sweeps, compositions, and gore galore. He finds the balance of scares and drama, with a little bit of humor for good measure. You can also see how much confident he gains from each film. I cannot wait to see what he does in his next film!

6) REVENGE: Debut director Coralie Fargeat announces her stunning arrival, painting a crimson canvas of hypnotic beauty and bloody retribution in this razor-sharp feminist subversion of the revenge-thriller. Jen (fearlessly embodied by Matilda Lutz, Rings) is enjoying a romantic getaway with her wealthy boyfriend which is suddenly disrupted when his sleazy friends arrive for an unannounced hunting trip. Tension mounts in the house until the situation abruptly––and viciously––intensifies, culminating in a shocking act that leaves Jen left for dead. Unfortunately for her assailants, Jen survives and reemerges with a relentless, wrathful intent: revenge. An ungodly violent and grotesque entry in the rape/revenge genre, the film grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until the final credits roll! I had seen the film first on Shudder, but then I bought it on Blu-Ray once it became available. A powerful and raw film!!

5) TERRIFIER: Based on a character from the cult anthology, ALL HALLOW'S EVE, the gory 80's slasher throwback takes place on Halloween night as the demented Art the Clown sets his sights on terrorizing two girls and anyone else that gets in his way. Yeah, this is one fucked up horror movie!! It has that old school, 1970's grindhouse horror film aesthetic that the movie nails you to the back of the theater and doesn't let go till the end credits. It's also super nasty, meaning everything about it makes you feel dirty watching it. Credit goes to actor David Howard Thornton for his performance of Art the Clown, one of the most horrifying clowns I have ever seen in a horror film! He doesn't speak a word and he doesn't have to: his body language, his mannerism, his facial expressions, every little thing he does adds to mystic to his role! One of the most shocking, grotesque and insane horror films of the past decade!! This movie is not for the faint at heart! If you like your horror movies outrageously fucked-up, and covered in blood and guts, this one was made for you!

4) HALLOWEEN: Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. Holy crap I loved the hell outta this movie!! This surpassed beyond my expectations! Jamie Lee Curtis returns to bring a new dimension to her iconic character Laurie Strode. Life has been hard on Laurie, and we learn the sacrifices, consequences, and loss that she has lived through these past 40 years. This is the sequel that we have been waiting for for the last 40 years!! Everything in this movie was phenomenal!! The acting, the directing, the cinematography, the film's score, there wasn't anything wrong with the overall presentation! And the kills were graphic, gory, and gorgeous!!

3) A QUIET PLACE: If they hear you, they hunt you. In this terrifyingly suspenseful thriller, a family must navigate their lives in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by sound. Knowing that even the slightest whisper or footstep can bring death, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Lee (John Krasinski) Abbott are determined to find a way to protect their children at all costs while they desperately search for a way to fight back. Holy shit was this an intense, nail biter of a horror flick!! Emily Blunt is absolutely amazing!! Actor/director John Krasinski crafted one of the finest horror films of the year! And having deaf actress Millicent Simmonds gave the film more credibility, as it brought the world of ASL (American Sign Language) to the forefront. And since my girlfriend is an ASL Interpreter, this brought it closer to the world that she lives in. One of the most frightening horror flicks of 2018!!

2) MANDY: The quiet life of devoted couple Red (Nicolas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas) and Mandy (Andrea Riseborough, Birdman) takes a dark and bizarre turn when a nightmarish cult and their maniacal leader (Linus Roache, “Vikings”) seek to possess Mandy…body and soul. A shocking assault on the innocent pair leads to a spiraling, surreal, bloody rampage of all out, mind-altering vengeance. Holy crap was this one of the most batshit crazy film of the year!! Cage gives a tour de force performance as our protagonist Red Miller. Co-writer/director Panos Cosmatos made a name for himself with his breakthrough debut BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW back in 2010. One of the most talked about films of 2018!!

1) HEREDITARY: When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. Actress Toni Collette gives one of her greatest performances of all time!! Actor Gabriel Byrne is the world's biggest asshole in cinema history!! The film was written and directed by Ari Aster, who before this film several short indie films. This was his feature full length debut and he knocked it out of the mother fucking park!! If there was one film that talked about more than any other film of 2018, it was this film!!

And that, my fellow children of the night, is a wrap! I sincerely hope you enjoyed my Top Ten Horror Films of 2018 and I really hope this encourages you all to check out these incredible fright flicks! Remember, if you get scared from watching these cinematic nightmares, keep repeating yourself: It's only a movie...only a movie...only a movie...only a movie....BOO!!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

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