Better late than never, right? I’ve finally gotten through my backlog of screeners and am ready to reveal my top horror films of 2018. To say that 2018 was a great year for horror would be an understatement. We saw franchises revived with surprisingly good results, indie horror killed it (as it almost always does), and the horror genre even helped Nic Cage revive his career (which had been dying a slow and painful death for at least ten years). Read on for my top five picks, which are in no particular order.
When I initially found out the David Gordon Green and Danny McBride were in development on a Halloween sequel, I was less than thrilled. A comedic actor/screenwriter and the director of Pineapple Express reviving one of the most beloved series in horror history seemed like a recipe for disaster. However, things are not always what they seem and the results were excellent. Getting to watch three generations of Strode women come together to battle The Shape was majorly impressive and the atmosphere was pitch perfect.
Mandy may have been the biggest surprise of the year for me. As I mentioned earlier, Nicolas Cage’s career had been on life support for quite some time. But visionary director Panos Cosmatos helped the actor turn in a performance as strong or stronger than anything from Cage’s early days. The visuals are stunning and the story is captivating. If you haven’t checked this one out, please do.
A Quiet Place
I was blown away by how simultaneously suspenseful and emotionally raw A Quiet Place was. John Krasinski knocked it out of the park as the writer director and star of the film. All of the performances are authentic and the tension in nearly every scene is palpable.
Hereditary is easily one of the most emotionally raw films I’ve ever seen. Genre film or not. It is a jarring and eerily accurate portrayal of the devastating effects of loss. Toni Collette’s performance is among the best of her impressive career. Hereditary is not a film I’m eager to revisit over and over again. But that only speaks to how powerful it is and how profound an impact it had on me.
Summer of ’84
What I love about Summer of ’84 is that it captures a similar energy to coming of age films like Stand by Me and melds that with a serial killer next door storyline vaguely reminiscent of Rear Window. The result is pure magic. And the film only further proves that the directorial collective known as RKSS is the real deal.