Hello, Horror Syndicate! Last year, I wrote about my 2016 favorites, and most anticipated movies of 2017, so I figured I’d do the same for this year. Just like last year, I’ll mention my favorite releases from 2017, as well as my favorite older films that I watched for the first time, and the movies I’m most excited to see in 2018.
Top Five Favorite Releases of 2017
My first honorable mention goes to The Belko Experiment which is one of the films I included on my most anticipated of 2017 list. It was a really unique film, with a star studded cast that didn’t disappoint. Secondly, I want to mention Life. I’m a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, and while I don’t think this is one of his best performances, it is still a good one. Life has the same basic premise as Alien, but it’s different enough to not feel like a remake. You can read a full review of the film, here. I had a really tough time choosing between Life and Mother for the final place in my ranked favorites of the year, but ultimately chose the latter.
Initially, I was excited about seeing Mother once I saw the trailer because I thought it looked interesting, but then it was released and every single thing I heard about it was bad so I was a little hesitant to watch it, and my excitement was dialed back. However, I finally got around to watching it and loved it. Mother is one hell of a weird film that is kind of impossible to describe, but it’s one of those films that knowing nothing about it going into it really greatens the experience. The entire film made me incredibly anxious. When I was finished watching Mother I had a strange deja vu feeling that I had seen a film with that story before, even though I’m certain i have it, and given the ending of the film, this feeling is quite amusing to me. The feeling of familiarity I get from it might be from the film Dream House (2011), which I also love. Both films kind of revolve around a family in a house with a plot that’s hard to follow, but other than that really aren’t too similar. Anyway… If you want to read more about Mother, you can read Jared’s review of it here.
4) The Babysitter
The Babysitter is a Netflix original horror comedy which I found fantastic. It was bloody, hilarious, and extremely well acted. I went into further detail in my review of the film, which you can read here.
Split was my number one most anticipated horror film of 2017 and it didn’t disappoint. James McAvoy did an AMAZING job of portraying each of the different personalities his character possessed. Up and comers Anya Taylor Joy, and Haley Lu Richardson also had very strong performances. By now you probably know that Split is connected to M Night Shyamalan’s previous film, Unbreakable, and that a sequel to the films, called Glass, is currently being made. I have yet to see Unbreakable so I can’t comment on the connection, but I’m still excited for Glass nonetheless.
2) Get Out
In case you’ve been living without internet or tv for the whole year and didn’t already know, Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out, was a HUGE success. It has been nominated for, and won, tons of awards, most recently being up for Best Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy, as well as the lead Daniel Kaluuya being nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy for this weekend’s Golden Globes. Many believe that it should have a chance at these categories, along with other awards such as best original screenplay at this year’s Academy Awards, but we’ll just have to wait and see. I for one love Get Out, and would love to see it have a chance at the Oscars. Get Out was another film that I had on my most anticipated of 2017 list, and let me tell ya, Get Out is INSANE. Seriously. Every single performance in it is great. The writing, and directing from Peele is great. Everything about it is great. You can read a full review of it on our site, here.
The remake of Stephen King’s It has received tons of praise, as well as hate. Some fans think it had too much comedy, while others, like me, think it was perfect. While It did have a lot of comedy infused in the film, I thought it had the perfect balance of scares and laughs. I kind of like the look of the original Pennywise better, but as for the films as a whole, I prefer the remake, which I think is much creepier. Bill Skarsgard was a fantastic Pennywise! Like I said, I may prefer the look of the original, and there’s no doubt that Tim Curry’s performance in it is legendary, but I found Bill’s performance to be much more menacing. I really loved all of the kid’s in the film as well, but Finn Wolfhard was my favorite. I’m kind of sad we won’t get to see more of the kids in the next installment since it will focus on the characters’ adult lives, but I am still beyond excited for it. You can read Jared’s review of It here.
Top Five Favorite Past Releases That I Watched for the First Time in 2017
5) Alien (1979)
I love me some strong female characters, and boy does Alien have one of the strongest. I mean, Ellen Ripley is the lone survivor of her crew who are the first people to ever come into contact with a Xenomorph, and I’ll be cosplaying as her at this year’s Texas Frightmare Weekend so there’s that. You can read Bryan’s review of Alien here.
4) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
I had a hard time deciding on the placing of Alien and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Ultimately, I decided to place Texas Chainsaw Massacre higher because I found it more terrifying, and even though I like Sigourney Weaver’s character in Alien better, I think Marilyn burns gave a better performance here. You can read Ray’s review of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre here.
3) The Invitation (2016)
The Invitation is another one of those films where the less you know about it going in, the better, and is hard to describe/review anyway so… Jared, wrote a review for it, which you can read here ,and asked me for a quote to include in it and all I could come up with was “WHAT THE HELL?! HOW?!”.It’s been a few months since then, but I still don’t what else to say about it other than that I love Logan Marshall Green.
2) Psycho (1960)
Although, Psycho is arguably the best prior release that I watched this year, it wasn’t quite my favorite. As a fan of the show Bates Motel, I was excited to finally watch the Alfred Hitchcock classic that the show was based on. Freddie Highmore’s portrayal of Norman Bates in the tv show is one of the best performances I’ve seen in any tv show, and watching Psycho made me appreciate his performance in the show even more, seeing the similarities that he made between his version of Norman, and Anthony Perkins’ version. I think both Anthony Perkins and Freddie Highmore were born for this role. They both do absolute incredibly jobs of making the viewer feel weary of Norman, but still highly sympathetic to him. However, I do find Anthony Perkins’ Norman more charming. You can read our entry of Psycho into our Horror Hall of Fame here , and Ray’s review of Psycho here .
1) Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
To sort of reiterate what I said about Psycho, Friday the 13th Part VII, is arguably the worst movie on this list, but it was my favorite prior release that I watched this year. Back in January, we had a special episode of The Horror Syndicate Live on Friday the 13th in which we talked about all of the films. Prior to that I had only seen the remake, Freddy VS Jason, and Jason Take Manhattan, so I decided to marathon the franchise and watched all of the films in two days. Part VII was my favorite, mainly because of the awesome Carrie like final girl, Tina. I love Carrie, and just telekinesis in general so obviously I was going to love this movie. This entry in the Friday the 13th Franchise may not be the best, but it is a really fun one, that has an awesome looking Jason. You can read my full review of it here.
Most Anticipated 2018
Honorable mentions go to Before I Wake, which was on my list last year (and the year before that) because it just kept getting delayed, and is finally going to be available to watch legally in America on Netflix literally just a couple of hours ago. While I’m excited to finally see it after years of waiting, my excitement for it has definitely died down. Other films that I’m super excited for in this new year are the two big horror “remakes” Suspiria, and Halloween, neither of which have trailers out yet, and is the main reason they’re only getting an honorable mention on this list.
5) Game Night
Game Night is a horror comedy starring lots of familiar faces, such as Jason Bateman, and Rachel McAdams, and is directed by John Francis Daley (Bones, Freaks and Geeks) which I didn’t know until right this moment, and honestly now has me even more excited to see it. Just the trailer had me dying, so I’m really hoping this isn’t one of those many films where all the good things from the trailer are the only good things from the film as a whole, but I doubt it is. Game Night will be released February 23rd.
The first time I saw this trailer, and even heard about this movie was only a couple of hours ago before seeing I, Tonya in theaters, but it instantly became one of my most anticipated films of the year. First of all, it’s starring Natalie Portman, and Oscar Isaac, two of my favorite actors from Star Wars. Secondly, it just looks really cool. The trailer gives me major Stranger Things, and Arrival vibes. Annihilation also releases February 23rd.
3) The Strangers 2: Prey at Night
The long awaited sequel to the modern day classic, The Strangers (2008) is making its way to theaters this spring, and looks just as creepy as the first film. This sequel will be released on March 9.
2) A Quiet Place
A Quiet Place is a film about a family who lives in silence, trying to hide away from some type of threat that will attack at any sound, so they use sign language to communicate, which is what originally peaked my interest in the film. Based on the trailer, I’m assuming sign language won’t play as big of a part in the film as I would like it to, I’m still very intrigued by the rest of what the trailer shows. The film is directed by and starring The Office star John Krasinski, alongside his wife Emily Blunt, and will be in theaters on April 6.
1)The New Mutants
An X-men movie, and a horror movie in one?!?!? TAKE ALL MY MONEY NOW!!! The X-men are my favorite superhero group, and obviously, i love horror, so this is probably my most anticipated horror and superhero film coming out this year even though Avengers Infinity War which has basically every character from the MCU in it is also coming out this year. Anya Taylor Joy who starred in Split and The VVitch, as well as Charlie Heaton from Stranger Things both star in The New Mutants, which will be released in theaters on April 13.