Monday, January 8, 2018

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2017


Entering 2018, I'm still catching up on horror movies that were released in 2017, which is why I'm a little late in posting my favorite horror films from last year. I've seen a lot of horror this past year (though I still haven't watched all the films I wanted to!) and us horror fans were lucky to get a lot of quality horror films released via various platforms, whether it was in theaters, via Netflix or Amazon or other streaming services. Overall, I was pleased with what I saw this year, though I feel only a few films really wowed me, though there were about 20 films I really enjoyed.

I've really struggled putting together this list, as I have 20+ horror favorites from 2017. There was just sooooo much good this year, and I'm still not really satisfied with the order I've ranked the films below. So please, don't pay too much attention to the order the films are placed in below, but appreciate all the top 10 and honorable mentions I've mentioned below. I've also included a section on a few films that personally disappointed me.

My Top 10 Horror Films of 2017:


1.) Raw - I saw this in the theater at the beginning of the year, and again when it hit Netflix, and it was the most fun I had being grossed-out in the theater all year! I remember leaving the theater with the biggest grin on my face after watching it. I am so excited to see more from director Julia Ducournau! Read more of my thoughts on it here.


2.) Get Out - Deeply unsettling for its timeliness and its content, it is no surprise this film is on almost everyone's "best of" lists! I thought Jordan Peele's film was near-perfect, and watching it created a sense of uneasiness that wasn't replicated by any other horror film this year.


3.) The Devil's Candy - I've watched Sean Byrne's film numerous times, and every time I watch it my love for it grows! The characters are fantastic and so likable that you can't help but root for them, and the mounting dread as the film progresses is pure perfection. I liked The Loved Ones by Byrne, but I think I like this one even better! Read more of my thoughts on it here.


4.) A Dark Song - This slow burn of a film has little jolts of terror throughout, and a rather fantastical ending that actually worked for me. It keeps you guessing throughout, and kept me glued to the screen for every moment.


5.) Boys in the Trees - This was a simply breathtaking and heartbreaking film set on Halloween night in Australia. It isn't exactly horror, but it has horrific elements and a spooky Halloween atmosphere. The imagery in it is stunning and the story itself packs a wallop. You can watch it on Netflix and read more of my thoughts on it here.


6.) It - While the film wasn't everything I wanted it to be and took some strange turns away from the book's content, I still had a fun time watching this in the theater with a big audience. I loved the kids, and was swooning over Bill Skarsgård's portrayal of Pennywise. I can't wait to see what Chapter 2 brings us in 2019!


7.) The Babysitter - Some people didn't like this hyper and slick horror film directed by McG on Netflix, but I thought it was so much fun in its vivid goriness and loved how it played with horror tropes. Read more of my thoughts on it here.


8.) Haunters: The Art of the Scare - This documentary about Halloween haunts, both traditional and extreme, from director Jon Schnitzer completely charmed me and gave me the Halloween warm and fuzzies when I discovered it on Netflix. It explores the culture of the haunt industry and those that love scaring people (and those that love being scared!) and to what extremes people are going to in order to scare and be scared. You can read more of my thoughts on it here.


9.) Annabelle: Creation - The first Annabelle movie was so forgettable that I was really surprised how well done and spooky this one was, and I loved how they tied in other elements from The Conjuring universe into the film. Director David F. Sandberg is definitely one who knows how to build dread and create a good scare (as evident in his last horror film, Lights Out).


10.) I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore - This was one of my most-anticipated films of 2017, and it didn't let me down when I watched it on Netflix. It isn't exactly horror, but this quirky revenge flick written and directed by Macon Blair perfectly captures my discontent of the world in a violent, off-kilter way that I just fell in love with. Read more of my thoughts on it here.
2017 Honorable Mentions:


1.) Okja - Try and tell me this isn't a horror movie! It packs in enough horrific torture (based on how livestock animals are actually treated in real life) to make viewers stop and think why they haven't gone vegan yet. You can watch it on Netflix now and read more of my thoughts on it here.


2.) Gerald's Game - This Stephen King adaptation has some seriously disturbing and creepy moments. It made me squirm, made me angry, and finally made me gasp at one intensely creepy scene. I'm not sure if I could watch it again, but it was masterfully done by director Mike Flanagan. You can watch it on Netflix.



3.) Mother! - Holy crap, I had no idea what to expect going into this film, but it was one of the most anxiety-ridden, panic-inducing horror films I saw all year. Since I have issues about unwelcome guests it was basically the scariest film of the year for me!


4.) Happy Death Day - I didn't expect much from this movie, but I was delighted at how amusing and smart it was, and how it kept me guessing the whole way through. It wasn't perfect, and I didn't like how the main character was punished for being a "bitch" (or just living her life how she wanted), but overlooking that I enjoyed it a lot.


5.) Creep 2 - I finally saw Peachfuzz's return, and I was thrilled with the creepy, uncomfortable direction they took it in. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it both intrigued and repelled me, and I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.


6.) The Love Witch - The only reason this didn't make my top 10 list is because it is technically a 2016 release. Still, I adored this retro witch tale from writer/director Anna Biller with its vibrant color palette and ode to '70s cult films, which I listed as one of my most-anticipated horror films last year.


7.) Better Watch Out - I saw this wicked film just last month before Christmas, and was quite taken with its dark humor and cruel but clever storyline. Its unique story, characters, violence, and holiday fear made it stand out as bright as Rudolph's nose this year and it will definitely make it into my annual rotation of Christmas horror films.


8.) Life - Confession: I don't like many sci-fi and space movies. However, I totally dug this one and it gave me soooo much anxiety while watching it! It has some truly cringe-worthy moments that aren't for the squeamish!


9.) Super Dark Times - This slow-burn coming-of-age tale is dark, brooding, and beautifully shot with a fierce intensity by director Kevin Phillips.


10.) The Girl With All The Gifts - I thought zombie movies were overplayed, but this film breathes new life into the genre. It is both thoughtful and bloody, with enough action to engage viewers while still retaining its heart. Now I just need to read the book!


11.) The Shape of Water - While this isn't really a horror film, it was gorgeous and touching and the creature looked so cool. I finally saw this in the theater (go catch it in the theater while you can!) and loved all the little details. My favorite message in the film is that animals are not here for us to use, test, or experiment on, but deserve to live free...I hope others take away that message and consider how they themselves might be contributing to animal exploitation.

The 2017 Horror Films that Disappointed Me the Most:

I had really been anticipating these releases, but for one reason or another I was severely disappointed in the following films: 
  1. It Comes At Night - I really wanted to like this movie, and maybe that was the biggest problem. This isn't a bad film, but even though this seems like the kind of movie I would have loved, I left the theater feeling really dissatisfied. Perhaps my dislike was due to the misleading trailers or skewed expectations, but all I know is that I didn't like this at all.
  2. Split - To be fair, I really loved James McAvoy's performance(s), but that is about the only thing I liked about it. I felt it was rather meh and forgettable. 
  3. The Void - I've watched this multiple times trying to make myself like it, but I just don't. It has too little of a story for me to enjoy, despite some rather nifty visuals. 
  4. The Dark Tower - This was a boring, overblown mess of a film. Trying to condense seven books into one film is not a good idea. I haven't even read the Stephen King Dark Tower series, but if I had I'm sure I would have been even more disappointed by the film. 
  5. XX - This horror anthology was one of my most anticipated films of the year and I had waited years to check it out. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't all that great either. Some of the stories were better than others, but I had hoped for so much more out of this anthology.
  6. The Dark Tapes - Another horror anthology that I had looked forward to but was a let-down. To be honest, I don't remember a lick about any of the stories on this anthology - that is how boring it was. 
What were your favorite horror films of 2017? What were your least favorite?

You can check out my favorite horror films from past years below:

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Stay spooky!


3 comments:

  1. I keep reading about the ups and downs of Gerald's Game on so many list's I just going to have to check it out for my self. Great list!

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  2. I haven't seen many movies that were released in 2017- just Get Out, and that was pretty awesome. I will be checking out some of these movies and seeing if my library or Netflix has them. (I know you said that some were on Netflix, so that makes my life easier XD)

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  3. Finally, a top 2017 list where I've actually seen a lot of the movies! lol
    There's still quite a few I want to see here.
    I loved Boys in the Trees (reminded me of Bridge to Terabithia) and The Babysitter.

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