Now it is time for my top ten! You know you are excited. We had quite a few overlaps, but that is mostly because they were movies we saw together. The difference you will notice is that Sickle spends way more time on Netflix than I do! I really had a great time seeing horror this year. And as you can tell by most of the "year in review" articles you will see, 2016 is a great year for horror. So without further ado, check out my faves!
We were able to see Clown a bit before it came out this year and I have been showing it to everyone I possibly can. I like the lore. I like the taboo. I like the progression. Everything about this film is why I love horror. It has so much to be afraid of and it doesn’t let up till the very end. If you have not seen Clown you need to. It follows a man who is simply trying to entertain his kid at a birthday party and the consequences of putting on costumes in a house that is abandoned. See this film.
2. The Autopsy of Jane Doe
We got to see this at the Telluride Horror Show this year and it was well worth staying up till 1 am. This movie is this year’s film that caused Sickle and I to have a deep discussion about red herrings and whether a movie is mystical or scientific. What I learned from watching this is that when you start finding weird shit inside of a body you are cutting up, then just stop and leave and do it in the morning! In all seriousness, this film is very well put together. It is scary, mysterious, and intriguing all-in-one and it is a must-see.
3. Lights Out
This movie preys on our fundamental fear of the dark. Yes, there is something in the dark and yes it will mess you up. This film was based on a short film that has one of the scenes that actually haunts my damn dreams. Smiling, creepy, dark, murdering creatures are creepy. The show is very well translated into a good horror film. Very much like a more socially acceptable Darkness Falls. A movie I really liked but is generally shunned by others.
I had never heard of Art the Clown before this year’s Telluride Horror Show but after I saw the short and the film that followed it, this is one of my new favorite movies I can only suggest to a few of my friends. This film is a classic (or tries and succeeds through its filming) slasher movie. Art is a deranged clown that starts a killing spree on Halloween. It is gross and gory and has some pretty amazing scenes that I can only imagine took so much work to get to look as amazing as it did. Make sure you know this is a bit gorier than other slasher films, but well worth it if you like 80’s gore slasher films. Also make sure you watch the short because that is what made me love it.
5. Blair Witch
To be quite honest here, I think horror films are the best films to “remake”. I say that with quotes because I really think most of the good remakes aren't remakes at all. Friday the 13th , Texas Chainsaw, and Evil Dead are all fantastic films with the same names as older films. This movie is not quite a remake but very much is. It follows the brother of one of the people from the first film. They venture into the forest and crazy shit ensues. This film gives us new insight into the Blair Witch and what creepy stuff happens to people. I would say if you had even a remote enjoyment from the original or the sequel you will enjoy this film.
This movie was definitely over-hyped. No one at Telluride passed out or anything. I was definitely expecting more gore. But what I found was a very elegant and awesome horror film that is all about the Wendigo urge to eat human flesh when you have tried it once. The journey the main character goes through is very harrowing and the way the movie presents itself has a horror all of its own. There is not nearly as much to cringe at in this film as once expected, but it is very much one of my favorites due to a unique cannibalism story.
7. Ouija: Origin of Evil
This movie just barely beat out the The Conjuring 2 due to its prop. As a demo I have always been afraid of Ouija boards for …reasons, but this film really has some creepy stuff to not only make you jump but also push the limits of what you can sit through. Scenes with little children being creepy are in both The Conjuring 2 and Ouija OoE, but for me the use of the prop is what makes the movie just seem creepier. Also This is the first of two films directed by Mike Flanagan on this list, so he is rocking it this year.
8. The Conjuring 2
The one thing that really makes these films great is that they are seemingly based on real stories from the experiences of the Warrens. This one is a continuation of the first movie which finds the Warrens venture across the great blue Atlantic to England. Multiple baddies are in this movie antagonizing the main character and the way the stories all interconnect is fantastic. This one problem I had with this movie is that it was a bit slow at times, but nothing so bad that it would knock it out of the top ten.
I was not expecting much from this film, mostly due to the fact that I dislike survival films. Your Next being one of my favorites, but I never qualified it as a traditional survival film. I was jaded by Wolf Creek and those movies that came out around that time and I think that Strangers is just bad. This film however is Mike Flanagan’s second film on this list and Boy Howdy was it awesome. This film follows a deaf woman who lives in the woods and is left fighting for survival against a killer who has been on a spree in her neighborhood. The film has a bit of an ”Okay, seriously, how is she still standing?” vibe, but the end is so satisfying that it is worth some disbelief early in the film. Plus, it is on Netflix, so you can watch it right now!!
10. The Boy
A lot of people may not think this movie was that good, but I really had a good time watching The Boy. You all probably remember the preview where the weird parents are taking care of a doll who they believe is their son. Yes, it is kind of a creepy doll movie, but the twist is fantastic and very unexpected. It was kind of cliché; girl has job with rules, girl breaks rules, girl gets haunted. But the film is more than that and does a good job of staying creepy the whole time.
Movies that Missed the Cut:Don’t Breathe was very close to making my top ten, but I don’t really feel like it did much more than continually escalate, and finally what you knew what was going to happen from the beginning did with very minor twists. It is an exhilarating movie, but it is not top-10 for me. I am pretty sure the Belko Experiment would have made it, but I didn’t actually see it so I could not rightfully say it was one of my favorites from 2016. Also, The Witch was close, but it just didn’t have enough initial punch and didn’t pay off until WAY too late for me to put it in the top ten.