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Top 10 Best Horror Movies of 2018!

For all the f*cking marbles folks, what was your favorite horror movie of 2018?

For me personally, there’s only one definitive answer on the tip of my tongue, but we’ll let you scroll down below to unearth that bad mother*cker in a minute. Because the truth is, 2018 proved to be a pretty damn good year for horror flicks, thriller joints, and sci-fi spectacles alike. What I love is the wide array of films and filmmakers, from feature debuts to bona fide classics getting refashioned, from equally impressive small scale indies to major big-budget blowouts. There’s a little something for everyone in our official Top 10 Horror Films of 2018. Slice and dice your way to the bone below!

#10. UPGRADE (LEIGH WHANNELL) 

Truthfully, it wasn’t until the second viewing of Leigh Whannell’s low-tech-scfi-fi UPGRADE that I had fully come to appreciate its ingenious design. In fact, after seeing it again I went back and upped my review score by a point. Point is, not even the strictures of a $5 million budget could tamp down a good idea, and with Whannell having a clear idea of what he envisioned his screenplay to look like, he was able to give us something altogether new, a riotous retro-upgrade of sorts that pushes the notion of AI further, while still dialing it back technologically. Somehow those two distinct poles attract strongly to each other, likely due to the magnetic performance of Logan Marshall Green, who kicks all kinds of ass in the flick as a brutal bionic luddite hot on the trail of his wife’s killers. Batting two for two, Whannell’s sophomore effort is a clear UPGRADE over THE LAST KEY! GET IT HERE

#9. REVENGE (CORALIE FARGEAT)

Oh the irony. Never before has there been such a blandly uninspired title for such a thoroughly amusing and delectably refreshing movie. Well, not until REVENGE, that is. Indeed, this relentless electrically charged thrill-ride from French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat, her feature debut mind you, is about as gratifying a time one could have enjoying a genre flick in 2018. The story, about a trio of middle aged CEOs out for their annual hunting party in the desert, takes a harrowing turn for the worst when one of their mistresses is gang-raped by the other two. In a rightful route of REVENGE, the poor chica (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) goes batshit-bonkers-ballistic on her evil assailants to the tune of unspeakable but justified carnage. And that’s just it, as badly beaten and vilely violated as she is, we are 100% onboard with every damn decision she makes to get even, knowing full well that an eye for an eye leaves us all blind. Doesn’t matter, REVENGE is a dish best served bold! GET IT HERE

#8. THE ENDLESS (JUSTIN BENSON & AARON MOORHEAD)

One of the more understated but equally unforgettable horror flicks of 2018 is ENDLESS, the exquisite million dollar sci-fi brain-buster from the directorial duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (RESOLUTION, SPRING), who happen to also star in the film as well. The story follows a pair of brothers returning the seemingly benevolent UFO death cult they once belonged to. As one brother wants to stay, the other wants to leave, but neither can quite know what to do when the invisible sway of some higher governing power beckons them into freakily untilled territory. The mystifying air of uncertainty and palpable sense of anticipatory dread throughout the film is among its strongest suits, as we, like the brothers, can never really true who, if anyone, has their best interests at heart. With its limited resources, there’s a crafty DYI tactility to the technological aspects of the movie that keep the story rooted in reality. GET IT HERE

#7. MANDY (PANOS COSMATOS)

Let’s give it up to the one and only Mr. Cage, who despite tossing in the towel eons ago, stars in not one but almost two horror flicks that made our Top 10. The first honorable mention must be given to Cage’s febrile turn in Brian Taylor’s brilliant dark comedy MOM AND DAD, which is a downright blast from start to finish. But where we really want to focus the love is toward the other Cage vehicle, MANDY, whose unremitting violence may only be rivaled by a single other film on this list (hint: just one number down). Directed by Panost Cosmatos (BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW), MANDY also has even more in common with its successor (or predecessor depending on your POV), in that it’s a straightforward revenge tale on its surface, but far more reliant on style than story to get its piercing point across your throat. Indeed, this shite goes for the f*cking jugular, centering on a man’s dogged determination to find his girlfriend’s cultish kidnappers and serve them all a lethal dose of grisly comeuppance! GET IT HERE

#6. YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE (LYNN RAMSAY) 

As breathless and blunt as the flattening force trauma it lops you upside the head with, Lynn Ramsay’s short and bittersweet YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE is easily one of the best and boldest genre flicks of 2018. The sheer notion of an embattled war vet with crippling PTSD coming home to carve a niche for himself, one that entails tracking down missing girls is too compelling to ignore on its face. So when you throw in the always intimidating Joaquin Phoenix in the aforesaid role and let him exact his barbarous brand of nihilistic violence, oh hell yes, we’re looking at severely scarifying cinematic salvo. I know our C.Bum gave the flick a perfect 10/10 rating score, and I’d agree as to why, which is less about what the plot is and more about how well executed it is under Ramsay’s own personal signature. For horror fans, the violence alone is recommendable in how vicious, vile and unvanquished it is! GET IT HERE

#5. HALLOWEEN (DAVID GORDON GREEN) 

Against the tallest of odds – our main murderous madman Michael Meyers towered over both protective fans of the original, and the qualitative dreck of its countless sequels, reboots and offshoots. When the dust of that collapsed Strode basement cleared, the decision to do a direct continuation of John Carpenter’s landmark slasher blockbuster proved to be the wisest and winningly wicked one to date. Give Carpenter credit for not only lending his blessing, but giving script notes and an updated film score as well. Props are also due to Danny McBride and David Gordon Green for eschewing their comedic calling cards in favor of delivering an homage-laden riff of the entire HALLOWEEN franchise, while still pushing the narrative in new directions. Jamie Lee Curtis gives her best Laurie Strode performance to date, plumbing the psychic chasm brought about such severe PTSD. HALLOWEEN is a solemn and affectionate ode to horror of yore in a way that, perhaps in another 40 years, will stand mask to mask with Carpenter’s original. GET IT HERE

#4. ANNIHILATION (ALEX GARLAND)

Since it came out way back in February, there may be a tendency to sleep on Alex Garland’s trying transformative stint of spiritual psychedelia, but there’s no way in hell we’re omitting ANNIHILATION and its brazen biological blitz of baleful beauty. Natalie Portman leads a killer female cast beyond the barrier of an ecological disaster zone called The Shimmer, at first to locate her missing husband (Oscar Isaac), then ultimately, perhaps even wittingly, to shed her sense of self and undergo a mysteriously maddening evolutionary metamorphosis. We won’t spoil much for the uninitiated, but suffice it to say ANNIHILATION boasts a majestic trenchancy that will stimulate your mind just as it does your eye, the synthesis of which (the mind’s eye) offers a mystifying sense of enlightenment when all is said and done. With top-tier acting, marvelous visuals and a thought-provoking plot, ANNIHILATION will obliterate your mind! GET IT HERE

#3. SUSPIRIA (LUCA GUADAGNINO)

Allow me to quote myself like a total asshole and say, unequivocally, that Luca Guadagnino’s SUSPIRIA is a luridly seductive fever dream! Granted, the film is overindulgently long, but the tonal sway and raw imagery in SUSPIRIA is among the most unshakably indelible of all horror films in 2018. More than that, though, is the way in which Guadagnino’s sensorial story slowly seeps under your skin, festers via its frightful festoonery, before gripping your ass tightly in throes of full-blown possessive hypnosis by the time it’s over. It’s masterful misdirection at its most maddening! Much has rightly been made of the infamous sequence that reduces a character down to a cracked pile of bone, hair and feces (sure to make our Top 10 Horror Scenes of the year, stay tuned), but what really makes this high-art-low-brow-stew so damn delicious is the performances of all involved, but particularly Tilda Swinton doing triple-duty as she rolls and revels in the reviled! GET IT HERE

#2. A QUIET PLACE (JOHN KRASINSKI)

I’m not sure if it’s the soft bigotry of low expectations or what, but I honestly did not expect John Krasinski’s A QUIET PLACE to be such a wildly satisfying cinematic experience. And yet, by any metric, the film is universally included in the top horror flicks of the year. Rightly so. And what works so well about the film beyond its novel premise – about a family unit silently traversing a countryside wracked by monstrous incursions hunting by sound – is how well the screenplay pulls all the right sympathetic strings to make us truly care for every individual character along the way. The opening salvo goes a long way in this regard, as does the casting of the genuinely deaf Millicent Simmonds, but where the movie really excels is in the way it builds a world, establishes its own set of rules, sticks by them, and allows honest character motivations to dictate a compelling family drama. GET IT HERE

#1. HEREDITARY (ARI ASTER)

I said it back in June and I’ll confidently echo the sentiment here and now: HEREDITARY is the scariest movie I have had the pleasure to review in ten years writing for AITH.com. Never mind 2018, it’s the best horror flick of the last decade! Ari Aster’s searing psychological whirlwind about the Graham family has a mortifying multilayered density to its story structure, beginning as a gripping family drama first and above all else, before slowly peeling away to reveal its true nature as a demonic possession piece, or as I read the film, an excoriating rebuke of religious fanaticism that is not only passed down from generations, but lives solely in the mind of its believers. The acting in the film, led by Toni Collette’s tour-de-force, gives the horrific elements of the story the proper dramatic weight en route to delivering a knockout blow in the final act. HEREDITARY will get into your bones, seep into your blood and carry on to the next generation as an all-time horror classic! GET IT HERE

 

 

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