The Best in 2018 Horror (so far)
We are a little over halfway through 2018 and we've surprisingly had a pretty decent glut of different and diverse horror so far. I don't think we're necessarily as across the board amazing as last year's first six months, but there have been some fantastic hits. I wanted to highlight a few of the movies (not in any order) that I've enjoyed so far and come with my recommendation.
Depending on where you live and who you ask, Tragedy Girls is either a 2017 or 2018 flick. But you're asking me, I didn't have the opportunity to see it until this year, and I want to celebrate it. I love this movie. Starring Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool) and Alexandra Shipp (Love, Simon), Tragedy Girls is about two best friends who run a true crime blog called Tragedy Girls. They capture the local serial killer to teach them all he knows. Of course things don't go as planned. The kills are fun and over-the-top and the comedy is sharp and smart. It's a fun show that sadly went under the radar. Give it a try.
Availability: Hulu, VOD and Blu Ray
Ah, yes. The A24 yearly entry in horror. Another movie as praised as it is hated. Another movie where a subset of the audience questions whether it even is a horror movie. If you enjoyed The Witch or The Babadook, I think you'll love this one. It lives in that area of cinema that finds the utmost horror in normal, every day drama before twisting it, ever so slowly over the course of 100 minutes. Some of the imagery has stuck with me. But even more, Toni Colette's performance was at once sad, empathetic and extremely terrifying. Very few lines of dialogue can shock me, but there was a moment of a conversation that the words made the entire audience gasp and throw their hands to their face. I loved this movie.
Availability: Physical release September 4th; Digital probably in August.
Of all the subgenres of horror, the one I adamantly dislike is the rape revenge. I finally wrote my review of it, if you're curious. I find the genre gross and creepily voyeuristic. Additionally, the majority of them seem to come from male directors. Then there's Revenge. Directed by a woman, this film doesn't sensationalize the act and instead focuses on the victim, Jennifer. The men underestimate her because of the way she dresses and how she owns her sexuality. And instead of giving up, she rises from the dead, a vengeful phoenix. Shot beautifully and wonderfully acted and staged, this is such an assured debut that I can't wait to see what Coralie Fargeat does next.
Availability: VOD, Physical and Shudder
I wrote in my review that this is a mindfuck of a movie. It's pretty rad. Two brothers escape a UFO Death Cult and, years later, receive a beat up video of the cult's supposed Ascension. Wanting closure, the two brother head back and get more than they bargained for. Go read my review. And maybe watch Resolution first, yeah?
Availability: VOD and Blu Ray
A lot of "lost in the woods" stories don't have payoff. This one does. But what's more impressive is the focus on characters, who bring with them more baggage than expected. The story is simple. A group of friends go hiking to memorialize their friend who was murdered. One gets injured and they head through the woods to get him home faster. They find pagan symbols and worse. I really dug this one and I think you will, too.
Availability: Streaming on Netflix
If you have Shudder, you should have already watched this. It's arguably the one of the best modern movies on the service and I would argue it's the best Shudder Exclusive. Özge is a Turkish-Austrian cabdriver, who's dealt with the casual sexism and racism of the modern world. But she's not a victim. Instead, she is probably the biggest badass on this list. She practices Thai kickboxing. She doesn't suffer fools. She has a chip on her shoulder. One night, she witnesses a murder and the serial killer notices her. The rest of the film is an exciting game of cat and mouse that expertly mixes car chases, neo-giallo exploitation and domestic drama, while also being a feminist power fantasy. It also doesn't pull its punches. Watch this movie.
Availability: Streaming on Shudder
Not your typical ghost story. This clever film elevates its anthology-structure by both tying everything together and being more than the sum of its parts. Based on a stage play (not that you'd realize it), Ghost Stories focuses on a skeptic who goes through three cases that appear to be real. Each of the cases stars fantastic actors and tons of tension (and occasional humor). And the best part is that it actually kept me guessing. I really dug this one.
Availability: VOD now, Blu Ray in September
I wrote in my review that this movie was an incredible slow burn of a thriller. Two best buds go on a hunting trip in Scotland and something terrible happens. And then continues to happen. There's a lot going on here and a whole lot of subtext about friendships and class struggles, but it's never not enthralling or intense. Give this one a shot.
Availability: streaming on Netflix.
So, there it is. I left off a couple of excellent movies, like Annihilation and A Quiet Place, because they are ubiquitous in conversations this year. I almost left off Hereditary, for similar reasons. But I still think about Hereditary and how I felt while watching it. I couldn't take it off this list.
Additionally, there are tons of movies that either aren't out yet around me (The Ranger, Cold Skin, Summer of '84, for example) and some I haven't had a chance to watch (like Pyewacket). I'm sure there's more. I also asked Twitter what their favorite horror movies this year were and got some great answers.
So, what have I missed, dear horror fans? I'm sure you'll let me know. Sound off below or hit me up on Twitter.