Looks Like We Had a Scary Year
Don’t be afraid of 2018 coming to an end, it means we’re still ranking all of the bests and worsts of this year, so check out this blog post to get a sneak peak at some of the categories we’ll continue to cover until the end of December and follow along with our End of Year playlist HERE! For this list, we’re taking a look at movies released in 2018 that fall under the umbrella of horror, judging them on their intensity, originality, and overall impact. Unless you’re easily spooked, keep reading to find out the 5 best horror films of 2018!
5: “Annihilation” (2018)
Following five military scientists who embark into the unknown, “Annihilation” starts off as a creature feature reminiscent of “The Thing”. Nothing is as it seems in this enigmatic environment, however. Likewise, the film itself turns out to be much more psychological than initially anticipated. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as “Annihilation” was directed by Alex Garland of “Ex Machina”, and based on a novel by Jeff Vandermeer, who pioneered a genre known as “the new weird”. “Annihilation” gives Garland the freedom to explore a new world that’s both intimidating and strangely inviting. Although the film’s setting is overrun with physical monsters, it’s the inner demons our characters face that truly get under our skin.
4: “Mandy” (2018)
“Mandy” is like a wild LSD trip that submerges the viewer into a whacked-out state. Oh, and if that’s not surreal enough for you, the film also stars Nicolas Cage at his most over-the-top. Cage gives his best performance in years as Red Miller, drawing comparison to the most memorable action movie heroes of the 1980s. When his girlfriend Mandy is taken by a cult of hippies and a satanic biker gang, Red sets out on a bloodthirsty quest to exact vengeance. Every shot of Panos Cosmatos’s film is a stylish work of art, brilliantly utilizing dark shadows and red lighting to create hell on earth.
3: “Halloween” (2018)
In a year that brought us so many game-changing horror movies, you wouldn’t think a “Halloween” sequel would be anything to scream about. While the 1978 original helped define the slasher genre, this franchise has been retooled, rebooted, and recycled to the point that its glory days should be long gone. With the return of Jamie Lee Curtis and a fresh perspective from director David Gordon Green, however, we’re finally given a worthy follow-up that embraces its roots without ever feeling stale. Once again retconning much of the established continuity, you fortunately don’t need to see the other sequels to follow this chilling, humorous, and well-crafted thrill ride that’s equal parts homage and spiritual successor.
2: “A Quiet Place” (2018)
“A Quiet Place” centers on a family that must remain silent at all times, to avoid attracting sound-sensitive aliens that now roam Earth. Every noise in this movie thus overwhelms the audience with anxiety, whether it’s the breaking of a glass frame or the playful sound of a children’s toy. The film is not only a revelation of sound design, but also a tour de force in visual storytelling. Taking full advantage of the harrowing premise, the filmmakers convey an emotional story through expressive performances, clever foreshadowing, and an effective use of American Sign Language. Becoming a box office hit and critical favorite, few horror films stirred up this much noise in 2018.
1: “Hereditary” (2018)
The most fundamental quality for any horror movie is to be scary above all else, and no film released this year better fit that criteria than Ari Aster’s “Hereditary.” Without resorting to jump scares or other cheap tactics, this film is petrifying on multiple levels. For starters, it’s a psychological mindbender that tackles grief and mental illness while blurring the lines between reality and insanity. Although it contains some of the most graphic imagery of recent memory, it doesn’t take much more than an intense conversation between our main characters to send us into shock. It all builds to an ending that’ll leave you disturbed, haunted, and trying to decipher what the hell just happened.
If you didn’t see your favorite horror film of this year on our list above, make sure to check out the full video below for our pick of the Top 10 Best Horror Films of 2018: