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By Jemal Polson, Thursday 21st December 2017
It's been quite the year for horror. From home invasions to adult nappies and right through to cannibalism and dancing clowns, the genre has seen a slew of critical and commercial success over the calendar year. But which were our favourites?
Below, take a look at Horror's favourite films of 2017. We couldn't bare to rank the excellencies, so we settled for alphabetical order. So kicking off with A, we have:
Attack of the Adult Babies
If you're after a movie that's almost beyond description, then Dominic Brunt's Attack of the Adult Babies is for you. At first this satirical shocker seems like Benny Hill on acid with plenty of leggy nurses dressed in seductive uniforms, but the movie has a dark heart. When two teenagers are forced to break into a manor to steal documents, they discover high-powered, middle-aged men taking refuge from the stresses of daily life by dressing in nappies and indulging their every perverse nursery whim! As you can tell, not your usual movie with plenty of guts and faeces splattered across the walls, but if you scrape that aside you'll see a clever dissection of how the world treats its less fortunate. It's destined to become a cult midnight movie hit.
Better Watch Out
The end of the year would not be the same without the usual slew of Christmas related horror but while most fail to register this movie is one of the best seasonal surprises you're likely to have. While this starts as some generic holidays-set home invasion horror it soon unwraps its real story taking you to some very unexpected and dark places among all the twinkling fairy lights and festive cheer. Great performances from the young cast including Olivia Dejonge and Levi Miller power this twisted Home Alone style horror and keep the suspense and unexpected twists coming along with some inventive shocks. To say any more would spoil the present of watching this one for the first time but once you have, I guarantee it will feature in your yearly seasonal viewing forever, the gruesome gift that keeps on giving.
Although at times this British comedy-horror focuses more on the laughs than the scares it is never anything but entertaining. Danny Morgan, also the film's writer, is Jim, a virgin on the cusp of his 30's and laddish best friend Alex (a laugh out loud turn from Michael Socha) is determined to ensure Jim pops his cherry before the end of this birthday night. Unknown and unfortunate for both of them the sisters they have picked up are man-killers, using the murders to fuel a supernatural ritual to bring back their deceased father. And so ensues a crazy night of partying, Christian family sing-alongs, brutal bloody violence and sinister sacrifice that is both hilarious and horrific, all directed with fun and flair by Benjamin Barfoot. For anyone who thinks dating is terrifying this won't change your mind, but you could do a lot worse than spend an evening with this movie.
This small budget, psychological piece originally called 2 Pigeons has a very simple premise; Hussein, a wide-boy estate agent, doesn't realise he's sharing his apartment with a forgotten stranger. And that's all you need to know. Quickly descending from dark comedy into an urban morality tale, the movie gives Javier Botet the chance to flex his acting muscles away from hiding behind layers of prosthetics. The way his character hides in the small flat is at first incredibly funny, but his plan becomes increasingly dangerous building up to a heart-breaking final 20 minutes. If you want something different from horror, this is for you.
One of the most talked about films of the year sees young photographer Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) meeting and staying with his girlfriend Rose's (Allison Williams) parents at their lavish country home for the weekend. Sounds innocent enough, right? Wrong. Chris is concerned from the get go that his white girlfriend's parents, don't know that she's bringing home a black beau. Is it going to be an issue? Rose assures him it'll be anything but. However, once the couple arrive at the parent's McMansion, it doesn't take long for the awkward to turn eerie, and the eerie to turn insane. Tackling race and the class system in ever-topical fashion, Get Out is a title that takes you on a journey not often travelled in horror. It's even being tipped for Oscar glory. Something that doesn't happen every year for the genre.
With an adaptation of Stephen King's beloved novel in the works since 2009, it almost seemed as though a big-screen version of It would never see the light of day. However, when Mama director Andy Muschietti was tasked with bringing the film to life, what we didn't expect was just how chilling every moment of this 135-minute epic would turn out. Focusing entirely on King's first part of the book (taking place in 1988) It sees a group of teenage misfits being tormented by an ancient, shape-shifting entity, which feasts on the fears of children in a small mid-west American town. The group of young and mostly unheard of talent, including Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard and group leader Jaeden Lieberher bring honest performances to Bill Skarsgard's terrifically terrifying portrayal of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Do not watch this one alone.
It Stains The Sands Red
Even a saturated and tired sub-genre such as the zombie movie can still throw up a surprise or two. This independent gem from Director Colin Minihan (Grave Encounters, Extraterrestrial) certainly has a different bite to it. Although set in the usual dead-rising apocalypse scenario this focuses on a smaller story of a survivor, Las Vegas party girl Molly played by Brittany Allen (Saw Legacy), pursued through the desert by a singular flesh-eater as she tries to get back to save her son. Her journey is at turns frightening, comedic, emotional and thrilling in ways that a movie this small in scale is rarely. An amazing almost-solo performance from Allen ensures that this never gets dull and pulls a trick in making you feel for a zombie character like you haven't since Bub in the original Day Of the Dead. It's a movie that proves there's still some life in the undead yet.
Directed by newcomer Samuel Galli, Our Evil sees a spiritualist who has been told that a demonic entity is returning to destroy his daughter's soul and that he should take drastic measures to prevent this from happening. So, begins a brutal journey to find a person to "save her". This film is fierce, containing many scenes that will make even the hardest hardcore horror fan squirm, but the violence is justified the movie contains moments of surreal beauty that gives it a far deeper meaning than you originally anticipate.
The visceral French film from director Julia Ducournau delivers the blood, the guts and the gore in ways you don't see coming. Raw follows university freshman Justine, an animal lover and lifelong vegetarian attending her first semester at a prestigious veterinary school. After a particularly nasty initiation goes awry, Justine finds herself developing a taste for flesh. And we don't mean chicken or lamb either. Justine finds herself wrestling with who she knew herself to be and her new carnivorous nature, along with her older sister, Alexia who's attending the same university. Oh, and of course all the tribulations that come with being a uni student. A walk in the park for sure!
In this day and age, where social media rules the lives of teenagers, it was only a matter of time before a movie decided to show the downside to this obsession. In Tragedy Girls, two High School seniors who want to be infamous online kidnap a serial killer, but as their profile rises, so does the animosity between the two. Fast-paced, smart looking and stylish, the film takes a bloody swipe at the fascination, culture and appeal of wanting to be famous. Think of Scream but without the stunt-casting and you have a smart slasher that actually reflects more on society than it intended to. But will the friends who slay together stay together?
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