Top 5 Terrors of 2017 – ERIN GRANT
Sitting down to write out my Top 5 of 2017 made me reflect and appreciate just how many awesome horror films were released this year. Yes, there were big wins for the genre at the box office – for example IT, GET OUT and HAPPY DEATH DAY . There were also smaller and probably more important wins with some amazing foreign and indie films as well. These may not have raked in the big figures but definitely raked in the terror.
Let’s get right to it! My top 5 films of 2017:
Stephen King is the master of horror, but sadly only a few film adaptions of his work end up being any good. As much as PET SEMATARY and the TV miniseries IT are loved for their nostalgia, they simply aren’t that great. With the exception of CARRIE, I have been waiting for someone to truly make a genre film as good as one of his books. This is where Mike Flanagan took up the torch and gave us GERALD’S GAME.
Jessie and her husband Gerald arrive at their remote cabin to try and bring some of the spark back into their relationship. This becomes Jessie’s worst nightmare as Gerald has a heart attack after handcuffing her to the bed. This simple situation becomes terrifying as she deals with trying to escape as well as the painful memories and hallucinations her isolation brings forth.
It takes great skill to make a horror film set mostly on a bed but Mike Flanagan and Stephen King have made this one of the scariest situations ever imagined. Also, let’s not forget the scene that has made me forever shudder at the word ‘degloved.’ (Editors note: NSFL)
Not sure what it is about Australian serial killers but somehow, they are always the most terrifying. HOUNDS OF LOVE is the story of John and Evelyn who abduct and torture a teenage girl. They are just as vicious to each other as they are to her and the film is a disturbing character study of toxic co-dependency and pure evil.
HOUNDS OF LOVE looks stunning and really captures rural Australia, but it is the use of sound in this film that sets it apart as one of the greatest of the year. You hear a lot of screaming when you constantly watch horror and you can grow to be quite desensitized. So when screams are used this powerfully and send a real chill down your spine, it makes you pay attention and appreciate it.
Stephen Curry and Emma Booth are phenomenal in this film. Booth being the show stopper as someone you start to feel sympathy for until she turns on the viewer and shows how malicious she really is. Her performance sets off a roller-coaster of emotions as you watch.
A film which has caused divided opinions, MOTHER! was one of the most controversial horror films of the year. Let me tell you now I am in the boat of people who were COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY. MOTHER! was so tense I was nearly pulling my hair out as I watched Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem go through one of the most drawn out and insidious home invasions since FUNNY GAMES.
A couple are living the quiet life until a man and woman enter their house and routinely destroy their home, lives and sanity. That’s where I’m leaving the plot- it’s best to go in blind. Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer were unbearable antagonists- award worthy performances from the entire cast!
ALIEN: COVENANT was my most anticipated film of 2017, one I had been looking forward to since seeing 2012’s PROMETHEUS. I loved PROMETHEUS and couldn’t wait to see how it would be connected to the 1979 sci-fi horror masterpiece ALIEN. You’d think after waiting so long, the film wouldn’t live up to the anticipation but baby, IT DID! ALIEN: COVENANT was everything I had hoped for and more.
The crew of a spaceship setting out to colonize a new world follow a signal which leads them to the same planet of the previous film. There they discover the ghastly experiments that have spawned the first evolutions of the Xenomorph we have come to know and love. I watched on gleefully as the crew is violently attacked as they try to survive this master race of aliens. I’m not a big action movie fan but when it is combined with pure horror it is almost always a winning combination.
Maybe I’m just having a nerd moment but I can’t explain my love for this film enough. Also, we get DOUBLE Michael Fassbender and well, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Watching THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER was an otherworldly experience. Not only do I think it is the best film of 2017, it will probably sit highly on my list of greatest movies of all time.
The film starts off with Surgeon Steven who is followed around by this weird kid Martin, but right away THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER makes you feel a palpable sense of dread. Martin begins to insert himself into Steven’s life in more and more sinister ways until his family’s life is threatened in the craziest of plot developments I’ve seen in a while.
From the beginning the interactions between each character is somehow off- they’re too polite and at the same time too blunt and inappropriate. The effect takes you deep into the uncanny valley and ultimately unsettles you on a primal level. It’s anxiety inducing to watch as your brain screams out that something is wrong but you can’t quite put your finger on it….then, well, everything goes wrong.
Barry Keoghan as Martin gives a deeply disturbing performance as he infiltrates and destroys. I can’t wait to see what this guy does next. Colin Farrell as Steven is amazing as usual but he could sit there and read a menu and I would still be captivated.
If you don’t do anything else for the rest of your life at least watch THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER.