The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #1

#1 – His House Directed by Remi Weekes, Written by Remi Weekes, Felicity Evans and Toby Venables ‘His House’ follows Sudanese refugees relocating to England and it’s a terrible transition. After losing their daughter in a tumultuous sea travel they find that the authorities are harsh, the environment is less than desirable and the neighbors are, at best, unsavory. Trapped with no resources and no options they try to make do. Bol, the husband tries to fit in, while his wife Rial seems to obstinately try to stick out, and as the tension between them builds and boils over, it … Continue reading The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #1

The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #2-3

#3 – Demon Directed by Marcin Wrona, Written by Marcin Wrona and Pawel Maslona ‘Demon’ is stunning in a variety of ways, a visual feast despite it’s limited locations and a different sort of horror than you might expect. The title makes you expect angry spirits but it doesn’t work the way you think. ‘Demon’ takes place at a wedding where the groom is increasingly disturbed by the skeleton he found digging in his yard the night before. His town has an ugly history, one where an entire culture was erased and their memory purged. He begins to see visions … Continue reading The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #2-3

The Best Horror Films of the Last Years – #4-5

#5 – Halloween Directed by David Gordon Green, Written by Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Green John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ influenced my entire sensibility for how ‘slasher’ films should work. He never felt like you should root for or glamorize the villain, and in doing so he was able to make a classic. The movies after him didn’t hold to his formula and I’d argue while they produced guilty pleasures, they don’t particularly work as FILMS. If you’re rooting for the antagonist, and the protagonist is weak or irrelevant, then there’s nothing to move the movie forward because you … Continue reading The Best Horror Films of the Last Years – #4-5

The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #7-8

#8 – Tigers are Not Afraid Written and Directed by Issa Lopez ‘Tigers are not Afraid’ is a living nightmare in a lawless Mexico that feels extremely accurate. Set among a group of homeless children, including one controversial new member who is convinced she has three magical pieces of chalk that grant her wishes, it is an emotional rollercoaster that spares no one, but gives us just a glimpse of hope. I wish stop here only to rant about something else: of the thirty films I’ve collected here, women only directed two of them. Even in the ones that didn’t … Continue reading The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #7-8

The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #11-12

#12 – Terrified Written and Directed by Demian Rugna ‘Terrified’ (or Atterados) is the antithesis of what I claim to like, a movie where a lot of effort went into writing a plot and no effort went to explaining WHY anything is happening. However it is so accomplished on a visceral level, it doesn’t feel like it matters. ‘Terrified’ is flat out scary in a way that most movies aren’t, even horror ones. It hits you with scene of after scene until it’s audience is simply too pulverized to respond, but not at the cost of sensible pacing. A remake … Continue reading The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #11-12

The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #15-16

#16 – Anything for Jackson Directed by Justin G. Dyck, written by Keith Cooper Normally I’m able to go into movies fairly blind, with just the consensus that something is worth watching. I don’t know if I’d have appreciated ‘Anything for Jackson’ without one critic’s opinion that it was the perfect summation of the Trump experience. Then I watched the movie. In it two aging Baby Boomers do a series of increasingly harmful acts while simultaneously being horrified at the hint of impropriety. Eventually is is revealed that they are utterly selfish and in fact essentially dishonest, but as it … Continue reading The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #15-16

The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years #18-19

#18 – Gretel and Hansel Directed by Oz Perkins, written by Rob Hayes Another beautifully shot period piece that acts as a Grimm fairy tale about witches, ‘Gretel and Hansel’ is a triumph that was not going to be appreciated by the majority of the audience in wide release. It imagines the siblings in a grim world dominated by hunger, which makes the temptation of a house in the woods overloaded with food utterly irresistible no matter how improbable the source is. Eventually the movie reveals it’s real horror. Is it Alice Krige’s witch devouring children in the woods, or … Continue reading The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years #18-19

The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years #19-20

Parasite Directed by Bong Joon-ho, Written by Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won When a particularly unmotivated family living in poverty joins in on an elaborate scam to defraud a wealthy family, they unleash a series of secrets and surprises that delighted audiences around the world and won an Oscar. ‘Parasite’ would be higher if it was more of an actual horror film, but considering some of the nightmarish images and the bloody ending I couldn’t exclude it. I had to reward it’s merciless satire that excoriates both the upper AND lower classes, something most movies can’t seem to pull off. … Continue reading The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years #19-20

The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years #21-22

The Dark and the Wicked Written and Directed by Bryan Bertino Bryan Bertino makes incredible looking films. ‘The Dark and the Wicked’ pulls off the metaphor of destructive depression and general dread in a way that a lot of films flat out miss. In the film a pair of siblings are pulled back to the their childhood farm after a family death. Things turn out badly. The forces involved are not particularly explained or defined, which is ideal, because the effects are familiar. A dysfunctional family dynamic does this to a lot of people. And as Marin Ireland’s character is … Continue reading The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years #21-22

The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #13-14

#14 – The Autopsy of Jane Doe Directed by Andre Ovredal, written by Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing Two coroners receive an unidentified body late at night, and their examination simply comes up with more questions than answers. But as strange events begin to occur, the answers may not help them. I’m starting to learn that the best films have small stakes. If your film has a threat that could wipe out existence or reality as we know it, it might be too big or abstract for the audience to really FEEL what they need to. ‘The Autopsy of Jane … Continue reading The Best Horror Films of the Last Five Years – #13-14