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

#13 – Us

Written and Directed by Jordan Peele

I know not including ‘Get Out’ is going to be a controversial decision. And I am not trying to diminish how good it was or the impact it had. But for many people its commentary was revelatory, to me it was implicitly understood that topically pleasant ‘liberals’ could be as dangerous as more confrontational forms of bigotry. I liked how he contextualized the B movie idea of body swapping, but I was surprised to see how far it all went.

Conversely, ‘Us’ doesn’t get enough credit. Peele has made leaps visually, and the depth of thought he put into every aspect of the film is really staggering. Peele makes a number of statements in his story about a loving family tormented by a group of disfigured dopplegangers, but the concept that upward mobility comes at the expense of someone else is expertly weaved into an exciting narrative that ends in one of the great horror film twist in my opinion.

In fact, part of the horror of living in a “developed” country is the realization that everything in our life is provided at the cost of others and we are unable to extricate ourselves. Our clothes are made in sweatshops, our food supplied by the abuse of animals and farmers, our fuel poisons the earth, and our medicines pillage the forests. The only way to retain our sanity is to pretend none of that exists, and that’s the heart of “Us.”

#14 – Antlers

Directed by Scott Cooper, Written by C. Henry Chaisson, Nick Antosca, and Scott Cooper

“Antlers” is quite simply the best Wendigo movie ever made. It frustrated audiences by being a somber, slow film with small stakes and the sensibility of a drama, but it uses the backdrop of an drug crisis and addiction to create a depth a lot of creature features just don’t have.

The ending is a big anti-climatic in an action sense, but I’d like to think that time will help us appreciate this movie from the perennially underappreciated Nick Antosca of Channel Zero.

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