As the horror genre saw a resurgence in popularity in 2017, with releases such as It and Get Out, 2018 propelled the genre into new heights with a myriad of successful releases that made this year another triumph for horror fans everywhere.
While 2019 looks to continue this success for the genre we all love, let’s take a moment to look back on the films that delivered the best scares, villains, and moments.
These are my 5 best 2018 horror films.
5 – SUMMER OF 84
“Every serial killer lives next door to someone.”
Although given a limited US release after performing well at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Summer of 84 is Rear Window meets The Burbs for a new generation.
Following numerous reports of young men going missing in Cape May, Oregon, Davey Armstrong (Graham Verchere), an ardent conspiracy theorist, suspects his neighbor, Officer Wayne Mackey (Richard Sommer) to be the killer.
Accompanied by his best friends Eats (Judah Lewis), Woody (Caleb Emery), and Curtis (Cory Gruter-Andrew), the quartet promise to solve the mystery of the Cape May Slayer.
But will finding out the truth be enough to stop the madness?
For those who wish to find out, the film is as brooding as it is entertaining.
Sommer’s performance is the crown jewel of the film, effectively transitioning from charming Pied-Piper to sociopathic murderer.
Between scenes of suspected murder and teenage adventures, the film’s ethereal score eases the tension of viewers before ultimately pulling the rug from under them.
Summer of 84 places one question in the minds of its viewers: Could I be living next to a serial killer?
4 – BIRDBOX
Debuting at AFI Fest in November, before appearing on Netflix in late December, Birdbox left an immediate imprint on the psyches of viewers who’ve, at one time or another, imagined the end of the world.
Yet few could have conjured up anything like this.
Malorie (Sandra Bullock) finds herself at the heart of a worldwide epidemic causing people to become possessed and commit suicide once they’ve laid eyes on an invisible entity.
Surviving by means of blindfolding oneself, Malorie’s quest to find peace for herself and those around her makes for one stress-inducing, unforgettable film.
Complementing the succinct story is a succinct cast, placing the already perfect Bullock with the likes of Trevante Rhodes and John Malkovich.
The film has already boasted a record 45 million streams on Netflix in its opening week.
And, with the help of several genius tweets and memes, along with a bizarre Birdbox challenge, it can expect many more!
3 – HALLOWEEN
Seven sequels, two remakes, and 40 years later, Halloween gives fans exactly what they’ve want: a final showdown between Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Myers (Nick Castle).
Teased in early 2017, speculation surrounding a new Halloween film buzzed around the internet, until September of that same year when Curtis announced that she was reprising her role as the preeminent final girl, Laurie Strode.
Set 40 years after the events of the first installment (completely ignoring the other sequels), Strode finds herself secluded from the rest of the world, including her estranged daughter, Karen (Judy Greer) and teenage granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak).
Unbeknownst to her Michael has once again broken free and returned to Haddonfield, hoping to finish what he started many years ago.
Little does Michael know that Laurie has her own plans for his imminent return, effectively turning her humble abode into a house of terror for all trespassers.
What makes this sequel different than the other ones?
Director David Gordon Green and writer Danny McBride knew very well that a new Halloween film needed enough familiar tropes to lure in old fans, but enough new mechanics to entice new fans.
Scored by the legendary John Carpenter, the film’s mood evoked fear at every corner, reminiscent of the first Halloween.
This fear is complemented with a welcome comedic element to the film, yet never losing sight of its intention.
With Michael’s onslaught in Haddonfield resulting in one final face to face confrontation, Halloween reminds us of the glory of the film’s past, and the potential of its bright future.
2 – A QUIET PLACE
Nobody likes uncomfortable silences because they’re just that. Uncomfortable.
However, in A Quiet Place silence is the only means of survival in this post-apocalyptic thriller.
Starring and directed by John Krasinski, A Quiet Place follows the Abbott family’s attempt to survival as most of the population has been wiped out by creatures that hunt by sound.
After losing one of their own to the mysterious sound hunting creatures, Lee (John Krasinski) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt), along with their two surviving children, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe), look to start anew as they seek refuge in an isolated farm.
Lauded by critics and fans alike for its unique concept, A Quiet Place forces tension into new territory as the family communicate using sign language, rendering the film utterly silent.
The silence becomes so deafening any immediate sound is sure to make viewers skyrocket right out of their seats.
Grossing $340 million, it’s fair to say audiences weren’t silent in their love for this immediate classic.
1 – HEREDITARY
Widely regarded as the scariest film since The Exorcist, Hereditary cultivates its own identity as a wickedly gut-wrenching account of a family’s deterioration.
Written and directed by Ari Aster, Hereditary debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival before receiving a theatrical release. It left audiences unprepared for what they were about to see.
Annie Graham (Toni Collette), along with husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), and their two children, Peter (Alex Wolff) and Charlie (Milly Shapiro), mourn the loss of Annie’s secretive mother, Ellen Leigh. However, this loss marks only the beginning of a series of unfortunate happenings destined to plague them.
It isn’t long before tragedy strikes the family again when Charlie is killed in a brutal accident on the way to the hospital, partially due to Peter’s negligence.
What plunges the knife further into the heart of the family’s core are the unresolved feelings Annie bears for Peter and his apparent lack of accountability for the accident, wedging a divide amongst surviving members of the family.
Perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the film is the slow but subsequent secrets spilling from Ellen’s past and into the darker parts of the family’s final days.
With the tension throughout the film erupting all at once in the final frightening moments, audiences know one thing: a new standard in horror has been set.
Hereditary is a milestone film that even veteran filmmakers spend all their lives aspiring to make yet may never achieve.
Collette seizes her moment, and her portrayal of an anguished, grief-stricken mother losing her grip on reality truly steers the film in the direction it was destined to navigate.
A harrowing score personifying the rising tension is enough to shake cinema-goers to their core, leaving them vulnerable for the unforgettable scares at the end.
Beyond the horrors featured onscreen, the haunting visuals and story of Hereditary make it a terror even off-screen. This places it as our at the top of our 5 best 2018 horror films.
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