Mwahahahaha!! Hey everybody, it’s Big Al Robinson here, aka, the Keeper of the Scrolls, and I’m gonna give you guys my top 6 favorite horror/thriller movies of the year. First off, there was such a gluttony of horror films this year, and it makes it that much harder to choose from, especially since many of them were really great or at least enjoyable. The scares were not terribly scary this year, which is fine, but they were more psychologically, which I tend to like more, since my blood doesn’t have to boil over or my heart beat out of my chest. Anyway, enough talking, and more sharing.
6. It Comes at Night (Trey Edward Shults)
*A great second feature from up-and-comer Trey Edward Shults. He stepped up the uncomfortableness from his previous film Krisha, and the tension was palpable. The setup is that it’s a post-apocalyptic world, and a family is trying to hide from the world in a home in the woods, and they’re especially trying to keep safe from what happens in the dark of the night. This films ambiguity and horror elements made up the scariest film of the year.
5. Alien: Covenant (Ridley Scott)
*More action filled than Prometheus, Alien: Covenant gives us another film where the people end up in a place where they shouldn’t be and under very bad conditions where they are gonna die by the alien creatures that inhabit the planet. Loved seeing the different types of aliens, and in different sizes and colors. Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride and Michael Fassbender are the MVPs of this film, and seeing the looks of horror on their faces are priceless.
4. Get Out (Jordan Peele)
*The smartest horror film of the year, and it’s palatable to everyone. The psychological undertows are terrific, where it’s about racism and about how privilege is not all it’s cracked up to be. People can be horrible to others, and keeping secrets only does more harm than good. Daniel Kaluuya’s Chris is the most sympathetic character of the year. What he has to endure is horrifying, but the ending of the film is perfect and well worth the wait.
3. Split (M. Night Shyamalan)
*M. Night Shyamalan came back strong this year with his unsuspecting sequel to a previous film of his that came out back when he was a relevant filmmaker. I love the set up with this one, where James McAvoy is a person with multiple personality disorder. He has 23 people living in his mind, and in fact, when he is a different person, even his body and genes change, and by the end, he’s can hardly even be defined as a human. The poor girls he kidnapped and held captive you can’t not feel horrible for, as they have to try and escape from his clutches.
2. It (Andy Muschietti)
*A remake of the original made for TV film, director Andy Muschietti creates a film where it feels more real and lived-in than the previous film from 1990. This time around, the evil clown Pennywise is played by Bill Skarsgård, who never comes off as funny… ever! His evilness is personified by the many scary looks and faces he makes, including his eyes rolling to the back of his head, and his mouth opening up and showing us the many sharp teeth he has, almost like he’s a shark. Yikes! The other great thing about this version is the kids who call themselves the Losers Club. They are funny and brave as they have to stay calm and not let Pennywise get the better of them. I look forward very much to part 2, when we get to see the Losers Club be adults, and put the ultimate stop to the evil clown’s existence.
1. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)
*The mother! of all WTF films this year, Darren Aronofsky newest film is an all-out assault on our senses and our psyche. It starts out slow and calm, as the initial setup is just Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem living in their dream home in the middle of nowhere. The home is beautiful, and pretty big with lots of floors and rooms. Then the mystery begins when Ed Harris suddenly shows up without warning, and is invited to stay for the night. Strange things happen in the night, and the next morning, his wife shows up and acts very strange. Then things just start getting weirder and weirder, and eventually, horrific and by the end, you’re sitting there and asking yourself “what the fuck did I just watch?!” It’s full of very uncomfortable moments, and psychological jabs at the mind, body and soul, but in the best way possible for someone like me who enjoys horror films like this where the unexpected becomes the norm.