apostle, hallowen, hereditary, luz, pyewacket, the ritual, unsane
It’s been a mammoth year for fans of horror as the once scoffed upon genre rose to the forefront of the box office and begun what some have heralded as a new age in films that scare and delight.
Amongst the jaw-dropping awesome-ness that has been on display, there has also been some absolute bombs and disappointments, which is to be expected when something becomes popular, carbon copies of the movies that stood out start to crop up, but only pale in comparison.
So it’s a tough task, but the Surgeons team gathered our collective heads to form what we considered to be the movies that provided the most impact on our souls and ripped apart our senses. Not all of us agreed with each other, but that’s part of the beauty of film. Each movie will cut to the core of the psyche and effect people in different ways.
So, once we tallied together the results, there were 13 films and shows that we believe deserve significant praise, and here they are:
We’re so thankful to have caught this little gem at the Sydney Underground Film Festival this year. It may have a short running time, but it manages to pack in a bold, experimental, and minimal approach to the occult genre, which places this movie at the start of our countdown.
“Singer manages to balance the highs and lows in a harmony of beautifully constructed cinematography and movement.” – Dr. Muerte
Another movie that we caught on the festival circuit, and another movie that centres on the occult, (you’ll notice a certain theme occurring to the movies that resonated this year).
“Pyewacket tackles what could easily be remised for teenage angst, but offers powerful performances from the two leads, Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead, The Americans) and Nicole Muñoz. in a slow-burn drama that s believable and tension-packed to its conclusion.” – Dr. Muerte
Leading the charge this year when it came to streaming content will probably come as no surprise in Netflix. There was a plethora of movies and shows that had significant impact, but none more so than this charged up, bloody film that rampaged its way to the small screen starring Dan Stevens (Legend) and directed by Gareth Evans.
“Evans is a master in creating heart-wrenching angst and turmoil into his narrative and with Dan Stevens has the perfect muse, as a lost and troubled man on a quest that takes him into a dark and twisted labyrinth of angst and suffering to reach a place of peace and tranquility.” – Dr. Muerte
Our Top 10 begins with this French rape revenge horror that marks itself from similar movies for its intelligence, stunning cinematography, and striking performances.
“Director Coralie Fargeat manages to harness all these elements together whilst providing a stunning movie that elevates itself above the quagmire of sensationalism by using smart and intense drama at its core.” – Dr. Muerte
9. The Ritual
Continuing the occult theme on Netflix comes this movie about the rocky relationship between friends, which continues to be tested and strained as they backpack across a remote woodland terrain.
“The Ritual proves that when done well, there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned, straight-up scary story.” – Dr Williams
“On Paper it seems like a trail well travelled; bunch of friends get lost in the woods and strange and/or horror things happen, but this Netflix original is full of atmosphere, great performances and some truly unsettling imagery that has burned into my brain.” – Dr. Jack
Those who missed this movie should definitely check it out. From a director who is always willing to test himself technically and narratively in Steven Soderbergh, and hotter than hot British actress actress Claire Foy, who once again pushes the boundaries of her acting prowess in her most exposed role to date.
“Psychological horror shot on an iPhone by Steven Soderbergh…I’m in! Fun little thriller that shows you don’t need million dollar equipment to make a quality movie, you just need a solid story – which this has.” – Dr. Davies
It promised so much for a beloved franchise, one that had seen the bitter end of the barrel with people fearing that Myers would no longer be able to stalk the streets of Haddonfield again.
Thankfully David Gordon Green and his writing collaborator Danny McBride played the perfect balance of nostalgia and fear, coupled with some contemporary themes that placed Halloween back into respectability again.
“Congratulations to the Blumhouse team. You’ve produced the best Halloween film in 40 years.” – Dr. Muerte
This film came out of the blocks boasting that it was the scariest film of our generation, and critics likening it to The Exorcist in the way it shook the horror genre. It’s arguable that it manages to meet this proclamation, and divided The Surgeons opinions on this matter, but does enough to hit the half-way point of out Top Horrors list for 2018, so must have had something going for it. Plus it tapped into the whole occult thing that seems so prominent this year in horror movies.
“Those who like to have the brain stimulated by smart and disturbing terror can expect a movie to resonate and tingle the senses.” – Dr. Muerte
“Though I had plenty of issues with the movie as a whole, when the midway “twist” came to a head, it shocked the most audible reaction out of me that I’ve had in a long, long time.” – Dr Jack