Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
It’s been an interesting year so far for the horror genre. With a lot of the world still dealing with the real life horrors of the Covid-19 pandemic most of us have been depending on streaming services to deliver our thrills and chills, but the quality has been a mixed bag. That’s not to say things haven’t been steadily getting better. And with six months firmly behind us I decided to take a look back at the horror movies I’ve watched to see which ones managed to slay their way to the top of the pack, Battle Royale style!
Here are my TOP 5 FAVOURITE HORROR MOVIES OF THE YEAR (SO FAR):
#5 Fear Street Part One: 1994
The reason this movie sits at the bottom of this list is because it’s part of a trilogy and I want to digest the whole enchilada before I decide if the recipe is worth sharing.
But just going off the first one, Fear Street Part One: 1994 was surprisingly a solid send-up of the slasher genre which managed to not only show love for the classics that have come before, but it also approaches the tropes that sometimes makes our beloved slasher sub-genre predictable and turn them on their heads.
It’s not a perfect movie or anything but it did what it was supposed to do, that is, it made me want to see what comes next. And for that alone Fear Street Part One: 1994 is a winner in by book. You can read my full review here.
#4 The Unholy
Taking religious iconography and utilising it in a horror movie isn’t just tricky; it can be downright sacrilegious. But The Unholy does a fairly good job of balancing the two. Throw in a likeable everyman lead like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, a cool design for our “unholy” antagonist, and a couple of fun jump scares and you have a decent and visually cool looking horror movie on your hands.
It’s a shame the final act drops the ball so hard as the first two chapters really are engaging. That said, The Unholy is the kind of easily digestible horror that makes for easy rewatching, so into the winners’ pile it goes! And you can read my full review here.
#3 Werewolves Within
I don’t know what it is exactly about this one but the more I think about it, the more I love what they did with Werewolves Within.
It’s not your usual man versus monster movie, and a lot of its strength comes from the razor-sharp comedy instead of razor sharp claws. There isn’t even that much here in terms of blood and gore (yet when it flows, it really flows) but with its self-aware, self-deprecating, oddball characters, sharp pacing and a whodunit mystery that reminded me of Clue, I know I will find myself recommending and rewatching Werewolves Within for some time to come. And again, you can read my full review here.
#2 The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
A modern day horror franchise powerhouse, The Conjuring movies and its spin-off films have become a must-see for genre fans. Not all of them are amazing, but they’ve been entertaining nonetheless and the standouts have and continue to be The Conjuring Parts 1&2. So watching the latest battle between whatever demon they could come up with and The Lorraines was a given.
The Devil Made Me Do It added a bit of a fresh take on the franchise by putting our heroes up against not just the demonic but the machinations of a satan worshipper, which I think was a good idea as it opens up the series to something we haven’t seen before. And while it didn’t live up to the stellar outings of the first two films (Part 2 is still my favourite of the bunch) The Devil Made Me Do it was one of the more memorable movies to come out for the year so far. And knowing James Wan and his team this is far from the last time we’ll be seeing Ed and Lorraine battling evil in the world of The Conjuring. And of course, you can read my full review here.
Honourable Mention: The Forever Purge
Having just seen the latest entry of The Purge franchise I can’t definitively say where it falls among the bunch, but The Forever Purge does a solid job of opening the way to a whole different set of stories set in this universe. And this is something that is much needed if they want to keep the wash, rinse, repeat of innocent people being hunted by whomever is the stand-in for whatever-the-political-issue-is-at-this-time-in-America is from going stale.
I wouldn’t say I’m a diehard fan of the movies as a whole, but I enjoy them for what they are (Parts 2&3 are my favs). And if there are more on the way, I’m down for that too. And yeah, you can read my full review here.
#1 A Quiet Place Part II
It takes what worked in the first film, adds to it by expanding on the world, and leaves you eagerly waiting for more. Now that’s how you do a sequel right!
The tense atmosphere created by its predecessor kicks in immediately here because we now know what to expect from this quasi-post apocalyptic world. But that doesn’t mean the movie is predictable, not in the least. There’s this sense of dread that builds because (SPOILER ALERT for Part 1) we’ve seen the father killed off, (SPOILER ALERT ends) so we the audience aren’t sure if our main cast will make it out alive or not. The best horror movies know how to make you care about the lead characters, and in doing so keeps the tension drawn as tight as piano wire.
Director and writer John Krasinski also knows to keep his cards close to his vest so we get just a tad more information, but not so much as to take away from the suspense. Because of this you can’t wait to see how they wrap this up, which means another sequel. And if it’s anything like this one, A Quiet Place just might go down in history as the best horror trilogies the world has ever seen. And one last time, you can read my full review here.
Six months down and six more to go, so let’s raise a glass to the horror movies that kept this year from being a bust and to the ones that are still to come. Here’s hoping we have some truly epic movies coming our way.
So what was your favourite horror movie of the year so far? And you can check out more great horror movie lists below:
Top 20 Horror Movies of 2020
Top 5 Horror Movies I Hated (That I Now Love)
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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