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The Six Best Horror Films of 2017

December 13, 2017

2017 was a massive year for horror that featured critically beloved films like It, Get Out and Split bringing in huge box office numbers and changing the way the mainstream looks at mainstream horror (they can be good movies!). We were also lucky enough to have beautiful jump scare bonanzas like Annabelle: Creationcontemplative cannibalism films like Raw, and really good Stephen King adaptations like 1922 and Gerald’s Game. It was a deep year for horror and we here at MFF did our best to watch pretty much everything horror related. Since, I’m only human and couldn’t get to everything (Happy Death Day, mother!, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Mayhem, Berlin Syndrome) this list represents the best of what I saw

You should watch The Blackcoat’s Daughter.

Here are the top 6 horror films of 2017. Let me know your top 6 in the comments below. I’d love to know.

6. The Devil’s Candy

 The Devil’s Candy is a gnarly film that features some true nastiness but also has lots of heart. Anchored by Ethan Embry’s committed performance as a blue collar artist you are able to deal with the death via focusing on the core family. What I love most is how Embry’s character truly loves his daughter and wife and did nothing to earn the devilish plight that is driving him to some really dark places. By creating a likable family who behave in believable ways director Sean Byrne (The Loved Ones – very good) has made the film tougher to watch. When you like the people involved it makes the tension worse because you are invested in their oncoming torture via very evil things.

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5. Get Out

Get Out is what happens when a director loves 1970s horror and is able to create his vision unencumbered. Jordan Peele crushed his debut film and you can feel his love of Rosemary’s Baby and Stepford Wives all over it. The building paranoia, A-list talent and awesome ending combine to create a film that has totally earned its 99% Tomatometer average and plethora of awards.  Get Out is a crowd-pleasing movie that pulls no punches and has something to say about race relations without resorting to simple preaching. You will laugh, cheer and jump throughout and that is a testament to Jordan Peele. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

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4. Creep 2

Director Patrick Brice and actor/writer Mark Duplass excel at making people uncomfortable. They have something very special going on with the titular creep Aaron and I love how the character keeps evolving while still making people very uneasy. He preys on people in very peculiar ways and finds ways to keep logical people in his presence when they should be running for the hills (there is a cool spin here though). If you are into layered performances and slinking into your couch due to brilliantly devilish moments you will love Creep 2.

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3. Gerald’s Game

Director Mike Flanagan (Hush, Oculus) is an emerging talent who has wanted to make this film for a long time. Many considered the Stephen King’s novel to be unfilmable to its single location, inner monologues and all around weirdness. Flanagan never gave up on his dream project and now we have one of the best 2017 horror films. One of the reasons why Gerald’s Game works so well is because of Carla Gugino’s game changing performance as a woman named Jessie who is having a very bad day. She is hand-cuffed to a bed, her husband died of a heart attack, a hungry stray dog is roaming around the house, and there might be a demonic presence in the home. Throughout the insanity Gugino expertly owns every second of her screen time and she creates a very likable character that you want to survive. Flanagan’s direction and Gugino’s star power make this a must watch horror film.

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2. Raw

Raw is what happens when a badass director who loves David Cronenberg makes a movie about cannibalism at a French veterinary school. This will sound overly obvious but director Julia Ducournau has created a very raw film that humanizes its characters and doesn’t glamorize anything. The violence, blood and disembowelment feel grounded in reality and feel organic and natural to the story (this is rare). Raw centers around a first year veterinary student named Justine (a very brave Garance Marillier) dealing with college hazing, sexual encounters and cannibalism. I never knew where Raw was going and that is a attributed to Ducournau who has made a movie that is honest, brutal and in no way soft.

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1. The Blackcoat’s Daughter

Slight Spoilers

The reason The Blackcoat’s Daughter is #1 on my list is because of a single line (and very good filmmaking). There is a moment when young Kat (Kiernan Shipka) just had a very mellow exorcism performed upon her, and she sees the evil demon/spirit/devil leaving her body. Instead of being happy about the evil leaving her she says, “Don’t go,” to the evil as it floats away. This is somebody who is alienated at her boarding school and is so lonely she doesn’t want something that paid her attention to leave. The “Don’t go” line and the final shot do something really cool because the two tiny moments make us feel for a murderer who decapitates her victims and offers them up to a demon in the school furnace. Director Oz Perkins does a beautiful dread establishing dread via a patient approach that depends on a melancholic tone and all-in performances from the actors. You should watch The Blackcoat’s Daughter. 

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What 2017 horror films did you love?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Connie Lee permalink
    December 13, 2017 5:54 pm

    I haven’t seen Happy Death Day either but went through the maze based off of it at Universal Studios. If the movie is anything like that, it’s definitely worth a shot.

    • December 13, 2017 5:57 pm

      I wish I could’ve caught it in the theaters because I heard it’s a lot of fun. Stoked to see it.

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  1. The MFF Podcast #108: The Best Horror Films of 2017 | Movies, Films & Flix

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