As usual, I didn’t get to see all the films released in 2017 that I wanted to that would be considered for this list. But, I did my best.
So, here it goes. A little less lazy this year since there’s more than just picture.
The Girl With All the Gifts
There are periods in my life where it seems I get sick of zombie films. The first one was in my high school days in the early 1980’s when it seemed like there was a glut of unrated Italian walking dead films making it to theaters near me. The fact is that I only real got into Lucio Fulci films of this type. I think I’m in the second sick-of-zombies period. But I’m always open to be proven wrong. That’s where The Girl With All the Gift comes in.
This turned out to be the rare zombie film that seems to actually add to this subgenre. The horror is there, but the base is very much science fiction. The virus infection is played as a new step in an evolutionary process.
It’s hard to say why this film won me over above my number 2 choice. But it did. I think it had something to do with the story and the film-making that helped tell it. I was sucked into it unlike any other film on this list.
This is one of the most intelligent social satire horror stories I’ve even seen. Paranoia rarely is so effectively realized in a film. Jordan Peele has his work cut out for him on anything he has in store for us in the future. I wish him well.
One of my favorite Stephen King novels was turned into an excellent Netflix original film by Mike Flanagan, the best in the new breed of horror filmmakers. That’s all I need to say.
This was a great mix of Lovecraft, Barker, Fulci, Carpenter, and I’m sure a nice handful of other influences. And, thank you very much for proving that practical effects still make a huge impact on an audience.
The Devil’s Candy
What’s at the core of this film is a realistic and likable family unit in peril. And this peril runs deeper than the mentally disturbed man that shows up at their door one day.
If you know me well enough, then you know there has to been at least one quirky film on any of my lists. This is the first of two. And of course the story of a veterinary student who prefers a meatless diet, like the rest of her family, starting to believe she has a proclivity for consuming human flesh sure does qualify as quirky.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter
This is the second quirky one as presented to us by Anthony Perkins’ son Oz. I’m not a big fan of the term “slow-burn”, but this is actually the best example of that style of storytelling. Two female students are stuck on campus waiting for their respective parents to pick them up for winter break while another young lady seems to be headed the same campus for reasons unknown. There’s a building of tension until some disturbing stuff happens.
This is another great adaptation of a King story, a novella this time. A haunting fueled by extreme guilt. The story plays much like a tale straight out of EC comics, but Stephen King style.
Well, looky here! Another King adaptation does well for itself. If this keeps up, this young man may have a career to write home about.
A Cure For Wellness
Despite, maybe, being a touch too long, it was sure good to see something this twisted being made with this much love. We really do need more mad scientist films, don’t you think?
Honorable Mentions: XX, The House on Willow Street, It Comes at Night, Split
–Charles T. Cochran