The 19 Best Horror Films Of 2017

19. The Devil’s Candy

IFC Midnight

Director: Sean Byrne
Writer: Sean Byrne With his debut feature The Loved Ones, Sean Byrne established himself as an exciting new voice in repugnance, secure to balance thrills with the dark of colored temper. The Devil’s Candy is slightly more sincere than its harbinger, but its familiar evocation of heavy-metal devil idolize is delivered with a wink. The Hellman family — husband Jesse ( Ethan Embry ), wife Astrid ( Shiri Appleby ), and daughter Zooey ( Kiara Glasco ) — move into a newly home that good happens to be where disturb Ray Smilie ( Pruitt Taylor Vince ) viciously murdered his beget. And Ray hasn ’ triiodothyronine gone far : Hiding out at a motel nearby, he ’ sulfur still serving the Devil, and he has his eye on Zooey. While there aren ’ t many twists and turns to the diagram, Byrne ’ s distinctive style and his actors ’ strong performances elevate the floor. That a film about a Devil-worshipping cause of death still feels this fresh makes The Devil’s Candy all the more impressive .

18. A Cure for Wellness

twentieth Century Fox

Director: Gore Verbinski
Writer: Justin Haythe With a two-and-a-half-hour run-time, A Cure for Wellness could be criticized for its indulgence, and there are surely moments throughout when director Gore Verbinski might have exhibited some chasteness. But region of what makes the film work is its sprawling nature, and the behind fear that builds along the way to its shock reveals. Dane DeHaan stars as Lockhart, a new administrator tasked with bringing base his company ’ second CEO, Roland Pembroke ( Harry Groener ), from a cryptic health watering place in the Alps. After an accident renders Lockhart a patient, he becomes increasingly leery of the center and its oral sex doctor, Heinrich Volmer ( Jason Isaacs ). There ’ sulfur never any interview that something is badly imperfectly hera, but like the best paranoid horror, A Cure for Wellness is deliberate in the direction it teases out answers. And when it does veer into absurdity, DeHaan and Isaacs are so committed that they make it work .

17. Cult of Chucky

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Director: Don Mancini
Writer: Don Mancini Picking up four years after 2013 ’ s Curse of Chucky, Cult of Chucky sees Nica ( Fiona Dourif ) immediately confined to a mental initiation where she struggles to convince her doctors and boyfriend patients that it very was an malefic dame who murdered her entire family. It ’ mho bully to say with a heterosexual confront, and Cult of Chucky wisely injects a little bit of humor back into the Child’s Play franchise after the more aboveboard repugnance of Curse. Over the course of closely 30 years, Chucky ’ s godhead Don Mancini has navigated the serial from repugnance to comedy and back again — without ever resorting to an ill-advised boot. The latest sequels are lower-budget than the theatrical releases that came before them, but they showcase Chucky ’ second survival ( he ’ mho still voiced by the inimitable Brad Dourif ) and Mancini ’ s ability to continue surprising his consultation. The rewarding reappearance of Andy Barclay ( Alex Vincent ) makes the lawsuit for this kind of drawn-out storytelling, rare in slasher movies .

16. Split

universal Pictures

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan When M. Night Shyamalan made The Visit in 2015, he managed to win back the naysayers who had all but written him off. The unexpectedly terrorization ( and very curious ) movie reestablished Shyamalan as a horror film maker to watch, and Split follows through on that promise. It besides cleverly delivers surprises without resting besides heavily on a big wrench, the trademark of Shyamalan ’ s early on work. ( Split ’ s only real “ holy place shit ” moment is the concluding scene that — spoiler alarm — reveals it to be a standalone sequel to Unbreakable, but that has little bearing on the film as a wholly. ) James McAvoy gives a batshit but systematically dynamic performance as a kidnapper with 23 distinctive divide personalities ; by playing it straight, he manages to move dexterously from terrifying to sympathetic. And Anya Taylor-Joy, a standout in The Witch, is compelling as Casey, a troubled girlfriend trying to escape before the emergence of her captor ’ s 24th personality, an inhuman animal he calls the Beast .

15. The Blackcoat’s Daughter


Director: Oz Perkins
Writer: Oz Perkins Despite the episodic burst of graphic violence, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a gorgeous movie. This is writer-director Oz Perkins ’ debut feature ( although his ghost report I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House was released first ) and it reflects an impressive confidence and attention to detail. The Blackcoat’s Daughter is actually two apparently unconnected stories. In one, Rose ( Lucy Boynton ) and Kat ( Kiernan Shipka ) are the merely students left at their catholic boarding school over winter break as a demonic presence begins to manifest. In the other, Joan ( Emma Roberts ) is a hitchhiker on the run from a violent by. It doesn ’ t take retentive to figure out how the two halves of the film come together, but The Blackcoat’s Daughter is more implicated with its themes of personnel casualty and grief than with its plot. That ’ s not a scar against it — the vogue and mood here are so effective they end up telling the real report .

14. Prevenge


Director: Alice Lowe
Writer: Alice Lowe Alice Lowe was very meaning while filming Prevenge, which might qualify this as method acting — although let ’ s hope she wasn ’ metric ton besides slaughtering people at the behest of her surprisingly chatty fetus. Lowe plays Ruth, a meaning charwoman on a murder spree to avenge the death of the baby ’ s church father in a climb accident. It ’ s an extraordinary premise made pathetic by the fact that the voice in Ruth ’ second head — that of her bloodthirsty fetus — sounds vaguely cartoonish. But Prevenge leans into the absurdity of its central conceit, and Lowe succeeds in making her antihero seem about intellectual even as she becomes increasingly unhinge. In 2012 ’ sulfur Sightseers, which she cowrote and starred in, Lowe proved that she knew how to blend repugnance and dark comedy without taking away from either. Prevenge is equally ace at that balancing act, with the laughs construction alongside the rising body count .

13. Raw

Focus World

Director: Julia Ducournau
Writer: Julia Ducournau Raw is a coming-of-age film in which a young womanhood ’ s sexual awakening and challenging adjustment to her first year of college coincide with her developing a taste for homo kernel. possibly the cannibalism is a metaphor, but that doesn ’ t take away from the intuitive depictions of flesh-eating that proved excessively much for some of Raw ’ s early audiences. Ironically, Justine ( Garance Marillier ) is a vegetarian until she ’ mho forced to eat raw rabbit kidneys in a haze ritual at her new veterinarian school. soon after, she ’ randomness craving more fresh kernel — until, in an improbable series of events, she finds herself gnawing on her baby ’ randomness feel. Yes, Raw is gross, but it ’ s besides amazingly medium in its treatment of Justine ’ s fear and confusion, and her complicated relationships with her sister, Alexia ( Ella Rumpf ), and her roommate, Adrien ( Rabah Naït Oufella ). flesh-eating apart, the film has a lot to offer — ampere long as you can stomach it .

12. Killing Ground

IFC Midnight

Director: Damien Power
Writer: Damien Power If you think the baby will escape from Killing Ground unharmed, you credibly haven ’ thyroxine been paying much attention to new australian horror. These films — Wolf Creek remains the best known — are relentlessly brutal and, more often than not, unbearably bleak : even for seasoned horror fans, they can be difficult to endure, and Killing Ground is, indeed, a challenge to get through. That doesn ’ metric ton beggarly it ’ s not a thrill, compellingly watchable film — it precisely means you may never want to watch it again. The set-up is relatively aboveboard, as Sam ( Harriet Dyer ) and Ian ( Ian Meadows ) pitch their tent on a seclude beach for a quixotic weekend away. To say that things go awry would be something of an understatement. What makes Killing Ground therefore impressive is how much it does with a diagram that, at least initially, feels indeed familiar. The ferocity is shocking, yes, but so is Damien Power ’ s ability to repeatedly subvert audience expectations .

11. Gerald’s Game


Director: Mike Flanagan
Writers: Jeff Howard and Mike Flanagan Stephen King ’ mho 1992 novel Gerald’s Game has long been considered unfilmable, and for good rationality : The plot is confined to a bedroom where Jessie is handcuffed to the bed following her husband Gerald ’ s premature death. Enter Mike Flanagan, who took King ’ second inner, restrained psychological thriller and turned it into one of the most moral force repugnance films of the year. Carla Gugino does a batch of the big lift : As Jessie, she has to play both helpless victim and resourceful survivor — and sometimes both at once, as Jessie hallucinates a more assertive adaptation of herself to help her out of her predicament. It ’ sulfur heavily to talk about Gerald’s Game without talking about the scene, a moment of such shocking ferocity that you ’ re compelled to scream aboard Jessie. But it ’ south authoritative to note that it works because of everything that comes before it : It ’ s astoundingly antic, but it ’ s besides well-earned and cathartic .

10. It Comes at Night


Director: Trey Edward Shults
Writer: Trey Edward Shults Trey Edward Shults ’ debut feature Krisha may not have been a horror film in the traditional common sense, but it was made in the vogue of the genre and showcased Shults ’ ability to ratchet up suspense in a confine quad. It Comes at Night, which is unambiguously repugnance, takes the concept and runs with it. once again, the action takes place about wholly in a house, although here the threat is more life-and-death : a highly contagious virus that has already decimated the world ’ second population. Paul ( Joel Edgerton ), his wife Sarah ( Carmen Ejogo ), and their son, Travis ( Kelvin Harrison Jr. ), are surviving in isolation when a stranger arrives. Will ( Christopher Abbott ) has a syndicate of his own — and they ’ ra in indigence of shelter. It Comes at Night may be excessively behind for some, but its debate pace allows the latent hostility and paranoia to build, paving the way for an impressively brutal conclusion .

9. Most Beautiful Island

orion Pictures

Director: Ana Asensio
Writer: Ana Asensio Ana Asensio ’ south strange, faze film is difficult to categorize : For the first two-thirds of its abbreviated 80-minute guide time, it ’ s a repose drama about an undocumented immigrant, Luciana ( Asensio ), struggling to survive in New York City. But things take an unexpected turn as Luciana is offered a moneymaking opportunity that seems excessively thoroughly to be dependable — and, of course, is. Most Beautiful Island could easily have followed a more predictable trajectory, but while it seems as though Luciana is going to be tricked into intimate slavery, the truth is revealed to be an wholly different kind of nightmare. Asensio has said her movie was based on true experiences, including her own : The specifics of Luciana ’ mho terrific, phantasmagoric situation are likely fantasy, but they reflect the very real exploitation of undocumented immigrants, which grounds Most Beautiful Island in a deeply uncomfortable reality .

8. The Girl With All the Gifts

Saban Films

Director: Colm McCarthy
Writer: Mike Carey Zombie fatigue is real, as anyone still trudging through The Walking Dead can tell you, but there are distillery unique spins on the genre. The Girl With All the Gifts, for exemplar, is postapocalyptic zombi repugnance that besides incorporates the very YA premise of one girlfriend with especial powers. Melanie ( Sennia Nanua ) is from the second generation of “ hungries ” ( the movie ’ randomness term for zombies ), which means she retains her humanity along with a desire for human pulp. At least, that ’ s what her teacher Helen ( Gemma Arterton ) thinks, pitting her against Dr. Caroline Caldwell ( Glenn Close ), who is experimenting on children like Melanie in the hope of finding a remedy for the fungal infection that has already wiped out most of the earth. The Girl With All the Gifts takes narrative turns that distinguish it from the distinctive automaton film and from the YA movies that plowshare some of its DNA, culminating in a devastating ending that few will see coming .

7. Better Watch Out

well Go USA

Director: Chris Peckover
Writers: Zack Kahn and Chris Peckover Better Watch Out is not the movie you think it is : few films are this able to completely shift course, but the major redirect that occurs a third of the means into the movie is barely part of what makes it such a thrillingly insurgent fill on the Christmas slasher. On the surface, at least, this is your criterion holiday repugnance : 12-year-old Luke ( Levi Miller ) and his babysitter, Ashley ( Olivia DeJonge ), are forced to defend themselves when home invaders descend on the firm. There ’ s a lot more to the history, however, and with one big unwrap, Better Watch Out transforms from a sanely competent slasher to a truly terrify horror film about toxic masculinity and male entitlement. certain, it ’ second however a fortune of fun at times — there ’ mho one brilliant set musical composition that may ruin Home Alone forever — but the lastingness of Better Watch Out lies in its willingness to engage with repugnance ’ s beloved babysitter trope and the uncomfortable misogyny that comes with it .

6. It

Warner Bros. Pictures

Director: Andy Muschietti
Writers: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman Given how haphazard Stephen King adaptations can be, it ’ s incredible that we got two great adaptations in one year — three if you count the television series Mr. Mercedes. ( And yes, there were some duds, but the less said about The Dark Tower and the television receiver indicate The Mist, the better. ) It succeeds not precisely because it ’ mho chilling — there ’ s an ancient evil masquerading as an evil clown ( Bill Skarsgård ) murdering children, so duh, it ’ mho frightening — but besides because it ’ s a compel coming-of-age fib that features some of the finest child actor discoveries since, well, Stand By Me. Like that film, It raises the bar for Stephen King movies, and that ’ s a good thing. The film ’ s record-breaking box-office operation is besides an encourage admonisher that there is a massive consultation for these adaptations — and for well-made R-rated repugnance in general. So how about that sequel ?

5. The Lure

Kino Świat

Director: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
Writer: Robert Bolesto What ’ s not to love about The Lure, a polish comedy-horror musical about killer whale mermaids that ’ s inspired by the Hans christian Andersen fairy fib “ The Little Mermaid ” ? OK, so possibly it isn ’ metric ton for everyone, but if you ’ rhenium will to give yourself over to the madness of this bizarre little gem, you ’ re likely to fall hard for it. Silver ( Marta Mazurek ) and Golden ( Michalina Olszańska ) are two mermaids who emerge on domain in 1980s Poland and join a rock isthmus. When Silver develops feelings for her bandmate ( Jakub Gierszal ), Golden worries she will lose her sister constantly. Oh, and Golden is besides murdering people — just go with it. The Lure has then much to offer : an incredible ‘ 80s-inspired seduce, a unique take on the mermaid mythos, and some real body repugnance outlandishness. As it reaches an ending that ’ s closer to the original fairy narrative than Disney ’ s watered-down adaptation, The Lure proves equally matter to in the poignant and the grotesque .

4. Creep 2

The Orchard

Director: Patrick Brice
Writers: Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice Mark Duplass ’ s charismatic serial killer returns in a sequel that manages to evoke and then surpass the original. Josef is now going by Aaron, the name of his victim in Creep, and he ’ s looking for another videographer. This time he ’ sulfur ready to tell his real fib — well, possibly. Aaron is a systematically undependable narrator, and Duplass always plays it indeed straight that you want to believe him, even though you know he ’ south completely psychotic. The documentarian this time is Sara ( Desiree Akhavan ), who barely flinches when Aaron confesses to being a serial cause of death and seems wholly unfazed by his repeated attempts to scare the asshole out of her. In the first Creep, it took a while to learn Josef ’ s true nature — here, the jig is up. But Creep 2 is fair a compel as its harbinger, if not more sol. The active between Aaron and Sara is capture, and the tension comes from never knowing who ’ s in control — and realizing they ’ re not sure either .

3. Happy Death Day

universal Pictures

Director: Christopher B. Landon
Writer: Scott Lobdell In a year with then much especial prestige horror — see the following two films on this list — it ’ s easy for a movie like Happy Death Day to get overlooked. That would be a commiseration, though, because the Groundhog Day -inspired slasher is a pathetic amount of fun. It ’ randomness besides, despite the rampant giddiness, a fortune smarter than it seems, and that ’ s saying something for a movie in which the supporter lets loose an agonizingly long fart. That supporter is Tree Gelbman, played by Jessica Rothe in what would be a career-defining operation if Happy Death Day were the kind of movie to define careers. Tree ’ randomness liveliness is kind of a mess and she ’ sulfur got plenty of problems to deal with, the most press being that she keeps getting murdered. And every time she ’ randomness murder, her day resets, forcing her to go into detective mode and try to find her killer. Look, it ’ s not going to get any Oscar recognition, but it ’ s a goddam blast from begin to finish. Embrace it .

2. The Killing of a Sacred Deer


Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writers: Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou Yorgos Lanthimos films, while critically lauded, can be dissentious among audiences, and that ’ s to be expected. He embraces ambiguity and cultural taboo in a direction that many might find torment or uncomfortable ; his films are besides, well, profoundly fucking wyrd. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is possibly Lanthimos ’ most cringe-inducing movie even, but it ’ s besides by chance his funniest. Colin Farrell stars as Steven Murphy, a heart surgeon who befriends a strange adolescent boy, Martin ( Barry Keoghan ), with a secret agenda. soon after, Steven ’ s son, Bob ( Sunny Suljic ), is paralyzed — and he ’ s told his daughter, Kim ( Raffey Cassidy ) and wife, Anna ( Nicole Kidman ), are future. Unless, that is, he ’ south uncoerced to pick one to die. This is Sophie’s Choice as an absurdist horror-comedy, and it ’ s a stun accomplishment. The view in which Steven makes his choice is breathtaking in every way, equal parts hilarious and heart-stopping .

1. Get Out

universal Pictures

Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele Get Out international relations and security network ’ thyroxine just the best horror movie this class : It ’ south easily one of the best films of the year, period, and possibly the defining movie of 2017. Jordan Peele ’ s directorial debut is an incredible success, both in terms of its impressive box-office numbers and critical adoration. It ’ sulfur emerging as a major Oscar rival, a rare feat for horror, a music genre that ’ s about constantly overlooked. But putting aside all the buzz and adulation, not to mention an endless attack of think pieces, the fact remains that Get Out in truth is that dependable. In telling the history of a black man, Chris ( Daniel Kaluuya ), who visits his white girlfriend ’ second ( Allison Williams ) syndicate and uncovers a nefarious diagram, Peele exposes the cultural anxieties and racial tensions that have always been there, but now, for many Americans, have never been more apparent. Like so many of the greatest horror films, Get Out is terrifying not in cattiness of its searing social comment but because of the beastly truths therein .

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