17) Troy’s Pick – The House That Jack Built
The House That Jack Built deserved better than what America gave it. Forcing everyone to see it on a single night in its proper cut is a joke. However, the sheer volume of positive response garnered from that one night arthouse screening can still be felt on the Internet. Check out the review here.
17) Daniel’s Pick – Halloween
David Gordon Green’s reboot of the Halloween franchise is a very good sequel. Is it the best film in the series since the original? No. Is it very original? No. Much like many of the other movies that have made my list, however, what it lacks in originality it makes up for in execution.
This isn’t a perfect Halloween movie, but what it gets right, it gets RIGHT. The atmosphere is pitch perfect. John Carpenter’s score is phenomenal. Curtis is really good (although I found her better in H20) and so are most of the core supporting players. Most importantly, however, James Jude Courtney gives us the best Michael Myers since the original. He is sublime in the role and I absolutely cannot wait to see what he does with the role going forward. This might not be the masterpiece that some claim, but it is a killer slasher sequel nonetheless and has rightfully put this franchise on the map again.
17) Mike Flynn’s Pick – Hereditary
With Get Out, Jordan Peele revitalized the time-old adage that the most unsettling kind of horror films are the ones that ground or smoothly elevate the source of our fears. There is a lion’s share of horror films on this list—some better, some that you have already seen—but none of them come close to the unpleasant parable that is Ari Aster’s directorial debut.
The repressed darkness of parenthood has lent itself to some of the greatest films in the genre. Hereditary is the self-destruction of a nuclear family where the supernatural threat is peripheral. Toni Collette, who familiarized herself with American audiences almost two decades ago in The Sixth Sense, has never been better as a mother who, with age, begins to regret her parenthood.
Better is Alex Wolff as her teenage son, who inadvertently and unwittingly justifies his mother’s irrational behavior. A24, this film’s distributor, has been a juggernaut with regards to genre films thanks to their mysterious ad campaigns and fearless acquisitions. Some work, some don’t. For one friend of mine, my anticipation for a favorable review was returned with a diatribe that dared why I was so unnerved. I want to make a comparison to a film that this has no business being compared to, but I’d blow it if I did.
What I will say is that despite the all-around extraordinary acting, not since David Lynch ripped off the scabs of the Palmers in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me has the family unit been this terrifying. If A24 had brokered a partnership with Trojan to promote this movie, I would have screamed bloody murder for the key to the bathroom in the middle of Walgreens.
17) Jamie’s Pick – Hereditary
Jamie loved it when the little girl lost her head. Screams of “learn to code” were heard echoing in his theater. Look that one up, coastal elites.