Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 108: The Top 10 Horror Movies of 2016


HAPPY NEW YEAR, horror fans! You’ve survived 2016! Welcome to Episode 108 of HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, our very first show of 2017 where Jay of the Dead, Wolfman Josh and Dr. Shock will be looking back on an awful year for our culture, but a tremendous year for horror. The hosts each bring you their Top 10 Horror Movies of 2016, but more importantly, reveal the results of the calculated Top 10 Horror Movies of 2016 from the collective HMP listenership!

We also bring you a few prize giveaways courtesy of Doctor Shock, Jay of the Dead and amazing artist, illustrator, and loyal HMP listener, Bonnie Bozell!

Horror Movie Podcast is a bi-weekly show that’s released every other Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! And remember, we love getting your voicemails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast, where we’re DEAD SERIOUS ABOUT HORROR MOVIES, damn it!



I. Introduction
— Happy New Year — 2017!
— Dr. Shock’s Christmas Shopping Spree for Movies: The Dead Room
— Reflecting on 2016: “They’re Dead. They’re All Messed Up.”
— Trailer 2016: The Movie

[ 0:10:58 ] II. HMP: YEAR IN REVIEW FOR 2016
— Review of HMP highlights in 2016
— Stats from listener submissions
— Shout-out and thank you to Jay of the Dead’s wife.
— A few listener predictions (and a couple of host predictions, too)

The 39 Horror Movie Podcast Listener Contributors:
Cora Jane in SLC; Kagan in SLC; Brian S. from St. Louis; Elena Cline; Dino from New York in Cleveland; Oliver Oks; Gabby Mora from Chicago (by way of Philadelphia); Ian West in New Jersey; Dark Mark from California; Brian Moloney; Greg “The Gray Man” from Ohio; Juan in Texas; Michelle Ogle; Buffy Slay’her from Canada; Rob from Belgium; Michael Fitzgerald from New York; AnDread from Ohio; Tim (aka Jan-Gel’s Twin); Daniel Rempel; Sal Roma; Jonathan Watkins; Jason Dragon from New York; JodyHorrorGuy from Ohio; Colin Campbell from Scotland; Poison the Well; Frank Wisswell; Luke Bernand of the Dead Last Podcast; Bill V. just east of Toronto; CakeWolf; Shannon; Gareth Young from the U.K.; Robert Salinas; Fiona Odum; Victor Rodriguez from Seattle; Mike from the Back Row Podcast; Joe McGregor; Projectile Varmint; Frank the Fiend; and Slashley G.

[ 0:47:02 ] III. TOP 10 HORROR MOVIES OF 2016

Horror Movie Podcast Listeners’ Top 10 Horror Movies of 2016
1. The Witch: A New England Folktale
2. Don’t Breathe
3. Green Room
4. Train to Busan
5. 10 Cloverfield Lane
6. The Wailing
7. The Invitation
8. Hush
9. The Conjuring 2
10. The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Dr. Shock’s Top 10 Horror Movies of 2016
1. Train to Busan
2. Green Room
3. The Wailing
4. The Invitation
5. The Autopsy of Jane Doe
6. The Witch: A New England Folktale
7. Don’t Breathe
8. Hush
9. I Am Not a Serial Killer
10. The Other Side of the Door

Jay of the Dead’s Top 10 Horror Movies of 2016
1. Green Room
2. The Witch: A New England Folktale
3. The Invitation
4. Don’t Breathe
5. Lights Out
6. Train to Busan
7. Frankenstein
8. The Eyes of My Mother
9. The Boy
10. Clown

Wolfman Josh’s Top 10 Horror Movies of 2016
1. Green Room
2. The Wailing
3. The Witch
4. Train to Busan
5. Demon
6. Don’t Breathe
7. Under the Shadow
8. The Triangle
9. The Good Neighbor
10. They’re Watching


— Honorable Mentions, Disappointments, et al., for 2016 Horror
— Jay of the Dead’s Non-Horror List (but Films of Note for Horror Fans)

V. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— A few prize give-aways – Winners please e-mail your postal address to HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com

JOIN US IN TWO WEEKS ON HMP 109: Predictions and What’s Coming This Year for New Horror Movies in 2017! Join us!


Check out  artist and illustrator Bonnie Bozell‘s amazing work:
Instagram: bbozellart
Society6: bbozellart
Etsy shop: ArtOfBBozell

Bonnie presenting her art to Guillermo Del Toro:
Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 3.38.02 PM
Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 3.40.38 PM
Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 3.40.18 PM
Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 3.40.57 PM

—Check out Jay’s Movie Podcast Weekly Top 10 of 2016 show!

For the holiday season, be sure to listen to these classic podcasts of Christmas past:

Christmas Horror 2013 (Ep 05)
Dead Snow, Devil’s Pass, Silent Night, Deadly Night, Black Christmas

Christmas Horror 2014 (Ep 37)
P2, Christmas Evil, Saint, Gremlins, Wind Chill, The Last Winter

Christmas Horror 2015 (Ep 78)
Krampus, A Christmas Horror Story, Rare Exports, Silent Night Bloody Night

Christmas Horror 2016 (Ep 107)
Good Tidings, Don’t Open Till Christmas, Santa’s Slay, Silent Night, Deadly Night III, ATM, Frozen

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Follow Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter
Horror Movie Podcast Official Facebook
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @IcarusArts
Horror Movie Podcast Official Instagram @HorrorMovieCast
Josh covers the Monsters Universe, new and classic, on Universal MonstersCast.com
Follow UMC on Twitter @MonstersCast
Josh covers streaming online movies on MovieStreamCast.com
Follow MSC on Twitter @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave writes daily movie review on DVDinfatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on Facebook
Dr. Shock also appears on another horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter @DrWalkingDead

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment below the show notes for this episode.

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for the original Horror Movie Podcast theme and composer Kagan Breitenbach for the use of his arrangement of Fred’s song for our updated theme.

If you like Horror Movie Podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review in iTunes. It really helps our visibility. You can also subscribe on GooglePlay or Stitcher. If you want to support the show even more, you can do so by becoming a patron of Movie Podcast Network and subscribing to our “Special Features” episodes by paying a small fee to get at least one bonus release each month through our official Movie Podcast Network Patreon page!

Thanks for listening, and join us again Friday after next for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

478 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 108: The Top 10 Horror Movies of 2016

  1. After careful consideration, I am seriously regretting my decision to rank THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR above THE CONJURING 2. I still greatly enjoyed DOOR, but it should have been at the top of my honorable mentions, and THE CONJURING 2 should hold the final spot on my top-10 list.

    My list will be on my blog as well, and over there I’ll be making this change.

    Hope everyone enjoys the show!

    • Doc, I was surprised to find out that you liked The Other Side of the Door so much. It’s not a terrible movie, but it felt very run-of-the-mill in comparison to the rest of the year’s offerings.

      • It’s hard to argue with you. The scares and supernatural scenes aren’t exactly original. But aside from the setting, I liked how the movie dealt with the tragedy that set everything in motion, with lead actress Sarah Wayne Callies doing a fine job conveying the heartbreak a woman in her position would likely feel. I also thought the young girl playing the daughter was exceptional (especially considering it was her feature film debut).

        In the end, though, THE CONJURING 2 was a better movie, and deserved a place on my top 10 (with DOOR moving to honorable mentions).

        • You actually got me really excited about this one, Dave. I really want to see it because I loved seeing other cultures take on the supernatural so much this year in films like Demon, The Wailing, and Under the Shadow. This is near the top of my “much watch” list.

    • Hey, on the bright side, you were able to bring some attention to a lesser known film.

      Personally, my #10 film is usually a movie that I want to give a little extra love to, even if it doesn’t necessarily “deserve” to be a “top 10” film. That’s why I had Lights Out, a movie I really loved, at #10. If I’m being honest with myself, something like 10 Cloverfield Lane or Green Room is more “deserving” of a spot. But I really wanted to have Lights Out on there.

      In other words, Doc, I feel your pain!

      • Thank you, Dino! I was thinking along these same lines (I did want to draw some attention to THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR, and #10 felt like the best spot to do so).

        But it was at the expense of CONJURING 2, and that was a mistake.

      • I couldn’t agree more with using #10 as a movie you feel should receive attention. I used it for the movie Fear Inc, a film I have heard nobody mention at all. It is not the best ever, but worthy of a watch!

        • Don’t regret it! Conjuring 2 is formulaic and predictable…at least Door tried something a bit different in an unusual setting. I’d rather a smaller movie that takes risks than a Hollywood horror movie that plays safe…

        • Fear Inc is a great example of a film I probably wouldn’t have ever watched, but is going in my queue because I’ve seen it on a few lists. I’ve had quite a lot of positive feedback from people who have watched The Good Neighbor. I’m really happy with my bottom 3, even though they could have easily been any of the films on my next 20 honorable mentions.

    • I did not check out ‘The Other Side of the Door’ because I had the ending ruined for me. However, I’ve been hearing enough good about it recently that I believe I will be checking it out.

      • Oh man! I didn’t have The Wailing as one of Doc’s top 3 because I didn’t know he had seen it!

        Yes, Doc!

        I wonder if Doc’s and Wolfman’s love, along with the flood of love from the listeners, for The Wailing will finally get JOTD to sit down and watch this thing!

        • I didn’t know whether Dave had seen The Wailing either, but I decided not to ask him what he’d been watching when he told us he was binging 2016 films. Really had my fingers crossed that he’d get around to it.

      • Boom! I got 8 out of 10 from Wolfman’s top 10 list, and the two I missed (They’re Watching and Under the Shadow) I guessed would be in his honorable mentions. I was a little off on the final order of those films, though. :-/

        JOTD pretty much gave his top 3 away with his MPW list.

        I was pretty far off with Doc’s list. He was the most difficult to pin down. Anyone else get his?

        • Btw, Doc, so awesome having you as part of the top 10 show this year! This was a good year to start doing a top 10 list. :)

          I hope you’re back for it again next year.

      • I guess I’m in the minority about the mask not being an issue with me. I felt like it was a fresh take and it actually made the killer more effective in a way because that was him declaring to his victim that she was already dead, so it didn’t even matter if the mask was on or off. I find that terrifying.

      • Agreed.

        Hush made it into my top ten, still – though. That tap, tap, tapping on the window scene…that was what did it. I haven’t felt a startling fear like that since I was a teenager.

        • The tapping scene was excellent. I thought the bathroom scene was a really good use of the senses too. I liked her writer’s mind taking her moves to the logical, deadly conclusion. It’s evocative of the Robert Downy Sherlock Holmes gag, but it works really well with her character. The alarm was also set-up well. And I loved the scene with her neighbor’s husband.

    • Surprised the ending of Serial Killer dragged it down for you so much, Wolfman! I’m with you on the ending being a slight disappointment (see my comments below), but the rest of the film is SO GOOD!

        • I never actually got to see it, which is funny considering I’m the one who suggested they review it instead of Mary Shelley’s for that Versus episode. :-/

          • Haha really? I thought you had recommended it for a reason. I mean, it’s worth your time, but I would say put it on your lower end of your queue.

            • Yeah, the reason I recommended it was because it was a new 2016 release.

              I might end up watching it after the Universal Monsters marathon, to go along with the classic Frankenstein movies.

      • Dino, this was a great recommend! I’m so glad it was on Jay’s list, it was higher on mine for a while. I’ve spent lots of time contemplating how the Frankenstein story could or would be adapted to a modern setting and this really fit the bill. There are many similarities to the book but it also has story beats very close the the 1931 film. The scientific and moralistic themes are still there challenging the viewer. Plus the cast is full of great horror actors.

        Anyhow, yea, don’t bother watching it until you’ve seen the 1931 Frankenstein a few dozen times. It’s better. The versus episode here on HMP was one of my personal favorites this year!

    • Oh man, it’s so disappointing that JOTD didn’t get to The Wailing in time for this episode! I was super curious to see where he would have ranked it: on the one hand, I could see the lengthy runtime and odd humor in the early part of the film not sitting well with him, but it’s such a good movie.

      Jason, as a friend, I’m telling you – make this movie a priority!

      One request: when you do get to see it and review it on the show, let us know if (and where) it would have landed on your 2016 top 10 list.

    • Jason, I love seeing Lights Out so high up on your list. While I don’t think it was quite there in execution, I really loved this movie… so much, that I had to include it on my top 10 list. Such a great premise.

      • Completely agree with Doc’s comments on this movie, too. I think it’s definitely one of the best, if not THE best, opening scene in any horror film this year.

        • Ha, Wolfman mentioned that^ on the show, too. Maybe I should just listen to the episode…

          See, Wolfman! A few of us had discussed whether or not the Lights Out short film was a spoiler for the movie back during the Horror Shorts episode, but THAT’s why I didn’t watch it before seeing the feature film. While I agree that it didn’t contain any specific spoilers for the full-length movie, you admitted yourself that it somewhat spoiled your enjoyment of the film. 😉

          • Which is fine by me because I think the short is the superior version for those repeated scenes. I’d rather have the feature experience spoiled a bit. As most of us have said, the feature was just alright. The experience of seeing that short will stay with me forever.

        • Yeah, I’m with Josh on this one. I didn’t think the opening was that memorable. I liked the movie, but not as much as I loved the premise. I feel like the short was so well executed and so effective that the movie felt diluted by comparison. Still, great horror movie and one that should be high on everyone’s queues.

          • ^Another fool who watched the short before the feature-length film^

            Still love ya, though.

            Joking aside, I wonder how you two would have reacted to that opening scene had you not watched the short film beforehand. I knew the general premise going in, but having not seen it in play, it ended up being really effective for me.

          • DINO said:

            “I wonder how you two would have reacted to that opening scene had you not watched the short film beforehand”

            You are spot-on with this hypothesis because I hadn’t seen the short film, and loved the opening.

      • Honestly, that movie deserves props because of the director. For his first large screen film, Sandberg did a pretty good job.

    • Oh man, Wolfman – I’m seriously surprised Demon is only at #5 for you! Apart from being a brilliantly executed film, I thought that was exactly “your type” of horror movie.

      Now I’m really interested in hearing what landed at 1-4 for you.

      • I loved it. Just loved the others more. Any other year, it could’ve placed higher. But Top 5 is pretty high for any film, in my opinion. I do appreciate movies like Demon, but I actually appreciate them a bit more when they go full-blown, visceral horror at the end. Could’ve said the same about The Witch, Under the Shadow, The Triangle and more. Like Demon, they are brilliant films, but they could’ve gone further and I’d have appreciated all of them even more.

        • I suppose that’s where our horror sensibilities come in because I don’t think you can get anymore horror than The Witch. On a related tangent, it’s also the most metal horror movie by far imho.

        • I got you. To be fair, The Witch and Under the Shadow definitely go “full horror” much more than Demon, too.

          *****SPOILERS FOR DEMON*****

          I think for me, the ambiguity of the ending hit home pretty hard, though. He just mysteriously disappears. People are concerned and look for him, but only for a short amount of time. Then, everyone just sort of forgets about it and moves on with their lives. Granted, that definitely has more impact when coupled with the director’s tragic story, but I think it’s chilling on its own merit.

    • Haha… oh man, some World War Z hate!

      For the record, I don’t hate World War Z. I think that movie is a lot of fun and really well done. I just think Train to Busan is a more successful version of that kind of zombie pic.

    • Wow, Wolfman, surprising me yet again! I’m not surprised that you had Train to Busan in your top 10, but I am a little surprised you had it so high up on your list just based on how you talked about it during your review in ep. 106.

      I agree, though – most fun horror movie of the year.

    • Wow, I’m really surprised that Don’t Breathe was higher on the listeners’ list than Green Room, which are two movies that are very similar in tone, imo. The only reason I can think of is that some people didn’t consider Green Room horror.

      • I was one of those people, but in all honesty, it wouldn’t have made my top ten either way. I loved it, but I didn’t like it as much as Blue Ruin, which I actually find a lot more horror. I guess the Punk elements didn’t connect with me, but it was a great movie. It made my top ten overall, so nothing but love for it.

      • I had Don’t Breathe as my #2, and Green Room as #4. I only ranked Don’t Breathe higher because I felt the characters (at least the two main ones) had more layers to them, and with more nuance to the actors’ performances. The characters in Green Room are pretty much only reacting to the situation at hand, which is fine–they didn’t need to, so that isn’t a criticism. It just nudged Don’t Breathe higher for me.

      • I ranked Don’t Breathe higher due to the higher intensity of the tone plus the character development, every character had a story and their own justification for their actions. Plus the turkey baster scene actually made me cringe which I rarely do. Green Room was still incredible and I consider psychologicall siege narratives to fall into the horror category. Unlike Don’t Breathe though, I didn’t feel submersed in the story.

  2. Without spoiling anything for anyone, did anyone notice the big trend this year? And by big I mean much bigger than in recent years. Maybe even ever?

    • The only thing I can come up with is that wide releases were more successful this year.

      Is that what you were thinking, or should I keep guessing?

      • You can keep guessing, but now I’m questioning whether trend was the right word. It’s definitely something we saw a lot more of this year, that’s for sure.

          • Haha I feel like I’ve set your guys for disappointment. I saw a witch trend. There are at least five movies that I’m aware of, some of which I don’t want to list because it might ruin the experience. Perhaps it was just coincidence, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more witchy women in my horror movies.

          • That’s true. I forgot about that. I remember (half-jokingly) saying that They’re Watching was a more interesting premise for a new Blair Witch film when I was watching it. And of course The VVitch and The Love Witch. There were a lot.

            I wonder if it has anything to do with the recent surge of this kind of Nuveau Feminism. There is a lot to say about being a woman right now, just as the witch films of the ’60s and ’70s explored with the feminist themes of that time.

  3. I feel so lame for the lack of horror movies I have watched. I feel I need to some major catching up. I feel like I have been doing more watching of older horror movies. Truthfully due mostly to this podcast lol

    Thanks guys for all you do for the horror community.

    • Don’t feel lame, just watch some movies! Haha

      This past year is a particularly good one to catch up on, as the guys said on the show. Such a good year for horror.

    • Yeah, other have said this too. There’s so much to watch and nobody can watch everything. I crammed for this episode (as evidenced by episode 106), but otherwise my list would’ve looked a lot different because my focus was on getting ’80s slashers watched from Summertime on, as soon as we knew we were doing those episodes in October. The plus side is that now you don’t have to waste your time on the crap because you have 20 pretty clear recommendations between our lists and the listeners’ lists.

      • Speaking of episode 106, I was thinking just this morning that I wouldn’t mind if that “cramming for the year-end list” type episode ended up becoming an annual tradition. I know it’s not one of the more intellectually engaging formats like a themed episode, but I think it’s a lot of fun to just hear you guys discuss a bunch of new releases in a cutting heads format.

  4. My Top 10 List got forgotten somehow. Here was my list:

    10. The Shallows
    9. Follow
    8. Clown
    7. Ouija
    6. The Monster
    5. Conjuring 2
    4. 10 Cloverfield LAne
    3. The Witch
    2. Hush
    1. Don’t Breathe

    • Great list, Dark Passenger! The Shallows is one movie I wanted to have in my top 10 so badly, but just couldn’t make room in the end (I put it at #11, so not far off from you). Also, Follow is one that I am not familiar with… do you have any info on where I can find it? I read the premise on IMDb and it looks really interesting.

      • I rented Follow through my Playstation. I saw it on there looking for Horror movies that I haven’t seen yet. I looked it up and read some reviews, so I gave it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised by it. I reviewed it in the comments of one of the episodes ( I don’t remember which one).

          • I think it was one of those things that came out of VOD, released in theaters at the same time.
            Thinking more about how this year fits into Horror of other years. I think there are stronger years, but like it was mentioned in the Podcast, there were way more Horror titles this year. There definitely was way more good Horror movies this year. I think other years had way more great Horror titles. I like quality over quantity.

    • Jay forgot it or you forgot to send it? Bummer either way. That goes for RedCapJack too. Your list is very different. Curious how that might have factored in. Maybe Jason was just really excited about his 39 Steps joke. I haven’t seen Follow on many other lists, but I like Noah Sagan. I’ll add this to the Christmas Horror queue for next year.

  5. This year was one of the best for horror in recent memory, which made putting a top 10 list together really difficult. I would like to preface my list and honorable mentions by saying that this is a listing of my “favorite” movies from this past year, not necessarily the ones I thought were best. If this was a “best of” list, then 10 Cloverfield Lane, Green Room and Don’t Breathe would likely have been in or near my top 5 – however, they didn’t even crack my top 10.

    There are several other movies that deserve to be mentioned. Some that missed the cut for me this year, but could easily have been on a top 10 list any other year, include Hush, Scherzo Diabolico, Darling, The Conjuring 2, Ouija: Origin of Evil, The Neon Demon, The Invitation and The Good Neighbor.

    That said, here are my favorite horror films from 2016…

    Dino’s Top 10 Horror Movies of 2016

    1. The Wailing (2016) – Na Hong-jin’s battle between good and evil will keep you guessing which side is which until the very end. Masterfully paced, blood-soaked and intense. A serious supernatural horror film that will linger in your consciousness. 10 out of 10. A must-see and a horror masterpiece.

    2. Train to Busan (2016) – Focusing on a small group of characters on a speeding train amidst the outbreak of a fast-spreading zombie virus, Yeon Sang-ho’s horror thriller succeeds where World War Z failed. Rich in character development, but doesn’t skimp on frenetic zombie action. 9.5 out of 10. A must-see and the most fun movie of the year.

    3. Demon (2016) – Marcin Wrona’s first, and last, film about a man who possibly becomes possessed during his wedding celebration. Disturbingly ambiguous, the film mixes wry humor with some real psychological horror. When considering Wrona’s tragic story, the film’s message of pain and silent suffering becomes particularly poignant. 9.5 out of 10. A must-see for anyone who can handle dark, psychological horror.

    4. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) – André Øvredal’s second feature about father and son coroners who attempt to determine a mysterious “Jane Doe’s” cause of death. Chock full of crazy twists and turns, tense moments and shocking revelations. 9 out of 10. A must-see for anyone who enjoys a good murder-mystery.

    5. I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016) – Billy O’Brien’s adaptation of the John Wayne Cleaver novels, and my biggest surprise of the year. Wonderfully gritty, darkly humorous and beautifully scored. Would have been a perfect 10 out of 10 if it didn’t pull its punch with the ending. 9 out of 10. A must-see.

    6. The Monster (2016) – Bryan Bertino’s intimate look at a troubled mother-daughter relationship and their struggle to survive against a terrifying monster in a forest at night. Tense, atmospheric and more cleverly titled than it may seem, the film gradually builds to an emotional ending. 9 out of 10. A must-see and the best creature feature of the year.

    7. The Eyes of My Mother (2016) – Nicolas Pesce’s debut film is an art-horror look at a young woman exploring her deepest, darkest curiosities. Beautifully shot in black and white, and easily one of the most disturbing looks at human psychosis. 9 out of 10. A must-see and one of the most beautiful films of the year.

    8. Under the Shadow (2016) – Babak Anvari’s feature debut about a mother and daughter coping with their fears in 1980s Tehran. Dark and ominous throughout, and thick with political commentary, the film is similar to The Babadook in that we’re unsure of what is the real threat. 9 out of 10. A must-see for fans of supernatural horror.

    9. The Witch (2016) – Robert Eggers’ debut film set in 1630s New England about a devout Christian family living on the edge of the woods. Arguably the most technically proficient film of the year, it taps into an internal sense of dread and paranoia rather than scares. 9 out of 10. A must-see for cerebral horror fans.

    10. Lights Out (2016) – David F. Sandberg’s adaptation of his terrifying short film about an evil entity that appears when the lights are turned off. The simple concept is brilliant and terrifying. Suffers from unnecessary exposition and studio polish, but still provided one of the most fun and scary theatrical experiences of the year. 8.5 out of 10. A must-see and my favorite theater experience of the year.

    Honorable Mentions of 2016
    – The Shallows (2016)
    – 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
    – Green Room (2016)
    – Don’t Breathe (2016)
    – U Turn (2016)

    Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2016
    – Blair Witch (2016)

    Four Dishonorable Mentions of 2016
    – JeruZalem (2016)
    – Holidays (2016)
    – Blair Witch (2016)
    – The Veil (2016)

    The Worst Damn Movie of 2016
    – The Break-In (2016)

    Guilty Pleasure of the Year Award
    – 13 Cameras (2016)

    Most Overrated Movie of 2016
    – The Invitation (2016)
    Don’t get me wrong, I liked The Invitation quite a lot (it’s in my top 25 for the year), but I’m seeing it on a lot of top 10 lists – even as high as top 5 in some cases – and I just find that hard to understand in such a strong year.

    This is what I submitted to Jason for my “official” entry, but my list has since changed slightly. Namely, I have moved U Turn down to #20 overall, bumping Scherzo Diabolico into my fifth honorable mention slot. While I did really enjoy U Turn, the real reason I nudged it up into my honorable mentions was to try and bring some awareness to the film since 1) it’s currently streaming on Netflix in the U.S. and 2) I’m guessing not too many people are familiar with Indian cinema.

    I imagine my list will continue to change as I re-watch some of these movies; I’m specifically interested to see how things might change after re-watching The Witch, Train to Busan, Demon, 10 Cloverfield Lane and I Am Not a Serial Killer.

    • While I’d agree Holidays was a mess of a movie I have to say I loved the Fathers Day segment.(SPOILERS AHEAD) I felt it was like a story by Richard Matheson or Algernon Blackwood .The unusual set up, the unreliable narrator, the gradual falling away of normality and mounting dread as the woman continues her walk through settings that become more and more isolated and decayed. The ending could have had a bit more punch, but I admire the guts it took to end on such an ambiguous note and force us to imagine, not just consume an ending.

      • Brian, I agree that “Father’s Day” is the best segment from Holidays. I can’t remember where, but we actually discussed this a few months ago in the comments (I think it was in the comments; might have been on Twitter). I just didn’t like how that segment ended, but the build-up was excellent.

        Holidays had several rather successful segments, imo. I think where it fails for me as a whole is the disparate nature of each segment, not just in topic and tone, but in quality as well. I know that’s an issue (or charm, as some might say) inherent in anthology films, but I far prefer when the segments come together to form a more cohesive narrative – as in with the aforementioned Southbound.

        • Another pretty decent anthology pic from 2016 that formed a more cohesive narrative was Patient Seven. Not sure if you saw that one or not, Brian, but that’s one of the rare anthologies where the wrap-around story is possibly stronger than any of the individual segments.

          • Just watched the trailer. I was sold on it as soon as I saw Michael Ironside. Looks pretty gory and fast paced too.

            • The pacing is pretty spot on, imo. Just a heads up that it maybe doesn’t start off great… but stick with it. If you like anthologies, I think you’ll like it.

          • Watched it last night, and while I would agree that the wrap around is stronger, it’s only due to the relative weakness of the individual stories. Not that they were bad, that is, just that there wasn’t that much going on plot wise in many of them, especially “Death Scenes” and “The Visitant, which seemd like sketches rather than shorts. For me that stand out segments were definitely “The Sleeping Plot” (for its jet black humour) and “Banishing” (fairly conventional, but well put together). I did not see the point of the final segment, short though it was, I think the flow of the last act would have been smoother without it, especially seeing as a previous segment used a bunch of the same tropes.

            • I agree that “The Visitant” was definitely lacking, but I thought it picked up immediately with the second segment, “The Body,” which I thought was one of the better individual anthology segments of the year (along with Southbound‘s “The Accident” and Holidays‘ “Father’s Day”). “Death Scenes” was a bit jolting because it was so different in tone from the rest of the segments, but I thought it was amusing and provided some much-needed levity at that point in the film.

          • Ahhh … The Visitant was my buddy’s movie. That’s too bad. I mean, the wrap-around was contrived. They came up with it as an idea to tie some already existing short films together. I was looking forward to seeing that.

            I’m surprised you are so down on Holidays and The Invitation. Neither made my list – or even Top 20 – but I wouldn’t say they are bad movies.

            Father’s Day suffers from almost the exact same thing as I Am Not a Serial Killer. Brilliant concept, beautifully shot, with an ending mucked-up by a dumb CGI. At least I Am a Serial Killer had an ending that was well-written. it seems like they came up with Father’s Day on the Fly. Like something that would be in a 24 Hour Film Fest.

            I really like the director of Mother’s Day and I can’t wait to see her future work. I like everything she’s done so far.

            Valentines Day was perfect.

            I liked most of the rest. Some fell flat. Some were wacky. But they were mostly interesting, IMO.

            • Haha… I’m sure you’re just trolling me, but I’ll bite.

              I absolutely liked The Invitation. You can see on my Letterboxd – I have it ranked at #22 for this year, so it sounds like you and I have it around the same place. The “overrated” comment is speaking more toward the fact that it’s showing up in a number of top 10 lists, including several top 5s, which I just find a little surprising considering what else was released this year.

              My lack of love for Holidays probably has more to do with the anthology format than the film itself. I’m not a hater of anthologies, but Holidays was just all over the place in terms of quality. That bothered me. Also, I prefer anthologies with a solid wrap-around story, which is obviously absent in Holidays. There were several segments that I liked, but ultimately it failed to satisfy me as a complete work.

          • Josh, it’s not that I didn’t enjoy The Visitant, it’s just that the segment was so short I couldn’t really get into it before it ended. That scene where (MILD SPOILERS AHEAD) the girl was running towards the bathroom with her mother chasing her made me literally gasp, so no disrespect to your friends skills.

        • I generally prefer my anthologies to be disparate and self contained because once you start tying the stories together, they start becoming a single story told from different points of view and that’s not the reason why I seek out that particular type of storytelling. I love anthologies because they bring me a taste of different worlds and ideas that don’t have to be fully fleshed out or realized, but that contain enough information for me to imagine a whole universe where a story takes place.

        • Speaking of Father’s Day, I just noticed that Anthony Scott Burns is the director for that segment. That’s Pilotpriest himself! If you like Carpenter’s sound, you’ll dig the guy’s music. It’s so good. I guess I’m not as big a fan of the guy as I thought. I had no idea he had directed several shorts :/

            • Ditto. They were here in December along with Carpenter as part of the Day for Night festival. I didn’t go, but I heard they didn’t invade each other’s set, which should’ve been a given imho. #missedopportunities

    • This is a pretty classy list, Dino. I love your descriptions of the films as well as your other lists as well. I hadn’t heard of U Turn before, and it definitely sounds intriguing. Gonna try to watch soon, especially since it’s on Netflix.

      I appreciate that your list has so many foreign and indie films on it (all except Lights Out and 10 Cloverfield Lane?). Your reasoning makes sense even though my list looks a bit different than yours, especially since I don’t know what to make of The Witch and I absolutely hated Lights Out. It’s interesting that your top 9 are all ranked as 9 or higher. Mine aren’t quite ranked that highly, and I don’t give anything a 10, but I know that my top 5, maybe even my top 7, are all pretty strong and are hard to rank, whether objectively or even in terms of gut reaction. I definitely see watching everything on my top 10 more than once (and for some already have).

      There seems to be a widespread sentiment that this was a pretty strong year in horror, even if there’s not quite unanimous agreement on which films were best. Do you agree?

        • Thanks, I’m working on writing up some comments (some of which may be somewhat controversial) to go along with it. I got sidetracked reading everyone else’s.

        • Dino, I don’t give anything a 10 because I don’t believe any film is perfect. Maybe it’s my stubborn nature, but anything can be critiqued. Also, if I go along with HMP hosts’ idea that nothing is absolutely worthless enough to deserve a 0, then only going as high as 9.5 seems a needed corollary for the other end of the spectrum: there’s always something they could have done better, however slight.

          • I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but that makes me kind of sad. Do you mean to say that even your favorite movie of all time isn’t “perfect” to you?

            For me, a 10/10 doesn’t necessarily mean a perfect film, just a “perfect” film for me. Are there flaws in The Wailing, my top ranked horror film of 2016 and a 10/10? Yes, of course there are little things here and there that could have been done differently or maybe even “better.” But, for me, there’s nothing in it that detracts from the story it’s telling or its effectiveness with me. That’s why I rate it 10/10.

            • “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but that makes me kind of sad. Do you mean to say that even your favorite movie of all time isn’t “perfect” to you?”

              Haha! When you put it like that, I wonder whether I’m being too uptight with my ratings.

              For me, I separate my viewing experience and my evaluation of a movie afterwards. There are plenty of movies I could rate as a “10” if I went solely by how enthralled I was while actually watching them. I could rate Cube, Friday the 13th Pt. 6, and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah this way. But then how could I compare that to films I also enjoy as much, but think are better technically, visually, or narratively?

              Night of the Living Dead and Halloween are my top 2 horror films, and there’s much to love and admire about them, but they are definitely flawed in other parts. Each have characters and dialogue that are a bit thin and even slightly annoying if I think about them too much. So I still give them each a 9.5. But I’ve watched them numerous times, and they never get old. I’m spellbound from opening to end.

              I guess I avoid making “10” ratings to keep myself from getting too defensive about any particular film, as a way of reminding myself that any work of art can have flaws. Maybe it’s also influenced by me being a literature PhD student who is used to ripping things to shreds even when when I get a lot of enjoyment out of a particular work.

              Don’t be too sad on my behalf. I still get plenty of enjoyment out of many films that fall way below a 10, 9, or even 8 according to my rating.

    • Solid list. My list has already changed after listening to this episode. I had Lights Out on my list and now I think I’d rather have the invitation on there. “Shrug”

    • Very cool list, bro. Many of our top picks overlap, seven to be exact. It’s the order that we seem to disagree on, but we’re pretty much eye to eye.

    • This may be a shocker but Holidays actually made my number 10 spot. I was probably influenced by the holiday season when putting it at #10 but it was pretty fresh in my mind. Over the holiday season I put this movie on repeatedly for myself and for gatherings with friends and it was always a hit (even among my non-horror-loving-friends)

      • Yes! Holidays was my #6 and Juan’s #13. I liked all of the shorts in this anthology. I also had the experience of playing it for horror and non horror friends throughout the end of this year. The unconnected shorts work great for a quick watch. Everyone seems to like or hate different segments and some parts were very disturbing for the non-horror people. I didn’t even really like this film after I first watched it but the shorts kept popping into my mind for a month afterwards, so I rewatched it and really enjoyed it. Easter is probably my favorite.

        • Yeah, I liked Holidays a lot better than most people here. I’m a sucker for anthologies, but I honestly thought this was a good one. Not quite Creepshow level, but it was very well done.

    • Great list. I could not agree with you more on the Lights Out adaption suffering from too much studio polish – that’s why it didn’t make it into my top 10. (I preferred the short film, anyway…)

      U Turn sounds good! (Just looked it up). I haven’t checked that one out yet, but I will be, now.

      Are you rooting for any specific 2017 horror movies?

      • Thanks, Bonnie. Just a fair warning with U Turn – if you’re unfamiliar with Indian cinema, there might be a certain level of cheese to get through. But if you can, and if you like mystery/procedurals, I think you’ll get into.

      • As far as 2017 horror goes, I haven’t really looked ahead too much, so can’t really say. I am a huge fan of the Alien universe, so I’m hoping Alien Covenant sticks the landing. I’m also hoping festival films like Raw, Safe Neighborhood and The Devil’s Candy get distribution.

        Mostly, though, I’m hoping for a repeat of 2016, where a slew of independent and foreign horror films came out of nowhere and blew me away.

        How about you?

    • Dino, fantastic list with great detail. Am curious if you watched The Neighbor? If so, what you thought. It had some holes but I really enjoyed watching the film…

      • Hmmmm…

        About that #1, I was almost certain you were going to have The Wailing as your top pick. I think Green Room is more than worthy of the praise, but do you think you felt some sort of obligation to rank it #1 because of your punk roots?

        Any regrets?

        • No regrets, but it’s I took Green Room for granted as my number 1 and it didn’t have to compete, so I was rooting for and wanted to champion something else. Like when someone asks, “What is your favorite slasher?” … It is obviously Halloween, so let’s go somewhere else and talk about a more interesting/unexpected pick. Which is what The Wailing was for me.

  6. Just downloaded the episode, looking forward to another 4-hour monster-sized discussion.

    Since this is an end-of-year episode, I figured I’d share my New Year’s Eve experience. I have frequently commented around here about my ongoing quest to introduce my kids (ages 3, 5, and 7) to horror in ways that balance “scary” with “age-appropriate”. Well, on New year’s Eve, we did Pizza & A Movie in the Living Room, and introduced the kids to Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (which I had gotten as a Christmas present)! It had been a while since I had seen it, and I was struck by the observation that our hosts made when they discussed the film (I con’t remember off the top of my head whether it was in the horror-comedy episode or the horror-for-kids episode or the Universal Pictures episode). Lon Chaney Jr is simply not in the same movie as Abbot & Costello. He’s playing it as a horror movie, while they play it as a comedy, and the contrast is just wonderful.

    Anyway, the movie was a huge hit. The kids loved the humor, especially Costello’s pantomimes of the monsters when he’s too scared to speak. What surprised me, though, was that my 5-year-old was absolutely terrified of the Wolf Man! Whenever Chaney transformed, she dived into my lap and shook with fright, and I had a hard time getting her to bed that night. I guess I’m jaded from watching more recent werewolf movies; when I watch The Wolf Man, I enjoy the acting and the character moments, but the monster himself just doesn’t seem scary (same with Lugosi’s Dracula). I’m so glad to see that the classic monsters can terrify when watched with fresh eyes. Odd mixed feeling about how scared she was. On the one hand, I feel bad for her. But I also can’t stop grinning. A big thanks to our hosts for reminding me of this forgotten (by me) piece of cinematic awesomeness, helping me to properly warp my offspring!

    • I have to get around to the Abbott and Costello Meet… films with how much the hosts and fans of HMP have talked them up. For some reason I never got around to them – I think that I assumed they were just silly parodies, but I like what you’re saying about the contrast of humor with straight-up horror.

      Also nice to hear that these movies do still have the power to scare. I frequently hear that older films like Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Wolf Man wouldn’t scare a 5 year-old…apparently that’s not true!

  7. I’ve posted this video on here before, but for anyone who didn’t quite grasp all the cultural references or the ending of The Wailing this might help (warning: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE WAILING… do not watch until you’ve seen the film):

    • And I’d just add, there are other interpretations out there – in the film and on the internet.

      There was a SOMEWHAT interesting conversation on an Australian YouTuber’s page that I watched that had some different insights. If we do our Korean Horror podcast (which I proposed on this episode), I’m hoping this Australian guy (Ryan from Pieces of Work) will be joining us as a guest. I say “somewhat interesting” only because the conversation drags quite a bit, but there is a lot of interesting information in there and it’s worth watching if you love the movie.

      Like Dino’s video … MAJOR SPOILERS follow:

      • Nice! I’m excited to dig into this. Thanks, Josh.

        I’ve seen the video that Dino shared and it’s good, but I don’t quite agree with everything. Being so unfamiliar with Korean folklore is hard for me to agree or disagree with people’s theories, but I suppose that’s what makes this feel so interesting, fresh, and appealing to me.

  8. Wow, everyone liked Green Room waaay more than I did. My list looked like this :

    1.The Witch
    2.The Wailing
    3.the Autopsy Of Jane Doe
    4.Train to Busan
    5.I Am A Hero
    7.Green Room
    8.The Eyes Of My Mother
    10. The Minds Eye

    And no love for Southbound? Unless I read wrong it didn’t make any of the lists, which I think is a shame, I found it to be a high point in the recent bunch of anthology films and was hoping I wasn’t alone in this. I was expecting Autopsy Of Jane Doe to place higher too. I’ve been going through other 2016 movies over the last week (one of the great things about the new year is movie sites keep reminding you of the stuff you’ve missed) and will probably have to update the list pretty soon, The Girl With All The Gifts and Trash Fire are definitely going on there somewhere! I watched I Am Not A Serial Killer, Creepy and the new Godzilla film too but none of them are contenders. I Am Not A Serial Killer is well worth a watch, however. Any other year it would have been firmly on the top 10, but there were just so many other stellar movies.

    On a side note, I listened to Jay and got my hands on Autopsy. I was not disappointed! It was really quick to get going (as I would expect from a Jay Of The Dead recommendation) and easily got away with poor dialogue and quite a lot of sub-par acting by just really owning every creepy hospital trope in the book.

    • I suspect a problem that both The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Southbound had with not placing higher on listener lists was timing of release. Jane Doe released so late in the year that many probably didn’t have a chance to see it before submitting lists, and Southbound was out so early in the year that many probably had forgotten about it.

      I agree that both are excellent, though.

    • I liked both films, but this was a strong year for horror and there’s just not room for everything. If you missed it, Dino here covered Southbound with us in October on our “Modern Horror Anthologies” episode.

      • I listened to it just before Christmas, yes, only found the podcast a few months ago, and have been going though the themed episode sidebar. . Listened to the Bigfoot episode recently, which is what made me think of you guys when i saw earlier theres a 2015 film called Valley Of The Sasquatch (or sometimes Hunting Ground) that was released recently, the trailers on youtube. It looks atrocious (or maybe abominable, if that joke hasn’t gotten old yet) so maybe not the Great American Bigfoot Movie we’ve all been waiting for. I didn’t hear anyone mention “Dear God No!!” from 2011 either, though from what I remember I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. It was pretty sleazy.

          • Isn’t it? I mainly watched it due to that and the poster, which was done by “The Dude Designs”, not the first time one of his posters has sold me on a bad film. I also ended up watching Night Of Something Strange and A Little Bit Zombie after seeing his posters for them. when will i learn?

    • Brian, The Mind’s Eye was one that I couldn’t get a hold of but that was on my radar. It looks like a cool throwback movie in the vein of Scanners, The Fury, and Firestarter. I absolutely love that psychic ability subgenre and it’s one that I feel has been under-explored.

      • Mind’s Eye will be right up your street so! It has it’s problems, but I really enjoyed it. If you haven’t checked out “Almost Human” from 2013, the writer/directors previous movie, you might like that too. I wouldn’t even have checked The Minds Eye out if it wasn’t for how much I liked it.

    • Really looking forward to seeing I Am a Hero. Was sent a copy of it, but then was convinced by Jody and others that it is a 2017 film by this community’s standard, so I decided to save it and cram more 2016 films.

  9. In addition to some excellent horror films, we’ve seen a slew of really stellar horror TV series drop in 2016 – I’m thinking Stranger Things, Channel Zero, The Exorcist, etc. Just curious if and where people would place some of these 2016 horror TV series on their top 10 lists.

    • I liked a lot of the horror TV this year. American Horror Story was excellent. I still like The Walking Dead. I didn’t hate the new season of Scream. Crazyhead was fun too. Stranger Things could have defintely made my list. At least the honorable mentions, I think.

      • Wow, I’m surprised. I would have thought Stranger Things would for sure have been a “high up on my list” type thing for you. It’s got that great Goonies vibe.

        • I think Josh’s criticism was that it was a little too sci-fi for his taste, which I can understand, but that’s actually a big part of the appeal for me. Growing up and loving movies like Firestarter and The Fury, this was just right up my alley.

          • I just said it would make my list! Tough crowd. Yeah, a bit too sci-fi for my tastes, but the bigger detractor were the moments that just felt a little obvious (in terms being generic and/or in terms of member berries) or just a little under-developed or thin. Mostly, I loved it and I can’t wait for Season 2.

      • I really enjoyed Ash Vs. Evil Dead, I don’t know about you guys, but I marvel that we live in a world where a show like that can happen. Maybe it’s time to start clamouring for that Freddy vs Jason Vs Ash movie :). And last week I managed to convince Youtube Red that I lived in the States, so I checked out Josh’s recommendation,12 Deadly Days, which will probably become the Trick R Treat of Christmas for me. It was so Christmassy! I only watched a few episodes of Channel Zero and Crazyhead though. I don’t know why I didn’t finish them, they were both perfectly good shows. Not sure if I liked Stranger Things or just liked the music and being reminded of movies from my childhood. Has anyone watched the Wolf Creek series? The first movie freaked me out, the second was a bit of a dud in my opinion. I’d be interested in seeing what the tv show is like.

          • Dino, I LOVED the Exorcist. It’s probably because I’m used to seeing Geena Davis doing light comedy, but I was surprised to see the level of skill that she brought to the role. The demon had some genuinely creepy moments when it appeared as “itself” (usually during scenes occurring inside a character’s head). A couple of plotlines were employed that had me rolling my eyes early on, only to later make me repent of my eye-rolling by not taking them in the direction that I assumed. I especially liked a couple of scenes toward the end [working hard to avoid spoilers] in which two main characters are interrogated about certain aspects of their faith. To my great surprise (given Hollywood’s typical cluelessness regarding religion), the characters gave good answers! Also avoiding spoilers through vagueness, one episode ends with a major revelation (a Wham Episode) that will make fans of the original film sit bolt upright. There were some notes that struck me as “off,” especially as they related to making the events of the show connect to something larger than the travails of a single family and a couple of priests, but the family scenes made up for them.

      • AHS was following the trend of found footage and that’s right up your alley. I loved the way the season started off but then it veered of course for me. Same with a lesser known show “Candy Cove”? I think that’s what it’s called. Liked it at first then got really weird, and not in a good way. Same with Exorcist.

      • I ended up dropping Preacher half way through, which was a real disappointment , the comics were a staple of my teenage years. The casting was spot on in my opinion, especially Cooper as Jesse and Nega as Tulip, but “certain things” happened between the three central characters that altered the relationship between them that formed, for me, the core of the story. I’m all for taking liberties with remakes/adaptations but the a fore mentioned “certain things” were too much of a departure for me.

    • Agreed, it has been a great year for Horror on tv too.

      Exorcist – fantastic. Some really great performances. Suffers the usual fate of most shows by running 1 or 2 eps too long.

      Stranger Things – took me a couple of episodes to get in to (I blame the hype). Loved the simplistic nostalgia.

      Ash vs Evil dead – perfect

      Scream – somewhat enjoyed the second season. The least said about the ‘Halloween special’ the better.

      The Walking Dead – I still absolutely love. I was rather late to the game on this one, so the 7th season is the first I’ve watched in real time…the option of not being able to binge watch is killing me.

      AHS – I’ve given up on. I cannot bring myself to watch this season.

  10. Guys, what an excellent, juanderful episode! I love end of the year lists, but this one is by far my favorite because, although I love the cinema as a whole, horror is what gets the blood pumping through my veins. Not only do you bring together a comprehensive top ten list, but you give us your personal thoughts and feelings on our top pics as well as the listener’s, some of which I hadn’t heard of before. I’m very pleased with everyone’s pics and I’m especially happy with the overall number Juan pic. But really, no matter where everyone’s personal number Juan pic landed, we all win because it was such a great year for horror.

    And fellas, try not to wear my name down too much. There’s only Juan of me 😉

  11. Great end of the year wrap-up guys! I loved hearing the hosts’ and listeners’ top 10 lists. Here is my ranked list of all the horror films I saw in 2016.

    1. The Witch

    2. Don’t Breathe
3. Green Room 

    4. 10 Cloverfield Lane

    5. Ghostbusters
6. Holidays

    7. Train to Busan

    8. Hush

    9. The Shallows

    10. The Conjuring

    11. The Wailing

    12. The Monster

    13. Frankenstein
14. Intruders

    15. I Am Not a Serial Killer

    16. The Invitation
17. 31
18. Clown

    19. Lights Out

    20. Night Of The Living Deb

    21. They’re Watching
22. Carnage Park
23. The Boy

    24. The Pack
25. Viral

    26. Scare Campaign
27. Pet

    28. Jeruzalem
29. What We Become
30. Howl

    31. All Through the House

    32. Baskın

    33. The Forest

    34. Most Likely to Die

    35. The Good Neighbor
36. 13 Cameras
37. Scherzo Diabolico

    38. Southbound

    39. Darling

    40. The Greasy Strangler
41. Blair Witch
42. The Veil

    43. Zoombies

    44. Contracted: Phase II

    45. Martyrs

    46. Visions
47. Into the Forest

    48. Ava’s Possessions
49. Trash Fire

    50. Ghost Team

    51. Satanic

    52. Ghostheads
53. A Monster Calls

    54. The Girl in the Photographs
55. The Neon Demon

    56. Bleed

    • I find it hard to go past 15. Good for you to get a top 56. I am sad that Trash Fire and Ava’s Possession are so far down on your list. I’ve got so much indie love to give.

      • It’s difficult to try to rank all of these. I kinda do them as I go throughout the year. It’s been fluid but I’ve locked it up now that this year is over.

        I enjoyed Ava’s Possessions and Trash Fire! It probably doesn’t seem that way because they’re ranked 48 and 49, but that’s exactly why I put my whole list here. “Any other year they would have been much higher.” Drink!

      • I loved Trash Fire so much! If you liked it you may want to check out Suburban Gothic and Excision by the same director if you haven’t already. They have the same dark humour, lots of the same actors and Suburban Gothic has cameos by John Waters and Jeffrey Combs as well as a pretty rocking soundtrack.

        • Brian, I was not aware that Richard Bates had directed Trash Fire. I thought Excision was great and it almost made my top ten that year. It probably should’ve in retrospect. The ending was one of the more memorable gut punches in recent times. Suburban Gothic was kind of fun for what it was, but I felt like it meandered and didn’t accomplish much by the end. Trash Fire is probably his best film so far. I loved it, but I have a hard time placing it under the horror genre. To me it’s more of a dark comedy with tinges of horror. However, because of where it goes, I wouldn’t blame anyone who considered it horror.

          • Juan, yeah, totally agree. I might have liked Excision more than you did though, I remember raving about it to everyone I knew after I saw it. I actually only watch Suburban Gothic last night, I only found out it existed after browsing IMDB. You’re right, it did kind lose focus but I thought it was a fun little movie all the same.

    • Dark Mark, impressive list! I only watched 28 from this year, and I know there are quite a few I’d still like to get to, although other than The Eyes of Jane Doe, not expecting any will knock off any on the top 10.

        • Dino – About Demon, I haven’t seen it, and despite BillChete’s scathing review, I’ll probably get to it soon. However, it’s another dating controversy. I mark it as 2015 since it was released in Poland that year.

      • Yea, it’s maybe a little high on my list but I’m playing the contrarian. Because it was directed by Rob Zombie, 31 got a lot of hype and people had certain expectations. I think this film is a “middle of the road” entry for Zombie. The story and dialogue felt a little flat but people who like his 70’s-evil-carnival aesthetic won’t be let down.

    • I just watched 2016’s Viral. I went in cold, and while the film has some definite deficiencies, I found it engaging and it held me most of the time. The romance angle did little for me, but the martial law aspect reminded me of gov’t reaction during Katrina, and the lack of information about the dad’s strained relationship with his wife hung over the tale until it was revealed, but the ending seemed typical and a bit of a cop out. Still, it was different enough to warrant a watch for horror fans.

    • Wait, is The Pack a 2016 film?! Somehow I was thinking 2015. Man, that could have easily been an honorable mention for me.

      So, do you like all of these movies, Mark? I saw about 45 2016 films, all-in-all, but I only ranked the ones I liked. I will try to post my Letterboxd ranking publicly today.

      • Josh, you liked The Pack?! You were the last person I thought would like it haha, no offense. I liked it a lot too, but I thought it was a 2015 release too, otherwise it would’ve made my honorable mentions.

      • The Pack has a USA release date of February 5, 2016 on IMDB. That was another fun surprise this year. I kinda thought it was a werewolf movie but it’s not.

        I enjoyed watching almost all of these films. Some, though, I won’t ever watch a second time and some aren’t very good so I wouldn’t recommend them to most people. I’ve been watching more and more modern horror now that I feel generally caught up on the classics. Also, these end of the year discussions are fun so HMP has definitely been a part of my enthusiasm for new horror.

        Two films on my list that I can barely remember are The Girl in the Photographs and Bleed. One film I watched, A Monster Calls, isn’t horror but more fantasy/drama. The title tricked me into thinking it was a horror film. The only film on my list I didn’t enjoy was The Neon Demon. I know some people really liked the look of the film but for me the aesthetic wasn’t enough. It felt like the film wanted to criticize the fashion industry but ultimately failed. To me the film was surface-level like the characters it was critiquing. Maybe that’s why the film was all show and no substance but if we are supposed to hate the characters for that, shouldn’t we also hate the film? I don’t know, this one just didn’t work for me. I don’t mean to offend those that got something out of it.

  12. For those that enjoyed Hush, there’s a somewhat similar (but not really) Norwegian film titled Blind. It’s not horror, but I think some of you might appreciate it. It stars Ellen Dorrit Petersen who also starred in a pretty good horror film last year called Shelley. With a different approach, it could definitely make for a great horror movie.

  13. First of all, I LOVED the episode! You guys are so great together! I was hoping that you guys might mention the horror movies that you’re excited to see in 2017. Because you ran out of time, do you think you could mention a few here? Actually, I’d love to hear what everyone is excited to see! For me, I’m excited about Get Out and A Cure for Wellness.

  14. Such a great episode guys… A after listening I had come to the conclusion that:

    Wolfman is my horror husband, I love all of his reviews (and his enthusiasm) but we have adamantly disagreed on certain movies (and of course I’m right and he’s wrong.) We also pretty much love movies the other hates and vice versa. I was shocked at how our lists this year weren’t that far off.

    Dr. Shock is my horror nemesis, we agree on most movies but the ones we don’t we REALLY DON’T. We both are probably too stubborn to back down.

    Jay is my horror little brother. I want to shake and noogie him into submission. Some of his highest rated movies are total little brother picks that are adorable and silly.

    “The Hive” – The HMP listeners. I was a little disappointed with the picks. It’s completely baffling that Under the Shadow didn’t make it into the top 10. Way too many blockbusters in my opinion.

    My Top 10

    Preface- I chose my movies solely on how I feel about them a week after I have seen them. I need time to process. Films that stick with me rate high. Unfortunately some of the big blockbusters may be a little higher up on the list than they belong perhaps because of the anticipation I put into watching them. I am a big horror indie fan and think this has been the best year for indie horror that I can remember.

    1. Under the Shadow-This might make it into my all-time top 20 list. Best movie of 2016 regardless of genre. The fact that they made a sheet absolutely horrifying shows that you don’t need to rely on jump scares. This movie takes the hitchcock buildup to a new level of thrilling.
    2. I Am Not a Serial Killer-Again, wow, what a great movie with outstanding acting. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Even the ending was fulfilling!
    3. Always Shine- Don’t know if this is more of a psychological thriller but I thought the acting was amazing and it was so surreal.
    4. Trash Fire- Loved all the performances in this. What an erie genre film. I bet most people hated this one.
    5. The Wailing- I have been waiting for a good Asian horror flick. This is reminiscent of Ringu and Juon in the way of a strong backstory leading the plot.
    6. 10 Cloverfield Lane
    7. Viral- Nothing beats an viral outbreak romance.
    8. The Witch
    9. Lights Out- Gotta love the big buck blockbusters
    10. Don’t Breathe- Loved every bit of it except for the turkey baster. Shock value was not needed and took away from the finished product.

    *I hadn’t watched The Autopsy of Jane Doe by the time I made this list which would have brought it to spot 5 pushing Don’t Breath out.

    Dr. Shock-
    #10 The Other Side of the Door (6/10)
    This pick was surprising but I get that you liked the setting. Honestly I couldn’t make it all the way through this movie. You and I are usually on the same page, but not with this one.
    #9 I am Not a Serial Killer (8.5/10)
    Yes, all the way Yes. Loved this movie and thought it was a great-underrated surprise. I think that if the ending was tweaked a bit it may have made it a little higher on your list. I thought the performances in this movie were some of the best of the year.
    #8 Hush (7/10)
    I guess I liked the concept but it just wasn’t creepy or scary to me.
    #7 Don’t Breathe (8/10)
    I agree with the camera pan and the jump scares.
    #6 The Witch (8/10)
    Great Pick. The imagery and camera shots were beautiful. And the creepy little scene in the woods was delightful.
    #5 Autopsy of Jane Doe
    #4 The Invitation (8/10)
    I would have liked this more if it wasn’t so obvious. The characters were a bit outrageous which made me like it more because this is exactly how I picture crazy cult people to be.
    #3 The Wailing (9/10)
    Loved this one, made it as my #5.
    #2 Green Room
    Too gory for me. I am more of a creepy horror fan rather than a gore girl.
    #1 Train to Busan (7/10)
    I guess I was just nonplussed when it came to this one. I cannot comprehend how you put this ahead of The Wailing. Perplexed.

    #10 Clown (7/10)
    You mentioned your determining factors to make it into your top ten list and I like the “visceral experience” being one of them. Sometimes there is no specific reason you like a movie, you just get that feeling. That was my take on “Trash Fire” which I guess nobody else liked.
    #9 The Boy (7/10)
    I was surprised by this, although you do like the children in peril. I actually heard about this story of The Boy on the Lore podcast. I think this one didn’t make my list because of the storyline with the main character and her estranged boyfriend like Dr. Shock mentioned. I agreed with him on that point.
    #8 The Eyes of My Mother (6/10)
    I feel like this movie was trying to be artsy simply for the sake of being an artsy fartsy film. And I love artsy fartsy films (just check out my top 10). I think that it fell way short. I agree with everything Josh said about it actually.
    #7 Frankenstein
    Never Heard on it.
    #6 Train to Busan (7/10)
    Solid movie but I don’t really like the comedy zombie angle. This seemed a little comedic to me.
    #5 Lights Out (8/10)
    I think I liked this one so much because it had every aspect of a great big budget horror movie. It was creepy, had jump scares, interesting back story, a bit of suspense, and likable characters (except for the boyfriend, snooefest).
    #4 Don’t Breathe
    #3 The Invitation(8/10)
    I would have liked this more if it wasn’t so obvious. The characters were a bit outrageous which made me like it more because this is exactly how I picture crazy cult people to be.
    #2 The Witch(8/10)
    Great Pick. The imagery and camera shots were beautiful. And the creepy little scene in the woods was delightful.
    #1 Green Room
    Too gory for me. I am more of a creepy horror fan rather than a gore girl. I am however a recovering punk rocker so I watched it for the nostalgia value. And, Jean-Luc Picard, yes please.

    I like how well-balanced your picks are and your reasoning behind them.
    #10 “They’re Watching” 6/10
    This is one movie I can’t get behind solely because of the ending. It was just too silly. We chatted about this on a prior episode. You said the reason “I am Not a Serial Killer” didn’t make your list was mainly because of the ending. I think the journey to the ending in that movie was way better that “They’re Watching”.
    #9 The Good Neighbor (7/10)
    I like how you said it may or may not be a horror movie. I think it was a solid suspense drama. It was a well rounded movie
    #8 Triangle
    I haven’t seen it…I am intrigued though. Don’t get this one confused with 2009 Triangle. I didn’t like the Sacrament so I don’t know if I will check this out.
    #7 Under the Shadow (10/10)
    This was my number 1 pick so obviously I loved it. You said it was a “different kind of horror”. I agree. Yes, this is different and we need more like this. We finally agree on something!
    #6 Don’t Breathe
    #5 Demon
    Haven’t seen or heard of this one but the way you describe it makes me really want to visit this one. I feel this might be right down my alley….It’s a little off the beaten path and takes a special viewer to appreciate. I can get into this. Thanks for the suggestion.
    #4 Train To Busan(7/10)
    Solid movie but I don’t really like the comedy zombie angle. This seemed a little comedic to me.
    #3 The Witch(8/10)
    Great Pick. The imagery and camera shots were beautiful. And the creepy little scene in the woods was delightful.
    #2 The Wailing(9/10)
    Loved this one, made it as my #5.
    #1 Green Room
    Too gory for me. I am more of a creepy horror fan rather than a gore girl. I am however a recovering punk rocker so I watched it for the nostalgia value. And, Jean-Luc Picard, yes please.

    I rarely revisit movies within a year of watching them but I feel like a bunch of 2016 movies will find their way back onto my watchlist. Thank you for all you guys do.

    • By the by…I began listening exactly a year ago at the 2015 top ten podcast. I have been a faithful listener ever since. Being a 30-something female elementary school teacher I rarely have the chance to interact with other horror fans. This community is a refuge in a world where I am surrounded in my everyday life by lularoe, lululemon, and looney tunes.

          • All the teachers in my school tend to watch are Irish produced talk shows and dramas. And sport. So much sport. No-ones into movies all that much, let alone horror! The kids are a different story, they all have access to netflix at home, often with little to no supervision. They’ve all seen Childs Play and Killer Clowns From Outer Space, for example. It’s pretty weird.

      • I am a 42 year old elementary school teacher also (grades jk to grade 3). In a Catholic school no less. Maybe there should be a convention of teachers who love horror, lol.

    • Projectile Varmint, they showed Trash Fire at the local indie theater, but I skipped it because it didn’t look like horror, and with what I heard about its use of dark humor, I wasn’t sure that I would like it, but I might have to check this one out. Always up for a good indie movie. Even if it’s not great, at least it’s usually different.

      • Yah, probably not horror first but I love movies where the entire premise revolves around the eerie mood. And the way this movie was shot with the lighting and camera angles drew me in. I loved it. You should check out Always Shine first. Way more indie and the acting is incredible. Leaves you with a “wtf did I just watch moment” and “did I really like that as much as I thought I did?”

    • I accept your horror husband proposal, but do we have to fight so much? Honestly, I really want to know in the future which films we disagree on so much because I was totally down with your list when you originally posted it. Like you said, our lists this year weren’t that far off.

      I have not seen Trash Fire or Viral and I think I’d rather see TAOJD push Lights Out off your list before Don’t Breathe, but otherwise I think your list is very strong. I’m not sure Viral is my kind of movie. I hated Contracted, for instance. Trash Fire is near the top of my queue, though.

      I love that Always Shine made your list. That was an honorable mention for me. I love that Under the Shadow was your number 1. I would have liked to see The Wailing higher. Always.

      Interesting that Green Room was too gory for you. I’m not a “gore for gore’s sake” person, but I do want to stakes to be taken seriously and I think you have to honor the premise and do what the story dictates. There was that one scene that was probably “too far” but I honestly forgot about it until just now when I was thinking back about the gore in the film.

      You know what? You are spot on with your They’re Watching and IANASK comparison:

      “You said the reason ‘I am Not a Serial Killer’ didn’t make your list was mainly because of the ending. I think the journey to the ending in that movie was way better that ‘They’re Watching.'”

      Like I said to Dino above, I think I was just subjectively more disappointed by the ending of IANASK because my hopes were so much higher. I was taken aback by the crazy ending of They’re Watching, but I was actually let down by the ending of IANASK. But, you’re totally right.

      Great list. Let me know what movies we hate that the other loves in the future!

  15. What a GREAT episode!! Yay! Thank you guys for plugging my work! :) Those prints that I sent were part of a “pay art forward” resolution I made in October, and it will be carried into the new year as well…so be expecting more down the road! :)

    On that note, everyone’s right – it really has been a great year for horror movies…and a tough year for everything else in our country, it seems. This episode made me think of the horror documentary Nightmares in Red, White and Blue – when each interviewed director comments about the majority of great horror movies coming out during the toughest of political and social times…makes sense. Wonder what 2017 will bring…

    Oh also, I just saw “Autopsy of Jane Doe” last week, and really enjoyed it. I loved the atmosphere, and can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a horror movie taking place in a funeral home/ morgue, which I thought was super refreshing.

    Here’s my top ten list:

    10. The Conjuring 2
    9. I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House
    8. Hush
    7. 10 Cloverfield Lane
    6. The Autopsy of Jane Doe
    5. Don’t Breathe
    4. Green Room
    3. Train to Busan
    ***Jay & Josh if you see this comment – thank you both for sharing your thoughts on the emotional intensity of Train to Busan. I had a mini-breakdown after the end of this movie because of it hitting entirely too close to home. That ending though, was what catapulted it into #3 for me, strangely enough.
    2. The Witch
    1. The Wailing

    Honorable Mentions:
    Baskin, They’re Watching, We’re Still Here, Ouija: Origin of Evil, the Invitation, Clown, Southbound, Lights Out

    Disappointments of 2016:
    The Shallows (yeah, I didn’t like it…) , 31, Indigenous, Yoga Hosers

    • Solid list. And I agree on your take with Train to Busan – the ending really got me (although, I was on board with the movie before the end).

      I’m curious as to why you disliked The Shallows so much. Was there something (or things) specific?

      • Thank you! (About the artwork and the list) :) Yeah I almost put Train to Busan even higher in the top three, but remembered how much I loved the Witch – and then decided to keep it as so…

        With the Shallows…I loved the cinematography and the shots…but the script just did not resonate with me. The pacing and plot development drove me a little nuts too. I think Blake Lively did the best with what she had…but that ending sealed the no-deal for me.

        Dino, did you like it as much as the Reef or Open Water?

        • I haven’t seen Reef, and it’s hard to compare to something like Open Water because it’s such a different movie. Open Water was much more serious and, for me, “scary,” whereas The Shallows was all about fun entertainment.

          I guess I would say Open Water was more affecting, but I far prefer The Shallows.

    • First of all, Bonnie, thank you so much for the art and thank you for letting us give some away to the listeners. I still don’t know what you sent to us – Jay is keeping me in suspense – by I’m so excited to see it and hang it! Big fan of your work. That Hill House piece was actually the first of yours that I ever saw and as a fan of The Haunting novel and original film, I absolutely love it.

      I also love your “pay art forward” resolution. Can we say that’s what we’re doing here? Haha. I saw the amazing cards you made for all of your co-workers on Instagram. Really cool.

      Great list. I’m so damn happy to see The Wailing at your number 1! Your whole list is strong. I like seeing some love for I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House. It couldn’t climb the charts in such a competitive year for me, but I feel like it has been underrated in this community and I really liked it. **If Projectile Varmint sees this, I think she might appreciate it too.**

      We – and everyone – talk about Train to Busan as a high octane rollercoaster, which it is, but you are absolutely right that it is also extremely emotionally effecting. I welled-up several times.

      The two I am most surprised by in your rankings here are Baskin and The Shallows. The second half of Baskin was just miserable for me. And although I didn’t like The Shallows nearly as much as everyone else, I’m surprised it made your disappointments.

      Great list and thanks again for your great artwork and generosity. Oh, can I post some of your art and that image of you with Del Toro in the show notes here? I totally spaced that.

      • Josh – of course!! Post away! thanks for the compliments, too! So glad you guys liked the pay art forward gifts. I wanted to give back this year.

        Sorry for the late response – i got really sick over the past week.

        Yeah, I really liked Baskin a lot more than I thought I would…i think it was because I did a ton of research on it before I watched it. And yeah, the Shallows…maybe I need to re-watch it. I might give it another shot.

        I also just watched Under The Shadow, and I would revise my list to include that…in fact, it might bump Baskin off the list. I was totally impressed with that one.

        Anyway! Looking forward to the next episode guys!!

        • Sorry you’ve been sick. No fun.

          I’m defintely not saying that you should revisit The Shallows. There is no hidden meaning there that will reveal a finer quality on repeat viewing. It is exactly what it is. I was just surprised to see it as a disappointment.

          Glad you liked Under the Shadow so much! Great film.

  16. Let me address a few things… number one, I absolutely sent Jay of the Dead my top ten Horror AND my top ten over-all films for the year. One of those lists got mentioned, the other did not. I believe there may now be a conspiracy of silence amongst the hosts to exclude certain comments from THE redcapjack whilst discussing listener feedback. A brilliant piece of misdirection, Josh… but you see, it is still true that Wolfman drools and the Redcap does, indeed, rule.

    But on other much more serious subjects-

    The Turkey baster controversy.- This seems to be a much more serious issue than I’d originally thought it would be- I’ve known several friends that were disgusted by this moment, so I’m not surprised that it pushes an envelope. But I think people are kind of missing the point here… because up until that moment where the Turkey Baster is introduced, “Don’t Breathe” is really a well done SUSPENSE film. It becomes real HORROR when the element of just how sick and depraved the blind man’s mind is working, and that element comes with the introduction of that turkey baster. And this goes to an argument I often find myself having… when does a Suspense film cross that line into horror? Alfred Hitchcock, for example, is a master of suspense… but really, he only has two noteworthy “horror” films… The Birds and Psycho, and each of those have elements that push the film beyond suspense where it challenges everything we know and the story becomes preternatural. Our instincts recoil, our morality is stunned, and we are disgusted at some very deep and primeval level when that moment in Don’t Breathe occurs. This is the tipping point, for me, as to whether this film is a Horror movie or not.

    Overdone Genre:- I think it’s a phrase we like to use to explain the Hollywood machine-like churn out of “successful concepts” to such a degree that films begin to blur together and become less original in the delivery. These films are often “lazy”…. Generic writing hitting certain trope points and settling for slick casting or a director who doesn’t really care all that much about his own material. With the “zombie” concept, for example- A bunch of successful films a few years ago gave birth to a bunch of cheaper knock-offs and poorly developed studio cash-grabs featuring poorly designed undead make-up. World War Z was an incredibly polished LOOKING film that went all over the place with reshoots, rewrites, and a flimsy narrative that barely cobbled together a decent story… and it neutered the genre by removing any gore or grue that might splash across the screen. Then there’s Warm Bodies, Scout’s Guide, Maggie, Freaks of Nature, the Dead Rising series, zombeavers, Life after Beth, and so on so forth… Burying the Ex. We had it during the 80’s with the Slasher genre where the films became less intense, less driven by a desire to prove itself, and more by the studios lazy desire to cash in till the milk ran dry. We saw it with torture porn, we’re seeing it with “ghostly spooky” movies, now.

    REdcapjack’s Top Ten horror films:

    Caveat: I normally place further restrictions on my top ten lists than most- but was convinced, after this past year, to start including some non-theatrical release films. I was never really happy with my numbered 10-7 when I originally wrote my list so really only three changes to the list from original.

    10. Southbound

    9. 10 Cloverfield Lane

    8. Scherzo Diabolica

    7. Curve

    6. Light’s Out

    5. The Shallows

    4. Train to Busan

    3. VVitch:

    2. Don’t Breathe

    1. Green Room:
    Patrick Stewart is absolutely the highlight performance in this grim film about a punk band in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s a very layered film, very brutal, and extremely gritty. Stewart is the leader of a Skinhead gang in the Northwest and a very intense role for one of our lost celebrities, Anton Yelchin. Also notable is the performance of frequent Saulnier collaborator Macon Blair as a skinhead whose confusion and regret is a perfect balance to Stewart’s chilling performance.

    • Redcap, absolutely agree with you about the scene in Don’t Breathe and your comments about over-saturation with certain subgenres. With Don’t Breathe, my sympathies went back and forth between the protagonist and antagonist, but that scene put his character in a whole new light (so to speak).

      With the zombie thing, I hear Wolfman that maybe some people are over-exaggerating this or just parroting what they hear others saying, but I do think it’s true that zombies have been done so frequently that it’s hard to get excited about zombie movies, zombie TV shows, zombie comics, zombie novels, or zombie anything anymore. And I say this as someone who ranks Night of the Living Dead as my favorite horror film of all time.

      True Blood even made a joke out of it when they had a zombie subplot, with one character saying, “Zombies are the new vampire.” And that was a while back–maybe 4 or 5 years ago? I put off watching Train to Busan because of this, although I’m glad I finally got to it.

    • The thing about the turkey baster…
      *Spoilers for Don’t Breathe*

      The Blind Man has gone crazy from grief over the tragic death of his daughter. He is holding Cindy in the basement so he can replace his daughter with her baby. When this was revealed in the film, I assumed Cindy was being raped in the basement so when the turkey baster makes an appearance I was kinda relieved. The process was a little more clinical than I thought but still very disturbing. I’d rather it be artificial insemination than rape, even though it is still really rape. Also, as the hosts said, it’s integral to the plot. One more thing, this whole film had an Inside (2007) vibe to me.

      • Agreed. I think we’re meant to see that he thinks it’s not rape, but with how disgusting the whole scene is, we as viewers know it is. He’s totally justified everything to himself. He’s not doing all this out of sadism, but he’s definitely confused grief with fantasies of power and control.

      • I just think the whole scene/ plot premise should have been tweeked. I think it would have been more effective if the girl he had in the basement was supposed to be his “pet daughter”. I can’t get on board that a blind man in his sixties would want to take care of baby. Just my opinion.

    • I’m with Red, Mark, and AnDread on this one. The turkey baster didn’t bother me and it made sense within the story and the character’s motivations. It never seemed like it was there just for shock.

      • Oh, it SHOCKED me, make no mistake. It made sense, yes… but it was absolutely shocking and pushed the envelope much further than I expected it to. It was the second most disgusting thing I saw on the screen this year…

        The first being a man using a grease coated grapefruit…. uck, gacking in the back of my throat as I think about it. The Greasy Strangler is the grosses movie I saw this year.

    • RCJ (drools) – I really like your list. Surprised to see Curve on there and The Shallows so high. Love seeing Scherzo Diabolico and Southbound on there. Great picks. They came in toward the bottom of my honorable mentions, but there are high quality and out of the box.

      I absolutely hear you on Don’t Breathe, but I disagree. I don’t really feel like my “morality has to be stunned” or I have to be”disgusted at some very deep and primeval level” in order for a film to cross over into horror.

      My argument is that it’s not the movie I signed up for. It’s a different movie from the rest of what we’ve been given and I’m not nearly as interested in that movie. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have gone to that movie. I’m interested in seeing the execution of the original premise, which is so strong and done so well up until that point. I think it is fair to include it because it makes sense for that character. That’s why I’m not disregarding it altogether. But it’s just the least interesting direction they could’ve gone for me.

      Your “overdone genre” argument is compelling. I like it.

      • Fair enough… honestly, I enjoyed the shock. I was way too comfortable with most of the film. It was satisfying but it was only that… it wasn’t leaving me with a really good swallow of something incredible. But that scene really injected life into the picture and left an impressive taste in my mouth.

  17. Great episode! I loved hearing all your thoughts on your top picks, as well as your reading of listeners’ comments. Jay’s work tabulating the listener lists shows how dead serious you are not only about horror, but about bringing in the voices of fans. And kudos to you all, especially Doc, for going into the wee hours to really give all this the time it deserves.

    Good memory, Wolfman. I didn’t leave my location in my email, but I’m in Columbus, OH. Good to hear so many other Ohio people are listening. If any of you ever want to head to Columbus, the Gateway Film Center often gets great horror movies, and there are monthly meet-ups with the Killumbus Group and The Fright Club podcast also records live at the Gateway every second Wednesday right before a horror movie (this month they’re showing Takashi Miike’s Gozu). It’d be great to meet up for a movie and/or drinks.

    Since Josh read my comment about talking about disability in horror, and the possibility of covering that in an episode, I would love that! It’s perhaps an under-discussed element for how often it’s been used. Also, being legally blind makes my movie watching experience probably somewhat different from most.

    This may be a boring question for some, but since I’m so meticulous about details, I’m curious: How do you decide what year to assign to a film’s release? I remember hearing Jay of the Dead saying in one episode that he has a standard, but don’t remember him explaining it. I don’t go by the year at the top of IMDB because it often might be the year a movie was shown at festivals but not released in theaters until a year or two later. I go by the year it was first released theatrically, in whatever country, or released to video if it was not shown in theaters.

    Before I post my list, let me air some grievances I have that might be controversial statements.

    The Witch – #1 for listeners, #2 for Jay, #3 for Josh, and #6 for Doc. I’ve also seen it on plenty of top 10 lists, many placing it at #1. I just don’t get it. And this kind of film is actually perfect for someone like me, as I study nineteenth-century American literature. I am used to stories like this—very reminiscent of Nathaniel Hawthorne. I think I need to re-watch it, but on my first viewing, I felt very underwhelmed. I didn’t hate it, just felt indifferent. I’ll agree that it’s visually interesting, but the characters and story didn’t do much for me, and the ending fell flat. Maybe this movie is just too smart for me?

    The Invitation – I don’t get the love for this one. I actively disliked this movie. Thought the characters were very annoying and that the acting wasn’t very good. The cult element also just seemed too silly for me to take seriously.

    Lights Out – Here’s perhaps my most pot-stirring comment: I absolutely hate Lights Out. I can see why people find it scary, as fear of the dark is perhaps our oldest fear, so I don’t begrudge anyone for liking it. It was very promising based on the short, and I was excited to see it. But I have some big problems with it. It’s narratively flawed. To echo Jay and Wolfman’s comments, explaining the monster ruined it for me, and the writing was clunky. The pacing drags, it’s too reliant on jump scares, and the introduction of the cops feels unnecessary. The rules aren’t consistent. All these things make the film very flawed from a story and aesthetic perspective.

    **SPOILER WARNING: Slight/moderate spoilers for Lights Out (I’ll try not to get too specific in case anyone scrolls to my comment accidentally)***

    But beyond aesthetic gripes, Diana’s character is one of the worst depictions of disability I’ve seen in recent years, maybe of all time, embodying the worst stigmatizing aspects of both physical and mental disability. She comes off as being so evil because of her physical condition. And with her level of malevolence, it’s hard to understand the connection between her and the mother. It seemed to be playing off the idea of co-dependence taken to the level of parasitic, which certainly happens in life. But something about the way this plays out just feels very wrong. Maybe I was just so disappointed after having high hopes. The ending is shocking in a way that feels exploitative and cheap, and could potentially send a very disturbing to some viewers (not in a good way!). I won’t say anything more to prevent spoiling it, but it angered me in a way that few other films ever do. And I say this as someone who would defend films like Freaks or Cannibal Holocaust. **End Rant**

    • Really fascinating comments here, AnDread. I’d be super interested in hearing more about how different your movie watching experience is due to your disability. It would be great if the guys could have you as a guest on the show to discuss disability in horror, especially considering how prevalent it’s been this past year, Hush and Don’t Breathe being the most notable as sort of a yin and yang portrayal.

      Also, I’m kind of with you on Lights Out. I didn’t straight up hate it but it certainly left me underwhelmed. The short was extremely effective for me so maybe my expectations were too high but I definitely thought it was too reliant on deafening music sting jump scares (which is admittedly a pet hate of mine) and they got very repetitive. There’s only so many times a flickering light revealing a shadowy figure accompanied by an obnoxious sound effect is going to work on me. It was certainly competently made and did do a few interesting things with the concept but none of it stuck with me or really scared me in the same way that the prototypical version did. It felt like a diluted, dumbed down version of that wonderful kernel which I guess is maybe just symptomatic of stretching such a simple idea so thin, maybe some horror concepts just work better as nightmarish fragments than full length feature films. I also agree with Wolfman that the opening scene was pretty weak and it felt very generic to me. I hadn’t really thought about the stigmatising nature of the films portrayal of disabilities until reading your comment but some of that stuff definitely didn’t sit particularly well with me on a subconscious level. In spite of a lot of complaints that the film went overboard with the exposition (I tend to feel that it was more the clunkiness of it than the actual inclusion that hurt the film) I feel like I kept waiting to hear more of the story that would somehow justify the way Diana was handled but that ultimately never came. I guess it was a case of either leave out the exposition all together or go all the way and make it a compelling twist. But it sort of just meandered somewhere in the middle ground.

      • David, agree with all you say above, especially your last point: “I feel like I kept waiting to hear more of the story that would somehow justify the way Diana was handled but that ultimately never came. I guess it was a case of either leave out the exposition all together or go all the way and make it a compelling twist. But it sort of just meandered somewhere in the middle ground.” I was trying to say something like this, but you articulated it better than I was able to! I think it promised something great, which made its fall that much harder for me.

        • Definitely, it felt like they were setting her up to be the victim of some kind of draconian mental health treatments (which I guess is the case to an extent) but it didn’t really end up coming across as much more than “she’s vicious and evil because she has a bad skin condition and mental health problems”.

          Maybe I didn’t read enough between the lines though, I stopped paying attention at a few points because I just wasn’t engaging with the movie that well, in part due to the half-hearted exposition and in part because the jump scares got boring to me pretty fast.

    • I’m surprised that Dino and Jody didn’t respond to this, as it is kind of their pet topic. For Jay, it has to have a wide release in the U.S. for him to count it 2016. Theatrical, DVD or VOD. Essentially, just a film that he can easily see before the end of the year.

      Everyone has different feelings about it. Some people say that they count any U.S. release, including limited theatrical. Essentially, complying with Academy Award rules.

      Of course, we have listeners in different countries. So, if a Brit had The Blackcoat’s Daughter on their list, I wouldn’t fault them for it. The film came out there. We have a couple of Canadian listeners that had films I would count as 2015 on their list because they got it later than us.

      I don’t think any of us count film festival releases. And you can find this info on IMDb or Letterboxd and similar sites.

      Jody keeps a pretty comprehensive list on his Letterboxd page and – because I agree with his method – after awhile I was just going off of his list and suggesting additions whenever I found a title that he hadn’t included.

        • Haha! I loved that discussion even though Jay kept thinking it was boring to most. As someone very concerned with details, it does matter to me. I can see how your rules might differ depending on your purposes. And I hadn’t even considered the role of the Academy Awards, which is something that doesn’t matter to me whatsoever.

          For me, I would like there to be consistency between lists, so for people to go by a wide release in the country that they’re from throws things off too much.

          As I say in response to David above, Clown is an interesting example. It was released in Italy in 2014, several countries in 2015, and in the U.S. in 2016. Potentially, that means 3 different lists could list it in the top films of 2014, 2015, and 2016. For consistency’s sake, I prefer to go by the very first theatrical date, even if it wasn’t available for a lot of people. Anything else seems entirely too subjective. But I can see why a podcaster would want to go by a wide country-related release.

          Personally, I go back through top 10 lists the following year or even several years later, in case there were films I missed from that year, so I wouldn’t mind if people’s lists get revised. All throughout 2016, I was going back and watching 2015 films people had on their lists because I hadn’t seen most of them. And I do continue to revise my lists if I see one that impresses me so much that I want to knock something off, but of course no one else than me is looking at that list.

  18. Here’s my Top 10 with some thoughts on the top 5.
    1. The Monster – One of the few horror movies that made me both jump and cry. The human story and monster threat were equally compelling. Watched it twice, and my heart was racing both times. Also, Zoe Kazan pulls off an alcoholic character who behaves badly but is still allowed to have a human, caring side. You also see what a bad position it puts her child in, and Ella Ballentine does an unbelievably strong job at making Lizzy believable, tough yet vulnerable. The actual monster was mysterious and scary, what you’d expect to crawl out from under a child’s bed. Familiar enough to represent our nightmares given flesh, unique enough to be interesting. 9/10 (buy)

    2. Don’t Breathe – Most suspenseful of my list. Put me in the weird position of rooting for both the antagonist and protagonist (at least up to a certain point). Being legally blind myself, I appreciated the portrayal of a blind antagonist who was both menacing and sympathetic, not just your typical evil villain whose disability drives him to lash out. 9/10 (buy)

    3. The Wailing – Finally, a movie about evil spirits and possession in which there’s an understandable reason for demons to possess people. I never liked The Exorcist, but I do love The Wailing. (Guess I feel like throwing out some provocative statements tonight.) 9/10 (buy)

    4. Green Room – Like Don’t Breathe, this one straddles the line between horror and thriller, but both are dark enough in tone to be horror. Patrick Stewart makes a great neo-Nazi–anyone else probably would have made this character too shlocky, but he does it with restraint. 9/10 (buy)

    5. Under the Shadow – A mother and daughter getting menaced by bombs, political repression, family anxieties, and an evil djinn! It was interesting to see the interweaving of a particular cultural moment – 1980s Iran – with the manipulations of a malevolent spirit. 9/10 (buy)

    6. Train to Busan* 9/10 (buy)

    7. I Am Not a Serial Killer 8.5/10 (buy)

    8. 10 Cloverfield Lane 8.5/10 (buy)

    9. Clown 8/10 (buy)

    10. The Neon Demon 8/10 (buy)

    *The list I sent in didn’t have Train to Busan on it, because I hadn’t seen it yet. Having seen it now, I knocked off Southbound from my #10 spot.

    Honorable mentions:
    Southbound (8/10 – buy)
    Hush (7.5/10 – high rental)
    They Look Like People (7/10 – high rental)
    The Ones Below (7/10 – high rental)
    Baskin (7/10 – high rental)
    Ava’s Possessions (6.5 – rental)

    Worst movie of the year: I Am the Pretty Young Thing That Lives in the House 3/10 (avoid)

    • Solid list. I really enjoyed They Look Like People as well. I was hoping it made it into my list but unfortunately it didn’t. I am a big fan of the psychological horror. And yeah! Another Ava’s Possession fan. I thought this movie was very clever.There were a few lulls and drags in it but overall I think it was a fine movie.

      • Yeah, I liked that too. On the show a few weeks back I said that They Look Like People wasn’t a horror film (I think I called it a sci-fi thriller), but I suppose it probably is.

    • Thanks for sharing, AnDread! It’s neat to see a different #1 pick. I really enjoyed The Monster too.

      I’ve heard others say to avoid I Am the Pretty Young Thing as well.

      • “Thanks for sharing, AnDread! It’s neat to see a different #1 pick.”

        Yeah, I’m trying to see it less as me being out of sync with other horror fans, and more as a confirmation that my #1 is based on personal judgment and my own idiosyncratic tastes.

    • So happy to see The Neon Demon on your list! I LOVED it and put it as my #1! I know most people hate it, but I thought it was soooo good!

      • Michelle, the Neon Demon isn’t usually the kind of movie I like. Usually, story and character development are two things that are important to me, and the Neon Demon is a bit thin on both. However, it was so different than anything else I’d seen, and so enthralling in its visuals and music cast a spell on me.

        • I totally get it, AnDread–however, the Neon Demon is exactly the kind of movie I like :) I agree that the character development is thin, but the characters are so awful and unlikeable, I felt maybe it was done on purpose and it really worked for me :)

          • Despite being lukewarm in my review (I agreed with everything Allyson said), this really is a movie that might have made my list just last year. The visuals are spectacular and there is a real air of mystery.

          • I remember feeling so disappointed when you didn’t like it, Josh. As I’ve said, I put it as my #1 and have yet to find someone that liked it even half as much as I did :(

            • Michelle, I think its a difficult film and that maybe it doesn’t make as visceral an impact as some other films from the year did. Still, I think it achieves exactly what it sets out to do. Also, I know that it was getting a lot of love when it ran here in Columbus. Several of us in the Killumbus meet-up got together at the theater to see it, and the head of the group ended up getting it on demand afterwards and watching it over and over.

    • Nice list, man. I really liked Clown and was at one point in my top ten. Anytime a film creates a type of mythical folklore, it makes me get really into the story.

  19. I really enjoyed Incarnate with Aaron Eckhart but it really felt like that way flew under the radar. It was a cross between The Exorcist and Inception. At first I thought it sounded cheesy but Eckhart really sells it.

  20. I always feel like a big loser for not participating in the listener top ten stuff but truth be told I just don’t get the opportunity to see that many new releases and modern horror isn’t really entirely my bag anyway, I’m much more predisposed to search out older hidden gems that I’ve not seen than catch all these new fangled offerings.

    That said, while I usually rely on these episodes to get myself hip to all the best stuff from the previous year, I have caught enough 2016 horror offerings to at least put forward a top 5:

    5. The Autopsy of Jane Doe
    When I first watched this I came away a little disappointed that it veered from it’s initial procedural nature. I thought I was going to see an amazing mystery gradually puzzled together throughout but then at a certain point the puzzle pieces transformed into something more overtly horrific. This left me feeling slightly unsatisfied but now that I’ve had a bit of time to think it through I can appreciate the direction it took and the unique edge the film has to offer. It’s also extremely well crafted and very atmospheric. I love the acting, the location, the ominous pacing and my only detraction simply comes from my love of satisfyingly wrapped-up mystery plots. this isn’t quite that but only because it had the guts to go down a less trodden path, which is commendable. 7.5/10

    4. The Conjuring 2
    I’m going to have to disagree with my buddy, Juan on this one. I thought it superseded the original film in scares and quality. Maybe I’m biased because the locale and characters are a bit closer to home for me this time round but I was genuinely impressed with the handling of the late 70’s suburban setting. The level of verisimilitude felt gritty and believable and was restrained enough to not come across as parodic of the decade and location. It almost had a social realism vibe and that helped to make the supernatural events all the more effective. And those elements were executed brilliantly. As is standard with a lot of the modern paranormal films there is a reliance on the music sting jump scare, but here the majority of those moments felt earned by enough suspenseful build-up and balanced out by some quieter chills and atmospheric attention to detail. Just the look of that worn old chair in the corner is eerie and evocative enough to stay in the mind. Great characters too. 8/10.

    3. I Am Not A Serial Killer
    Only just got to this recently and it blew me away. I love a horror film that is intelligent and patient enough to double as a character study. And on top of that we get some decent grue, some mystery elements, a compelling character arc, some complex themes, an amazing setting and a hypnotically ominous tone. Like some others have mentioned I had a few issues with the ending but I thought the supernatural elements were fairly obviously established early on and nothing was off kilter enough to detract much from the overall experience. 9/10

    2. Green Room
    Like Juan, I was initially dubious about this being classified as horror. In this episode Jay said (and I’m paraphrasing here) “if this really happened to you, you would be totally horrified”. I’ll reiterate my past statements that this approach doesn’t make sense with regard to the classification of horror films because everything from The Day After Tomorrow to Die Hard would be horrifying experiences in real life. At it’s core horror isn’t about frightening real-life situations, it’s about the lengths the human imagination can go to warp and deform such circumstances into something beyond the comparative mundanity of natural disasters and terrorism and garden variety murder. That said I changed my mind about Green Room after watching it with my mum. She can usually handle some pretty grim stuff but I got the impression that this seriously disturbed her. I almost feel like the glutinous syrup of atmosphere that congeals throughout the runtime of this film is the element that pushes it over the line for me. The prolonged piercing whistle of feedback, the grim, rot-coloured decor of the haunted-house-by-another-name location, the murderous, inexorable stalker (this time in the form of a relentlessly nihilistic and brutal ideology rather than a single unstoppable foe). Beautifully ugly and compellingly bleak stuff, but all the more effective for it. 9.5/10

    1. The Wailing
    Anyone who knows me here knows that I have a major predilection for J-horror but in truth I mostly appreciate the older Japanese offerings in the genre, a lot of the newer stuff being kind of generic. So it’s incredibly exciting to have the world of South Korean cinema picking up the slack with so many beautifully crafted and exciting, though mostly horror-adjacent at best, movies coming out in the last decade. This one is full blown horror in my book though. In recent years South Korea have finely honed the craft of the police procedural/serial killer/mystery movie and The Wailing begins by treading similar ground; engaging storytelling that never talks down to the audience, quirky yet naturalistic comedy balanced carefully enough with dark and disturbing themes that it compliments rather than detracts, a patiently paced unravelling thread of mystery. But this ends up being supernatural horror of the most soul-chilling variety. It’s full of twists and turns and genuine tragedy. The circumstances are at once strange and convoluted yet seem less artificial and contrived than a lot of western horror. In part it’s a meditation on the loss our ill-conceived or misguided actions can cause but it’s also awash with the manipulative potential of true evil. This movie had the most suspenseful scene I’ve witnessed all year and it was literally just a man having a conversation with a woman in a country lane. 10/10

    • It should be noted that I’ve yet to see a lot of the more acclaimed films of the year though, such as The Witch, Don’t Breathe, The Invitation etc.

      I have seen Hush, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Beyond the Gates, Lights Out and The Suffering though of those only Hush might be top ten worthy though I didn’t love it. The others were all kind of disappointing.

      • And I’ve seen Clown but that isn’t a 2016 movie. It was out here early in 2015. Jay and his US exceptionalist release date system be damned!

        • David, about Clown – wow, and looking into its release dates, it was actually released in Italy in 2014, making it a 2014 for me. Somehow I missed this, as I have it my top 10 list, probably because I saw it on a number of other 2016 lists and just didn’t bother to investigate. This shows the relevance of my question about what people use as their criteria for assigning release year to a movie. Using U.S. release dates seems like it would exclude any film not released theatrically in the U.S., and one can’t necessarily go by country of origin either, since as with Clown, it was first released in a country (Italy) different from where it originated. Plus, many films nowadays have multiple countries of origin.

          • I think there’s recently been a bit of a furore over on Movie Podcast Weekly regarding the issue of release dates. Our friend Dino showed up as a guest over there on Ep 217 to have it out with Jay concerning his solely US based consideration of release dates.

            In truth it doesn’t bother me too much. I personally prefer to go by the date a film first saw release, irrelevant of the geography but I can understand Jay’s preference for classifying films based on the year in which they became available for him personally to view them, just to keep it straight forward and simple in his own head. It’s a complex issue. Usually I don’t get to movies until the year after they’re released at the earliest so it’s usually a bit irrelevant to me anyway. But it is odd to see Clown on a bunch of top ten lists for 2016 when I saw it about 18 months ago.

        • David, listening to MPW’s December 7 show about this right now. I do find it very fascinating. But Clown is an interesting example. You say it you saw it in 2015, but does it not matter that it was released in Italy in 2014? Because potentially, that means 3 different lists could list as the top films of 2014, 2015, and 2016, which is why going by the country you live in for the release date seems problematic for me. For consistency’s sake, I prefer to go by the very first theatrical date, even if it wasn’t available for a lot of people. Anything else seems entirely too subjective.

    • What the hell is going on?! First, Doc puts together a top 10 list, and now David is chiming in with his top films of the year?!!!!!

      I gotta say, I’m a little surprised you liked The Conjuring 2 so much. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it a lot, too. But there are a lot of elements to it that I would have thought you’d be turned off by.

      Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on The Witch and Demon. Let me know when you plan on watching them – I want to revisit both, so I’ll use you as an excuse to do so.

      Love your five. Errughem.

      • My only real complaints regarding The Conjuring 2 were the over reliance on loud music sting jump scares, though as I said in my mini review this wasn’t a major issue, and a similar sentiment to that of Redcapjack in that I have a bit of an ethical problem with the movie making heroes out of predatory con artists and portraying any one who questions them as nasty, cynical naysayers (the female character in the movie who thought she’d exposed the haunting as a fraud may as well have been cackling, twirling a moustache and tying the Warrens to some railroad tracks) when in reality they were likely the people actually trying to get to the truth. But I can detach that aspect from the experience and enjoy it as a work of totally fantastical fiction. It scared me, kept me engaged, had well written, mostly very likeable characters, a good amount of attention to detail and I’m a sucker for long, drawn out slow burn supernatural movies.

    • With The Conjuring 2 I felt like James Wan was trying too hard to be horror. There was more of a focus on a monster rather than the thing in the dark approach of the first one where even though we saw a creature, it was mostly concealed in darkness. That’s a lot scarier to me than a demonic nun. Another thing that really stood out for me was the movement of the camera. It seemed like the camera was constantly moving in and out of the rooms and though it created a certain sense of anxiety, it didn’t create as much tension as the first one did. I guess I’m nitpicking, but what it comes down to for me is that The Conjuring had a more organic feel to it and its sequel felt more artificial.

      • I can definitely understand those criticisms. Personally I preferred the eerie presence of the old man to the Nun demon. He seemed like a spirit much more grounded in reality (if that makes any sense). His gross old chair and proclamation “this is my house!” were way more chilling to me than any of the Nun stuff which admittedly seemed much more forced and theatrically “scary”. He seemed more like a ghost I could actually imagine encountering in my own house. So I guess another criticism I have would be that a certain twist regarding the old man ghost somewhat diminished the creepiness for me and from then on out it was all maybe a little over-the-top, but by that point I was already so hooked in by the characters that it didn’t bother me too much. As for the camera stuff; that’s something that worked pretty well for me but I understand the complaint, it’s a little show-offy and maybe reduces the grittiness factor.

        I still feel like I prefer it to the original slightly, mostly due to the setting and family being more relatable but I might have to give the first one a re-watch to properly make up my mind.

  21. Honorable Mentions

    15. Hangman
    Found footage has been around for forty years, yet I still find myself needing to defend it constantly. This film is easily the best found footage picture of the year, shrewdly using the technique to propel the story forward. It’s a creepy concept that could easily make the local nightly news as a semi true story. Jeremy Sisto, as always, is so much fun to watch.
    7/10 – Jason Dragon

    14. Under the Shadow
    This one certainly took me by surprise. Set against the backdrop of 1980s Tehran, a doctor is ordered by the military to attend to the injured during wartime. He leaves behind a wife & daughter in their apartment where certain occurrences begin to take shape. Has a great jump scare involving a window. This one gave me both claustrophobia & cabin fever.
    7/10 – Jason Dragon

    13. The Neighbor
    Fans of The Collector series, who wish we could’ve gotten a trilogy out of it, should be pleased with the existence of this movie. Set in Mississippi, Josh Stewart plays a shady secluded neighbor with good intentions. Certain events then alter his privacy. Marcus Dunston & Patrick Melton have created another fantastic film.
    7/10 – Jason Dragon

    12. 10 Cloverfield Lane
    This is horror, right? I kind of wish this had a different title, completely segregated from the original Cloverfield picture. Valencia would’ve succeeded regardless. What makes this work so well is John Goodman, in what should be an Oscar nominated performance. He is literally the “crazy” glue that holds it together, with motives that leave us feeling uncertain.
    7/10 – Jason Dragon

    11. The Monster
    The title obviously refers to the figure the mother has played in her daughter’s life. It takes an actual monster for her to recognize this. The daughter is more of the parent here, routinely nurturing her mother back to health from monstrous evenings of drug use. This has one of the most realistic & organic creatures I have seen on screen in quite a while.
    7/10 – Jason Dragon

    Top Horror Films of 2016

    10. The Neon Demon
    I’m all in on Nicolas Winding Refn, with my favorite of his being Bronson. People are put off by his direction for what they label as pretension. I simply see it as his idiosyncratic style. This horrifying take on the obsession of beauty, is a gigantic middle finger to the modeling world. Abbey Lee is stunning here & Keanu Reeves plays an interesting character against type.
    7/10 – Jason Dragon

    9. The Autopsy of Jane Doe
    This was one that I couldn’t wait to dissect after the trailer popped up a few months back. Two coroners look to find the cause of death of an unidentified corpse. Stay clear of all spoilers & trailers with this film. It has some great plot spirals, with the final act being utterly arbitrary. Emile Hirsch & Brian Cox have great chemistry as father & son.
    7/10 – Jason Dragon

    8. Hush
    My personal favorite home invasion film in years, with an academy award nominated level performance by Kate Siegel. It’s a semi deaf take on Wait Until Dark (67), with this one getting better with subsequent viewings. What it may lose to The Strangers in scares, it makes up for it with its clever execution. Since Absentia (11), Mike Flanagan has yet to dissatisfy me.
    8/10 – Jason Dragon

    7. Don’t Breathe
    The most intense home invasion film since Kidnapped (2010), with plot twists that are both palpable & plausible. My reservations regarding a second viewing, were easily put to rest at home. Fede Alvarez, after his freshmen feat, has stayed clear of a sophomore slump. If the academy didn’t box themselves in each year, Stephen Lang would garner some attention.
    8/10 – Jason Dragon

    6. The Witch
    The most daring horror film to be widely released this year. It goes against all modern audience conventions & expectations in its execution, becoming quite a box office hit. The revealing horrific images creep through your spine, as if you were placed under a spell for ninety minutes of havoc. If you are an admirer of this film, check out Eyes of Fire (83). They make an interesting double bill.
    8/10 – Jason Dragon

    5. The Conjuring II
    This is far scarier & superior than the original. The fact that the filmmakers gave us their version of the Amityville haunting as the opening scene, showed utter confidence & fortitude for what was to follow that. So happy this will be added to my yearly Christmas horror viewing list. Involves one of the most heartwarming scenes of year involving a guitar.
    9/10 – Jason Dragon

    4. Train to Busan
    The most fun I’ve had watching a zombie film this century (28 Days Later isn’t). It knows exactly what it’s trying to be & holds nothing back in doing so. It’s a father / daughter character study, surrounded by flesh eaters. It’s as if Dustin Hoffman & Justin Henry, in Kramer vs. Kramer, encountered the living dead.
    9/10 – Jason Dragon

    3. The Invitation
    This film is a hypnotic drug. It pulls you in from the opening car incident, to the jaw plummeting conclusion. Regarding American horror cinema in 2016, it’s “the” cerebral go to film. Logan Marshall-Green, in a subtle performance, owns our attention. Check out the series, Quarry to ascertain his talent.
    9/10 – Jason Dragon

    2. Green Room
    Jeremy Saulnier was the only filmmaker this year who could get me to the theatre for multiple viewings of a single movie. I was flabbergasted by all the bad decisions the band made from the start of the film, all the way through the siege. This is my favorite horror release since The House of the Devil (2009).
    10/10 – Jason Dragon

    1. The Wailing
    South Korea makes the best films in the world. This picture is a modern masterwork of possession horror. A Japanese man comes to a small town, where change soon follows. Is he responsible for the bedlam or are there greater coincidences taking place? Together with The Chaser & The Yellow Sea, Na Hong-jin has made his third masterpiece.
    10/10 – Jason Dragon

    Worst Horror Films of the Year

    5. The Disappointments Room
    I think the title directly referred to my theatre watching experience. Viewing dailies with something like this, would make you think more pictures would be shut down directly after start dates. The script is, beat-for-beat, an abysmal mess of predictability. The Other Side of the Door was closely knocking at number 5.5.
    3/10 – Jason Dragon

    4. The Forest
    This film was absolutely awful. If she would’ve stayed home from looking for her sister, she would’ve gleefully saved me a trip to the theatre. What a ridiculous premise to a horror script, as I cared nothing about any of the characters. This was released in January, & I was convinced this would place top on this list.
    2/10 – Jason Dragon

    3. Cabin Fever
    What was the point of this? Why was Eli Roth involved? Why did I watch this? Why are there so many questions? This was the one video on demand purchase this year that made me irritated beyond all comprehension. Eli Roth duped me as producer. I thought he was bringing a different take on his original. Instead, all I received out of this was actual ninety minutes of cabin fever.
    2/10 – Jason Dragon

    2. Martyrs
    If you’re going to remake this, then you’ll have to go full throttle with punishment & gore for the audience. Instead we get the “family friendly” redo. The original is a once a year watch for me, & even that’s too much. It may be the most brutal film I’ve ever seen. There was no way to replicate that violence through an American distributor.
    1/10 – Jason Dragon

    1. The Darkness
    This one needed to be at the bottom of the list, considering the directing talent behind it. Greg Mclean directed three films that are incredibly fun. Not everyone should work within the Blumhouse model, as it looks like he was given this project after a significant development phase. If he was, then point proven here. I wish the light shined down on me to skip this one, instead I was kept in the darkness (wink).
    1/10 – Jason Dragon

    • Great list, Jason. Interestingly, it’s two of your HMs that have piqued my interest, though – The Neighbor (which is on my queue, but I ran out of time) and Hangman. The first I heard of the latter was seeing it on Sal’s top 10 (or 15) list. As a found footage fan, I’m very interested in that one.

    • So happy to see The Neon Demon on your list, Jason. It was my #1! Seems people either love it or hate it…so excited to see another person that actually liked it!

    • I am glad I am not the only person who enjoyed The Neighbor. I actually had it in my top 5. A perfect film, no, but it held me to the end, it had just enough violence for my liking, and it was creepy. Well worth a watch!

  22. And since all the cool kids are doing it these days, here’s what I sent Jay:

    Top 10
    1. The Witch (10/10) – A movie that was custom made for me. Not since Alien has a movie reached the deepest, darkest boundaries of my imagination. The tale of a family struggling to keep together after a tragic incident is so dark that it makes you ask the question: what’s darker than dark? The Witch. The Witch is darker than dark. It’s darker than vantablack.

    2. The Wailing (10/10) – The only great Korean horror movie this year and the only one deserving to be mentioned in the same conversation as The Witch. This is the kind of movie that rewards repeated viewings.

    3. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (9.5/10) – One of the most fun, original, and unpredictable horror movies of the year. The first half is engaging and tense but once the film’s cards are laid out on the table, this thing cranks itself to 11 and doesn’t let go until the very end.

    4. The Eyes of My Mother (9.5/10) – Grim, depressing, twisted, but beautifully shot and scored. As hypnotizing as it is bleak.

    5. Don’t Breathe (9.5/10) – The type of movie that delivers and sometimes exceeds on its premise. While not entirely original, its execution felt fresh and exciting. Some of the most fun horror movies of the year.

    6. The Monster (9/10) – The rare horror movie that uses its premise as a metaphor to deliver a highly emotional and effective story about the relationship of a mother and her daughter.

    7. Under the Shadow (9/10) – Tense and atmospheric with some genuinely great scares.

    8. I Am Not a Serial Killer (9/10) – The most pleasant surprise of the year. Although I didn’t love where it eventually went, the story was original and the mystery behind it engaging. Sometimes the journey is better than the destination and the journey that this film takes you on is nothing short of fantastic.

    9. The Conjuring 2 (9/10) – The original film didn’t need a sequel, but if we had to have one, I’m glad it’s the film we ended up with. Not nearly as well executed as the original one, but a definite standout in a year full of standouts.

    10. 10 Cloverfield Lane (8.5/10) – A mystery that once it’s revealed is multiplied by an even larger threat. Tense and tautly paced. John Goodman’s performance is impeccable.

    Honorable Mentions
    11. The Shallows
    12. Lights Out
    13. Holidays
    14. Hush
    15. Viral

    Biggest Disappointments
    – The Forest
    – The Boy

    Most of Overrated
    – Train to Busan – I cannot, for the love of everything that’s dear to me, figure out why people love this so much. It’s literally World War Z… in a train… with Koreans. LITERALLY.

    Most Anticipated for 2017 (in order)
    Alien Covenant
    The Belko Experiment
    The Devil’s Candy

    • Your list sucks, bro.

      Just kidding… I love it. Obviously.

      Surprised you left off the FF films. Any plans on mentioning them now? If nothing else, maybe as “2017 films to look out for” (not necessarily that you anticipate since, well, you’ve seen them already).

      I hope The Devil’s Candy finally gets distribution this year. What’s Annihilation?

      • Haha, hey thanks!

        I left them out so as to not confuse Jay. All of you that are on letterboxd can always see the list with the FF picks included.

        Annihilation< is the new Alex Garland of Ex Machina fame, so yeah, I’m pretty excited.

        • I’ve read the books Annihilation is based on, and Garland is, I feel, a brilliant choice for this story. I think he’ll be well able to convey the tone. Depending on how true it is to the book, though, it may not really be a horror movie. The author, Jeff Vandermeer, writes in the “weird” rather than straight up horror tradition. Think stuff like Lovecrafts more abstract stories, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen or Shirley Jackson. This could well start another one of those “Well, what is horror anyway?” debates.

          • I’m ok with these descriptions. Though I don’t consider Ex-Machina full-fledged horror, it did have a very horror-like vibe to it and I loved that about the film.

          • I’m really looking forward to it too. Whether it’s horror or not, it’s definitely close to the top of my list for the coming year.

    • With your disdain for Train to Busan which was my number two pick…I can’t wait for you to see and hear your opinion on I am a Hero…which was my number one pick…

    • Okay, love that you have Autopsy, I’m Not a Serial Killer, and Under the SHadow on your list. Solid. I also was not a fan of Train to Busan. And yes to Alien Covenant. I have watched Prometheus probably 5 times since it came out and it is still amazing. I am a huge Alien fan and don’t get all the hate thrown at Prometheus.

      • I’m a huge Alien fan as well. I’ve probably seen it like 50 times in my lifetime (I watch it almost every year, sometimes more than once). It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, not just horror. I don’t get the hate Prometheus gets, but that’s ok, that just means more for me. I cannot begin to describe how excited I am about Alien Covenant.

    • Great list. I was not, however, as big a fan of Monster, as I never really got in to the mother daughter relationship. I found the film dragged at times. Maybe because I had heard so much about it my expectations were higher.I did appreciate a new take on the monster movie.

      • For me it was just a great experience, but if I’m being honest, I’m not sure if this is one that as the years pass by, I’ll be as high on it. I absolutely loved the first 3/4 but the last 1/4 of the movie kind of let me down.

  23. This was an amazing episode! thanks guys and well done Jay for your number 1 pick this year, an actual horror film 😉

    For some reason I totally forgot that 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Invitation were 2016 movies. If I had remembered, 10 Cloverfield Lane would have only made my honourable mentions but The Invitation would have replaced The Shallows as my number 10.

  24. Just got done watching The Wailing. It’s a little too long, but Damn, it’s a good movie. I would of put it at #6 on my list and The Shallows would not have made top 10. I also watched Under The Shadow the other day also. Wasn’t as impressed with that one as other people were. Still a good watch, but not top 10 worthy. I didn’t consider Green Room a Horror movie, otherwise that would of been high on my list also. I’ll be interested to hear what is coming up in 2017. It has been a good year for Horror and hope 2017 is just as strong. I mean, after all, we are going to get another Texas Chainsaw! Hope that one is better than the last one we got.

  25. Just finished up the episode and I really enjoyed it and guessing everyone’s top ten picks. I have to say thank you for including so much of my mini-ramblings. I had such a fun time re-engaging with the movies from the earlier half of the year (and also trying to cram in as much viewing as I could in the last two weeks of the year). I’m a bit disappointed in myself for not getting in Under the Shadow or The Monster in time for my top ten picks because I feel that these two films would definitely have shaken up my list and nudged their way in.

    For anyone interested, here is my full list:
    10. Holidays
    9. Don’t Breathe
    8. I am the pretty thing that lives in the house.
    7. The Witch
    6. Hush
    5. The Invitation
    4. 10 Cloverfield Lane
    3. Autopsy of Jane Doe
    2. Green Room
    1. Lights Out

    Honourable Mentions:
    The Shallows
    The Neon Demon

    I didn’t originally include a “disappointments” section to my list but it would have at least included (and the collective HMP community might hate me for some of them but …):
    The Conjuring 2
    Ouija: Origin of Evil

    Thanks to the hosts and all the other contributors for another great episode!

    • Very nice to see Autopsy so high on your list. I think it could’ve easily been a top 5 overall movie had it come out earlier in the year.

    • I completely agree with 31 being a let down. The premise sounded like something a director like Rob Zombie couldn’t possibly mess up.

        • I’m pretty much done with Rob Zombie after this to be honest. I think he’s reached the same stage of his career as Alan Moore has, where he’s producing content that’s so personal and so flawed that it’s not really of use to anyone else anymore.

    • I also had 31 and Conjuring 2 as my disappointments of the year. I thought my vocabulary was relatively good until I ran out of words to describe my hate for 31. Ouija I didn’t mind as much.

    • It’s a solid list. I’m a little surprised to see Lights Out so high and The Conjuring 2 as a disappointment, but to each their own. Love seeing The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House on your list. Can’t wait to talk about it on the next episode.

  26. Another great year and another great year end show! I literally just watched Don’t Breathe and what a ride! Oh my gosh! Definitely in my top 10!
    Thanks again, guys, for a great year in horror!

  27. Let’s see of the movies I did see I didn’t really care for the Invitation as much as others seem to. I’ll have to give it another shot. I really liked The Witch, The Conjuring 2, I am The Pretty Thing That lives In the house, Hush, Green Room, Lights Out.
    I felt 31 was kinda pointless. I look forward to watching The Wailing and Under The Shadow. Oh I did enjoy 10 Cloverfield Lane as well. I did enjoy the ride that The Boy took us on but felt a little cheated by the ending.

  28. Just finished listening to the show and loved it. Great analysis. Was interesting to hear different analysis and discussion on the best movies of the year, particularly if there was a difference of opinion about the same film. I wanted to say that I also loved The Green Room but did not include it on my list as I thought it was a 2015 film. I checked IMDB and it has 2015 in its description so I thought it had just missed. Oh well, good movie and everyone hopefully has seen it. I love the idea of everyone buying a combo bargain bin dvd and having them all reviewed. You never know what you may find. Thanks Jay for the tip on What We Become. I will check that one out. One idea for a future episode could be films with a weather related theme or where characters are in peril because of the weather conditions, i.e The Mist, Frozen, TheFog, Cyclone etc…Just a though. Have a great 2017!

    • Fun idea with the weather theme.

      IMDb counts any first release of a film, including film festivals. None of us count film fest release. It has to at least be available on VOD or something, for me.

  29. *spoilers for Don’t Breathe*
    When I was watching Don’t Breathe I turned to my girlfriend and asked “who’s the bad guy here?” She said “The kids, obviously.” Once the turkey baster came out she amended “I was wrong! He’s the bad guy!”
    The turkey baster is the most horrifying thing in the film for women. When a guy thinks about being reduced to breeding stock he may actually think it could be worse. It’s a horrifying reality for women. That’s why it’s a necessary element.
    I could have sworn I put Demon on my list. If not, I would like to amend it with Demon at number 5. If definitely made my top 25 films list of 2016 you (you can look at that here http://thebestshowevercjam.blogspot.ca/2016/12/best-movies-of-2016.html for trailers and posters) which included in no particular order:
    The Handmaiden
    Personal Shopper
    Brand New Testament
    A Man Called Ove
    Johnnie To’s Office
    Hunt for the Wilderpeople
    Shin Godzilla
    House on Pine Street
    Don’t Breathe
    They Look Like People
    The Invitation
    Neon Demon
    Midnight Special
    Green Room
    10 Cloverfield Lane
    Mistress America
    The Witch
    The Death of Superman Lives
    He Never Died
    Trash Fire
    Hardcore Henry

    I have not been able to watch The Wailing as my girlfriend wants to watch it too but she keeps falling asleep in the first 20 minutes.
    I also highly recommend Der Nachtmahr. Watched it last night without subtitles and was glued the entire time. A mix between E.T. and Marcal Fores’ Animals.

    • I liked The Handmaiden too. Not as good, in my opinion, as the directors Vengence trilogy or Thirst, but I enjoyed it more than Stoker. Not sure how to compre it with Snowpiercer though! Hunt For The Wilderpeople made me even more of A Taika Waititi fan, I adore it. I think I’ve seen it 4 times so far. Compares very well with his darker earlier feature, Boy. Makes me really excited to see how he handles a Marvel movie. I still can’t believe he’s directing Thor Ragnarok. He Never Died and Brand New testament have been on my list for a while but never got round to them, thanks for reminding me!

      • Boy just came out here at the end of 2015 and on BluRay very recently. Love both Boy and Wilderpeople (and What We Do in the Shadows). Was hoping for that We’re Wolves movie to come out sooner rather than later, but I guess writing the first draft of Moana and doing the Thor film has kept Taika pretty busy.

        • He wrote the first draft of Moana? Didn’t know that. Took my class of 23 six year old boys to see that before Christmas and taught them a bunch of the songs beforehand. Fun day.

          • Sounds fun! Yeah, he did the first pass on the draft. He wasn’t credited (at least on IMDb), but the directors have talked about it a lot and he attended the premiere and everything.

      • I agree about The Handmaiden (sorry, Dino). It just seemed like a very by-the-numbers film compared to the rest of the director’s filmography. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. To me his masterpiece is still Oldboy and movies like Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Thirst, and Stoker are great. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance was the weakest entry from what I’ve seen, but I’ve yet to view his early stuff.

        • Haha, that’s cool, bro. No need to apologize – we can have different opinions!

          The subject matter of The Handmaiden and Oldboy is very different, so that will obviously factor into opinions.

        • To be honest, I’ve been thinking about The Handmaiden a lot over the last few days and I’m starting to think it may be better than I originally thought. I might have to give it another watch soon. I also think it might actually be partially based on a De Sade novel, the name of which I can’t remember. It’s about a girl who is raised by (I think) her uncle and deliberately taught from birth to share his warped ethics and sexuality so that she can be his lover when she comes of age. Like the handmaiden (SPOILERS AHEAD) the novel ends up with the girl growing into something he cannot control and ending up destroying him.

          • No worries. And I’m glad you’ve been thinking more on The Handmaiden. It’s a movie that I think you’d get more out of with each viewing. That’s only conjecture because I’ve only seen it once, but there is so much in its presentation – it’s a simple story, but presented in a way that lends itself to hiding little details here and there.

  30. There’s a scene at the beginning of Green Room that most people probably miss but really proves the accuracy of the punk scene in this movie. When Tad screws up their gig but then tells them of another show they can play at a skinhead club. They ask if they’re Sharps. Only real punks really know that term to mean Skin Heads Against Racial Prejudice. Unfortunately, Tad says they’re more ‘alt right’, and to stick to their earlier heavy material. Apparently when Anton Yelchin died he was on his way to band practice. Does anyone know if they’ve released any material?

    • I caught that too Joe! I was big into punk it my younger days. Even though it was here in Ireland a bunch of the culture was the same, and a good few of the local skins had SHARP patches on their jackets.

  31. Hey guys, this was a really fun episode to listen to and thanks for mentioning us and our list!

    Interesting that this was such an AWFUL year in news and current affairs and yet a brilliant year for Horror. It supports the theory that the more political / social unrest, the more interesting and original the horror genre becomes. Look at the huge wave of great horror cinema during the Vietnam War etc in the 60s / 70s, or during Regan’s 80s..then the quiet period through Clinton’s relatively peaceful 90s…then the surge of extreme horror post 9/11. I think now in a Trump / Brexit world, 2016 could be the beginning of another huge BOOM in the horror genre.

  32. Started to watch the ones I hadn’t seen yet. Thank goodness we got a storm lol. Watched I am not a serial killer and the good neighbor last night. Both pretty darn good. The reviews were dead on.

  33. So what movies are everyone looking forward to in 2017? Here’s a few that are on my radar, there’s a bunch more I’m sure, but these are the ones springing to mind right now.

    THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS: A zombie movie with a difference, based on the quite decent novel by Mike Carey (comic readers might know him as the writer of Lucifer and The Unwritten). I’ve already seen it, it is amazing, but it hasn’t been released in the states yet so I thought I’d give it a mention. I would be very interested to hear what Dr. Walking Dead thinks of this one

    RAW: From what I can gather this seems to be a French cannibal flick with a feminist subtext thats also a coming of age story. Sounds ambitious, there seems to be a lot going on with it. Supposedly it brings the scares in a big way, the paramedics had to be called when it screened in Toronto.

    SAFE NEIGHBOURHOOD: This probably won’t be out til Christmas, but it looks like it’s a horror comedy (sorry, Jay) version of Home Alone. Haven’t been able to find out too much more about it, reviews have been pretty cagey with details, seems there’s a nice little twist in there somewhere.

    XX: Horror anthology from 4 female directors. The trailer looks great. I know anthologies can be hit and miss, but I’m glad there’s one on the horizon.

    THE DEVILS CANDY: It’s has been around since 2015, I can’t believe it hasn’t seen a release yet. Hopefully we won’t have another Pontypool situation on our hands. From the director of The Loved Ones, its a haunted house film about a painter who becomes possessed by demons. I adore The Loved Ones, so I really can’t wait for this one.

    ANOTHER WOLFCOP: I’m a big fan of the grindhouse inspired movies from the last decade; Manborg, Turbo Kid, Hobo With A Shotgun, stuff like that. Wolfcop was lots of fun and supposedly the budget for this sequel was bigger and it’s a laugh riot from start to finish.

    THE BELKO EXPERIMENT: James Gunn going back to his horror roots with a battle royal/office space mash-up. Slither, Super and The Specials were all fantastic, so we how he can make it work with a limited budget.

    THE BAR: Alex De La Iglesia, writer/director of The Last Circus, Witching And Bitching, Day Of The Best and Commonwealth gives us the story of a group of people trapped in a coffee shop, where anyone who leaves is shot by an unseen sniper. Thats the set up, but knowing Iglesia, this one will be crammed with twists and turns, as well as bizarre characters and incredible camera work.

    • I saw The Girl with All the GIfts and I REALLY wanted to like it but the last 30 minutes were so ridiculous I had to turn it off. It was cringe-worthy bad.

      I checked out the trailer for XX and looks great.

      Alien Covenant looks freakin incredible. I am a Prometheus super fan so I have been waiting for this.

      • I kind of agree with you Projectile Varmint. The first 3/4 of the movie are excellent, and the last 1/4 went a little too far with its concept and ended up going in a direction that was not very fulfilling. Having said that, I kind of liked the idea of the story coming full circle, I just wish they could’ve arrived at that conclusion in a more elegant way (like the rest of the movie did the rest of the way).

        • I can’t really say without spoiling it, Josh, but let’s just say that they go “full retard”*. So much so that it becomes almost funny.

          *I know you hate that word, but it’s a movie reference, so it’s ok 😉

        • …The acting was supposed to be serious character interactions but it was so silly that it was uncomfortable to watch. The little girl in the movie was great until the last scenes where I felt embarrassed for her and it wasn’t her fault. It was the material she was given.

    • I’m really excited to see Get Out and A Cure for Wellness. And, I’m just going to say it…I LOVE M. Night Shyamalan so I can’t wait to see Split. I know he’s made a few pretty bad movies, but because The Sixth Sense, Signs and The Village are SO GOOD, I’ll always go and see everything that he makes!

    • I’m REALLY looking forward to Split and Alien: Covenant. I’m intrigued by A Cure for Wellness and I have high hopes for It.

      • I’m really hoping A Cure for Wellness delivers like Dominoes, I have high hopes as well! Just from the trailer, the tone and set up seem like it could really pay off well

    • The Bar and Raw are two films I look forward to seeing, especially Raw. Am curious about the feminist angle. Living just east of Toronto I had heard about it and hope it does not end up in limbo like another cannibal film, Green Inferno, did for so long!

    • There are a few “big” titles set to release (in the U.S.) in the first quarter of 2017:

      Split – January 20
      The Girl With All The Gifts – January 26
      Rings – February 3
      A Cure for Wellness – February 17
      Patient Zero – February 17
      XX – February 17
      Get Out – February 24
      Raw – March 10
      Personal Shopper – March 10
      The Belko Experiment – March 17
      Keep Watching – March 24
      The Dark Tapes – unspecified day in March

      Of course, a couple have already released at the time of this posting. And I’m sure there will be others (indies and foreign releases) that come out of the woodwork.

  34. There are certain truisms you learn in life, like the two egg omelette is correct, be very careful what you wish for – as in “wouldn’t it be a hoot if the Yanks elected Trump”- oh Crap! And the HMP always delivers up a few titles in the top ten round up you haven’t seen but are now must sees, as in clambering over your family to get a copy.

    No top 10 from me as Downunder we don’t have the same release schedule as up North but was highly impressed by The Witch, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and going to say it The Conjuring 2. Was somewhat less impressed with Oz’s big release of the year Red Billabong.

    Am highly anticipating The Wailing and Train to Busan.

    Anyone got any idea when we will see The Blackcoat’s Daughter?

    Keep up the good work guys, am still enjoying the podcast, not finish this one but dress me up and call me Susan Jay has yet to include a non-horror movie. Was hoping he would have my back with The Revenant.

    Still need to reply back on the whole slasher thing, though don’t want to bore people with a major discourse on research methodology and why you can prove your original thesis by “selection” of data.

    Must check out your Aussie episode, though I have fears of North Americans trying to pull off Ocker accents and the actual movie list.

    Interesting observation from our Box Office results in 2016, Horror is on the rise with the average take of cinema releases well up on previous years. Now if we could just get a few more indie titles in the cinema in 2017.

    • I know that The Wailing and Train to Busan came out (at least in limited release) in Australia. I only know because I recently began following this Aussie YouTuber who reviews Korean cinema:


      Please do give our Horror Down Under episode a shot. We’d love your feedback. Want to hear how we did on our accents! Just kidding. Although I’m sure we did it a few times. It’s a must. What’s wrong with the film list, though? Thought we did a pretty good job.

      As we’ve been discussing here elsewhere, Blackcoat has been released in some countries. It’s on Netflix in the UK. It comes out in the US in March. Not sure about elsewhere.

      Despite you saying that Red Billabong was bad, I’m very interested bc I haven’t seen it.

      I am EXTREMELY interested in what you have to say about “research methodology and why you can prove your original thesis by selection of data.” You will not bore us at all. In fact, just to make sure we don’t miss your comment, after you post it, please send it to us in an email as well. Would love to discuss on the show.

    • I love anthologies so when I saw some info for this pop up on a few horror news sites a couple weeks ago I was pretty excited for a new one. However I was a little put-off by the “all-female-directors” marketing that was going along with the film. I get that an all female directed horror anthology is a novelty but I just find it a bit annoying. Anyway, that’s beside the point. Now that I’ve seen the trailer to go along with the teaser articles, I’m looking forward to seeing this one!

  35. Well since Brian Moloney and myself are obviously the only ones who have seen I am a Hero…all your top 10 lists are incomplete and there for all null and void…better luck next year…I guess it’ll be on everyone’s list next year once its hopefully widely released…

  36. I just finished watching THE BLACKCOATS DAUGHTER….Spoiler free review below.

    First, I had no idea what this film was about and didn’t read any reviews or watch any trailers. It is rare that I see a movie without knowing anything about it. I recommend not looking into what this movie is about before watching. It will be a pleasantly horrific surprise. The cinematography and score give it an incredibly David Lynch mood similar to Twin Peaks and very much film noir, and oh so unsettling. The long camera stills on character’s faces creates an uncomfortable tension and an awkward closeness to what is happening in the film. I felt like I was feeling what the characters were feeling and it was really scary. I have to mention the score alone was incredibly eerie which set the mood magnificently for this film. I felt the score was so well-matched to what was happening in the film, almost to the same degree as score of The Shining. In fact, the build up in this film reminded me of a lot of The Shining.

    I like that every viewer can have a completely different experience because the storyline is a bit vague. Not to the point where you have no idea what is going on, rather you are eagerly grasping every hint thrown your way. I felt like I wanted to figure the plot out before it was ultimately revealed and I kept trying but I didn’t manage to which was refreshing, especially because it wasn’t a huge plot twist with a crazy 180 degree unexpected turn. It made sense afterwards and I was completely satisfied.

    This is a slow burn with a build-up of dread that quite literally gave me anxiety. I think the pacing of this film might turn off some viewers as there aren’t many jump scares. It is so incredibly dark and ominous. If I had seen this a couple weeks ago it would have made it into top slot for sure. This movie scared the shit out of me and I have a feeling it will stick with me for quite some time. I am still like, “what did I just watch?” And of course I watched it when I was home alone…don’t want to go to bed, won’t ever be able to sleep…again. Holy Moly…Wow.

    • Sweet! I didn’t know this one was actually out, I was following it a while ago when it was called February. didn’t know about the name change but looking at the trailer it’s definitely the same movie!

      • Brian, I believe I caught in a previous comment that you live in Ireland. If so, you may be able to stream The Blackcoat’s Daughter (still listed as February, I believe) on Netflix. I know that it is currently streaming on Netflix UK, so perhaps it is also streaming in Ireland.

    • Dying to see this one. I can’t remember, but I don’t think you saw The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. Curious what you’ll think of that. Pretty thing is actually the director’s 2nd film, but it came out first in the US. From what I know of your tastes, I think you’ll appreciate Pretty Thing, despite it lacking the viscera of Blackcoat (from the very little I know about it).

      • I haven’t seen Pretty Thing, but I will watch it tonight in fact. Someone else recommended I watch it because I really liked Always Shine.

        I know I will see The Blackcoats Daughter in the theater and buy the dvd right when it comes out. I haven’t been this blown away by a film in a long time.

    • Just finished The Blackcoats Daughter, and I agree with Projectile Varmint as to the effective use of score and the David Lynch vibe. I didn’t see the same noir elements on display that she did though. This isn’t usually the type of film I would go for but despite the lack of grue, I would not hesitate to recommend this to horror fans. I actually felt a cold shiver when I realised what exactly was going on. Great performances all round, surprisingly realistic dialogue and characters and effective cinematography. It was very strange seeing Emma Roberts in a more serious role, as I’m used to seeing her in Scream Queens! Thanks for teh recommendation, I’m really glad I saw this one.

      • I agree that Emma Roberts was surprising in the role and she barely had any dialogue. Glad you liked it. I will definitely buy this one!

  37. Here’s some more upcoming releases I think may be of interest:

    PREVENGE: A pregnant woman goes on a killing spree orchestrated by her misanthropic and telepathic unborn child. That premise on it’s own puts it close to the top of my must-see list, but to sweeten the deal it was written and directed by the lead actress and shot during her own pregnancy. I think we may have surpassed meta with this one. The Director/writer/actor in question is Alice Lowe, making her directorial debut. I’ve loved Alice Lowe since I first saw her in “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace” (a BBC series from 2004 that’s a must for fans of British comedy and 80’s style horror) and am delighted to see her continue to grow as an artist.

    SADAKO VS KAYAKO: What would you do if you had watched the video from “The Ring” and time was running out. Then you find out your friend is being stalked by the creepy lady ghost from “Juon”? Why, trick the monsters into fighting each other of course! Seriously, this is a REAL MOVIE that is coming out soon. From the trailer it looks like a lot of it is played for laughs. I’ll be there opening night regardless.

    ANTIPORNO: A Sion Sono joint. I’m a little nervous about recommending this to horror fans, as it is a movie about a porn actress and her assistant that satirises Japans sexual repression, the nature of sexual control and submission and of pornography in general. Sono would be best known to a horror audience, I think, for “Suicide Club” or “Cold Fish” but many of his other movies (Guilty Of Romance, Tokyo Tribe, Why Don’t You Play In Hell? and Strange Circus to name a few) have quite a few horror elements and tropes and can have the power to genuinely freak you out.

    • On an unrelated note Peter William Blatty, author of The Exorcist, has died. He passed last night, cause not made public yet. As well as being the basis of an excellent movie, The Exorcist is also credited by several scholars as having kick started the horror trend in publishing that hit its peak in the 80’s and 90’s. An influential man, and a fine author.

  38. My list is going to be unpopular with most but in my defense I only saw about 25 new horror movies in 2016 and I’m rating based off of how much I enjoyed it and if I’d recommend to others.
    Top 10 2016
    1. Don’t Breathe – intense, psychological home invasion film with great camera work and characters with depth
    2. Let’s Be Evil – augmented reality horror film about an extreme learning testing facility for children who revolt against their watchers
    3. Green Room – punks vs neo nazis in siege thriller format. Plus duct tape and machetes make for a cringe worrying evening
    4. Hush – a deaf writer stalked by a killer while working on a novel in a remote cabin. Intense and uncomfortable in all the right ways
    5. The Shallows – Blake Lively vs a bad ass shark. Despite some terrible CGI effects with the surf scenes, this was a shark movie with intensity and emotion
    6. The Witch – absolutely creepy 1600s period piece about a family being torn apart by witch craft and evil. Also even the animals could act, black Philip was riveting
    7. The Conjuring 2 – The Warrens kick supernatural ass again in England, helping a single mother of 4 fight a spirit attacking their children
    8. The Boy – although incredibly predictable, the atmosphere and acting make this a fun ride
    9. The Purge Anarchy – perfect timing with our political atmosphere, the Purge series gets political, can the senator bent on ending The Purge survivor the night? Although it became more of a shoot em up action movie it was still enjoyable
    10. 10 Cloverfield Lane – claustrophobic and uncomfortable entry in the Cloverfield series.

    Honorable mentions
    1. Holidays – holiday themed anthology film, some entries such as Easter, Fathers Day, and Valentines Day killed it, others not so much
    2. Yoga Hosers

    1. The Darkness – as an avid lover of all things horror, I rarely am able to fully a hate a film. The Darkness earns a 1/10 for being a muddled pile of nonsensical plot and effects
    2. The Forest – fantastic concept to work with and yet poor execution and focus

    • I’m pretty surprised to see “Let’s Be Evil” so high up on your list! I watched that one a few weeks and I just couldn’t get into it. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts because I found it predictable (to me anyway) and I got impatient waiting for the horror to start. This was a case of me being duped by a pretty cool looking poster on Netflix.

      • When it comes to Let’s Be Evill, my terrible insomnia may have affected my judgement but I really enjoyed it. I’m a huge fan of the Netflix show Black Mirror and the movie almost seemed like a lost episode of it. Technology and AI are fear factors for me, I truly see The Terminator as a prophetic film. Overall it’s not a great movie and I recognize that but any movie that can get me submersed and lose track of time is gold in my book. I’m a fan of character development and creepy children which earned it a few more points. There were also some fantastic camera angels and the hallway scenes reminded me of the first Resident Evil. The poster was the selling point to get me to watch it, I agree that it was slowly paced but like I said before I felt like I was trapped in that underground facility as well waiting for something eerie to happen. Finding the good in bad movies is my speciality!

        • Hi Slashley,I saw the trailer for Let’d Be Evil and Black Mirror was the first thing I thought of too. If you liked the Netflix series there’s 2 earlier seasons that . to my knowledge only aired in the UK. They’re only 3 episodes each, sadly. but there’s a Christmas special too. Check them out if you haven’t already, I think they’re on dvd. The Creator, Charlie Brooker, also did a horror mini-series about 10 years ago called Dead Set about a zombie outbreak told from the perspective of people in the Big Brother reality gameshow. I remember that being really decent.

          • Thank you for the recommendations Brian! Dead Set has been on my list for years but I’ve never gotten around to it, I’ll add it higher to my list. I also wasn’t aware there were more Black Mirror episodes floating around, do you know if they are easy to get a hold of?

          • For both seasons and the special it’s about 36 dollars on amazon.com, 13.50 sterling on amazon.co.uk. I’m not sure about streaming options, sorry.

        • Good to hear! I did enjoy the sci-fi in this film and I got the Resident Evil vibe with it, too.
          On a side note, I hope you didnt get the impression that I was disagreeing with you having it on your list, I was just simply intrigued. It made me rethink my impression and made me consider that perhaps I missed something and I should revisit it. I probably will!

          • I’d definitely recommend another shot at it if you liked the sci fi aspects, I think it’s one of those movies that you have to watch at the right moment. I really vibed with it at 3am plus the time added to the underground feel of the setting.
            And I wasn’t offended at all, no worries! I’m just a little awkward with social navigations. Been a listener for a few months and am finally trying to get involved. I’m enjoying the community and everyone’s input. My lists typically have some odd ball picks

    • Slashley – First off, great name. I would put it up there with BillChete and Gregamortis as the best horrorized names I’ve seen.

      Now, about your list… I love it. Screw people who don’t agree with your list, and definitely don’t feel the need to qualify or defend your picks. I love seeing lists that are different from “the norm” or, more importantly (to me), include movies I have not seen. Let’s Be Evil and The Purge: Election Year are two that I’ve been mildly interested in checking out, but realistically would probably never get to. Now, since they’re on your list, they get moved up a little higher on my queue.

      • Thank you so much, that’s delightful to hear!

        For The Purge Election Year I will warn you that unlike the original it falls more into an action suspense category than horror thriller but it was still enjoyable! I plan on getting more involved on the message boards and gravitate towards off the wall horror so I’ll be sure to recommend more here

          • I’d say The Purge: Election Year has a little bit more intensity in mood than the second one does but both sequels deviate from the horror themes of the original. It’s a great concept that I keep hoping they’ll do more with but it appears action thriller was their intended route. The newest installment did have a few jump scares and fairly tense moments, if anything it can be defined as “horror lite” on the horror scale

    • First of all, your list is pretty solid for having only seen 25 films. Even then, it matches up pretty closely with the other listeners who saw way more films.

      Secondly, I’d agree with Dino that it doesn’t matter if anyone else doesn’t like your list and we’re thankful that you’d share it.

      I’ve actually been pretty curious about Let’s Be Evil and The Purge: Election Night. I like all of the other movies on your list.

      Loved seeing Holidays and Yoga Hosers on your honorable mentions as well. How?! How did you like Yoga Hosers that much?! I have to know. I wish it had worked better for me.

      I did not get around to The Forrest this year. I really wanted to. I’ve been bummed to see that it disappointed so many people.

      • Thank you for the support, hoping to round out my list next year with more viewings.
        Although Yoga Hosers in no way stood up as a solid sequel to Tusk, it was still enjoyable. I tend to find some sort of entertainment value in most of Kevin Smith’s work. Definitely not worthy of a top 10 spot but I couldn’t look away which gives it points. Interesting scripting as well. Hoping that MooseJaws will be worthy of being a top 10 contender when it releases.
        The Forest was abysmal, I had really high hopes with it because the concept and source material are heavy and vast. I didn’t understand why it went the direction they chose. I’d still love to see a good adaptation of the suicide forest in a film; this is not it though.

  39. I know it id off topic but a moment of silence for William Peter Blatty…without him paranormal movies would be even worse than they are now…

    • I’m a newcomer to his work because I feared it for so long, but man, he brought us some incredible stories. Luckily, he lived a very long and full life and is leaving behind some memorable work.

  40. Wow I just watched the Good Neighbor after listening to this podcast and it was just as good as you built it up to be!! Still stewing in the aftermath of such an emotionally scarring movie. Thanks for the rec and hope everyone can see it, it’s pretty haunting.

  41. This is the first episode of HMP I’ve listened to and actually first podcast I’ve ever listened to all the way through. Loved it. You guys are great. Fantastic lists! I look forward to becoming more involved in your HMP community!

  42. I Had the pleasure of watching ‘Under the Shadow’ last night and was absolutely blown away. I cannot praise this film enough. Filled with enough recognisable ‘rules’ to appease general horror fans; child in danger, questioning of sanity/parenting skills, and a spine-tingling jump scare as good as it gets. UTS feels fresh with an unfamiliar setting and brilliant performances. I was on the edge of my seat throughout. If I had seen this before submitting my top ten, it would have no doubt been a worthy contender for Train to Busan as my favourite horror of 2016.

    Horror is often bullied as a lesser genre within cinema. However, At the heart of this story, my eyes were opened to a different culture. Struggles which were unimaginable, but sometimes recognisable. Any film that is able to break down a barrier like this should be hailed as a complete success.

    It fills me with great pride this hasn’t gone unnoticed here in the UK – nominated for both best film at the Baftas and submitted for best foreign-language film at the Oscars. Indeed a major win for the horror community.

    10/10 must watch, must own,

    • One of my regrets was not getting to this movie in time for the Top-10.

      Also, I’ve now “scheduled” what movies I’ll be watching the rest of the way through my challenge, so I won’t be seeing this until October (It will be part of 2017’s “31 Days of Horror”).

      Based on what you wrote above, I’m sorry I have such a long time to wait before I check it out!

      • Ah that’s a pity. Completely understandable. It must take great planning and dedication to complete the challenge at hand.

        Look forward to hearing your take on it come October.

      • Thanks. Yeah absolutely loved it. Just seemed to strick a chord and blew me away.
        It’s so refreshing all these great horror films coming from different parts of the world.

  43. Hey guys, I just watched Pitchfork (2017) and thought I’d share my thoughts incase any of you are curious about seeing the film. I’m already pumped about getting my 2017 list ready lol.

    Pitchfork (2017) review:

    Who doesn’t love slashers? Probably weirdos who wear ferret masks and dry hump faces. I’m always down for a slasher, good or bad, I want’em to keep on comin’. Slashers are like fast food, you get the urge, enjoy the meal, feel dirty afterwards, and want more a day later. Though Pitchfork (2017) isn’t a revolutionary slasher, it’s serviceable and has its moments, like a deep fried double bacon scrapple burger with cheese.

    Director, Glenn Douglas Packard is learning. This is his first film, and it’s obvious when giving a critical eye to the cinematography that he’s experimenting. For a first film, I’m not turned off. I’d definitely check out his next movie.

    The movie might start off with a kill. I say might, because we don’t actually get to see anything. This made me sigh, I wasn’t in the mood for a gentle ride. I’ll tell you right now, without ruining anything for you, it definitely picks up. Give this movie some time and you’ll eventually get to see some decent moments and kills. The problem is getting through the confusion…

    At times, the film struggles to decide on exactly what it wants to be. For instance, the first taste we get of this is during the opening credits. Our group of happy go lucky teens are riding in a van brightly labeled, “Honk if you’re horny!” During their fun lovin’ dancing in the van, we hear a doom brigade’s marching tune of rattlesnakes and fog horns that swallow the sounds of the teens. I’m not sure what they were going for with this contrast, but all I feel while watching it is confusion. Maybe if our protagonists had a few prior vignettes to establish their humanity, maybe then I’d feel like a mood was being set.

    We soon find out that our group of teens are traveling from New York City to country bumpkin’ land so our lead protagonist, Hunter, can have a coming out celebration. Recently telling his family about his sexuality, Hunter is worried about how he will be accepted by his family, mainly his father. Hunter’s goal is pretty realistic, it’s something new for a slasher theme and I can really appreciate it. However, his friends also have goals while they’re here. One wants to deflower an Amish man, and most of the others want to square dance in a barn. It’s so blatant who we’re meant to care about that it hurts.

    For the first half of the film, the acting feels incredibly rehearsed, it’s almost like everyone’s a parody of themselves, and not in a good way. To be honest, I had to do a decent amount of drinking to find any humor in the first half, but once the killer shows up, things steadily get better.

    Though I thought there would be, there’s no who dunnit’ aspect to this film, a dude in a wombat mask with a pitchfork hand just shows up like, yo.

    Played by, Daniel Wilkinson, the marmoset-masked killer steals the show. He’s feral, disturbed, and utterly convincing. You can tell that the director started to have a lot of fun when the chinchilla-masked killer arrives, the best scenes of this film have him in it. A highlight to look forward to has him “playing” with a woman who’s tied in barbed wire.

    Eventually, we receive some additional payoff and get to have a taste of the weasel-masked killer’s origins and, for the most part, it’s worth it.

    As I’ve said, this movie has its issues, but I wouldn’t completely dismiss it. The director shows promise here and there and, although it’s a little rocky, this film is worth renting, especially if you’ve ever wanted to see a dude in a meerkat mask do backflips off a wall.


    • The last sentence of your review just sold this for me. Plus a good slasher is always a must see. How did you view it? I tried looking it up and didn’t see it streaming anywhere but may not have looked in the right places

        • Thank you for recommending this one! I watched it tonight and actually really enjoyed it. I agree that it’s far from perfect but I’d definitely check out Glenn Douglas Packard’s next film. Don’t understand why the reviews I saw on this were so harsh, it’s an enjoyable movie. Some of the dialogue is cringe worthy bad but hey, it is a slasher film I’m not here for Oscar worthy likes. The violence delivered and that’s what matters. Noticeably it’s an indie film but that’s not a bad thing, artful shots with gore are great to look at. The killer is what ultimately makes me want to recommend this one to slasher fans. I couldn’t look away from him and those movements with him rising slowly up were well done and the four legged crawling. I do question what the hell kind of mask he’s wearing? Is it a marsupial? All I know is it’s creepy as shit.

          • Yay! So glad someone else liked it! Can’t wait to see what Doc, Wolf and Jay think. Billchette put his two cents on twitter in case you’re curious. I yearn to hear him say nothing happens for the first half :p

            • I do enjoy a good slasher, my name is Slashley for a reason! I’m really interested in what everyone thinks about it, I’m thinking it’s going to get butchered and torn apart (funny because it’s a slasher). The fur mask was actually creepy though, it was at least something new

    • Thanks for the recommendation, CakeWolf. Liked your review, but where was the mixed drink to accompany it? This one came up in out latest episode where we talk about the year to come. I knew I had heard of it somewhere, but couldn’t remember where. The killer looks CA-RAZY. Looking forward to checking this one out based on your and Slashley’s comments.

  44. Finally got around to seeing The Invitation today and I thank everyone who recommended it. I was unsure during the first half hour if I was going to like it but once I slipped into the slow burn mentality, it paid off. The constant paranoia and sense of discomfort methodically crept up on me adding to my enjoyment. Grief is something we all experience differently, some choose to go much further with their journey than others. Realistic horror situations are also more impactful for a viewer. My only criticism is I wish the final resolution wasn’t as rushed, it took a journey to get to the height of tension and I felt they could’ve done more. This is worthy of a rewatch soon

  45. I love the end of the year episodes, and I enjoy enjoy seeing the massive amounts of comments on the board! I rarely post a comment because everyone on here is way smarter and much more articulate than me, but I do enjoy reading everyone’s thoughts.
    Had to watch “I am not a serial killer” and “Autopsy of Jane Doe” after listening to the episode. Both blew me away, especially Jane Doe (watched it twice). I’ve got “Clown” on my watch list, along with several other recommendations.
    I didn’t post my list, but it tracks similarly with everyone else. I’ll definitely get list in for future episodes, and most likely through out a “No Escape” curve ball just to ruffle feathers :)

    • Glad you enjoyed I Am Not a Serial Killer and Autopsy of Jane Doe. Both great films I’d like to have included on my list and would have any other year.

      We always enjoy your comments, Mr. Barlow, so please don’t refrain from leaving comments.

  46. I have to say I regret not getting my list to Jason in time for the Podcast, however that said, I would have missed watching Train to Busan and a little known underrated? horror movie The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Both shot up on my top 10 list and I thoroughly enjoyed them!

    This is the first Top 10 Horror movie list I’ve created (Dino, it WAS a great year for a top 10 Horror list) and I’ll continue the tradition thanks to MPW that inspired me to create a TOP 10 Movies list(which I also didn’t complete in time for that podcast). After creating that list I felt I owed it to myself to create a Top 10 Horrror list(since I love horror movies) and special thanks to Juan who told me to post it.
    I won’t include comments due to lack of time.

    Nate’s Top 10 Horror of 2016

    #10- The Boy
    #9- The Invitation
    #8- Lights Out
    #7- The Witch
    #6- Don’t Breathe
    #5- The Autopsy of Jane Doe
    #4- Train to Busan
    #3- Green Room
    #2- The Conjuring 2
    #1- 10 Cloverfield Lane

    Honorable Mentions

    11- The Wailing
    12- Under The Shadow
    13- The Other Side of the Door
    14- The Shallows
    15- Clown

    Biggest Disappointment

    Blair Witch

    Guilty Pleasure

    Baskin- didn’t feel too guilty after watching this one, just like I needed to take a shower afterward. But, I would have regretted not at least adding it somewhere to this list.

    • Nice list, man. Five of our top films overlap, they’re just in different order. I’m glad that you enjoyed The Wailing enough to make it an honorable mention, but it saddens me that it didn’t make your top ten. It’s such a great film. But really? The Boy over The Wailing? Come on, bro 😉

  47. Hey guys, just saw Split tonight and thought I’d share my take on it, etc. Forget about Lady in the Water and The Village, M Night Shyamalan is back! The Visit proved he still had it and Split finally gave us what we wanted.
    James McAvoy brilliantly delivered his performance as a man living with 23 distinct personalities, already a feat of an existence, a new personality called The Beast is emerging. Joaquin Phoenix was originally cast in the role but I don’t think it would be the same movie without McAvoy’s delivery. Although I do wish to have seen more depth in a couple of the personalities, they were still strong.
    The three actresses playing the kidnap victims were also well cast though two of them were underutilized. Anya Taylor-Joy, who we know from The Witch and Morgan, added a good layer to the story. Her character was dark but likable. Plus she really steps up to bat when the time comes.
    The presentation of dissociative identity disorder with a twist was actually done well, I had feared that they were going to do a terrible portrayal but it actually worked.
    There were some great intense scenes, never knew fashion talk would ever make me feel such unease. The use of dark humor scattered about the film was fantastic. The musical scores added to the tone significantly. The twist is a little predictable but Shyamalan fans will find a great little nugget in the last scene. Highly recommend this one! Go see it and enjoy, etc.

  48. Just went to see the Bye Bye Man (because why not?) and can very confidently say it’s not worth seeing in theaters :/ Its a great example of a good concept that gets lost in bad acting, bad CGI, and overall bad direction. But it does do some things right and has a couple of Oculus mindfuck moments. Wish it could be redone, but just a heads up for anyone who was considering seeing it.

    • The CGI dog and lack of direction killed it for me. At times it had potential then decided, nope let’s do a different movie now.

    • Oh, man. People are going to hate my review of this film. To be fair, my review was not very good from a critical point of view and was ALL OVER THE PLACE, but I genuinely liked the film and I’m seeing a lot of the same criticisms over and over again, so I may be in the minority. Thanks for the comments and don’t kill me on the next episode.

      • I overall enjoyed the movie but it was quite flawed. It had a Frankenstein effect in trying to piece together multiple concepts and ideas. Typically I find it problematic when a horror movie can’t decide if they are going to tell an antagonist’s backstory or not. They started to hint at it then let it drop into the background. Also I say again the CGI dog was awful. Missing the days of practical effects

        • I absolutely hear you.

          Always prefer practical FX.

          I don’t know why, but the beast in this movie didn’t bother me as much as most people. I think bc I hate CGI so much, I rarely mark a difference between what might be considered good or bad CGI by others. If I can tell it’s fake, not matter to what degree, I’d prefer practical.

          Your backstory comment is interesting. I’d like to think about that more on a repeat viewing. I loved everything with Leigh Whannell. It reminded me of a more gonzo Frailty. And I love Frailty.

      • I actually don’t find that too surprising. It was a really interesting concept and I found myself really enjoying it at points. But like Slashley said the CGI was too bad for me and totally ruined any genuine fear I had. The acting by everyone except the main character and the older brother also was bad enough that I just never really cared about the fate of the characters. Was really confused that they kept hinting to a backstory and kind of forgot about it. But I’m looking forward to hearing your review, i feel like there’s a lot to talk about for this one. Ugh I just really wish that this movie could be redone with better actors, less CGI and, and better direction. It had a lot of potential.

  49. I revisited The Witch last night. I honestly didn’t know what to rate it after the first time I watched it, and I still feel like it’s difficult. I don’t love the movie like so many do, but I don’t hate it, either. It just doesn’t work for me. I’m not sure why I have such a different response to what seems a near consensus, but it just doesn’t seem as technically and intellectually brilliant as everyone says it is. It does have a good atmospheric quality and the lighting is perfect (supposedly Eggers only used candles and natural lighting). Some parts, those that are supposed to be creepy/scary, felt silly to me. Not wanting to give away spoilers, I’ll just say those were Caleb’s big freak out scene, the scene with the mother and bird, and the father and Black Phillip. I just didn’t buy Harvey Scrimshaw as Caleb. He bothered me throughout, and especially in his ultra-dramatic scene.

    The other two scenes I mentioned turned away from the psychological tone of the rest of the film, without having a necessity or purpose that makes sense. Also, Eggers supposedly incorporated a lot of “authentic” lore about witchcraft (from a Puritan and Medieval Christian p.o.v.) into the film, but I’m pretty sure neither of those scenarios are from folklore. Those scenes made me scratch my head.

    All the psychosexual stuff bothered me. Made it have of a Freudian “this is all about incestuous sexual desires” feel that took away from the dread of witches and devils. Also, if it’s all about repression, how do we reconcile that with the fact the witches and the Devil are, in fact, influencing people? In other words, the supposedly repressed or paranoid ones are right.

    I didn’t like the music. I know people rave about it, but this was another aspect that just seemed silly–like the director or composer tried to hard to shove something “creepy” sounding into it. Just didn’t feel organic.

    Why would a witch live out in the middle of the woods? Usually, they were thought to be members of a community. That was the scary part. That’s how they would supposedly prey on people. It’s just lucky for the Witch that this family gets excommunicated, and is forced to go to an otherwise uninhabited area, so that she can feed off them?

    Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin and Ralph Ineson as William (the Father) do excellent jobs, but I didn’t like the other characters/actors. Katherine (the Mother) is such an unlikable character – her only role in this movie seems to be to berate Thomasin and William, or to cry. The two little kids, Jonas and Mercy, are ok, though they’re little other than brats.

    Feeling divided about this, I give the film a 5/10. If it wasn’t for all the overflowing praise, I might rate it lower, but I feel like there’s probably aspects I’m not appreciating enough.

  50. So, Slashley really liked Split. RedCapJack said on Twitter that it was his 2nd favorite M Night movie ever. That got me wondering, how do you guys rank the M Night Shyamalan films that you’ve seen?

    I haven’t thought too much about this, but I think mine so far (having not seen Split and counting Wayward Pines and Devil) would be:

    1. The Sixth Sense
    2. The Village
    3. Unbreakable
    4. The Visit
    5. Devil
    6. Wayward Pines
    7. Signs
    8. The Happening

    Lady in the Water – too bad to make my ranking
    After Earth – beyond bad
    Split – have’t seen it yet
    Last Airbender – didn’t want to see it
    Praying with Anger – haven’t been able to find it
    Wide Awake – good for what it is
    Stuart Little – good for what it is, my kids love it

    • I hadn’t thought about ranking them much, since they all tend to fall into the great or awful categories but my top would be:
      1. Signs (the first alien type movie I ever saw and is dear to my heart. The birthday party footage scene is still one of my favorite intense moments in a movie)
      2. Split
      3. Sixth Sense
      4. The Visit
      5. The Village
      6. Unbreakable (sadly haven’t finished this one in its entirety so can’t rank it higher)
      7. Devil
      Disappointments list
      1. Lady in the Water
      2. The Last Airbender (I like to pretend this one didn’t happen)
      3. After Earth (I actually walked out of this one and snuck into another more worthy movie at the theater)

      • I hear you. He usually wows me or leaves me wanting. Just got back from Split. McAvoy deserves an Oscar nod. The movie was a’ight. I really didn’t like the last three scenes. Wish he’d left it a little more ambiguous. Great piece of work, though. I’d squeeze it into my list at number 4 – above The Visit. I probably enjoyed The Visit more – this one is much more bleak and depressing – but Split gets points for being a more impressive technical achievement and for superior acting all around. I agree with your earlier statement that M Night is back. Solidly back after the last two films.

        • I have to say that this film has stayed with me and I thought about it all night last night and all day today. I think it’s an even stronger film than I initially realized following the screening.

          • Saw Split yesterday and quite loved it. My rankings would be:

            1. Unbreakable
            2. Signs
            3. Split
            4. Sixth Sense
            5. The Visit
            6. The Village
            7. Lady in the Water
            8. The Happening
            9. After Earth

            I haven’t seen Last Airbender.

            And I should add my 1-4 are 9 to 10s so any order would work.

  51. I just watched the 2016 movie The Rezort (or is it 2015 as IMDB lists?). I thought it had a very good premise. A modern day version of The Most Dangerous Game except zombies are the predators. It was well shot, and had a nice mix of practical effects and cgi. The movie did, however, fall flat for me. I just didn’t care about the characters or what happened to them. I did not find them all that likable nor was the company who set up the resort seen as being evil enough in my opinion. Is worth a watch but only once. 5.5/10 for me. I would not have made my 2016 list. Anyone else seen it?

  52. Anyone else see The Mind’s Eye? I had a chance to watch it this past weekend, and I can’t get it out of my… well, mind. It wouldn’t have made my top 10 list had I seen it in 2016, but I definitely would have mentioned it as a fringe HM.

    In all honesty, it probably would have battled Blair Witch as my most disappointing film of the year, too, but for different reasons. Blair Witch is one that I was eagerly anticipating and, ultimately, was let down by. The Mind’s Eye is frustratingly disappointing because I loved the story and plot, thought the original score and sound design were pretty solid, and the special effects were possibly the best of the year, but the acting and dialogue were just awful. If not for those two issues, this film probably would have cracked my top 10.

    As it is, bad acting and stilted dialogue, I’m not sure if it’s worth the $5 rental (on Amazon and iTunes) for everyone, but I would say if you’re a fan of Cronenberg’s Scanners then you will enjoy The Mind’s Eye.

  53. I just watched my first 2017 horror, The Snare a British paranormal/creepy mindfuck movie. It was about three early 20’s gen X’ers who go to an apartment to party and what happens when they get there. It has some rough scenes/themes, rape, incest, cannibalism, and a way too up close poop scene (nothing is actually seen that shouldn’t). It was a slow burn. Spirits in the apartment are involved, and it has a creepy vibe, especially in the second half of the film. You can tell it has a limited budget, but I think the film makers do the most that they can with it. Is not a great movie but not the worst I have seen either. The director has some potential and am curious what his next project will be. Anyone else seen it?

    • Always interesting to find out about a new UK horror flick. I hadn’t heard anything about this but your description has me intrigued though I’m a little wary of super-disturbing rape type stuff. Is that stuff handled in an exploitative/shock value sort of way or actually integral to the plot?

      • While such scenes are always a tough watch, this was not handled in a Last House on the Left sort of way. I did not find it exploitative and the conclusion was integral to the outcome of the movie in a roundabout way. It showed the character’s mental state and it shows the human condition of the characters. Not glamourous at all. This should not hold you back from watching the film.

  54. Has anyone heard about the upcoming horror movie called Kuso. Apparently it is at Sundance right now and people are walking out of the screening due to it being “gross” and “violent”. It was produced by music producer Flying Lotus, and is a montage film where all the shorts are linked around a loose theme of an eaarthquake that has hit Los Angeles and few survive. Apparently lots of sex and violence, and in one of the shorts George Clinton plays a role. I had never heard of it before but it intrigues me. Anyone else have any info/feedback on the film?

  55. This is probably a long shot considering it just came out yesterday, but has anyone watched 2017s Sadako(Ring) vs. Kayako(Grudge). Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved it when they throw two iconic franchises together. Like Frankenstein Meets the Wolf-Man or Freddy vs. Jason or Scooby-Doo and the Harlem Globetrotters. While not a huge fan of J-horror, I’ve always had a soft spot for The Ring and The Grudge and their American remakes. I really thought this new mash-up was quite a bit of fun. Weird, wonderful fun. It’s been a while since I’ve watched the originals, but I seem to remember slow build ups. This one kept moving at a pretty brisk pace which I appreciated. This was so far out there I couldn’t help but smile. Can’t wait to hear everyone’s take on it. Just watched it so I had to shout about it for a sec, thanks for giving me a spot to do that.

  56. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m still working my way through some 2016 titles that I didn’t get a chance to watch before the end of the year and updating my 2016 horror movie rankings accordingly.

    So far I’ve watched 11 2016 horror films since submitting my top 10 list, and still have about 7 or 8 that I want to watch. Of the 11 I’ve watched, Follow has come the closest to cracking my top 10 (currently would have been an honorable mention for me), but The Mind’s Eye is probably the one that made the biggest mark on me (could have been a great movie – easily top 10 – if not for the terrible acting and dialogue).

    I’ve also watched a few really solid found footage films, with Hell House LLC and The Triangle being the best of the bunch. The Similars is probably the best I’ve seen since the New Year from an objective/technical perspective; the Twilight Zone-esque storyline just doesn’t particularly resonate with me, so I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I felt it deserved. Also, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a brilliantly quiet little haunted house flick that has gotten me extremely excited for Oz Perkins’ other flick, The Blackcoat’s Daughter. Finally, Siren started off as a fun, extremely cheesy flick that knew what it was, but ended up being such a mess in the end that it landed pretty close to the bottom of my list.

    In case anyone is interested, my full 2016 horror rankings can be found at Letterboxd >> https://letterboxd.com/cinedino/list/best-of-2016-horror/

    Anyone else still updating their lists, or have you seen a 2016 horror that would have cracked your top 10 had you seen it before the New Year?

  57. I finally watched The Boy. I appreciated the creepiness throughout the film. I thought that most of the actors did a fine job and that the plot was intriguing. I thought the creepy tone was maintained throughout and I was certainly unnerved. The ending, as others have expressed, was disappointing (don’t worry, I will not go into spoilers). I had other problems with the latter half of the film and some decisions made by the filmmakers and characters alike. Overall, 6/10 and worth renting.

  58. Pingback: Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 109: Split (2017) and The Bye Bye Man (2017) and The Best Damn 2017 Horror Preview on the Internet |

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