Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 137: Top 10 Horror Movies of 2017


It’s the Horror Movie Podcast episode that’s been a year in the making: THE TOP 10 HORROR MOVIES OF 2017! In Episode 137, your faithful hosts bring you eight lists to help us assess the Horror Cinema of 2017. In addition to our Top 10 Best Horror Movies of 2017, we bring you our Honorable Mentions, our Guilty Pleasure Horror Movie of 2017, our Biggest Disappointments of 2017, the Most Overrated Horror Movies of 2017, our Dishonorable Mentions of 2017, and the Worst Damn Horror Movie of 2017! Oh, and we also bring you a little sneak peak of our Most Anticipated Horror Films of 2018.

But the No. 1 reason to listen to this episode is to hear our HMP community’s collective TOP 10 HORROR MOVIES list, which has been meticulously compiled and tabulated from 74 listener feedback submissions! Join us for the biggest episode of the year, right here at Horror Movie Podcast, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies.

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!


I. Introduction
— Preparing for this show and last-minute cramming

[ 0:03:30 ] II. HMP’s Year in Review and the Horror Cinema of 2017

[ 0:40:06 ] III. Main Event: HMP‘s TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2017
(Top 10 Best Horror Movies of 2017 from the HMP hosts and listeners)

IV. Honorable Mentions of 2017

V. Guilty Pleasures of 2017

VI. Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017

VII. Most Overrated Horror Movies of 2017

VIII. Dishonorable Mentions of 2017

IX. The Worst Damn Horror Movie of 2017

X. Non-Horror Films of 2017 of Note to Horror Fans (Horror Adjacent)

XI. Top 5 Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2018

XII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

JOIN US NEXT WEEK ON HMP: Episode 138, “Winter with the King!” Reviewing the best wintry Stephen King tales.

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, you can find all of our previous episode here on the website, with direct links to our themed episodes and franchise reviews on the sidebar. There are also 36 episodes of two other great horror podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar.


-Hear MPW’s Top 10 Movies of 2017 (of all genres)
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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.

Jay of the Dead’s links:
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Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave writes daily movie review on DVDinfatuation.com
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Dave covers the Universal Monsters, new and classic, on UniversalMonstersCast.com
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Dave covers Western movies on the We Deal in Lead podcast
Dave appears on another horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Order Kyle’s new book! The Written Dead: Essays on the Literary Zombie
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie GothicHow Zombies Conquered Popular Culture, and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter @DrWalkingDead

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

196 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 137: Top 10 Horror Movies of 2017

  1. Great listen. Is it possible to type out all of the lists for reference?

    Also, surprised no one loved The Boys in the Trees more. That movie ripped me apart.

    • Hi Eric,
      We will be adding the lists (at least the main lists) later on, after we’ve waited long enough for everyone’s curiosity to get the better of them so they’re compelled to listen! ha ha ha

      I just didn’t want people looking at the typed list and then skipping the episode if they were displeased…
      ; )

      But yes, we’ll get those those for you.


    • It was my #6 and my daughter’s #1, so I know it got at least 18 points! We loved it so much that we made cosplay for it, and it will be an annual watch for me every October.

  2. This was my list…
    1. It
    2. Hounds of Love
    3. Split
    4. The Girl with All the Gifts
    5. Get Out
    6. Raw
    7. It Comes at Night
    8. The Devils Candy
    9. The Void
    10. Mayhem
    I saw Super Dark Times after I sent my list…which is definitely top 10 worthy.

  3. Here’s what I sent to Jay:

    1. Get Out. For me this is a perfect film – both horror and otherwise, and it has held my #1 spot since February. I had an amazing theatrical experience followed by some amazing discussion with a person of color right after.

    2. IT. This film goes way beyond being just another horror film or Stephen King adaptation. It captured the human spirit (especially for myself: a bullied kid and former member of a proverbial Loser’s Club) and absolutely nailed 1989 perfectly.

    3. The Killing of a Sacred Deer. If someone had said to me, “Hey let’s sing ‘This Little Light of Mine’” for a solid 2 days after this film, I wouldn’t have been able to. All of the candles of my heart and soul were snuffed out.

    4. The Shape of Water. I don’t feel I can add anything that won’t be an echo of what everyone has been saying. I’m just happy that 2017 gets to be the year when a creature feature is (as of today) the highest-nominated film of the year.

    5. mother! What can I say? Any art (and films are art) that causes this much debate and discussion and differences in feelings/interpretations/reactions is doing its job and deserves to be on this list. I both love and hate this film. I recommend it to simultaneously absolutely everybody and absolutely nobody. I can’t think of a single other film that makes me feel that way.

    6. Boys in the Trees. Where Pinhead failed to “tear my soul apart”, this film did the job nicely. A heartbreaking tale of lost friendship and love set across the backdrop of fantastic mood. lighting, atmosphere and Halloween imagery. This will be an annual October watch (I’ve watched it 4 times this year already), and it has inspired me creatively to write again and find the Jonahs and Coreys that I too have lost over the years. While not my “BMOTY”, it is 100% my “FMOTY” (favorite).

    7. Better Watch Out. Best surprise of the year! So much fun.

    8. Alien: Covenant. I don’t want philosophy or theology or Blue Man Group dumping black oil into rivers. I want Xenomorphs and Face Huggers and Chest Bursters and gore and action and suspense and claustrophobia and one-liners. This film delivered all of those things in spades to this life-long superfan of Alien and Aliens.

    9. The Devil’s Candy. I absolutely hate heavy metal music, but I loved the hell out of this film. I almost gave it a pass until it would be available to watch at home, but I’m so glad I made the trek to see it with Dino in Cleveland.

    10. The Blackcoat’s Daughter. A dry film to be sure, but the editing and juxtaposition of the storylines were astoundingly effective.

    Honorable Mentions:
    11. Annabelle: Creation.
    12. It Comes At Night.
    13. Gerald’s Game.
    14. Creep 2.
    15. Raw.

    Guilty Pleasure:
    — The Babysitter.

    3 Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017 (Should have been better!):
    — The Belko Experiment.
    — Happy Death Day.
    — The Bye Bye Man.

    3 Most Overrated Movies of 2017:
    — mother! Yes, I recognize I also have this in my Top 5. I’m part of the problem, and the irony isn’t lost on me.

    — The Cure for Wellness. Will someone PLEASE get Gore Verbinski an editor? This 2.5 hour film felt like 4 hours long, despite being nice to look at.

    — Split. I didn’t really have a third one to put here so I’m going with Split. I liked it a lot (7.5/10) but seemed to fall short of everyone else. I’m looking forward to seeing where Shyamalan is going to take it.

    4 Dishonorable Mentions: (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th worst of the year) NOTE: I am NOT counting any Amazon Prime garbage I allowed myself to watch before I came to my senses.

    — Jeepers Creepers 3. It’s my own fault for watching this in the first place, but it’s like Salva didn’t even watch his own films as this film is sandwiched between 1 and 2, and it breaks continuity and mythology. Should’ve given it a hard pass like everyone else.

    — Lycan. Nonsense werewolf film. I think. I was confused by the end.

    — The Dark Tapes. Twitter would have you believe that this is God’s gift to horror anthologies, but it was disorientingly put together with mostly bad segments.

    — Massacre on Aisle 12. I have no idea how this got a theatrical release. Unfunny, misogynistic, homophobic, etc., etc.

    The Single Worst Damn Movie of 2017:

    — Kuso. I use this phrase very, very rarely and only when I’m certain: This is the worst movie I’ve ever seen. And here’s a word I never use at all: filth. I hope Shudder got this film cheaply and that subscribers judge them for their exclusive content like Better Watch Out rather than this.

    3 Best Non-Horror Films of 2017 (But FILMS OF NOTE for Horror fans):

    — A Ghost Story.
    — Colossal.
    — The Bad Batch.

    Top 5 Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2018:

    1. Insidious: The Last Key.
    2. A Quiet Place.
    3. The Nun.
    4. The Strangers 2.
    5. The New Mutants.

    • I wish it were October again — I could definitely go for another cozy Boys in the Trees watch right about now

    • Jody B, glad to see mother! on your list! It was my #1 because I honestly have never felt so much fear and anxiety during a movie before. My review of the of movie is, “if you hate this movie, I get it and if you love this movie I totally get it” because (like you) I can see both sides.

      • I love that you loved mother! so much, Michelle. Perfect that you had The Killing of a Sacred Deer right after it. As I mentioned on this ep, I think they are great companion pieces.

        • Hey Wolfman, I think I loved it so much because I wasn’t brought up religious and never studied religion, so that message didn’t slap me in the face like it did most people. When I left the movie, I thought the movie was speaking about celebrity and a bit about the environment, and I only realized the religious message after I read a bunch of reviews.
          And, I find it so interesting that the thing that Jay hated about TKOASD (the dialogue) is the thing that I LOVED about the movie. I thought the flat character that Colin Farrell played in this movie is almost like the character he played in The Lobster, so maybe that’s why I loved it so.

          • Very interesting, Michelle. Yeah, I’d have liked to experience mother! the way you did (and the way I experienced The Killing of a Sacred Deer).

            And, yes, I also loved the dialogue in TKOASD. I thought it made for a couple of hilarious moments and a couple of terrifying moments.

    • I put the Bad Batch in my horror list….oh well.

      I just saw Insidious, and it was incredibly scary with jump scares but I thought the storyline was a little weak/predictable. Solid 6

      Oh, A Quiet Sound looks good…

      • I’m with you, I considered The Bad Batch horror and I love it the more I think about it. Wish so bad that I could have fit it on my list. The only thing I could consider sapping it for was A Dark Song and I just couldn’t get myself to do it.

        Jay apparently hated the new Insidious. I thought the trailer looked better than some of the others, so I’m still curious. Especially with your review bc I think I tend to agree with you more than Jay.

        • I’m seeing the Insidious movie tomorrow. I haven’t seen the trailer (I’m trying not to watch any trailers since they tend to ruin the movie for me) so I don’t know if it looks good or not. I usually agree with PV as well, so I have high hopes for it.

          I put The Bad Batch on my horror list as well!

      • I counted Bad Batch as horror as well…maybe on the fringe, but still horror. A really interesting film that just got crowded out from my top ten by others higher enjoyment-wise for me. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Ana Lily Amirpour does in the future, with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and The Bad Batch being such strong and unique films, we may be seeing the emergence of a new horror “auteur.”

        • I just don’t see The Bad Batch as horror. To me it was a beautiful love story set in a post-apocalyptic world. One of my favorites of the year.

      • I love the first 2 Jeepers Creepers, but after learning about Salva’s past, I’ll never watch anything he did/does again.

  4. Top 10 Best Horror Films of 2017

    1. IT
    Terrifying and personal. Very familiar to my childhood.

    2. Get Out
    These people aren’t looking to lynch Chris or use the dreaded “N” word… what they are is far scarier and far more accurate a portrayal of racism in the modern era. And horror does what it supposed to do as it peels back the layers to reveal a darkness within that we are often too frightened to look at ourselves. This is horror at it’s absolute best! It’s a whole other level. It’s a brilliant exploration with some complex performances, especially from Kaluuya and Williams, who carry the film on their respective shoulders. From the horror and dread, Peele knows how to turn that screw and then release the valve at the right moments with uncomfortable levity and downright hilarious dialogue from Chris’ best friend, played by Lil Rel howery.

    3. Gerald’s Game
    See my review from October.

    4. Victor Crowley
    One if the best throwback horror franchises, Crowley is a joyride if splatter, give, and plays the comedy well without sacrificing the horror.

    5. The Void
    Sometimes the niche is incredibly small. A sliver of an audience or a grain, but the niche still exists and it still wants to be served. There are only so many jump scares a film can have before you go numb, only so many CGI effects before you stop feeling the impact, and sometimes the brain is starved for something “different” and also a little familiar. The Void is a perfect thirst quencher for the classic horror of the 80’s, with practical effects and intense atmosphere in place of far too loud bells and whistles of today’s modern horror.

    6. The Blackcoat’s Daughter
    This slow burn horror crawls up inside and roosts for the majority of the run-time. Then it gets you and stays with you.

    7. Annabelle: Creation
    I hate the Conjuring series but this movie caught me and held on tight.

    8. Split
    Great performance from maccavoy.

    9. Don’t Kill It
    Underappreciated minster movie, similar to The Hidden. Dolph Lundgren as a demon Hunter.

    10. Alien: Covenant
    I liked this one first all the same reasons Jay did, but not to the same extant.

    Honorable Mentions (Films that border on Horror but might not be):
    11. Kong: Skull Island
    12. Blade of the Immortal
    13. Dave Made a Maze
    14. Red Christmas

    The Single Best Guilty Pleasure of the Year:
    — Victor Crowley, I guess? I have no guilt but it’s a slasher film with comedy so it might not be for everyone.

    3 Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017 (Should have been better!):
    — The Mummy
    — Bye Bye Man
    — 13 Demons

    3 Most Overated Movies of 2017:
    — RAW (I can’t stay awake.)
    — Better Watch Out (I liked it, but I didn’t love it as much as others. It was good, though.)
    — The Devil’s Candy

    4 Dishonorable Mentions:
    — Bye Bye Man. The moment that damned dog face appeared on the wallpaper, I knew I was in for a crapfest.

    The Single Worst Damn Movie of 2017:
    — 13 Demons, straight to Netflix, worst freaking experience in watching a film… if it can even be called that.

    3 Best Non-Horror Films of 2017 (But FILMS OF NOTE for Horror fans):
    — Blade of the Immortal
    — Dave Made a Maze
    — Kong: Skull Island

    Top 5 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018 (as of yet):
    1. The Predator
    2. A Quiet Place
    3. Suspiria
    4. Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space

  5. 1922 on Netflix was a nice surprise. Not a great movie, but it left me feeling like absolute garbage, which counts for something in some circles

  6. Man, having read through reviews while posting my own on Letterbox, and with these comments…I think are people are super sheltered when it comes to dismissing movies. I entered horror via watching tons of B movies, and honestly most theatrical released horror movies never get quite down to the level of worst of the worst.

    For me the single most worst movie, the movie I saw released this year that should have been taken out behind a shed and shot, was The Black Room. This movie is a weird throwback to late night skinemax movies, with a cast including several past their prime former actresses who were known for their sexiness/nudity. Everything from the casting, to the horrible jokes, to the tone and plot was just super bad. Unless Bye Bye Man has a scene with an explicit death by rape scene, played for comedy, I doubt it is anywhere near the worst movie released this year.

    On an unrelated note, I only saw Hounds of Love and Killing Ground after I sent my list, but those would have totally been in my top ten this year.

    • Ha! The Black Room was pretty hilarious, though, I don’t know how intentional that was. Why are you in this movie, Lin Shaye? I agree, movies like this give The Bye Bye Man a whole new perspective.

    • For me, I just avoid movies I think I’m not going to like unless I hear they are really good. Nothing against bad b-movies. They can be a blast. I just don’t have time for them, anymore.

      • I do too…but sometimes, especially when prowling the wilds of streaming channels, you happen across random movies that sound like they could be good, and then you give a shrug and go “why not”.

        Conversely there were a lot of movies which looked boring/lame/cliche that I never bother to click on, but then i hear positive reviews here, and end up really liking them.

  7. I had to pause and agree that Super Dark Times is horror. It was my #1 of 2017. I was roughly the same age in that period of the the 1990s as the young leads were and the film grabbed me as a viewer and resonated with me.

    Also, anyone who watched the last 10 minutes and still says that it’s not a horror movie clearly was drinking too much spiked egg nog when compiling their lists.
    The psychological horror builds throughout the entire film & culminates with that amazing ending.

    Great movie, I highly recommend this to anyone who hasn’t seen it.

    • I watched it expecting to get really nostalgic. And I did – for about 20 minutes. I ended up not liking it as much as I expected and feeling a little let down by the story. The kids were pretty good though.

    • I think this movie got the 90’s horror right, brooding and dark suburban kids. I loved how you related this film to Tell Tale Heart, Josh.

  8. Great episode, gentlemen! Listened to all of it today. Jay, I’ve got your back, I liked Alien: Covenent. Josh, you’re right, Get Out is by far and away the best movie of the year!

  9. Here’s my mighty fine list!

    1.) Victor Crowley (everything Adam Green does is gold! More gore, more humor, more Crowley! Had the pleasure of seeing a screen in Philly that Adam Green was at and it was a thrill, this guy really cares about the art of horror film creating and it’s apparent in all that he does)

    2.) The Blackcoat’s Daughter (this film and The Devil’s Candy were so good that after the first viewing, I immediately restarted it. The ending of this film was brilliant and the mood was dark and sinister).

    3.) The Devil’s Candy

    4.) It

    5.) Better Watch Out

    6.) Get Out

    7.) The Babysitter

    8.) The Girl With All the Gifts

    9.) Gerald’s Game

    10.) The Endless (seriously check this one out! It was a low budget film that revolves around two brothers returning to the cult they escaped from as kids. Lovecraftian influences and an air of paranoia make it a fantastic film)

    Honorable Mentions:
    11.) Never Hike Alone (this is a Friday the 13th fan film that doesn’t rehash what we’ve already seen but adds to the Jason lore. Imagine a one on one stand off between 1 hiker and Jason. It’s quite brilliant)
    12.) The Evil Within
    13.) Alien Covenant
    14.) Mother!
    15.) The Belko Experiment

    The Single Best Guilty Pleasure of the Year:
    — 5 Headed Shark Attack (I also enjoyed the new Sharknado movie, don’t judge, sharks are jawsome fun. I even named my car Finn ’cause why not?)

    Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017:
    — Rings
    —Don’t Hang Up

    Most Overrated Movies of 2017:
    — Happy Death Day
    — Flatliners
    — Underworld Blood Wars

    Dishonorable Mentions:
    — Eloise
    — Killer Campout
    — Rings
    — Elder Island
    The Sing WORST Damn Movie of 2017: (Name names!)
    — xx

    Best NON-Horror Films of 2017 (But FILMS OF NOTE for Horror fans):
    — My Friend Dahmer
    — Wind River
    — The Dinner

    TOP 5 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018:
    1.) Halloween
    2.) Candy Corn
    3.) Animal Among Us
    4.) Terrifier (Art the Clown is back in action!)
    5.) The Strangers Prey at Night (the original is one of few movies to actually unnerve me, I’m really hoping this will live up to my expectations

      • I had the pleasure of seeing it at a film festival. It’s a bit of a slow burn so definitely not for everyone but I thought it was well made and acted. With the current state of the world, I’m surprised more cult themed movies didn’t come out. The Lovecraftian influences are also well used. With a budget of only about $1 million, they did well. Please post a review when you see it, I’ve been wanting to talk about it for awhile but it’s had such limited screen time. Even the ending is debatable.

    • I love that you have Victor Crowley at No 1 and that you got The Endless on there. Been wanting to see that. Was hoping to see My Friend Dahmer as well. It’s killing me. I also love that you put Never Hike Alone on your Honorable Mentions. Super cool to honor a fan film in that way. It was a better-than-average fan film, at that. Your list is jaw-some.

  10. Also since it was mentioned that Victor Crowley is a 2018 film, just want to say that I really enjoyed it and want to recommend y’all check it out. Started out with a gross out scene in a boat (fun fact, same boat is used in all of the hatchet openings) and ends with a cut scene that will make Crowley fans pump their fists in the air with joy. If you enjoyed the first three Hatchet films, you will love this entry. It’s faithful to the original trilogy but stands as it’s own as a potential kickstart for a new Crowley arc. The gore is more extreme of better quality than we’ve seen in previous films, and the death scenes invoked emotional reactions. There is one scene in a plane that struck my heart, it was brilliantly played. I actually drove 4 hours on a Work night to see this in Philly then stayed until 2am to meet Adam Green before driving 4 hours home for work at 8am…it was worth it! This guy should be considered a modern Horror director great, he has such a care and appreciation for the Horror genre that is apparent when hearing him speak. Would love to hear the HMP take on this film, also if you can interview Adam Green, I’d be incredibly stoked.

    • Despite reading so much about the Hatchet films, I had never watched them, just because the modern-day slasher doesn’t really appeal to me, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to see one on the big screen when I came to my city a few months ago. I got one of my close friends to come along once I realized what Adam Green was doing and I settled in, we had a total blast. Honestly, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much if it hadn’t been such a novel theater experience, or if I had been alone, but that night it was the perfect cinematic oddity. I can’t remember ever laughing as hard in a theater as I did at Dillon; afterward I looked it up and saw that he played Doofy in Scary Movie and it all made sense. That guy is brilliant. Really fun movie.

  11. Hope you guys don’t mind if I post the list I sent in as well (though I think I would now put Get Out in my number two spot).

    TOP 10 of 2017
    1.) RAW: If this film had come out a year earlier, or a year later, I likely wouldn’t have regarded and ranked it so highly; I say that not because this year was weak, but because Raw is a film that I would not have related to on such a personal level had it come out at a different time in my life. The film’s coming-of-age theme is emphasized through images of body horror, but there is so much conveyed through quieter scenes and passing lines of dialogue that, to me, make the film’s depiction of a troubled girl’s descent into herself so relatable and impactful. The film is saying things about the dangers of an eating disorder, one’s perception of their own beauty, burgeoning sexuality, and I guess what it’s like to eat raw chicken, and it’s all sublimated into an engaging narrative that I think has the potential to offer so much to each viewer. The Requiem for a Dream of this decade, and I can’t imagine connecting to a movie more than I do this one any time soon. I’m not sure my well-being could handle it.

    2.) IT COMES AT NIGHT: The A Ghost Story of the month of June. (Maybe my comparisons are getting a little out of hand). It Comes At Night gives the audience plenty of space to project and consider their own thoughts and feelings onto the film, and in return, we might not be given answers within the narrative, but I think the answers might come long after the runtime has ended, and I am grateful to have this medium for engagement. After I watched the film, my eight-year old nephew and I (I’m a bad uncle, I know) sat in the lobby and had a discussion about the film and our lives that went deeper than those tubs at the ice cream parlor. It was sort of weird. But I learned a lot.

    3.) THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a scarier depiction of the devil in a film. Kiernan Shipka gives the best performance of someone “under the influence” since Isabelle Adjani in Possession. Her character’s plight is heartbreaking.

    4.) BETTER WATCH OUT: This movie makes me wonder if I unknowingly had a conversation with Chris Peckover years ago, told him all of my favourite things to see in a film, and then slipped him a twenty to make the movie. A home invasion setup, a strong female lead, an antagonist of a particular, um, demographic, the Christmas season… This film is so tightly written, acted, and directed. When the biggest problem I have with a movie is its title, I can’t complain.

    5.) GET OUT: Many people have praised this film better than I ever could, so I’ll just be another one to say this movie works on every level and I love it. A modern classic, for sure.

    6.) CREEP 2: Another incredible two-hander from Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice. Desiree Akhavan adds an angle to this movie that almost immediately makes it surpass its predecessor.

    7.) ANNABELLE CREATION: Talitha Bateman is my pick for horror actress of the year. My nephew was covering his eyes and holding his knees to his chest for half the movie; sorry dude, but thanks for reminding me why I love horror movies. I’m glad he loves them too (don’t worry, I made sure).

    8.) THE TRANSFIGURATION: A beautiful film about loneliness as lived through the life of a teenaged vampire in New York City. I can’t remember the last time a movie has swerved me so hard, and I don’t even know if it was trying to swerve me.

    9.) PHOENIX FORGOTTEN: Lake Mungo meets Gerry meets The Blair Witch Project? Heck yeah, brother.

    10.) IT: Those kids, man, those kids.

    Honorable Mentions:
    13.) SPLIT
    14.) XX
    15.) A DARK SONG

    The Single Best “Guilty Pleasure” Movie of the Year!
    — WTF! A VOD release about some LA kids who are funny and also get slaughtered at an LA house, or something. I remember thinking it was ridiculous and awful for the first twenty minutes, and then being won over and loving it for the next hour. That’s got to mean something.

    3 Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017: (Should have been better!)

    3 MOST OVERRATED Movies of 2017:
    — THE BYE BYE MAN (Josh…)

    4 DIShonorable Mentions: (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th worst of the year)

    The Single WORST Damn Movie of 2017: (Name names!)
    — FRIEND REQUEST (Though this does not give credit to Jay’s assertion that Unfriended is terrible. Friend Request is everything people thought Unfriended would be – that is, bad.)

    3 Best NON-Horror Films of 2017 (But FILMS OF NOTE for Horror fans)

    5.) SUSPIRIA

    • Oooh, I don’t know how I forgot about Suspiria. That’s probably #2 for me, after Halloween on my “Most Anticipated” list. Your description of Phoenix Forgotten has me VERY curious. I hadn’t heard good things about it before now. I tried to watch WTF, but couldn’t get into it. That opening scene is insane, though. Great start. Just couldn’t sustain my interest and I was cramming for the end of the year.

  12. My list:

    1. Get Out–Instant classic! Cannot wait to see what Jordan comes up with next.
    2. Gerald’s Game–Carla’s performance was amazing!
    3. The Girl with All the Gifts–Glenn Close vs. zombies? Yes, please
    4. IT–Scary but also an impressive cast!
    5. Split–a return to form for M. Night.
    6. The Devil’s Candy–I’m a metal head, so what’s not to love.
    7. The Blackcoat’s Daughter–Just a pervasive sense of dread!
    8. Alien: Covenant–I’m with Jay! A lot of fun. Even my wife liked it and she hates horror and sci-fi!
    9. Mayhem–a blast! The Belko Experiment done right!
    10. The Void–This one took me by surprise! Starts one way, heads another. A must watch.

    Honorable mentions: Better Watch Out; Annabelle: Creation; Dig Two Graves; The Transfiguration; Creep 2; It Comes at Night; A Dark Song; and 1922. I haven’t seen Tragedy Girls yet but look forward to it.

    One film I had mixed feelings about was The Limehouse Golem–very well acted, beautifully shot but with a twist ending that I could see coming a quarter of the way through.

  13. Loved the new episode! Great work guys and really enjoyed hearing other listeners comments/cumulative list. Removed some of the spoilers in my comments I foolishly sent to Jay.

    My list:

    1. Split. – Can’t say enough about the Stellar Performance of James McAvoy. Key scene was him going through all of his personalities at the end of the film. Acting at its highest art form. Reminded me of Terminator 2 when T-1000 was melting at the steel factory. M Night is back! Bring on Glass. 9/10

    2. IT – Could have been my number 1 but once again, this director’s overuse of CGI erk’d me. Loved the mix of humor and scares, plus the kids were so much fun. Reminded me of a really scary episode of Stranger Things: (Side note: Anyone feel the creators of Stranger Things took some inspiration from the 3rd act of It Follows?). 8.5/10

    3. The Devil’s Candy. – A good ole fashion straight up horror film. Love the scene using the peep hole in the door, the paintings, and performance from Pruitt Taylor Vince. 8/10

    4. Raw – I typically don’t care for body horror, but was fascinated by a coming of age cannibal story. Several scenes made my stomach churn but never took me out of the movie. I loved how the story comes together at the end and was a huge fan of the performance from the lead character (Garance Marillier).

    5. A Dark Song – creepiest film of the year. Hearing her son’s voice on the other side of the door sent the chills racing up and down the back of my neck. . .and that ending! Love this movie and so completely underrated. 8/10

    6. The Blackcoat’s Daughter – had to think about this one a while and the more I thought on it, the more I liked it. Such a sinister film. It’s like a 1000 piece puzzle, so hard to put together but when the pieces come together, it’s beautiful. 7.5/10

    7. Annabelle Creation – wasn’t a fan of the first Annabelle movie but really enjoyed this film. High end run of the mill haunted house story. 7/10

    8. Creep 2 – a step below Creep but I can’t get enough of this character. 7/10

    9. Gerald’s Game – I just shook all over thinking about that hand!!! 7/10

    10. Better Watch Out – Reverse home invasion, which is an interesting take. Lots of silly parts but very much enjoyed the film. 6.5/10

    • Your comments were great for the show, Wes. Thanks. I liked all of the comments we got and Kagan’s voicemail. I want to encourage everyone to leave a mini-review or a voicemail for their Number 1 movie next year. That would add a lot to the show to hear from the people who loved a movie most.

      • Excellent idea! It’s great how you involve and incorporate your listeners. Really makes us feel like part of the show and part of the community.

    • Really did not like Split. Surprised you don’t have Get Out on your list, as Pastor Matt said it’s an “instant classic”. I give it a 10/10 and it’s been going in and out of my top ten list since I saw it.

      • Gore-or Movie Fan – Finally, someone else who didn’t like Split! I feel the teeniest bit validated. Out of curiosity, why didn’t you like it?

  14. Everything Wolfman Josh said about Get Out is so on point. I’m SHOCKED no one else agreed with him. It’s not even in Jay or Dave’s top 3??? Get out. Get Out squeaked into my top 10 horror films of ALL TIME!

    • Get Out stayed in my Top 10 and didn’t even stand a chance of being kicked off all year. It was fantastic because it was a horror movie with layers, I didn’t see any cheap scares and the moments of horror didn’t cause me to throw my hands up at the screen in disbelief like a lot of modern horror does. Plus the rewatchability is strong, I didn’t catch some of the subtle details like the cereal scene on the first watching. Even knowing how it ends, the story pieces together and resonates newly each time. I think this is one that will stand the test of time and be in many top 10 of the decade lists moving forward.

      • I did not, unfortunately. I had The Limehouse Golem on the list to watch and never got around to it.

        But I do look forward to your coverage of it. Thus far, I’ve heard mixed things about that movie

  15. A few things about my list. The list below is what I sent Jay, but after sending it, I became conflicted because I let myself be too influenced by what I was reading in the interwebs and so I placed some of my top ten picks lower than I would have. I’m still working a new order in my head, and I’ll post that along with some more thoughts on the films. I really wish we had an edit button on here.

    1 – The Devil’s Candy (10/10)
    When a movie incorporates my favorite music genre and imagery to create an atmosphere so dense with dread that leaves me consuming myself in my own thoughts, you know I have to place it at the very top.)

    2 – The Blackcoat’s Daughter (10/10)
    3 – Better Watch Out (9.5/10)
    4 – Get Out (9.5)
    5 – It (9/10)
    6 – A Dark Song (9.5/10)
    7 – Raw (9/10)
    8 – Super Dark Times (10/10)
    9 – The Killing of a Sacred Deer (10/10)
    10 – The Shape of Water (10/10)

    Honorable Mentions:
    11 – The Untamed
    12 – The Transfiguration
    13 – Hounds of Love
    14 – The Girl with All the Gifts
    15 – Kong: Skull Island

    The Single Best “Guilty Pleasure” Movie of the Year!
    I feel no guilt watching my movies, but if I have pick one, I’d go with Red Christmas.

    3 Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017:
    It Comes at Night
    Anna and the Apocalypse
    A Cure for Wellness

    3 MOST OVERRATED Movies of 2017:
    Killing Ground
    The Belko Experiment
    Happy Death Day

    The Single WORST Damn Movie of 2017:
    Temple. This is so aggressively bad that I had to name names.

    3 Best NON-Horror Films of 2017 (But FILMS OF NOTE for Horror fans):
    Lady Macbeth
    Brawl in Cellblock 99

    Top 5 Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2018:
    1 – A Quiet Place
    2 – Annihilation
    3 – Insidious: The Last Key
    4 – The Strangers 2
    5 – The New Mutants

    • Love your list, homie. Was surprised to see Kong so high. Didn’t realize you swung that way. I really wanted to see Anna and the Apocalypse. Did you catch that at a film festival? So curious about The New Mutants. I hope they can pull it off.

      • Hey thanks, man! I love your list too. I was hoping to get to Thelma and Personal Shopper before the end of the year, but that didn’t happen.

        Yes, I saw Anna and the Apocalypse at Fantastic Fest last year and it was good, just not great. I think it was that awesome poster that set me up for disappointment because it’s not what I expected it to be. I think it will be more liked in the community and I can see myself liking it more on a re-watch now that I know what to expect.

        For me Kong was an almost flawless throwback monster movie. My biggest problem were the two leads, but everyone else was on point.

        By the way, you should post your top ten over at MPW. I’m really curious to see your non-horror picks.

          • I didn’t see enough non-horror this year to make a very interesting list and my top horror films would have likely still ranked. If you check out my Letterboxd list, you can see some of the films I loved that weren’t quite horror like A Ghost Story, The Shape of Water and Colossal … The biggest one that wouldn’t be on that list is Three Billboards. That’s very much my kind of movie. Wind River, as well. The Disaster Artist was a bit of a letdown for me. I thought it would be my favorite film of the year. Also, being a dad or a young boy has me watching (and enjoying) way more blockbuster types of films than I used to. I enjoyed Spider Man and Wonder Woman and Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy and Baby Driver and I can’t believe it is me saying this.

            • That’s too bad, Josh. It was a great year for movies horror or not.

              I’m with you with The Shape of Water. That was actually my BMOTY. I liked A Ghost Story, but it didn’t blow me away. Same with Colossal. Three Billboards was incredible and I loved Wind River. Superhero movies were really strong this year, man. Logan made my top 10, especially after seeing it in B&W, that sealed the deal for me. But yeah, I know they’re not your favorite.

  16. Hey guys, great episode as always! Just dropping by with my list.

    I don’t know what was worse – J disparaging Killing of a Sacred Deer “awww” or Josh defending The Bye Bye Man :p each to their own of course.

    Top 10 Horror Movies of 2017
    1.) Get Out
    2.) The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    3.) The Devil’s Candy
    4.) It
    5.) The Girl With all the Gifts
    6.) Better Watch Out
    7.) Raw
    8.) February/The Blackcoat’s Daughter
    9.) Hounds of Love
    10.) Prevenge

    Honorable Mentions:
    11.) Gerald’s Game
    12.) Annabelle Creation
    13.) Killing Ground
    14.) XX
    15.) The Babysitter

    The Single Best Guilty Pleasure of the Year!
    — Happy Death Day (Sorry Josh)

    3 Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017:
    — The Mummy
    — Split
    — Alien Covenant

    3 MOST OVERRATED Movies of 2017:
    — The Void
    — It Comes at Night
    — Mayhem

    4 DIShonorable Mentions:
    — Leatherface
    — The Dark Tower
    — The Bye Bye Man
    — Rings

    The Sing WORST Damn Movie of 2017:
    — Boo! A Madea Halloween

    3 Best NON-Horror Films of 2017 (But FILMS OF NOTE for Horror fans):
    — War for the Planet of the Apes
    — Dave Made a Maze
    — Kong: Skull Island

    TOP 5 Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2018:
    1.) Shape of water
    2.) Anna and the apocalypse
    3.) Halloween
    4.) Venom
    5.) Cloverfield sequel

      • I had a lot of fun with Happy Death Day. I’m surprised about all the hate it gets. Or I’m just an idiot which is a high possibility.

        • No. I think I’m the idiot, here. Dave and William were right there with me in hating HDD when we saw it at the theater, but far more people have told me that they enjoyed it, since then. I don’t get it, but I’ll stop begrudging your enjoyment of it.

          • “Dave and William were right there with me in hating HDD when we saw it at the theater”

            Very true! In fact, I’m pretty sure my final rating for HDD was the lowest of us all.

            That said, I’m glad so many people enjoyed it, and that it made money. That can only be good news for the future of big-screen horror. It just wasn’t for me.

    • I hate Jay saying “awww”. I would like to petition against him saying “awww” ever again. Usually his humor lands with me, but for some reason that really bothered me. I still love you, Jay.

  17. Here’s my list:

    1.) mother! (10/10)–I have never felt more fear and anxiety in a movie before!

    2.) Killing of a Sacred Deer (10/10)—This movie went places that I never imagined it would!

    3.) Split (9/10)—James McAvoy was so amazing!

    4.) Personal Shopper (8/10)—I will fist-fight anyone that still says Kirsten Stewart can’t act!

    5.) Brimstone (8/10)—IMDB lists it as horror (1st), thriller (2nd) and western (3rd), so it has to be on my horror list! It has one of the best jump scares I’ve ever seen! (The gun scene with Kit Harington and Guy Pearce in the church.) I love how they changed Guy Pearce’s eye color from blue to black depending on which chapter of the movie he is in—he is so scary!

    6.) It Comes at Night (8/10)—When I saw this movie there was only one other person in the theatre, and he was so mad at this movie when it ended!

    7.) Berlin Syndrome (8/10)—I loved the ending!

    8.) Get Out (8/10)—Because of this movie I try to avoid trailers at all cost. I probably would have rated it higher, but (SPOILER ALERT) I figured out that the girlfriend was a bad guy because of the trailer and that ruined it for me.

    9.) The Blackcoat’s Daughter(8/10)

    10.) Raw (8/10)—French veterinary school is super intense

    Honorable Mentions:

    11.) Better Watch Out (7/10)—this movie would have made my top 10 if it would have ended with him going to bed and his parents coming home and cut out the ambulance scene.

    12.) The Bad Batch (7/10)—I almost turned this movie off twice, but Jason Mamoa’s eyes wouldn’t let me, and I ended up liking it

    13.) Hounds of Love (7/10)

    14.) 47 Meters Down (7/10)—Surprisingly good

    15.) Boys in the Trees (7/10)

    The Single Best Guilty Pleasure of the Year!
    – 47 Meters Down

    3 Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017:
    1. Amityville the Awakening—Amityville Horror II-The Possession is my 2nd favorite horror movie of all time!
    2. xx—I thought I was going to love this movie, but it is 35/41 on my horror list.
    3. Alien

    3 MOST OVERRATED Movies of 2017:
    1. A Dark Song-is number 30/41
    2. The Devil’s Candy—is number 19/41
    3. Gerald’s Game –is number 20/41

    I think all of those movies are okay, but not great.

    4 DIShonorable Mentions:
    —Amityville-The Awakening—I really thought I was going to love this movie
    —From a House on Willow Street—I was excited when I found out that the final girl from You’re Next was in this movie, but she was not enough to save it
    —Killing Ground—I need more from this type of movie
    —The Bye Bye Man—I actually didn’t hate it, but it is on the bottom of my list

    The Single WORST Damn Movie of 2017:
    —Phoenix Forgotten—Aliens just don’t scare me

    3 Best NON-Horror Films of 2017 (But FILMS OF NOTE for Horror fans):
    —Wind River—so heartbreaking
    —A Ghost Story—the soundtrack is amazing

    TOP 5 Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2018:
    1.) Strangers-Prey at Night—The Strangers is #8 on my favorite horror movies of all time list
    2.) Inside remake
    3.) Thoroughbreds
    4.) A Quiet Place
    5.) Piercing—I met Nicolas Pesce (the director of The Eyes of my Mother) at New York Comic Con and he told me this is his next movie and it should be out in 2018

    • I will say Mother! didn’t make my top 10 but that was a visceral and powerful film. During the baby scene, I actually verbally reacted and gripped the theater chair. The whole audience was torn, a couple folks walked out. Not a lot of modern horror can invoke such strong reactions. Even though the “twist” was incredibly obvious for me, I still had to watch and see how exactly it played out because I grew to care for the main characters as the story progressed.

      • I verbally reacted to the baby scene as well. When I saw the movie there were only about 6 other people in the theater and they all hated it so much!

    • Love your list, except I’m a little salty about your “Overrated” films. Somehow Berlin Syndrome and Brimstone flew completely under my radar. I’m going to have to find those and give them a try. You have my attention with Piercing. Curious how he’ll follow up Eyes of My Mother.

      • I know, Josh. I think it’s because I heard such amazing things about The Devil’s Candy and A Dark Song that when I saw them, they just didn’t live up to the hype for me. They are still quite high on my list. The Devil’s Candy was #21 and A Dark Song was #32, but they never had a shot at my top 10. Berlin Syndrome is great and streaming on Netflix, and I loved Brimstone, but it is so bleak, brutal and devastating it’s hard to recommend. I know Dino hated it, so it’s definitely not for everyone (and it’s very long). I can’t wait to watch EVERYTHING that Nicolas Pesce directs. I love The Eyes of my Mother so much that it made my top 10 favorite horror movies of all time. It was stars Christopher Abbott (he was in It Comes at Night) and I think he’s incredible.

  18. Thanks for another killer episode, and to Jay for all the hard work compiling listeners’ lists. I loved the template, and it makes the whole thing feel “official” and like you are taking our lists very seriously. I’m a bit of a listaholic, so making my list and hearing/seeing others’ is great fun for me.

    To go off your discussion at the beginning: I feel 2016 was an incredible year for horror, and 2017 pales in comparison. There were very solid movies this year for sure, but most of them just didn’t blow me away like my top picks for 2016 did:
    The Monster
    Don’t Breathe
    The Wailing
    Green Room
    Train to Busan
    Under the Shadow

    These are amazing films both because of the horror elements (atmosphere, dread, visuals, sound, jump scares, etc.) and the emotional aspects (story, character, emotional impact, etc.). I felt disturbed as well as emotionally invested in the fate of the characters.

    Compared with 2017, this wasn’t as much of the case. Get Out, The Devil’s Candy, and Better Watch Out were the only movies to really impress me with both the horror and emotional aspects, and even with these, aside from maybe Get Out, that emotional side wasn’t as strong for me.

    However, I’m very optimistic about the future of horror because of the success of films like Get Out and It. And 2017 shines high above 2015 and previous years. I thought of 2015 as a very weak year for horror.

    I think what you were hitting upon as far as this being a year of more human-centered horror is that films from this year tended to be more psychological. We had a lot of movies like Gerald’s Game, Super Dark Times, and It Comes at Night, which are very disturbing, at times violent, but for me really straddle the line between horror, thriller, and drama. Great films with strong emotional impact, but I just wasn’t feeling the “horror” aspect as much.

    What pleased me about the episode:
    Seeing Get Out, The Devil’s Candy, Better Watch Out, and It getting the love they deserve.

    What displeased me:
    All the love for Raw and Split. I knew these would be high on lists, but I just don’t get why Raw works so well for people. I was actually very excited about the premise for Raw, being a vegetarian myself, and enjoying “coming of age” stories. But it really didn’t tie into vegetarianism or a commentary on a meat-eating like I thought it would. I’m not even entirely sure what kind of commentary it was trying to make. And the gore just seemed over-the-top for the sake of being shocking, which always irks me.

    Anyone who has seen my comments before will understand why I didn’t like Split. I finally saw it after hearing all the acclaim, especially from HMP hosts and listeners, and figured I should give it a chance. I’ve definitely been wrong when having misgivings about a film before. Aside from my concerns about distortions and stereotypes of mental illness, I think the whole premise is ridiculous. Does the character really need to have 23 personalities, especially when we only glimpse a handful? I didn’t see James McEvoy’s acting as convincing as everyone else. It was hard to take him seriously. And the idea of the “Beast” just added another layer of fantasy that was silly to me.

    Was also unhappy about Wolfman’s disdain for A Cure for Wellness and for Jay and Dr. Shock’s inclusion of it – it was my #11, like on Jay’s list. This was a movie I was expecting to loathe because of all the negative reviews, but I got it at Redbox and decided to give it a chance. Ended up really enjoying it. Wolfman, you’re going to defend The Bye Bye Man but skewer A Cure for Wellness? Seems hypocritical. I love it not just for the visuals – I thought the story, as strange and nonsensical as it is at times, was actually intriguing. Something different and unique. I can understand it not working for you, but one of the worst of the year? That just seems like the kind of “piling on” effect like you’re claiming about Bye Bye Man.

    What I was surprised about:
    Jay putting Killing Ground as #1. OK, maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise considering No Escape as #1 for 2015. Killing Ground was another psychologically disturbing movie, but the sound and lighting on it really interfered with my enjoyment. The voices were mixed too low, and some of the darker scenes were hard to see. It’s also not that different than a lot of other movies about families who get menaced by strangers, whether it’s in this wilderness setting, or a home invasion movie. It’s definitely worth a watch, but find it hard to see as a #1.

    Also surprised that none of the hosts included The Void in their top 10, and only Doc included it in his honorable mentions, and #19 at that. Maybe it’s just because it reminded me so much of Carpenter’s work, but I really enjoyed it. Another strange, nonsensical movie, this was all atmosphere, something very important to me. It had that sense of dread that I’m always looking for.

    The Girl with all the Gifts also got a lot of acclaim elsewhere. Was surprised it didn’t make the hosts’ lists, and ranked low on the listener list. It wasn’t one of my favorites – decent, just not great – but other horror fans raved about it.

    What I wished I had heard:
    Mention of Andrew Getty’s The Evil Within. I don’t even know what to say about this movie. Bizarre, infuriating, fascinating. Hard to rate, and say whether I love it or hate it. Would be curious to hear what others thought. The story behind making the film is just as strange as the film itself.

    What I’m excited to watch now:
    Be My Cat: A Film for Anne
    The Boys in the Trees
    Hounds of Love
    The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    The Lure
    Personal Shopper
    Red Christmas (though I have a feeling I’ll hate this one but my curiosity is peaked).

    Films I’m still not convinced I should watch:
    The Bye Bye Man

    Thanks for coverage of these, some of which I may not even have heard of otherwise.

    • AnDread, I totally agree with you about Jay putting Killing Ground as his #1. It was just such an ugly film.
      mother! was my #1 movie of the year, so I do think you should see it, but it’s really hard for me to recommend it because it goes to a really crazy place.

      • Michelle, I don’t know if you mean “ugly” in the sense of the brutality and psychologically disturbing/devastating aspects. I don’t so much mind that. You have It Comes at Night and that also struck me as a brutal and devastating film. I just think Killing Ground was lacking in certain areas technically, and lacking in originality (which is not necessarily a bad thing if it makes up for it in another aspects).

        • AnDread, I meant ugly in the sense of brutality and disturbing aspects. However, I’m not opposed to brutality in my horror movies. Martyrs is my #3 favorite horror movie of all time. It’s hard for me to explain, but if a movie is going to go there, the movie needs to show me something new and give me something more than just the brutality. I have to admit, as a women, if a movie is going to be so brutal to another women/a family (for me) I need more–it’s too hard to watch otherwise. Hounds of Love was similarly brutal, but it told me a story that I haven’t seen (and is #13 on my list). I just don’t think I like brutal movies for brutality sake…for example, I don’t care for Wolf Creek, the Hostel movies (except the first one) and the Saw movies (except the first one). I hope that makes sense.

          • Michelle said: “It’s hard for me to explain, but if a movie is going to go there, the movie needs to show me something new and give me something more than just the brutality. I have to admit, as a women, if a movie is going to be so brutal to another women/a family (for me) I need more–it’s too hard to watch otherwise. Hounds of Love was similarly brutal, but it told me a story that I haven’t seen (and is #13 on my list).”

            That makes sense to me. That’s why I wouldn’t rate the film higher. I’m all for brutality and going dark places but it works better if they have a purpose besides just being shocking or extreme. Sounds like I really need to check out Hounds of Love.

            • I couldn’t agree more! You should definitely check out Hounds of Love. I’m interested to hear what you think about it.

              • So I watched Hounds tonight. Wow…what an upsetting movie. That was waaay more brutal than The Killing Ground, at least emotionally. Very well made, very tense, but an exhausting watch. Great use of music too. Rewatch value on it very low – don’t want to go through that again anytime soon.

      • As for mother!, I’m not that big on Aronofsky, so I’m doubting I’ll like it. I’m willing to give it a chance though; I’ll probably see it eventually, but am in no great hurry to seek it out.

        • I’m actually not a huge Aronofsky fan. He’s okay (but not one of my favorite directors), and that isn’t why I wanted to see the movie or why I liked it so much. If you happen to watch it, I’d love to hear what you think.

    • AnDread said: “I think what you were hitting upon as far as this being a year of more human-centered horror is that films from this year tended to be more psychological.”

      That’s not at all what my point was. My point was that several of the films were based on a internal strife and perceived personal deficiency, rather than some traditionally horrific outside force. Further, I think that some of those films actually harken back to more classical horror themes and so are not actually divorced from horror as we might initially suspect.

      I do like what you said here, that “We had a lot of movies like Gerald’s Game, Super Dark Times, and It Comes at Night, which are very disturbing, at times violent, but for me really straddle the line between horror, thriller, and drama.”

      Re: Raw. I don’t think it was intended to be a commentary on vegetarianism or meat-eating. Veggies were simply the talisman that kept the monster inside. Veggies are to this character as a crucifix is to a vampire. Dracula isn’t really about religion. The cross is a powerful religious symbol and is used to keep evil at bay.

      Re: Split. I don’t really understand your problems with Split. I absolutely understand how the film is problematic and potentially offensive in it’s treatment of mental health, but why are 23 personalities worse or better than 4? I’m sure the filmmaker had his reasons, whether a Michael Jordan fan or just a shockingly unrealistic number of personalities to set this character apart from real people who might struggle with DID. Physicalizing The Beast is not my favorite choice, but I’m reserving judgment until I see glass.

      Re: A Cure for Wellness and The Bye Bye Man. I regret naming any films I disliked, but I don’t see how my complaints qualify for piling-on. It’s just me. I’m not playing into some group think. I thought ACFW was poorly written and edited. The Bye Bye Man had problems too. I’m not promoting that film. I’m not trying to convince you to watch it. It did not even make my Top 50 Horror Films of 2017. TBBM was flat. But, as I have said, I found ACFW aggressively bad.

      Re: The Girl with All the Gifts. I liked it. It made my Top 50. As I said in my review, I just thought it was a little flat. In a world of The Walking Dead, I think a zombie movie has to do more. I felt similarly to this as I did about It Comes at Night. Except ICAN had mind-blowing cinematography.

      Re: The Void. I liked it, but I thought the acting was bad and the story was derivative. Maybe on the level of TBBM, but with much better FX. The nostalgia and make-up elevated the film, for sure.

      I unfortunately did not see The Evil Within. I am surprised that it didn’t make an honorable mention for Dave after hearing his positive review for it earlier in the year.

      My Top 50 Horror (And Horror-Adjacent) Films of 2017: http://bit.ly/2AKgL8K

      • “I unfortunately did not see The Evil Within. I’m surprised that it didn’t make an honorable mention for Dave after hearing his positive review for it earlier in the year.”

        Even though I was enthusiastic about the movie, I did state (both in my written review for October’s 31 days and on episode #133 of the podcast) that I had serious issues with the last 20 or so minutes, when I felt the movie fell completely apart. I did ultimately give it a 7, but the ending was such a disaster that it kept the movie off my honorable mentions..

        Now, if I was compiling a list of the most interesting behind-the-scenes stories of 2017, THE EVIL WITHIN would have easily been my #1.

        • Dr. Shock said: “Even though I was enthusiastic about the movie, I did state (both in my written review for October’s 31 days and on episode #133 of the podcast) that I had serious issues with the last 20 or so minutes, when I felt the movie fell completely apart. I did ultimately give it a 7, but the ending was such a disaster that it kept the movie off my honorable mentions..

          Now, if I was compiling a list of the most interesting behind-the-scenes stories of 2017, THE EVIL WITHIN would have easily been my #1.”

          Totally with you there, Doc–the bizarre ending with all the weird, fake-looking puppetry was ONE of the big problems with the film.

          But yeah, the story behind the film is perhaps more interesting than the film itself. Especially considering the release of All the Money in the World about Andrew Getty’s cousin getting kidnapped was also released in 2017. Coincidence?

          • That ending was definitely bizarre, but worse than that,

            (MINOR SPOILER) it revealed the demise of several characters I assumed were still alive! The movie never bothered explaining what happened to them, or how they ended up as part of that strange show (SPOILER END)

            And that IS quite a coincidence, isn’t it? After 15 or so years, they decide to release this movie so close to ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD? I think it definitely played a role in this movie finally seeing the light of day..

      • Wolfman Josh said: “That’s not at all what my point was. My point was that several of the films were based on a internal strife and perceived personal deficiency, rather than some traditionally horrific outside force.”

        That’s exactly what I meant by psychological – horror within the human psyche rather than from an “other” without.

        “Further, I think that some of those films actually harken back to more classical horror themes and so are not actually divorced from horror as we might initially suspect.”

        I’m not so sure on this one. Which films do you have in mind? Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? The Invisible Man? I guess I’d agree there was always a “self vs. self” thematic to horror, but really buried until the 60s and 70s, with the advent of films like Psycho, Repulsion, and The Tenant. In any case, I don’t see this psychological (maybe you don’t like the word for this but not sure what else to call it) trend as troubling because I think there will always be enough variety in such an expansive genre as horror. We’ll still see more traditional takes.

        “Re: Raw. I don’t think it was intended to be a commentary on vegetarianism or meat-eating. Veggies were simply the talisman that kept the monster inside. Veggies are to this character as a crucifix is to a vampire. Dracula isn’t really about religion. The cross is a powerful religious symbol and is used to keep evil at bay.”

        OK, that makes sense, but I guess I don’t see the point of that, since it was only one individual we see that in. We don’t even get much (or any?) explanation of why she’s a vegetarian in the first place. That aspect just seemed artificial. Anyway, I just didn’t buy the escalation into cannibalistic ravenousness, or like the way it was done.

        “Re: Split. I don’t really understand your problems with Split. I absolutely understand how the film is problematic and potentially offensive in it’s treatment of mental health, but why are 23 personalities worse or better than 4?”

        Because why create the idea of personalities that aren’t really used? If they had explored all 23 that would be different. It just seemed a sensationalistic or gimmicky way of trying to establish how messed up he was. I’d have the same problem with 4 if they only showed 1 or 2 other personalities.

        “Physicalizing The Beast is not my favorite choice, but I’m reserving judgment until I see glass.”

        I did like Unbreakable, so I will probably check out Glass. Might be interesting to see how that plays out, but I’m kind of sour on Shyamalan now.

        “Re: A Cure for Wellness and The Bye Bye Man. I regret naming any films I disliked, but I don’t see how my complaints qualify for piling-on.”

        Well, giving Jay and Doc flack for putting it on their lists seemed like piling on. Maybe it was just good-spirited teasing, but you seemed genuinely outraged or disparaging. If you didn’t like it, that’s totally fine, but I don’t think it’s any more questionable to defend Cure for Wellness than it is to defend The Bye Bye Man.

        “Re: The Girl with All the Gifts. I liked it. It made my Top 50. As I said in my review, I just thought it was a little flat. In a world of The Walking Dead, I think a zombie movie has to do more. I felt similarly to this as I did about It Comes at Night. Except ICAN had mind-blowing cinematography.”

        Agreed on both TGwAtG and ICaN.

        “Re: The Void. I liked it, but I thought the acting was bad and the story was derivative. Maybe on the level of TBBM, but with much better FX. The nostalgia and make-up elevated the film, for sure.”

        Yeah, I’m not sure how it will fare in a re-watch, but it gave me all kinds of good feels the first time around.

        “I unfortunately did not see The Evil Within. I surprised that it didn’t make an honorable mention for him after hearing his positive review for it earlier in the year.”

        It’s on Amazon Prime. It’s probably even more offensive than Split as far as depictions of mental disability go (this time intellectual disability), but it also had some really interesting things going on with it too (critiquing the desire for normalcy, for example – that will make sense if you watch it). And it’s just a kind of hodgepodge of a movie. It’s a mess, but it’s not quite like anything I’ve seen. I can’t say I recommend it, but I am curious to hear what others think of it.

        • I think what we’re disagreeing on here is that I really like my coining of Humanist Horror and you don’t. Haha

          Some of the films are psychological, characters experiencing horror because of something in their minds (Personal Shopper, The Devil’s Candy, Gerald’s Game, Split, Memoir of a Murderer, The Boys in the Trees) … but there are also films where characters experience horror because of who they are on the outside (black in Get Out, mute (gay) and a river God in The Shape of Water) or who they are in their DNA (a cannibal in Raw, a lesbian with telekinesis in Thelma). To me the connection is the notion that this is just who we are and who we are may be putting ourselves and/or others in danger.

          AnDread wrote: “I don’t see the point of that, since it was only one individual we see that in. We don’t even get much (or any?) explanation of why she’s a vegetarian in the first place.”

          It’s not just one person. We see how this impacts all four members of this family. The films that come to mind for me are The Wolf Man (1941) and The Wolf Man (2010). In the original, we simply have a film where one guy is dealing with the horror of realizing that he is becoming a monster. In the remake we learn that this monstrous nature has impacted both of his parents in destructive ways. There is so much we can draw from those narratives and so many things we can relate them to. I don’t really need more than that.

          AnDread wrote: “Why create the idea of personalities that aren’t really used? If they had explored all 23 that would be different.”

          Again, I’ll reserve my judgement for Glass, here. We may still have far to go with these personalities.

          Re: Piling on. I think we’re defining it differently. I’m talking about when group think leads to a gang mentality and a cultural push to discredit a piece of pop culture. I’m not talking about feigning shock and teasing your friends. As Kagan has pointed out, my argumentative hyperbole could have been construed as rude or dismissive. Defintely was not what I was going for.

          AnDread wrote: “If you didn’t like it, that’s totally fine, but I don’t think it’s any more questionable to defend Cure for Wellness than it is to defend The Bye Bye Man.”

          Again, not trying to defend TBBM. Questioning why others are being so hard on it when there are so many other movies this year that were objectively just as bad. It’s what I was identifying as piling-on. I could be wrong.

          • I think it’s not so much “piling on” as it is people just putting in their vote. A lot goes into some people’s lists where they obsess over it and need mechanical hearts installed… heh…

            But seriously, this is purely a numbers game. Not as many people watched some of the other bad horror movies… I didn’t throw “Kuso” because I couldn’t even get past ten minutes of that trash. And I won’t list a film I haven’t fully watched… but I did watch all of 13 Demons, and that was pretty bad. But as far as theatrical experiences… I got more out of “Cure” than I did “TBBM”.

            But everyone has different tastes. I don’t think everyone was piling on it, though… some folks might have been swayed by the press, but not all. Honestly, surprised we haven’t seen more vocal “Kuso” backlash.

          • Wolfman: “I think what we’re disagreeing on here is that I really like my coining of Humanist Horror and you don’t.”

            Hey, if it catches on, I’ll totally use “humanist horror.” Great explanation about the different aspects you’re trying to capture with the term. I think that still fits under the umbrella of “psychological horror” but maybe that makes it sound too weak, and doesn’t indicate the accepting oneself/who others are element you’re getting at.

            “It’s not just one person. We see how this impacts all four members of this family.”

            How so? I’d have to rewatch, but doesn’t the sister deny she’s a vegetarian and not back her up when she goes through the hazing ritual, which sets everything off? Don’t we find out in the end that the mother satisfied her needs by feeding on the father?

            “The films that come to mind for me are The Wolf Man (1941) and The Wolf Man (2010).”

            The comparison makes sense, but at least in terms of Raw, I just felt the execution didn’t work for me. Too comedic and cartoonish, without enough grounding in actual emotions. It was just an escalation of hunger and gore.

            “Again, I’ll reserve my judgement for Glass, here. We may still have far to go with these personalities.”

            That’s fine, but if we take the movie by itself, it should be able to stand alone. Anyway, the 23 personalities wasn’t the primary problem for me, but it does reflect the sensationalistic and silly aspect of how multiple personalities are handled in the film, which is my primary problem (not just for the social implications of this – which I have to admit also adds to my reaction – on a purely aesthetic level, the different personalities just came across as too melodramatic).

            “Re: Piling on. I think we’re defining it differently. I’m talking about when group think leads to a gang mentality and a cultural push to discredit a piece of pop culture. I’m not talking about feigning shock and teasing your friends.”

            I gotcha. I guess it just seems hard for me to distinguish between genuine dislike and when someone is being overly influenced by others’ opinions. Who knows what’s truly in someone else’s heart? And who says that any of us is free from being influenced by others? None of us would be here if we didn’t listen to what others think about films.

            My feeling is that Bye Bye Man received more attention simply because it was more widely advertised and theatrically distributed than other bad films this year. Same thing happened with The Mummy – that got as much, if not more, negative attention than TBBM. And some critics might have been overly harsh on it. I think the “piling on” effect happens more with mainstream film critics, and that’s toward almost any horror, even ones beloved by horror fans.

            But if we’re talking only in terms of horror fans, I think enough of us gave movies like TBBM and The Mummy a fair shake and recognize some of their decent qualities, even if we are still disappointed or have overall negative reactions to them. So it might just be a matter of exposure in terms of how frequently a movie gets “piled on,” not just group-think knee-jerk reactions.

            And yeah, I know you were mainly teasing about Cure for Wellness – but there’s always a bit of truth in teasing, isn’t there? It just seemed odd that one moment, you were critical about people hating on TBBM, then critical of Jay and Doc for putting ACfW on their lists, considering ACfW received tons of negative attention as well.

            Anyway, we’re just giving you a hard time Wolfman :-) Figured we’d give Jay a break for once.

            • For whatever reason we’re just not on the same frequency. I think we might be talking about different things with Raw and we’re defintely talking about different things with the “piling-on.” That’s fine. I must not be expressing my ideas well, but I get what you’re saying.

  19. My lists:

    Top 10
    1.) Get Out
    2.) The Devil’s Candy
    3.) Better Watch Out
    4.) It
    5.) The Void
    6.) The Blackcoat’s Daughter
    7.) Cult of Chucky
    8.) It Comes at Night
    9.) Gerald’s Game
    10.) The Belko Experiment

    Honorable Mentions:
    11.) A Cure for Wellness
    12.) The Bad Batch
    13.) The Transfiguration
    14.) Dig Two Graves
    15.) A Dark Song

    “Guilty Pleasure”: Cult of Chucky – totally ridiculous but fun as heck

    3 Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017: (Should have been better!)
    The Mummy
    Alien: Covenant

    3 MOST OVERRATED Movies of 2017:
    The Girl with All the Gifts

    I didn’t do dishonorable mentions or the worst movie.

    3 Best NON-Horror Films of 2017 (But FILMS OF NOTE for Horror fans):
    Colossal – Has some dark dramatic elements and monsters…kinda
    The Beguiled – No Jay, not horror…but still atmospheric and bleak
    My Friend Dahmer – Interesting take on early years of a serial killer, based on a graphic novel written by a high school classmate and sort of friend

    TOP 5 MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2018 (as of yet):
    1.) Halloween – With Jamie Lee Curtis attached and John Carpenter producing, I’m hopeful this will be a return to the spirit of the original!
    2.) Death House – Star-studded cast…if nothing else, I’ll be wowed by seeing all these iconic horror actors in the same film!
    3.) Winchester – Promising premise that will probably have some interesting psychological/dramatic elements.
    4.) Meg – The novel is fun, and if done right, this giant killer shark flick could be amazing!
    5.) Abruptio – Haven’t heard much about this but saw it starts Jordan Peele, James Marsters, Sid Haig, and Robert Englund…as puppets?…sold!

  20. Josh, I hope you know me well enough at this point that I don’t dog pile on movies. I was genuinely excited about the Bye Bye Man. I like the title, I had no issue with it. I listened to the podcast from the author of the original short story before I even knew a movie was being made, and I thought it was an amazing concept. I was excited about the cast with surprising inclusions of Faye Dunaway, Leigh Whannell, and Carrie-Anne Moss. I am always stoked to see a female director, especially a person with a love of horror like Stacy Title. I did see the negative reviews before going to the theater, which for horror films I usually ignore because mainstream critics frequently underrate and rag on horror films. But I genuinely go in to all movies wanting to like them.

    I wasn’t completely disappointed by The Bye Bye Man. The film had a few genuinely chilling moments, I still liked the concept, and I was entertained at times.

    However, the film really did not ultimately work, and I have to be brazen. It had some HUGE problems. Some of the acting in it was the worst acting I’ve seen in a megaplex wide release film in my life. No, that’s not hyperbole. If I had to point to one problem, that is it. It isn’t the name, which doesn’t bother me, and it isn’t the CGI dog, which I have to agree that I’ve seen worse.

    I’m not being hyperbolic, and I’m not dog piling. Also, I have to point out that I have no incentive to attack this film, and I’ve really refrained from it until now.

    What I do have a problem with is how you are trying to disallow others to have a problem with it. If the film was actually good and we were missing that point then by all means. But the truth was that the film was extremely problematic, and one of the most disappointing I saw in 2017. 

That being said, I want Stacy Title to keep making movies. I want to see her make another horror movie. Hell, I would go see Bye Bye Man 2 if she made it, but you CANNOT tell me that the Bye Bye Man was a solid film. It just wasn’t. I’m sorry if that upsets you, but you cannot make this a good movie no matter how fervently you disavow its critics.

    Now, are there people dog piling on this film unfairly? Probably. However, I think you owe it to the listeners of this show not to undercut our opinions so disrespectfully. I can count about a dozen very smart, horror-savvy, cinephiles who are loyal listeners of this show who didn’t like the Bye Bye Man for perfectly legitimate reasons. Why do you continue to disenfranchise us on this opinion?

    • Ditto on a lot of this… It wasn’t my worst film of the year, but it is the worst I saw in the big screen and I was super excited for it. And I was let down… It wasn’t the name, which I thought was cool. It was the main plot… The story with Leigh Whannels character was FAR better. But nothing else worked, from dog to acting, to pacing. I’d like to see a directors cut if the film, but I can’t see why you defend it so much other than friendship.

    • Quick addendum here Josh, I’m being pretty harsh in the stuff above. I apologize for that. I do also sympathize with you . It sucks to hear people attacking a film you like when it seems unfair. I know you are fans of Stacy Title and John Penner, and I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m attacking them. I’m really not meaning to.

      For the record, I didn’t send a “worst damn movie of the year” submission. I’m not thrilled with doing that either. I general, I would prefer not to attack movies. Having made a movie from the script, to shooting, to scoring, and editing and having it turn out like crap, I have a great deal of respect for movies that even make it to wide release.

      I’ll always have a fundamental level of appreciation for The Bye Bye Man. I hope I didn’t say anything above that was unkind or unfair. That wasn’t my intention.


    • Kagan – First, know that I didn’t see any lists until now (I’ve been enjoying seeing them roll in on the site) so I wasn’t speaking to you or any of our listeners, directly. I was speaking to the snarky comments I’ve seen out in the inter-world about TBBM and the concept of piling-on in general. Mainly, I was making a point about why I typically don’t like to name a “Worst Damn Movie” or “Dishonorable Mention” when we do these lists. I don’t think it’s productive or fun.

      I have to disagree with you on your points about the film, but I’m not going to argue them with you. I’ve said my peace on the movie. I’d only say that I screened several films on the level of TBBM this year and several worse that aren’t getting the same kind of negative attention.

      Lastly, I’m not trying to convince anyone to see TBBM or even argue that it’s good. It didn’t even make my Top 50 horror films of the year! I was simply stating that it’s not all that bad. I wasn’t offended by it. Disappointed, yes. There were other films where I was actually upset by how bad the viewing experience was.

      My Top 50 Horror (And Horror-Adjacent) Films of 2017: http://bit.ly/2AKgL8K

  21. It’s really hard for me to rank all of these films because I pretty much enjoyed watching all of them. I like horror films; big budget, low budget, studio, independent, new filmmakers, old filmmakers, filmmakers that are trying something new, familiar tropes, films that fail, films that succeed and everything in between. This is an inclusive ranking of all the horror films that I watched this year. They’re not in order of my ratings, they’re in order of my favorites. I just kinda throw them into my list willy-nilly throughout the year and the order could easily change given more time. There’s also a link to my Letterboxd, where I keep my list.

    1. Get Out
    2. It
    3. The Devil’s Candy
    4. Kong: Skull Island
    5. Better Watch Out
    6. The Shape of Water
    7. The Belko Experiment
    8. The Blackcoat’s Daughter
    9. Alien: Covenant
    10. It Comes at Night
    11. A Dark Song
    12. Creep 2
    13. Prevenge
    14. Split
    15. A Cure For Wellness
    16. The Void
    17. Before I Wake
    18. Annabelle: Creation
    19. Mayhem
    20. The Transfiguration
    21. The Mummy
    22. Jigsaw
    23. The Bye Bye Man
    24. Hounds of Love
    25. Super Dark Times
    26. Stake Land II: The Stakelander
    27. Savageland
    28. The Babysitter
    29. Life
    30. Found Footage 3D
    31. Jackals
    32. The Girl with All the Gifts
    33. Killing Ground
    34. Raw
    35. #From Jennifer
    36. Red Christmas
    37. Capture Kill Release
    38. You’re So Cool Brewster! The Story of Frightnight
    39. Happy Death Day
    40. Phoenix Forgotten
    41. Sadako vs. Kayako
    42. Gerald’s Game
    43. Never Hike Alone
    44. It Stains the Sands Red
    45. Wish Upon
    46. Rings
    47. Don’t Kill It
    48. All I Need
    49. Don’t Hang Up
    50. Death Note
    51. Personal Shopper
    52. The Lure
    53. Berlin Syndrome
    54. Devil in the Dark
    55. Patchwork
    56. Boys in the Trees
    57. The Untamed
    58. Cult of Chucky
    59. Another Evil
    60. Creepy
    61. Seoul Station
    62. Havenhurst
    63. We Go On
    64. 47 Meters Down
    65. mother!
    66. Don’t Knock Twice
    67. Lake Bodom
    68. 1922
    69. The Monster Project
    70. Leatherface
    71. The Hatred
    72. Dearest Sister
    73. Arbor Demon
    74. Little Evil
    75. XX
    76. The Houses October Built
    77. We Are the Flesh
    78. Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl
    79. Once Upon a Time at Christmas
    80. The Dark Tapes
    81. The Axe Murders of Villisca
    82. Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies
    83. Gremlin
    84. The ReZort
    85. Valley of Ditches
    86. The Evil Within
    87. I Was a Teenage Wereskunk
    88. Pitchfork
    89. The Black Room
    90. Ghosts of Darkness
    91. From a House on Willow Street
    92. Alena
    93. 12 Feet Deep
    94. Dig Two Graves
    95. Kuso
    96. Darkness Rising
    97. Night Kaleidoscope
    98. VooDoo
    99. Clinical
    100. Be Afraid
    101. The Elf


    • Dang, Dark Mark, you watched 101 horror films this year?! You’re giving me an inferiority complex, as I only saw something like 36. Got a lot of catching up to do.

      Disappointed to see Dig Two Graves so low, surrounded by movies I haven’t even heard of.

      Just out of curiosity, at what point does your list turn from movies you thought were enjoyable and would recommend to others, to movies you felt either indifferent toward or downright disliked?

      • I just had a good year of watching horror! Hmm, I think I start feeling indifferent around 71, The Hatred. For recommendations I usually recommend depending on the person or conversation so it’s hard to say. Yea, I really need to rewatch Dig Two Graves. I actually bought it so that won’t be a problem!

    • Also, daring move to put Kong: Skull Island at #4. Not horror by my reckoning, more action with monsters, but as a giant monster fan, your ranking gives me a bit of glee.

      • Old Kong! I rated it a 7/10 and I admit it has some problems, but I had a blast watching that movie. It may be the film from this year that I’ve rewatched the most so that bumped it up on my list. It feels like an old Universal film and is almost a complete remake of The Land Unknown (1957) so it’s right in my wheelhouse. It’s definitely more action with a big monster but Shape of Water is on my list too and it’s like a romance with a monster so I guess I just like monsters.

    • Incredible list, Mark. I was going to say, I am passionate about the ranking of my Top 6, but there’s not a huge disparity between any of the films on my list #7-30 or #31-51. I’m shocked that The Elf was really that bad and I’m loathing reviewing it next Christmas (although, I am a bit curious, thanks to you).

      • Thanks, Josh! I’m mostly passionate about my #1. The last few could be in a different order depending on my mood. The Elf stuck out because I watched it close to the end of the year surrounded by some classic annual Christmas rewatches. I actually bought The Elf even though it was one of my least enjoyable watches this year. I really liked the opening scene!

        I saw three movies from my top ten at screenings with the filmmakers. Two you tweeted about and one at the meet-up, so thanks for that!
        The Devil’s Candy
        Better Watch Out
        The Shape of Water

  22. My top ten:

    1.) The Devil’s Candy
    I went into this not expecting anything great, however; I was blown away by it. The easiest way to get me to love a movie is to have it affect my black heart. If a film can make me truly care about the characters and relationships, I’m able to overlook various other problems that a film may have. I loved the relationship between the father and daughter. In this era of horror where a viewer can have a pretty good idea of who lives or dies (Or at least has an uncertain outcome vs certainty), I honestly didn’t know who would live or die. This became even better for me when one of the characters I felt so unsure about was a child, when children are seemingly 99% of the time safe. Rating: 10/10

    2.) Better Watch Out
    As far as replay value goes, I would actually switch my #2 and #3 films, but my initial reactions for Better Watch Out seemed strong enough that I had to keep it at #2. It handles everything pretty perfectly. Early on, I was a little skeptical as to how they were possibly going to keep the interest up when they got into the story so quickly, but then a completely unexpected moment happened and from that point on, I had no idea what was to come. The movie kept surprising me and I appreciate that so much. As much as I enjoyed Krampus, it just felt a little short from becoming the modern Christmas classic that Trick ‘r Treat became for Halloween, but Better Watch Out managed to do what Krampus came short of doing. Rating: 9/10

    3.) IT: Chapter 1
    Out of all of the movies on my list, IT is the film I’ve seen the most. Initially, I wasn’t completely blown away, but I’ve found it only becomes more and more fun with each watch. The friendships and the bizarre tale of a killer clown was engrossing and the sort of tale that you enjoy re-entering the world with each watch, similarly to how I feel whenever I go back to binge through the Harry Potter stories again. I’d describe it as more unsettling than scary. The way Pennywise could change his moods so quickly left him very creepy. As someone without any real history with IT (Only saw the original movie this time last year and haven’t read the book yet), I believe it’s why it’s taken me additional watches to get more emotionally invested in it all. Rating: 9/10

    4.) The Girl With All of the Gifts
    Essentially, this film covered everything I appreciate most in horror films. It had a lot of emotion like in The Devil’s Candy, but it also took a typical horror story of the undead and made their own version of it to make it unique. While there’s been a lot of great acting from children in the last couple of years, Sennia Nanua deserves far more attention than she’s been getting. Rating: 9/10

    5.) Raw
    The film starts off making you think it’s just going to be some gross film, but not unlike Better Watch Out, it takes an unexpected turn and like The Devil’s Candy, the family relationship ends up carrying this film. Far more emotions in this than you’d expect from a story about cannibalism. Rating: 8.5/10

    6.) Dave Made a Maze
    I’ll describe this as “If Dan Harmon made a horror movie”. Out of these ten films, it’s the most creative. Sure, it’s not a dark film and many will find it to be too lighthearted or wacky to be horror, but in a year where horror was dominated by fringe films, I feel this fits horror in 2017 just as well as any of the drama/horrors of the year. 8.5/10

    7.) The Belko Experiment
    I saw this on the same day as Get Out and I actually ended up enjoying this more. Part of it may have just been expectations. I went into this without any and I came away with a really fun, bloody tale. A goal of a film like this is to have me unsure about who I think will end up surviving. At the start of the film, I had a few ideas of who would survive, including one favorite, and I was pleased to see that I was ultimately wrong. I’m not a huge fan of the very ending though. Rating: 8.5/10

    8.) Get Out
    I saw this later than most, catching it just before it left the theater. Perhaps my lateness played a role in why I was left a little underwhelmed after hearing so much praise for it. Although I found the comedy funny, it wasn’t something I was interested in seeing here. Every time the film switched from the main story to the comedy sub-plot, it felt a bit like the film was wasting my time rather than just staying on what truly mattered. The main story is superb though. The acting by Daniel Kaluuya, especially when he was just communicating with his eyes should be award winning. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Kaluuya is in one of my favorite episodes of Black Mirror entitled “Fifteen Million Merits”. If you enjoyed Kaluuya’s performance in Get Out, check out that Black Mirror ep too. Rating: 8/10

    9.) Hounds of Love
    Plenty of uncertainty and emotion in this film. It’s the sort of movie where it could easily end on a very dark note or it can go for the happy ending. Regardless of which ending they went on, I got really emotionally invested in the family relationships again. The tension at the end was some of the best suspense in any horror of 2017. An ideal film for anyone who is a fan of true crime. If you enjoyed the movie and you’re a fan of true crime, I’d suggest looking up David and Catherine Birnie. Various elements of Hounds of Love seemed to be taken directly from the Birnie case. I’d suggest checking out the podcast, Case File episode 31: The Killer Couple, for a forty minute lesson on who the Birnie’s were. Rating: 8/10

    10.) A Dark Song
    As someone who is so exhausted with supernatural films for years, I loved that this was a movie handled the supernatural in a realistic manner. The entire first half of the movie is a giant question mark. Are they really going to be able to contact the dead or is it complete BS? Without spoiling the answer to that, I found myself not even caring what direction the film would go. Whether it was kept realistic and it wasn’t really supernatural or if they finally dived into the supernatural. You’re constantly going back and forth, re-accessing how you feel about the two main characters. This is an ideal film for anyone who is tired of supernatural films being so repetitive. Rating: 8/10

    *Note* I did not count Blackcoat’s Daughter as a 2017 film since I saw it in 2016 and I included it in my 2016 top ten list (#4). Had I counted it as a 2017 film, I imagine it would have remained at the #4 spot.

    • Sal, interesting that you ranked Get Out so low, but I can understand that if the comedy didn’t work/was distracting for you. Don’t agree with you about the emotional aspects of Raw and The Girl with All the Gifts…those were totally missing for me, and was one of the reasons why I didn’t like the films as much. That’s a subjective thing though. Your reviews do a great job of capturing your thoughts on the films. Will have to check out “Dave Made a Maze” and re-watch that Black Mirror episode with Daniel Kaluuya in it!

      • It seems like for every film in my top ten, there was one element that worked for me well enough that it got a spot on the top ten. Whether it’s the family relationships, other emotional connections, or the surprise factor. If those elements do not impact others like it did me, it makes perfect sense to me why others may not agree with my high ratings.

  23. Hi I’m listening right now and Jay you mentioned a movie called Jackals. That sounds amazing! It sounds very similar to a movie with Brian Denehy, James Woods and Michael O’Keefe from the 80s called Split Image. In that movie James Woods is hired by Brian Denehy to Deprograhm his son who got mixed up with a religious cult. I liked it at the time and a more modern take sounds interesting. Great show I love all your podcasts especially Horror movie podcast.

    • Ha! Jay was mad at me on the show for rating Jackals a 6. That’s my Letterboxd rating so it was more like 3/5 stars. I really liked the film but my gut told me it was a 6/6.5 quality. Jackals is definitely worth watching it if you like the premise (which I did) and it has some good scares. I’m interested to see what others think of it. I’m glad it was on Jay’s list because I like seeing top 10 individuality.

  24. Killing it as usual, guys. But I hear you talk about how great 2017 was and I can’t help but feel that it’s a little down compared to 2016 which I thought was phenomenal. I guess the only way to compare is to rewrite your “best of” lists to contain both years and see which year has more entries. It’s a thought experiment but I feel like 16 outshined 17 because, at first pass, I’d put The Green Room, The Wailing, Don’t Breathe, Hush, Train to Busan, Autopsy of Jane Doe, and 10 Cloverfield Lane over almost everything (except Blackcoat’s Daughter).
    Great episode and thanks!

  25. Here’s what I sent in:

    TOP 10 of 2017
    1.) Get Out
    2.) It
    3.) Personal Shopper
    4.) The Blackcoat’s Daughter
    5.) Split
    6.) Brimstone
    7.) Happy Death Day
    8.) Annabelle: Creation
    9.) The Devil’s Candy
    10.) Mother!

    Honorable Mentions:
    11.) It Comes at Night
    12.) The Blackwell Ghost
    13.) Mayhem
    14.) Life
    15.) The Girl With all the Gifts

    The Single Best Guilty Pleasure of the Year!
    — Cult of Chucky

    3 Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017:
    — Alien Covenant
    — 47 Meters Down
    — Cure for Wellness

    3 MOST OVERRATED Movies of 2017:
    — Better Watch Out
    — The Babysitter
    — Alien: Covenant

    4 DIShonorable Mentions:
    — The Bye Bye Man
    — The Snare
    — Rings
    — A Cure for Wellness

    The Single WORST Damn Movie of 2017:
    — Don’t Kill It

    3 Best NON-Horror Films of 2017 (But FILMS OF NOTE for Horror fans):
    — A Ghost Story
    — John Wick Chapter 2
    — Logan

    1.) The Meg
    2.) Halloween
    3.) The Predator
    4.) A Quiet Place
    5.) Unsane

    • Totally missed Brimstone and haven’t even heard of The Blackwell Ghost. Love seeing A Ghost Story on there. Salty about Better Watch Out. Perplexed by Happy Death Day. Great list!

      • I didn’t hate Better Watch Out. Honestly, after the reveal early in I just wasn’t on board anymore. I’m sure I’ll give it another shot at some point. Thought it was very well made; will be checking out whatever the director does next.

        I just had a really good time with Happy Death Day. The lead actress was awesome and I loved the central mystery; loved, loved the killer reveal. Totally see why people didn’t get into it, but it worked for me.

    • Great list, Jonathan! I had Brimstone on my list as well at #4. It’s so devastating and heartbreaking, but I thought it was so good!

  26. This was a really good year for horror, imo. I agree with Josh’s general comments on the show – I feel like 2016 was a stronger year from top to bottom, but my top 5 of 2017 are far superior to my top 5 of 2016.

    I watched 101 new horror releases in 2017; that is to say, 2017 movies that I considered horror. So that excludes titles I don’t count as horror, such as Thelma, Super Dark Times, The Boys in the Trees, The Shape of Water, Memoir of a Murderer, The Bad Batch, Colossal, and a handful of others that I’ve seen classified as horror by some. That said, I don’t have a problem with any of these films being called horror because genre classification is largely a subjective choice. The only 2017 horror film I really wanted to see that I didn’t get to was My Friend Dahmer.

    Below is what I sent in to Jason for the show. If anyone is interested, here is a link to my complete 2017 horror rankings+ratings: https://boxd.it/X2ng

    Top 10 Horror Films of 2017:
    1) The Blackcoat’s Daughter • Directed by Oz Perkins
    Atmospheric, unsettling and scary as shit, Perkins blends his patient, artful direction with an incredible soundtrack to build up to a completely bonkers ending. 9.5/10

    2) Get Out • Directed by Jordan Peele
    Smartly written and conceived, and masterfully executed, Peele manages to create a chilling and fun film that’s as entertaining as its message is important. 9.5/10

    3) Raw • Directed by Julia Ducournau
    Not your typical cannibal film, Ducournau’s feature debut is a strikingly stylish and layered coming of age story with a killer soundtrack and more than a few memorable moments. 9/10

    4) The Devil’s Candy • Directed by Sean Byrne
    Replete with excellently suggestive visuals and audio cues, but it’s the family dynamic and development of the main characters that make this film stand out. 8.5/10

    5) It • Directed by Andy Muschietti
    Incredibly fun, and absolutely terrifying at times, Muschietti’s adaptation is marred only by some questionable CGI choices. 8.5/10

    6) The Killing of a Sacred Deer • Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
    Odd and uncomfortable to watch, Lanthimos concocts a complex and singular experience with one of the most tense climactic scenes of the year. 8.5/10

    7) The Untamed (La Región Salvaje) • Directed by Amat Escalante
    Perhaps a bit too ambitious for its own good, Escalante still manages to explore the horrors of our most basic, animalistic desires once social mores are stripped away. 8/10

    8) Tragedy Girls • Directed by Tyler MacIntyre
    An incredibly fun ride with over-the-top gore and just the right amount of meta horror moments, and commentary on the ills of social media, without going overboard. 8/10

    9) A Dark Song • Directed by Liam Gavin
    The build-up over the opening two-thirds of the film is so relentless and affecting that it wears on the audience, which pays off with a bonkers – and truly scary – final act. 8/10

    10) Rift (Rökkur) • Directed by Erlingur Thoroddsen
    Beautifully shot, quiet and unsettling, Thoroddsen pieces together an unsettling tale of complex emotional and psychological struggle… with one of the most disturbing moments captured on film this year. 8/10

    Honorable Mentions:
    11) Personal Shopper • Directed by Olivier Assayas
    12) Prevenge • Directed by Alice Lowe
    13) The Transfiguration • Directed by Michael O’Shea
    14) The Lure (Córki Dancingu) • Directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska
    15) Alien: Covenant • Directed by Ridley Scott

    The Single Best “Guilty Pleasure” Movie of the Year!
    — Happy Death Day • Directed by Christopher B. Landon

    3 Biggest Disappointments of 2017:
    — The Mummy • Directed by Alex Kurtzman
    — Rings • Directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez
    — A Cure for Wellness • Directed by Gore Verbinski

    3 MOST OVERRATED Movies of 2017:
    — It Comes at Night • Directed by Trey Edward Shults
    — Gerald’s Game • Directed by Mike Flanagan
    — Hounds of Love • Directed by Ben Young

    4 DIShonorable Mentions:
    2nd worst — VooDoo • Directed by Tom Costabile
    3rd worst — The Institute • Directed by James Franco and Pamela Romanowsky
    4th worst — Night Kaleidoscope • Directed by Grant McPhee
    5th worst — The Unkindness of Ravens • Lawrie Brewster

    The WORST Damn Movie of 2017:
    — Pitchfork • Directed by Glenn Douglas Packard

    3 Best NON-Horror Films (of note for horror fans) of 2017:
    — Thelma • Directed by Joachim Trier
    — Apprentice • Directed by Boo Junfeng
    — Super Dark Times • Directed by Kevin Phillips

    **I wanted to avoid repeat films on the different lists in an effort to mention/recognize as many films as possible. However, I also wanted to mention that The Mummy is probably tied as my biggest guilty pleasure of the year, and Alien: Covenant is also one of my biggest disappointments of the year despite also being one of my honorable mentions.

    • Wow! Dino! Your list completely surprised me. For starters, I have never heard of Rift. I’d like to search that one out. Love seeing The Untamed and Tragedy Girls on your list for some nice diversity.

      I will say … I’m surprised to The Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Untamed confidently on your list while, in the same breath, you’re saying that films such as The Bad Batch, Super Dark Times, Thelma and Memoir of a Murderer aren’t horror. As you say, the whole genre classification thing is subjective, but I’m a bit puzzled because I think the level of horror is comparable. In fact, I’d say the level of horror is even greater in the films you chose to leave out.

      Also, I somehow missed that you weren’t a fan of Hounds of Love or Gerald’s Game this year. I’d love to hear why. I’d also have thought that It Comes at Night would have been your kind of film.

      I like your honorable mentions. You’re killing me with your guilty pleasure. So glad I avoided Pitchfork at your advice. I know a couple of others commenters here were fans of it.

      Not sure I’ve heard of any of your Dishonorable mentions.

      I thought I knew you well, but you really surprised me this year. Great list!

    • As Wolfman said, Dino, this is an interesting list. I hadn’t heard of any of your dishonorable mentions, but I’m kind of intrigued to watch them just to see how bad they must be to rank at the bottom of 101 films. Also, some of the titles are awesome – The Unkindness of Ravens, e.g.

    • Great list, bro. I’m so glad you came around to The Untamed. From the few comments I saw on twitter, I had the impression that you disliked it. A few things about the movie that I’m not sure you’re aware of (because we haven’t properly talked about it):

      -La Región Salvaje translates to The Savage Region.
      -The director is a big fan of Lars Von Trier and worked with many of the people he works with. This is actually a Mexican/Danish production.
      -México has a weird sexual tension underneath all of its religious and societal norms. It’s highly critical of sex before marriage and same gender sex. This way of thinking is taught at school, at home, and at church, so there’s no escaping it. On top of that, there’s a big gender inequality and machismo that permeates the country. Sex is treated almost as taboo and parents don’t typically discuss sex with their kids. Add to that the big chunk of the country that lacks basic education and you’re pretty much on your own if you want to explore the topic of sex. I’m sure you got all of that from your viewing, but having lived in that atmosphere, I really related to the characters and felt their pain.

  27. As much as I loved “IT: Chapter One”(especially as a child of the ’80’s) but I’m worried about what they will do without the great young cast, set in modern day. What terrifying image will Pennywise appear as next? Trump? Harvey Weinstein? Matt Lauer? James Franco as an Oscar host again? That all may be too horrifying for me to watch.

    • Inside informants rumor that Pennywise is confirmed to appear as a “terrible, social media based horror film.” Makes sense. What’s more horrifying than clowns?- Low rotten tomato scores, that’s what…

  28. Pingback: Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 273: Darkest Hour (2017) and Molly’s Game (2018) and Insidious: The Last Key (2018) |

  29. Great show. Love to see all these list with commentary over here too !

    I won’t post my lists, since it’s a pretty standard one.

    Something I do want to mention :
    I don’t get all the praise for The Devil’s Candy. Yes, it’s a good movie (I put it at my number 14) with some great performances and cinematography, but it seriously lacks in the narrative and character departments in my opinion. It really felt to me like the movie was missing and entire act (what was the deal with the firm/people interested in the new paintings ? what were the voices ? why … well, why everything ?). Seeing the movie was also so short, I went and check if my German blu-ray was cut or another version, but that was not the case … I thought the characters were very flat too. The girl is only a variation on the typical weird-girl-at-a-new-school, the mom is unmemorable and the dad doesn’t do much but brooding and forgetting his kid at school.
    I was also a bit annoyed with all the metal references thrown at the viewer. It didn’t add anything and felt a bit juvenile. It might as well have been jazz or techno. In Green Room the punk music felt much more “organic” and necessary to the story. And I even consider myself somewhat of a metal/hard rock fan.

    No offense to anyone :)

    Keep up the good work !

    • I agree with your general sentiment that the movie seems to be missing some connective tissue. I feel it would have been better had it developed the mythology more. Not that everything needs to be spelled out, but if there was some sense of why the house is a locus for evil energy, then the idea of characters transgressing could be used to build suspense. As it is, I remember the movie more as a series of vignettes than a connected piece. I’m guessing for some, the family relationships are enough to center the film.

    • There’s a line in the film (and I must apologise as I am paraphrasing from my terrible memory) about the tiniest shred of greed in a persons heart being all Satan needs? Or something along those lines? So the art people interested in Jesse’s paintings represented this and put him in a position where he had to make the choice whether to keep his promise to his daughter or to pander self-servingly to the art people. Everything regarding those people represents temptation; materialistic appreciation of fancy cognac, the promise of fulfilled ambition, the potential for financial gain. Giving in to that temptation is all it takes to “let the devil in” so to speak and it’s because of choice Jesse makes at this point in the film that leads to the climax. You can choose to interpret the art gallery people as being actively demonic/satanistic and working purposefully to sway Jesse in the wrong direction or you can interpret them as simply being regular vaguely hedonistic art critic types portrayed in an exaggeratedly sinister way in order to represent the opportunities for transgression that we all come across throughout life. Either way, they are doing the devils work and definitely serve both narrative and thematic purposes in the film.

      • Wow… this is on point. It’s a great example of how TDC can seen like a slight film, but there’s a lot more under the surface when you dig a little.

  30. I agree with you, Rob. I think it’s a pretty good movie but it is #22 on my list. And I also consider myself somewhat of a metal/hard rock fan.

  31. Here’s my list. I included comments for the two movies that I haven’t seen on anyone else’s top ten.

    1.) Get Out 10

    2.) It Comes At Night 9

    3.) Gerald’s Game 9

    4.) It 8

    5.) Death Note 8
    Like It, Death Note is a dark fantasy with stylized and compelling visual design. Both films hearken back to the fantastic fx-heavy horror movies of the 80s, and that stuff is catnip to me (Evil Dead II, Reanimator, and Hellraiser are in my top ten). So, along with Stranger Things, these movies have me excited for an emerging trend of sci fi and fantasy world-building in horror.

    That said, it’s not hard for me to understand Death Note’s detractors, whether they find the film too far removed in essential ways from the source material or they think some components of the film (because of their fidelity to the source material) seem weird and unnecessary. For me, Death Note is great fun due to Adam Wingard’s stylish direction and command of cinematic storytelling.

    6.) Creepy 8
    Creepy takes the slow burn mystery/suspense slot that The Invitation occupied in last year’s top ten. If you like that sort of thing or serial killer movies, then Creepy is a must-see. Creepy is directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, the director of Cure (1997) and Pulse (2001).

    7.) Raw 7.5

    8.) 1922 7

    9.) Split 7

    10.) The Girl With All the Gifts 7

    Honorable mentions:

    11.) Hounds of Love 7

    Best Non-horror films:

    – Berlin Syndrome 7.5

    – Boys in the Trees 6.5

    Random notes:

    I guess for me this was The Year of King, with three Stephen King adaptations making my list.

    There are few movies that I didn’t get to yet, that I think could be top ten contenders, including: mother!, The Lure, Personal Shopper, Super Dark Times, and Annabelle: Creation.

    Last year I noticed that a number of horror movies dealt with the plight of a woman held captive by a man (10 Cloverfield Lane, Don’t Breathe, Pet). This year, that trend seems to have intensified. Of the movies I’ve listed here, five have that plot element (I’m including Gerald’s Game).

  32. I’m a little behind and bummed I missed out on most of the discussions. Not to make excuses, but things have been pretty awful these last few weeks. Luckily, the single best episode of any podcast out there was patiently waiting on my phone for me to devour it. Like a soft, warm blanket the episode didn’t disappoint and gave me great comfort as it always does.
    As always, thank you Jay, Josh, and Dave… for everything!
    My list has ever so slightly changed since I originally submitted it:

    1) The Blackcoat’s Daughter (Tied for 1st)
    2) Get Out (Tied for 1st)
    3) It
    4) mother!
    5) Split
    6) The Devil’s Candy
    7) Super Dark Times
    8) The Babysitter – Guilty pleasure? Maybe, but I enjoyed this just as much, if not
    more, on a second viewing. Let the shaming begin :)
    9) 68 Kill – I’m a fan of the book and author Bryan Smith. This film is an hidden
    treasure and a ton of fun.
    10) Gerald’s Game

    11) Annabelle: Creation
    12) The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    13) Among the Living – I know this was released overseas in 2014, but this was
    the first year we have been able to seen it stateside. Not
    as great as “Inside” or “Livid”, but easily the best of the
    two films by these fantastic filmmakers debuting in the US
    this year.
    14) Lake Bodom
    15) A Dark Song

    Films I haven’t seen yet but want to: Tragedy Girls, Personal Shopper, The Lure, and The Untamed.

    My guiltiest pleasure was indeed Happy Death Day. I had a great time watching it………sorry Josh and Dave :)

    Everyone’s lists are great. I enjoyed reading all the comments here, and I think it’s awesome that the HMP community represents all ends of the spectrum in tastes. Not one person is wrong in what they have chosen for their lists. We are all here because of something that is dear to our hearts. And more importantly, I’d like to believe we all support each other in whatever decisions we make in these manners. I mean look how insane Jay’s picks are year after year and we still love him unconditionally 😉

  33. This is my top 10 list from 2017 with some honorable mentions thrown in. Can’t get over what a great year it was for horror films!

    1. It
    2. Get out
    3. Split
    4. The devil’s candy
    5. Better Watch Out
    6. Annabelle creation
    7. The blackcoat’s daughter
    8. Personal shopper
    9. The Void
    10. XX

    Honorable mentions
    Gerald’s game
    It comes at night
    Don’t knock twice
    Dig two graves
    The babysitter

  34. 1. Raw
    2. Get Out
    3. Hounds of Love
    4. The Blackcoats Daughter
    5. Gerald’s Game
    6. Prevenge
    7. The Devil’s Candy
    8. A Dark Song
    9. The Babysitter
    10. Brawl In Cell Block 99

  35. Love seeing all the discussion on here! Here is my top 10 list of 2017.

    1. IT
    2. Get Out
    3. Split
    4. Girl With All the Gifts
    5. The Devil’s Candy
    6. Personal Shopper
    7. RAW
    8. It Comes at Night
    9. Gerald’s Game
    10. Blackcoats Daughter

  36. 12 pts. = 1.) — Gerald’s Game
    This was unfilmable? How about “the” most “able” horror film that Netflix has produced. So much so that this puts Misery to bed as an adaptation. Carla Gugino goes to an Oscar elevated enclave & Mike Flanagan displays his drive for distinguished direction. I can’t fathom the issues people had with the ending. It gives this game its grand ghoulish grit.

    10 pts. = 2.) — The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    Moving to English language films, Yorgos Lanthimos has sacrificed his cemented reputation. Two years in a row he has killed it with his intelligent idiosyncratic anecdotes. Yorgos is in the hunt for the world’s most original filmmaker working today. Barry Keoghan should be the runaway Best Supporting Actor winner, slaying all the competition.

    9 pts. = 3.) — Split
    This is the new dawn of filmmaking for M. Night, seizing the day with his talent for tales with twists. The natural unfolding of turns in this script are attributed to his wonderful & wild world of writing. I see the title as a referendum on bridging off from his muddled & mediocre middle career. This shouldn’t divide horror fans, as it’s one beast of a picture.

    8 pts. = 4.) — It Comes at Night
    Trey Edward Shults gave us a terrifying take on a family catastrophe with, Krisha. With this, he annihilates hope with an apocalyptic tale, in which two families need to coexist through trust. As much as I enjoyed 10 Cloverfield Lane, this one is preferable in building up the places of paranoia they needed to endure. Fear of confinement constantly comes at them.

    7 pts. = 5.) — Personal Shopper
    A film about a sister mourning the loss of a twin brother, & the promise of possible communication in the afterlife. Olivier Assayas, who gave us the incredible Carlos (10), gets a scary good performance out of Kristen Stewart. Depending on one’s beliefs, this is a story of healing hope or hefty heartbreak. The again, the ending is a shop open for exploration.

    6 pts. = 6.) — The Blackcoat’s Daughter
    An impressive feature to start with as director, Oz Perkins’ atmospheric festival darling, was my favorite VOD horror experience of 2017. This is psychological dread at its best, in the vein of Ti West. Deliberately paced that all comes to a cold crashing conclusion. Formerly known as February, one viewing of this is sure to stay with those through any month.

    5 pts. = 7.) — Better Watch Out
    This one is safely in the neighborhood, with The Conjuring II, as the best Christmas themed horror films to come out this decade. Where The Babysitter didn’t know where to further its plot in the second act, Better Watch Out outshines it with originality & outright joy. Filled with surprises that were a warm welcome, put this one on for Santa with the milk & cookies.

    4 pts. = 8.) — Alien: Covenant
    Thankfully Fox committed to Ridley Scott’s control of the franchise over Neill Blomkamp’s continuation of Ripley’s character. Prometheus laid the groundwork to an incredible backstory, & Covenant exceeded the fatiguing forecast of expectations. Once again, Michael Fassbender’s android ability, makes those surrounding him appear robotic. Run to this fun.

    3 pts = 9.) — A Cure for Wellness
    It’s been fifteen years since Gore Verbinski dabbled in the horror genre. That result, The Ring, was nearly perfect until the ending squabbles a bit. He then took a damaging Disney detour depicting pirates. It’s great to see a studio take a chance on this Lovecraftian tale. This is The Talented Mr. Ripley meets Coma. It’s sure to cure us with cult status someday.

    2 pts = 10.) — Get Out
    Daniel Kaluuya has been on my radar since co starring in, The Fades. This is a story of a white family luring in black men for their benefit. It manages to get out both the humor & horror throughout the story. Jordan Peele has catapulted himself into a coveted crossing of cinema, most cannot claim to have cornered. This has held the horror community captive.

    Honorable Mentions:
    1 pt = 11.) — Phoenix Forgotten
    There is a proficiently produced abandoned picture from 20 years ago called, Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County. You’d have a better chance at experiencing Fire in the Sky, than locating a copy of it. In terms of fiction & framework, Phoenix Forgotten reminds me of that film. This is a near phoenix of the found footage subgenre, not to be forgotten.

    1 pt = 12.) — Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl
    One of the recent best horror films is The House of the Devil. It builds on an ambience of anguish, until its ending architecture acquiesces to anxiety & awe. This doesn’t quite carry that load, but is similar in mood. It concerns a niece caring for her agoraphobic aunt, with the only contact being notes passed under a door. An apt title to a sweet tale of loneliness.

    1 pt = 13.) — The Devil’s Candy
    Sean Byrne returns with his follow up to the ferociously fun, The Loved Ones. He doesn’t succumb to a sophmore slump, taking us on a gig though heavy metal dread, much like Deathgasm did recently. Ethan Embry is better than he’s ever been, clearly having a rocking past few years. This is a sweet demon of a film, sure to band horror fans together.

    1 pt = 14.) — A Dark Song
    A mother bent on revenge, seeks answers through an occultist, to reach vengeance for her murdered son. Atmospheric & appropriately alarming, this Irish guardian angel horror story was one of the more innovative independent features to view in ages. Liam Gavin is a director to watch out for as this is quite a dark tale to begin ones filmography with.

    1 pt = 15.) — Mother!
    I try to divorce myself from the parallels this story has with religion, knowing Noah was Darren Aronofsky’s last go around with the Bible. To me, this takes place in the world of Roman Polanski’s apartment trilogy. This film is blessed with paranoia, handing me one of the most interesting theatre experiences of 2017. I’m not ready to adopt a second viewing.

    The Single Best “Guilty Pleasure” Movie of the Year!
    Happy Death Day
    A title so bad it made My Little Pony a more sensible choice that weekend. The horror of Groundhog Day cast no shadow of interest over me. Yet, with smart direction & competent acting, I celebrated. Wait until you see it before you blow out the candles on this one.

    3 Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017: (Should have been better!)
    — The Belko Experiment
    Greg McLean & James Gunn team together for a horror experiment, ripping off Battle Royale. The milieu of the office building bled dread into me, but not in a scary way. How could the people be surprised with the research going on there? Belko is brutal but boring.

    — Leatherface
    The makers of Inside bring you the ultimate outside; a prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Known for highly infused gore, they have a formula to cut through their audience. If the saw is family in this franchise, then backstories are butter knives.

    — Little Evil
    Little evil is shown in Tucker & Dale. It’s extreme coincidence & heavy happenstance that give it charm. Eli Craig’s follow up feels more suited for an insipid Scary Movie segment, rather than this Omen ripoff with juvenile jokes. This film is a warning for horror comedies.

    3 MOST OVERRATED Movies of 2017:
    — Annabelle: Creation
    This feels like it takes place in a parallel world with The Devil’s Backbone. I couldn’t stop thinking about Chucky infiltrating The Cider House Rules. Spend time with The Orphanage instead. You can’t see that without adopting some shocks. The Nun gives me little interest.

    — It
    Got a feeling I’m the solitary clown with this pick. A brilliant opening storm drain scene, drifted downhill from there. The humor hits home but the horror stayed astray. The credits state Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, but no fooling around, I swear that’s Larry Fessenden.

    — Raw
    I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this festival darling, as it’s rare I stray from reviews. This isn’t a fresh take on cannibal cinema, with Green Inferno doing a better job. Based on its premise, I would’ve concluded that this is the 2017 film behind the directors of Inside.

    4 DIShonorable Mentions: (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th worst of the year)
    — The Bye Bye Man
    As a Survivor fan, I was excited to see Jonathan Penner’s script on screen. With asinine acting & low level direction, this film should’ve went directly to Lifetime. This movie grossed more than It Comes at Night, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, & Personal Shopper combined.

    — Jigsaw
    I had palpable optimism that the franchise was back on track. Instead Lionsgate gave us a muddled mess. The best thing about the film were the end credits, knowing it was over. The steady downward fall after part IV has finally hit rock bottom. A saw so dull it can’t cut.

    — The Mummy
    The world’s biggest movie star got wrapped up in a horror screen legend, & the result was mummified mayhem. Universal’s handling of these properties is horribly insulting. There is no bite to any of them with casting cloaked in controversy. Put them back in their tombs.

    — Resident Evil: The Final Chapter & Underworld: Blood Wars
    The only thing I can remember from these films is which lead actress is part of what franchise. After decent starts, they have collectively become one series. These studios will be spilling plenty of blood of horror fans, after neither one of these became a final chapter.
    The Single WORST Damn Movie of 2017: (Name names!)
    — Jeepers Creepers III
    The first half of the original movie is about as good as early aughts horror cinema can get. It borrowed from Leatherface (90) but still sustained enough of its originality. The only storyline that makes sense for part IV would be the Creeper chasing Victor Salva in prison.

    3 Best NON-Horror Films of 2017 (But FILMS OF NOTE for Horror fans)
    — Brawl in Cell Block 99
    A story about death that celebrates life & a film about doing the right thing even you’re committing wrong. Regarding near perfect prison pictures, it’s on the same level with Bronson, Hunger, A Prophet, & Starred-Up. S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk) has locked up another masterpiece. The 2017 penitentiary picture, Shot Caller, was also well done.

    — A Ghost Story
    Covered in warmth, with trails of tragedy & tears, it reminds us how we can be ghosts to one another while we’re here. It’s ending can be open to interpretation, however the emotions of love & loss solidify the bond between both leads. Whether its technique is for you or not, you can’t help but be stuck between the scripts sheets of sheer sentiment.

    — Good Time
    Robert Pattinson has shown the film community he has more bite without the fangs. The Rover & The Lost City of Z helped him shine, waning any overcast of doubt. This is a film about family & the fights that those friendships can bring to fruition. This is the top soundtrack of the year. Horror fans will have one hell of a good time here.

    TOP 5 MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2018 (as of yet):
    1. The Predator
    Black & Dekker have opened up their theatrical toolbox of talent, for the first time since The Monster Squad, resulting in classic cinema. Without the “versus” in the title, this should bring those who felt slayed & alienated by previous entries, back & bloodthirsty for more.

    2. Annihilation
    Alex Garland created the contemporary zombie with his flawless flesh eating feast, 28 Days Later. Thirteen years later he gave us futurized technological terror in Ex Machina. Now he takes us through top-secret travel with science & struggle. Too bad about the Netflix deal.

    3. The Strangers: Prey at Night
    It’s hard to believe that the original visited us a decade ago. Intense & brutally terrifying, it invented the modern day home invasion picture. It did it so convincingly that it felt better not being a guest to that world regularly. The sequel looks to be no stranger to that.

    4. Insidious: The Last Key
    Part III was a step back but this trailer has peaked my curiosity. Hopefully the series shifts timelines next, since the key to its success is continuing the Red Face Demon storyline. Chapter II ended on a cliffhanger that I’d love to see travel down that path further.

    5. Halloween
    As a fan of the original sequel, it cuts away the curiosity for this, as it ignores that film. This is Jamie Lee Curtis’ fifth go around as Laurie Strode & now the only direct continuation. We’ll find out soon enough why the studio is hiding behind that mask of disassociation.

    • Ha! Although I disagreement with your placing of “It’, I loved your comparison of Pennywise to Larry Fessenden! Hilarious

  37. Top 10 Horror-type Movies of 2017 (that I have seen):

    10. The Belko Experiment
    9. Life
    8. Alien: Covenant
    7. It
    6. mother!
    5. A Dark Song
    4. Split
    3. Gerald’s Game
    2. Get Out
    1. The Devil’s Candy

    Honorable Mention:
    The Shape of Water (not horror, but one of the year’s best)

    I Didn’t Mind:
    Cult of Chucky; Jigsaw; Underworld: Blood Wars

    I Didn’t Care For:
    Annabelle: Creation; Better Watch Out; The Blackcoat’s Daughter; Happy Death Day; The Mummy; Raw

    I Need to See:
    Anna and the Apocalypse; Boys in the Trees; A Ghost Story; The Girl with All the Gifts; Hounds of Love; It Comes At Night; The Killing of a Sacred Deer; The Lure; Mom and Dad; Personal Shopper; Prevenge; Super Dark Times; Tragedy Girls; The Transfiguration

    I’m Not Interested In:
    The Bye Bye Man; Jeepers Creepers III; Leatherface; Phoenix Forgotten; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Rings

  38. I feel like I’m extremely late to this party, but better late than never. First off, I suck at seeing new releases in any genre, and am lucky if I catch 10 new horror movies in a year. This year was no different, so I have a top three (out of the pitiful 8 2017 horror films I watched this year). May the horror gods forgive me as I hide in my retro bubble.

    1. Get Out
    2. The Devil’s Candy
    3. It
    I really can’t add anything new to say about these three films that hasn’t already been said more eloquently by my fellow listeners, but I did feel like Get Out and It were the most relevant for me this past year. It may seem obvious to point out that the movie It emphasizes the importance of banding together to defeat a fear that would prefer to divide and devour us, but when this movie came out I think I needed the reminder. Also, it has been a while since I’ve seen something that affected me as much as The Devil’s Candy, so I hold it in high esteem.

    Honorable Mentions:
    Better Watch Out
    The Void

    Slightly disappointing:
    The Blackcoat’s Daughter – I might get some flack for this one. I thought this was a beautifully shot and well acted film, but the lethargic tone and pace made it hard for me to care about the story or the characters. I typically love slow burn horror, but for me this film was saturated with a sense of ennui, and it worked against the horror.

    2017 films still high on my list to see:
    The Shape of Water
    Tragedy Girls

    Favorite Non-Horror Movie of 2017:

    Anticipation for 2018:
    Suspiria (I’m a little worried about this one, but hopeful)

    Thank you guys for a wonderful year of quality podcasting and for hosting an excellent meetup!

    • No worries on not seeing a ton of horror movies this year, if anything that just means you have a much more fulfilling life them some of us. I may just be speaking about myself :)

      I had “The Blackcoat’s Daughter” as my number one this year, but I can completely understand why some people wouldn’t enjoy it. To be honest, I’m still shocked at how much it affected me.

    • I feel like I’m in a similar boat, Allyson. A combination of retro bubble syndrome, social anxiety and the dark, frightening nature of the world right now making me less inclined towards particularly dark and depressing material culminated in me not getting through much in the way of new release horror this year. I’ve started catching up in the last few weeks having finally gotten around to The Devils Candy, Super Dark Times, and Boys In The Trees (all of which I loved) but I don’t think I saw more than 5 or 6 new horror films throughout all of 2017.

      I’m always a bit behind with contemporary movies anyway but that lends these end of year list podcasts an extra facet of usefulness to me, because it’s a great way to focus in on the essentials that I really need to catch up with.

  39. TOP 10 of 2017

    12 pts. = 1.) IT!!!! Not only #1 on my list for 2017, but EASILY in my top 10 of all movies of all time.

    10 pts. = 2.) Get Out—This movie is awesome and not only kept my mind thinking…but kept it thinking even months later. ReWatching it, made it better. There are so many subtle details that made a huge impact.

    9 pts. = 3.) Annabelle: Creation I loved loved LOVED this. Favorite out of the whole conjuring series! It freaks me out each time I have seen it. I love getting others to see it for their first time cause everyone else has loved it and gets freaked out too!

    8 pts. = 4.) Hell House LLC —I watched this on a whim back in the spring. I know it is technically a 2016 movie, BUT it wasn’t on Amazon until 2017. This movie had me SCREAMING “OH HELL NO” repeatedly. I was home alone, in the dark, and it freaked me out for a few days.

    7 pts. = 5.)The Killing Ground–UNSETTLING. Best word to describe this movie.

    6 pts. = 6.)Happy Death Day—I know so many people didn’t like this movie…or it wasn’t “Scary”–BUT it was FUN! I went to the theater, got my popcorn, and enjoyed it! Even enjoyed the rewatch with my mom a month later. She even cried at one point.

    5 pts. = 7.)Jigsaw—Anyone can make another crap sequel—but it takes a good mind to revamp old crap and make it fun again. Which is why I loved this.

    4 pts. = 8.)Better Watch Out–I went into this movie BLIND. I had no idea what it was fully about or the outcome, which made it even more shocking and fun!

    3 pts = 9.)Death Note—I heard so much flack about this movie, but it kept my attention and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    2 pts = 10.) The Blackcoat’s Daughter—Although I had an idea of where things were lead, I was still shocked. This movie was also unsettling.

    Honorable Mentions:
    1 pt = 11.)The Houses October Built 2—I really loved the first one, and I liked this one even more!
    1 pt = 12.)Devil’s Candy-
    1 pt = 13.)Gerald’s Game
    1 pt = 14.)Belko Experiement
    1 pt = 15.)

    The Single Best “Guilty Pleasure” Movie of the Year!
    — Don’t Hang Up—Somewhat predictable…still fun to watch@

    3 Biggest Disappointments / Heartbreaks of 2017: (Should have been better!)
    —Alien: Covenant—utter crap.
    —Rings—utter crap. You had 1 job…bring back something that was as good as the first!
    —The Snowman—If you don’t realize why this was a failure, youtube it! This movie had great source material and a crappy studio f up!

    —It Comes At Night

    4 DIShonorable Mentions: (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th worst of the year)
    — The Bye Bye Man
    — Amityville:The Awakening
    —Wish Upon
    The Sing WORST Damn Movie of 2017: (Name names!)
    — The Snowman—again! horrible.

    For HMP List-makers ONLY: 3 Best NON-Horror Films of 2017 (But FILMS OF NOTE for Horror fans)
    —Star Wars: The Last Jedi—because…DUH.
    —Baby Driver
    — Boss Baby—-Don’t judge me. This movie was HILARIOUS.

    1.)Halloween!!!!! Oh man…Jamie Lee AND John Carpenter returning to forget the crap Zombie attempted to make.
    2.)Insidious:The Last Key
    3.)The Nun
    5.)A Quiet Place

    Here was the list I submitted!!!

    I have been beyond excited to here this episode!!!! Thank you for the shout out guys. I have been a long time listener and finally decided to be an active part of the HMP fam and start reaching out.


  40. 1. Annabelle Creation (9.5/10)
    2. 47 Meters Down (9.5/10)
    3. ‪ Shin Godzilla‬ (9/10)
    4. Better Watch Out (9/10)
    5. ‪ The Belko Experiment‬ (8.5/10)
    6. Mayhem (8.5/10)
    7. ‪ It Comes At Night‬ (8.5/10)
    8. The Snowman (8.5/10)
    9. Killing Ground (8/10)
    10. Pheonix Forgotten (7.5/10)

    Loved this episode! Hoping to win some Trick or Treat garb!!

  41. 1. Get Out
    2. It
    3. Gerald’s Game
    4. Devils candy
    5. A Cure for wellness
    6. Better watch out
    7. The Babysitter
    8. Alien Covenent
    9. A dark song
    10. The blackcoats daughter

    • Nice list! Interesting to see A Cure for Wellness at #5 given the divided opinions on it (including among the hosts!), and Better Watch Out at #6 and The Babysitter at #7, given how similar their set-ups are (early teen boy smitten with baby sitter, escalating violence erupts on a night when she’s watching him). Obviously the latter two films are different in many aspects though.

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