In a year overstuffed with IRL terror, what better place to work out your fears then at the movies! 2017 brought a wild array of vicious villains and dark tales to the big screen, allowing us to lose ourselves in the rush of the scream. From Stephen King's creepy clown, sinister suburbanites, and man-eating mermaids, Fangrrls has selected the very best of 2017 horror.
The fandom surrounding Stephen King's monstrous novel IT is passionate to the point of ravenousness. Which meant expectations were frightfully high for Andy Muschietti's risky adaptation. But audiences ate up this terrifying new take on the child-eating clown Pennywise, making IT the highest grossing horror movie of the year. A charismatic cast of kids brought the Losers' Club to life, while Bill Skarsgård's malevolent clown nearly scared moviegoers to death. Who can't wait for chapter two?!
X-Men: Apocalypse's Alexandra Shipp and Deadpool's Brianna Hildebrand star as the Tragedy Girls, high school cheerleaders who take their love of horror to extreme ends. Imagine Clueless, but instead of makeovers and crushes, the girls were interested in murder and crushing skulls. Because beneath the mayhem of director Tyler MacIntyre's quirky horror-comedy lies a touching story of female friendship, through thick and sin. Tragedy girls before bros, always.
Tragedy Girls will be on VOD on 2/2/18.
47 Meters Down
Imagine being trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean, and surrounded by hungry great whites. You could stay safe inside and wait for help, but your oxygen tank is running perilously low. If you try to make a break for the surface, you could be eaten alive or drown because of the gut-twisting bends. Mandy Moore stars in this shark tale with bite, and stomach-churning levels of suspense.
Mike Flanagan has built a reputation in terror rolling out such uniquely horrifying films as Oculus, Hush, and Ouija: Origin of Evil. But in adapting Stephen King's sinister novel, Flanagan made his most menacing work yet. Carla Gugino stars as a wife trying to bring back the spark to her marriage with a kinky weekend away in a remote vacation spot. But when her husband croaks leaving her handcuffed and alone, she faces a grim scenario that threatens her life and sanity. Warning for the faint of stomach: Gerald's Game also features the most gruesome scene of 2017. You will scream. You may hurl.
Hounds of Love
True crime fans will squeal over Ben Young's grisly thriller, which follows a killer couple whose M.O. bears a disturbing resemblance to the Moorhouse Murderers. Stephen Curry and Emma Booth star as a pair of predators who kidnap, torture and kill wayward teen girls. But rather than a spinning his dastardly premise into garish torture porn, Young keeps much of the violence offscreen, and instead focuses on their latest victim's (Ashleigh Cummings) struggle to survive, and her panicked mother's (Susie Porter) quest to find her before it's too late. If you know what SSDGM means, you'll fall for Hounds of Love.
Ever been alone in the dark and been certain someone--or something--is there with you? That's the eerie sensation that kicks off this moody, melancholic thriller out of Iceland. It's one part slow-burn horror, one part gay romance as former lovers Einar (Sigurður Þór Óskarsson) and Gunnar (Björn Stefánsson) are drawn together by a strange mystery out in a remote village. Writer/director Erlingur Thoroddsen spins a story taut with tension, terror, and tenderness while delivering one of the few movie moments this year that haunted me with nightmares.
A rock n' roll musical/body horror/romance about man-eating mermaids, Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Smoczynska's directorial debut offers a dizzying and divine mash-up of genres and vibes with a killer soundtrack. Set in Warsaw, this fearsome and fucked up fairy tale follows two mermaid sisters as they join a cabaret band, thrill over a trip to the mall, and confront their thirst for love and blood. It's beautiful, bizarre, and brilliant.
Maternal terror has never been quite so twisted as in Alice Lowe's daring directorial debut. Not only did she write, helm, and star in this wickedly funny movie about a single-mom-to-be whose unborn child drives her to kill, but also Lowe did it all while actually pregnant! The resulting film is bloody, mad fun, born of macabre wit and unapologetic ambition. It'll have you craving more from Lowe. Bonus: Game of Thrones' Gemma Whelan and Kate Dickie co-star.
French filmmaker, Julia Ducournau made a smashing directorial debut with this cannibalistic coming-of-age story. Angel-faced Garance Marillier stars as a vegan teen whose life goes off the rails following a hazing ritual where she's made to eat raw meat. Ducournau parallels her heroine's sexual awakening with a thirst for blood and flesh. From this comes scenes both revolting yet compelling, and a shocking conclusion that's deliciously and darkly amusing.
When Jordan Peele stepped away from sketch comedy to make his directorial debut with a horror movie, we were curious but confused. Then, Peele delivered an absolutely astonishing thrill ride, streaked with terror, laced with laughs, and rich in social commentary. An impeccable cast that includes Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford and Betty Gabriel makes this mad "meet the parents" tale hit hard. And horror aficionados get to geek out over a plethora of genre allusions, subversions, and surprises. Simply put, Get Out is smart, groundbreaking, and an instant horror classic.