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Jonathan Barkan’s Best Horror Films of 2017

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And so another year comes to an end, and we look back at all that it had to offer. 2017 was a year that saw unbelievable accomplishments and landmark successes in the horror genre. We hit the box office like never before, breaking records and shattering expectations. We continued to take over TV, thrilling and terrifying masses on a regular, weekly schedule. While horror has never died, I think we can all agree that this was a year in which horror not only lived but thrived.

Looking back and trying to figure out my favorite movies of the year wasn’t necessarily easy, but it was delightful. While my choices may be a bit surprising, please keep in mind that I didn’t get to see many of the big theater releases due to a lot of traveling. So, IT isn’t on my list not because I thought poorly of it, but rather because I don’t know what to make of it!

Anyways, here’s a list of my 10 favorite movies of 2017 in no particular order!


Dave Made a Maze

Dave Made a Maze

Perhaps the most charming film I’ve seen in 2017, Dave Made a Maze is wildly imaginative, wickedly funny, and blends horror with a ton of other genres so as to create something incredibly unique and entertaining. It’s the kind of movie you want to watch with a few good friends, a few good beers, and a few slices of good pizza.



mother!

One of the most polarizing theatrical experiences of the year was Darren Aronofsky’s mother!, which I absolutely adored. Theorized as an interpretation of God, Mother Earth, and the Old and New Testaments, the film is a visual tour de force and provided one of the most unrelentingly tense and uncomfortable experiences I’ve had in theaters in a long, long time. To this day I still can’t stop thinking about it.



Anna and the Apocalypse

It’s essentially the musical episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” meets Shaun of the Dead, and it’s a goddamn delight the entire time! Filled with charming songs, great zombies, and wonderful performances, Anna and the Apocalypse will surely become required viewing every holiday season!



M.F.A.

In today’s age of increasingly black-and-white viewpoints, M.F.A. comes around and provides a nuanced view on the issue of sexual assault across university campuses. Writer Leah McKendrick penned a film that refused to make Francesca Eastwood’s vigilante killer a hero, instead opting for a character that is uncomfortable to support, even if we understand her motivations. It’s a very difficult movie but one that is as powerful as it is necessary.



War for the Planet of the Apes

The final entry in the new Planet of the Apes trilogy is thrilling, epic, adventurous, and deeply moving. Andy Serkis’ performance is award-worthy, and the special effects are top-class. It’s a marvel of cinematic technology on top of being an excellent film.



Brawl in Cell Block 99

S. Craig Zahler’s Dante-esque descent into the prison system is harrowing, violent, and unflinching while Vince Vaughn’s performance as “Bradley” is a marvel to behold. This was one of the few films this year to make me cringe in my seat and avert my eyes.



Mayhem

Joe Lynch’s Mayhem is pure fucking fun, and there’s no other way to put it. Steven Yeun explodes on the screen while Samara Weaving oozes charm and steals every scene she’s in. Their relationship is the backbone to a film that had audiences hooting, hollering, cheering, and screaming in pure delight. Tightly edited and wasting no time getting to the action, Mayhem is a film that you’ll want to see again and again. I know because that’s precisely what I did!



The Endless

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead proved once again this year why they’re quite possibly the most innovative and fascinating directors working today. A dark fantasy that is as much about familial relationships as it is about a “UFO cult,” The Endless weaves a mystery that is engrossing, captivating, and hypnotic. Beautifully filmed, The Endless offered me one of the most gripping and compelling theater experiences I’ve had all year.



Jungle

Jungle

Not really a horror film but definitely horrific at parts, Greg McLean’s Jungle still managed to grab me by the throat and grip me with anxiety more than most films this year. Following the story of Yossi Ghinsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) and how he managed to survive three weeks lost in the Amazon, McLean packs every scene with as much beauty as he does tension, resulting in a film that is thrilling, emotional, and affirming.



Creep 2

Patrick Brice’s Creep 2 is the kind of sequel that not only does something clever with the foundation of an original film but expands on it in ways that elevate it to a whole new level. Subverting expectations and redefining the game, Creep 2 sees Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan playing cat-and-mouse in the most interesting and, at times, uncomfortable of ways.



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Must-See: Michael Myers Versus Jason Voorhees Fan Short Film

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The short film titled Michael Myers Versus Jason Voorhees made its much-anticipated debut on YouTube channel CallMeJeff86 on January 15th, 2018.

The film is a passion project that pits two horror movie icons against each other; it’s Michael Myers from Halloween against Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th in a bloody fight to the finish.

What are you waiting for? Give the 3-part short a watch below, and then let us know what you think!

Michael Myers Versus Jason Voorhees is written and directed by Mason C. McDonald and stars Jeff Payne as Michael Myers, Dustin Miller as Jason Voorhees, and John Alton as the Vengeful Father.

Don’t forget to follow the film on Instagram and Twitter!

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PG-13 or R? The Strangers: Prey at Night Gets Official MPAA Rating

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Earlier this week we let you guys know that there is a killer The Strangers: Prey at Night fan art competition going on and you can read all the details on that right HERE.

But today we have some cool (if expected) news that The Strangers: Prey At Night hs officially received an R-rating from the MPAA.

The sequel has been rated R for “horror violence and terror throughout, and for language” and I think that makes about as much sense as we could have expected.

For those who are interested in such bits of trivia, the original The Strangers was rated R for “violence/terror and language” so there you go! Impress your friends with MPAA trivia.

Would The Strangers: Prey at Night getting a PG-13 have affected your enthusiasm for the upcoming film? Let us know below!

The Stranger: Prey at Night is directed by Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down) from a script by Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai. It stars Martin Henderson, Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, and Lewis Pullman.

The film hits March 9, 2018.

Synopsis:
A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive. Johannes Roberts directs this horror film inspired by the 2008 smash hit The Strangers.

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Artist Reimagines Superheroes as Tim Burton Illustrations

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The world of Tim Burton has always been full of imagination and wonder built on a surreal and often horrific foundation. Films like Beetlejuice and Sleepy Hollow capture the imagination with stunning visuals, all based on the mind of the visionary director. Burton’s artwork was also featured in his illustrated poetry book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories.

Burton’s work has not only amazed viewers for over three decades, it’s also been an inspiration to countless artists and creators. Enter Los Angeles-by-way-of-Russia artist and animator Andrew Tarusov, whose work has been used by companies such as Cosmopolitan, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Maxim, and more. In a series he simply calls “Tim Burton’s Superheros”, Tarusov took 10 of the biggest comic book characters and gave them a dark twist that is 100% befitting of Burton’s style.

You can see a gallery of these images below. To see more of Tarusov’s work, head on over to his official website.

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