As with most other years, the mantra for 2018 was “New Year, New Me”. Who would have imagined that this would also become the mantra for the horror genre? This year, we witnessed new creations like A Quiet
While notable big screen releases thrilled audiences worldwide, select theaters and small screen releases also impressed. Many film festivals unveiled the future of horror cinema and the delights the entire world would soon partake in. For example, Book of Monsters showcased a girl
Netflix is expanding and featuring more international delights. Though Veronica was released in Spain in 2017, the rest of the world (including me) enjoyed it this year. In the film, director Paco Plaza introduces us to Veronica (Sandra Escasena), a high school girl who mourns her father’s recent death. During a solar eclipse that the students and staff observe from the school’s rooftop, Veronica and friends Rosa (Angela Fabian) and Diana (Carla
Honestly, this film made me spill my Froot Loops. You would expect fear to be the cause, but you’d be wrong. Cinematographer Pablo Rosso is a magician with the camera. One shot involves a bed that flips from vertical to horizontal, or at least you think it does. Just watch it. You’d freak out as much as I did. Also, Veronica’s little twin siblings Lucia (Bruna Gonzalez) and Irene (Claudia Placer) stole my heart. You become so entranced with these two and their shenanigans that you fear for them once the demons arrive.
Rain falls from the night sky onto young cabdriver Luz Carrara (Luana Velis), who drags herself into a derelict police station. Meanwhile, Nora (Julia Reidler) seduces police psychiatrist Dr. Rossini (Jan Bluthardt) through a conversation of her old schoolmate with a rebellious past. This results in the transference of the demonic entity, one that longs for Luz. Luz begins to unveil the events leading to her arrival at the police station. But the demon is also making its way to the station as well. I’ve flipped through Webster’s dictionary for two hours, searching for a word that describes Luz. Guess what? Nothing. This film is inexplicable. Seriously. Perhaps I can interpret my love with a dance. Excuse me while I try.
(3 hours later).
Okay. The dance is a mixture between Elvis’s hip thrust, Michael Jackson’s crotch grab, Napoleon Dynamite’s arm wave, and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” march. Do all of this for 70 minutes (the runtime of Luz) and you will have 10% of the awesomeness this film exudes.
SUMMER OF 84
Directed by the imaginative trio directors known as RKSS (Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissel), Summer of 84 follows four teenage boys who suspect that their neighbor Officer
With that said, the trio surprised me (and I suspect many others) with this departure from the post-apocalyptic world we love. Instead, they returned us to the beloved 80s with iconic VHS tapes and old school Walkie Talkies. I reminisced over the crap I used to get into, and I understood full well that I would’ve attempted to spy on Officer
Looking to escape a stalker, Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) moves away from home. But a physical change doesn’t always result in a mental one, so Sawyer makes an appointment at Highland Creek Behavioral Center, where she unknowingly signs a release that commits her to a 24-hour stay. After physical altercations with a patient and a staff member, Dr. Hawthorne extends her confinement seven more days. The story unfolds as Highland Creek Behavioral pulls Sawyer further from comfort and even further from sanity.
With an estimated budget of only $1.5 million, director Steven Soderbergh crafts a visual spectacle that captures audiences. The film taunts and teases the mind; viewers are left at crossroads of real and pretend, with little to no hint of the difference. If you don’t believe me, watch the trailer and try to convince yourself that you aren’t captivated.
Adam McDonald has been a director, writer
This low-budget, psychological film is full of teen angst, family grief, and heartwrenching fear. The casting was spot on. Plus, any time I can watch Laurie Holden act is a good time. Furthermore, the talented Lee Malia scores the film in a way you never want it to end.
While I am looking forward to the horror of 2019, I must admit that I am proud of 2018. Even some of the remakes made me proud, which is a feat that is hard to accomplish in my opinion. With that said, please let me know what horrors you enjoyed this year. As you can see from above, we certainly have a lot to talk about.