2017 was an incredible year for horror fans. Not only did we see several Stephen King adaptations (including the block busting IT), horror has once again found itself with strong representation going into awards season. There is no shortage of supply for Top 10 lists this time of year, but we’ve taken it upon ourselves to avoid all hype and critical reception in our own Best of 2017. Controversial opinions abound in the list below!
Join us as we say goodbye to 2017, in Part II with editor JonOnAString‘s favorite horror and genre films of the year. You can also read KimmiKillZombie‘s Top 10 list HERE. We’ve a few surprises up our sleeves with added underdogs, lesser known picks, some surprising omissions – and a few festival finds, including films from; The Overlook Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, and TIFF!
Hear our full thoughts on each of the films below on this week’s episode of the Nightmare on Film Street Podcast. Also well, Kim and Jon keep the conversation going, discussing some of the more controversial omissions from this year’s list in their Honorable Mentions of 2017, available to our Patreon supporters.
Without further ado:
JonOnAString’s Top 10 Films of 2017
#10 – Super Dark Times
Director: Kevin Phillips
Writer: Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski
Cast: Owen Campbell, Charlie Tahan, Elizabeth Cappuccino
Plot: Teenagers Zach and Josh have been best friends their whole lives, but when a gruesome accident leads to a cover-up, the secret drives a wedge between them and propels them down a rabbit hole of escalating paranoia and violence.
#9 Le Manoir
Director: Tony T. Datis
Writer: Bernardo Barilli, Dominique Gauriaud, Marc Jarousseau, Jurij Prette
Cast: Marc Jarousseau, Nathalie Odzierejko, Lud
Plot: A band of students comes to celebrate the New Year in an old manor house isolated from everything. But soon after their arrival, strange events disrupt the atmosphere, before the party turns squarely to the nightmare.
#8 – Get Out
Plot: It’s time for a young African-American to meet with his white girlfriend’s parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambiance will give way to a nightmare.
#7 – November
Director: Rainer Sarnet
Writer: Andrus Kivirähk, Rainer Sarnet
Cast: Rea Lest, Jörgen Liik, Arvo Kukumägi
Plot: Set in a pagan Estonian village where werewolves, the plague, and spirits roam. The villagers’ main problem is how to survive the cold, dark winter. And, to that aim, nothing is taboo. People steal from each other, from their German manor lords, and from spirits, the devil, and Christ. To guard their souls, they’ll give them away to thieving creatures made of wood and metal called kratts, who help their masters by stealing more. The pragmatic farmers are faced with a question: is the life that they’ve won through so much toil worth anything, if it lacks a soul?
#6 – The Devil’s Candy
Director: Sean Byrne
Writer: Sean Byrne
Cast: Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, Pruitt Taylor Vince
Plot: A struggling painter is possessed by satanic forces after he and his young family move into their dream home in rural Texas, in this creepy haunted-house tale.
#5 – Creep 2
Director: Patrick Brice
Writer: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Cast: Karan Soni, Mark Duplass, Desiree Akhavan
Plot: A video artist looking for work drives to a remote house in the forest to meet a man claiming to be a serial killer. But after agreeing to spend the day with him, she soon realizes that she made a deadly mistake.
#4 – The Ritual
Director: David Bruckner
Writer: Joe Barton, Adam Nevill
Cast: Rafe Spall, Robert James-Collier, Arsher Ali
Plot: A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that’s stalking them.
#3 – Lowlife
Director: Ryan Prows
Writer: Tim Cairo, Jake Gibson, Shaye Ogbonna, Ryan Prows, Maxwell Michael Towson
Cast: Nicki Micheaux, Ricardo Adam Zarate, Jon Oswald
Plot: The sordid lives of an addict, an ex-con, and a luchador collide when an organ harvesting caper goes very, very wrong.
#2 – Hounds of Love
Director: Ben Young
Writer: Ben Young
Cast: Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry
Plot: Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realises she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive.
#1.5 – My Friend Dahmer
Director: Marc Meyers
Writer: Marc Meyers, Derf Backderf
Cast: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche
Plot: You only think you know this story. In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer—the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper—seared himself into the American consciousness. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, “Jeff” was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides.
#1 – The Shape of Water
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Writer: Guillermo Del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins
Plot: An otherworldly fable set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment.