Now that we're in a brand new year it's time to look back at some of the best and worst movies to come out of 2017. While I wasn't able to review everything I caught through the year, I did try to watch as many movies as I could. I personally found it to be a rather disappointing year for the genre, but there were some notable standouts. Whether they were scary, creative, or just plain entertaining, these are the movies (in no particular order) that I really liked and disliked last year...
Who knew that Jordan Peele of comedy duo Key and Peele was such a fan of cinema, letalone horror in general. The man made his directorial debut with this film, which had a coveted 100% at Rotten Tomatoes for quite some time. It's a movie that I actually grew to like more after repeated viewings thanks to the many subtle elements mixed in that shows just how multilayered it actually is.
This was a pleasant surprise to come out've the year, especially given the fact that it turned out to be a sequel to M. Night Shyamalan's much earlier film, Unbreakable. James McAvoy's great as "The Beast" and his performance and character only added to the already intriguing premise and is why I'd consider it one of the better recent genre releases.
THE DEVIL'S CANDY & A DARK SONG
I'm lumping these two films together because they were both surprisingly good genre pics that focused more on story, characters and overall atmosphere. This is especially the case with A Dark Song, which proved more of a dark slowburn drama than anything. In the end both movies are great examples of storytelling and atmosphere trumping cheap scares and gratuitous blood and gore.
While the movie is clearly aimed at the younger ADHD crowd, I still found this flick highly entertaining thanks to its kinetic editing, solid pacing, gore, and the overall fact that it simply didn't take itself seriously. Sure the dialogue is atrocious, but it's still a helluva lot of a fun; call it a guilty pleasure, either way, I enjoyed the hell out've this.
HAPPY DEATH DAY
From the start this movie had a look and feel of something that we might've seen in the late 90's and I think that's partially why I enjoyed this so much. It also boasted a pretty neat concept of Groundhog's Day for horror fans and while it does have a number of plot holes, they can be overlooked if you buy into the film's premise, characters, and just don't take it too seriously.
The movie successfully updates audiences to a new adaptation of the epic Stephen King novel and introduces the old and new generation to an interesting and (at times) more terrifying take on Pennywise. While I personally didn't find the movie to be as scary as it could've been, it was still a great watch thanks to the incredible cast of young actors that did an awesome job capturing what it was like to live in the 80's. Despite being a couple hours long, it was really well paced and was even suprisingly funny in parts, which added to my enjoyment. I just had an overall blast watching this.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Void, The Belko Experiment, Life, Annabelle: Creation
THE BYE BYE MAN
Borrowing from urban legends and several other movies, the poorly titled "Bye Bye Man" was one cliché after the other and offered absolutely nothing we haven't already seen from the genre. Even the Bye Bye Man himself was just a blantent ripoff of more popular and creepier antagonists such as Slender Man.
This was a once promising horror anthology that featured all female directors, but unfortunately all the segments in the movie either made no sense or were incredibly slow and didn't amount to much at all. Normally anthologies have at least one good tale in the bunch, but I disliked each one, ultimately leaving me with little to like about this overall.
While the concept of Samara using the latest tech to capture her victims seemed like an interesting idea, the execution itself was far from stellar. Filled with plot holes and uninspired scares, this turned out to be yet another pointless sequel to a franchise that fans had mostly forgotten about.
AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING
After many delays this dull sequel was finally released to a slew of bad reviews. The movie delivered nothing fans of the series hadn't already seen, only with a younger cast. Even the film's climax is everything you'd come to expect from an Amityville movie.
A remake of the 1990 film that featured a great cast of up-and-coming actors, this new take on the property just seemed like a mix of a Goosebumps tale with some partial ideas borrowed from the 2011 movie Limitless. Boring, predictable and with a lackluster climax, the flick offered nothing new or remotely interesting to the genre.
DISHONORABLE MENTIONS: Wish Upon, The Hatred, Man Vs., The Recall