As we gear up for what promises to be another great year of horror, let’s take a look back at some of the best — and worst — genre films of 2018.
Dreadful welcome, my Ghoulies and Goblins. I hope 2019 has started off bloody enough for you, and if not, here are 10 movies that came out in 2018 that I consider the best and worst the year had to offer horror fans. Of course, this is just my opinion, and I know some of these choices are controversial. If you don’t agree, that’s fine…not everyone has good taste (just kidding).
Now without further ado, please enjoy this week’s top ten featuring the five best and the five worst horror films of 2018 (as I see it).
In 2018, I decided to take the plunge and watch all the Hellraiser films, despite not liking the first two. I found throughout the series that I enjoyed some of the films, and that Doug Bradley and Pinhead is never not cool. However, Doug hasn’t been in the last couple movies, and they just keep bashing out these hot messes.
This film wasn’t the worst out of the series of movies, but it wasn’t the best either. Paul T. Taylor takes over the role as pinhead, and he gives off serious creepy vibes. But the role has been made by Doug ,and I just don’t think they are shoes that can ever be filled unless they cut these stupid sequels and start over with a firm remake.
There is a nice surprise actress who makes a cameo, and she is from a horror franchise where her villain visits her in her nightmares. Doug Bradley was vocal about having his shoes filled with another actor and, when asked if he had an advice for Paul, he was quoted as saying, “According to the director, Mr. Taylor has the screen presence of Peter Cushing and Ralph Fiennes, so he won’t need any help from me, will he?”
That sassiness in that quote alone tells us that Doug is still very much Pinhead, even in the real world. This movie isn’t the worst of 2018, but it’s not good enough to be on the best list, therefore it will sit comfortably at number 10. (You can get a second opinion on the film by clicking here.)
9. BEST – Winchester
Helen Mirin in a horror movie? Yes, please! Helen is a queen when it comes to actresses, and in this film, she plays the queen of weapons — specifically firearms. A doctor is brought in to make sure the woman is sane enough to still live on her own in this big home she has created — one that is constantly being worked on. The woman has become haunted by the ghosts of the weapons her husband created.
The movie is set in the early 1900s. However, it is a very appropriate and still relatable for the time we are living in — a time when you can go to a store and leave with guns and ammunition without even having a mental health evaluation first. The house actually does exist and is a very popular tourist attraction. Many people believe it is truly haunted by the ghosts of the Winchester victims.
They did not use the actual house while filming because it is rather cramped and not as big as everyone imagines, so it was built on a sound stage instead. This movie captivated me with its story and the true horrors of gun violence. I also was fascinated by the fact that they were having issues with guns in 1923, and we continue to have issues today. It says to me we are going the wrong way with the gun laws — and that is a very real horror.
8. WORST – My Friend Dahmer
The trailer for this film had everyone captivated, because most of us horror fans really love true crime/serial killer biographies. If you don’t know who Jeffery Dahmer was, he enjoyed giving his victims lobotomies in hopes of making them his eternal zombie slaves — and he also liked to eat people.
Now, the actor who played Jeffery is phenomenal. But the whole storyline and movie was just everywhere and so hard to enjoy or focus on. The actor who played Jeffery is named Ross Lynch, and he had big shoes to fill, but he didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, everyone around him did disappoint, and that’s why this film made it on my worst of 2018 list.
Note: I did find it kind of cool that they filmed this in the Dahmer’s original home in Bath, Ohio. (Also, if you want a second opinion, you can click here to read a review of the film from one of our other talented writers).
7. BEST – The Predator
Now, for those who have seen this film, I’m sure we can all agree that Thomas Jane stole the entire show, including the scenes with the Predator. I don’t enjoy laughing at others’ disabilities. But it’s just insanity that an actor like Thomas can take on a role with a disability like Tourette syndrome — a disability that the writer of the film, Shane Black, actually has — and make it so believable. His character was also written with a great sense of humor about it, which is something I’ve always believed in.
If you pay attention, you can find a few Easter Eggs throughout the film that pay tribute to the films before it. I saw this in theaters and enjoyed it so much; I can honestly say that this is the best Predator film I’ve ever seen. I’m also infatuated with Boyd Holbrook and his bad boy persona he’s got going on.
It’s also been said that Arnold was offered a cameo role as his character Dutch but refused, and Adrian Brody was actually interested in reprising his role. This movie was all around fun and bloody — and thankfully Rated R!
6. WORST – Inside
I was very disappointed with this film because it is a remake (which I tend to enjoy), and it didn’t even come close to the Foreign French original. A woman is in her third trimester of pregnancy, and she is home alone when someone starts playing games with her. She soon realizes that this person isn’t mentally right, and she is afraid for her life and the life of her unborn child.
I was disappointed by the acting except for Laura Harring, who plays our villain in the story, but it’s still nothing compared to the original. Rachel Nichols wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t feel passion come from her for this role. Unlike her acting in P2 and Amityville Horror, this was just, meh.
The original was released in 2007 and is a far better quality film than this American remake. There’s not much to say about this film other then avoid it if you don’t want to waste your life watching bad horror remakes. Instead, be sure to see the original, as it’s quite remarkable.
5. BEST – The Nun
I went to see this film in theaters for my birthday, and I was not disappointed. I love the Conjuring universe. This film tells the origin story of Valak, the evil spirit that disguises itself as an unholy nun who we first meet in The Conjuring 2. In that film, Lorraine Warren (played by Vera Farmiga whose younger sibling, Taissa plays Sister Irene in The Nun) has to fight the demon. Though the characters of the real life Farmiga sisters have no relation to each other in the films, they both possess clairvoyant abilities and are devout Catholics.
This movie is not based on a true story or events unlike the first two Conjuring films. Instead, it’s part of the extended Conjuring universe that also includes Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation.
These spin-off films have become so popular that The Crooked Man from the The Conjuring 2 will also be getting his own film soon. There hasn’t been any mention of a second Nun film, but The Conjuring 3 is coming this year, so we have that to look forward to. (You can read a couple of different takes on The Nun from our writers here and here.)
4. WORST – Victor Crowley
I must be honest with you dear readers, I didn’t even finish this movie. That’s how bad it was for me. This movie is based 10 years after the first Hatchet movie, which, how they ended up making more after that movie alone amazes me. But I think it’s safe to say that the fans keep coming back for Kane Hodder (who plays the title character). There are, of course, also some dedicated fans of filmmaker Adam Green, who received a standing ovation at the London Frightfest.
On the positive side, there are many horror references throughout the film. Adam is a die-hard horror fan like all of us. He even named his band Haddonfield (a reference to Michael Myers’ home town in the Halloween series). Adam has stated that it was important to him to continue on with the series after the death of his idol, Wes Craven.
As heartfelt as that is, his movies are (in my opinion) still trash. That’s why I have Victor Crowley sitting uncomfortably close to the top of the worst list. However, others have a lot of love for this film, and you can read a far more favorable review on this site here.
3. BEST – Veronica
What’s the number rule while playing with a Ouija board? Always peace out, or else the devil will come play with you! Veronica is a young girl who is busy helping raise her younger siblings. After her father dies, she tries to contact him while everyone else is out enjoying the eclipse. What makes this movie truly horrifying is the fact that it’s based on true events, and it was honestly one of the best possession movies I’ve seen since The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
I tend not to enjoy foreign horror movies but this one is different, and you can feel an intensity watching it due to the young actress who plays the victim. Sandra Escacena gives a wonderful and fear fueled performance, and this was just her first role!
If you have not seen this film yet, I highly suggest it. It is available to watch on Netflix, so you have no excuse not to check it out.
2. WORST – Halloween
Yes, this was the worst movie I saw in 2018, and it even beats Victor Crowley. Now, you guys know I tend to be a more positive person, and I will be positive here, even with how much I loathed this movie. The best thing about this whole train wreck was Jamie Lee Curtis. I would even go as far as giving her a slow hand clap because, despite the shitty storyline and writing of this film, she still managed to give it her all and wow me. She gave this movie a performance and an actress would give in a movie she thinks is going to win her an Oscar. She was the best and only good thing about this film to me. But even that wasn’t enough to save this film for me.
The storyline was the most unintelligent and uninspiring thing I’ve ever watched. The writing, dialogue, and every other actor was so bad that I wanted to bathe in Rob Zombie’s Halloween DVDs. I was so unimpressed by Michael as well, except for the actual Halloween scene where he goes through the house. I felt irritated that there was violence in the film only because Zombie haters always use that as the excuse as to why they don’t like his version.
I have to say the ending wasn’t disappointing — I really didn’t see that coming. Perhaps I was already so detached at the time from the film, or they made the rest of the film so bad that I missed something good. Either way, this film is the loser of 2018. The money I saved on not going to see this in theaters, I will use on my ticket for 3 From Hell by Rob Zombie.
Of course, this one was a polarizing film for the horror community. So if you want to read some other opinions, click here to check out our “Morbid Minis” for Halloween featuring brief reviews from several of our writers.
1. BEST – Insidious: The Last Key
There aren’t many movies that scare me anymore, but the Insidious films tend to get me scared in some way or another. If it’s not the Lipstick Demon, it’s how scared the actors get throughout the film. There’s also nothing more terrifying than having to face the demons from your past, and that’s exactly what Elise Rainer faces in what could possibly be the last film in this franchise.
The reason this film is making it to the number one spot is because of the continuously great storylines and character development. All movies flow together brilliantly, and I believe every hero has a past. It was nice seeing why Elise is so afraid of the demons. Her character is an open book in this film, and there are no more secrets or surprises left. I also love that the directors and writers are playing with us when it comes to jump scares and scenes; it was hard to predict some of them in the film.
If you are a fan of the Conjuring universe, there will be a third film coming out this year as I mentioned before. So far, everything about that film has been kept quiet. The series has gone full circle, and perhaps we can see an Insidious and Conjuring crossover in the future? Personally, I don’t think the story of Elise Rainer is quite over just yet.
There are many great films to look forward to this year, and you can guarantee that I will be watching more horror and creating the best lists possible for the readers of Morbidly Beautiful.