Whereas 2015 was the year of the “spy” movie, I do not think there is any doubt that 2016 is the year of the Horror movie. The horror genre had a fantastic year, with multiple movies that told interesting stories with great characters. There was a lot of originality in a genre that was in desperate need of it. The best horror movies avoided the nonsensical jump scare and concentrated on scaring us in other ways.
Not that there still weren’t bad movies in the horror genre. Of course there was, but this year just seemed to make fewer bad films and much better good ones.
Now, let me state this. There are two movies that could be considered horror movies. I have seen others list these as horror, but I am going to disqualify them from the list and just mention them here. These two films are 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Shallows. I really enjoyed both of these (10 Cloverfield Lane for sure will be making the big list), but they are borderline horror movie. And with as many great one available this year, I am taking them out of the running.
What follows is the top ten list of horror movies this year.
Top Ten Best
Honorable Mention: The Witch ( I didn’t like this as much as many others did), and The Forest.
#10. The Boy. This one I thought was going to be horrible, but turned out to be entertaining enough for what it was. I enjoyed Lauren Cohen’s performance.
#9. Blair Witch. The surprise sequel announced at Comic Con was good, but too familiar. Still, this was loads better than the previous Blair Witch sequel and had many frighteningly chilling moments. I also relaly liked the time loop idea that I wished they had done more with.
#8. I Am Not A Serial Killer. Saw this recently on Netflix and it was a deceptively fun performance from Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd. A monster movie and a love story all combined into one.
#7. The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Another one I just saw recently, I really enjoyed this. It felt like a mystery story and a procedural as well as a tense horror story. This had a great set up and basically became a haunted house in a morgue situation. Brian Cox was great as well.
#6. Green Room. Great work from Patrick Stewart and the dearly departed Anton Yelchin. Green Room was hard to watch, made you squirm, and filled you with emotion as these characters got picked off one after another. It was a slasher film in a year without too many. It also show us how much of a tragic loss it was with the accidental death of Yelchin this year.
#5. Conjuring 2. The return of the Warrens in another story of demonic possession. This time the Warrens travel to England to deal with a little girl who may or may not be faking this possession. This was an enjoyable sequel with one of the best uses of music of the year as Ed Warren sang Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.” I loved that scene.
#4. Ouija: Origin of Evil. There was no way this was going to be good. It had a horrible trailer and was a sequel to a horrible movie. And yet, this was great! They focused on the characters and there were several really good performances. Amazing.
#3. Hush. Another Netflix film, Hush was the home invasion film taken to a new level. It turned out to be almost a one-on-one battle for survival. Very tense and suspenseful.
#2. Lights Out. A great concept for a horror movie and some really scary scenes. Plus more development on character than on just jump scares. Sure, there are a few plot holes in the story, but they can be excused because you are so invested in the characters. Lights Out was an exceptional film.
And the winner of the Best Horror Movie Award for 2016 is...
#1. Don’t Breathe. This was another one that I thought was not going to be good. I was not a fan of the trailer and I wondered how we could root for these kids who are trying to rip off this blind guy. However, once I saw the film, all of those worries went away. There were times when I literally did not want to breathe myself. So intense. So frightening. This was so well done, so well written and acted that it was more than just a great horror movie. It was a great movie. And Steven Lang was just awesome.
However…. every horror movie wasn’t great this year. We had our share of failures too. So here is the top 5 worst horror movies.
Top 5 Worst
Dishonorable mention: Neon Demon, The Disappointments Room
#5. The Purge: Election Year. I am ready for the Purge movies to be over. This even had LOST’s Elizabeth Mitchell and couldn’t be saved.
#4. Incarnate. Dreams. Plus a good effort by Aaron Eckhart. He really deserved better. Of course, there was Mark Henry. WWE produced. Not good.
#3. The Darkness. Honestly, I don’t remember anything about this except for the movie poster with the prints on the bed. (After a quick Google search)-oh yeah, this is Kevin Bacon and the kid who plays Bruce Wayne on Gotham. That kid was in Incarnate too. He really played the same character in both. Bad horror year for him.
#2. The Other Side of the Door. This one has so many stupid things going on that it even gives horror movies a bad name. Just don’t open the door.
#1. Shut In. Probably the stupidest killer ever. This was a film that had Golden Globe nominated actor Jacob Tremblay and they had him be mute and deaf. He had zero lines! There were so many things that you had to accept to believe this movie was even possible. What are Naomi Watts and Oliver Platt doing in this? It had 0% on Rotten Tomatoes until recently. It is now at 3% with one fresh review.