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Horror Movies 2017 – Guide

New: Top 10 Best Horror Movies 2017Let’s take a look at the biggest and potentially best horror movies of 2017. The scary list features the usual mix of sequels (‘Rings’), remakes (‘It’), soft reboots (‘Friday the 13th’), prequel-sequels (‘Alien: Covenant’) and original fare (‘Get Out’). So based on anticipation, and the facts as they stand, these are the top 25 best horror movies 2017 has on the horizon. Get excited. Let me know your picks, or anything I’ve missed, in the comments.

25th – The Bye Bye Man
Starring: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas, Doug Jones
Director: Stacy Title
Released: January 13, 2017 (U.S. Dates)
Best Horror Movies 2017

In 1990s Wisconsin, three college friends stumble upon the origins of the Bye Bye Man, a mysterious figure that’s the root cause of evil behind man’s most unspeakable acts. Uttering his name, or having him in your mind, will call him to you. “Don’t say it, Don’t think it.”… Carrie-Anne Moss and Faye Dunaway add credibility to the supporting cast, while cult creature-performer Doug Jones (Abe in ‘Hellboy’) plays the title character. The director made the solid ‘Last Supper’ way back in 1995, but has hardly helmed anything since, except ‘Snoop Doggs Hood of Horror’. The PG-13 horror is adapted from the one page (and not worth adapting) short story ‘The Bridge to Body Island’. It appears to be a frankenstein of ideas from ‘Candyman’ (don’t say his name), Slenderman (tall figure in photo backgrounds) and others, and even has the closing-bathroom-mirror-scare. Meanwhile the rules seem too broad and muddled: He gives visions, possesses, kills, and feeds on fear, and spreads like a virus? Still, the production values look good, and perhaps borrowed ideas will still be decent ones.

24th – Leatherface
Starring: Sam Strike, Lili Taylor, Stephen Dorff, Vanessa Grasse, James Bloor
Directors: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Released: TBC 2017
top horror movies 2017

In the 1950s, four psychopathic teenagers escape from a mental hospital, kidnapping a nurse in their escape, and find themselves pursued by a vengeful Texas ranger (Dorff). Which of the four will become Leatherface is a mystery. Lily Taylor (‘The Conjuring’) plays the mom… The Texas Chainsaw franchise is in a mess, with a reboot (2003) followed by a prequel (2006), then another reboot (2013), now another prequel. Why? Well the rights keep being sold on. Tellingly, the character of Leatherface has now had five different names – Bubba, Junior, Thomas, Jedidiah and…this one. The main problem with a Leatherface origin story is that it was done two movies ago. At least this version takes a different approach, removing the ‘group of teens who will become victims’ subplot completely, for a Rob Zombie ‘Devil’s Rejects’ family-road trip/’Halloween’ prequel angle. Zombie’s killer-as-a-youth character study was awful, because the approach requires particularly skilled writing, and these sequelised horror-icon franchises don’t typically attract top screenwriting talent. Nonetheless, making ‘Leatherface’ an R-rated road movie, with a “who-is-it” at the center, means the structure ought to be more interesting than recent efforts. The French directors made the well-received ‘Inside’ in 2007, but have since followed it with two mediocre efforts. Faint hope.

23rd – Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Iain Glen
Director: Paul W. S. Anderson
Released: January 27, 2017
Scary Movies 2017

Picking up three weeks after the events in ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’, humanity is on its last legs after Alice (Jovovich) is betrayed by Wesker in Washington D.C. As the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead hordes, Alice must join forces with old friends (inc. Ali Larter as Claire Redfield) and return to where the nightmare began – Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse… Ticket sales in the U.S. saw a drop off with ‘Retribution’ but internationally the series remains a money-making machine. Boredom is kicking in though for director and star – Paul W.S. Anderson has stated this will be the last one he directs, while Milla Jovovich won’t play Alice again. Anderson says, “here we’re coming full circle, back to the characters, themes and setting from the very first film.” He promises major revelations about Alice’s identity and background, concealed by her memory loss since the first film, that will “make audiences re-examine everything they have seen in the franchise”. It’s a shame they turned a Romero-inspired horror franchise into a brainless action one. Many of us have been hoping for a reboot since it started, but 15 years of Paul W. S. Anderson later, and we’re probably headed for a spinoff in the same universe. ‘Final Chapter’ should be solid entertainment for long-time fans.

22nd – Annabelle: Creation
Starring: Stephanie Sigmanm, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto
Director: David F. Sandberg
Released: August 11, 2017
New Horror Movies 2017

A dollmaker (LaPaglia) and his wife, whose daughter tragically died twenty years earlier, decide to open their home to a nun (Sigman) and several girls from an orphanage that has been closed. But the dollmaker’s possessed creation Annabelle sets her sights on the children and turns their shelter into a storm of horror… The first ‘Annabelle’ was a spinoff prequel to ‘The Conjuring’ and this too is set before the Warrens acquired the demonic doll for their private collection. ‘Annabelle’ had effective atmosphere, a decent if forgettable story (same writer here), and made the doll creepy as hell. The biggest issue was the lead characters were too vanilla – perfectly functional but not compelling people in their own right. Though no one was demanding a sequel, can this do better? The capable director of ‘Lights Out’ has a good shot, and last year’s ‘Oujia 2’ was better than its predecessor.

21st – Patient Zero
Starring: Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, Clive Standen, Stanley Tucci
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Released: February 17, 2017
Top 10 best horror films of 2017

A global pandemic of a super strain of rabies has turned the majority of humankind into highly intelligent, streamlined killers known as “The Infected” (think the rage virus from ’28 Days Later’, with more communication and parkour). One victim (Smith, ‘Dr.Who’), who is asymptomatic and can communicate with the infected, leads the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero, a needle in a haystack, to find an antidote to save humanity and his infected wife. Joining him and heading the scientific research efforts is a CDC virologist (Dormer, ‘Game of Thrones’), while a stern, alcoholic Colonel (Standen, TV’s ‘Camelot’) is in charge of military protection, or “babysitting” as he sees it… It all sounds very generic, but this comes from the veteran Austrian director known for horror ‘Anatomy’, thriller ‘Deadfall’, and the Oscar-winning ‘The Counterfeiters’. This is a chance for Smith to prove himself as a leading man on the big screen.

20th – The Mummy
Starring: Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Russell Crowe
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Released: June 9, 2017
best horror movies 2017

Thought safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient queen (Boutella, ‘Kingsman’, ‘Star Trek Beyond’) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension. From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy will usher in a new world of gods and monsters… Tom Cruise (‘Top Gun’) is charged with taking her down. Annabelle Wallis (er, ‘Annabelle’) is an archaeologist. Jake Johnson (‘Lets Be Cops’) is a soldier this time. Unlike the Brandon Fraser trilogy, this will be set in present day (and not be as cheesy). Though ‘Dracula Untold’ teased it in its end credits, this is the first coordinated film in Universal’s shared monsters universe. Therefore Russell Crowe has a significant supporting role as Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. Future films are expected to include Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man, also Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Van Helsing and Bride of Frankenstein. All will be action-adventure based rather than horror. Long-time blockbuster writer and producer Alex Kurtzman is overseeing the universe and making his blockbuster-directing debut here. Forget Cruise fighting a Mummy, I want to see Crowe going mental as Jekyll & Hyde right now…

Horror Movies 2017 (19th Place) >

Best Horror Films 2017

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21 Comments »

  • Nuno Correia said

    Ah yes, here we go!
    A great and interesting mix, as always – good job!
    I had many of these in sight, along with a few you may have missed (namely ‘Amityville: The Awakening’) and others that are still awaiting a 2017 release date, such as ‘Jeepers Creepers 3’, ‘Death House’, ‘Mom and Dad’, ’47 Meters Down’, ‘The Dark Tapes’ and the highly unlikely ‘World War Z 2’.
    Thanks for the heads up on a slew that flew under my radar – ‘The Void’ and ‘Life’ seem especially interesting…
    Here’s to a (hopefully) great and varied year in horror!

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Thanks a lot for reading. Yes when all is said and done I think it’ll be a really solid year for horror. ‘Amityville: The Awakening’ settled in 26th place so didn’t quite squeak on. I also don’t see any way ‘World War Z 2’ comes out this year. Admittedly ‘Death House’, ‘Mom and Dad’, ‘The Dark Tapes’ were not on the reserve list, so thanks for the heads up. ‘Mom and Dad’ with Cage and the director of ‘Crank’ sure should make for some insanity. Let readers and myself know of any future discoveries as things evolve…

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    • Victor cserer said

      Wasn’t girl with all the gifts 2016? Good movie. Think 28 days later meets planet of the apes.

      Great list…no gunslinger? Watched covenant preview. Looks like it’s diving back into the alien franchise. Hope scott ties the two together.

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      • Sheridan Passell said
        Sheridan Passell

        Good points. The list is going by US release dates so Girl With All The Gifts is counted as 2017, even though we in the UK have seen it (I still need to remove it from last year’s list…). The Dark Tower crosses multiple genres, but is mostly action-adventure-fantasy, so is going on the action list, for now. I wish I had a bit more faith in Ridley Scott’s storytelling after Prometheus, but if Shyamalan can turn it around anyone can.

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        • Victor cserer said

          Agreed. I come to your site regularly as you are pretty good at updating your list as you run into good horror. One of the few sites I go to when I need a good horror flick to watch. Keel up the good work my friend!

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  • gd smith said

    You never know with horror. The best movies in the genre tend to come out of nowhere.

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  • gd smith said

    Despite some doubts I’m looking forward to Alien Covenant. I liked Prometheus because it took in more of the often overlooked influence of H.P Lovecraft on O’Bannon’s original concept. The main problem I can see with this one is that it leans too much on fan service when that’s precisely what has diluted the movies in first place. Not interested in Suspiria at all. To me the whole point of the original is the style. The story barely exists beyond a set up which is not dissimilar to Harry Potter (three sisters/houses, rooms that seem to appear from nowhere, and so on), Remaking it is like rewriting a novel. No mater how good the talent involved is they are not Henry James. I’m not saying this to be snobby. There are plenty of classic things I find a bit of a chore or don’t like, but when that happens I recognize that the issue is my taste not the classic thing.

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    • Victor cserer said

      Remaking susperia? I don’t even know how (or why) you would. Not knocking the film, I liked it. I just can’t imagine a remake. How about a Demons remake? Don’t think argento directed (Bava maybe?), but produced. Definitely my most fav flick he was involved with.

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      • Sheridan Passell said
        Sheridan Passell

        Yeah Demons remake would be fun. Long time since there was a decent horror set in a cinema.

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  • gd smith said

    >> SPLIT SPOILER << I have it on good authority that fans of Unbreakable might like Split.

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  • Nuno Correia said

    Breaking news:

    ‘World War Z 2’ fate confirmed: not anytime soon – and definitely not this year.

    Also, the ‘Friday the 13th’ reboot seems to have been shelved… permanently!

    Can’t say I had high hopes for any of those two.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Yeah, disappointing, especially as Friday 13th was quite far along. The new PC game shows there’s a great retro-feeling Friday waiting to be made. World War Z 2 could be good if they stick closer to the novel and keep Pitt as lead. Both are big moneymakers in prospect so I don’t know what they’re playing at…

      Thanks for the update Nuno.

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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    Updated with a review of The Void, plus previews of Devil’s Candy and It Comes At Night. Rings has been removed for being bad.

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    • Nuno Correia said

      ‘The Void’ seems even more interesting now, and ‘It Comes at Night’ also looks quite interesting, even though it somehow sends off flashes of ’10 Cloverfield Lane’.
      Was ‘Rings’ really that bad? Haven’t seen it yet.
      Also, did you end up doing any change to the 2016 Horror Guide lineup?

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      • Sheridan Passell said
        Sheridan Passell

        Because It Comes At Night is so mysterious, it’s hard to determine if it definitely will be horror, or more like 10 Cloverfield Lane. I think it has a creepier, more unsettling edge to it, compared to ‘Lane which was more Hitchcockian suspense.

        The Void feels like a film from 25 years ago and if you like its influences is definitely worth a watch, though I wouldn’t call it a classic.

        Rings has an IMDB rating of 4.5 and Rotten Tomatoes of 7%, which are both terrible. Making a sequel to The Ring has proved an impossible task for filmmakers, including the director of Ringu. It seems to be a concept that only works within a single film. Bye Bye Man will be the next to go bye bye.

        I’ve been slowly working my way through last year’s late releases, but not updated the list yet. I was hoping Beyond The Gates would chart, but now I’ve seen it, it was my biggest disappointment. I’m expecting The Autopsy Of Jane Doe and I Am Not A Serial Killer to get added. Potentially Ouija 2, Eyes Of My Mother and Evolution.

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        • Nuno Correia said

          There’s also ‘Sadako v Kayako’ (the Japanese version of Freddy vs Jason), which also didn’t seem to garner new cheers for either Ringu or Ju-on…

          On a side note, why don’t you keep the “bad” movies in a separate part the list (like “honorable mentions” or “not good enough to make the list”), like you used to do in previous editions, instead of removing them altogether? Still would give readers a chance to know about them and whether they are worth seeing or not; if they are not mentioned at all, people may think you forgot them and will see them unaware that they may be about to waste a few more hours of their lives.

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          • Sheridan Passell said
            Sheridan Passell

            I may add the ‘not good enough’ back, however I just found too many readers were complaining about the one film in there that they liked, often with venom, and so it became a less positive experience overall. Also with only so many hours in the week I’ve been actively avoiding watching the more notoriously bad ones.

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  • Nuno Correia said

    Regarding the selection of films to watch given the little time available to watch them, I can totally relate. That’s why I’m still in 2008 and haven’t yet caught up with the more recent ones 😉
    I used to watch a lot more, but nowadays I tend to skip those with lower overall ratings.

    As for the complaints, there will always be some. As long as you make it clear that it’s a list based on personal tastes and explain why those movies were left out (and that you haved indeed seen them), you’re pretty much entitled to your opinion no matter what. People will always complain about their favorite movie being left out (more so than those happy to see their favorites in, who usually keep silent). As long as you stay true to your opinion and don’t take comments personal (which usually ends in losing one’s composure), it should be less negative.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      You’re going to have to be less comprehensive, you’re almost a decade behind, the Prom Night remake does not need to be watched!

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      • Nuno Correia said

        Considering that I started with 1920 and covered up almost everything up to mid-2008 in about 5 years, it may not take too long to catch up. But yes, the last decade has seen a boom in horror movies of variable quality and I really must only stick with the essentials. The ‘Prom Night’ remake is actually one of next ones in line and I was actually considering skipping it, since I didn’t even like the original. Now I’m certain. Thanks for the heads up!

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  • brooklyn. said

    I love ❤ horror movies I’m a HUGE fan of them when I get home I sit right on the couch straight Away And watching. All the latest horror movies and my favourite is Cult of Chucky if u haven’t seen it go watch it now its awesome!

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