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Top 25 Best Horror Movies Of 2017

14th – It Comes At Night
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Riley Keough
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Released: June 9, 2017

Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorises the world, the tenuous domestic order he (Edgerton) has established with his wife and son is put to the ultimate test with the arrival of a desperate young family seeking refuge. Despite the best intentions of both families, paranoia and mistrust boil over as the horrors outside creep ever-closer, awakening something hidden and monstrous within him as he learns that the protection of his family comes at the cost of his soul… The nature of the threat is unknown, but it involves gas masks, black bile and satanically-large pupils. The director’s dramatic debut feature ‘Krisha’ scored a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and had numerous top critics proclaim him the next great American filmmaker. Joel Edgerton showed in ‘The Gift’ that he can give a great performance in dark paranoid material, and producers A24 previously distributed ‘The Witch’. The well-crafted trailer is stylish, atmospheric and unsettlingly creepy.

13th – The Limehouse Golem
Starring: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth, Eddie Marsan
Director: Juan Carlos Medina
Released: September 8, 2017

In shadowy Victorian London, before Jack the Ripper, a seasoned inspector (Nighy, ‘Love Actually’) seeks a serial killer dubbed ‘The Golem’ through places of prostitution, pantomime and intellectual radicalism, with a list of suspects that includes Karl Marx… Adaptation of Peter Ackroyd’s 1994 whodunit gothic novel ‘Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem’ (published in the US as ‘The Trial of Elizabeth Cree’) which mixes actual historical figures, fictional characters, and multi-tiered flashbacks. Screenwriter Jane Goldman is one of the best in the business, with ‘Kick-Ass’, ‘ Kingsman’, ‘X-Men: First Class’ and the slightly-underwhelming but hugely successful ‘Woman In Black’ adaptation under her belt. For the director it’s his second feature, first English-language, after dark Spanish Civil War drama ‘Insensibles’. The lead role was originally Alan Rickman’s before poor health. Top critics, who have been split, say it’s strongly atmospheric with its fog, darkness and mystery but a little artificial with moments of melodrama and overly busy set design. Some appreciate the plot twists and fast pace, others say it needed the space of a TV miniseries.

12th – Tragedy Girls
Starring: Alexandra Shipp, Brianna Hildebrand, Josh Hutcherson, Craig Robinson
Director: Tyler MacIntyre
Released: TBC 2017
Scariest Horror Movies 2017

High school seniors McKayla (Shipp, Storm in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’) and Sadie (Hildebrand, Teenage Warhead in ‘Deadpool’) are obsessed with their social media presence as authorities on crime. Their interest in murder is more than just academic though as they are the hands-on type. Trapping a serial killer to foster a mutually beneficial partnership, they see their profile rise, along with the brutal slayings in their small town. Can their sociopathic friendship stand the strain of national stardom? Will their captive maniac play along? And who will be the prom queen?… Josh Hutcherson (‘Hunger Games’) and Craig Robinson (‘This Is the End’) co-star. Nominated for the Audience Award at SXSW 2017, and sporting a 93% (from 14 reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes, this is aiming to be the freshest, funniest and most frightening slasher send-up since ‘Scream’.

11th – Better Watch Out
Starring: Olivia DeJonge, Levi Miller, Ex Oxenbould, Virginia Madsen, Patrick Warburton
Director: Chris Peckover
Released: October 6, 2017

On a quiet suburban street over Christmas, a babysitter (DeJonge, ‘The Visit’) must defend a twelve-year-old boy (Miller, ‘Pan’) from intruders, only to discover it’s far from a normal home invasion… Virginia Madsen (‘Candyman’) and Patrick Warburton (‘Family Guy’) have small roles in this American-set Australian production. Described as ‘Home Alone’ meets ‘Funny Games’, the sadistic horror-comedy has scored uniformly strong reviews so far. The script, by a former writer on Mad TV, subverts babysitter-in-peril cliches and is unpredictable as you try and settle on what kind of film it is, although some have grumbled the central twist involves a bit too much suspension of disbelief.

10th – Annabelle: Creation
Starring: Stephanie Sigmanm, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto
Director: David F. Sandberg
Released: August 11, 2017
best 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.

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23 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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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    ADDED
    Previews – Tragedy Girls, My Friend Dahmer, The Limehouse Golem, Jigsaw (Saw 8), Killing Ground, Better Watch Out, Darren Aranofsky’s Mother!
    Reviews – Prevenge, Life, Cure For Wellness, Get Out
    Removed – The Mummy, Resident Evil Final Chapter, Insidious 4 (out next year), Cloverfield: God Particle (ditto), and The Bye Bye Man went bye bye

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  • Davin said

    Thanks for a cool list!

    I really appreciate it.

    When I try Google to find a good list of Horror movies, it comes up with sites that are actually horror movie / review / news sites (UHM et al); I would expect they would post a nice list of movies reviewed by them. Though most of the time they leave me guessing, which movies were good by year.

    Thanks for keeping it clear.

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