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Top 25 Best Horror Movies Of 2018

19th  The Predator
Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane
Director: Shane Black
Released: September 14, 2018 | Budget: $88m | Box Office: $51m

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 -Seen It-  When a Predator spacecraft, being pursued by an Upgraded-Predator, crashes on Earth, the closest witness is an army sniper (Holbrook, ‘Logan’). He manages to mail scattered armour parts to his autistic son before he’s detained by authorities and thrown in with a batch of ex-army PTSD sufferers (including Keegan-Michael Key ‘Key & Peele’, and Thomas Jane ‘The Mist’). Meanwhile a biologist (Munn, ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’) is summoned to examine the Predator that’s been captured, discovering its DNA is cross-species, before it breaks loose and goes on the rampage. The PTSD vets team up to find and protect the sniper’s son, but the Upgrade-Predator is soon on the scene too… Writer-director Shane Black had a small acting role in the first ‘Predator’ but didn’t write or direct it. He went on to become the master of the buddy-cop actioner, from penning ‘Lethal Weapon’ to helming ‘The Nice Guys’. He also lost a step directing a sequel to another established franchise, ‘Iron Man 3’. ‘The Predator’ is a partially-entertaining entry that starts off well enough but falls apart the longer it goes on. As the vastly superior ‘Predators’ showed, it’s better to have 1 great concept than 10 weak ones. This film is closer to ‘Predator 2’ than ‘Predator’, as it favours having the creature walking around in plain sight over mystery and fear. The makeup/fx on the Predator are solid, big money has been spent throughout, the lead isn’t bad, there are some genuinely funny moments (see waking up Munn), and it’s gripping during the breathless lab breakout and school sequences. However the problems are far more numerous, including: reliance on coincidence, muddled objectives, silly exposition leaps, heavily-used magical autistic kid, friendly Predator dog (!), silly glib scientists, awful Predator communication ideas, gunshots only being fatal when convenient, the Predator’s swivel chair, and a final scene idea bad enough to put the franchise into dormancy for a decade. The main antagonist/hunter is not really the creature but rather a nonsensical human who wants to eliminate the looney team for witnessing the alien, even though there are dozens of other witnesses throughout.

18th  The Secret Of Marrowbone
Starring: George MacKay, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Mia Goth
Director: Sergio G. Sánchez
Released: April 13, 2018 | Box Office: n/a

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Top Horror Films 2018

 -Seen It-  A dying mother takes her kids to her abandoned childhood home, to escape their murderous father, instructing then them to stay until the oldest is 21 or risk losing it. When the father shows up with a gun, the story jumps forward six months. Eldest Jack (MacKay, ‘Captain Fantastic’) now leaves only for essential trips to town, or to see his new girlfriend (Taylor-Joy, ‘Split’). But when a local lawyer starts poking about, the secret of the house and what happened to the father threatens to come out… Think ‘The Others’ meets Hitchcock. The Hitchcockian suspense feel is reinforced by the ’60s era, fedora hats, pretending mother is still alive (to keep the house), and the Bernard Herrmann-inspired soundtrack. It’s less straight horror than mystery-thriller interspersed with creepy scenes of the ‘presence’ in the house. The dark, messed-up twist is good enough to warrant the buildup and despite overused tropes makes the rest of the film significantly cleverer in retrospect. Some of the acting is a bit forced, but there you go.

17th  Bad Samaritan
Starring: Robert Sheehan, David Tennant, Carlito Olivero, Kerry Condon
Director: Dean Devlin
Released: May 4, 2018 | Budget: n/a | Box Office: $3m

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 -Seen It-  Two amateur thieves work as valets, driving cars back and burglarising homes while the owners are in the restaurant. When a sinister trust fund-type (Tennant, ‘Dr. Who’) leaves his Maserati, it leads to the discovery of a tied up woman and a killing room prepped for use. After failing to free her, a cat and mouse game develops between the remorseful thief (Sheehan, ‘Mortal Engines’) trying to convince the authorities, and the tech-savvy serial killer out to ruin his life bit by bit… Directed by Dean Devlin, long-time co-producing/co-writing partner of master-of-disaster Roland Emmerich (‘Independence Day’, ‘Stargate, ‘Godzilla’ 1998), who last year wrote and directed ‘Geostorm’. This time the disaster was ‘Bad Samaritan’ opening with the 8th worst box office ever (for its size of release), earning just $1.7 million on 2,000 screens first weekend, finishing with $3m. But it didn’t deserve to bomb. ‘Bad Samaritan’ is not straight horror, more of a serial killer thriller, with shades of ‘Don’t Breathe’. The first act, which follows the burglary and initial discovery, is unbearably tense. David Tennant is aloof and menacing, looking like a skeletal Norman Bates. And suspense is strong for the rest of the running time, though the more we get into Tennant’s serial killer quirks and philosophy, his edge starts to wear off. The cat-and-mouse game gets increasingly stretched too in the 3rd act, and there’s no depth or subtext to what’s happening. Still it’s a pretty edge of the seat watch.

16th  Unsane
Starring: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Released: March 23, 2018 | Budget: n/a | Box Office: $7m

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Best Horror 2018 Movies

A bright but troubled business woman (Foy) is being stalked by her sinister ex. But she’s the one who is involuntarily committed to a mental institution. Alone, she must battle her demons within the twisted asylum as the visions of her stalker begin to take over. But are they real or a product of her delusion?… Risk-taking director Steven Soderburgh (‘Contagion’, ‘Magic Mike’) shot the movie entirely on an iPhone camera (iPhone 7 Plus in 4K), the first major film to do so, and a stunning sign of the times. To anyone who’s watched ‘The Crown’ it’s hard to shake Queen Elizabeth when looking at Clare Foy, but maybe that just adds a layer to the plot here. Critics say ‘Unsane’ does a good job of cranking up the paranoia and is the first psychological horror of the #metoo era.

15th  Incident In A Ghost Land
Starring: Emilia Jones, Crystal Reed, Taylor Hickson, Mylène Farmer
Director: Pascal Laugier
Released: June 22, 2018 | Box Office: n/a

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best horror film 2018

 -Seen It-  Teenager Kate (Jones, ‘Brimstone’) and her sister are moving into an inherited house with their mother when they are attacked by a pair of serial killers. Years later grownup Kate is the successful horror author she always wanted to be but her perfect life is disturbed by a phone call from her traumatised sister begging her to come back to the house. There she finds her sister reliving the horrible attack and her mother hopelessly standing by. Soon Kate will be back in the abusive clutches of killers… From the writer-director of French classic ‘Martyrs’. ‘Ghostland’ doesn’t start well: They’re not convincing as a family unit, and ‘Kate’ isn’t plausible as a typewriter-using H.P. Lovecraft tribute author. The film doesn’t reveal what it’s up until half way through, so the first half can mistakenly come across as a bad movie thanks to seemingly baffling motives, illogical details and disjointed flow. But the narrative is actually working on an interesting and original structure (too spoilerish to discuss here). This premise leads to the most powerful character-choice scene of the year, and a moving, involving ending. ‘Ghostland’ is full of hysterical screaming and grim, depressing content. But it’s also intense, with a subtext inviting deeper reading. The costuming, set design and lighting combine to good effect, while the younger-older actress transitions are remarkably seamless. (…p.s. Everything is tarnished knowing the actress playing the young sister suffered serious facial injury during filming.)

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