It’s that time where year end list start coming out. This week ECHG writer Adam Holtzapfel shares his top 5 best and worst films of 2017.
Worst of 2017
1. Red Christmas – This film tells the story of what happens when a mother must protect her family from a deranged slasher. Overall this movie shit the bed. The bright spot of it was actor Gerard O’Dwyer. I wanted to like this because of Dee Wallace being involved, but she couldn’t save this sinking ship.
2. Gags – Taking place 8 days after the first clown sighting in Wisconsin, 4 different groups of people’s lives cross paths. So, I’m sure you all remember when clown sightings were the big thing in 2016, well Gags tries to capitalize on that, only it feels like it’s 5 years too late. The film starts off strong and fizzles from there. As it starts out we see Gags menacing a group of people in a parking garage. From there it turns into a found footage film and into a sort of supernatural film. Gags suffers from a case of the film having no real identity. I had really high hopes for this as I’m a fan of writer John Pata’s previous work (Dead Weight, Pity), but I just can’t say this is worth a watch.
3. Alien Covenant – This should have been called Prometheus 2 and should be avoided.
4. The Blackcoat’s Daughter – Two girls must battle a mysterious force when they get left behind at their boarding school. Directed by Oz Perkins (yes Anthony Perkins son) this movie is a slow burn that doesn’t pay off. As much buzz as I heard about this I really wanted to like it, but it had nothing of substance for me.
5. Gerald’s Game – In Gerald’s Game we get to see what happens when your husband suddenly dies while trying to spice up your marriage. This movie overall wasn’t bad, the ending just shit the bed.
Before I dive into the best of 2017, one film that definitely deserves an honorable mention. That film would be I’m Dreaming Of A White Doomsday. Following a mother and her son as they try to survive in a bomb shelter after an unnamed apocalypse. Doomsday fills you with dread for 70 minutes and just does not relent on the uneasiness of the film.
Best of 2017
5. Devil’s Candy – Following a painter that is possessed by satanic forces after his family moves into a new home. This film came out of nowhere and took the horror world by storm. What works is the performance by Ethan Embry along with Pruitt Taylor Vince. It brought a breath of fresh air to a stale subgenre that’s sure to stand the test of time.
4. Brawl In Cell Block 99 – This falls more into the crime/drama genre, but is sure to please any cinephile. Vince Vaughn plays a former boxer turned drug dealer that ends up in prison. What’s to follow is one hell of a ride that leaves the viewer on the edge of their seat. This is the role Vince Vaughn was meant to play, using his size for the role he makes you believe that’s who he is in real life instead of the guy you see in Old School and Wedding Crashers. Directed by S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk) this is one not to miss.
3. Tragedy Girls – If Heathers was made this year and mixed with a slasher films, it would be Tragedy Girls. Offering a fun take on slasher films along with social media addiction it delivers some good kills and gore. The film also offers some inside jokes genre fans will get (ie calling Dario Argento Wario). This made the genre fun again and wasn’t the same old drowned kid, dream warrior, boogey man coming back to kill kids having sex. If you’re a fan of slashers or remember how fun horror was in the 80’s then this is for you.
2. The Transfiguration – Troubled teen Milo has a fascination with vampire lore. The film follows what happens when he meets just as alienated teen Sophie. This film is a lot like George A. Romero’s Martin. It’s a slow burn and at times feels more like a drama, but it works. This is a film that will not be for everyone, those that stick with it are rewarded by what happens when Milo’s fantasy turns into a reality. Make some popcorn, stay in, and make this a double feature with the previously mentioned Martin.
1. Hounds Of Love – This Australian film will chill you to the core. Loosely based on true events, Hounds follows what happens a couple takes a teen girl hostage. Set in the late 80’s viewers are treated to the exploration of the dynamic of the couple. What works for this film is what you don’t see and where your mind takes you with it. You’ll definitely need a shower after watching this one.
To catch what Michael and Tim’s Best and Worst of 2017 are, tune in here.
(Images taken from Google)