Spooptoberfest 2019: My Top Horror Movies of the Year (So Far)

Halloween is my favorite holiday. So much so, that I enjoy dedicating the entire month of October to all things horror. Thus I call it, Spooptoberfest: a month-long celebration of all things demonic, paranormal, gory, and scary. Obviously, I was not able to watch EVERY horror movie released this year, but I tried my best. And let me tell you, I suffered through a lot of bullshit. Some of these were so bad they damaged me mentally. The following are all the horror movies I watched that were released this year, and what I thought about them.

Sections:

  1. The Best
  2. Honorable Mentions
  3. “Eh, it was fine.”
  4. Hot Garbage
  5. Ones I Missed

 

The Best

 

Midsommar

Midsommar (2019)

Release Date: April 5th
Director: Ari Aster
Writer: Ari Aster
Starring: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren, Will Poulter
Plot: Four friends travel to their foreign friend’s home village for their mid-summer festival.
Why it’s good: One of my most anticipated movies for this year did not disappoint. This movie wasn’t really at all scary for me, it is kind of a cliche cult movie, and there were HEAVY The Wicker Man (both versions) vibes (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but hot damn it was good. The cinematography was easily the best of the year so far, making this movie extremely visually pleasing with all of the vibrant colors. Jack Reynor’s character is seriously not a good person by any means. The score was daunting, the performances were on point: Florence Pugh is ♥♥♥, I’m going to put William Harper on my radar, and it was hard to take Will Poulter seriously. The pacing was very slow, however, the 2.5-hour runtime went by pretty quickly for me, either because I was incredibly invested or the recliner I sat in was super comfortable. Watching this in 4K nearly caused my eyes to melt.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%
Coffee Sip Score™: 8/10
Oscar Odds ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: Cinematography, production design, score, original screenplay

Florence Pugh in Midsommar (2019)

 

Us

Release Date: March 22nd
Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex
Plot: A family vacation to the beach gets fucking weird.
Why it’s good: Unlike its predecessor, I don’t think Us really offers that much in terms of subtext. Yes, there are things that relate to each other throughout the movie, and upon a second viewing you see those connections (i.e. we can theorize who else was a Tethered before the invasion, etc.), but I think that’s it. No crazy shit like we were able to do with Get Out. It’s honestly pretty straight forward. I think this movie got over-hyped. Don’t get me wrong though, Us is a good time. It’s phenomenally performed, beautifully shot, hilarious, bloody, and has a perfectly chilling score. Enjoy it for what it is, don’t get all English Teacher with it.
Interesting Fact: Lupita Nyong’o based Red’s voice on Robert F. Kennedy Jr and specifically the spasmodic dysphonia he suffers from.
Best Line: “OK. Playing “Fuck tha Police” by N.W.A.”
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
Coffee Sip Score™: 8/10
Oscar Odds ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: Lupita Nyong’o for Best Actress, Original Screenplay

Evan Alex in Us (2019)

 

Ready or Not

Andie MacDowell, Henry Czerny, Adam Brody, Nicky Guadagni, John Ralston, Elyse Levesque, Melanie Scrofano, Mark O'Brien, Kristian Bruun, Samara Weaving, Daniela Barbosa, Celine Tsai, and Hanneke Talbot in Ready or Not (2019)

Release Date: August 21st
Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Writer: Guy Busick, Ryan Murphy
Starring: Samara Weaving
Plot: After getting married to a rich family, a poor girl becomes the subject of their weird traditions.
Why it’s good: You got a dark atmosphere, comedy, wacky dialogue, a gorgeous main protagonist, an evil cult, a family game of hide and seek, blood, gore, and death. It’s a good time, what else you want?
Interesting Fact: Despite looking very much alike, the main character of this film is not Margot Robbie.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%
Coffee Sip Score™: 8/10
Oscar Odds ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: Nah

 

The Wind

Caitlin Gerard in The Wind (2018)

Release Date: April 5th
Director: Emma Tammi
Writer: Teresa Sutherland
Starring: Caitlin Gerard
Plot: In the middle of no-where, a woman must find a way to battle the darkness of the land alone.
Why it’s good: A seemingly slow-burn movie actually has one of the most badass and smart female protagonists I’ve seen in a horror movie, an eerie score, beautiful production design and cinematography, and plenty of terrifying and effective scares. There was a scene that had me shaking.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
Coffee Sip Score™: 8/10
Oscar Odds ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: Nah

Caitlin Gerard in The Wind (2018)

 

 

Honorable Mentions

The following movies were ones that were not good enough to make the “Best” list but were good enough to at least mention.

Velvet Buzzsaw

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

Release Date: February 1st
Director: Dan Gilroy
Writer: Dan Gilroy
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Zawe Ashton, Rene Russo, Daveed Diggs
Plot: After a series of paintings by an unknown artist is discovered, weird shit begins to happen to those that take monetary advantage of them.
Why it’s good: Original, creepy, a few jump-scares, and lots of familiar faces.
Why it didn’t make the list: The performances and writing suffered bad enough to make these 2 hours drag.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%
Coffee Sip Score™: 7/10
Oscar Odds ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: Nah

 

It: Chapter 2

Bill Skarsgård in It Chapter Two (2019)

Release Date: September 6th
Director: Andy Muschietti
Writer: Gary Dauberman
Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Bill Skarsgård
Plot: Twenty-seven years after the events of Chapter 1, the Losers Club (minus one) return to Derry to finish off Pennywise.
Why it’s good: A perfect cast (seriously though, the way they were able to pick people that really did look like older versions of the kids was incredible), Bill Skarsgård was still perfect as Pennywise, straight-up child murder, some legitimate laughs, and a cute cameo from Stephan King himself.
Why it didn’t make the list: I noticed a strong decrease in the quality of the writing. I got really bored, there was a lack of effective scares, some of the lines were stupid, some of the delivery of those lines were very cringy, and I didn’t agree with some of the changes they made from the book.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%
Coffee Sip Score™: 5/10
Oscar Odds ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: Nah

Bill Skarsgård in It Chapter Two (2019)

 

“Eh, it was fine.”

The following titles are ones that I found weren’t great, but also weren’t terrible. If someone were to ask me how these were, I would respond with, “eh, it was fine, nothing to rave about” or “Oh yeah I completely forgot about that movie.”

  • Pet Sematary
  • Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
  • I Trapped the Devil
  • Happy Death Day 2U
  • Annabelle Comes Home
  • The Hole in the Ground
  • Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse
  • Depraved
  • Gwen
  • Crawl
  • Harpoon
  • Tigers Are Not Afraid
  • Luz

Hot Garbage

The following titles are ones that I found to be very bad, disappointing, mentally damaging, and/or boring, and I absolutely do not recommend them.

  • Escape Room
  • The Prodigy
  • Brightburn
  • The Curse of La Llorona
  • Braid
  • Ma
  • Child’s Play
  • Bliss
  • Tone-Deaf
  • 3 From Hell
  • Countdown

 

 

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