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Top 10 Best Horror Films of 2018

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake

Are we in a golden age of horror? For this list, we’re taking a look at movies released in 2018 that fall under the umbrella of horror, judging them on their intensity, originality, and overall impact. Our list includes “Mandy” (2018), “Overlord” (2018), “Suspiria” (2018), “Upgrade” (2018), “Revenge” (2017), and more! Join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Best Horror Films of 2018.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Best+Horror+Films+of+2018. Special thanks to mattwatchmojo for suggesting this idea!


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Script written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Best Horror Films of 2018

Are we in a golden age of horror? Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Horror Films of 2018.

For this list, we’re taking a look at movies released in 2018 that fall under the umbrella of horror, judging them on their intensity, originality, and overall impact.

#10: “Upgrade” (2018)

In the 1970s, “The Six Million Dollar Man” immortalized the iconic phrase, “we have the technology.” You could argue that “the technology” depicted in that show is slowly becoming a reality, considering the recent breakthroughs we’ve made with robotic limbs. In “Upgrade,” director Leigh Whannell takes this setup and incorporates a body horror twist. Logan Marshall-Green shines as a recently paralyzed man who’s given a new lease of life upon receiving a computer chip implant, sending him on a mission to avenge his murdered wife. “Upgrade” has the humor and badass action you’d find in “RoboCop,” but it’s AI character also brings a sense of unpredictable terror to the equation that recalls HAL 9000.

#9: “Unsane” (2018)

Claire Foy had a phenomenal year in 2018, winning a Primetime Emmy for “The Crown” and earning widespread praise for her supporting role in “First Man.” She gave one of her most underrated performances in this psychological horror story, which director Steven Soderbergh boldly shot on an iPhone. As Sawyer, Foy plays a troubled woman who only grows more distressed when she’s inexplicably imprisoned in a mental institution. While the film is grounded in reality, it feels as if Sawyer has plummeted down the rabbit hole. Of course, it’s also possible that she’s simply had a mental breakdown. Either way, this film creeps up your spine, gets inside your head, and leaves your nerves rattled.

#8: “Overlord” (2018)

We’ve seen countless films about the horrors of war, but “Overlord” is a different kind of beast. It’s a war film that dives into straight-up horror territory, with American soldiers stumbling across Nazi experiments during World War II. “Overlord” is not to be confused with the 1975 film of the same name, which also took place on D-Day. Rather, it’s more like playing Zombies mode in “Call of Duty” on a cinematic scale. Although producer J. J. Abrams claims that the film is not part of the “Cloverfield” franchise, “Overlord” has a similar sense of creativity, ambition, and dread. Director Julius Avery goes all out with the ridiculous premise, delivering a modern cult classic.

#7: “Suspiria” (2018)

A remake of Dario Argento’s first entry in “The Three Mothers” trilogy, Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” is a beautiful descent into madness. Dakota Johnson stars as Susie, a woman who enrolls at a dance academy where a coven is pulling the strings… both figuratively and literally. As with a dream – or better yet a nightmare – it’s difficult to describe what exactly happens throughout the twisted tale. What we can describe are the emotions it evokes, which range from unsettling, to bizarrely entrancing. Akin to the works of Darren Aronofsky and David Lynch, a film this out-there might not be for everyone. For adventurous moviegoers, though, it’s an experience unlike anything else you’ll see all year.

#6: “Revenge” (2017)

Where a lot of the movies on this list address the paranormal and supernatural, the horrors our protagonist endures in “Revenge” feel all too real. A modern take on films like “The Last House on the Left” and “I Spit on Your Grave,” the story follows a woman who must survive a hellish desert after being raped and literally pushed to the brink of death. As the title suggests, she also takes out the ones who left her for dead in a gripping tale of revenge. Although this material easily could’ve verged into exploitation, Coralie Fargeat’s film never comes off as manipulative. It’s an empowering representation of women that doesn’t shy away from uncompromising violence.

#5: “Annihilation” (2018)

Following five military scientists who embark into the unknown, “Annihilation” starts off as a creature feature reminiscent of “The Thing”. Nothing is as it seems in this enigmatic environment, however. Likewise, the film itself turns out to be much more psychological than initially anticipated. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as “Annihilation” was directed by Alex Garland of “Ex Machina”, and based on a novel by Jeff Vandermeer, who pioneered a genre known as “the new weird”. “Annihilation” gives Garland the freedom to explore a new world that’s both intimidating and strangely inviting. Although the film’s setting is overrun with physical monsters, it’s the inner demons our characters face that truly get under our skin.

#4: “Mandy” (2018)

“Mandy” is like a wild LSD trip that submerges the viewer into a whacked-out state. Oh, and if that’s not surreal enough for you, the film also stars Nicolas Cage at his most over-the-top. Cage gives his best performance in years as Red Miller, drawing comparison to the most memorable action movie heroes of the 1980s. When his girlfriend Mandy is taken by a cult of hippies and a satanic biker gang, Red sets out on a bloodthirsty quest to exact vengeance. Every shot of Panos Cosmatos’s film is a stylish work of art, brilliantly utilizing dark shadows and red lighting to create hell on earth.

#3: “Halloween” (2018)

In a year that brought us so many game-changing horror movies, you wouldn’t think a “Halloween” sequel would be anything to scream about. While the 1978 original helped define the slasher genre, this franchise has been retooled, rebooted, and recycled to the point that its glory days should be long gone. With the return of Jamie Lee Curtis and a fresh perspective from director David Gordon Green, however, we’re finally given a worthy follow-up that embraces its roots without ever feeling stale. Once again retconning much of the established continuity, you fortunately don’t need to see the other sequels to follow this chilling, humorous, and well-crafted thrill ride that’s equal parts homage and spiritual successor.

#2: “A Quiet Place” (2018)

“A Quiet Place” centers on a family that must remain silent at all times, to avoid attracting sound-sensitive aliens that now roam Earth. Every noise in this movie thus overwhelms the audience with anxiety, whether it’s the breaking of a glass frame or the playful sound of a children’s toy. The film is not only a revelation of sound design, but also a tour de force in visual storytelling. Taking full advantage of the harrowing premise, the filmmakers convey an emotional story through expressive performances, clever foreshadowing, and an effective use of American Sign Language. Becoming a box office hit and critical favorite, few horror films stirred up this much noise in 2018.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“The Endless” (2017)

“Apostle” (2018)

“The Nun” (2018)

#1: “Hereditary” (2018)

The most fundamental quality for any horror movie is to be scary above all else, and no film released this year better fit that criteria than Ari Aster’s “Hereditary.” Without resorting to jump scares or other cheap tactics, this film is petrifying on multiple levels. For starters, it’s a psychological mindbender that tackles grief and mental illness while blurring the lines between reality and insanity. Although it contains some of the most graphic imagery of recent memory, it doesn’t take much more than an intense conversation between our main characters to send us into shock. It all builds to an ending that’ll leave you disturbed, haunted, and trying to decipher what the hell just happened.

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