In the past year, THiNC. has talked about a full metric butt-ton of amazingly crazy thrillers and horror movies that are worth your while. But do you want to know what chaps my hide more than anything?? That although there are millions of people that come through this site each year, most of these movies are completely off everyone’s radar. Just yesterday I was out doing a thing, for a thing – and a bunch them didn’t really know that I did this particular movie writing thing. (I really do try my best not to lead off every introduction with my top 20 movie list they should watch. Believe it or not. But now that I think of it – business cards, with my top 20 movies on it would be a brilliant way to get that off the table! haha.)
Well, all that to say – in the past year alone – here on THiNC. we’ve had a lot of fun with scary movies. Minus Midsommar. We did not have fun with Midsommar. And if you did, you can just go. Please. Oh, my gosh, that movie was literally the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. Nothing has ever even come close on the scary spectrum for me. But yeah, we’ve talked about lots and lots of great thrillers, and horror films, that would totally be worth talking about now in this the season of the wolf. So, without further ado…here are my favorite scary flicks from the past 365 days. To be clear, these are the movies I’ve talked to you about this past year, they didn’t necessarily come out this year. OK? But even so, unless you are a hardcore THiNC. reader (there’s a pile of you out there that would do well with some therapy, admit it.) most of you will find most of these movies as a surprise. Presented to you, literally in absolutely no order at all. All of these 20 movies are brilliant for varying reasons.
1. A DARK SONG
If I were giving out awards for films that just absolutely shocked the stuffing out of me…A Dark Song would win, hands down. A Dark Song is a closed box film (i.e., a movie with just a few people cast, and a small set – a home, a warehouse, etc.) where a mother is searching spiritually induced revenge on the murderers of her daughter. Really about all I can say about this movie without spoiling it.
join us: a dark song
2. The Wind
Looking for a historical spin to your horror? Then The Wind is the movie for you. A couple head out into the great vast, wide open countryside of America’s history in order to start life over. But what meets them there is the wind, the howling madness of the wind. And the demons of the plains may just drive more than a few of our players to the brink.
join us: the wind
3. The Little Stranger
The movies that really get to me are movies that burrow under my skin slowly and don’t let go until long after the movie is over. The Little Stranger is definitely one of those. A British Country doctor reaches above his position to become part of the family of an estate. It’s a wickedly clever film, with a brilliant ending that will snap your neck off if you don’t see it coming first.
join us: the little stranger
If you like your horror mixed with a dash of romance, wow, you are welcome. The Spring is brought to us by the same guys (Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead) that brought you Resolution, and The Endless, two of my favorite surprise indies out there. The Spring is about a guy and a …. you should probably just watch.
join us: spring
5. The Haunting of Hill House
I am generally not a TV series fan. I mean, what is a TV series anymore? A show with episodes? Anyway, The Haunting of Hill House is a show that I will make exceptions for. It is probably the single most typical Halloween fright fest experience on this list. Haunted mansions with a hidden past. Family secrets left to fester. You get the idea. This thing will light your hair on fire – I loved it.
join us: the haunting of hill house
6. The Wailing
I love foreign films here at THiNC. “But I don’t like reading my movies, Taylor!” Pshaaaw. Some of the most original films have come from Europe and Asia this past year. Don’t limit yourself by avoiding foreign films. The Wailing is about a village’s rising hysteria that happens when they link a series of brutal murders to the arrival of a mysterious stranger.
join us: the wailing
7. The Autopsy of Jane Doe
Looking for freaky scary? This closedbox thriller is all set within an autopsy lab (Morgue? Autopsy lab? I don’t think that’s a thing.) and the ensuing hours that tell the story of this unfortunate Jane Doe. Such a shockingly great little film. And did I mention yet that its hella-scary? hahahah. Buckle up amigo. So much goodness right here.
join us: the autopsy of jane doe
8. Hold the dark
Or what about a movie with amazing actors, and maybe a supernatural premise? I’ve seen this movie three times and I’m still unclear as to that bit. It follows a murder maybe caused by wolves? Or not? Just watch it. So much goodness per celluloid frame wrapped up in here.
join us: hold the dark
Probably one of the more widely known movies on this list. But I’m still shocked by how few people know this film even exists. How to ‘splain Hereditary? Family. Evil. Insane mother. Demon possession. Heads spinning. The works. This thing unhinges somewhere along the line and never looks back. Toni Collette should have been given an Oscar for this performance…
join us: hereditary
10. The Dead Center
I think I’ve gotten some shade for my Shane Carruth man-crush that I have exuded on this site over the years. Well, you know what, deal. Primer and Upstream Color are two of my favorite movies of all time. And now, Mr. Carruth is back with The Dead Center. And while this is most decidedly not his film – he is the lead, and for that we are all the better off for it.
join us: the dead center
11. The Wildling
This is one of those, child in captivity, only to be released and realize what really was happening all along stories. If that is your genre, then this is the movie for you! (What, all four films from this genre?) I thought it was good enough to bring to you all originally didn’t I? So what are you waiting for?
join us: the wildling
Mandy is the most well known, but least watched movies of all time. It’s a drug infused cocktail of chaos, murder, and mayhem. I spent a week studying the movie and I’m still unsure what I experienced. But Nicolas Cage has literally never been better. But, woah, is this movie insane.
join us: mandy
13. The Velvet Buzzsaw
I love art. Art is probably the only thing I love more than movies. So, to couple the art scene, one of my favorite actors, and indie film? This, for me was heaven. Heck, ditch the art, and it’s still a brilliant thriller with all kinds of insights and commentary on our superficial world today. But at the end of the day, it’s one brilliantly scary thriller for Halloween.
join us: velvet buzzsaw
Historical fans, that like supernatural insanity, matched with a dose of old town religion with all kinds of cultic overtones? This movie has some of the most brutal scenes I’ve ever seen in a film. But there’s lots to love here. It’s just so different than anything else in this world of film. Perfect for watching right after trick-or-treating.
join us: apostle
15. The Maus
Hahaha – what do I say about The Maus? Foreign film about the atrocities of war, coupled with visions of revenge, oh, and dollops of insanity added to boot? It’s a crazy closed box film that dials the chaos up to eleven.
join us: the maus
I’m an outspoken hater of the current world of superhero movies. But Brightburn is a “superhero” I really loved. A dark version of Superman, Brightburn turns the genre upside down. From the world of Steelheart (if you’ve read those books) Brightburn attempts to show what a real superhero would actually look like if it were real.
join us: brightburn
What do I say about Antiviral? It’s a social commentary wrapped in a sledge hammer of a horror/thriller. It talks about our desperation for life everlasting, and our need to beautiful along the way. But Antiviral is definitely not for everyone. It’s such a quirky, weird, movie, that some of you should just walk away. That’s OK, it really is.
join us: antiviral
18. Into the Forest
Into the Forest is a ??post apocalyptic?? downward spiral of a thriller. It’s the most normal of all the movies on this list. And yet, in its own way, might be the most frightful of all the movies on this list. Two daughters are left to fend for themselves when all the power in the world goes out. The demons that they face are more normal, and more close to them than should be.
join us: into the forest
19. The Night Eats the World
La Nuit a Dévoré le Monde. You do not know this movie. Better yet, you do not know (even if you watched this movie) that Andy Serkis is in this movie. But better yet, this is a perfect zombie movie in that it is set in a flat in Paris, while the entire world goes stark raving mad. Closed box + beautiful French flat + Zombies = Divinity. If you like your apocalypses quiet – yet insane – this is the Halloween movie for you.
join us: the night eats the world
20. What Keeps You Alive
HAHAHAHAHah. I refuse to tell you anything about this movie. HAHAHhah. This movie is so out there – and so shocking in it’s anti-Hollywood-isms that I went and found the writer/director and asked him why someone in Hollywood hadn’t put him in jail. Basically. This thing is a brutal handful – so buckle up. But, hahahahaHAHAHa. So good.
join us: what keeps you alive
And with that dear friends, you have your allotment of thrillers for October and more. If you have other movies that are worth trying out, don’t hesitate to add them to the comments. I’m always looking for new craziness to partake in.
Edited by: CY