End of the year lists are all the rage right now. Regardless of your place on the internet, everyone is chiming in with their favorite and least favorite movies of the year. Before making your list public, however, be sure to check out these five incredible 2017 horror films that might have flown under your radar. They might just sneak into your top ten!
The Girl with All the Gifts
Though it released elsewhere in September of 2016, The Girl with All the Gifts didn’t make it to America until February of 2017. Based on the novel of the same name, this Colm McCarthy-directed zombie film is one of the smartest of its kind. Set in a dystopian future in which most of the human race has been wiped out by a fungal infection, the film follows a scientist, a teacher, and two soldiers who embark on a journey with a special, infected young girl. The performance of Sennia Nanua as young Melanie is one of the greatest child performances of the decade, as viewers are simultaneously treated to youthful sweetness and straight up terror from the character. Like the greatest zombie films, The Girl with All the Gifts will have you thinking about deeper themes long after the credits roll, and it’s a crime that it isn’t being more frequently discussed.
Kristen Stewart’s involvement in any film will ultimately turn off many horror fans who cringe at the thought of giving the actress a proper chance, but in the case of Personal Shopper, that would be a HUGE mistake. The actress is phenomenal in the lead role, turning in not just her best performance, but one of the year’s greatest as well. Stewart stars as Maureen, a personal shopper who works for a celebrity in Paris. Having just lost her twin brother to a heart attack caused by a genetic condition in which they both shared, Maureen searches for a sign that the spirit of her brother is still with her. Though there is undoubtedly a supernatural horror drama at the heart of the film, Personal Shopper aspires to be much more complex than your average horror flick- and it succeeds in large part, blending genres and telling a story unique unto this nearly perfect film.
Joe Lynch is one of our favorite voices in the horror community, and if you check out his latest movie, he’ll likely become one of yours as well. A horror film that’s packed with action and razor sharp humor, Mayhem follows Derek Cho, a work-obsessed employee who recently lost his job, as he fights his way to the top of his workplace while the building is under quarantine due to a virus that temporarily tampers with the id of each infected individual, causing them to give into their wildest urges. The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun shines as Cho, and Samara Weaving is equally terrific and deranged as his co-lead. Fans of uptempo madness and over-the-top brutality will eat Mayhem up, as will anyone looking for a horror film with something important to say about everyday life and people.
The Devil’s Candy
It was a long wait between the creation of The Devil’s Candy and when it was released to the public. Sean Byrne’s followup to The Loved Ones was filmed in 2015, but it didn’t find release until March of this year. There hasn’t been a film in all of 2017 that has come close to matching Candy in pure intensity, as each frame effectively ratchets the dread to almost unbearable levels of suspense. Ethan Embry gives the performance of his long career, and Pruitt Taylor Vince is reliably creepy. Fans of hard rock and metal will appreciate the way that the musical genres are represented throughout, but literally everyone will dig how truly badass and terrifying The Devil’s Candy is.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is one of the weirdest films I’ve ever seen, and honestly? It’s a masterpiece. Colin Farrell leads the cast as Steven Murphy, a surgeon who befriends the teenage son of a patient who died under the knife. When the child takes their relationship too far, Steven attempts to distance himself from the boy- which leads to a horrific curse being placed on his wife and children. The less you know about Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest film, the better. Just know that you’re going to feel uncomfortable to the point of nervous laughter, Colin Farrell is INCREDIBLE, and that this twisted marvel is one of 2017’s greatest films. Don’t miss it.
You may also like: