Fear speaks in a language older than words, but retains the same power of communication. And today, that language is best used through film. The horror genre has and still produces some of the most visionary artists in the film. Robert Eggers, Our DaCosta, Ari Aster, and many others have proven that abomination can enliven and enrich some great metaphors for the human experience. Fans of horror, even those who are older and wise to the panicky shivers caused by the camera, can respect that genre undergoing something of a renaissance. Filmmakers are finding more terrifying and profound ways to engage with audiences than ever before.
This year, a number of horror films have enjoyed critical and box office success, and some have even become the subject of intense internet discourse and debate. Here are the top ten horror films of 2021.
10 Snooze Party Slaughter
Snooze Party Slaughter, a remake directed by Danishka Esterhazy, takes a while to come to fruition after the groundbreaking of the original remake, but becomes a completely different movie due to its subtext and directing choices. It retains the rhythm of the famous slasher B-movie: a group of girls take to a secluded cabin to party and relax, and eventually encounter the same killer who haunted the main character’s mother some thirty years ago. This is a movie that is fully aware of what it is, and cleverly recreates some of the sly, masculine-looking style exploitation that the original used for its scare. Close-ups of women’s bodies from the perspective of the killer is a trend best left in the 80s, and Esterhazy moves the story along with a lot of intelligent satire paid to the same issue. Stylish killing and lots of comedy Snooze Party Slaughter a standout of 2021.
9 The Fear Street Trilogy
Creator RL Stein this processing of his praised Vreesstraat series of books, which hit the big screen in three episodes this year by Netflix. The Vreesstraat trilogy captured the same aesthetics that drew so many audiences to the popular Stephen King-style media of the past decade (think Strange things, IT, etc.). There is a small town, an old curse and a group of dead, ruthless murderers who pursue the lead role to the point of exhaustion. A central romance plot ties the three movies together and provides just enough heart to get you interested in the fates of these characters. What the films lack in character depth and subtext, they compensate for in stylish action and a truly intriguing mystery cleverly interwoven through the three films. The mystery’s twists and turns are cleverly placed, unpredictable, and work very well spread over its approximately seven-hour run.
Titan is very strange. A young girl ends up in a car accident, a metal plate is put in her head and she becomes a killer who is fond of cars. She’s pregnant too, but the baby is actually a car too. What is even stranger than these individual elements is what underlies them all: a deep sadness over the failed processes of the body and its imperfection as a canvas for personal presentation. It’s sensational topic will not work for everyone, but there is a narrative among the bizarre presentation. Director Julia Ducournau’s world is one where bodies, gender and sex are as changeable as the day’s weather, and Titan is a frightening, well-crafted vision of that world.
7 V / H / S / 94
A return to form for the series, V / H / S / 94 capitalize on what makes found-footage horror so effective: combining ingenious practical effects with a low-definition camera style. The movie has five different narratives, four of which are independent, the fifth is the “frame” story, or the one that unites them all. The frame narrative is relatively simple, following a SWAT team entering a complex occupied by dead cultists. Each of the vignettes is far beyond the frame story, offering unique excitement and anguish created to perfection by different creators. The combination of these vignettes is frightening enough to become proof that the genre still deserves praise for its creativity.
Enid reviews films for Britain’s film rating board during the Video Nasty era, during which legislation was passed to control the content of violent movies. Moved, well-dressed and conservative, she delights in presenting herself as objective and hyper-competent. These traits are carefully undone when she encounters a film with plot details that share incredible similarities with the disappearance of her own sister. Halfway through Sensor, The rest of the film seems somewhat bound and expected once you understand where her obsession can lead her, but the real joy is to watch her prim and proper personal philosophy relax as she loses her grip on common sense. Sensor enjoy reminding viewers that the line between justice and depravity is thin.
5 Werewolves Inside
Werewolves Inside shares almost nothing in common with the video game on which it is based, and ironically one of the best received video game adaptations ever. Ranger Finn Wheeler, played by Sam Richardson with a group of talented veterans of comedy, is caught in a blizzard inside a lodge with other residents of a small town, and begins to suspect that one of them is a werewolf. It’s a shame that the film seems to keep itself in check when it comes to its comic elements, which have a solid foundation in this horror comedy. Despite this, it’s still a fast-paced, classic-style whodunnit with lots of laughs and scares to entertain viewers.
4 Nightmare alley
Nightmare alley is award-winning director Guillmero Del Toro’s latest work, and one of his most twisted stories to date. A carney named Stan joins a circus and finds that he has the abilities to manipulate people through a variety of circus actions. Shortly thereafter, he becomes involved with others who are doing the same and gets drunk on his own power. Beautifully shot and styled, it’s hard to say which aspect of his neo-noir aesthetic contributes the most to his success. Perhaps the strongest contender is just Cate Blanchett’s presence as a clumsy, sarcastic femme fatale who acts as the perfect foil for Bradley Cooper’s arrogant and proud Stan. It’s a slow descent that feels more and more doomed with every minute of screen time and descends to a crushing depth that lingers in the mind.
Perhaps the strangest A24 movie, Lamb does not fit neatly within any genre, making it difficult to convey the tone of the movie. The premise: a lame human hybrid is born from two lonely Icelandic farmers who start raising it like a human child. An atmosphere of paranoid and intimate introspection, coupled with a slow, evocative cinematography will at least make it somewhat reminiscent of other A24 horror films. The two main characters are given space to give as much empathy towards their child and the audience as possible, which makes every moment feel emotionally rich. The film builds to a strange and potentially confusing ending, and was equally maligned and celebrated by viewers. Questions about man’s relationship to nature permeate the film, and for those who will meet the filmmakers in their strange ideas, the film offers a gloomy but truthful portrait of the human experience.
2 candy man
Director Nia DaCosta reuses the legacy of the first candy man to deepen the mythology behind the monster and explore the continuing consequences of gentrification and institutional violence. Candyman’s legend is linked to his name – say his name five times and he will appear and kill the subpoena. The key to the metaphor is the resurrection of the tragedy created by the legend, which becomes an amalgam of several racially motivated murders of Black men. Some felt that the message was too harsh, but the ideas that Nia DaCosta offers are undeniably gripping.
A seemingly classic possession thriller takes several steps into extra gruesome territory when the details of the killer and his relationship with the main character, Madison, are revealed. The murders in Malignant is so exaggerated and exaggerated that several scenes went viral on Twitter, and reviewers noticed a mixture of heightened fear and disbelief in the style of the film. Some of the characterization is one-note and boring, but the film shines during its action and gore sequences, which include an inventive mix of choreography and CGI that are equally hilarious and terrifying.
The season’s movie event comes home with more than an hour of special features, including Venom: Let There Be Carnage bloopers, deleted scenes, Easter eggs, and more.
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