By Dave B.
It’s that time of year when bloggers, reviewers, and fans make their “Best” and “Worst” lists. My lists are going to be a bit different for a few reasons. Firstly, because they aren’t individually exclusive to television, movies, nor entertainment that came out in 2018. Also, instead of necessarily being the movies/programs that I rated the highest, these are the ones that best hit the nexus between quality and enjoyment for me (as there can be some difference between respecting a work of art and actually liking it). Lastly, this list is inclusive of what I watched for the first time this year, irrespective of format or medium. Click the titles to see where you can stream them. So, without further ado, here’s my 2018 Top 5 Horror/Thriller list:
Tag has some pacing issues, particularly early on. There’s about 15 minutes of dialogue near the beginning of the second act that is necessary, but probably could’ve been presented more efficiently. But overall, the film takes an uncompromising look at Japanese (and global) society and forces viewers to acknowledge some harsh realities about how certain dynamics are and how we respond to them. I definitely recommend this movie and if you watch it, I hope that you’ll reach out because I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to talk about it.
I really enjoyed watching Dead Set. It’s a nice change of pace from the unrelenting melodrama and action hero tendencies of The Walking Dead. It also doesn’t waste any time (also unlike The Walking Dead) because it couldn’t. If you’re a fan of horror, zombies, apocalypses, and/or British TV, I highly recommend that you check out this show.
On most measures, Raw is a good movie. The acting is solid. Writer and director Julia Ducournau did a fantastic job and it wouldn’t surprise me if she goes on to have a unbelievably spectacular career. I even liked the end of the film (a rarity for me), as it really seemed like it fit perfectly and logically with the movie as a whole. I’m reluctantly recommending this movie because it’s just too good not to do so. But I don't SUGGEST watching it. It may stick with you for longer than you would like.
Certainly, Train to Busan isn’t perfect, but even its flaws add to its charm. It can occasionally be heavy-handed with its messages of cooperation and sacrifice, but those instances lead to compelling and moving plot points. The poor decision-making and lack of caution that is a staple of horror movies reared its head here too, but there were relatively few decisions that I felt were egregiously stupid.
I came up with a short list of reasons not to give The Haunting of Hill House a perfect 10. But I threw the list away because something that can make me feel EVERYTHING as powerfully as this show did deserves the highest rating that I can give it, regardless of any minor imperfections. I’m not going to say that The Haunting of Hill House is the greatest horror-based television show ever made, because I haven’t seen them all. But, with no reservations, I’m saying that it’s the best one that I’ve ever seen. I recommend it as highly as I possibly can.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.