2016 Was a Banner Year For Horror

best horror movies of 2016

If you grab an average person off the street and ask them how they feel about the recently departed 2016, they’d probably give you a detached thousand yard stare. Or burst into tears. It was, for the world as a whole, not a great time to be alive. However, it was a great year for horror movies. And that makes a twisted sort of sense. As we discover new ways to fear and despair, the movies will react accordingly. Whether by accident or design, horror cinema represented everything we dread in 2016. How it will react to the actual events of this past year has me fascinated…and terrified.

Looking back at the past twelve months, it’s astonishing just how good horror cinema has been. It was there when we needed it, offering an avenue of escape and, when necessary, a dark mirror to examine our inner demons.

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Jack's top 10 films of the year

At times, 2016 was an emotionally exhausting year at the movies. We saw plenty of tearjerkers and great, empathetic filmmaking over the past 12 months. 2016 was a rare time where I could often sense crowds were mostly on the same page. Sitting in a huge audience, and feeling that nearly everyone else is captivated by the same story, is a great experience, one that doesn’t happen frequently — but I think it was something I was lucky enough to see occur more than a few times in 2016, thanks to some emotional movies.

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movies coming to netflix back to the future

Every month, we write about which movies and shows are coming to Netflix and which movies and shows are leaving and it often feels like more great stuff is leaving than arriving. Then a month like July 2016 arrive and restores your faith in the world’s most popular streaming service. This is a strong batch of entertainment and if you’re already looking for ways to occupy yourself next month, you have plenty of options. We have a batch of recommendations and everything.

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karyn kusama 2

Director Karyn Kusama made her directorial debut in 2000 with the critically acclaimed Girlfight. Her sophomore effort was the 2005 adaptation Æon Flux, which she didn’t have enough creative control over. Kusama’s third feature, 2009’s Jennifer’s Body, while divisive, isn’t without its fans. Since making that horror-comedy, Kusama has directed episodes for Halt and Catch Fire and The Man in the High Castle, but after a six-year wait, the director’s newest film, The Invitation, is now opening in theaters.

The unsettling thriller shows a dinner party gone wrong, told from the perspective of a potentially unreliable narrator, Will (Logan Marshall-Green). Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, Kusama’s film is driven by an emotional and unsettling atmosphere, an uneasy sense of dread and loss we discussed with the director.

Below, read our Karyn Kusama interview.

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the invitation trailer

If you’re the kind of person who already hates parties and social gatherings, Karyn Kusama‘s The Invitation is going to press your buttons in a very specific and unsettling way. This small-scale, slow-burning, intense gem is a special kind of cinematic nightmare – the one-location thriller where escape simply isn’t an option.

Drafthouse Films has released a new trailer for The Invitation and it’s a good one, playing up the film’s mystery and tension while side-stepping its various twists and turns.

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The Invitation Drafthouse

I had to include Karyn Kusama‘s The Invitation on my most anticipated movies of 2016 list. Even though I have already seen the film, I had to give it a shout-out. Kusama’s dramatic thriller is an excellent movie, a story that’s bound to grow richer on repeat viewings. With The Invitation opening in theaters next month, Drafthouse Films is kindly letting us debut the poster for the film.

Check out The Invitation poster below.

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The Invitation trailer

If The Invitation had been released last year, it would’ve made my top 10 films of the year list. I saw Karyn Kusama‘s unsettling thriller at last year’s Fantastic Fest, and for the past few months, I haven’t been able to shake it. Not just because it’s a rather unnerving experience, but because of how expertly structured, acted, and shot it is. This is a movie that fires on all cylinders.

After the jump, watch The Invitation trailer.

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Jack Giroux’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

George Clooney in Hail Caesar

As Jacob noted the other day, this is the time of year we get to rest comfortably in our bubbles of excitement. We rarely feel any disappointment this early in the year with what’s hitting theaters (unless you were one of the few really pumped about The Forest), so we’ve yet to reach the point of skepticism about our most anticipated films of the year.

After the jump, help me countdown my most anticipated movies of 2016.

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The 12 Best Films at Fantastic Fest 2015

Fantastic Fest 2015

This year marked my first time attending the the Austin-based Fantastic Fest, and I’m glad I went. How good is the festival? Well, the first film I saw, which is no. 1 on this list, blew my socks off. The movies I saw after that grand introduction, for the most part, didn’t make for a downhill slope. After the jump, read about the 12 best films at Fantastic Fest 2015.

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The Invitation Drafthouse

Director Karyn Kusama returns this year with The Invitation, which impressed the hell out of me when it debuted in the Midnight program at the recent SXSW film festival. The film watches as a couple (Logan Marshall-Green and Emayatzy Corinealdi) heads to a dinner party thrown by the guy’s former wife and her new partner (Tammy Blanchard and Michiel Huisman), where signs quickly begin to suggest that things are very much off with the hosts. They seem to have been recruited into a cult of some sort, but is their new mindset actually a problem, or just kinda weird?

The Invitation is a gripping thriller with a really ominous tone and a terrific ending. Now Drafthouse Films has picked up the movie for worldwide distribution. Read More »