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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top 10 movies of 2016 la la land

Let’s get one thing straight: 2016 was a great year for movies.

It certainly didn’t feel that way in the doldrums of the June and July, when audiences found themselves staring down the barrel of the worst summer movie season in years. But while the larger movies fell on their faces, the smaller movies flourished, proving that the only people who think cinema is dead are people who only see movies with numbers and colons in their titles. To carve out my top 10 of 2016, I had to work down from a list of 33 contenders and to be quite frank, I feel like a garbage human for leaving certain movies off this list. But here we are. Liking too many great movies is an excellent problem to have in the grand scheme of things.

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Top 25 Movies of 2016

The end of year is always accompanied by a parade of lists and rankings and recaps and awards, all of the assembled by publications and groups of all sizes and tastes. At its best, this is a season of celebration, of looking back on the year and appreciating the absolute best cinema from past 52 weeks. At its worst, it can be a little mind-numbing, especially when a writer you usually trust puts something especially boneheaded in that number one spot.

One of the beacons amidst the noise is always film critic’s David Ehrlich‘s annual top 25 video, which serves not only as his official list, but as a work of art in and of itself. Honestly, I look forward to these videos as much as I look forward to some movies and I’ve never been disappointed. His Top 25 Movies of 2016 picks do not disappoint.

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The Witch Directed By Wes Anderson

The Witch was one of the most unnerving and masterful horror films of the year. Some complained that they didn’t find it scary, but the terror at the center of this movie felt more horrifying than any of the jump scares that countless other horror movies brought to the table this year. But what if the movie was directed by Wes Anderson?

Funnily enough, the visuals of Robert Eggers film which brings terror into the lives of a 1630s New England family work perfectly in a trailer edited in the style of one of Wes Anderson‘s comedies. Combine that with some cooky music and clever editing, and The Witch becomes a different movie entirely.

See The Witch directed by Wes Anderson after the jump. Read More »

/Film’s Top 10 Films of 2016 So Far

Captain America Civil War

As we pass the halfway mark of 2016, we at /Film figured it’d be a good time to take a step back and assess the year we’ve had so far. By this point last year, consensus had formed around a few favorites: Mad Max: Fury Road was far and away our favorite of the year one year ago, and it maintained that position all the way through to December. But this year? The results look much more varied. Join us as we count down /Film’s top 10 films of 2016 so far.

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rasputin miniseries

My love of The Witch is no secret around these parts, so I’ve been very curious about what what writer/director Robert Eggers would do next. We first heard word that he was developing a remake of the silent horror classic Nosferatu, but he later clarified that vampire fans would have to wait, as he was working on other projects first. Now, word has come down that Eggers is eyeing a television miniseries about Grigori Rasputin, one of the most mysterious, fascinating, and downright creepy historical figures of all time.

In other words: yes, please.

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/Filmcast Ep. 355 – The Witch

the witch review

David and Jeff are joined by Jacob Hall to discuss the crappiness of Love and Vinyl,  the hopelessness of Wayne’s World 3, and why they’re ambivalent about a Blade Runner sequel. Writer/director Robert Eggers also joins us to discuss The Witch. Be sure to read Scott Tobias on “The Picasso Line” and Jacob’s three-part series on the inspirations of The Witch (part 1, 2, and 3)

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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the witch review

Last week, I attended a screening of The Witch hosted by the Satanic Temple and then went to a Satanic ritual. It was my second time seeing The Witch, but my first time participating in a ritual that concluded with chants of “Hail Satan.” The remaining shards of Catholic still embedded deep within me screamed the entire time.

My invitation to this screening explained how The Witch is “transformative Satanic experience” and how the Satanic Temple “supports the film’s declaration of feminine independence, which provokes puritanical America and inspires a tradition of spiritual transgression.” I saw The Witch at Fantastic Fest last year and was blown away by it (and have written about it on more than a few occasions since then) and this seemed like an excellent opportunity to revisit the film and collect an interesting anecdote or two.

And since The Witch is in theaters now (and just had the biggest opening in A24’s history), this certainly feels like the right time to have a larger conversation about this film, a deeply uncomfortable horror movie that plays differently depending on what baggage you bring into the screening. In this case, I had three perspective to consider: my entirely secular worldview, the beliefs of my Catholic wife/screening plus-one, and the ethos of the screening’s Satanist hosts.

Spoilers for the film follow.

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the witch influences

With The Witch opening this week, we sat down with writer/director Robert Eggers to do something a little different. We asked him to name the three films that most influenced his tremendous new horror movie and we would discuss his work through the lens of what inspired him. In part one of this series, we talked about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining In part two, we chatted about Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages. For the third and final chapter in this series, we dove into Ingmar Bergman‘s gut-wrenching drama Cries and Whispers.

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the witch influences

With The Witch opening this week, we sat down with writer/director Robert Eggers to do something a little different. We asked him to name the three films that most influenced his tremendous new horror movie and we would discuss his work through the lens of what inspired him. In part one of this series, we talked about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. And now, we delve into the director Benjamin Christensen‘s odd and frightening silent classic Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages.

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