(Welcome to The Final Girl, a regular feature from someone who has steered clear of horror and is ready to finally embrace the genre that goes bump in the night. Next on the list: A24’s unique brand of existential horror.)
For years, I was one of the many people who avoided horror. To me, the genre meant grotesque schlock made to play out cheap scares or misogynistic fantasies…plus I’m a grade-A wimp who gets scared of her own shadow.
But on this months-long journey of “becoming a horror fan,” I’ve discovered that’s not the case at all. Horror is an amazingly malleable genre, with the potential to morph into a family drama, a gothic romance, a twisted sexual fantasy, a reflection of social mores, or a manifestation of human suffering. And A24 taught me that it could all happen under one studio.
Because as much as my fall into horror fandom seemed like a long time coming (I was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hannibal fan, for god’s sake), it wasn’t until A24 started to make its mark as the hub for arthouse horror that I began to really pay attention.
Now, I’m not saying that A24 invented arthouse horror or is doing anything especially new. And I won’t even pretend to know the answers to the ongoing “What is horror?” or elevated horror debate. But A24 is tapping into something — and it’s a move away from the cheap thrills and jump scares that we often see at the multiplex.
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Over the past few weeks, the /Film team has assembled personal lists of their favorite movies of the year so far, a look at where we stand halfway through the year. But those lists were also ballots, votes for one final article – a complete list of the entire site’s favorite movies of 2017 so far.
Of those six ballots (and 60 possible slots) contributed by Peter Sciretta, Jacob Hall, Ethan Anderton, Jack Giroux, Hoai-Tran Bui, and Ben Pearson, 28 films were named. And that brings us to the grand finale: the 28 best movies /Film has seen in the first half of this year.
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(With 2017 halfway over, the /Film staff will be spending this week compiling lists of the best movies they’ve seen this year. In order to be eligible for the list, a film they’ve seen simply has to have a 2017 release date, even if they saw it at a festival or early screening. Here are Jacob Hall’s top 10 movies of 2017 so far.)
On the cinematic front, 2017 has been a year of mixed blessings. In terms of sheer number of good movies, we’re already trailing 2016 quite a bit. But the movies that are good? Man, the first half of this year has given us some real treasures.
Before we dive into my top 10 of 2017 so far, here’s what didn’t make the list. Logan, while very good and present on several of my colleagues’ list, missed the cut. As did two other superhero movies I enjoyed very much, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The biggest runner-up here is Atomic Blonde, which I loved at SXSW and occupied spot number 10 until the literal last minute.
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Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2017 by Jacob Hall
I’ve been looking forward to seeing The Blackcoat’s Daughter ever since I missed it during Fantastic Fest 2015, back when it was still going by its original title, February. Oz Perkins‘ directorial debut inspired a great deal of conversation throughout the festival, with audiences split over whether or not it was a gem or…let’s just say “not a gem.” Any film that can stir up that divide people and get them talking is a must-see.
After a lengthy delay, the film is set to arrive soon and an atmospheric new trailer has shown up.
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