10 Years of Horror: Looking back at 2015-2017

It’s the final day for the month of spook, Halloween has finally arrived.

As previously stated in the past few pieces I’ve written, I’m looking back at some of my favorite horror movies from the past 10 years, as I’ve been reviewing for about a decade. Here are the picks from 2015-2017.

Crimson Peak (2015)

CrimsonPeak

Before making the Oscar winning “Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro worked on this piece called “Crimson Peak.”

To begin, “Crimson Peak” isn’t perfect. The biggest issue of the film is with its pacing, which can leave a viewer wanting more in some places, and wanting to move on in others. Also, when factoring in all of the performances, it’s hard to ignore that Charlie Hunnam was a weaker link in the cast. The writing probably could have been stronger, too.

With all that said, there is a lot to like about “Crimson Peak.” First off, Del Toro’s visual style is stamped all over this thing. The flick is downright gorgeous to look at, with heavy inspiration from the Gothic Hammer Films franchise. Production, set, costume and sound design work here are extraordinarily well done, creating a fantastic eerie setting.

The overarching mystery is also fairly compelling and the performances from Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston are all solid.

It Follows (2015)

ItFollow

This is one of my favorite horror movies from the past decade. The picture is a total throwback to the late 70s and early 80s era in the genre, and comes at audiences with a great sense of style.

Through clever cinematography and quality sound design, the film properly builds suspense and terror. From start to finish, the picture has a feeling of dread, as the evil, antagonistic entity can be anywhere at anytime.

This tension is delivered by the camera having multiple long shots where an audience can’t help but look in the background to see if there’s something creeping up.

The film’s music also deserves credit, as it really helped set the atmosphere in tremendous fashion. Lead actress Maika Monroe deserves praise, too, for her spot on performance.

The Shallows (2016)

Shallows

So, this film is way more of a suspenseful thriller than a straight horror, but I still feel it fits.

In my review I mentioned that “Shallows” didn’t reach the levels of other survival movies such as “127 Hours” or “The Grey,” and also doesn’t reach the classic “Jaws,” but was still an overall fun picture.

The film does decent work in storytelling, giving enough background for the lead character before the shark attack, and having her go through a proper arc.

The movie is well paced, too, with new dilemmas coming up to keep the lead character, and subsequently the audience, on the edge of their seat. It isn’t too long, either, clocking in at just an hour and a half.

Also helping the film is some great camera work, with multiple angles, along with keeping the shark hidden from site at times to build more tension for reveals later on. Helping to carry the movie to the finish line is lead actress Blake Lively, who plays an excellent protagonist.

Happy Death Day (2017)

HappDeathDay

This was one of the most pleasantly surprising movies I’ve seen in quite some time. I walked into “Happy Death Day” somewhat skeptical, expecting a rather generic slasher.

Instead, the film turned out to actually be a fun horror comedy. The movie takes a new spin on the “Groundhog Day” cycle concept, bringing it into the horror world.

On top of the clever take on the time loop subject, “Happy Death Day” also features some solid writing and an excellent lead performance from Jessica Rothe.

My biggest complaint with “Death Day” was the lack of an R rating, which resulted in the deaths leading into the time loops being rather forgettable. That’s a small issue, though.

Get Out

GetOutPoster

Out of all the horror and thriller genre films I’ve seen, “Get Out” is probably the best.

Winning an Oscar and earning three more Academy Award nominations, it’s easily the most decorated of any film in the genre for decades.

Those accolades are for good reason, too. The film was superbly well written and directed by Jordan Peele. Peele managed to create a very eerie atmosphere in this flick, where everything seems a bit off. After watching it, it’s no surprise that Peele is leading the push for a new “Twilight Zone” series, because “Get Out” plays like one.

“Get Out” also featured an award caliber performance from Daniel Kaluuya, a well rounded cast and clever social commentary.

This creepy picture deserves the awards it won and I was happy to put it on my top 10 list for 2017.

 

When it comes to 2018, there have been three good horror movies released to theaters so far. They include:

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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