With the first Quarter of 2017 in the rearview, it seemed prudent to take the pulse of the horror landscape in 2017 as it stands so far. In my humble opinion, the pulse is strong and the temperature is high, all of which bodes well for the rest of the year. We still have hotly anticipated genre offerings like Amityville: The Awakening, Annabelle: Creation, Saw: Legacy, and (of course) Ridley Scott’s Alien-prequel/Prometheus-sequel, Alien: Covenant to look forward to.
Below, in no particular order, are the Top 10 Horror Movies of 2017 so far. And since I haven’t even seen all of them, be sure to check other recent reviews and, and check back often.
and the Best Horror Movies of 2017 So Far are:
The Girl with All the Gifts (Directed by Colm McCarthy)
Release Date: January 26, 2017 (USA)
Official Synopsis: In the future, a strange fungus has changed nearly everyone into a thoughtless, flesh-eating monster. When a scientist and a teacher find a girl who seems to be immune to the fungus, they all begin a journey to save humanity.
Warner Bros missed a huge opportunity by not giving The Girl with All the Gifts a theatrical release—or any attention whatsoever. Despite being a huge hit in the UK, it was unceremoniously dumped on VOD, given only the most limited of releases after that. This film is a big budget offering that actually delivers smart scares; it realizes a truly epic scope with the most intelligent explanation for a zombie apocalypse I’ve ever heard. It boggles the mind that the studio gave The Girl with All the Gifts the stepchild treatment when everything about it was done well.
The Evil Within (Directed by Andrew Getty)
Release Date: February 26, 2017
Official Synopsis: The sadistic tale of a lonely, mentally handicapped boy who befriends his reflection in an antique mirror. This demonic creature orders him to go on a murderous rampage to kill the people he loves most.
This film is a descent into madness like nothing else, complete with animatronic monstrosities and a manifestation of pure evil. The behind-the-scenes saga of what it took to bring Andrew Getty’s The Evil Within to fruition is both tragic and heartening, as the up and coming filmmaker clearly had a bright future ahead of him.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter (Directed by Oz Perkins)
Release Date: March 31, 2017
Official Synopsis: During the dead of winter, a troubled young woman (Emma Roberts) embarks on a mysterious journey to an isolated prep school where two stranded students (Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton) face a sinister threat from an unseen evil force.
There isn’t an “Aha!” moment in The Blackcoat’s Daughter when all the pieces snap into place during the climax of Act 3; rather, there’s a gradual realization that starts with a tickle in the back of the brain before arriving like slow-motion gut-punch. In addition to a chilling story with a pervasive sense of dread, The Blackcoat’s Daughter offers volumes of subtext, as well as an open-ended mystery; whether the events portrayed are influenced by supernatural elements (or something even more insidious) is open to interpretation.
The Belko Experiment (Directed by Greg McLean)
Release Date: March 17, 2017
Official Synopsis: An ordinary day at the office becomes a horrific quest for survival when 80 employees (John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona) at the Belko Corp. in Bogotá, Colombia, learn that they are pawns in a deadly game. Trapped inside their building, a voice over an intercom tells the frightened staffers that two workers must be killed within 30 minutes. When another ultimatum follows, friends become enemies and new alliances take shape, as only the strongest will remain alive at the end.
Part of a trifecta for Blumhouse, The Belko Experiment is a violent, sadist romp overflowing with political satire and jabs at western corporate culture.
Split (Directed by M. Night Shyamalan)
Release Date: January 20, 2017
Official Synopsis: Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all of the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey, Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him — as well as everyone around him — as the walls between his compartments shatter.
The second film in the Blumhouse trifecta of 2017, Split is an incredible return to form for M. Night Shyamalan, who had so many stumbles in the 2000s he almost became a parody of himself. Not only does Split deliver scares, it has the potential to launch a cinematic Shyamalan-iverse incorporating the filmmaker’s past properties.
Related Article: Meet Billy Milligan: Real Life Inspiration for the Movie “Split”
Get Out (Directed by Jordan Peele)
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Official Synopsis: Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.
At the time of this posting, Get Out, the debut film from Jordan Peele is the third top-grossing R-Rated horror movie of all time. It’s also garnering Oscar buzz, something almost unheard of in our beloved genre. Peele’s film succeeds in no small part because of its powerful mix of suspense, mystery, and social relevance. Get Out is the top dog of the Blumhouse trifecta.
Related Article: Young Black Filmmakers: Jordan Peele Wants to See Your Script
The Devil’s Candy (Directed by Sean Byrne)
Release Date: March 17, 2017
Official Synopsis: A struggling painter is possessed by satanic forces after he and his family move into their dream home.
A harrowing story of obsession, The Devil’s Candy can be seen as an exploration of how the pursuit of art can devastate families. Whether the medium is music, canvas, or a computer keyboard, many have abandoned friends and relatives while perusing the elusive Muse.
The Void (Directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski)
Release Date: April 7, 2017
Official Synopsis: Shortly after delivering a patient to an understaffed hospital, a police officer experiences strange and violent occurrences seemingly linked to a group of mysterious hooded figures.
A testament to the enduring power of practical FX, The Void is CGI-free Lovecraftian horror that fans of John Carpenter’s The Thing and Clive Barker’s Hellraiser should consider a must-watch.
Galaxy of Horrors (Various Directors)
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Official Synopsis: Trapped in a damaged cryogenic pod, a man is forced to watch a series of horrific science-fiction tales while his life support systems run out. Featuring eight intense stories of the unknown and other-worldly, equally wonderful and terrifying. Visit the GALAXY OF HORRORS, if you dare! Curated from Rue Morgue & Unstable Ground’s Little Terrors Festival.
Anthology films are all the rage, and Galaxy of Horror collects some of the most terrifying sci-fi shorts of the 21st Century. While some of the segments stress an aesthetic over storytelling, each is compelling, and the connecting story that binds them has a darkly comic and brutal payoff.
Kong: Skull Island (Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts)
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Official Synopsis: Scientists, soldiers, and adventurers unite to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean. Cut off from everything they know, they venture into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery soon becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape from a primal world where humanity does not belong.
If Kong: Skull Island is still playing at a theater near you, I highly recommend seeing it on a big screen, as I doubt it will have the same impact on DVD. Its high caliber monster mayhem doesn’t skimp on action, special FX, and epic creature battles; pure entertainment!