2018 was not a good year for movie watching for me. I think I spent more time on my book project, which took time away from me in the Kryptic Theater. We only got through 178 titles, I believe a record low since I’ve been keeping track. 66 of them were new films, so at least that percentage is up higher than normal, so that’s a positive, right? Hopefully 2019 will give me more time to get that number back up to at least 250 for the year. But we’ll see how that plays out!
Once again, here is my usual disclaimer. These are my “Best Viewings” of 2018. This means these titles were my favorites that I watched for the first time during this last year. So they may not necessarily be a new movie, I just got around to them. Strangely enough though, all of these titles came out within the last 3 years. That gives me great hope for the genre.
These are listed in alphabetical order, and not in any order of how much I liked them. These 5 titles impressed the hell out of me, for a variety of reasons. I don’t plan on going into any details about the films, as far as plot or storyline because if you haven’t seen them, I would suggest you seek them out. If you have, shoot me a note or stop me at a convention and we can discuss in greater detail if you wish.
So let’s get to them.
Calibre (2018) – Watched this on a whim. It was on Netflix streaming and just decided to pick it. And wow, what that a great choice. A simple tale of two friends on a hunting trip when something goes wrong and you realize that a bad decision will never make things right. A very intense picture and is incredibly well done. Don’t read anything about it, but just watch it.
Child Eater (2016) – Another surprise, mainly because I hadn’t heard anything about this until a friend loaned me the DVD. A great little flick with a pretty damn good and original story. Low budget but well made and creepy as well. Seek this one out.
The Ritual (2017) – Definitely my favorite film of the year. Another Netflix viewing, mainly because it was directed by David Bruckner, who was one of the directors of the anthology films The Signal (2007) and Southbound (2015). This showed me that Bruckner is definitely a person I will be following. A film that starts off going down a path you think you know, but then shows you something you weren’t expecting. Several times. Well crafted, well shot, this one will have you wondering what the hell did you just see, several times. Really an incredible piece of cinema.
May the Devil Take You (2018) – Just like Calibre and The Ritual, this was one that I just stumbled across on Netflix, knowing nothing about it but just decided to give it a try. Not only was I really impressed with the special effects, but it was a great story, and really kept your attention. I love when you stumble across a flick from a country that you don’t typically expect horror films from, but they really knocked it out of the park with this one.
Summer Camp (2015) – This one comes from Spain, from first time director Alberto Marini. Though this is not his first connection to the horror genre, since he was the one responsible for writing Sleep Tight (2011), which as much as I really liked it, found it to be one of the most disturbing films I’ve seen, and not because of anything gory. How’s that for a recommendation? But getting back to Summer Camp, Marini takes a simple and well used theme but changes it enough to make it interesting and different. And with a great cast, they keep the audience’s attention and waiting to see what happens next. Really enjoyed this one.
Honorable Mentions: Corpse Eaters (1074), The Endless (2017), Frostbiter: Wrath of the Wendigo (1995), Hereditary (2018), Lord of Tears (2013), Spring (2014), and November (2017).
Non-Genre Favorites: Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri (2017), Kodachrome (2017), and I Kill Giants (2017).