What are you afraid of?
Merry Christmas and happy holidays! 2021 is coming to an end, and to celebrate, I'm doing a bunch of end-of-year rankings. This year, I saw nine horror movies, starting with Spiral: From the Book of Saw and ending with Last Night in Soho. I am judging these movies based on how they function as horror movies. So I'm just saying this right now. My favorite movie on this list is at #3. Because while it is the best overall film, it's not the best overall horror film. Before you get started, be sure to check out both my Christmas special review of Elf as well as my ranking of all the 2021 superhero movie and TV shows. Come back this week for even more end-of-year content. Watch out for New Year's, when I will be ranking every movie I saw in 2021.
9. Last Night in Soho
Last Night in Soho started off as this fun, harmless throwback piece that was directed with impeccable precision and acted superbly. And, as the movie went on, it became crazier and more nightmarish and less fun. Eventually, the story went in all of these nonsensical directions. The finale was ridiculous. It was much more disturbing and icky than it was actually scary. Unfortunately, even though I wanted to, I didn't like Last Night in Soho.
8. Fear Street Part Three: 1666
This movie is a complete diversion from the first two Fear Street installments, exchanging the retro slasher vibe for a folk horror film that is probably the least scariest movie on this list. The first two Fear Street films are scary. This one is not. The origin of Sarah Fier feels more like The Crucible with political subtext instead of this 1600s supernatural horror movie. And that's why it is near the bottom of this list.
Malignant is not a popular movie. It was dumped into theaters and on HBO Max on September 10. I woke up on the morning of September 10 and watched it. It was decent. It had a pretty crazy story that got crazier as the movie went on. James Wan is a fantastic horror director, and his talent is really on display. The plot twist at the end was insane, and it just adds to the wackiness of this movie. It wasn't scary at all, but Malignant was kind of a sleeper this year.
6. Fear Street Part Two: 1978
Fear Street: Part Two should just be called Fear Street: The One Clearly Inspired by Friday the 13th. The homages to Jason and Camp Crystal Lake as well as the performances were great. And, if I'm being completely honest, this may be the scariest movie on the list. But not in a fun way. The tone gets too dark and too aggressive, as you have a camp counselor going around and viciously murdering campers who are begging for their lives. That's scary. But it's not fun. It's dark and depressing, and I can't put it any higher because of that.
5. Fear Street Part One: 1994
Part One of the Fear Street saga is the best. With loving homages to Scream, Halloween, and The Shining, this movie was just fun to watch. It doesn't have a very high quality, but they make a relatively scary film that has it's fair share of memorable moments. The mystery of the Shadyside killings is interesting, and it sets up the next two movies for success. This is not a great movie, by any means, but it's a fun, harmless teen slasher.
I refused to accept it at first, but I was severely disappointed by Candyman. Jordan Peele + Candyman sounds like a match made in heaven, but his mark isn't really on the movie. Nia DaCosta's direction was great, but the script just didn't do it for me. The third act felt rushed and didn't resolve anything. And this movie suffered from a big Tony Todd-sized hole. They are trying to re-ignite the franchise with a new, different Candyman, but no one can really replace Tony Todd. This is still a good movie. Once again, it's not particularly scary, but it's a solid film with stunning visuals.
3. A Quiet Place Part II
Now, A Quiet Place Part II is my favorite movie on this list. I loved it. It's thrilling, exciting, and visually incredible. But I don't really think of it as a horror movie, and this ranking is evaluated by how good of a horror movie the film is. It's not scary at all. It does have a few very solid jump scares. But it is much more of a sci-fi thriller than an actual horror movie. But the tension is fantastic. You are on the edge of your seat throughout the film. Krasinski directs this film to perfection. The use of sound is amazing. It's just not the best horror movie of the year.
2. Spiral: From the Book of Saw
I haven't watched any of the previous Saw movies all the way through, but Spiral gave me a good taste of them. And this movie was scary. The traps were nauseating. The tension was high. The inspiration from the Saw franchise was very powerful, but it also had a slightly different tone and story from a usual Saw movie. I think this is a successful continuation of the Jigsaw legacy. And I'm excited for the sequel.
1. Halloween Kills
I don't think this was ever a question. Halloween Kills was...I mean, it was so good. It was so much fun. Michael Myers was brutal and unforgiving. The re-creation of the 1978 scenes was truly amazing. The thrilling score was perfect, as always. The ending was shocking and terrifying. This is the scariest that Michael has ever been, and I absolutely loved it. Most of the general public was disappointed by Halloween Kills. I was not. I adored this film, and my anticipation for Halloween Ends is sky high.