Whether you returned to movie theaters or stayed home and streamed this past year, 2021 was a year full of great horror films. Here are my picks for the five best horror films of the year:
#1 – TITANE
Easily the most batshit film of the year, Julia Ducournau does it again with Titane. Agatha Rouselle gives a tour de force performance in this film about a father who is reunited with his long lost son, sort of. This is a film that the less is known about it going in, the better. Trust me, this film needs to be seen, discussed and celebrated.
- Director: Julia Ducournau
- Writer: Julia Ducournau
- Producer: Jean-Christophe Reymond
#2 – IN THE EARTH
In The Earth is a film that at first eerily echoes our world’s current situation. The human race is searching for a cure for a devastating virus, but that’s just the background of the film. The true horror lies in a routine equipment run that turns into a battle of man v. man, man v. nature, and man v. himself. A must see.
- Director: Ben Wheatley
- Writer: Ben Wheatley
- Producer: Andy Starke
#3 – SAINT MAUD
(Saint Maud actually made its debut at TIFF in 2019, but didn’t get a US release until February 2021) Saint Maud is a powerful example that religion by itself isn’t always the answer when it comes to PTSD and mental illness. Morfydd Clark shines as a young nurse who loses her way in a misguided attempt at saving her employer’s soul.
- Director: Rose Glass
- Writer: Rose Glass
- Producers: Andrea Cornwell and Oliver Kassman
#4 – LUCKY
Brea Grant shines in this slasher (that she also wrote) about a self help writer stalked by a mysterious would-be killer. Dripping with social commentary about the prevalence of violence against women as well as the persistence of condescension from the patriarchy, Grant’s character takes matters into her own hands in order to save her own life… and sanity.
- Director: Natasha Kermani
- Writer: Brea Grant
- Producer: Robert Galuzzo
#5 – BLOODTHIRSTY
A stunningly beautiful film about finding yourself no matter the cost (and the cost is great), Bloodthirsty focuses on singer/songwriter, Grey, as she records her latest album at the in-home recording studio of the elusive and reclusive producer, Vaughn. Haunting, well acted and boasting a killer soundtrack from singer/songwriter Lowell (who also co-wrote the script), Bloodthirsty begs to be seen.
- Director: Amelia Moses
- Writer: Wendy Hill-Tout and Lowell Boland
- Producers: Wendy Hill-Tout and Michael Peterson