Horror Aficionado Paul Hibbard’s List of 2019’s Finest Horror Offerings on the Big Screen.

10. Doctor Sleep

Even if the movie isn’t perfect, it’s probably the best attempt at a sequel to maybe the most iconic horror movie ever. Doctor Sleep thrives the most when it’s its own movie and doesn’t even acknowledge the first one.

9. Annabelle Comes Home

One of my favorite entries in the conjuring universe, this movie really embraces everything Wan did right and what a lot of other directors get wrong. A complete blast.

8. Tigers Are Not Afraid

A movie about war zones, crimes, and how children get lost in the shuffle and how it effects them. It’s City of God meets Pan’s Labyrinth meets Children of the Corn. And it’s no wonder Guillermo Del Toro loves is so much.

7. Ready or Not

Class warfare…literally. This combines a Bernie supporter’s dream with a bridezilla who is not going to let her special night be completely ruined. I smiled the whole film, even at the left turn it took at the end.

6. Horror Noire

Tehcnically this is a cheat. It’s not a horror movie but rather a documentary on horror and the huge impact that African Americans have had on the genre. Some amazing interviews and it is heaven for anyone who loves the genre.

5. Climax

Dance and horror combined in a satanically wonderful mix of beauty and violence. The opening dance scene is the one of the few times I’ve ever heard an audience, not at a festival, just a regular audience watching a movie, give a round of applause for a scene. This is Gaspar Noe proving he still has got it.

4. The Lighthouse

For such a small story, two men in a lighthouse slowly losing it, the movie is huge in its scope of influences. It’s basically a love letter to the history of film, picking from different pieces.

The gorgeous black and white reminds me of a 1950s Swedish landscape film, like Seventh Seal. But the sound design and effects feel like something out of a Marvel movie. It evokes Hitchcock, most notably The Birds, but also a closed-paranoid space film like Hitchcock’s Lifeboat. Robert Pattinson is dynamic and gives a performance that’s intensely comedic with mannerisms and a look that reminded me of Buster Keaton.But most of all it reminded me of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, but instead of a woman going insane in an apartment, it’s two men in a Lighthouse. And of course it has a style like the director’s first movie, The Witch.

3. Midsommar

A familiar horror story with a modern day twist. A stranger in a strange land, slowing enveloping into the dangerous surroundings, but this time, the toxicity she brings with her are the true monsters.

2. One Cut of the Dead

A movie that is barely even a horror, as it more takes one of the most accessible subgenres of horror, zombies, and uses it as a trojan horse to make a movie about filmmaking, about perception, about the media and manipulation, and about the passion behind creativity. It’s absolutely brilliant.

1. Us

Automatically one of my favorite horror movies ever. Jordan Peele, who is around my age, took a lifetime of watching horror movies, the same ones I was watching, and put it all together. From classics like The Shining, to slasher landmarks like Halloween, to European masterpieces like Funny Games and Martyrs. All of the movies I grew up watching, oftentimes I felt I was alone, especially in the days of the internet before social media, but it turned out Peele was watching the same movies. And he took all of that and put it together in a political attack on the 1%, and it was all lead by Lupita Nyong’o’s amazing performance. This was an easy pick for my favorite horror movie of the year.

Honorable mentions: Crawl, Little Monsters, The Wind, Haunt, Luz, Happy Death Day 2U, It Chapter 2, Child’s Play