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MGD’s Top 17 Horror Films of 2017.

What a year for horror films! Fans saw unexpected successes, average joes, major flops and the returns of several franchises like Amityville: Awakening, Cult of Chucky, Leatherface and Jeepers Creepers 3. Although, 2017 will always be known as the year of IT. When I look back at all the films I reviewed this year and our mission statement here at, I decided to base my Best of 2017 List on smaller, more independent titles only. I looked at what these titles had to offer in terms of content and experimentation and pure joy over production value. If you don’t see your film on my list, it doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. Hell, I almost did a Top 20 List, but that was starting to get out of a hand. However, these are the movies I’ll remember the most and the ones I think you should look out for in 2018.

1. She Came From the Woods (dir. Carson Bloomquist, Erik C. Bloomquist)
A campfire story comes to life for a group of counselors on the last day of summer at Camp Briarbrook.
“…absolutely invigorating and rejuvenated my interest in horror,” “…builds its suspense to a gratifying culmination of action and blood teeming with old school nostalgia,” “…cinematography on point, perfect audio, style and design compliments story,” “…effortlessly captures a retro horror vibe without sacrificing quality and avoiding camp,” “…the perfect Halloween treat and destined to be a gigantic hit at film festivals.”

2. The Sub (dir. Dan Samiljan)
A reluctant substitute teacher uncovers the evil underbelly of a seemingly perfect school. Will she survive high school a second time?
“…an extremely polished, professional and endearing short from start to finish,” “a fantastic film that has captivated my heart without tremendous gore, nudity or shock value,” “…a wonderful surprise and such a clever way to cover multiple elements at one time,” “…big movie studio production quality, incredibly timed acting performances and a subtle retro feel,” “…Heather Langenkamp’s best work since New Nightmare,” “…the perfect horror comedy to usher young fans into the genre.”

3. Death Pool (dir. Jared Cohn)
After nearly drowning at the hands of his babysitter, a troubled young man grows up to become a serial killer with a compulsion to drowned young beautiful women. Based on true events, this conniving killer becomes a cultural phenomenon, known throughout the streets of Los Angeles.
“…an artistic, sexy, retro-thriller that genre fans will appreciate,” “…a quick, murderous downward spiral and subsequent ride to fame,” “…”felt like I was watching the career of a real life, famous murderer like Ted Bundy,” “…the perfect paradox of a serial killer,” “…the perfect summer movie,” “tremendous rewatchability.”

4. Bonehill Road (dir. Todd Sheets)
A mother and her young daughter escape her very abusive husband, and flee in their only possession, a car. They head for the safety of a relative’s residence only to stop on the infamous Bonehill Road. Almost immediately they are besieged by a gang of werewolves and seek shelter in the first house they come across. After breaking in, they discover that a worse evil lurks inside the walls of the big, country home.
“…an emotional punch not often found in independent horror movies,” “…a stone cold classic brought to life in the modern age of cinema,” “…dark and zany Mood,” “…rather inspiring and respectable,” “…starts like an independent Rob Zombie movie mixed with a retro horror style,” “…incredibly manufactured werewolves,” “just as much a psychological-thriller and drama as it is a snarling, clawing monster movie.”

5. The Ice Cream Truck (dir. Megan Freels Johnston)
Mary moves back to her suburban hometown to find that the suburbs are scarier in more ways than she ever remembered.
“…a low-key throwback slasher,” “…a surprising, suspenseful and creepy suburban nightmare that you should add to your watch list,” “…clever mix of drama, romance, psychological terror and old-school slasher elements,” “…features a level of suspense that builds at a near choking pace,” “…incredible production value, seamless editing, metaphoric themes of the past and present.”

6. Unearthed and Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary (dir. John Campopiano, Justin White)
This documentary is a detailed look into the making of Pet Sematary one of the most enduring cult-horror classics of our generation.
“…so candid, so giving, so humble,” “…commentary is fresh and new, shot just for the documentary, “…comradery that shines through almost 30 years later, “…impressed with all the behind the scenes knowledge, photos, and stories, “…one of the best horror themed documentaries on the market.”

7. Invasion on Chestnut Ridge/The Mothman of Point Pleasant (dir. Seth Breedlove)
The terrifying, true story of Pennsylvania’s “Chestnut Ridge”/Learn the terrifying, true story about thirteen months that changed history!
“…Breedlove is one of the most important film-makers of this generation, “…felt like I was there in spirit,” “…the most in depth and definitive piece on the Kecksburg crash that you will find,” “…like you’re watching a full season of “Unsolved Mysteries” and “Expedition Unknown” in one feature length documentary,” “…spine tingling, mysterious and educational at heart,” “…thought provoking, factual, and scary, “…took my breath away.”
FULL REVIEWS: here, here

8. B&B (dir. Joe Ahearne)
Londoners Marc and Fred plan for a weekend of mischief, baiting the Christian owner of a remote Christian B&B. Events take a deadly turn when another guest arrives, who they think might have something more sinister in mind.
“…an extremely accurate and honest portrayal of a double-sided coin,” “… extremely intelligent with the portrayal of the gay couple because they aren’t valiant and true,” “…frickin’ fantastic and a trailblazer for LGBT cinema,” “…packed with mystery and suspense and there’s a little bit of gore splattered throughout,” “…the perfect spot for a showdown for equal rights.”

9. Peelers (dir. Seve Schelenz)
Former baseball player Blue Jean Douglas is closing down her small-town strip club and leaving for good. But her plans are not so easily attained when a group of coal miners show up and with them a deadly contaminant. What starts out as a last hurrah for the infamous strip club, turns into a blood bath. With time running out, Blue Jean must step up to the plate to try and put a stop to the spread of destruction before it’s too late and she loses everything she holds dear.
“…a gory, action packed, sexually charged skin flick, “…a wild ride, “…drama and romance included in the action and violence,” “…sick and twisted, “…strippers are bad ass, the villains are blood thirsty, and this movie is fucking amazing,” “…the best strip club horror film out there.”

10. Clowntergeist (dir. Aaron Mirtes)
Emma, a college student with a crippling fear of clowns, must come face to face with her worst fear when an evil spirit in the body of a clown is summoned terrorizing the town she calls home. One by one Emma and her friends receive a balloon with the exact time and date of when it will appear to kill them written on it. After receiving her balloon, Emma realizes that she has two days left to live, and must fight against the clock to find a way to survive.
“…charming,” “…a colorful, creepy, satisfying gem, “one of the most successful killer clown movies in years,” “…incorporates chills and thrills into the plot,” “…suspenseful, scary and creepy as Hell.”

11. Cute Little Buggers (dir. Tony Jopia)
When hostile aliens crash land on local farmland the villagers at the summer ball get suspicious when young women start going missing. The villagers soon band together around our hero Melchoir to fend off the invaders and bring back peace to the sleepy English countryside.
“…a bros type of movie,” “…boobs, blood, fairly decent acting with sarcastic and subtle humor,” “…a gory, sexy, hilarious adventure,” “…one of the best creature features of 2017,” “tons of pulse raising action sequences and the most adorable monsters you’ll ever see,” “…strays from cliches and typical plot progression to surprise you.”

12. DIS (dir. Adrian Corona)
An ex-soldier with a criminal past takes refuge in the woods. A demonic figure seeks the seed of killers and the blood of the damned to feed his mandrake garden.
“…a minimalist, experimental, fantasy horror flick,” “…bizarre, puzzling and hypnotic,” “…a complete, visceral, palpable, full-bodied experience,” “…one of the craziest, horror fueled releases of 2017,” “…remakable, horrifying, and a true testimate to the depths that actors will go to for a worthwhile performance,” “…stunning locations and expert camera work,” “…unique and disturbing,” “…what the fuck did I just watch?”

13. Art of Obsession (dir. Ryan M. Andrews)
After losing his family in a car accident and seeing his latest work bomb, famous novelist, Kennedy Sait, becomes a recluse and turns to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain he feels. Struggling to make it through day to day, Kennedy’s life is turned around after meeting his neighbor’s new wife, Patricia.
“…an abduction flick fueled by women scored,” “…contains a blatant homage to Texas Chainsaw Massacre that’s bound to make the viewer smile,” “…hallucinations and nightmarish thoughts,” “…impressed by this realistic vision,” “…mash-up of Misery and Fatal Attraction,” “…story that mixes drama, sensuality and suspense,” “…horrific in its own right without being gory and offensive while also building a suffocating level of suspense.”

14. Dawning of the Dead (dir. Tony Jopia, Nika Braun, Clara Loedel, Yannis Zafieriou, Alexander Zwart)
While a virus that causes the dead to reanimate brings the world to its knees, the scientist responsible entrusts his cataclysmic findings to Katya Nevin, a troubled ex-war correspondent turned anchor-woman at W.W News. While she and the rest of her crew witness the collapse of society via video feeds from around the globe, a deadly special agent climbs the building floor by floor, his only goal to ensure her silence.
“…accurate, realistic portrayal of people reacting to a life and death situation,” “…beautifully filmed and visually pleasing to the viewer,” “…classic zombie tale of survival at its core,” “far from a horror-comedy parody and far from a cut-and-paste job,” “…an infectious, ravenous good time,” “…one of the best zombie movies of 2017,” “…tons of location changes, dozens of characters, hundreds of zombies, gallons of blood on participants, and action packed sequences of gun violence and explosions.”

15. Beyond Repair (dir. Robbie Barnes)
Jorah’s late night stop to use the bathroom will have you thinking twice about stopping at gas stations in small towns ever again.
“…a rebellious teen drama,” “…easy going and enthralling,” “…the horror sneaks up on you,” “…ominous and disturbing, “…suspense is roaringly suspenseful,” “…surprisingly good, raunchy, chilling, gripping and contemporary.”

***Fuck it, I’m doing a Top 17 because it suits my OCD…

16. Rue (dir. Derek Franson)

17. Cold Moon (dir. Griff Furst)

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)