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Confessions of a Cinephile: Top 10 Horror Films of 2020

Confessions of a Cinephile – Column by David Garrett

I wanted to do something a bit different for my next article. Philip Perron was reaching out for Top 10 lists and one of his posts made me decide to do this write up. This list here is going to be a bit different and let me explain why. The first thing would be, The Lodge and VFW made my top 10 for lists I’m submitting to podcasts. They don’t make my personal list as I saw both of them at Nightmares Film Festival in 2019 and included on my personal list there. For that reason, I didn’t want to double dip. This is my personal list for 2020 and I’ll include a link to the Letterboxd where I ranked all 86 films I saw with a wide 2020 release.

Another disclaimer, I was firmly a person who didn’t think that 2020 was looking to be that good. I did catch some movies later in the year that changed me around. I don’t think this is the strongest year, but for me, it is one of the more consistent years definitely.

Number 10: Color Out of Space

This movie was firmly in my top 5 until I gave it a rewatch. It is an interesting adaptation to a difficult H.P. Lovecraft story to adapt. I still really like a lot of what this movie is doing for sure.

Number 9: The Platform

Much like the previous movie, I watched it fairly early in the year. I knew this one needed a rewatch and when I did, it moved up slightly for me. The social commentary here is really up my alley.

Number 8: Relic

This is one that I’m bummed that I didn’t get a chance to revisit. I rented it when it became available and really liked the allegory of what they were doing. This has really strong acting as well. It would be interesting to see what a second watch will do for me.

Number 7: The Invisible Man

Here is one of the last movies I saw in the theater before the lockdown. I was really high on after that initial viewing. The second watch did make me come down to Earth a bit with it, but I think Elisabeth Moss turns in a great performance. Some slight issues that I noticed the second time around though affected my rating.

Number 6: The Golden Glove

For this movie, I watched in November and wasn’t ready for the second watch yet. It is a gritty and dirty movie that is based around a real serial killer of the past. The performance of the lead is great. The ability to make me feel sympathy for the lead despite being a monster really worked. I cannot recommend this one to everyone though.

Number 5: The Mortuary Collection

This is starting a stretch of movies that helped turn me around on the year. I saw this in December as part of my catch up for the year. I had a lot of fun with this anthology and the reveal at the end is something I really enjoyed. Would be curious what a second watch will do now that I know it though.

Number 4: Don’t Listen

Here is an interesting little gem for sure. This is on Netflix and has a different take on the haunted house film. It is my second film from Spain gracing my top 10 on top of that. We get some strategic jump scares and I really like the back-story of the house it is taking place. It is really pulling the history of Spain which has some dark aspects as well.

Number 3: Anything for Jackson

Another December watch for me. I heard people like Mr. Watson talking highly of this and I was intrigued. There is an interesting feel to this movie where we’re seeing how difficult it can be to conjure spirits and being in over their head. If I have a negative, it is a bit too whimsical with some things, but that doesn’t take away from the scares or the creepy atmosphere.

Number 2: Possessor

I got to see this movie when my independent theater briefly opened. It was an interesting blend of spy film with body horror from Brandon Cronenberg. I made it a point to revisit when voices I respect in the horror community were saying they loved it. That second viewing really helped alleviate some of my issues with it and caused it to jump to this position.

Then finally, my Number 1 of 2020 was: The Dark and The Wicked

Bryan Bertino just does an excellent job with building a creepy atmosphere with the isolation of the farm. This entity messing with these people was unnerving for me and the scares were effective. If I have a negative here, it was the ending being too abrupt. This is another one that I’m excited to give a rewatch now that I know how everything plays out for sure.

I want to thank you for reading through my list, but what did you think? Do you agree? Disagree? What is your Top 10 of the year? Also, if you want my full list of all the 2020 releases that will be in the link below:

2020 Top Films List

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