With this I can finally saw farewell to 2019. Here’s my favorite movies from this past year:
10 Hail Satan?
This documentary about the Satanic Temple made it on my list because this is the info that everyone should know, but doesn’t. Most are confused by the name and think Satanists are devil worshippers (I get the confusion), but The Satanic Temple are atheists.
The doc goes into the details of their founding, history, and name, but I would highly recommend it because it goes into their actions, their fight for religious freedom. Our government shouldn’t show one religion favor over another, but it’s clear that’s not the case. The Satanic Temple is in multiple battles with the government over this preference, and I wish them the best.
9 The Guilty
A Danish thriller about an emergency dispatcher (and former cop) Asger who gets a call from a kidnapped woman, and goes to great lengths to help rescue her.
If you want twist on twist on twist, this is it. But be wary, this was devastating. The twists hit hard. I definitely had my shock face on at times and then cried. When I got to the end I can say that it all came together but y’all… it’s a rough ride. A fantastic realtime thriller that I hope more check out (it’s on Hulu!).
8 John Wick 3
I love these ridiculous movies so much, but this is the first time that one landed on my top ten. I think part of this is due to my theater experience where the audience came into play. It was Avengers-level how excited we all were for John Wick 3. The action in the movie was intense and only gave you small lulls to catch your breath. Twenty minutes in I realized I was gripping my seat.
Action isn’t my favorite genre, but just something about this series that keeps me entertained. Also Halle Berry with the two pups *Chef’s Kiss*.
7 Ready or Not
I love my slashers bloody and fun and Ready or Not is packed full of both. I love our ‘final girl’ Grace going up against this shitty family.
This, along with my number one and six pick, really highlighted an ongoing theme this year of ‘fuck the rich’. When they first revealed the mythology behind the game, I was kinda unsure about the explanation, but at the end everything came together and went along with the evil roots of this wealthy family.
6 Knives Out
Man, talk about awful rich families.
Now let’s turn to the famous writer Harlan Thrombey and the bunch of leeches that make up his brood. After Harlan’s apparent suicide, the family was waiting for their payday when up walks Detective Blanc to shake things up. He has reason to believe that foul play is afoot, and he’s going to get to the bottom of it.
I love a good Agatha Christie novel and this movie made me feel like I was home drinking a cup of tea curled up with a good book. Oh, and Daniel Craig came to play as Detective Blanc. Sorry but I don’t need anymore of Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot, I want more of Blanc! (#SorryNotSorry). I would love that trilogy of Blanc ruining rich people’s pay days.
5 Doctor Sleep
I think this was the movie I was looking forward to the most but also worried about the most. I just didn’t want it to fall apart. I’m a huge fan of both The Shining movie and the director of this new movie, Mike Flanagan.
I think the best sequels that have large gaps between them and their predecessors are able to balance the old and the new. Able to keep homage and have a flavor of the older movie, but ultimately be their own unique movie.
Danny Torrance’s story and journey are different from his father’s, and I’m glad that we were able to follow Danny as he faced past ghosts and find meaning in his life. Also, Rose the Hat is one of my favorite villains.
Last year the horror juggernaut Hereditary came through and was an assault on my emotions. I left that showing shell-shocked, even with the crazy ending. While Hereditary is a hellish nightmare, Midsommar is a sun drenched acid trip. Midsommar has its horror tropes, but this movie was more of a relationship drama. Dani is seeking something from her long-term boyfriend, Christian, that she’ll never get, whether he’s capable or not.
I think as a whole Hereditary might be the stronger movie, but I think Midsommar got to me on an emotional level. I’ve been Dani. I’ve been the girl that’s ‘too much’. All Dani wants is family and community, and in the end she finds those who want her, even if it’s a crazy cult.
And the end shot where Dani smiles triumphantly is everything.
3 The Lighthouse
This movie is insane and I loved every minute of it. A showcase of acting from both William Dafoe and Robert pattinson, just chewing up and tearing apart every scene. I think I know the plot but who cares? Lol.
This was also such a fantastic use of black and white. Sometimes it can give a ‘film school’ vibe, but that’s not the case here at all. Some shots/sequences were so gorgeous, and I think that along with the acting really propelled The Lighthouse for me.
2 One Cut of the Dead
This Japanese horror movie is a throwback to old zombie b-movies, where a film crew (filming a zombie movie) is interrupted when real zombies come after them. Oh by the way, the first 38 minutes is a continuous one shot. No cuts, no nothing. At this point a ‘twist’ per say happens, but I think another reviewer put it best by saying the whole movie is then recontextualized. The last half hour was a pure delight and where I decided that I 100% love this movie.
Other than that I truly think you should go into this one knowing very little. Nothing would be ‘ruined’ by knowing, but I think it’s just a lot more fun. There’s probably other entries on my list that are ‘technically’ better but One Cut of the Dead became an instant favorite for me. I’ve already watched it three times over the past two months, and I’m not done sharing it with others!
Parasite was a great marriage of social commentary and thriller with some horror vibes mixed in. The plot was so smart and complex, with clear motivations from each of the players.
I don’t want to give too much away but by far this was my favorite movie this year. I can’t wait to see it again, and if you haven’t seen it yet please do!