Horror is at a new high, with good new releases, both indie and studio, being released at an unprecedented rate. For the first time in a long while, we are getting delightfully frightening films faster than we can keep track of individually. Luckily for us, two of our top horror afficianados, Richard Newby and Becky Belzile, have kept track of 2016 for us. Below, you’ll find their notes kept from the 2016 horror entries, starting with the ten best horror films of the year.

2016’s Best Horror Films 

10. Ouija Origin of Evil

Ouija: Origin of Evil

Universal Pictures

With two entries on our top 10 horror of 2016 list, Mike Flanagan is the horror director of the year. His second film of the year, Ouija: Origin of Evil, came as a surprise to everyone familiar with the first Ouija movie, but not to those familiar with Flanagan’s unique directorial voice and attention to world-building. Ouija: Origins of Evil, a prequel to the first film, doesn’t attempt to erase the first film from canonical existence, and instead uses what little did work about that film to create a mythology that operates on his own terms. The film’s secret weapon isn’t its surprise scares, but the family dynamic between immensely likeable characters whose reasons for delving into the supernatural come from a place of honest grief and a desire to remain a family. Regardless of some familiar story beats, it is this family connection, anchored by strong performances from Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson, and Henry Thomas, that allows for us to feel genuinely afraid once the forces of evil enter their lives. On an aesthetic level, Flanagan captures the spirit of classic 70s horror movies, while bringing a modern flourish in order to create the maximum chill-effect for modern audiences. More impressive is the level of focus in which he handles the film’s horror elements, avoiding the over-stuffed feeling of this summer’s horror blockbuster, The Conjuring 2. He effectively creates a thrilling haunted house movie where the threat is clear and always operating in the context of personal stakes.  Mike Flanagan is well on his way to becoming a master of horror, worthy of a place next to the greats, as further evidenced by the next entry on our list.

9. Hush

Hush

Netflix

Mike Flanagan’s follow-up to Oculus, Hush, is a modern slasher movie classic that doesn’t deconstruct the tropes of the genre but leans into them, showcasing how effective they can be when attached to carefully constructed characters. Hush is logical horror, with a subtextual base that allows for fascinating, grounded, and smart characterizations that aren’t reliant on twists. Flanagan spends an appropriate amount of time setting up protagonist Maddie, a deaf author living alone in a secluded house. Through this set-up we get a strong sense of Maddie’s isolation, which is both a result of her disability but also a self-imposed exile. She is cut off from the world, and only when a masked killer intrudes on her life is she violently forced back into it. Maddie and her stalker, known only as The Man, engage in game of cat and mouse that allows Flanagan to play around with the characters’ limits of perception, and engage the audience in a way that uses their sensory awareness as the basis for the film’s scares. While some fuss was made over a seeming lack of motivation for The Man, Flanagan and co-writer Kate Siegel (who also plays Maddie) create a nuanced slasher figure who breaks type by unceremoniously revealing his face to Maddie early in the film, a promise of death and an underestimation of her capabilities. John Gallagher Jr. (his second of two fantastic performances this year) portrays The Man with a boyish inferiority complex, a meanness that stems from a need for power and to make victims of others in order to escape his own presumable childhood victimization. Maddie’s status as a final girl worth rooting for is garnered from an interior living that makes her a survivor, and it is inferiority built on the exterior that makes The Man such a formidable opponent. Hush is a battle of sexes, senses, and spatial consequences.

8. They Look Like People

It’s refreshing to see a horror movie that’s obviously about mental health filmed with an empathetic hand. Where other similar films pull you in with uncertainty and questions about reality, when first viewing They Look Like People presents no question about the mental state of the characters in this movie. More importantly, their mental health is never portrayed through a patronizing or judgmental lens. Neither of them are crazy killers or pathetic victims and their state of mind is important to the film’s narrative rather than put on display like a cerebral freak show. The cast is small, but when two old friends Christian (Evan Dumouchel) and Wyatt (MacLeod Andrews) serendipitously come together their private neuroses play off one another to a startling degree. The tension resides in the uncertainty of if and when one of them is going to break out of predictable and acceptable behaviour. They Look Like People may have slipped under the radar as an independent gem but make no mistake, it is a lofty feature film debut by Perry Blackshear. This is a film that assaults every sense with its full use of light and sound and its dedicated cast. Particularly impressive for a feature debut, They Look Like People is a film that simmers through its impeccable pacing and direction. Though the end may be polarizing, the Blackshear’s steady hand ensured it stayed true to the rest of the film and fills us with hope for a career that only improves in depth and scope.

7. Don’t Breathe

Don't Breathe

Screen Gems/Stage 6 Films

On its surface, Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe is a consistently tense horror film that plays around with its characters with a kind of perverse, wicked glee that shows why the director gets along so famously with Sam Raimi. Don’t Breathe is crowd pleasing horror, the kind that invests the whole audience to the point where people yelling at the screen, and shrieking and howling with both fear and delight only adds to the experience. This is a communal horror experience worthy of gathering a bunch of friends together to join you for a ride into the dark. Beyond its surface, Don’t Breathe is also a communal horror experience about community, or rather the horror that stems from the lack of it. Alvarez taps into our fears of the collapsed America dream and the neighborhoods where justice has been blinded, through his nightmarish portrait of decaying Detroit. As he pits three young thieves against a blind Iraqi war veteran in the ruins of former suburbia, Alvarez makes America strange again. Stephen Lang’s “Blind Man” displays an animalistic savagery, while remaining a smart and capable solider who makes a gun just as frightening as any bladed weapon. He’s a genuinely memorable slasher-figure in a decade where those figures are dying out. Jane Levy gives the film’s protagonist, Rocky, a wide-eyed fear but also relentless, and painful will to survive. Both characters are found trying to scrape up what last bits of the American dream they can manage, and as a result find themselves in hellish circumstances. Our familiarity with both the state of veterans’ affairs in America and the poverty affecting what was once a gleaming example of the American workforce are used to play on our sympathies and are ultimately used against us as the horror of it all kicks into hire gear. Thrilling and emotionally exhausting, Don’t Breathe is the collapse is the safety structures we imagine existed around the limits of our communities, our old-fashioned dreams and moral alignments, and our horror-thrillers.

6. Under the Shadow

Under the Shadow

Netflix

Coming out of Iran, a fierce feminist female-led horror took fans by storm this year. Wrestling with themes of gender roles, war, and family Under The Shadow tells the story of a mother and daughter in mid ‘80s Tehran. Shideh (Narges Rashidi) fights back against all odds whether it’s in order to complete her medical degree or save her daughter’s life.  Babak Anvari succeeds in taking a fresh look at the classic ghost story with an inspired narrative with his debut. Portraying the Iraq-Iran war in a new light, Anvari focuses on a tenacious mother and daughter duo who test each other’s strength as the war progresses. As one by one the remaining neighbours leave to seek shelter from the falling bombs, Shideh and her daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) wrestle with a djinn that has attached itself to the family through Dorsa’s doll, Kimia. These scenes are chilling and bring back memories of nights spent flipping every light switch on the way to the kitchen as a child, especially a haunting, spreading evil crack in the ceiling. Under The Shadow makes room for contemplation by showing us war’s effect on a family that’s not fundamentally unlike our own. Shideh tries her damndest to keep calm and order in her home for the sake of her daughter (but more likely for herself) by refusing to leave even after her husband is sent to the front lines for medical support. She fights against everything that threatens to move her, but usually out of principle or fear and not out of stubbornness. She is a character to admire to the end and one whose story was a pleasure to watch.

5. 10 Cloverfield Lane

Paramount Pictures

The surprise film that became one of the surprise hits of the year, 10 Cloverfield Lane is an experience of mounting tension, nurtured by tremendous performances from its three leads (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr, and John Goodman). Instead of directly following up to Matt Reeves spectacular 2008 film, Cloverfield, director Dan Trachtenberg captures the intent, mystery, and grand sense of world-building of that film. Instead of the post-9/11 anxiety of Reeves’ film, Trachtenberg examines our contemporary fear of outsiders and the people we share spaces and communities with. The monster is no longer outside, or immediately recognizable in its massiveness and seeming impossibility, but is right next to us and frightening in its very possible reality. Not only does 10 Cloverfield Lane deliver a great monster, but also a great hero in Winstead’s Michelle, who displays a capable, quick-thinking ingenuity just a formidable as our great sci-fi/horror heroines, Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor. We can not only empathize with her very millennial mindset of not knowing what to do with her life and wanting to run, but we can also cheer when she finally discovers a purpose and reason to stay. While the film’s last act reveal proved somewhat controversial, it never undermined the importance of the characters and their relationships. The reveal does require the film to tonally shift, but there’s nothing more horrifying than thinking you have the world figured out and quickly and violently have that ripped out from underneath you. 10 Cloverfield Lane is not only a great spiritual follow-up to its predecessor, but a film that captures the spirit of something Rod Serling used to remind us of weekly. 10 Cloverfield Lane “is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge” and we’ll gladly take more of where that comes from.

4. The Eyes of My Mother

The Eyes of My Mother

Magnet Releasing

Perhaps the biggest independent surprise of this year was Nicolas Pesce’s directorial debut The Eyes of my Mother. Starring Kika Magalhaes as Francisca, The Eyes of My Mother is a beautifully dark tale of a lonely young woman who works through her pain and loneliness with grotesque surgical precision. This is atmospheric horror done right with cinematography favoured over dialogue and exposition. Magalhaes shines here using her graceful body and beguiling eyes to convincingly portray a complex character who spends most of her time alone. Whether she’s tending to her “pets” or cleaning blood from the floor it’s impossible to take your eyes off her. While filming in black and white mutes the effect (and creates a stunning vision for the watchful eye) there are moments of squelchy gore that will have audiences fidgeting in their seats. Truer to life, the horror of the film also lies in Francisca’s quiet desperation and internal struggles. Her inability to connect with other people is devastating even when it results in violence. The horror here is quiet but thick as fog, relying on emotion for its intensity. This film is sure to inspire debates about nature vs. nurture and the consequences of coping mechanisms. More than anything, Pesce succeeded in creating a reluctant killer to empathize with from beginning to end. This reveals an eye for the human condition that will only enhance and deepen any further films he creates, and we can’t wait to see more of them.

3. Green Room

A24

Jeremy Saulnier delivers the same authenticity he found in Blue Ruin for his concentrated and deeply discomforting story of a punk rock band forced to fight for their lives against a small army of skinheads. Within the confines of a secluded bar in the middle of the woods, we find chaos as the descendants of two groups made to push back against the changing world (punk-rockers and Nazis) clash, and encounter a desert island of the human spirit. Saulnier uses the film’s visceral violence and the characters’ struggle to survive as an exploration of the nihilistic soul of modern American culture. Punk rock doesn’t just play into the sound and aesthetic of the film, but works within its thematic foundation, as the film uses punk music to explore displacement, isolation, and imitation. Patrick Stewart’s Neo-Nazi leader, Darcy, is the Iggy Pop of his world, an originator and icon of his specialized depravity. His young followers have become more chaotic, more disruptive, and unorganized in comparison to the traditions Darcy founded. They are punks without a sense of purpose or commitment beyond labels. These young Neo-Nazis are ultimately not so different from the Ain’t Rights, who as exemplified in a tremendous performance by the late Anton Yelchin, are on their own quest for purpose within the country’s changing landscape. Imogen Poot’s Amber is on her own quest as she plays witness to the struggle, and a discordant voice of honesty in the other characters’ search for meaning and honor in violence. By Green Room’s end, neither music or violence can hold the world together, and in the ruins of the things that our characters believed gave them purpose and identity, we’re left with a state of anarchy that our characters could previously only imitate.

2. The Invitation

Drafthouse Films

Karyn Kusama piled the plate high with all the best aspects of paranoia in her latest movie The Invitation. Coming out of her bloodbath horror comedy Jennifer’s Body, this more subdued and serious thriller was a pleasant change in pace that really shows off her range. Will (Logan Marshall-Green) is invited to a party at his ex-wife’s home with her new husband. A dinner party full of old friends and estranged lovers can go wrong in so many ways and Kusama lets you imagine them all before unveiling the delightful reveal. Quite unlike They Look Like People, we’re immediately left wondering whether Will’s grasp of reality is valid or not as he suspects an evil agenda is underfoot. When we see the situation through his eyes, we cannot be sure if what we’re seeing is a correct interpretation of the facts. Dinner party thrillers can sometimes drag but The Invitation combats this with a diverse cast and heavier themes such as parenting, grief and loss rounding out the narrative. Just when you think you know what’s going on in the house Kusama pulls a thread and unravels a new surprise. Where other films have lost their focus in this way, The Invitation manages to hold viewers in suspense for its entirety and rewards them with a generous climax. We’re looking forward to seeing her short in the women in horror’s XX next year.

1. The Witch

A24

Not only was The Witch a surprising turn to period horror, it quickly became one of the most talked-about movies of the year. In an already great year for horror Robert Eggers gifted us a shining historical gem focused on one of the most beloved genre fixtures: witches. Our first view of which is a perfect throwback to early witch representation reminiscent of Polanski’s Macbeth, the old naked woman grinding a baby into a paste to spread over her body in a grisly spell before ascending to the night sky. In contrast, the end of the film shows us the other side of ‘70s witches, l long-haired women chanting animalistically, hovering around a fire as Thomasin joins in rapturous laughter. Sandwiched between is a divine war within an outcast Puritan family, maybe the best story like this told even though it’s certainly not new. What is new is the young cast, the stunning Anya Taylor-Joy seemingly appearing from nowhere and handling the lead role like a seasoned performer. Her deft handling of authentic dialogue and emotion makes her our breakout horror star this year. Ralph Ineson gives a heartbreaking performance as a man strong enough to live by his convictions but too weak to admit he can’t provide or protect. The Witch brings old school fear, the wide-eyed shallow breathing kind that lends itself to paranoia. The feeling that something is not quite right is a quiet whisper on a nervous breeze that chills the family throughout. Complete with a sweet-talking goat, The Witch is an unforgettable piece of genre history in the making that lands it the top spot on our list.

Honorable Mentions: The Conjuring 2, The Neon Demon, Southbound, The Wailing, The Boy, Lights Out, Blair Witch, Emelie, Clown

Best Scares of 2016, chosen by Becky Belzile

Horror and what scares us is always a reflection on our current political and cultural landscape. In the ‘70s, fresh concerns about the natural planet and a loss of trust in government inspired such trends as eco-horror and films about conspiracies and deceit. The decade was fraught with real-life fear that lent itself to some of the best the genre has ever offered. 2016 has been suspiciously similar, so we might be seeing an even stronger showing of the horror genre in years to come. This year brought us some diverse scares that we reflect back on in memory of all the popcorn spilled in our laps.

The NunThe Conjuring 2: Valak was arguably the scariest part of The Conjuring 2; her famous “painting scene” being one of the most memorable horror moments of the year. The demon nun’s blackened fingers creeping their way around the canvas sent shivers down the spine. Religion and its related fears are a near-constant fixture in the genre and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

The Unknown – 10 Cloverfield Lane:  When it comes down to it, the unknown is scarier than most reveals. Whichever side of that fence you’re on, 10 Cloverfield Lane played tension right. For most of the film, the idea of what lies beyond the bunker is a black spot on the mind. But once the situation inside starts to unravel, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) decides she’ll take her chances with the evil outside instead. There are no safe spaces in this film and every question raised brings with it a terrifying hypothetical answer.

The Turkey Baster – Don’t Breathe: There’s a lot to be scared about in Don’t Breathe, but the turkey baster was a real horror story on several levels. It’s easy to have fearful empathy if you imagine yourself in such a helplessly vulnerable position, and that makes it sweeter to see that sick, sloppy revenge. This scene was an interesting and appreciated twist from what we were all expecting.

The Body – Ouija: Origin of Evil: In spite of all the rage against them, jump scares – when used properly – can give some of the best frights of the year. Ouija: Origin of Evil is packed with effective jump scares that brought about those sweet screams followed by nervous laughter in the audience. Nowhere is this more true in this (much better) sequel to Ouija than the moment a body makes its shocking entrance into the frame dangling from a sheet. Quickly followed up with a laugh, this is one of those jump scares that deserves to be not only forgiven, but celebrated.

The Naked Man – The Wailing It starts as a story told by one bumbling cop to another but unravels as a spooky legend affecting an entire village. What this stranger brings is a grisly and grotesque sickness that culminates in madness and murder. What The Wailing has to say about the fear of others is just as scary.

The Whole Thing – Green Room: Green Room was the thrill of the year. The collective heartbeat in the theatre was palpable through the entirety of the film. Masterful pacing, compelling performances, and a gritting realistic story combined to keep our palms sweaty as we watched loveable punks try to escape neo-nazi sociopaths. The realistic gore topped it off like a cherry on top of a bloody sundae.

Best Horror Soundtrack of 2016

Stranger Things

Stranger Things

Netflix

This summer’s sci-fi horror hit that took us all by surprise, courtesy of Netflix, wouldn’t have had nearly the same effect on our emotions if it wasn’t for the stellar score by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein (collectively known as S U R V I V E) and the show’s soundtrack, featuring moody 60S, 70S and 80s gems from Jefferson Airplane, The Seeds, New Order, The Bangles, Moby, and Echo and the Bunnymen. In terms of the score, it’s far too easy to declare any synth sounding, 80s influenced track a rip-off of John Carpenter. But when actually taking the time to listen to the score, it’s clear that Dixon and Stein’s music goes beyond simple imitation, and beyond Carpenter. If anything, the melodic, and sometimes hauntingly sad tracks, have more in common with Tangerine Dream, New Order and The Cure. The score for Stranger Things is bound to the emotional crux of the show. That’s true of the gripping main title theme, and true for one of my personal favorite tracks, “Kids”, which is what we first here in episode 1 and really sets the mood of the show.  Yes, Stranger Things uses nostalgia, but it’s music feels unique within the context of that nostalgia. Even the choice of songs that the show samples feel unique in their usage, surprising when they occur, and ultimately add to creating the show’s mood. We’ve heard Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” in a hundred different things, and yet when we hear it as Eleven makes her escape from Connie it couldn’t be more perfect or more fitting. Try not to cry as Peter’s Gabriel’s cover of “Heroes” plays as Will’s “body” is dragged from the lake. It’s deeply affecting in its placement and not beholden to the specific time period in which the show is set. The same can be said of Moby’s “When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die” which plays as Joyce and Jim retrieve Will. It’s a moment of supposed triumph, something that the season has been building towards, and yet the song is deeply sad, and points to perhaps to deeper themes within the show’s resolution. Stranger Things is a great show because of its great writing and casting, but all of this greatness is accentuated by a perfectly timed score and soundtrack. – Richard Newby

Breakout Horror Star

Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch)

A24

The Witch topped many best-of lists this year with good reason. One of these is the introduction of Anya Taylor-Joy, playing the lead role of Thomasin. This year she’s suddenly one of Hollywood’s fastest rising stars with only a couple TV spots and on uncredited role under her belt until this breakthrough. Despite Black Phillip’s best efforts, Taylor-Joy stole the show with her intensely even performance of a woman scorned. In a tale as old as time, wrapped up in religious fear Thomasin’s family subconsciously work together to blame her for the misfortune of the family. A young woman coming into her sexuality and independence is a classic scapegoat for the Puritanical guilt complex. Taylor-Joy’s commitment to the language and mannerisms of the day combined with her wide-eyed and innocent personality pulled audiences in with full empathetic belief. Perhaps this is a form of witchcraft, after all. Next up she played the title role in Morgan, a story about our obsession and fear of technology and artificial intelligence. Her malevolent onscreen presence hints at her range and beefs up the otherwise lacking sci-fi thriller. We’re looking forward to seeing her in the upcoming M. Night Shyamalan thriller Split where she’s sure to bring a captivating level of maturity to the performance. Maybe we’ll get really lucky and see her in some Spanish-language horror as this Argentine-Brit is still fluent! At only 20, her career promises to be enduring even with blips like Morgan behind her. – Becky Belzile

2017 Horror We’re Looking Forward To:

Becky’s Anticipated:

Raw

Julia Ducournau brings a new flavour of the college experience with her tale of a budding veterinarian whose values are challenged through hazing. Ranging from harmless to downright murderous, hazing occurs on campuses across North America every year. But what if these acts of horror created a monster? Raw aims to take a creative angle on cannibalism and burgeoning adulthood and by the sounds of it, it’s a success. We’re looking forward to its wide release next year. Release Date: March 15th

Split

We’ve heard the buzz from early festival screenings and Split is wowing Shyamalan fans and critics alike. James McAvoy takes on a delightfully challenging role as a man with 24 distinct personalities who abducts teen girls, with Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) returning to the genre to show her range. Split should put a spin on the kidnapping subgenre and we hope it reignites the respect this filmmaker deserves. Release Date: January 20th

A Cure for Wellness

In 2002 Gore Verbinski gave us The Ring. Then he left enthusiastic horror fans and made 3 Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Rango. Now he’s back in the horror circle with an intriguing tale of a man tasked with fetching his boss from a swiss wellness centre with “unconventional” methods of healing. We’re dying to see what’s really going on once all the secrets are revealed and what new tricks Verbinski has up his sleeve. Release Date: February 17th

Richard’s Anticipated:

The Mummy

A Universal Monster cinematic universe starring Tom Cruise and cadre of A-listers? Count me in! I greatly enjoyed Stephen Sommers Indiana Jones-lite adventure movies, but The Mummy reimagined as an action-horror movie set in modern times sounds like a reboot well worth our time.  While Alex Kurtzman’s only other directorial feature is the pretty well-regarded melodrama, People Like Us, and he’s made a few questionable screenwriter choices, the potential for this is too great not to get my hopes up for. This is one movie I can behind there being magic blood in. If The Mummy succeeds, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde, The Invisible Man, Wolf-Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon won’t be too far behind, and who doesn’t want to see an all-out monster battle royale? Release Date: June 9th

Get Out

There are few things that excite me more about horror movies than when they can be used to explore modern social behaviors and issues. The Jordan Peele written and directed Get Out looks to explore horror within the context of interracial marriage and modern racism. Based on the trailer, there’s no doubt that the movie is going to be darkly comedic, but it also looks visually arresting and startling in its horror imagery. I have a feeling that this is going to be one of the biggest horror hits of next year, and really change the way we consider Blumhouse releases. Release Date: February 24th

 IT

Finally! After countless back and forth discussions, dropped directors, and script rewrites for what has been over a decade, we’re finally getting a modern adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. An R-rated two-parter from Mama director, Andy Muschietti, IT will hopefully join the too short list of great Stephen King adaptations. If it can deliver a similar childlike wonder and horror that Stranger Things managed to do so well this year, then IT could prove to be one 2017’s biggest horror successes stories, and alongside The Dark Tower, and Gerald’s Game could bring about a renaissance of Stephen King movies. Release Date: September 8th

Alien: Covenant

Whether you prefer to categorize it as science-fiction, horror, or a subgenre containing both, there’s little doubt that Ridley’s Scott’s latest Alien movie is going to provide plenty of nightmare fuel. Michael Fassbender returns as the android David as course is set for a new trilogy that will lead us up to the events of 1979’s Alien. While we’ve yet to see any footage from the film, those that have said Alien: Covenant is going full-on horror, so get ready to kick off the start of summer movie season with some cold sweats. Release Date: May 19th

Keep Watching

I know very little about Keep Watching, other than the fact that it’s one-sheet and plot synopsis have me very intrigued. Described as a home invasion horror thriller where family is forced to play a game through which the rules are only revealed as the night progresses and the horror escalates sounds like just the kind of twisty cinematic experience that’s right up my alley. While I’m not familiar with the director Sean Carter or screenwriter Joseph Dembner, Keep Watching has me hopefully that they’ll become names horror fans will all know by the end of next year. Release Date: March 24th

Insidious Chapter 4

Adam Robitel, surprised everyone with the Netflix gem, The Taking of Deborah Logan, follows up his directorial debut with a step inside the world of James Wan. The Insidious films have delivered a vast mythology with the Further, and displayed a willingness to step outside of traditional narrative design. While the films haven’t always been the smoothest of rides, they’ve shown a consistent willingness to experiment and challenge expectations, which sounds right up Robitel’s alley. Fingers crossed we get something as gif worthy in Insidious Chapter 4 as that scene in The Taking of Deborah Logan (y’all know what I’m talking about). Release Date: October 20th

Saw: Legacy

The Saw franchise is played out. We all know it, and have known it since about three entries in. There’s seemingly new reason to get excited about another installment, except there are two very big reasons why you should be. Michael and Peter Spierig, directors of the entertaining and underseen Daybreakers, and one of the best films of 2015, the twisty Predestination. Saw, a franchise built on twists that got progressively less entertaining, now has new life in the hands of directors who have displayed an uncanny knack for not only delivering reveals but also characters we care about. Here’s hoping Saw surprises us and once again stakes its claim as the king of Halloween. Release Date: October 27th

*Note: We only chose movies with announced release dates, but there’s a lot more we’re looking to, including: Gerald’s Game, The Girl with All the Gifts, Annihilation, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, Deathgasm Part 2, The Endless, XX, The Yearly Harvest, and The Autopsy of Jane Doe.

Featured Image: Netflix