It was a terrible year for movies. Terrible. I felt forced to watch the vast majority of films that came out. I just skipped out on many of the top films this year. Even with free movie passes in the coveted press area, I just had better things to do than to put toothpicks in my eyelids, in order to stomach sitting though some of these films.
While several might have gotten decent reviews from me, as technically the films were OK, the fact is OK doesn’t excite me. OK isn’t a film you will remember years later and talk about with friends. That said, let me set out some parameters for my list, which will be rather short. When I write about the best films here, I don’t just mean I saw and thought, “Well, that was pretty good.” It had to be a film I would watch again, which automatically takes out all of the drama-begging-for-an-award films, and focuses more on what I enjoyed. I would have liked for this list to only be horror, unfortunately, horror had a pretty sad year, in my eyes. Let’s get started, starting with number five, and leading up to the honorary title given by moi, the best of the best for 2018.
5.) Tag – Like most of the films on my list, this movie is underrated. Tag is funny, and while it does seem to give a Hangover vibe, if said film was rated PG-13, it works. The film is based off a group of real friends, who have played tag together their entire lives. The whole film is just about the group trying to catch one of their friends during his wedding ceremony, while he can’t run away. The movie is equal parts silly and heart-warming. Most critics didn’t rate this film very high on their list, but honestly, it’s a movie I want to watch again. I teared up a tad at the end, and the cast is fabulous. It isn’t a movie, when I saw it, that I thought would make this year-end list, but it is one of the few movies that came out this year that I can handle watching again.
4.) Game Night – Game Night is somewhat similar to Tag, without having that much, plot wise, in common. The movie is about a group of friends who have a weekly game night. One thing leads to another and the group ends up on a scavenger hunt to save the life of the brother of one of the friends. There is action, romance and a dash of absurdity. Unlike Tag, Game Night did earn high critic reviews. It’s an all-around good comedy that also happens to just be an all-around good movie.
3.) Death Wish – A remake of the 1974 cult classic that starred Charles Bronson, the 2018 version stars Bruce Willis. The remake currently has one star on Rotten Tomatoes and I have no idea why. It’s a revenge-action film. What is there not to like about revenge films? To be honest, perhaps I am a tad biased because revenge horror is probably my favorite subgenre film category. If I were to have a gripe about the film, it’s that it simply isn’t quite violent enough for me. Bruce Willis is, as always, great, even if he seems slightly old for the film’s role. I’m not sure anything feels better than watching the good guy take his revenge and this movie serves revenge to you on a platter.
2.) Summer of 84 – I wasn’t sure about adding this one, because it’s a Canadian film and had a limited release. I really wanted to keep the list to American major releases, but I don’t think I could have even had five other films on the list, had I stuck to that rule. Summer of 84 is a Goonies-esque film with more horror elements. If you are a fan of Stranger Things, you will probably like this film. Personally, I don’t see that many similarities beyond the film centers around a group of childhood friends — other critics and fans have repeatedly made the connection. The group of friends are focused on hunting down a local serial killer who they believe to be the neighbor of one the kids in the group. It has actual scares on top of the nostalgic factor. Had the pacing been just a bit faster, this film could have easily made the No. 1 spot on my list.
1.) Upgrade – I cannot tell you how perfect of an action-horror film this movie is. I loved every second of it. The film wan’t described by the director as a horror film — he even goes on to say that only low-budget films that do well these days are horror films. I found that very odd, as a horror fan and student. I’d say this movie certainly qualifies. The movie is about an engineer who, along with his wife, is shot. He is left paralyzed and his wife is killed. A tech genius offers him an implant that will allow him to walk again and get revenge. I just realized I have two revenge films on this list. Well, I did say revenge is my favorite subgenre. The film’s fight scenes are so well choreographed, I could watch them over and over. The ending was both scary and happy, at the same confusing time. This movie is so underrated, I don’t really hear people talking about it much now, but if you haven’t seen Upgrade, then you haven’t seen one of the best movies of the year.
The Best of the Best for 2018: Deadpool 2 – I mean, of course it was. How can there be any argument here? This film was so good, the studio found a way to release the same damn movie twice in the same year. Of course I picked Deadpool 2 as one of the best films of the year. The film is everything a person can ask for. It’s irreverent, it has heart, it’s funny and has a few pretty cool action sequences. I don’t feel Deadpool 2 needs a huge explanation as to why it was one of the best films of the year, though I am a tad embarrassed to give the title to a superhero film. I don’t want to encourage any more superhero films. I hate superhero films and this movie gets the No. 1 spot on my list, so yes, it’s good. Take it from me, if you are the one person who hasn’t seen Deadpool 2 yet, go and amend this wrong. It’s no Godfather, but then, I didn’t really like that film, anyway.