Genre film is having a bit of a moment. On the heels of one of the most profitable years for horror in 2017, this year has served up an exceptional wave of genre films, from crowd-pleasing fare like A Quiet Place and Halloween to hardcore head trips like Annihilation, Hereditary and Suspiria, and streaming gems like The Ritual and pretty much every Shudder exclusive from Revenge to The Witch in the Window. It’s been a really good year for creative genre cinema across the board, but there are a whole lot of festival films that made the rounds this year and haven’t even made it to screens yet.
With 2019 on the horizon, I wanted to single out some of the most exciting, odd and unusual films I saw this year that you should put on your radar. Sure, we’re all looking forward to IT Chapter Two, but there’s a lot of lowkey brilliant movies headed your way too. I was lucky enough to attend three excellent genre festivals this year — Fantasia International Film Festival, North Bend Film Fest, and Fantastic Fest — which means I got to see a lot of below-the-radar movies you’re going to want to keep an eye out for next year.
Can 2019 live up to the standards of genre cinema we saw in the last 2 years? Only time will tell, but if these movies are any indication, there’s a whole lot of exciting, unusual and occasionally downright brilliant movies coming your way.