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Cult of Monster Lifers’ Top 10 Films of 2017!

05 January 2018

As another year passes and we wait for our corn to harvest, we bid he who walks behind the rows our 2017 offerings and hope he finds them bountiful, diverse and above all kick ass. Without further ado, here are each of our Cult of Monster lifers’ Top 10 films for 2017…

GRANT HARDIE
1. GOOD TIME
A great crime caper thats doesn’t stop form start to finish, amazing performances from Robert Pattinson and Benny Safdie. Top score from Oneohtrix Point Never drives the whole thing along at a ripping pace.
2. LUCKY
Amazing performance from.a genuine screen legend, hit all the feels. David Lynch’s performance is even watchable.
3. THE GLASS COFFIN
Dark, claustrophobic and nasty, coupled with the amazing sound design make for an unsettling experience.
4. FEBRUARY (aka THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER)
Dark and genuinely scary.
5. WIND RIVER
An engaging and powerful, the last act comes from out of nowhere and punches you right in the gut.
6. GET OUT
We had the Australian premiere at a Monster Fest event in Sydney just as the hype broke, watched it with a packed cinema and the crowd were buzzed. Great audience pleaser and does exactly what a movie should do in a cinema.
7. MOTHER!
Just for the sheer mind-fuckery of it all. 
8. THE DISASTER ARTIST
Laughed the whole time, James Franco nails the role. I genuinely had a great time watching this. 
9. HOUNDS OF LOVE
Moody and atmospheric, great performances. The use of non-obvious songs for the soundtrack really nailed it for me.
10. COLD HELL
Over the top and probably implausible if you look to closely, but a wild ride and some great violence.

Honourable Mention: TRAINSPOTTING 2

JARRET GAHAN
1. A GHOST STORY
A poetic exploration of spaces, journey and spirit, both spectral and subsisting. It’s a masterpiece unlike anything I have ever seen or experienced before and its impact on me grows greater with every viewing.
2. THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
After seeing this film for the first time at Fantastic Fest with Michael Helms, we were engaged in a near hour-long conversation about it. Its pitch black humour coupled with its brooding intensity is eloquently wrapped in the most aesthetically brilliant film since THERE WILL BE BLOOD.
3. SUPER DARK TIMES
The innocence, influences and naivety of our youth is perfectly captured in this beautifully crafted slow burn drama.
4. COLOSSAL
From visionary filmmaker, Nacho Vigalondo, comes a genre-hybrid that oozes as much emotion as it does style, tackling themes such as abuse in its many forms, it’s a surprisingly heavy offbeat dramedy. 
5. THE DISASTER ARTIST
If you had told me back in 2009 when I first watched THE ROOM (after having learned about it from an episode of TIM & ERIC AWESOME SHOW, GREAT JOB!), that a book would be written about it and go on to become a best-seller and in turn that book would adapted into a critically acclaimed film both directed and starring James Franco, I would have said…Oh, Hi Mark! As hilarious as it is heartbreaking and creative liberties aside, this has to be one of the best movies about making movies of all-time. 
6. BLADE RUNNER 2049
A sensory overload that had me sitting slack-jawed in a cinema for the entire 164 minutes of its runtime.
7. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Gripping, unpredictable and at times hilarious, Martin McDonagh’s third feature cements his unique positioning as a master of escalation drama while actress Frances McDormand delivers one of her most memorable performances in some time.
8. AMERICAN MADE
A fast-paced, edge of your seat and tongue-in-cheek thrill-ride that’s stranger than fiction but based on actual events.
9. THE SHAPE OF WATER OF WATER
Its AMELIE meets CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON in quite possibly the greatest love story to grace the horror genre since Cronenberg’s THE FLY.
10. DETROIT
Intense, brutal and truly heartbreaking, master filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow crafts this tragic true story into a compelling perfect three act structure.

Honourable Mentions: PATTI CAKE$, FREE FIRE, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, COCO and ATOMIC BLONDE.

BEN HELLWIG
1. THE SHAPE OF WATER
It’s a new rule. If your film contains inter-species sexy time between a woman and what appears to be the Creature From The Black Lagoon, you immediately go to my number one film of the year. I enjoyed every element of this film (even the sexy times), so much so, that it might just make my Top 10 list of 2018 as well.  
2. RAW
This film contains my favourite “ No… no way, they’re going to do it… Holy shit…. they’re doing it… they’re fucking doing it!!!” moment in a movie ever.
3. THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
Really dark, really weird, really fucking good!
4. PATTI CAKE$
“I’m Jane Doe, a loser 
This shit’s so confusing
I just want to move
Where my life’s like a movie
Should be getting busy
But I’m feeling Gary Busey
Drop that hot shit
Like a deuce in your jacuzzi”
5. GILBERT
A fantastic, in-depth doco about one of my favourite actor / comic’s, Gilbert Gottfried. Touching, honest and surprisingly sweet, we finally get to push past the comics crass public persona, to the real man behind one of Hollywood’s most distinctive voices (and some of the world’s most offensive jokes).
6. THOROUGHBREDS
I will watch anything with Olivia Cook in it, regardless of genre and quality. She hasn’t failed me yet.. It also happens to be Anton Yelchin’s last movie, and he’s perfectly cast as the hopeless wannabe criminal that two teen girls (Cook and Anya Taylor-Joy) blackmail into becoming a killer-for-hire.
7. THE BABYSITTER
This flick felt like a 90’s teen horror film done right. For me, it was the perfect blend of great casting, a great script, some truly hilarious moments, fantastic, gore-filled kills, satanic rituals, girl-on-girl kissing practice, disturbing parental hand jobs and some sweet unrequited psycho love. It really has something for everyone.
8. IT
Weird pre-teen orgies aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this re-imagining of Stephen King’s IT. Sure, it’s not without its flaws – The too-soon reveal of the full extent of Pennywise’s demonic nature probably being the most glaring – but it certainly packed in the scares and the tense atmosphere took me right back to being a shit-scared 12-year-old sneaking up and watching the mini-series on TV… well part of it, at least. I don’t think I made it into part two I was so freaked out. Fingers crossed I make it through the second film next year.
9. THE INCREDIBLE JESSICA JONES
This pretty sweet middle-aged, coming-of-age romance, starring Jessica Williams and Chris O’Dowd, is the kind of adult indy film that you really don’t see any more – not at the cinemas and no longer even direct to video. Thankfully Netflix exists so people who don’t require all their films to feature men in spandex have something else to watch.
10. GOING IN STYLE
Because senior citizen crime capers are awesome.

NEIL FOLEY
1. GOOD TIME
2. MOTHER!
3. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
4. DUNKIRK
5. REVENGE
6. HOUSEWIFE
7. THE SQUARE
8. GET OUT
9. BABY DRIVER
10. THE BIG SICK

KIM TAYLOR
Kim describes her 2017 selections as the films that gave her “all the right feels at all the right times“.
1. MOTHER!
2. HOUNDS OF LOVE
3. GOOD TIME
4. WIND RIVER
5. LUCKY
6. DUNKIRK
7. BLADE RUNNER 2049
8. THE DISASTER ARTIST
9. THE SQUARE
10. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Honourable Mention: TRAINSPOTTING 2

MICHAEL HELMS
1. BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99
An amazing bloody prison film that presents a devastating head-kicking scene that totally delivers (amongst others) with Vince Vaughn completely credible as the one-man riot.
2. THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
Youth obsession meets old secrets in this meticulously crafted piece of weirdness that presents our Nicole with her best role since pissing on jellyfish stings in THE PAPERBOY.
3. REVENGE
Bloody and I do mean bloody French female revenge film directed by a woman and set in a great location with an outstanding result.
4. LOST GULLY ROAD
A quiet slow-burn of a horror film that seeps into your mind before slapping you around with the film-world driven issue of the year.
5. PURGATORY ROAD
A violent original drama about a mobile confessional booth and two serial killers, directed by Australia’s most under the radar filmmaker, Mark Savage.
6. THE BELKO EXPERIMENT
With two films and one season of the WOLF CREEK series in release, 2017 has been a great year for Greg McLean but BELKO is the bloody best.
7. SUPER DARK TIMES
First there was OVER THE EDGE, then RIVER’S EDGE, and now after almost three decades the next great tiny town teen drama: SUPER DARK TIMES.
8. TARNATION
Daniel Armstrong the maker of SHEBORG MASSACRE fires back with TARNATION, a spam in a cabin epic involving flying people with black unicorn heads and the best use of the term, “Cunting Fucktard” ever!
9. THE VIPER’S HEX
The makers of MONDO YAKUZA return from Japan with their most sophisticated and engaging film yet!
10. HOUNDS OF LOVE
The murderous antics of David & Catherine Birnie were an influence on Ursula Dabrowsky when she made INNER DEMON but completely inform this biography of the serial-killing Western Australian couple.

VICTORIA DE PAOLI
Victoria spent the bulk of her 2017 viewing catching up on select indie features she’s missed over the years along with revisiting a few classics but she did want to recommend the following feature that you can check out on Netflix now…
1922
It was beautifully shot which made the murderous themes all the more interesting, but the one downfall was that obviously because Stephen King is such a great storyteller I think they struggled to get all the important details from the book into the film itself? I enjoyed it regardless, though. Didn’t have to think all that much to get it.

DANIELLE GAHAN
Jarret’s wife, Danielle is almost always his partner in crime when it comes to catching films theatrically or catching up with them on home entertainment. For the sheer amount of not-quite-good films she suffers through on a weekly basis, she deserves an honorary title as a Cult of Monster lifer and here’s her 2017 Top 10…  
1. A GHOST STORY
2. THE DISASTER ARTIST
3. THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
4. SUPER DARK TIMES
5. BLADE RUNNER 2049
6. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
7. I, TONYA
8. COCO
9. THE BIG SICK
10. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2