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Cult of Monster Lifers’ Top 10 Films of 2018!

25 January 2019

After a strong theatrical, festival and direct to home entertainment flow of films this past year, our Cult of Monster lifers’ Top 10 lists took a little longer than usual to compile but with heavy some deliberation we are pleased to reveal our definitive Top 10 Films of 2018!

JARRET GAHAN

1. PHANTOM THREAD
Paul Thomas Anderson triumphantly returns with an enchanting yet twisted love story that is elegant, ugly and throughly mesmerizing.

2. THE BLACKKKLANSMAN
Spike Lee returns with his best film in over a decade, so good in fact that it could comfortably sit with the strongest of his oeuvre. At times suspenseful, hilarious at others yet powerful throughout, this is the tightest rolled Spike Lee joint in many years.

3. THE ZEN DIARIES OF GARY SHANDLING
A bittersweet, revealing and magnificent celebration of the tortured genius that was Gary Shandling. Exquisitely crafted by longtime friend and collaborator Judd Apatow, this intimate documentary is the definitive story of one of the greatest and most inspirational comics/creators both comedy and television have ever known.

4. KIN
A vastly underrated and imaginative work of science fiction that is character-driven, uniquely stylised and absolutely captivating. KIN is a rarity that will hopefully find its audience and the respect it duly deserves in the years to come.

5. MANDY
MANDY is quite simply the ‘experience film’ of 2018, from its striking cinematography to its engulfing sound design to the frenzied performance of Nicolas Cage, it’s an epic assault on the senses.

6. LORDS OF CHAOS
A bleak though often humorous recounting of the stranger than fiction tale of Norwegian black metal pioneers, Mayhem, and the devastation caused by their own pretension.

7. READY PLAYER ONE
A nostalgia-driven science fiction effort that despite its pioneering visual approach feels like an old school adventure filled with childlike wonderment, pure popcorn bliss.

8. THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT
Despite the derivative nature of its narrative, THE STRANGERS PREY AT NIGHT is an expertly executed slice of the slasher genre with genuine suspense, operatic kills and an innovative style unto itself.

9. HALLOWEEN (2018)
David Gordon Green’s sequel is a genuine love letter to Carpenter’s original and while it amps up the on-screen carnage, it also maintains the suspense of its seminal predecessor. Granted the film is flawed (I mean why on earth didn’t they cut the Dr. Sartain subplot from the finished film, did anyone actually like that at all?) but regardless its one of the stronger sequels in a heavily uneven franchise.

10. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
Creative liberties aside, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is a moving, toe-tapping and immensely engaging work of pure escapism.

Honourable Mentions: VICE, THE FAVOURITE, ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD, I TONYA and INCIDENT IN A GHOSTLAND.

GRANT HARDIE

1. MANDY
I loved everything about this movie so it has also made my favourite ‘Top 10 Films of All-time’ list. A trippy, acid, metal fest, like an 80s fantasy painting come to life. A cult classic and well deserved.

2. CLIMAX
I went in knowing very little about what would unfold so I went on the ‘ride’ with the characters as the film descended into chaos. Utterly disturbing and compelling.

3. THE FAVOURITE
The best looking period drama I’ve seen in a long time and the amazing cinematography uses wide-angle lenses to warp your sensibilities. Great performances from all three ‘leads’ drive this gout and wound-riddled black comedy along at a great pace. Special mention for the score as well. So great to see Olivia Coleman finally ‘crack it’.

4. LORDS OF CHAOS
I have been fascinated with the Norwegian Black Metal scene for a long time, so expectations were high. This film if handled correctly was bound to be great AND it is. 5 Devils Horns out of 5.

5. HEREDITARY 
I love weird cult films; Kill List, Rosemary’s Baby and of course The Wicker Man. Add Hereditary to that list.

6. YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
Violently mesmerising and compelling (although most of the violence is left to your imagination). Filmmaking at its best!

7. THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT
One of the most brutally challenging films in many years and maybe the best study of the ‘mind of a serial killer’ ever committed to film.

8. DRAGGED ACROSS  CONCRETE 
S. Craig Zahler continues to be one of the more interesting filmmakers of our time, this film walks a fine line of being over indulgent but the character interaction makes it worth the long viewing time. Has one of the better shocker scenes of late that everyone will be talking about.

9. I, TONYA
Quirky and fun, one of the better biopics of late. Cracks along at a great pace so you are on the ride with the characters the whole time.

10. OVERLORD
A balls-out genre fest, has some highs and lows but the highs make it a winner.

Honourable Mentions: UPGRADE, AT FIRST LIGHT, WOLFMAN’S GOT NARDS, PIERCING, ANNIHILATION.

BEN HELLWIG

1. KNIFE+HEART
A French giallo set in the not-so-glam world of a low budget-high concept gay porn, Yann Gonzalez’ Knife+Heart is super stylish and boasts a killer soundtrack, a phenomenal lead performance by Vanessa Paradis and black dildo with a flick knife in it.

2. CLIMAX
A rhythmic orgy of dance, sangria and frottage, Gaspar Noe’s latest film knocks it out of the park and right into a spiked punch bowl of awesomeness.

3. OVERLORD
Basically a movie version of the new Wolfenstein 3D game. Like Mary Poppins herself, this movie is practically perfect in every way.

4. I, TONYA
Pitch perfect tragi-comedy with fantastically nuanced performances from Margo Robbie, Allison Janney and Paul Walter Hauser. Plus there’s a Rocky IV-inspired training montage, what more needs to be said?

5. MOLLY’S GAME
All the protagonists in an Aaron Sorkin film are all so God-damned honourable so God-damned all the time that it makes me feel good about being a human.

6. HALLOWEEN
An old-school slasher with fornicating teens, hipster podcasters, suburban mums and police officers all falling under the knife. I only recently watched the original, so I had no emotional bias clouding judgement and its inclusion on this list is based solely on the films own merits. Well done to all involved.

7. HEREDITARY
Felt like a KILL LIST / THE WICKER MAN / ROSEMARY’S BABY hybrid, but as all those movies are excellent, that ain’t a bad thing. That being said, the scariest things about this film were Toni Collette’s temper and Alex Wolff’s mole.

8. THE SHAPE OF WATER
I said last year that if a film featured the Creature from the Black Lagoon having consensual sex with a human woman it would make my top 10 list two years in a row. Here is the proof of that statement.

9. THE FAVOURITE
Sometimes it’s fun to watch a film where everybody loses.

10. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
I was very disappointed that scoring the Flash Gordon soundtrack wasn’t covered in this biopic, but it was otherwise thoroughly enjoyable. It’s good to see one of the supporting cast members from the outstandingtom Hanks vehicle LARRY CROWNE come good in a leading role.

Honourable Mentions: THE PREDATOR, GAME OVER MAN, BODIED and A SIMPLE FAVOUR.

KIM TAYLOR

1. CLIMAX 2. MANDY 3. YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE 4.PHANTOM THREAD 5. THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT
6. HEREDITARY 7. ANNIHILATION 8.THE RIDER 9. I, TONYA 10. THE FAVOURITE

The aesthetics, the sound, the performances from all these films encapsulated strength and were purely unique. I could not fault any of them on their story, the narrative in each film was flawless. An absolute top year for film!