We all know 2020 was a completely shit year. That being said, there was still a ton of absolutely fantastic entertainment out there for us to consume. Honestly, there were almost too many amazing horror films because I had a terrible time trying to narrow my list down to just 10 films. So here is my list of the best of 2020, which I will probably change my mind on as soon as I share it. Since I took a break from writing reviews, not all the films on my list will have full reviews to accompany them. Let’s hope 2021 has as much wonderful horror content for us to consume, without all the rest of the bullshit. (only my “best films of 2020” list is in a specific order)
BEST FILMS OF 2020:
This is a suffocating combination of action and aquatic horror. The sets, the performances, and the creature design are all great. This film only made me fall more in love with Kristen Stewart. Full review here.
This one probably surprised me the most in 2020. It’s a brilliant and haunting Indonesian horror film that has a little something for everyone. It is unsettling, creepy, beautiful, and still packs in some gore. Full review here.
A haunting and beautiful film. Does a fantastic job of conveying the burden that is passed down through generations and the guilt associated with that burden. All three women give phenomenal performances. (I did not review this film)
By far the most frightening film of the year. The team behind Host did a fantastic job of creating a complete story with a combination of chills and jump-scares. You won’t even realize it’s only 57 minutes long. (I did not review this film)
This film is the the most fun horror film I watched all year. It’s hilarious, gory, and surprisingly heartfelt. At this point I know I will adore anything Christofer Landon directs and Michael Kennedy proved to be a fantastic screenwriter. (I did not review this film)
I was shocked at how sweet and endearing this film was. The story is wonderful and the two leads are sure to capture your heart. It’s a delightful love story completely saturated in blood. (I did not review this film)
4. The Block Island Sound
While this film is still technically on the film festival circuit, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I saw it at the Fantasia Film Festival. It’s incredibly unnerving and seamlessly blends different horror subgenres together. Full review here.
3. The Invisible Man
What I love about this film is that I enjoy it more with each viewing. Elizabeth Moss is an absolutely powerhouse in everything, and this film was no different. The final shock is my favorite of the year. Full review here.
If I were to curate a marathon of films that are my worst nightmare, this one would be at the top of the list. It’s disturbing and raw while also being a visual work of art. Everything about it is meticulous and meaningful. (I did not review this film)
1. Possessor (Uncut)
This film completely caught me off guard. I went in relatively blind, and I’m so glad I did. This film is a visual feast and one of the most disturbing body horror films I’ve ever encountered. I also love that the entire film is basically a metaphor for body dysmorphia (especially for transgender individuals), whether that was intentional or not. (I did not review this film)
Honorable Mentions: The Mortuary Collection, Lucky (on Shudder in 2021), Spiral, His House, Scare Me, The Other Lamb, Sputnik, Scare Package, Vampires vs The Bronx, The Wolf of Snow Hollow
Favorite Documentaries: Wolfman’s Got Nards, Scream Queen, Hail to the Deadites, Clapboard Jungle
Favorite Non-Horror Films: Shirley, Dinner in America, Birds of Prey, The Devil All the Time, Lovebirds
BEST SHORT FILMS OF 2020:
BEST BOOKS OF 2020:
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole
Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man by Maynard Wills
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (not a new book, but my first time reading it)
BEST SHOWS OF 2020:
What We Do in the Shadows S2
The Haunting of Bly Manor
The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Resurrection
SHOT OUTS OF 2020:
(This is a new section that includes people and organizations that made 2020 a bit more bearable)
Ryan Larson & We Are Horror Magazine
Jamie Alvey & the Devil’s Kettle Drama Club
Matt Monagle & Matt Donato & Certified Forgotten
Kaila Hier & Fantasia Film Festival & Nightstream Film Festival
Chelsea Stardust & her absolutely limitless positivity
And many more amazing horror friends who made me less insane this year.