How did I compile this list? There’s no real method to my special brand of madness. I simply looked through films released between October 1st 2017 and September 30, 2018 and worked and reworked the list until I had 31. This countdown is not for the elitists or festival goers, so if the film hasn’t been released to the masses, it won’t be on the list. Also anything released in October will most likely be on next year’s list—so sorry, no films like HALLOWEEN or SUSPIRIA just yet. I hope you’ll join me daily and don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web. I’ll also provide a second film suggestion in a separate post that is worth noting this year or missed being on the list by a skosh for those who can’t get enough horror.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
#12 BLACK HOLLOW CAGE
Why is BLACK HOLLOW CAGE #12? Somewhat of a sci-fi/horror schmeld, BLACK HOLLOW CAGE is a blood-curdling thriller however you categorize it. Riveting performances and an enthralling narrative is what you’re going to get if you take a chance on this little gem of a film. You can find BLACK HOLLOW CAGE from Level Films on iTunes and Amazon!
BLACK HOLLOW CAGE (2017)
Directed by Sadrac González-Perellón
Written by Sadrac González-Perellón
Starring Julian Nicholson, Lowena McDonell, Daniel M. Jacobs, Haydée Lysander, Marc Puiggener, Lucy Tillett, Will Hudson
BLACK HOLLOW CAGE is an exceptional effort by a relatively new director by the name of Sadrac González-Perellón—a name I believe many will come to know pretty well in the coming years. González-Perellón has created a complex, enchanting, and meditative arthouse sci fi/horror film in BLACK HOLLOW CAGE and one that will resonate long after the credits for most.
Living in a secure, but glass house in the middle of the woods in the near future, Alice (Lowena McDonell) resides with her father Adam (Julian Nicholson) and her mother Beatrice, whose personality resides in a voice box hanging from her dog’s neck. Adam is a broken man, barely functioning and wholly supported by the very mature for her age Alice, who is broken in a physical way in that she does not have a right arm. The film opens with Alice being introduced to her new robotic arm and still holding resentment towards her father for an unknown reason. After reluctantly accepting the robotic arm, Alice and her mother/dog go for a walk in the woods where they find a large black cube. In this cube is a message, seemingly from Alice from some time in the future. Things get weirder and eventually make some kind of sense by the end of it all, but before that there is death, destruction, sorrow, and blood.
BLACK HOLLOW CAGE is as unique as it sounds. The film is a confident endeavor into the unknown; taking small steps into the realm of sci fi, yet never forgetting to imbue every moment with human emotion. González-Perellón’s intricate origami-like story unfolds beautifully and crescendo’s into sometime poignant and powerful by the end as it follows these two broken characters down a tragic, yet necessary and satisfying path.
Brining every little aspect of this film to life is the outstanding performance by Lowena McDonell as Alice; a stubborn child at times and the only voice of reason the rest of the time—McDonell shows a sophisticated understanding of conveying a multitude of emotions that are beyond her young years. I look forward to watching McDonell grow into a huge star as this film really highlights the power this little actress possesses.
Dancing back and forth between sci fi and horror, BLACK HOLLOW CAGE manages to handle both genres with great patience and skill. The scenes of horror are as tense as they come, filmed with a camera that holds still and a script that stays silent in all the right times. The film possesses that dream-like quality often seen in David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick films, where the oddity of the situation is allowed to soak in as the camera lingers on the players telling this truly tragic tale. Those with an impatient fast-forward finger might get a bit antsy at times, but if you stick with this one until the end, I think you’re going to leave BLACK HOLLOW CAGE with a feeling of astonishment, melancholy, and a yearning for what this visionary director has in store for us in the future.
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#31 – Sam Patton’s DESOLATION
#30 – CULT OF CHUCKY
#29 – 1922
#28 – PSYCHOPATHS
#27 – GHOST STORIES
#26 – PYEWACKET
#25 – DOWNRANGE
#24 – MAYHEM
#23 – COLD SKIN
#22 – THELMA
#21 – THE BABYSITTER
#20 – TONIGHT SHE COMES
#19 – THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD
#18 – THE RITUAL
#17 – FAKE BLOOD
#16 – BETTER WATCH OUT
#15 – MARROWBONE
#14 – MOM AND DAD
#13 – THE ENDLESS
#12 – BLACK HOLLOW CAGE
Best of lists from previous years;
2016-17 #1 – RAW
2015-16 #1 – THE VVITCH
2014-15 #1 – THE CANAL
2013-14 #1 – PROXY
2012-13 #1 – MANIAC
2012 #1 – THE WOMAN
2011 #1 – THE LAST CIRCUS
M. L. Miller is an original AICN @$$Hole formerly known as Ambush Bug/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
I’ve also set up a Patreon Page to help keep this website rolling. It’s going to be crucial to get some kind of funding to keep the lights on at MLMILLERWRITES, so if you have extra dough, please support me! Also, if there are any people in need of advertising on MLMILLERWRITES, feel free to contact me here and we can talk turkey!
Don’t forget to share and like and finally, Happy Horror Holiday Month to Everyone!