M.L. Miller here! Welcome horror fans to my Annual countdown of the Best of the Best in Horror! The countdown is going to be running every day through October, culminating to the best horror film of the year announced on October 31st. Some of these films can be found in theaters—others have unfortunately only seen the light of day On Demand, DVD, BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews how you can watch and enjoy these films yourselves.

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!

#9 MON MON MON MONSTERS

Why is MON MON MON MONSTERS #9? Not only is this a thrilling movie that moves at a breakneck pace from start to finish, but it also is a powerful story about the ugliness of bullying. Both soulful and gutsy, this is one strong film that says a lot and also provides the shock and awe of a unique style of monster. You can find MON MON MON MONSTERS on Shudder and Amazon!

MON MON MON MONSTERS (2017)

Directed by Giddens Ko
Written by Giddens Ko
Starring Kent Tsai, Yu-Kai Teng, James Lai, Meng Tao, Bonnie Liang, Carolyn Chen, Yan-xi Hou, Kai Ko, Emerson Tsai, Eugenie Liu as the Older Monster

Bullying is a monster I have some experience with. And if you’re a horror fan or even just a genre fan, I’m pretty sure that you’ve felt like an outcast and been shamed for it in one way or another in your life. I immediately bristle up when I see bullying in films, which is just the visceral reaction Giddens Ko is going for in the Taiwanese anti-bullying monster film MON MON MON MONSTERS.


A group of bullies torment a kid in school, causing the lot of them (including the tormentee) to face detention in the basement of the school. Unbeknownst to them, this basement is connected to a system of tunnels that lead to the lair of a pair of monstrous feral people with teeth, claws, an appetite for blood, and an allergy to sunlight. Somehow, this group of assholes trap one of the beasts, chain it to a wall, and torture and mock it for their own sadistic pleasure (pulling the kid they bullied into the fray as well). With the other monster frantically rampaging through the night streets in search of its sibling/partner, the bullies become bored with their torture-fest and devise a plan to trap and kill the other beast to save their skins and shove their problems under the rug. Much blood and uncomfortable times lay ahead for all involved.

MON MON MON MONSTERS is THE BREAKFAST CLUB meets Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN—a blending of adolescent horror and forced identification with monsters of all shapes and sizes. It expertly communicates its themes while never feeling preachy or aiming for the bleachers with the sentimentality, sympathy, or message it’s trying to imbue on the viewer. It simply shows the monsters for who they are. Also, there are greasy, grimy feral people in this film that often feel more human than the monstrous teenagers battling them. It’s this dichotomy that makes you root for the monsters to win—something horror fans are used to, but in this sense, you not only want to see the monsters succeed, but you yearn for bloody comeuppance and when that happens can’t help but cheer. That might put the viewer in an uncomfortable spot—rooting for the monster to not only get its revenge but do it as messily as those these monsters are battling are the true beasts.


One of the things that I loved about this film is that the monsters are ambiguous—not quite vampires, but definity not human. They are dirty, animal-like, and dangerous, but they also treat each other with a humanity that the school kids seem to be lacking. While these monsters’ wrath is horrific, the way the bullies demean and torment their classmates, their teacher, and the monsters themselves is the ugliest thing you’re going to see here. I doubt anyone with an inkling of a soul won’t wince at the happenings in the opening moments as the bullies take over the class and really make it impossible for learning, let alone surviving being in a room with them. Giddens Ko is painting an ugly portrait of youth here and that is the real horror going on in MON MON MON MONSTERS.

This is a monster film, for sure. But the monsters aren’t the ones doing the monstrous things. Sure, there’s a lot of bloodletting and organ splooshing as the monster is looking for its partner, but none of this would have happened if not for the evil things these kids unleash recklessly. MON MON MON MONSTERS is a powerful horror film, but not only is it a gory masterpiece, but thematically, it is going to challenge you in ways most films don’t. You simply must see this one for the way it handles horror on so many, many levels.




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
#11 – FOUND FOOTAGE 3D
#10 – LET HER OUT
#9 – MON MON MON MONSTERS


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

Happy Halloween!


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.

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Don’t forget to share and like and finally, Happy Horror Holiday Month to Everyone!