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!

#4 REVENGE

Why is REVENGE #4? While I am definitely not a film of the rape/revenge genre, I can recognize an excellent film when I see it. Yes, there is a horrible assault on a woman in this film. But the titular action she takes out on her attackers is an epic and bloody sight to see. The actors are literally spilling and sliding across floors slick with blood in the end—offering up one of the most visceral revenge films you’re ever going to see. You can find REVENGE on Shudder, here on iTunes and Amazon!

REVENGE (2017)

Directed by Coralie Fargeat
Written by Coralie Fargeat
Starring Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, Guillaume Bouchède

Though I’m not a fan of the rape/revenge genre, I do know that some compelling films have come from it. There have also been films that celebrate the rape part, which is why the subgenre of horror has such a bad taste to it. When the focus is on the revenge aspect of it, I feel this is when the subgenre is strongest and REVENGE is one of the most stylish and dare I say, entertaining entry into the subgenre in ages.


Jen (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) is enamored with Richard (Kevin Janssens), a very rich and powerful businessman who has a palatial oasis in the middle of the California desert. Richard is also very married, but Jen doesn’t seem to mind, as she revels in the beautiful pool, spacious glass house, and gorgeous landscape. But when Richard’s two hunting buddies come by for a few days of tracking and killing, things get out of hand and one of the friends ends up raping Jen while Richard is off for the day. When Richard returns, he at first is upset with his friend, but his anger is soon pointed at Jen. When Jen fights back and escapes into the desert night, Richard and his new friends decide to hunt her down like an animal. But Jen proves to be tougher to kill than one would think.

About the rape—it is a disturbing scene. The rape is not glossed over or prettied up. The ugly act is depicted exactly that and because we get to know how innocent Jen is, it is heartbreaking to endure with her. I often find that you can measure the morality of a film by the amount of time it focuses on specific actions. The bulk of this film is exactly what the title suggests—REVENGE. Though the rape scene is harrowing, the violence that occurs afterwards is even more potent. The pure carnage that occurs as Jen enacts her wrath on these rat bastards is truly monumental, filled with gallons and gallons of blood and gore. By the end of this film, the entire glass home, as well as half the desert, is covered in a thick layer of blood. And given the horrible act that happens to Jen, it feels good to see every drop of that blood spilt.


Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz is phenomenal as Jen. Not only is she gorgeous in every way, she is also able to convey both innocence and viciousness convincingly. This is a horrifically strenuous role, but Lutz is no waif that looks like a stiff breeze can knock her over. She undergoes a transformation as this film goes on that is utterly believable and that is all because of Lutz’s star-making performance. The other star here is director Coralie Fargeat who takes a rugged landscape and tells a rugged story around it. This is a highly stylized film, one that might seem unfitting for a film dealing with rape. But Fargeat somehow does the unthinkable and makes every second feel authentic as well as unbelievably cool. From a visual standpoint, REVENGE is tops. There are some amazing moments contrasting the “safe” space inside the home with the desert surrounding it as well as moments drenched in differing colors matching the mood of the action within the frame. This film is done with an artist’s eye and still conveys its heavy themes effectively.

This review comes with a warning. If rape offends you (and I don’t know and don’t want to know anyone that isn’t put off by the concept), you might want to steer clear of REVENGE. The film does deal with this horrific act with a mature and serious hand. Then again, the focus of this one is on the revenge aspect of the rape/revenge subgenre. For me, that makes it much more digestible. REVENGE is a stunning and impactful film that will tear at your heart while splashing you in the face with gallons and gallons of blood and violence.




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
#8 – ANNIHILATION
#7 – HEREDITARY
#6 – CREEP 2
#5 – INCIDENT IN A GHOSTLAND
#4 – REVENGE


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!