M.L. Miller here! Welcome horror fans to my Annual countdown of the Best of the Best in Horror! Running every day through October, this list will culminate with 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. I’ll also provide a “Worth Noting” secondary film suggestion in a separate post. These are films that stood out or just missed being on the list by a skosh—a little extra for those who can’t get enough horror.

How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st 2018 and September 30, 2019 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number, 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 this October will most likely be on next year’s list—so sorry, no films like DOCTOR SLEEP or ZOMBIELAND 2 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 on your own personal social media. 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, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!

#17 TRAUMA

This is not a film for the weak of heart. It’s disturbing and horrifying in tone and in the heinous acts that play out. It’s also a very finely directed and intricately written film that overlaps upon itself, attempting to explain why our main antagonist ended up the way he did. Be warned though, if you are easily offended, steer clear of this shocker. Released by Artsploitation Films in late October 2018, here’s my review of TRAUMA! Available on BluRay/DVD, digital download, and On Demand from Artsploitation Films!

TRAUMA (2017)

Directed by Lucio A. Rojas

Written by Lucio A. Rojas

Starring Catalina Martin, Macarena Carrere, Ximena del Solar, Dominga Bofill, Daniel Antivilo, Eduardo Paxeco, Felipe Ríos, Claudio Riveros, Florencia Heredia, Claudia Aravena, Catalina Bianchi, Mauricio Rojas, Nicolás Rojas, Max Torres, Alejandro Trejo

Find out more about this film here!

I want to warn you right from the beginning. This film is not for the weak hearted, the easily triggered, or the mild-mannered horror fan. It’s terrifying. It’s harrowing. It’s downright difficult to watch. But TRAUMA is also a finely made horror film and will definitely be a film hardcore horror fans will want to search for.

Based on a true story, a quartet of young ladies head out to the Chilean countryside for a getaway weekend. While the group looks to relax, they seem oblivious to the dangers around them, as exemplified by them trotting into a seedy bar in the middle of nowhere and immediately almost find themselves assaulted by a bar-full of grisly, drunk amigos. Barely getting out of that situation, one might think these gals might be more cautious, especially since the cops who arrive on the scene don’t seem very effective in protecting them. But they press on to the party pad, oblivious that they have gained the attention of the local psychopath who himself is the victim of heinous trauma as a young man during a Chilean military uprising. Forever scarred, the man Juan (Daniel Antivilo) grows up to be just as atrocious, having formed a makeshift family of monsters and is looking to branch out with these women who made the mistake of crossing his path.

TRAUMA is most likely going to be the most extreme film your bound to see in recent memory. There is rape, torture, incest, dismemberment, cannibalism, and all kinds of monstrous acts of violence and I warn you again, this is a film that is going to offend and disgust you. Right from the get-go, the opening scene unleashes the horror, preparing you for the intensity to come. And come it does. While I often find myself disgusted by the horror that goes on in this type of extreme film, there is something about the terror in TRAUMA that felt natural and even essential to the story. And that’s why this is definitely a film I would recommend to those with a strong constitution.

There’s a point to the horror and a lesson to be learned in TRAUMA. It’s about violence begetting violence. It’s about horror birthing horror and the never-ending cycle of violence some unfortunate people seem to have occurring throughout their lives. One might think that because of the horrors Juan experienced as a child, he might be mild mannered, sensitive, and hesitant to hurt a fly. But instead of becoming the opposite of his tormentors, he becomes just like them and that is something that resonates in my soul well beyond all of the gore and violence.

TRAUMA is fantastically acted, often beautifully filmed as the camera shifts from the Chilean city and into the dream-like countryside. It also pulls back no punches when it comes to showing the types of the horror people can inflict on one another. The gore is thick and juicy here—all practical and in your face. I’m talking MARTYRS level of horror here. But as with that film, instead of it simply done to show different ways a body can be destroyed, the point of TRAUMA and all of the trauma it contains is that this gory violence is infectious to the soul and brings one out the other end of it just as damaged. TRAUMA is an all-powerful piece of horror, but only if you can stomach extreme acts of the worst of human depravity. I’m serious, folks. Be warned. This is a rough, but rock-solid film.


THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…


#17 – TRAUMA

#18 – I TRAPPED THE DEVIL

#19 – VELVET BUZZSAW

#20 – HAGAZUSSA

#21 – TERROR 5

#22 –THE GOLEM

#23 – THE CANNIBAL CLUB

#24 – DEPRAVED

#25 – TERRIFIED

#26 – BRIGHTBURN

#27 – I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD

#28 – BLISS

#29 – LEVEL 16

#30 – ASSASSINAUT

#31 – CRAWL


M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.

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