M.L. Miller here and welcome to my tenth anniversary Best in Horror Countdown! Every day in this glorious month of October I’ll be counting down the best in horror, culminating with the best horror film since last Halloween! With theaters closed for the bulk of this shitty, shitty year, much of the countdown comes from alternative sources like streaming services, digital download, and On Demand. Plus, we saw the return of the drive-in theater, which is awesome! This list compiles the best horror films released beginning on October 1, 2019 and ending on September 30, 2020. No elitism here—only films released to the public on this list which rules out haughty festival flicks that only esteemed reviewers get to see. If it played on a public screen this year, it’s fair game to be on the list. Here we go!

Released on April 20, 2020. Available on digital download, On Demand, and Blu-ray from Arrow Films!

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! (2018)

Directed by Kirill Sokolov
Written by Kirill Sokolov
Starring Aleksandr Kuznetsov, Vitaliy Khaev, Evgeniya Kregzhde, Michael Gor, Elena Shevchenko, Igor Grabuzov, Aleksandr Domogarov, Ilya Gavrilenkov, Vasiliy Kopeikin, Fedor Starykh, Ilya Kostyukov
Find out more about this film here!!

When his girlfriend Olya (played by Evgeniya Kregzhde) tell Matvey (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) that her father Andrey (Vitaliy Khaev) abused her when she was a kid, she convinces Matvey to head over to her parents apartment to kill him. But Andrey is a hard-nosed cop, not afraid to bend and break the rules, something Matvey isn’t really prepared for when he shows up to Andrey’s door with a hammer and a gut full of courage. Thus begins a comedy full of errors, hard knocks, deep bruises, smashed furniture, broken bones, and flying bullets.

I guarantee you will never find another film released this year that is as full of so much carnage, mayhem, and catastrophe as WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! While it works as a single setting action film, it also is uproariously funny, and unbelievably thrilling. WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE has a structure like PULP FICTION, as the timeline skips back and forth and all over the place. Still, it uses modern stylized shots utilizing slo mo, practical and light CG effects, physical stunts, and plenty of slapstick sight gags to give it a style and power all its own. Sure WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! probably wouldn’t exist if not for Quinten Tarantino, Guy Ritchie, and Danny Boyle’s films, but there is a kinetic dynamism that pumps through every second of this film.

The characters that crash around and into one another in WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! are memorable and amazing. First and foremost, Vitaliy Khaev is a powerhouse of an actor. He simply looks like he is made of stone and conveys a mountain of threats in a single cold look. Seeing his Andrey go toe to toe with the in over his head Matvey is like watching a David and Goliath tale unfold in a typical family living room. Aleksandr Kuznetsov’s Matvey is great here as he has a subtlety to him that really works off of the more over the top gruffness of Khaev. I love Kuznetsov’s little gestures, expressive eyes, and exasperated demeanor as he realizes he has bitten off way more than he can chew with this fool’s errand to take out Andrey. Evgeniya Kregzhde’s Olya really exides that femme fatale toughness that this smaller role requires and I also thought Michael Gor’s turn as Andrey’s partner was integral to the story, even though his screen time is limited. Still, this is Kuznetsov and Khaev’s film. Seeing these two actors use everything and anything they can get their hands on to take each other out is a balls out battle like nothing I’ve ever seen.

I can’t wait to see what filmmaker Kirill Sokolov has in store next. He has a uniquely beautiful eye for making absolute pandemonium exciting and fresh. Through uncontrolled moments of sheer havoc to up close attention to the smallest detail, there isn’t a scene in this film that isn’t full of energy, relevance, and fun. WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! is a film you will stand up and cheer for. It’s an adrenaline shot to the chest chased with a 5-Hour Energy jolt and a line of the white stuff. It’s an action film, a comedy, and a crime story, but the carnage that ensues between the various players in this manic play definitely cements it into the realm of horror as well. Don’t miss this one, folks. There is nothing like it released this and any year!

Click here for the trailer!!


THE 2019-2020 COUNTDOWN!


#3 – WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!
#4 – COME TO DADDY
#5 – IN FABRIC
#6 – THE HUNT
#7 – THE LODGE
#8 – TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS PENINSULA
#9 – THE INVISIBLE MAN 2020
#10 – HOST
#11 – HARPOON
#12 – GRETEL & HANSEL
#13 – THE HAUNTED
#14 – DOCTOR SLEEP
#15 – DANIEL ISN’T REAL
#16 – THE VAST OF NIGHT
#17 – HOMEWRECKER
#18 – IMPETIGORE
#19 – BUTT BOY
#20 – BECKY
#21 – UNDERWATER
#22 – THE DEAD CENTER
#23 – BLOOD MACHINES
#24 – ALONE
#25 – THE BEACH HOUSE
#26 – AMULET
#27 – LAKE OF DEATH
#28 – SEA FEVER
#29 – THE RENTAL
#30 – ANTRUM: THE DEADLIEST FILM EVER MADE
#31 – REPLACE


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

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