Meg's Favorite Horror Moments of 2017
It’s that time of the year, when we rate, list, and measure our experiences of the last twelve months. Instead of ranking movies or shows, I’ll tell you my most cherished horror moments. Spoilers ahead.
Let me know what scenes dropped your jaw in the comments below, or tweet me @MegHafdahl
Favorite Movie Theater Experience - Get Out
At the end of February the buzz for Jordan Peele’s film Get Out was reaching a fever pitch. I was near giddy when we settled in our seats to join the fun. As we watched this horror phenomenon unfold from the comfort of our local theater’s recliners, something unexpected happened. As a white woman, I have spent a good portion of my life passionate about women’s representation in horror media. Yet, as Get Out played, I found my eyes flitting over to a row of women of color, some wearing hijabs. They punctuated the film with the loudest applause and the most robust laughter. Often nodding their heads in agreement at nuances I couldn’t, and will never, understand. When one stood up at the end and loudly announced to her friends “that was the best horror movie I’ve seen!” I realized how much they’d hungered for their own representation on the big screen, and how as a creator of horror content, it’s my job to make that happen.
Favorite Finale - Bates Motel
I’m a true crime sponge. I absorb it all, shamelessly enjoying every macabre detail. One of my favorite topics is Ed Gein, the Midwestern momma’s boy who inspired the creation of Norman Bates. Bates Motel was not a perfect show, it had its questionable side plots, but it contained, by far, the best acting on television. Freddie Highmore made Norman his own, retaining the awkward charm that made him famous in Psycho, while developing layers of malice, regret, and so much more. Vera Farmiga’s Norma Bates was a revelation, a complicated woman we both loved and hated.
My favorite moment in the fantastic series finale brought a symphony of emotions. When Norman’s brother, Dylan, finally comes to find the depth of Norman’s madness, as evidenced by their long dead mother propped up at the dining table, my heart was beating like fire against my chest. I was at once repulsed, worried, sad, and pleasantly shocked by this masterful, horrific scene.
Favorite Girl Power Moment - Gerald’s Game
I could go on for days about why I love Gerald’s Game, in fact you can read my earlier piece on the resplendent feminism in the Netflix film. But for the sake of brevity I’ll focus on my favorite scene. Jessie has come to terms with her past, and she knows no one is going to save her. In brutal detail, we see her practically de-glove her hand. Why? Because life is worth it. And because she’s dealt with much worse. The juxtaposition of physical agony and Jessie’s poignant inner struggles left me grinning for days.
Favorite Retro Re-find - Friday the 13th
I coin this a “re-find” because I’ve seen the original Friday the 13th several times. Yet, it wasn’t until 2017 that I’ve come to fully appreciate its magnificence. Maybe my newfound affection has been aided by the wacky fun of playing Friday the 13th The Game (I’m the one who dies first…every time). Maybe it’s nostalgia for my youth, or a new appreciation for slashers. Whatever the reason, I liked this movie way more than I thought I did.
Favorite Death - Stranger Things 2
Favorite Introduction - It
Okay, it would be just plain wrong if I didn’t mention the biggest horror film of 2017. I love the book, and I even have a special place in my heart for the 1990 mini-series. It was a refreshing remake, especially with the modernization of Richie’s humor, thank goodness, and of course the bizarrely terrifying Pennywise. I was nearly sputtering with anticipation when Georgie glanced down at the sewer and saw those glowing eyes. Hearing Pennywise’s voice for the first time made me so damn excited for the next two hours. My only complaint, is that there were way too many commercials playing for the months leading up to It’s release, stripping away the mystery behind Bill Skarsgard’s performance. Despite this, It rocked, and like Get Out and Gerald’s Game, it makes me hopeful for the future of horror.
Now can we just fast forward to the fall of 2018? I have a date with Halloween.