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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The Ten Best Movies of 2021

Since I’m already making this list for a podcast that I do I thought it might be fun to share my top ten movies of the past year. These aren’t all going to be horror, though honestly most of them will be. That is my favorite genre, so it just works out that way. Below are the best new movies that I watched this past year. Or at least new to me. I’ll start off with number ten and move my way up. Oh and since the year isn’t over yet I reserve the right to change the list if I catch anything awesome over these last couple of weeks.

The list below goes from bottom to top so the last movie you see is my favorite movie of the year. I realized after assembling the list that it might not have been that obvious how I set it up. So with that clarification lets get to it.

I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday (2019) – This movie from independent filmmaker Mike Lombardo blew me away. For much of the runtime I was thinking I knew exactly where the story was leading. I mean it was still a very well movie that I was digging, but then there is a huge twist. One that is totally original, unexpected, and shocking. As an added bonus this is a Christmas themed horror flick!

Force to Fear (2020) – This was one of the best low budget movies I’ve seen in a long time. A solid mashup of action flick and slasher movie. The kills are a little lame, but the action sequences are well staged, and I loved the characters. Best of all it is beautifully shot. This, like the previous movie, is a prime example of an independent filmmaker knowing their resources and shooting the best movie they could within those limitations.

Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021) – This Nic Cage flick is, as you would expect, completely nuts. We get mutants, samurai, and cowboys all existing in the same universe. I also loved the visuals, the swordplay, and of course Cage’s take on the odd character. Plus, they blow one of his balls off. I think we all agree if you blow off one of Cage’s balls then you get at least a three-star bonus. Spoilers this isn’t my only Cage vehicle on the list! If you are interested, I covered it for the site. Click here for the review.

Werewolves Within (2021) – I had no idea what I was getting into with this movie. It turned out to be a blast with cool characters, an interesting mystery that kept me guessing, and in the end a decent werewolf reveal. Plus, the AT and T lady… damn. If you are looking for a funny and quirky take on the Lycanthrope genre then this is the flick for you. My full review can be found here.

The Deep House (2021) – Honestly The Deep House wouldn’t’ have been on my radar but it was picked by my friend Kyle for the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast, so I watched it for the show. I was shocked at how great this movie was. A haunted house under the water! Both spooky with good scares as well as the skin crawling feeling idea of running out of air topped off with an ending that kicked my ass. This was a lot of fun. Check out my full review here.

Caroushell the 2nd (2021) – This is the sequel that we deserved. The original Caroushell was a fun flick that featured a carousel unicorn coming to life to get some payback on the people that treated him like crap. Duke, the unicorn, gets a backstory and a son in this follow up. Just as funny but with more heart filmmaker Steve Rudzinski somehow tops himself the second time around.

Willy’s Wonderland (2021) – Nic Cage is back on the list. This time he is fighting satanic knockoff Chuck E. Cheese animatronic mascots. I know a lot of fans liked Mandy, but for me this is the vintage crazy eye Cage that I wanted. Hell, he doesn’t even have any dialogue and still kicks ass. I loved this flick. If you need more encouragement then Cage versus animatronic mascots check out my full review at this link.

Benny Loves You (2019) – Who doesn’t love a killer stuffed animal? This movie is gleefully twisted and gory. The pacing is spot on with something fun always happening on screen and most of the jokes landed for me. The titular character Benny is one of my favorite new horror icons and I hope we get some sequels. I had a blast with this flick.

Nobody (2021) – This feels like an old school action movie like a Death Wish flick. Lots of action Bob Odenkirk is kick ass as the family man who is a former hitman. The dialogue is fantastic and the movie balances action and story perfectly. Odenkirk does such a wonderful job portraying a character that tries to get away from who he was but eventually gives in when he is pushed too far. Really this is a must watch.

Fear Street (2021) – I cheated a bit with this one. Technically they are three movies but tell one main story. These fear Street flicks were an amazingly fun time. Somehow, they managed to make three different movies that all stand alone as solid flicks all while doing a nifty bit of world building. When I got to the end of the third installment I wanted more. That is a good sign. Check the links below for my full reviews.

Fear Street Part One 1991

Fear Street Part Two 1978

Fear Street Part Three 1666

Before you get mad at me for leaving something off let me give you my honorable mentions. Movies that either were on my list and got bumped or were fun but just didn’t cut the mustard. Boys of County Hell is a fun Irish vampire movie. Mortal Kombat was a surprisingly fun bit of mindless action movie. Shadow in the Cloud has my favorite Chloe Grace Moretz performance ever. Boss Level is another fun mindless action movie that reminds me of the old school flicks I used to watch all the time. Psycho Goreman was a fun flick, though the nineties nostalgia didn’t play with me as I’m a bit too old for it. Finally, Cowgirls vs. Pterodactyls is every bit as silly as the title suggests but was also a heck of a lot of fun. Okay now you can get mad!

So, there you have my list. I’d love to hear if you think that I’ve missed anything or for you to share your list with me. You can email me at gutmunchers@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Now to create a new word document and start filling it up with the good stuff for 2022.


 © Copyright 2021 John Shatzer

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