As the year draws to a close, our staff start to countdown their top 10 best and worst movies of the year, which will culminate in the official Jump Scare top 10 by the end of December. First up, is guest writer and presenter of The Jump Scare Podcast, Dean Cox, as he lists his best movies of 2016.

Honourable mention: Hell Or High Water

10. The Jungle Book

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John Favreau proves live action remakes of animated classics can work. Filled with great voice performances from Idris Elba, Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley, The Jungle Book is a visually stunning musical, providing fun for all the family.

9. Hush

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A surprise entry, Hush is a very underrated home invasion movie with a twist. As the main protagonist of the film is deaf, Hush relies heavily on it’s use of sound and creative moments of tension. Originally intense.

8. The Witch

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A gothic masterpiece, Eggers has proven to the horror community that you don’t need to fill your movie with jump scare’s in order to frighten your audience. The movie is a psychological, nerve shredding tale of possession and the dark arts.

7. Deepwater Horizon 

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Based on the dramatic true story, Deepwater may hit a little too close to home for some. Historically accurate, director Peter Berg paints his tribute to the disaster. Whalberg gives a solid performance in this unsettling, white-knuckle ride. A courageous piece with thrilling action sequences.

6. The Wailing

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A fine year for South Korean horror, The Wailing is a truly genius piece of cinema filled with extraordinary visual and psychological scares. A multi-strand plot leaves this one a little difficult to describe to those who haven’t seen it, however an operatic final third will leave your skin itching as all is revealed.

5. The Conjuring 2

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The movie I enjoy more each time I watch it, James Wan has done it again. His ability to bring fear to the screen is unreal, his character creation of Valek will go down as legendary. Long may he continue in the horror genre.

4. Sing Street

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Sing Street is an absolutely beautiful motion picture filled with great performances, addictive music and a heartwarming story about young love and following your dreams. Romantic movie of the year by a country mile.

3. Train To Busan

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What more can I say that hasn’t already been said? Edge of your seat movie that has you emotionally involved with each character as they fight for survival. Tense, gripping and heartbreaking.

2. The Revenant 

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Simply one of the most jaw-dropping movies ever committed to celluloid. The direction of Inarritu is at times hard to put into words. Emmanuel Lubezski’s cinematography is heaven on a screen, not to forget DiCaprio finally delivering an Oscar winning performance.

1. The Nice Guys

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A movie I found impossible to deny the top spot. 2016’s Lethal Weapon, perfectly written, directed and performed. Crowe and Gosling’s on screen chemistry is sensational and is topped only by their world class comedic timing. Cinema at it’s best.

Do you agree with my list? Let me know in the comments below and check out my worst picks of the year – here

5 Comments »

  1. The Witch is excellent, but Eggers didn’t prove anything to the horror community. Eggers was expertly following ideals that have existed in horror film for decades. As such, it isn’t worth mentioning that The Witch has no jump scares, suggesting blindly that the lack of jump scares is integral to the film. This ongoing contemporary misrepresentation of the genre, that it’s a modern idea to not include jump scares or Lewton buses, is frustrating. That this is a topic of discussion, one that is popularizing certain horror films (I’m looking at you Babadook), only solidifies that proponents are illiterate to the genre in its totality.

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    • Whilst we do agree with you Shawn, in a world were Ouija takes in $79 million at the box-office and The Witch takes in around $40m, Dean has valid reason to point out the lack of jump scares do not directly correlate with a horror movie’s quality. Of course this isn’t a new facet of the genre to more horror-literate viewers.

      It’s also worth remembering just how polarising the likes of The Witch and The Babadook are in horror circles because of their refusal to include more generic horror tropes.

      In a larger sense I totally agree with you however! Thanks for the feedback

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      • Thanks for replying!

        Jump scares have become a conversation in the genre and I question its validity. There’s a sour note across social media regarding jump scares and that they’re cheap, inherently suggesting – or sometimes directly stating – that films that don’t have them are all the better. I don’t believe there’s any worthwhile back and forth to be had from the dialogue and pointing out that a particular film proves that jump scares aren’t necessary to frighten an audience takes part in that dialogue.

        If a film polarizes the more dedicated horror base because the film doesn’t include more generic tropes, I think it’s better for the conversation to turn to horror’s history and its subgenres. The Witch falls comfortably in the category of folk horror and/or revisionist horror, along with films like Witchfinder General, The Wicker Man, and A Field in England. The benefit is to underscore what makes them horror films. Discussing the diversity of horror is important, I believe, but it’s a discussion that seems mostly dormant.

        But in the end, as you say, we mostly agree.

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      • Remember, Shawn this was a three line overview of a movie for an end of year list. We discussed in great depth the diversity of horror, it’s history, pro’s and con’s in previous articles and podcasts.

        Funnily enough I was going to reference Field in England in my earlier response.

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