While most of us were hoping for some improvement on the unprecedented year that was 2020, it took less than a week before our dreams were unceremoniously shattered when a man dressed as a Viking stormed the Capitol building in Washington D.C.

Reality had bitch-slapped us and showed 2021 was ramping up to be a disastrous sequel.

For those of us here in NZ, we experienced more challenges than many of us would have liked. Major flooding, more lockdowns, and vaccine protests dominated our day to day life.

We did get a 10-day reprieve cheering for our athletes at the 2020 Summer Olympics, and our political leaders provided Kiwis with some uplifting words of advice including “spread your legs and not the virus”.

Words of advice

Hollywood didn’t get through the year unscathed with more movie release pushbacks than an episode of The Chase, forcing us all to wonder if we were ever going make it back into cinemas.

In the end though, we got there and luckily the wait was worth it. Our patience was rewarded and we got those long-awaited releases, plus a few spooky surprises.

So hold onto your butts horror fans as we count down the top 8 horror flicks of 2021!

8. Superhost

Superhost movie still

A Shudder Original, Superhost is essentially the story of social media influencing gone wrong. Two vloggers, looking for ways to increase the views on their YouTube channel, decide their slightly odd and socially awkward superhost Rebecca, would be the perfect subject for their next video. Things get intense very quickly as the vloggers discover Rebecca may also be just a wee bit unstable, and we’re rewarded with a super fun flick full of gore and mayhem.

7. The Night House

Grief has manifested as a recurring theme in horror over the last few years, and The Night House establishes itself as one of the top players here. It’s a haunting tale, brought to life by an incredible performance by Rebeca Hall playing the grieving widow, Beth, a woman hurled into the nightmare of suddenly losing someone you love. The Night House is a tense and frightening rollercoaster ride, heightened by the idea that you can’t ever really know another person, no matter how much you’re convinced you do. It’s also the winner of Best Jump Scare 2021, and my popcorn suffered the consequences.

6. Antlers

Antlers movie still

Anything involving kids seems to automatically have the stakes raised, and this concept is dialled up to 11 in Antlers. The dark and dreary tale centres around Lucas, a young boy who seems to be fending for himself in an isolated Oregon town. After his teacher becomes concerned, she starts investigating Lucas’s strange behaviour, convinced the boy is the victim of abuse. What she discovers is something out of her worst nightmares, and Antlers is a must-watch choice if folklore horror is your jam.

5. Fear Street Trilogy

Fear Street Trilogy NZHF

Oh be still, my nostalgic heart! The epic soundtrack and awkward 90s fashion of Fear Street: 1994 will transport you back to the land of Trapper Keepers and flannel faster than you can strap on your Doc Martens. And let’s not forget this teen spirited flick also boasts one of the best kills scenes in a slasher since, well, ever. Trust me, you will never look at sliced bread the same way again. Add in Fear Street: 1978 and Fear Street: 1666, and we’ve got ourselves a proper mosh pit of kills and spills.

4. Halloween Kills

Michael Myers Halloween Kills

Having to wait an extra year for this one meant horror audiences couldn’t wait to slash their way into Halloween Kills. This direct sequel to 2018’s Halloween, picks up exactly where its predecessor left us dangling…well, almost. We do get a lengthy prologue about the events of Halloween night 1978 before we’re tossed back into the present-day action. What ensues can only be described as absolute mayhem, with more eye-popping and face-smashing social justice than horrorphiles could have ever dreamed of. Halloween Kills is a movie so bad it’s good, and if you’re into gruesome deaths and slasher flicks, this movie just might be the most fun you’ll have all year.

3. Coming Home in the Dark

Coming home in the dark movie New Zealand

If Halloween Kills is a rompy fun-time ride, then Coming Home in the Dark can only be described as a rotting, abandoned amusement park. This one is dark. Really dark. But it will also get you thinking. Kiwi director James Ashcroft succeeds at shoving us into the shadowy corners of the human mind with his first feature film, and the NZ-made psychological horror focuses on the consequences of inaction, and the tragic outcomes that lead from it. You won’t walk away in a good mood, but sometimes movies have a message, and this is an important one.

2. Malignant

Malignant movie NZHF

If you haven’t watched this new horror flick from James Wan, don’t worry I’m not going to spoil it for you. Malignant takes a hard left from his usual Waniverse movies, tossing us into a world that has to be seen to be believed. The story follows Madison, a woman suffering from abuse at the hands of her husband, who begins having visions she can’t explain. I’m not saying anything else about this crazy movie but I assure you, the second half will have you saying “WTF did I just watch?” in the best way possible.

1. Candyman

Candyman movie NZHF

With its release date rescheduled more times than a Friday the 13th reboot, Candyman was easily the most anticipated movie of the year. And, when it was finally released out into the wild, audiences did not walk away disappointed. The updated sequel (if you don’t count the two already in existence) was just what the doctor ordered, and Candyman quickly buzzed its way into the hearts of horror fans from all generations. Director Nia DaCosta proved she’s got some serious talent, and her ability to merge social commentary with splatter is top notch.

And there you have it horror fans!

What were your top picks for 2021?

Let us know in the comments below or check out New Zealand Horror Fans Facebook page and join our NZHF Community to chat with other horror lovers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s