With 2018 literally coming to an end today, we revisit some of our favorite films of the year. Whether it was Nicolas Cage in full rage or the horrors that befall a family, the following 15 films range from indie favorites to blockbuster flares. Regardless, each and every film on this list left a lasting impact on those who viewed them. So sit back, relax, and dive into our favorite films of 2018!

MANDY

Director: Panos Cosmatos
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache
Synopsis: The enchanted lives of a couple in a secluded forest are brutally shattered by a nightmarish hippie cult and their demon-biker henchmen, propelling a man into a spiraling, surreal rampage of vengeance.

“With hypnotic red and purple drenched cinematography, animated fantasy sequences, and the most intense Nicolas Cage performance in history, MANDY is fucking incredible.” – Michelle Swope

HEREDITARY

Director: Ari Aster
Stars: Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff
Synopsis: After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets.

“To say that HEREDITARY is a masterpiece would be an understatement, it’s a film that is going to be talked about for years to come as it rightfully cements itself as one of the best horror films of this generation.” – Shannon McGrew

ANNIHILATION

Director: Alex Garland
Stars: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez
Synopsis: A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don’t apply.

“ANNIHILATION was the perfect balance between sci-fi and horror and some of the effects left my jaw on the floor!” – Angie Coronado

THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman
Synopsis: The story follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer, over the course of twelve years, and depicts the murders that really develop his inner madman.

“The House That Jack Built is dark, violent and punctuated by the occasional joke and humour, which is exactly what I was expecting, and anticipating, and was everything I wanted it to be.” – Tiffany Blem

A QUIET PLACE

Director: John Krasinski
Stars: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds
Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.

“I loved that they pushed their PG-13 rating to the limit with horrifying creatures, sound editing, and design, that is worthy of an Academy Award or two.” – James H. Carter II

HALLOWEEN

Director: David Gordon Green
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak
Synopsis: Laurie Strode confronts her long-time foe Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

“The latest incarnation of HALLOWEEN reads like a love letter to all of it’s predecessors – a deeply touching viewing experience for me, as this was the franchise that initially hooked me on horror.” – Breanna Whipple

OVERLORD

Director: Julius Avery
Stars: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Olliver
Synopsis: A small group of American soldiers find horror behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day.

“OVERLORD was my favorite film of 2018 because it was the first film that I watched this year where the tension had me biting my fingernails and I felt it was the most shocking. I also thought it had a few breakout stars in it too.” – Kellie Haulotte

UPGRADE

Director: Leigh Whannell
Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Steve Danielsen
Synopsis: Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.

“I loved UPGRADE’s freaky storyline, 80’s style gore, and flawless fight scenes.” – Sara Kinne

REVENGE

Director: Coralie Fargeat
Stars: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe
Synopsis: Never take your mistress on an annual guys’ getaway, especially one devoted to hunting – a violent lesson for three wealthy married men.

“REVENGE was my favorite film of the year because it showed an abused woman turning the tables on her abusers, who sadly underestimated her. To me, it’s a metaphor for women who have to endure constant negging, putdowns, sly remarks, and other micro-aggressions from insecure, entitled, pathetically competitive, mediocre men in office environments – and not just in the office; just about everywhere in life, there’s a man telling a woman that he is superior to her, when in fact, most of the time, it’s quite the opposite.” – Tiffany Aleman

GHOST STORIES

Directors: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Stars: Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse
Synopsis: Skeptical professor Phillip Goodman embarks on a trip to the terrifying after finding a file with details of three unexplained cases of apparitions.

“With an evil presence always lurking, GHOST STORIES did not heavily depend on jump scares but made you welcome them when they came to release the incessant built-up tension.” – Natalie Hall

MOM AND DAD

Director: Brian Taylor
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters
Synopsis: A teenage girl and her little brother must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins cause parents to turn violently on their own kids.

“I had so much fun watching MOM AND DAD, and Cage and Blair are so flawless as the psycho Mr. and Mrs. Jones types. Blair’s performance is so great in this off-beat genre, I feel obligated to campaign for her in more roles.” – Lindsay Traves

CAM

Director: Daniel Goldhaber
Stars: Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters
Synopsis: Alice, an ambitious camgirl, wakes up one day to discover she’s been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself.

“CAM is a glitzy thriller with a highly creative premise – one that will keep you entertained while being in complete suspense.” – Abigail Braman

BLUE MY MIND

Director: Lisa Brühlmann
Stars: Luna Wedler, Zoë Pastelle Holthuizen, Regula Grauwiller
Synopsis: 15-year-old Mia is facing an overwhelming transformation which calls her entire existence into question. Her body is changing radically, and despite desperate attempts to halt the process, she is soon forced to accept that nature is far more powerful than her.

“BLUE MY MIND has easily made one of my top ten…ever. It was a relatable coming-of-age story with a twist. It was heartbreaking and hopeful and I can’t praise it enough.” – D.D. Crowley

THE DEAD CENTER

Director: Billy Senese
Stars: Shane Carruth, Poorna Jagannathan, Jeremy Childs
Synopsis: A hospital psychiatrist’s own sanity is pushed to the edge when a frightened amnesiac patient insists that he has died and brought something terrible back from the other side.

“THE DEAD CENTER is the type of horror film that lingers after you are done viewing and that in itself is what makes it a great film for me. The fact that it sticks to you and doesn’t really let go.” – Sarah Musnicky

LA QUINCEAÑERA

Director: Shane McKenzie, Gigi Saul Guerrero
Stars: Patricia De Leon, Veronica Diaz Carranza, Gustavo Gomez
Synopsis: LA QUINCEAÑERA features fifteen-year-old Alejandra Santos, whose life is about to change forever on the night of her quinceañera. In this daring revenge tale, a young girl will learn the limits of resilience and strength as she is thrust into the most extraordinary of situations over the course of 24 hours. With her Abuela by her side, Alejandra transforms into a gutsy heroine everyone will be rooting for as she avenges her family against the cartel.

“This film is particularly exceptional and entertaining and is a personal favorite that I would recommend to any fan of horror.” – Danielle Nicole

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Shannon McGrew

Founder/Editor-in-Chief at Nightmarish Conjurings
Shannon is the Founder of Nightmarish Conjurings and a lover of all things horror and haunt related. When she's not obsessively collecting all things "Trick 'R Treat" related, or trying to convince everyone that "Hereditary" is one of the greatest horror films ever made, you can find her designing interiors for commercial restaurants. An avid haunt fan, Shannon spends the entire year visiting haunts and immersive experiences throughout the Southern California area and hopes to one day design her own haunted attraction.
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