Episode 58. A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste: 2017 Year in Review

Come for the bloopers, stay for our favourite films of 2017, the A’s to your burning Q’s and the friendship challenge rematch!

EXTRA CREDIT

Salem Horror Fest! Thank you for having us!

 NPR’s Code Switch – a great episode on Black identity in horror and in Jordan Peele’s Get Out.

The Get Out Syllabus – From our friends at Graveyard Shift Sisters, all you could want to know and more about Get Out and more!

TIFF Long Takes : How Horror Slayed the Competition – Alex’s guest spot on the TIFF podcast.

CONTEST! Win a copy of issue #1 of GRIM MAGAZINE! To enter, tell us your favorite horror film of 2017 in the comments section below. Winners will be selected and notified February 15, 2018. [The winner has been selected and notified. Thanks to everyone who entered!]

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58 thoughts on “Episode 58. A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste: 2017 Year in Review

  1. Crandon B says:

    The Killing of a Sacred Deer

    • Lara Hazelton says:

      …was the oddest movie I saw last year.

    • Crandon B says:

      Whoops, please excuse my bluntness. Hey Alex and Andrea, I only recently found your podcast but it has quickly become one of my favorites. What’s even crazier is I didn’t even realize it but I have actually heard Alex before on the Projection Booth Podcast and didn’t realize it until I recently relistened to the Under the Skin episode.

      Anyways, I really enjoyed this episode as it gave me new horror films to search out and got your thoughts on the films I have seen. I’ve been making my way through your back catalog but I don’t think I’ve coming across your opinion on what type of horror do you two enjoy the most (Slasher, Slow Burn, Supernatural, Body Horror, Lovecraftian, etc)?

      As for Lara, I can agree. Though the oddest movie I saw last year, even though it came out in 2016, was The Greasy Strangler. Such a bizarre film

  2. Enrico Cioni says:

    Hi Alex and Andrea, I’ve listened to a bunch of your episodes over the last few months but this is my first comment. I love your show and it’s been a great companion to my late-2017 resolution to watch more horror films–neither my wife or I used to be huge horror fans but we decided to embrace The Fear and watch at least one or two a week, and now we can’t get enough! The main reason I’m commenting, however, is to recommend a book, since the topic of horror fiction came up. Naomi Booth’s Sealed came out only a few months ago from a small British indie press, and I’ve been telling everyone I can about it because I think it’s a Rosemary’s Baby for our times. It’s not been marketed as horror, but its last twenty pages are intensely horrific, and they are preceded by a delicious build-up of dread. It’s set in a near-future Australia on the brink of environmental catastrophe, and its main character is a heavily pregnant government worker obsessed with a disturbing new disease which I won’t spoil but which may be caused by pollution, and she’s moved to the backwoods with her partner in search of fresh air and a fresh start. Except of course she can’t escape from her fears, or for that matter the things that cause them. It is fan-tas-tic, and it’s not receiving nearly as much attention as it deserves.

  3. Erin Fahrer says:

    IT!

  4. Kelly Gredner says:

    My favorite movie of 2017 was RAW. It was sexy, creepy, gross, intriguing, wonderfully acted with great music.

    • Alison Locke says:

      This was a good one, too! It really stuck with me, especially it’s odd sense of humor. But my favorite was Get Out! It was one of those exciting films where you feel like, yes, this is what I love about our genre! Exploring a difficult topic in such a smart, scary, sly way.

  5. Roberto Longoria says:

    My favorite horror film of 2017 is Alien: Covenant.

    It is a tonal mess, but I haven’t had so much fun in awhile. At times elegant, but tasteless as the movie churns along, it just really felt special.

  6. Jade Benoit says:

    Great episode! Raw was my favorite horror film of 2017. I loved the colors in the film, & the themes it explores really lingered with me for weeks after seeing it.

    Also, I’d be interested in hearing a discussion about Mother! You mention horror marketing a few times in this episode, & I found it super interesting that the film was marketed as horror, whether or not it actually is, in order to prepare viewers for its content.

  7. Bjorn says:

    So glad to hear shout-outs to Colossal and A Dark Song. Two of my favourite movies this year that definitely deserve more attention.

    I can’t recall if you mentioned The Lure in last year’s episode? Since it’s a 2015 movie that didn’t get international release until this year, but definitely a highlight for me. At least if you’re into cannibal mermaid musicals, which admittedly is an underexplored genre.

    One horror-adjacent film I really loved was Dave Made A Maze, which is just beautifully playful.

    • Bjorn says:

      Oh, and Thelma, which I’d love to hear you guys take on. There’s some stuff in there that needs unpacking, I think.

  8. Timea Quon says:

    Fave horror film of 2017? Definitely Prevenge. Alice Lowe is my hero and i loved this film for balancing horror and comedy perfectly.

  9. Katie says:

    Please, please talk about Mother! My best friend and I went to see it the week it came out and found it very upsetting to watch, but also so great. We love your podcast and really, really want to know what you guys have to say about it.

  10. Britt says:

    Prevenge! 2017 was a really fascinating year for horror, and while there were quite a few movies that I really enjoyed, Prevenge was my personal favorite.

  11. L. Hazelton says:

    ‘Get Out’ was for sure the best movie I saw last year. I would also recommend ‘A Ghost Story’, although it was not really horror. At the risk of ruining my credibility with the Faculty and my classmates, I will say that I actually really enjoyed ‘Happy Death Day’.

  12. Sofia Webster says:

    Like both of you, my favorite horror movie of 2017 was GET OUT. I thought it was brilliant. Great storytelling and an amazing piece of social commentary. I don’t think we have had a horror movie like GET OUT for a long, long time. The closest that comes to mind is The Stepford Wives or Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I cannot wait for more Jordan Peele!
    My favorite horror-adjacent film of 2017 was American Fable directed by Anne Hamilton. I would categorize this as horror-adjacent because it has many frightening themes and elements of magical realism. It’s on Netflix! Also, the podcast Switchblade Sisters had Anne Hamilton on as a guest. They have a great discussion about American Fable and The Others.

    PS. I also have a small dog named Dante!! He is a beagle and my best friend. I named him after Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy, my favorite literary work. My Dante so goofy and loving and sweet. I’m glad Andrea’s Dante is bringing her so much joy!

  13. Ryan McDougall says:

    The Babysitter. I loved this movie. My partner loved it and she’s particular about horror.

  14. Shannon says:

    Hi! I love the podcast! I want to contribute that the scariest horror movie I saw this year was Killing Ground. I think because I’m a mom, the baby character had me holding my breath the entire movie. It’s a 2016 tho, so it might be a bit cheating. Otherwise, I loved Mother!. I didn’t know about the symbolism until I searched it out after (I hate spoilers). I still enjoyed the movie for the same reasons you gave…it felt like a nightmare where the protagonist is completely out of control. The meaning behind everything was a post-movie analysis bonus. Can’t wait for the next episode! <3

  15. Jesse Munoz says:

    Get Out- I know that’s the easy answer, but it’s the movie I can’t stop thinking about. I teach an American Horror literature class and this is the movie we’ll be watching later this spring. It’s an astonishing film.

  16. Regina says:

    I really enjoyed Cult of Chucky. Just way more than I thought I would!

  17. carter smith says:

    THE UNTAMED – creepy, sexy, dark dark dark with great performances and a kick ass “monster”

  18. I think, ‘It Comes At Night’ was my favorite horror film of 2017, but I also loved ‘Get Out’ (of course) and ‘Tragedy Girls’ (screened at Salem Horror Fest — what up?). It was a really great year for genre films.

  19. Troy Lenze says:

    I only watched two 2017 horror movies despite watching about 50 horror movies last year. Out of the two Get Out is my favorite by far.

  20. Stephanie Cona says:

    My favorite movies from 2017 was IT and Get Out!!

  21. Lydia says:

    A new Canadian magazine?! I am in love already! Since I may get lucky, my favourite film of 2017 was Tokyo Ghoul. Runner-up and true winner didn’t technically come out in 2017 – Better Watch Out – as I’ve never had as much fun with a film this year but, alas. Tokyo Ghoul was a huge thing for me AND I was able to see in in a theatre which is kind of crazy considering it is not popular at all here. It was also more touching to me as there is something about J-horror-action that actually sparks human emotion in me unlike North American films. And it was extremely bloody fun without trying to be an ‘extreme’ film.

    Now, I have missed a lot due to lack of time this year so I don’t have an opinion on some popular films (except It. I liked It a lot!) but found your episode a really helpful compass for choosing what to watch out of what I have missed!

    Thank you both for this episode, and the show entirely!

  22. Tragedy Girls is so, so, so, so good. I legitimately got misty at one point near the end.

  23. Kristen says:

    Get Out & MFA! I am working on watching all the films mentioned in your assessment. Keep up the great work! Great episode, great year! Looking forward to 2018.

  24. My favorite horror film of 2017 was Flatliners… Ha! Just kidding. It was “The Endless”. Did either of you see it?

    Also, psyched on the new horror magazine from an academic perspective. I’m always looking for things in that vein. Sounds rad.

  25. RandomNumbers says:

    Prevenge was good but my favorite horror/pregnancy movie is Antibirth

  26. B says:

    Annabelle: Creation – okay wait, hear me out. It’s tropey, it’s cliche, & it’s not a terrible good movie. But I had *fun* which is a lot more than I can say for other horror movies I saw in 2017. The effects were decent, the score was solid, & it’s hard to mess up a spooky big house possessing creepy little girls (like I said, tropey). There were a few cheap jump scares, but they used darkeness to cool effect to build tension. I saw it in a pretty crowded theater with my 57 yr old Mom – she kept her hands over her face for half the movie & was gripping my arm the other half. We left the film laughing & adrenaline filled & it could have done a lot worse for being a prequel. I actually want to see it again!

  27. Alicia says:

    For a big release, I’m in the same boat as just about everyone one else: Get Out

    I also really enjoyed The Autopsy of Jane Doe. I was surprised and pleased with the concept and acting.

    Thank you for another amazing year!

  28. Christine says:

    Favorite film of 2017: I, Tonya
    I’ve loved that skater since I saw her first triple axel in grade school. The filmmakers made gave her a sympathetic yet hilarious portrayal.

    Favorite horror film of 2017: Get Out
    Had no idea what this movie really was about going into in, but it was a great ride throughout the entire process. I can never hear a clinking tea cup the same.

  29. Antoine Pontbriand says:

    My favourite horror (or maybe horror adjacent) movie of 2017 is mother!

  30. Rebecca McCallum says:

    Creep 2 gets my vote. Such enjoyable and stirring performances with a plot that never fails to surprise. This film is not afraid to go to unsafe and uncomfortable places and the humour is so intelligent. Its original, non-patronizing and also gets brownie points for doing a decent job in response to its predecessor-Creep.

  31. Roberta says:

    I liked Revenge and Get Out, for totally different reasons.

    Love the podcast – did my MA thesis on horror/triller films and listening to you guys makes my heart happy!

  32. Josh says:

    I’m a bit of a sucker for big budget movies and IT and Alien Covenant delivered.

    I loved the IT miniseries the first time I saw it (as an early 20-something). Then, I saw it again a few years ago and was completely underwhelmed (though, I do love Tim Curry so much in it). The special effects at the end just made it silly. I love Stephen King and I love his writing about children and growing up. I started reading the book, just to get more of this and while I haven’t finished it yet, I intend to. Anyway, it was nice to see the kid from Stranger Things, and I thought he was really good and I was glad to see the story a bit bloodier. It had a tenseness lurking through the film that put me on edge the whole time and I was genuinely scared at the end. I’m glad they only did half the story and I’m looking forward to the sequel.

    Alien Covenant had fewer plot holes than Prometheus, which isn’t saying much. It was utterly beautiful overall (And so is Michael Fassbender!), and I’ll pretty much love anything Alien related anyway.

    It is because of this podcast, that I’ve started to explore more non big budget horror and I’m discovering new things and watching the entire back catalogue of horror classics. I had just finished watching the Living Dead trilogy when that excellent episode came out-thank you again for that episode!

    I wanted to like The Void… and I really liked the first hour of it. But it fell apart at the end. But I’m watching and exploring more, so thank you for the inspiration.

    I’ll go with Alien Covenant as my vote (because I haven’t seen Get Out yet – don’t hate me, I’m going to watch it this weekend!)

  33. Todd Severson says:

    Favorite film of 2017: THE SHAPE OF WATER
    My daughter thought the film was “meh” (she loved HAPPY DEATH DAY and so did I) but I was totally enthralled. The use of music was inspired and I love how del Toro can mix beauty with cringe-inducing and queasy scenes mostly involving Michael Shannon’s character.

    Runner-up favorite: THE BEGUILED
    Coppola’s LOST IN TRANSLATION was a big favorite of mine back in 2003 and this film was that rare remake that every bit as good as its amazing original from 1971.

  34. Carla Dawson says:

    My vote for favourite horror-adjacent film is Thelma by Joachim Trier. That film is a slow-burn with uncertainty at its core and the only explicit exposition comes from one (questionable] character. If you have time I’d totally recommending checking it out. The feelings of dread it inspires run deep and have stayed with me,

    Cheers!

  35. Keith Chawgo says:

    Favourite Horror Film of 2017 has to be Cult of Chucky. I think this has more to do with a guilty pleasure. I can watch it multiple times and Jennifer Tilly is always an added bonus.

  36. Laura says:

    My favorite horror movie of 2017 was also Get Out. Standing ovation for everything about that movie. Honorable mention: the horror-adjacent Colossal, which I found to be an incredibly realistic and affecting depiction of an abusive relationship… plus kaiju!

    Since you brought up horror fiction and Cannibal Holocaust, I wanted to draw your attention to the novel We Eat Our Own by Kea Wilson. It’s a fictionalized retelling of the making of Cannibal Holocaust. I guess it’s more fiction ABOUT horror than it is “horror fiction” per se, but I think that idea made for a very cool starting point for a novel.

  37. Michael Kessler says:

    I was really into the slow burn horror movies that I saw in 2017. A Dark Song was a particular favorite (though, as pointed out, the ending doesn’t stick well). Also, I was surprised that one of my favorites, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, didn’t make the list until I found that it’s a 2015 film. I suppose that’s the date it hit festivals?

    • Glen Cullen says:

      I was similarly surprised regarding The Blackcoat’s Daughter. Insofar as it didn’t hit US release until 2017, can it count? I thought it was just a perfect little movie–slow burn atmosphere, really chilling, and just a pleasure to see how it all fits together. I think it was my favorite that I saw last year.

      Also, I would love to hear Mother! discussed in greater detail. If Black Swan qualified as horror enough for an episode, I think this could make the cut. It even makes an interesting double bill with The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, another horror-adjacent, artsy, difficult film. (Though I think ‘killing’ is closer to classical tragedy than horror–but I think there’s also an interesting discussion to be had about the relationship between those two things.)

  38. Darian OQuinn says:

    My favorite horror film of the year is the devil’s candy.

  39. Jen Raw says:

    Is it ok if my favourite movie of 2017 was The Last Jedi? Because that was a really fun time 🙂

  40. Becky Auman says:

    Look forward to the podcast every month! I’m on my second listen-through and am always fascinated to hear your takes on film. I loved Tragedy Girls last year. Can’t wait to check out Grim. I’ll be getting it whether or not I win a copy.

  41. Angie says:

    Hi! Loved the assessment episode! My favourite horror movie of 2017, thus far, was Train to Busan. However, after listening to this episode, I realize I have many more to watch! I could just as easily chosen Get Out as my favourite, but I want to give Train to Busan a shout out because I didn’t see it in the comments. I re-watched The Thing and can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it next episode. I was VERY excited to listen to the live show from Salem and heard myself say “narrator” when you mentioned Edward Norton’s character from Fight Club. Woo hoo!!

  42. Rohel Terrazas says:

    My favorite genre film of 2017 would go to The Devil’s Candy.

  43. Marni Molina says:

    My favorite horror film of 2017 was Raw. It’s absolutely amazing!

  44. Kevin Croake says:

    Cars 3… The sequel to a children’s racing movie that takes place after self driving cars take over society when mankind falls.

  45. Ricardo says:

    mother! mas the best

  46. Christina Frye says:

    Hi ladies!
    I would have to say my favorite horror movie of 2017 was The Void! Thanks for a great year in review episode!

  47. Brian P. says:

    My favorite HORROR movie last year with out a doubt has to be “The Last Jedi”! What a scary,frighting,haunting mess
    I get chills just thinking about now. Just now getting over my nightmares!

    Keep up the good work,
    Brian P.

  48. Candice Lepage says:

    Squeaked in just under the gun!

    My favourite films of the year were pretty horror heavy with both It and Get Out on my list. I’m lucky enough to co-host a podcast with a friend reviewing movies and we released a best of episode at the beginning of January – https://endcreditsradioshow.com/2017/12/27/end-credits-show-notes-for-thursday-december-28-2017/.

    Get Out was definitely the big winner between all four of us.

  49. Kieron Edwards says:

    My favorite films I watched this year were Get Out, Colossal and Train to Busan. Thanks for the podcast, it’s one of my favorites…

  50. Nicola Peters says:

    Despite missing the deadline I’m going to write a lengthy reply anyway.

    Lowlife was my stand out, surprise favourite. Although only a festival release in 2017 it’s getting a general release soon. I hope it gets the promotion and distribution it deserves. With Tarantino’s recent tumble from grace, we need someone fresh with a Tarantino-esque style of storytelling.

    Get Out was the clear favourite of the year, with Raw, and Mother! Following close behind.

    Mayhem was a thoroughly enjoyable easy watch (but I missed the Belko Experiment and people seem to prefer one or the other).
    68 Kill was excellent but would have definitely benefited from a woman reading the script, the movie not being introduced by the film makers and not having to endure their Q&A. Not to mention one scene that tarred the experience for me.

    Two more that I haven’t heard talked about much,
    The Bar – (El Bar) (single location tension builder with light relief). Available on Netflix.
    Freehold – (dark, sad, funny, bit gross, again single location about a homeless man living in the walls of his estate agent’s flat). Worth watching but not going to win any movie of the year awards.

    And a special mention to one that people probably won’t get to see.
    Loved the concept but not so much the execution of ‘The Skin Lies’. It had an inexperienced writer/director and it showed.

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