We ended the year with a mission: rank the films we watched in 2020. Nothing caps off a year of podcasts dedicated to exhaustively ranking films with the ranked list to exhaust all others! We invited anyone who wanted to participate to cast their votes, and then set about compiling the numbers into a final total.
So what makes these films stand out? What marks one as better than the other? Therein lies the challenge. We got a lot of comments like “This is tough!” when deciding between the first and second picks. One user picked on a theme, writing, “I went vintage, nostalgic, feel-good horror”.
Of course, we got a lot of requests for films that weren’t on the list. We love Suspiria, The Thing, and Child’s Play, too! We also got one very astute comment: “looooootta dudes on here”. We unfortunately only had so many weeks to work with in 2020 to watch films. To all those who would like to see more, stick around for next year!
Gritty and low-budget, this film set the standard for stranded teenager flicks and introduced us to the iconic Leatherface and family. For all the horrifying imagery, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre remains relatively bloodless, relying instead on the bizarre and unsettling situations it can drag the main characters into.
Wes Craven’s definitive film managed to breathe new life into the bloated slasher genre and set the standard for horror in the 80s. Freddy Krueger established a villain so iconic we are still talking about him today. Nancy was a Final Girl we could all believe in. A Nightmare on Elm Street created the perfect film to keep you up at night.
The Evil Dead burst onto the scene in 1981 like an energetic ball of horrific energy. Redefining what was possible from independent films, and giving theatergoers a new reason to fear going in the woods. It’s unapologetically unpolished, and makes up for budget with creativity and insanity.
The Shining is a great example of just what can be achieved when pushing the boundaries within the genre. You get something that doesn’t try and match the body count of its contemporaries, but instead pushes for something deeper, and ultimately more terrifying.
Alien represents the perfect blend of directing, story, and special effects to tell a classic story in a truly unique way. Ridley Scott, Dan O’Bannon, and Ronald Shusett proved that outer space wasn’t just for cheesy sci-fi stories full of slick rockets and bubble helmets, but it could be dirty, lived in, and ultimately terrifying. Throw in some inventive art direction and an absolutely memorable creature, and you have our pick for the top film we reviewed in 2020.