27th Dec2018

Phil’s Ten Best: Films of 2018

by Phil Wheat

top-10-ten-best-films

2018 has been, yet again, another fantastic year for movies. There has been some great films in the cinema, on DVD and VOD and the film festivals we’ve covered have been jam-packed with quality movies. Which makes it VERY hard to narrow down a list of the Top 10 of the year! Even moreso when it comes to DTV releases…

So, with that being said, I’ve decided that this year I’d split my picks into two distinct lists – the ten best films I saw this year, be it at the local multiplex or at film festivals; and the ten best direct-to-market titles of the year, be they DVD or VOD. The only other criteria is that we’ve covered the film here on Nerdly.

This list is my Top 10 picks of the cinematic releases (including festival screenings) of 2018 – in the order I saw them… Starting at the beginning of the year, and even for me this is a very STRANGE selection of films! Though there are some films released at the end of the year that I still haven’t seen including the new animated Spider-Man movie which – I think – would have probably made this list.

Crucible of the Vampire

Crucible of the Vampire sees Isabelle (Katie Goldfinch), a naive university researcher, sent to a foreboding, gothic manor house in rural Shropshire to verify that an ancient crucible is that of a Sorcerer from the 17th Century who was executed for bringing the dead back to life. As Katie delves further into the crucible’s history, it soon becomes apparent that the house holds more than one dark secret…

Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon tells the story of Mary, a young woman possessed by an evil entity, who undergoes a series of exorcisms from a wealth of priests looking to rid her of her demons. Literally. Unfortunately the evil that has possessed Mary is stronger than that found in the likes of The Exorcist – it takes priest after priest after priest to ATTEMPT to free Mary from her shackles. However, as the film progresses, it seems that defeating the demon might not be the plan after all…

The Child Remains

The Child Remains tells the story of an expectant couple’s intimate weekend… A weekend which turns to terror when they discover their secluded country inn is a haunted maternity home where unwanted infants and mothers were murdered. Apparently inspired by the true story of the infamous ‘Butterbox Babies’, a creepy folklore tale from Nova Scotia that – like many of these macabre stories – has some basis in fact, after all pretty much ever country has scandalous rumours about mistreatment in all kinds of care homes, not just maternity homes.

Avengers: Infinity War

As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment, the fate of Earth and existence has never been more uncertain.

The Cop Baby

Having failed a large covert operation and being cursed by a vengeful fortune teller, Major Chromov is trapped inside a baby’s body. The only way for Major Chromov to return to his body is to finish the operation and hunt down the most dangerous crime boss of the local mafia as a M*******KING COP BABY.

Tag

Based, unbelievably, on a true story Tag tells the story of five highly competitive friends who, for one month every year, hit the ground running in a no-holds-barred game of tag they’ve been playing since the first grade—risking their necks, their jobs and their relationships to take each other down with the battle cry: “You’re It!” This year, the game coincides with the wedding of their only undefeated player, which should finally make him an easy target. But he knows they’re coming and he’s ready…

Mega Time Squad

Taking its cue from the well-regarded Time Crimes (with nods to the overly complex nature of time travel a la Primer), which saw its protagonist discover multiple versions of himself caused by time travel, Mega Time Squad tells the story of Johnny (Anton Tennet) a low-level drug dealer in Thames, New Zealand, he lives in his mother’s garage, his time is spent with a blundering friend Gaz (Arlo Gibson) at the local bowling alley and doing petty errands for the local kingpin Shelton (Johnny Brugh) and his henchmen (including Milo Cawthrone). When a once-in-a-lifetime chance at a big score reveals itself, Johnny finds himself wondering, “Do I have what it takes to pull off a caper?” He quickly realizes no, he doesn’t. That is, not until he stumbles upon an ancient relic that allows him to travel across time. With the power to bend time in Johnny’s hands, a hodgepodge of hilarity ensues and the “bogans” (Kiwi for loser) sets his sights once again on the wealth just beyond his grasp. However, what are the consequences of this temporal insanity, and does Johnny have what it takes to face off against Shelton and his henchmen?

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich

Recently divorced and reeling, Edgar returns to his childhood home to regroup his life. When Edgar finds a nefarious looking puppet in his deceased brother’s room, he decides to sell the doll for some quick cash. Girl-next-door Ashley and and comic book pal Markowitz join Edgar for a doomed road trip to an auction at a convention celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets at the convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that’s motivated by an evil as old as time.

Uncle Drew

Uncle Drew follows Dax (Lil Rel Howery) who, after draining his life savings to enter a team in the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, is dealt a series of unfortunate setbacks, including losing his team to his longtime rival (Nick Kroll). Desperate to win the tournament and the cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the man, the myth, the legend Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving) and convinces him to return to the court one more time. The two men embark on a road trip to round up Drew’s old basketball squad (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson and Lisa Leslie) and prove that a group of septuagenarians can still win the big one.

The Cleaning Lady

Based on the 2016 short of the same name (also written and directed by Jon Knautz), The Cleaning Lady follows a floundering love addict who forms a dangerous bond with her new domestic while trying to avoid her married lover. As Alice struggles to end her affair with a married man, she finds solace in Shelly, a reclusive burn victim who cleans Alice’s apartment. As their friendship grows, so does Shelly’s twisted obsession with Alice. When Shelly learns of Alice’s on-and-off affair, she takes matters into her own hands in order to cleanse Alice of her bad behavior.

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