5 best horror performances of 2021
2021 has been a bit of a strange year for movie releases, in large part because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there were challenges and still many delays, fans were able to enjoy many great new films. Some of them came from the horror genre. While there may not have been as many big horror releases this year as there has been in the past, there were still a few standouts. And with these big new movies, came some stellar acting performances.
From a deaf girl seeking to save her family to a legendary masked killer, these performances both terrified and enjoyed audiences. Horror continues its strong resurgence with quality titles, and these performances have certainly helped the genre continue its box office dominance in 2021.
One of the most publicized horror releases of this year was A Quiet Place, Part II. Set directly after the events of the first film, Part Two follows a family in the midst of an apocalypse. Silence is the key in this world, as monsters attracted to sound have invaded the earth and killed many people.
Millicent Simmonds plays Regan, the eldest of the central family. She is also deaf, which makes her both more vulnerable and equipped for this world. Regan was a big character in the first movie, but she really gets in the spotlight in the second part. The character is brave and has a genuine desire to save the world. She is embarking on a solo journey, both physically and mentally. Watching it unfold is tense and touching, with Simmonds’ performance stealing the show.
New from Nia DaCosta Candy The film was highly anticipated, in part because of horror icon Jordan Peele’s involvement, and ultimately received mixed reviews. It was marketed as a “spiritual sequel” but is actually a direct sequel to the original 1992 film and tackles many of the same themes.
Instead of Virginia Madsen, or a woman at all, in the lead role, this film instead features Yahya Abdul Mateen II. He plays an artist named Anthony, living in Chicago. After hearing the story of Helen Lyle and the Candyman, he heads to the now gentrified neighborhood of Cabrini-Green for inspiration. The deadly legend begins to consume him and his life, however, driving him mad and even affecting his body.
Mateen has appeared in several works, but never quite in the lead role like this. This movie relies heavily on his performance, and he delivers completely. Anthony is a man who is losing his grip, something is taking him completely. On top of that, there is a lot of gruesome body horror attached to this role. It was a lot to take on and Mateen delivers completely all over the place, making it a truly engaging watch for viewers.
The night house was a bit more of a low-key release this year, but it really packs a punch. And so does the performance of Principal Lady Rebecca Hall. The story follows Hall’s character, Beth, at a very sensitive time in her life. She has just lost her husband to suicide and begins a grieving process. Throughout this process, however, she begins to uncover secrets about her husband and his life that rock her.
Hall is the star of this film, and he wouldn’t be as effective without his performance. She is very convincing in this role, which is really difficult to hold. Pretending to be terrified in a way that isn’t cheesy isn’t an easy thing to do. She also has to play a lot of psychological roles as her character is, to some extent, losing her mind and constantly discovering shocking new information. It’s easy to get lost as a viewer in this film, largely because of his work.
Although Holy maud The festival was originally held a few years ago, it wasn’t widely broadcast in most places until 2021. The horror community was very excited for this one and when it came out, and people were blown away by the main performance.
Morfydd Clark plays Maud, a newly converted Catholic hospice nurse. She has had some difficulties in her life and is looking for a new start. When she accepts a job as a private nurse for a dying woman, she decides to make it her mission to save her soul. While this plot alone doesn’t sound too gruesome, it is a slow, deep psychological burn that is incredibly tense and very unsettling.
Clark is under a lot of pressure to perform here as she is responsible for so many of these tense and unsettling moments. She plays the part of Maud as scary as she should be. Not overdone, but still deeply disturbing. Not everyone will enjoy this movie, but the effectiveness of the main character is undeniable.
Everyone was excited for Halloween kills This year. The second in a reboot trilogy, starring OG’s final daughter Jamie Lee Curtis, this film has not been the best received by mainstream audiences. And for good reason, it’s a bit of a mess.
That being said, James Jude Courtney is playing the role of killer Michael Myers and he does an absolutely amazing job. He is perhaps the best Michael Myers to date. He’s brutal, he’s got a personality, and he’s really scary. Gone are the wacky, bland 1980s versions of Michael, in this reboot trilogy he’s got so much more presence. While Courtney doesn’t show her face or have any speaking parts, he absolutely nails that beloved part and is honestly the best part of the movie.
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