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crazy comfort movies.jpg

The Best Comfort Movies Of 2018 (For Crazy People)

By Tori Preston | Film | December 28, 2018 |

By Tori Preston | Film | December 28, 2018 |

crazy comfort movies.jpg

Yeah yeah, I know — we already DID this. Our “Ten Best Comfort Movies of 2018” list is tailor-made for sitting around in your pajamas, sippin’ tea on a cold night. Talking teddy bears, female heists, and lots of romance — what more could you ask for?

Well, if you’re like me, you might have read that other list and been like, “But where’s Nic Cage?” And that’s why Dustin gave me permission to do a slightly different comfort movie round-up: The ten best heart-pounding, blood-gushing movies from 2018 that make you wanna sit around in your pjs, sippin’ whiskey and pumping your fists with a crazy-pants grin on your face. Because not all of us find romance comforting, and if I didn’t find an excuse to build a special year-end list around Mandy, it wasn’t going to end up anywhere. And that’s just unacceptable. Soooo…

All the blood and gore that’s only hinted at in the surprisingly demure, bucolic early sections of the film is more than paid off in the back half, with chainsaw fights and blood geysers and Red lighting a cigarette off a burning fucking skull. In a scene that’s probably already being edited into countless “Nic Cage Freak Out” compilations on YouTube, Red locks himself in a bathroom and chugs a bottle of liquor while gasping, grunting, screaming, and generally hyping himself into that unique Cage-ian fervor that means shit’s about to go OFF. It’s the bathroom of Red’s cabin, but it may as well have been Cage’s dressing room. It’s a turning point for his character, who is finally embarking on his journey of revenge, to hunt down the bikers and the Jesus freaks and finally Jeremiah himself. And it’s a turning point for the film as well. If the first two chapters had been dawdling along in a psychedelic shroomy haze, then the final chapter is suddenly sharpened by cocaine and painkillers and speed. — Tori Preston

The Hurricane Heist
In case you can’t tell, I really, really liked The Hurricane Heist. It’s not great cinema. At one hour and 40 minutes, it’s about 20 minutes too long, which has the unfortunate effect of stretching out the more hum-drum sequences in between the instances of utter, glorious bonkerosity. This is a movie where a guy dies when a hurricane drops a semi-truck on his head. Does the semi-truck explode? You get one guess. You have the father from The Witch chewing scenery like he hasn’t eaten in a month and—and!—doing one of those sexy-under-the-closing-door action movie slides. Will and Breeze (BREEZE! BREEZE!!!!) talk in football metaphors for some reason. Stormclouds form the shape of a skull. Twice. It’s stupid and it’s fun and it’s one of the best times I’ve had in a movie theater so far this year. And that’s only partially because of the vodka. — Rebecca Pahle

The Meg
The Meg is preposterous and hilarious and DUMB and it’s fun as hell. Rarely does a movie live up to my expectations as spectacularly as this one does. It is exactly what I wanted it to be. The acting is perfection. Statham just fucking Stathams all over the place, sneering and shirtless and smarter than everyone. He doesn’t punch the shark, but he might as well. Ruby Rose is a joy as always. Cliff Curtis is the elder statesman of hotness, although Winston Chao gives that sexy motherfucker a run for his money, Li Bingbing is terrific. Rainn Wilson plays one of the better douchebags in history. Everyone successfully straddles the line between seriousness and silliness without somehow just erupting into laughter in the middle of their lines, no matter how ridiculous it is. — TK Burton

Bad Times At The El Royale
You might know Bad Times At The El Royale as that movie where Chris Hemsworth toys with our thirst and the Best Chris rankings by wiggling about with an open shirt and jeans so low-slung it’s probably illegal in some states. You might know it as writer/director Drew Goddard’s star-stuffed follow-up to the brilliant horror-comedy Cabin in the Woods. But you soon will know it as the movie that proves Cynthia Erivo is a big damn star. — Kristy Puchko

The tone waffles about and the plot is utter nonsense, but if you can set aside all the expectations and baggage of what you think a Venom movie should be, you just might be surprised by how much you enjoy just what this movie is. It’s a throwback comic book movie in a lot of ways — rooted in those pre-Iron Man or even pre-Raimi Spider-Man days, when it was enough to take a comic book character and throw him (or her! but really, him) on screen, in the midst of some very creative action set pieces, and let the silliness abound. They didn’t have to be faithful to any comic arcs. They could be “inspired by” the source material in the loosest sense of the term — remixing rather than recreating the original elements. Nowadays we take comic book movies very seriously. We’re used to hunting for know-it-all easter eggs and scouting for all the ways one film ties into five others. Venom doesn’t truck with all that. And that’s its saving grace, really. — Tori Preston

Upgrade is unquestionably one of the year’s more pleasant surprises. I didn’t know much going in, and it didn’t take long for it to turn into something unique and often even quite beautiful. It’s a fun, exciting, and occasionally thought-provoking film that, at a brisk 95 minutes, never overstays its welcome. Assuming you can handle some of its rather shocking, well-executed moments of gore, it becomes a remarkably entertaining bit of science-fiction storytelling. — TK Burton

Death of Stalin
With his second feature comedy The Death of Stalin, Armando Iannucci pulls off a balancing act that’s more remarkable the more you think about it: this is a movie that’s both mercilessly grim and uproariously funny. It’s the blackest of black comedies, set in the Soviet Union circa 1953, as security forces routinely gathered and executed citizens who’d made their way onto General Secretary Joseph Stalin’s enemies list, and concerns the manner in which his underlings undercut each other when he’s found near death on the floor of his office. Yet its bleakness is offset by its anarchic spirit, which summons up the ghosts of Duck Soup, Million Dollar Legs, and other screwball skewerings of authoritarianism. — Jason Bailey

This movie is made to be watched at home, on your couch, with a beer and a spliff and a large pie and maybe a few good friends. Because Slice is a throwback, tailor-made for that golden age of Friday night VHS/DVD rental-and-chill. In fact, it’s basically the spiritual (pun intended) successor to bygone horror-comedy flicks like Idle Hands, and really — I can’t pay it a higher compliment than that. — Tori Preston

Hotel Artemis
Hotel Artemis sets up a spectacular contraption for drama and showdowns, then pulls the spring to give us a catastrophic and compelling spectacle of collisions and human carnage amidst a sweltering setting pungent in sex and death. You get to see a payoff for every single setup. But things go off the rails in the finale, feeling overstuffed and ultimately rushed. Still, this bit of overeager fumbling is easy to forgive, because ultimately Hotel Artemis offers an unrepentant rush, scads of style, and sensationally fucked-up fun. — Kristy Puchko

The Ranger
Not every horror icon is defined by a single weapon, or a weakness, or a frightening origin. And not all of them end up spawning sequels. So while it may be too early to tell whether Holm will return to guard the National Forest the only way he knows how in a future installment, for now, I’d say that The Ranger, and The Ranger, works pretty wonderfully as an off-beat and exciting new icon of horror. I haven’t seen a movie quite like it, but it already feels like I grew up watching it. Now if only they’d release it on VHS… — Tori Preston

And finally, because no comfort movie list is complete without a solid cartoon (and one last “f*ck you” to TK, who is SO WRONG about this one…):

Teen Titans GO! To The Movies
The good news is that it’s fun, and funny, and a seriously clever send-up of the entire genre of superhero movies. But it’s also — and I say this as the ultimate compliment — a seamless extension of the television show. Sure, it had a bigger budget, which likely went to hiring bigger supporting voice actors (Nic Cage as Superman for fuck’s sake!), bringing in Michael Bolton to sing an original song, and for clearing a bunch of Marvel jokes. But otherwise, if this aired in an extended slot on Cartoon Network one day, I wouldn’t even bat an eye. It simply is the show. But as a movie. About the team wanting to be in a movie. Which also means that if you never liked Teen Titans Go! to begin with, this movie likely won’t win you over. There’s an extended fart gag in the first 10 minutes. Just fair warning. — Tori Preston

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Tori Preston is the managing editor of Pajiba. She tweets here. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

Header Image Source: RLJE Films; Sony; 20th Century Fox; A24