Simon Ong’s Top Ten Movies of 2018 Part 2

by Simon Ong

You don't give up, do you?

8. Suspiria

Directed by Luca Guadagnino, screenplay by David Kajganich

I had recently come to the conclusion that cult horror films may just not be for me. While, yes, there are some films in the cult horror canon from the 70s and 80s that I enjoy, I have to admit that certain “classics” are a little beyond me. So, I was understandably apprehensive when I went to see Suspiria, a reimagining of the 1977 Dario Argento film of the same name — a film that falls much closer to that latter category of film than the former in my experience with it. But with the unconventional choice of director Luca Guadagnino at the helm, coming fresh off the success of last year’s Call Me By Your Name, I hoped that there may be something more that this version could offer. Offer it, it does. With the horror updated for audiences with more modern sensibilities, Suspiria makes for the most disturbing film of the year. Beyond the horror, screenwriter David Kajganich also finds himself making a political statements about the nature of post-war Germany and its relationship to America while also exploring themes of homosexuality. Finally, Tilda Swinton, who plays three wildly different characters in the film, holds all of these different elements together in what may be the most discussion-worthy performance(s) of her career.

7. Sorry to Bother You

Directed by Boots Riley, screenplay by Boots Riley

I love me some of that weird shit, and Sorry to Bother You, from first-time writer/director Boot Riley, is delightfully weird. In an alternate version of Oakland where the mega-corporations are developing new, friendlier and more deceiving ways of marketing slavery, Cashus Green (Lakeith Stanfield) is a telemarketer who, upon adopting a “white voice,” begins to climb the corporate ladder only to discover things about this world that transform and force him to ask himself who he wants to be and what change will he try to affect. In interviews, Riley describes the film as “a absurdist dark comedy with magical realism and science fiction inspired by the world of telemarketing.” Stanfield is great and it’s been a delight to see more and more of him each year since his debut in 2013’s Short Term 12. Stanfield owns the role of Cashus Green and is able to play off those around him for some really nice moments. The strong supporting cast including the likes of Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Armie Hammer, and Danny Glover who all have their parts to play in fulfilling Riley’s grand vision. Riley’s often-manic style of directing yet careful attention to the visual world he’s building is really impressive for a first-time director and makes for an awesome movie-watching experience — with a third-act twist that may well go down as the most shocking moment in 2018 cinema.