Looking Back at 2021 – My Top 5 Films

2021 has nearly come to an end. Christmas Day has come and gone in its usual pomp and resulting fatigue, and I am taking time to look back on what has been a challenging year for so many – this is the second year that the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has impacted on everyday aspects of our lives, including work and maintaining social relationships.

In these unprecedented times, I found that escapism was the perfect tonic to the feelings of stress, loneliness and low motivation and mental health. I found that, among other activities, spending hours upon hours watching films brought me that escapism. With that in mind, here are my favourite five films watched in 2021 (apologies for the lack of films released in 2021, I am terrible at keeping up to date with new films!)

5) Candyman (1992)

Candyman Poster (TriStar Pictures, 1992)

Directed By: Bernard Rose
Starring: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley
Star Rating: 4/5

My Review: “Amidst the multitude of urban legend horror movies, Candyman’s narrative stands out as one of the most nuanced yet effective, and will keep the viewers guessing until the end credits. Possessing a tight script, great performances and a brilliant and memorable soundtrack, this deserves to stand out as one of the classics.”

4) Enola Holmes (2020)

Enola Holmes Poster (Netflix, 2020)

Directed By: Harry Bradbeer
Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin, Henry Cavill
Star Rating: 4.5/5

My Review: “Appealing to the young and old alike, Enola Holmes is a fun romp of an adventure story and a breath of fresh air to Conan Doyle’s world. Millie Bobby Brown has great charm and likeability as Enola, from the typically Holmesian powers of deduction, to the breaking of the fourth wall to the audience members along for the adventure. The central mysteries, including the disappearance of the Holmes matriarch and the targeted assassination of a young Viscount, are interesting enough for families to solve this together, alongside Enola.”

3) The Lighthouse (2019)

The Lighthouse Poster (A24, 2019)

Directed By: Robert Eggers
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe
Star Rating: 4.5/5

My Review: “With filming techniques that transport the viewers to a claustrophobic, unsettling and dirty 1890s lighthouse, and outstanding performances from Robert Pattinson and Willem Defoe, The Lighthouse is a masterclass in how to do a slow-burning psychological horror film that delivers its terror through atmosphere and tone.”

2) Midsommar (2019)

Midsommar Poster (A24, 2019)

Directed By: Ari Aster
Starring: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper
Star Rating: 4.5/5

My Review: “Ari Aster and A24 prove that you do not need darkness and jump scares to produce a horrifying film. In bright sunshine, yet completely miserable, Midsommar hits heavy on its themes of grief, community and failing relationships. Its disturbing imagery will stay with audiences long after viewing.”

Special Mention To:

Bird Box (2018)
Single All the Way (2021)
Halloween II (1981)

And Number One…
District 9 (2009)

District 9 Poster (TriStar Pictures, 2009)

Directed By: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James
Star Rating: 4.5/5

My Review: “The utilisation of found footage and interviews, akin to a contemporary documentary, is a great technique to bring to focus District 9’s prevalent social commentary. Combining these techniques with an interesting premise, an electric and on-the-ball script, and just the right balance between action and horror to not be overwhelming, makes this one of the strongest science-fiction films in the past couple of decades.”

Which films were your favourite watches in 2021?
Please let me know in the comments section below, along with any film recommendations you may have for me. Depending on the traffic and engagement on this post, I may decide to start publishing my film reviews in 2022.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post on my favourite five films seen in 2021. If you enjoyed reading this post, please do leave a like, and please subscribe to be notified when new posts are published on The Blogging DJ.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year, and I hope to see you all in 2022!

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