The average person gets to pick and choose their films. Critics don’t have that luxury. Although, given the job description, many would concur that it’s a small price to pay. Any critic worth their salt walks into the cinema with an open mind, and emerges from the darkened room with a painfully honest assessment of their experience. Candidness is key to great criticism, and the brilliant writers of days gone by have previously rushed to support this theory. If you didn’t like a film that everybody else did – admit it.
Similarly then, if a movie announcement makes a critic scrunch their eyes and squirm in their seat, they must confess. It’s true that many reviewers walk into a film wanting to love it. But, no matter how unprejudiced one may be, there are always releases that just have an uncanny ability to churn dread deep within.
This is what this list is all about: the films creeping into cinemas during 2017 that we’re genuinely worried about. Given the release dates are weeks away, it’s true that any foresight at this stage is arguably blinkered at best. Movies with trashy trailers have garnered critical acclaim in the past, and intriguing promos have repeatedly proven deceptive. Never judging a book by its cover is timeless and valuable advice, but like a bad liar fumbling over an elaborate fib, some films cannot help but arouse great suspicion.
It would be blissful for any of the following movies to emerge as Oscar contenders by this time next year, but right now, all we can do is continue to submerge the fear until the day they arrive in cinemas.