With the year drawing ever closer to its conclusion, we cast our mind’s eyes back on the monumental releases over the past 12 months. Join us at Grimoire of Horror as we contemplate some of, what we consider to be, the stand-out films that were released over 2023.

List Contents:


Infinity Pool (2023)

Brandon Cronenberg certainly serves up a plating of abhorrent body horror in Infinity Pool, but his exploration of the abhorrent side of human nature, and unchecked privilege, seems to be more his forte. The film is clearly a continuation of similar themes that were explored in his previous feature, Possessor, and is not one to miss for creating an atmosphere of disgust as to what the human body and mind are capable of. – Hannah

Talk to Me (2023)

Talk to Me is deserving of all the accolades it’s been receiving and more. The electricity that’s palpable from interviews with Danny and Michael Philippou has easily been transfused into the film as it serves up a deadly cocktail of multi-faceted characterisation, unnerving aesthetic choices, and a fresh, foreboding twist on a well-loved trope. – Hannah

Good Boy (2022)

Good Boy 2022

Disturbing yet fascinating, Good Boy’s hands-off approach to the story allows the audience’s own susceptibility to skew their judgment. Undoubtedly smashing their assumptions to pieces with its sudden mid-way twist, and, ultimately, delivering an ending that is equal parts bleak, and horrifying yet captivating at the same time. With its amazing performances, slick cinematography, and minimalistic sound design, this contorted horror thriller will certainly leave a lasting impression on its audience long after the credits have rolled. – Jim

My Mother’s Eyes (2023)


Both gripping and breathtaking, My Mother’s Eyes is a phenomenal journey of discovery that successfully diverges from the expected to bestow a magnificently powerful piece of cinema. With a calculated visual design, amazing performances, a stunning soundtrack, and a thrilling conclusion; My Mother’s Eyes is a tour de force from start to finish. Director Takeshi Kushida has once again shown the astonishing level of skill he is known for in his latest work, undoubtedly providing one of the stand-out films of this year’s Frightfest. – Jim

T Blockers (2023)

T Blockers, Alice Maio Mackay’s third film, is a success on many levels. She shows exceptional cinematic craftsmanship: well-framed scenes, clearly written characters and dialogue, and the ability to incorporate real-world issues into her cinematic universe. The unknown cast rises to the occasion of their complicated characters, bringing them to life with vivid familiarity. Maybe there was too much pink neon, but not enough to slow the fast-paced story. Despite the wisecracks and gooey special effects, the feature is a serious plea for understanding, support, or at least respect for the transgender community. In the final scene, horror movie hostess Cryptessa (drag performer Etcetera Etcetera), who acts as a Greek chorus, directly addresses the audience and invites them to think about the question, “Are you who you really think you are?” Mackay’s film suggests the answer can be found by examining which beasts inside ourselves we choose to feed. – Michael

River (2023)

River 2023

River (2023) offers a refreshing respite for moments of relaxation. The storyline, while light-hearted, avoids shallowness and condescension. It’s one of those rare films that prompt contemplation while allowing viewers to delve as deep as their mood permits. It’s a movie that can evoke laughter, stir emotions, or provoke introspection – all without dampening your spirits.

While die-hard sci-fi enthusiasts might find the time loop concept whimsical, embracing the film’s essence allows for an uplifting and wholesome experience. In a world of complexity, River (2023)  stands as a gentle reminder that beauty can be found in life’s simpler, more timeless moments. – Javiera

Mushrooms (2023)

Alluring yet Mysterious, Mushrooms (2023) is an impeccably engrossing tale full of subtle convolution. With stunning performances from the minuscule cast, impressive visual and sound design, and a disturbingly unexpected twist, I was physically left mouth agape long into the rolling credits at its staggering intensity. While the film’s beginning can be unhurried at points, its kinetic conclusion more than makes up for its sluggish start. – Jim

Fishmonger (2023)

A short yet kinetic experience, Fishmonger is an intrepid escapade in WTF territory that is sure to stir a range of emotions from its audience (and possibly vomit). With outstanding performances, a unique premise, and perfectly implemented comedy; this absurd gem is sure to resonate with fans of distinctive, offbeat cinema unafraid to traverse into the uncharted. – Jim

Fuk’n Nuts (2023)

Dan - Scream Fuk'n Nuts 2023

A fleeting yet intense rollercoaster ride, the title Fuk’n Nuts is certainly self-reflective of its inner nature. With astonishing performances, stunning visuals, and a relatable yet outlandish plot, this 10-minute short will lead you by the hand, only to abandon you in a shrubbery maze of insanity. – Jim

The Wheel of Heaven (2022)

Wheel of Heaven 2023

An experience unlike anything else, The Wheel of Heaven is a frenzied delirium that consistently reaffirms itself to produce a perpetual descent into insanity. With an incredible performance from the entire cast, a diverse range of cinegraphic styles, and an enigmatic narrative, the film is unfalteringly turbulent yet thoroughly engrossing. Although the atypical storytelling may be offputting to some, for those who enjoy a more experimental approach to film production, this is certainly the film for you. – Jim

Restore Point (2023)

Restore Point

The visual effects in Restore Point are nothing short of stunning and certainly rival those of Film Kolektiv and DNA Production’s brethren in big-budget Hollywood studios. Scenes combine old-school creepy sets (old farmhouses and deserted churches filled with relics) and futuristic holographic people with such finesse that the audience is never asked to use “suspension of disbelief”. So much attention was paid to ensuring there would be no plot holes in the storyline that it flows without the viewer feeling the need to ask questions. The talented cast works well together, but Andrea Mohylova deserves an award for her powerful portrayal of a strong woman facing unbelievable circumstances in a world gone mad. Every detail seems natural, and believable, which is an incredible feat for any film and certainly an indicator of Hloz’s team’s superior skills.

Other reviewers are comparing Restore Point to Blade Runner and Minority Report, and while there are similarities, a better comparison could be to Greg Iles’ “Footprints of God” (novel). We are shown the road we are on here and now, creating ever greater divides between the haves and the have-nots, giving Big Tech more power, and soon our pursuit of immortality will cross a line that will either save us, or damn us all. – Kate

Totally Killer (2023)

Nahnatchka Khan’s feminist stylings are stamped all over the film, and I feel it’s been too long since I’ve seen such a wide range of believable and diverse female characters in a horror film (I want to say maybe The Craft from all the way back in 1996). Even though the plot feels fairly simple, Totally Killer manages to constantly subvert audience expectations and delivers an especially inspired epilogue. Totally Killer ultimately feels like a return to more the carefree films of the 80s like Night of the Creeps and Fright Night – just a genuinely fun little film that seeks above all to entertain. – Rob

Devils (2023)

An incredibly chaotic romp into the crime thriller genre, Devils delivers a thrillingly engrossing experience that is sure to keep the audience guessing until the credits roll. With its anfractuous narrative, marvelous performances, and stylish visuals, the film delivers an atypical story of revenge that’s sure to captivate the audience with its lust for barbarity, mystery, and suspense. – Jim

The Ghost Station (2022)

A disturbing other-worldly mystery, The Ghost Station is a chilling adaptation of the popular webcomic that translates into the medium of cinema spectacularly. With its well-crafted atmosphere, amazing performances, and shocks aplenty; the contorted narrative is sure to keep the audience guessing as to what will happen next all the way to its thrilling conclusion. – Jim

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