2017 in Review: The Best of SyFy


Continuing my look back at the best of 2017, today is the day that I reveal my picks for the best SyFy movies and performances of the previous year!

But before I do that, a plea to the SyFy Network.  I make this plea every year and it never does any good.  It probably won’t do any good this year.  But still, I’m going to make it.  SyFy, give us more original films!  From a business point of view, I can understand why SyFy shifted their focus from movies to episodic television.  But I’m not a business person!  I’m a movie lover, one who has wonderful memories of when every weekend would bring another gloriously over-the-top SyFy movie.

Those were wonderful days and it’s sad that the only time that I get to relive them is either during Shark Week or during October.

Seriously, SyFy — give us more original movies!

With that in mind, here are my picks for the best of 2017 SyFy:

(All credits are based on what’s listed at the imdb.  If anyone has been incorrectly credited or left out, please leave a comment and I will correct the mistake.)

Best PictureHouse of the Witch (produced by Neil Elman, Margaret Huddleston, Bryan Sexton)

This haunted house movie was effectively creepy and featured some unexpectedly starting imagery.  Runners-up (and it was a close race): Trailer Park Shark, Sharknado 5, and The Sandman.

Best Director — Griff Furst for Trailer Park Shark

The idea of sharks attacking a trailer park sounds like a huge joke but Furst crafted it into a compelling and entertaining story that celebrated redneck ingenuity.

Best Actor — Ian Ziering in Sharknado 5

The fifth time is the charm as Ziering gives his best performance so far as the chainsaw-wielding Finn.

Best Actress — Haylie Duff in The Sandman

Duff brings some much-needed gravity to the role of a formerly irresponsible aunt trying to save her niece from a monster made of sand.

Best Supporting Actor — Jason London in Mississippi River Sharks and Dennis Haskins in Trailer Park Shark

As much as I tried, I simply could not make a choice between London’s comedic performance (as himself) and Dennis Haskins’s villainous turn.  So, we have a tie!

Best Supporting Actress — Shae Smolik in The Sandman

As the girl being haunted by the Sandman, Smolik gave a refreshingly realistic performance.

Best Screenplay — Neil Elman for House of the Witch

This is the third year in a row that Neil Elman has won in this category.

Best Cinematography — Dane Lawing for House of the Witch

House of the Witch feature some truly haunting images.  In my review, I raved about one shot in particular, of a pickup truck driving across the desolate landscape in the middle of the night.

Best Costumes — Mary-Sue Morris for Empire of the Sharks and Kendra Terpenning for Neverknock

Another tie.  Empire of the Sharks proved that, just because the world’s ending, that doesn’t mean you can’t look good,  Neverknock’s costumes made good use of the Halloween setting, especially with Lola Flannery’s devil costume.

Best Editing — Anna Florit and Ryan Michelle for Sharknado 5

In 2017, Sharknado 5 took us on a trip around the world, offered up nonstop action, and there was never a boring moment.

Best Makeup — Madeleine Botha for Empire of the Sharks

Again, just because the world’s ending, that doesn’t mean you can’t look good.

Best Score — Andrew Morgan Smith for Trailer Park Shark

The score brought the bayou, the trailer park, and the shark to life!

Best Production Design — Anthony Stabley and Dana Rice for House of the Witch

Seriously, that house was so creepy!

Best Sound — Dylan Blount, Leandro Cassan, Jonathan Iglecias , Mitchell Kohen, Chris Polczinski, Mike Varela for House of the Witch

It wasn’t just the way the house looked in House of the Witch that made it a creepy place.  It was also the way that every sound in the background could have just been someone stumbling around or it could have been the witch about to jump out and rip off someone’s fingers.

Best Visual Effects — Craig Bassuk, Sasha Burrow, Yancy Calzada, Glenn Campbell , Yolanda Charlo Rodriguez, Aine Graham, John Karner, Tammy Klein, Mark Kochinski , Kevin Lane, Christian McIntire, James Payfer, Richard A. Payne, Paul Runyan, Chris Simmons, Scott Wheeler, Aaron Witlin,
Al Magliochetti for Sharknado 5

Keep those sharks flying!

Tomorrow, my look back at 2017 continues with my list of good things that I saw on television last year (not counting, of course, all of the good things that I just mentioned in this post).

Previous entries in the TSL’s Look Back at 2017:

  1. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Single Issues by Ryan C
  2. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Series by Ryan C
  3. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Edition (Contemporary) by Ryan C
  4. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Editions (Vintage) by Ryan C
  5. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Graphic Novels By Ryan C
  6. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I saw in 2017 by Valerie Troutman
  7. My Top 15 Albums of 2017 by Necromoonyeti
  8. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Picks For the 16 Worst Films of 2017
  9. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Final Post About Twin Peaks: The Return (for now)
  10. 2017 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 14 Favorite Songs of 2017

 

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Cleaning Out The DVR: Neverknock (dir by Sheldon Wilson)


(Hi there!  So, as you may know because I’ve been talking about it on this site all year, I have got way too much stuff on my DVR.  Seriously, I currently have 190 things recorded!  I’ve decided that, on January 15th, I am going to erase everything on the DVR, regardless of whether I’ve watched it or not.  So, that means that I’ve now have only have a month to clean out the DVR!  Will I make it?  Keep checking this site to find out!  I recorded NeverKnock off of the SyFy on October 16th!)

Sitting in a small town, there’s a deserted and dilapidated house.  The address is 59 Oakwood Lane.  In 1986, three teenagers were found dead in the house.  Carved in their backs were three words: “Never never knock.”  Forty years later, the murders remain unsolved but everyone has heard the legend.  If you knock on the door, the Never Knock Creature comes to life and uses your own fears to kill not only you but also all of your friends…

Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  “Easy solution to this problem!  Don’t knock on the freaking door!”

But let’s be honest here.  If I lived in that town, I probably wouldn’t knock on that door but I’d sure as Hell beg all of my friends to do it.  After all, who wouldn’t want to see what would happen?  When I was in college, there was a legend that one of the hallways of my dorm was haunted by Wicked Wanda.  They said Wicked Wanda could kill you but I still begged my roommate to go look for her.  Urban legends are like wet paint signs.  You have to encourage people you know to test them.

Needless to say, that is what happens in Neverknock.  Grace (Dominque Provost-Chalkley) is the new girl in town.  She’s still struggling to recover from a personal tragedy.  Her best friend, Leah (Jodelle Ferland), invites her to spend Halloween night with her and her friends.  Grace agrees but she makes the mistake of bringing along her bratty younger sister, Jenna (Lola Flanery).  Jenna dresses up like the devil for Halloween and she soon proves that it’s not a totally inappropriate costume by knocking on the door to 59 Oakwood Lane.  The Never Knock Creature comes to life, Jenna promptly disappears, and Leah, Grace, and all their friends find themselves being stalked by a creature that uses their worst fears to kill them.

(So, if the Never Knock Creature came after me, I’d have to worry about heights, drowning, dogs, fire, deserted barns, dead wasps lying unseen in the carpet, odd numbers, and the wire popping out of my favorite bra and stabbing me.  Good to know.)

Anyway, I liked Neverknock.  As is typical of Sheldon Wilson’s SyFy film, Neverknock has a ton of atmosphere and the pace never lags.  Wilson changes things up a little in this movie by having the fright scenes occur during both the day and the night.  For some reason, to me, it’s even scarier when someone gets attacked by an evil creature during the middle of the day.  Even with the sun out and hundreds of people around, there’s no escape from the Never Knock Creature.  Admittedly, Neverknock‘s characters are not exactly the most complex group of people to show up in a horror film.  For the most part, they’re just teenagers who don’t understand that importance to staying together in one group while being stalked by a demonic force.  But the cast is made up of appealing performers and veteran actor Nicholas Campbell makes a welcome appearance.  You don’t want to see any of them die and that’s really all that a movie like this demands.

And finally, the Never Knock Creature is seriously creepy!  When he first responds to Jenna knocking on that door … AGCK!

All in all, this was a good SyFy horror film.