MONSTERZERO NJ’S BEST/FAVORITE HORROR FLICKS of 2021!

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Deena (Kiana Madeira) and Ziggy (Gillian Jacobs) prepare for a showdown with evil in Fear Street: Part Three-1666.

MONSTERZERO NJ’S BEST/FAVORITE HORROR FLICKS of 2021!

It’s time to look back at the past year and see what horror flicks left an impression. This year’s bests are a healthy mix of high-profile chillers and indie productions. There are a few titles here initially released in 2020, or earlier, at festivals or overseas, but didn’t get an official release, theatrically, to VOD, or home media, till 2021. Obviously, it would be unfair not to include them! So, without further ado, here are my ten best/favorite horror movies of 2021!…

…along with three honorable mention streaming series!…

(To get to our reviews of these titles use the search engine at the top of the page!)

TOP TEN

HONORABLE MENTIONS TV SERIES

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Cristina Rodlo Is an undocumented immigrant rooming in a boarding house from Hell in No One Gets Out Alive.

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-MonsterZero NJ

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HALLOWEEN HOTTIES: FINAL GIRL OF THE YEAR 2021!

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S HALLOWEEN HOTTIES: FINAL GIRL OF THE YEAR 2021!

It’s Halloween🎃!…and as it has become tradition, it’s time to announce MonsterZero NJ’s Halloween Hottie’s Final Girl of the Year!…an actress that has not only captured our hearts, but gotten our attention with a strong performance, in the traditional role of horror final girl!…
…and our Halloween Hotties: Final Girl of the Year 2021 is…

…A TIE!!!

It was was too hard to pick between these two talented ladies, so I am going with both! Without further ado, our dual winners for 2021 are…

Kiana Madeira…

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Kiana Madeira From Fear Street part 1, part 2 and Part 3!

Talented Canadian actress Kiana Madeira is no stranger to horror, but certainly got the attention of genre fans in Netflix’s Fear Street Trilogy, based on the books of R.L. Stine. Not only did this versatile actress play the tough and resourceful teen Deena, but the “Fier Witch” herself, Sarah Fier, when the third entry had Deena reliving Fier’s final days through her eyes. Not only playing our final girl, but the villainous witch—or was she?—as well!

Kiana Madeira as Deena in the Fear Street Trilogy!

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Headstrong student Deena must confront a witch’s curse to save the ones she loves!

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Deena vows to save her friends and must look to the past to find answers to the terrifying events of the present.

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Reliving Sarah Fier’s final days through her eyes brings some horrifying revelations!

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Deena must put her own life on the line in a final confrontation with evil.

…and our second winner, Rosa Salazar!

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Rosa Salazar from Brand New Cherry Flavor!

Canadian actress Rosa Salazar came to the attention of movie fans in the Maze Runner films and with a wonderfully emotion filled performance doing motion capture and vocals for droid Alita in Alita: Battle Angel! She really knocked our spooky socks off, though, with her performance in the creepy, weird Netflix series Brand New Cherry Flavor. The talented actress plays ambitious, young filmmaker Lisa Nova, a woman who gets involved with sleazy producers, witches and black magic when seeking fame, fortune and revenge in Hollywood! It’s a layered and emotion filled performance as back stabbing producers and eccentric witches are not the only ones with secrets.

Rosa Salazar as Lisa Nova in Brand New Cherry Flavor

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Lisa Nova, a hot new director headed to Hollywood where dreams can be fulfilled or shattered!

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Lisa gets mixed up with sleazy producers, witches and black magic fueled revenge!

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Be careful what you wish for is a lesson Lisa learns the hard way.

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Will this nightmare ever end for Lisa Nova?

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This year was, again, a tough choice…or maybe MonsterZero NJ is just an old softie when it comes to final girls. Both these ladies were great in their roles and really brought it as their respective film’s lead! Great work ladies and we hope we’ll be seeing more of you in our favorite genre!

-MonsterZero NJ

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(And don’t forget to check out our previous Halloween Hotties by simply going to our Halloween Hotties main page!)

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 12 REASONS WOMEN OF COLOR ARE GOING TO ROCK YOUR HALLOWEEN!

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Luciana Faulhaber is an actress that doesn’t wait for the phone to ring! This hard working and talented Latina directed, co-wrote, as well as starred in, the backwoods horror Don’t Look!

MONSTERZERO NJ’S 12 REASONS WOMEN OF COLOR ARE GOING TO ROCK YOUR HALLOWEEN!

Horror films have always been a step ahead with having diversity in their casts and women of color have played important roles for decades! To celebrate their contribution to our favorite genre, here are 12 reasons women of color are going to rock your Halloween🎃!

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VONETTA MCGEE in BLACULA!

PAM GRIER in SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM, GHOSTS of MARS and BONES!

KELLY JO MINTER in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD, THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS and POPCORN

EIHI SHIINA in AUDITION

LUCIANA FAULHABER in THE NIGHT CREW and DON’T LOOK!

CHASTY BALLESTEROS in THE NIGHT CREW and GIRLHOUSE!

LUPITA NYONG’O in US and LITTLE MONSTERS!

TARA BASRO in SATAN’S SLAVES and IMPETIGORE!

CHELSEA ISLAN in MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU and MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU TOO!

KIANA MADEIRA in THE FEAR STREET TRILOGY!

ROSA SALAZAR in BRAND NEW CHERRY FLAVOR!

CRISTINA RODLO in NO ONE GETS OUT ALIVE!

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Versatile and talented Indonesian actress Tara Basro in Joko Anwar’s chilling Impetigore!

These talented ladies aren’t the only ones and women of color are now also getting a chance to add their voices behind the cameras, with writer/directors like Nia DaCosta (Candyman) and Gigi Saul Guerrero (Mexico Barbaro) making a name for themselves and opening doors. All the more reason that women of color are going to rock your Halloween🎃!

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-MonsterZero NJ

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HALLOWEEN HOTTIES: IS KIANA MADEIRA THE NEW QUEEN OF HORROR?

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Photo:  IMDB/Megan Vincent

IS KIANA MADEIRA THE NEW QUEEN OF HORROR?

This latest installment of Halloween Hotties features an actress who has recently taken the horror community by storm, with her roles in the hit Netflix horror movie series Fear Street, based on the books by R.L. Stine. Canadian actress Kiana Madeira certainly got the attention of horror fans, not only for playing the tough and resourceful teen Deena, but the “Fier Witch” herself, Sarah Fier, when, in the third installment, Deena lives Sarah’s final days through her eyes. What horror fans may not know, is that this hit trilogy is not Madeira’s first foray in horror. In fact, the versatile actress has been in three other horror flicks, including two set on Halloween, during her busy career, one that started when she was only fifteen. Is Kiana Madeira the new queen of horror? Check out her resume below to decide for yourselves!…
(Click on the highlighted links to read reviews of the films covered here that Kiana Madeira has appeared in)

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THE NIGHT BEFORE HALLOWEEN (2016)

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As Lindsay, a girl cursed, along with friends, when a Halloween prank goes horribly wrong!

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NEVERKNOCK (2017)

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As Amy, a young woman who, along with friends, unwisely tests a deadly urban legend on Halloween.

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SHE NEVER DIED (2019)

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As Suzzie, a young woman rescued from a horrible fate by a very unusual and dangerous woman.

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FEAR STREET PART 1: 1994 (2021)

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As Deena, a teen drawn into a witch’s curse, who is forced to fight for her life and that of her friends.

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FEAR STREET PART 2: 1978 (2021)

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In the second installment, Deena turns to the curse’s sole survivor for help.

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FEAR STREET PART 3: 1666 (2021)

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As Sarah Fier, when Deena lives the alleged witch’s final days through her eyes…

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…And again as Deena when the finale returns to 1994 for it’s climactic battle of good vs evil.

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photo: IMDB/Megan Vincent

There’s no telling where this versatile and talented actress will show up next. She shows no sign of slowing down with new projects already in various phases of production! We can only hope she will return to horror, or Fear Street sequels, soon! For now, her body of work, especially the recent R.L. Stine adaptations, puts her in the running as one of horror’s new queens!

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And don’t forget to check out our previous Halloween Hotties profiles…just click on the following link to head over to the Halloween Hotties listings!)

-MonsterZero NJ

source: IMDB

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BARE BONES: FEAR STREET PART 3-1666 (2021)

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FEAR STREET PART 3: 1666 (2021)

Third film opens in 1666 with young Sarah Fier (now Kiana Madeira) being thought wicked for her love for village girl Hannah (Olivia Scott Welch). With the warnings of “The Widow” (Jordana Spiro), a local woman suspected of practicing witchcraft, and the increasingly strange and gruesome events that are occurring in the village, Sarah—and the villagers—start to believe it. Soon a full witch hunt is underway and Sarah and Hannah become the targets of the villagers’ fears and anger, as they wish to purge their village of this evil presence.

Concluding R. L. Stine based installment is once again directed by Leigh Janiak from her script with Phil Graziadei and Kate Trefry. A strong and spooky finale that has some fun telling the origin story of “witch” Sarah Fier by having the cast members of the first two chapters play the parts. Kiana Madeira really shines here playing the part of Sarah, after already making a strong heroine out of her Deena. She’s a star in the making. There is sympathy for Sarah as we find out the surprising truth behind her story, one of an independent and passionate young woman and the ignorance and superstitions of others. It’s a dramatically strong finish, as we find out how the Shadyside curse came to be, it’s true nature, and then return to 1994, to wrap up the story in a thrilling climactic last act. It’s a spooky and strong concluding chapter, with the atmosphere and gruesome bloodshed we’ve come to expect from this Netflix series.

All in all a solid finale that manages to be the best of the three flicks. A fitting end for this wonderfully creepy and bloody three part horror series, based on the works of beloved author R.L. Stine.

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Click on the link here for my review of  Fear Street part 1: 1994

Click on the link here for my review of  Fear Street part 2: 1978

-MonsterZero NJ

three and one half stars rating

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BARE BONES: FEAR STREET PART 2-1978 (2021)

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FEAR STREET PART 2: 1978 (2021)

Second film opens with Deena (Kiana Madeira) and Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) seeking out Christine Berman (Gillian Jacobs), the sole survivor of a previous massacre at a summer camp. The flick then goes back to 1978 to Camp Nightwing as Christine, known then to everyone as Ziggy (now Sadie Sink) is a picked-on outcast at the camp, who has a reputation for getting into and causing trouble. Ziggy is there with her older, good-girl sister, Cindy (Emily Rudd) and future sheriff, Nick Goode (Ted Sutherland). The Shadyside/Sunnyvale rivalry is in full swing and the legend of Sarah Fier (Elizabeth Scopel) hangs over the camp. Soon bodies start to fall, and both Ziggy and Cindy must try to survive and stop the witch’s curse.

Second R. L. Stine based installment is again directed by Leigh Janiak from her script with Zak Olkewicz, written from their story with Phil Graziadei. Flick follows the template of summer camp horrors fairly closely, yet also does it’s own thing, while adding the self aware movie references that contemporary horror fans expect. It has the stereotypical characters one also expects, well played by it’s young cast and both Ziggy and Cindy make for good leads. Much like the first installment, it’s fun, nostalgic and has some intense and scary moments. The makers, from Stine to Janiak, know their influences well, but also bring some of their own ideas, such as some spooky stuff in catacombs under the camp. Like Part 1 there is a lot of bloody action, some nicely placed homages and plenty of gruesome gore. There is also a great soundtrack of 70s songs and some very creepy visuals to add atmosphere. If there is anything that holds 1978 back a little bit, is that due to information given us in Part 1, we go in knowing the fates of our two leading ladies and a few others. That does mute the suspense a little bit. Other than that, this is another solid chapter in Nextflix’s adaptation. So far, this three part series has yielded two strong entries and hopefully, it ends as strongly as it has started. Bring on Fear Street part 3: 1666!

-MonsterZero NJ

three and one half stars rating

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