20 Best Movies and Performances at Sundance 2018

From a sexual-abuse survivor's tale to a bone-chilling ghost story, broad social satires to free-form docs, the highlights of this year's fest

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It's too soon to say whether director Ari Aster's story of a family mourning the recent death of a grandmother – which leads to a series of strange, seemingly unconnected happenings and possible specter sightings – is the single scariest horror movie of the year. What we will say is this: This portrait of blood-relative dysfunction is chilling to the extreme; it requires a second viewing to see just how gracefully the film scatters the seeds of what's really going on throughout; Toni Collette gives a performance that's canon-worthy whether you're talking about moms losing their minds inside or outside of the genre; you can't believe that someone's first feature-length film is this controlled, self-assured and so adept at fucking with your head; and the climax references its top-tier horror-movie ancestors without ever coming off as a rip-off. The colder you go into this gem, the better. Just be prepared to leave shaken.

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