There has been something of a resurgence of horror in recent years. As a genre that for decades has been riddled with cliche and repetition of the same archetypal characters and cookie-cutter plot lines, it’s just in time. These modern horror movies are characterised by the fact they are uncategorisable — they defy the conventions of the genre within which they reside and bring each bring something new to the table, whilst integrating plenty of the tropes of the horror genre.
So here’s the pick of the best horror movies from the past five years, and let’s hope that the rest of the decade has just as many unique offerings, finally bringing something fresh to the genre of horror.
5-The Wailing 2016
I did not sleep after this movie. Isn’t that really all you want from a horror film? Not that The Wailing would even be classed as a horror movie for most of its 156-minute runtime. For the first part it is an offbeat black comedy, transitioning into scandi thriller, before reaching its final iteration as a full-on blood-curdling horror. It follows a detective investigating murders and illnesses in an isolated village, the movie is drenched in paranoia as the villagers suspect a foreign man, recently arrived and living on the outskirts.
Directed by South Korean Na Hong-jin, The Wailing is absolutely worth two and hours of your time to get severely creeped out this weekend.
4-The Witch 2015
The Witch is the only other movie on this list that easily satisfies the no-sleeping parameter. Written and directed by Robert Eggers in his directorial debut, The Witch follows a Puritan family who have emigrated to New England in the 17th century and encounter some supernatural happenings in their new environment. The costumes and sets are incredible, as well as the performances from the mostly young cast. Black Phillip is an absolute stand out.
The Witch is so slow-burning and unsettling that it will follow you around for days. Whilst it disappointed a lot of moviegoers, possibly expecting a more conventional horror movie, it will reward those that will switch the lights off and be drawn into its insanity.
3-The Babadook 2014
The Babadook is a film that is beautifully open to interpretation, working as both a straight-up monster horror and a much more twisted psychological horror. The film follows a single mother and her son, who is obsessed with there being monsters everywhere and their haunting by the monster in one of his bed-time stories.
The directorial debut from Australian Jennifer Kent, the film garnered great reviews and success after word of mouth buzz amongst genre fans. The Babadook puts an incredible spin on the fear everyone had as a child of the monster under the bed.
2-It Follows 2014
It Follows would appear to have the most ridiculous premise — a sexually transmitted curse which means xxx will always be walking (and only ever walking) towards you. But, incredibly, this makes for one of the greatest horror movies made this decade.
Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, It Follows is intelligent, captivating, truly original, and a future classic.
1-Get Out 2017
Get Out perfectly blends both comedy and horror to give a unique and engaging examination of racism. Get Out is the first movie from Jordan Peele, a comedy veteran, and follows Chris going to meet his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time and unsettling behaviour from the family ensues.
Comedy and horror is a difficult combination to get right, but this movie easily manages the feat of being both hilarious and terrifying at different times. This film was lauded by critics when it was released, and a resounding box office success followed making $250 million on a $4.5 million budget.
What was your favourite horror film of recent years?
Rachael Kaines is a writer and critic, she has previously written about film and TV for MoviePilot. Her favourite movies are Out Of Sight, No Country For Old Men, and Jurassic Park. She can be found drinking coffee and trying to steal small dogs somewhere in London.