The bloody writing is on the wall of your favorite cinema – we’re in the middle of a modern horror movie boom.
Old school have morphed into superbly spooky features celebrated for their inventive plots. Quality screamers are oozing out of the global film festival circuit and scoring major releases in theaters or popping up in your favorite streaming services.
Interested in expanding your freaky film horizons? Grab the popcorn and dim the lights. Here are 10 of the best modern horror movies out there.
Critics are raving about this one, calling it sublime, creepy, and the scariest movie of the modern age. What makes the film so alluring is director David Robert Mitchell’s deft hand at subverting the age-old horror movie cliché – those who “do it” are always the first to get offed. What’s more, It Follows nails the retro-horror synth score (no offense, ).
’s Dan Stevens makes for one creepy bad guy as a well-mannered soldier with a terrible secret. But horror genre newcomer Maika Monroe – who currently stars in It Follows – steals the show. Director Adam Wingard certainly knew how to pick his scream queen for this high-octane thrill ride of a mysterious stranger and the violent deaths that follow him wherever he goes.
Adam McDonald’s debut feature about a couple of doomed backpackers just hit VOD last Friday, and it’s a gem. The film, which switches out the backwater hillbillies of for a very hungry black bear, aims to do for the woods what did for the ocean. Get ready to be shocked straight out of your hiking boots.
One of the best horror movies you haven’t seen, Honeymoon debuted at SXSW last year. The eerie thriller follows a couple, Paul (Harry Treadway) and Bea (the fantastic Rose Leslie from ), on their post-wedding vacay to a lake house. One night, Bea vanishes into the woods and comes back, shall we say, different.
Horror movie scribes get so caught up in concocting a killer twist ending, they often forget to plug all the little plot holes. No so with Jennifer Kent’s excellently crafted Aussie creature feature, which sent shivers down the spines of moviegoers everywhere.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Just when you thought every idea under the sun had been done to death, director Ana Lily Amirpour puts out a pitch-black Iranian vampire western, breathing new life into the blood-sucking genre. The gist: A skateboarding lady vampire drains dudes who disrespect women. Righteous.
You never really know what you’re going to get with filmmaker Ben Wheatley, but that’s part of the fun. The director stunned festival-goers with his first feature, , which begins as a relationship piece, mixes in mob drama, and ends with – well, if we told you, we’d have to kill you. A year later, he released Sightseers, a dark modern horror movie set in the British Isles about a couple’s weekend getaway-turned-erotic killing spree.
What We Do in the Shadows
A hit at last year’s , and currently making the rounds in select cities, Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s mockumentary about a crew of vampy bachelors breaks ground in both the horror and comedy genres. Not familiar with the darkly funny pair? Waititi’s the original voice behind the quirky , while Clement is one half of the kiwi comedy folk monsters, .
The Cabin in the Woods
A cabin in the woods is where bad things happen. Think you’ve heard it before? Well, think again when script writer/puppet master Drew Goddard is pulling the strings. Goddard’s brilliant reimagining of classic horror tropes comes packed with the hunk, the vixen, the stoner, and, of course, the virgin. But that’s where the clichés end.
Stills from “It Follows” via Northern Lights Films; Still from “Honeymoon” via Fewlas Entertainment; Still from “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” via Say Ahh Productions; Still from “The Cabin in the Woods” via Lionsgate