Film & TV
Horror movies in 2016 were a bonanza business. Whether your taste steers toward homicidal forests, doomsday preppers, ghosts, or killer clowns, 2016 had the goods. These horror movies from 2016 aren’t necessarily the best movies of the year, but they are all flicks we found worthwhile in that year.
This remake of the 2008 French torture porn didn’t live up to its original--to be fair, that would have been a difficult task. But it did provide a fantastic central character in Lucy, and reimagined the original rather than simply remaking it in English. The 2016 film is less condemning of the torture contained within, but if you’re a fan of the gore and terror, it’s worth a watch.
Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) stars in this terrifying tale of a real location known for suicides. But is the Aokigahara forest really just a place where desperate people go to end their lives? Or do the woods have a more sinister impact on its tourists? Dormer’s character will soon find out…
Although critically acclaimed, Dave Eggers’s The Witch has been divisive among horror fans. It’s a truly good movie, though, and is sure to reward viewers who go in with an understanding of what they’re in for. There won’t be jump scares or witchy hexes. Instead, there’s a creeping undertone of dread throughout.
10 Cloverfield Lane
10 Cloverfield Lane wasn’t quite a sequel to J.J. Abrams’s earlier Cloverfield, but it shares much of the spirit of its predecessor. When Michelle wakes up in an underground bunker, she is told that the world has ended while she was unconscious.
Before I Wake
Before I Wake wasn’t released in general theaters in the U.S. due to a strange conflagration of issues with the production company, international releases, and international streaming on Netflix. However, Before I Wake is finally on U.S. Netflix, so you can see one of the best 2016 horror movies. Directed by Mike Flanagan (Hush, Oculus, Gerald’s Game) and starring Jacob Tremblay (Room), Kate Bosworth, and Thomas Jane, this terrifying supernatural thriller will make you never want to have kids.
The Conjuring 2
Break the sequel curse with The Conjuring 2, James Wan’s second movie about Ed and Lorraine Warren, this time about the Enfield Poltergeist. This installment is just as terrifying as the first Conjuring film.
A lot of horror movies have concepts as ambitious as Lights Out, but few execute them as well. In Lights Out, a family is haunted by terrifying figures--but only when the lights are out.
Three teens break into a house to steal a blind veteran’s cash. Unfortunately for them, the vet isn’t nearly as helpless as they believe. And in fact, he’s been up to no good on his own.
The Girl on the Train
This modern thriller book by Paula Hawkins had readers gasping; its adaptation was equally mind-boggling. Emily Blunt’s performance as an alcoholic, who becomes obsessed with a murder, won high praise, and the twist delighted audiences (who hadn’t read the book).
Related: 9 Books Like Gone Girl
Look, 31 won’t be for everyone. But if you’re a fan of Rob Zombie movies, his 2016 movie will hit the sweet spot. Five carnival workers are trapped by a bunch of killer clowns and forced to play “31”. Will they survive a night with the clown?
Tom Ford (yes, of fragrance and fashion) directed this disturbing psychological thriller about a nastily entangled couple attempting to separate themselves.
The Neon Demon
Neon Demon suffers from a common Nicholas Winding Refn issue: The movie is stylistically beautiful, and the initial plot is intriguing, yet the film remains just a bit… empty. Despite this, The Neon Demon is an off-the-wall, terrifying and luridly gorgeous flick that will leave you thinking.
Another Mike Flanagan flick, Hush was one of the best horror movies in 2016. A high-concept film, Hush follows a young deaf woman as a masked killer stalks her home. With no one nearby to hear her screams, Maddie must fend for herself.
Girl with All the Gifts
A lot of people are burnt out on zombie flicks, but if more of them were like The Girl with All the Gifts, we’d still be clamoring for more. It’s a post-apocalyptic zombie road trip tale, featuring a precocious young zombie girl who may be the only hope to save humanity.
Featured Still from "31" via Bow and Arrow Entertainment