The Best New Horror Movies
While the horror genre over the past 10-plus years has suffered from the same curse as other genres in which remakes and reboots have dominated the screen, audiences have been treated to some terrifying original films in recent history. Let’s take a look at some of the best new horror movies in the following list!
The Conjuring franchise has become one of the most profitable and acclaimed horror series in the industry since its inception, spawning three spin-offs, one of which has become a hit franchise of its own: Annabelle. While the first film was only a box office success, the second, Annabelle: Creation, was a critical and commercial smash, with critics praising the moody atmosphere and performances from its diverse cast, also noting a vast improvement over its predecessor. The film, which acts a prequel to the predecessor, tells the origin of the possessed Annabelle doll at a dollmaker’s home, whom has offered an orphanage to move in to the house. The story’s connections to the previous entries combined with some strong scares, thanks in large part to director Sandberg, who exploded onto the horror scene with the short film and subsequent feature adaptation Light’s Out, made it unforgettable.
Independent horror movies are quite often a gamble for audiences, as their more art-house styles tend to draw rave reviews from critics while the story tends to bore general audiences, but The Babadook proved to be a rare exception that was beloved by both. The film follows a tired widow as she tries to raise her problematic six-year-old son on her own and a new challenge to face after a mysterious storybook entitled “Mister Babadook” arrives and brings with it a dark and evil creature. With a combination of a powerful family drama driving the film alongside its tense and deeper horror, the film became one of the best-reviewed films of 2014.
John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Alfred Hitchcock. They are considered the best directors of the horror genre, and James Wan is quickly climbing the ranks to join these elite filmmakers. The Conjuring is one of the prime examples of why. Based on the case files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, the film follows the two as they assist the Perron family in 1971, who experienced-incredibly disturbing events shortly after moving in to an old farmhouse in Rhode Island. The film earned praise for its return to classic ghost story telling while also delivering some truly shocking jump scares, and was a box office smash, leading to four spin-offs, one released sequel and a second in development.
It was the most talked-about and highest-reviewed wide release film of 2017, and it is set to live on forever thanks to its incredibly original screenplay, daring subject matter, and stellar lead performance from Kaluuya. The film is Get Out, which follows a black man who travels with his white girlfriend to her parents’ house to meet them and discovers a dark and deadly secret while there. It was Jordan Peele (Key & Peele)’s directorial debut, and what a debut it was, holding a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, until one notorious critic wrote a negative review, and over $250 million at the box office off of only a $4.5 million budget.
Remember when I mentioned Wan before? Well, in the time between giving audiences the Saw and The Conjuring franchises, he and screenwriter Leigh Whannell debuted the audience-adored horror series, Insidious. The first film, released in 2011, follows a family who begin to experience disturbing supernatural events after moving into an old house and their son falls into a coma, turning to a psychic medium, who would later become the focus character for the series, for help. The film received generally positive reviews for its suspenseful atmosphere and character development, while also receiving some criticism for its lackluster final act, and earned almost $100 million on only a $1.5 million budget.
He’s one of the creepiest characters horror legend Stephen King has ever developed in his career, and after Tim Curry’s praised performance in the 1990 miniseries adaptation of the novel, the announcement of a theatrical adaptation of the classic It was very controversial amongst fans. After almost a decade of development, Warner Bros. finally brought Pennywise the Clown to the big screen, and it has quickly become one of the most celebrated King adaptations, even more so than the ’90s adaptation, and was the second-most talked-about horror film of 2017 after scaring up over $700 million at the global box office, taking the rank of the highest-grossing horror film of all-time and third highest-grossing R-rated film behind Deadpool and The Matrix Reloaded. Following the childhood versions of the Losers Club as the fight against the titular villain, the film earned rave reviews from critics for its core faithfulness to the novel, tense atmosphere, stylish direction and powerful performances from its cast, namely Skarsgard as It, with most coming to the consensus he cleared the high bar set by Curry.
Another film previously mentioned above, Lights Out was a surprise horror hit of the decade. After the short film source earned widespread attention and praise, Hollywood was scrambling to bring Sandberg’s talent to the big screen, and he began by adapting the short into a feature film, and thanks to a combination of technical skill, deep story development and strong performances from its talented cast, it proved to be a success, earning very positive reviews and over $148 million at the box office. A sequel is currently in development with Sandberg and writer Eric Heisserer set to return in their respective roles.
Ouija: Origin of Evil
12-year-old actress Lulu Wilson is going to become so desensitized after starring in all of these horror movies that she might encounter a real demon and feel nothing. After landing a small role in the 2014 horror drama Deliver Us From Evil, Wilson landed her first major role in the genre with the prequel to the 2014 box office smash Ouija. Following a family running a phony seance business who add a Ouija board to the mix and are introduced to a real malevolent spirit, the film earned rave reviews from critics for its genuine scares and moving story, with a near-unanimous agreement that it was far better than its predecessor, which earned much scorn from critics.
Before Blumhouse blew up into the movie producing business, they were helping smaller directors and franchises get off the ground, including 2012’s intriguing Sinister. After a true-crime novelist moves his family to a house where the previous residents were murdered and finds a box of home videos featuring various murders on film, he must protect his family from a malevolent entity involved in every murder. The film earned mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, many noting its reliance on cliches and horror tropes while subsequently praising its direction, music and atmosphere. It was a strong enough box office hit to warrant a sequel, which was critically scorned and took in a lot less at the box office than its predecessor.
The indie horror subgenre has been making a big dent on the overall genre over the past few years, and writer/director Adam Wingard has been one of the most prominent voices in the field, delivering such hits as V/H/S, The Guest and 2013’s home invasion thriller You’re Next. The film is set around a family reuniting for the parents’ wedding anniversary at their isolated forest vacation home, only for a group of masked assailants to begin killing off everyone one by one. With a combination of dark humor, dysfunctional family drama and gory thrills, the film was a hit with critics and a modest box office success, grossing just under $27 million against a $1 million budget.