Horror movies have been a selling genre in Hollywood since the 1940s. From Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho to The Exorcist or the recent blockbuster The Conjuring. From creepy quietness to subliminal images and spooky music, horror movies have excelled in shivering our bones as we fix our eyes on the screen anticipating the extreme shock and awe.
The genre itself has deviated a lot from its traditions meaning it has enabled directors to explore further sources to scare us more. Horror movies are not everyone’s cup of tea but if you are one of those who love to challenge your guts in the dead of the night, here is the list of the top five must-watch horror movies for you that are fairly recent and different from the classics.
- GET OUT (2017) 7.7/10 IMDb 98% Rotten Tomatoes 85% Metacritic
Jordan Peele‘s directorial venture is a post-modern horror with a racial tinge. Chris and Rose are interracial couple and are seeking a rendezvous at Rose’s parental house at a country side. At first everything is favorable. Roses parents are very nice and accommodating. Chris is overwhelmed at the way he is welcomed despite his race. But little does he know what he is in for.
As the weekend progress, We learn that Rose’s parents runs an underground organ trafficking business and they only trade the black because as one old white character says “black is in fashion“. Black men’s organs are extracted by Rose’s father and transplanted into old white
people as per their needs for which they even auction out the subjects.
Rose has had affairs with many men and all of them were blacks. Because Blacks are more agile and hyperactive and these characteristics guarantee many more active years for the ageing whites.
The title of the movie invokes urgency of the situation and as soon as we learn about Rose’s family and their sinister operations, we find ourselves in Chris’s shoes and wants to get out with our ill fated protagonist.
- THE WITCH (2015) 6.9/10IMDb 90% Rotten Tomatoes 83% Metacritic
The fact that the movie is set in New England in 17th century itself sets the tone for a dark and terrifying theme of the movie. The plantation days, ominous forests, their deep puritan ethos and the patriarchal values are remarkable ingredients for this horror flick set in the colonial days.
The highly atmospheric horror flick touches on the theme of male patriarch and female liberation while shocking us with the paranormal incidents throughout.
- Let The Right One In (2008) 7.9/10 IMDb 98% Rotten Tomatoes 82% Metacritic
This Swedish movie takes us into the world of a children . Oskar is a sensitive and bullied kid living with his mother. He is pushed to the margin by other kids and is desperate for a company. The beleaguered Oskar seeks revenge against those bullies and fortunately earns friendship and affection from Eli, a new migrant into the neighbourhood. As expected, something is odd around Eli. She seems strange and outlandish and we soon learn that her father is a serial-killer but for a reason.
The movie is a generous approach upon traditional vampire movies. Its dark and morbid yet sympathetic to the characters. Despite its violence and gory source material we tend to identify with the characters because they are not evil by design. Eli needs blood to live while Oskar is a sympathetic bullied kid desperate for affection.
The movie is remade in English to reach wider audience but it doesn’t compensate with language what the Swedish one does with its beautiful cinematography and character development.
If you are fond of vampire movies but desperate for a new taste, this is the one you were looking for.
- THELMA (2017) 7/10 IMDb 93% Rotten Tomatoes 74% Metacritic
Thelma is another foreign entry to the list. The titular character Thelma is an ostracized female in a highly religious family. She is capable of supernatural powers but has become a burden for her family and peers.
The film pits a girl’s desire of liberation against a religious family’s norms. As she comes of age, this grows intensely beyond her control.
The movie starts with a spellbinding scene and the climax is equally jaw-dropping. The movie combines supernatural powers in the middle and in sets a contest between conservatism and liberation to equal effect.
- HEREDITARY (2018) 3/10 IMDB 89% Rotten Tomatoes 87% Metacritic
The scariest movie of 2018 is director Ari Aster‘s directorial debut which became a sensation of the year for its mastery on a Satanic horror. The flick is in line with the classic Rosemary’s baby and The Exorcist in that the sinister force is not the character themselves but those satanic figures outside of their world bent on possessing them to gratify their long sought “agendas”.
The movie centers around a Graham family of a suburb. The movie opens with a funeral of the matriarch of the Graham family dies. After her death, cryptic occurrences creep up to them, it becomes the house of horror. The demonic symptoms are creeping up in characters and gradually every member in the family is affected.
It is revealed that the death of grandmother triggered an urge of the demons to speed up the long held desire of the Paimon, a satanic evil, to find a proper male conduit. Soon insanity breaks out and follows a torrential run of scares that will shiver your bones.
You heart will clench as the movie unfolds. Just fix your eyes on the screen and anticipate extreme horror in its most chilling anticipation. The movie will not frustrate fans of the genre but will push the bar for you.
So that was the list of the horror movies for fans of this genre. The list certainly skips some memorable mentions like Midsommar, Raw, Annabelle, Carrie, Saw or Night at the Elm Street. These movies are rather recent and lesser known. These combine the genre with political themes of our times. They foreground female liberation, racial bias and anti-bullying agenda which dominate today’s discourse today.
And above all, they are not mere jump scares, these movies will hunt you days after it concludes and force you to analyze the characters one by one. Those who wish to push their own boundary and revel in midnight fright, these movies will gratify your wishes.
Here is the opening to the Thelma. It will get you hooked to the screen for good.
Top Five Horror Movies You Must Watch