There is no denying during the past decade, we have received films that have reinvented the horror genre. There have been original horror ideas along with remakes of our favorite horror films. There are new directors emerging like Jordan Peele and Ari Aster, producing each movie more original and inventive than their last.
We are living in a new age for horror films. Each film is a white-knuckling ride and forces you to think more than ever. Every movie bursting out of that stereotypical horror mold set from the 1980s and 1990s, and puts a new twist while revolutionizing the genre simultaneously. Here are the best horror movies from this decade so far.
10. The Purge (2013)
Whether you love it or hate it, this is one of the most guilty pleasure movies ever. It helped reinvent the way we look at horror movies and sparked one of the most successful horror franchises in recent memory. What if crime was legal for one night? Who would you trust? How would you react? Some people might find this film to be mediocre and not scary, but the overall concept that no one is protecting you that night is gripping.
The concept of not being safe in your own home, even from your own kids, just gets skin crawling. Beginning in 2013, this franchise spread like wildfire giving us four feature films that killed the box office and even sparked a 10-episode show on USA Network. Without a doubt, The Purge helped create this new horror renaissance we enjoy today.
9. Mother (2017)
This movie throws the classic slasher/horror genre out the window. It gives us one of the most in-depth psychological thrillers this decade. While it is a slow burn at times, every scene has a hidden message and puts you on a roller coaster of emotions. The last 30 minutes has a heavy cringe factor, not because of blood and gore but of what it is doing to your head.
If you are easily squeamish, this film will take you to places you don’t want to be, make you see things you shouldn’t, and forces you to ask yourself who can even think of this. It works but for all different reasons. No matter your opinion on this movie, you can acknowledge the impact it had on the horror genre.
8. Us (2019)
Not only did this film prove that Jordan Peele is the up-and-coming real deal, but showed us that a diverse cast can lead a movie. From the hidden messages about our everyday lives to the creepiness of having a doppelganger, Peele gave us a horror film that we have never seen before and Lupita Nyong’o gave us a performance many actors don’t even dare to touch.
This movie showed the sophomore curse is a myth for Jordan Peele because this only boosted his career even further. Us is a movie that has you asking questions at the end, not only about the film, but also about life. That is something you don’t get very often with horror movies, but Peele showed us once again that he doesn’t play by the rules. Everyone expects to go into a horror movie and be grossed out, but Peele is teaching us that gore is a thing of the past. Now its about twisting your mind.
7. World War Z (2013)
World War Z was a game changer for horror movies and came at a time when everyone was burnt out with zombie flicks. Just when you thought you didn’t need another zombie flick, we were hit with one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer. This film took everything that zombie movies did good and put a spin on it. The way they ran and killed, how they were immune to anything, and most importantly, how smart they were.
What if these zombies couldn’t die by the heaviest artillery or could outrun even the fastest of men and machines? What if they had a brain? This is something a zombie flick never did and still scares the hell out of me to this day. World War Z also gave us some of the best pieces of action in a horror movie ever! No one going into a horror movie expects heavy action scenes, but that’s exactly what World War Z did, and did it perfectly.
6. IT (2017)
These days, cheesy remakes of classics are all the buzz, but they never offer any justice to the original. They are made to jump on the classic and make a few bucks, while sacrificing the integrity of the original. But IT broke that stereotype by giving us what could possibly be the best remake of a horror film I have ever seen, while completely reinventing my childhood fear of clowns (and now red balloons). It took what the original movie and the novel did well, and combined it into a horror blockbuster.
IT did everything right, by combining good acting, cinematography, soundtrack, and scares in the perfect blend of horror I have seen. It also shows us the call for remakes are back. If done like IT, they can be successful and make a ton of money. IT did something few in the genre have ever done — showed a horror movie can compete at the box office with the best of them.
5. The Babadook (2014)
The Babadook takes old folklore and ditches the idea of jump scares and gore in horror movies. Here, we are given a film that keeps us on the edge of our seat and up all night with storytelling. From the creepiness of the tale to the non-stop suspense, The Babadook will make sure your awake the whole time.
We are made to believe monsters always exist, not only in life, but also in yourself. From the amazing acting to the beautiful cinematography, this film shows monster movies still have a pizzazz to it. Even a kids book can scare the crap out of you. I mean The Cat In The Hat Movie with Mike Myers already did that, but that’s besides the point.
4. A Quiet Place (2018)
This movie did what no horror movie has done before — the characters rarely speak. It gave us the premise what would happen if you can’t talk or make any sounds? Would you be able to survive this post-apocalyptic world? Scene-after-scene, A Quiet Place threw us in different situations so suspenseful. From giving birth silently to playing board games to the way you have to communicate with your family.
A Quiet Place took the craziest idea and made it into a scary, suspenseful thriller. This movie showed us once again original movies can complete with the big blockbusters, and original ideas still hold value. It also gave us one of the most creative and brilliant directors we never even thought of joining horror, John Krasinski. In this movie, Krasinski revolutionized horror while giving us a one of the most brilliant plots we have ever seen in a movie.
3. The Conjuring (2013)
The Conjuring was a horror movie for the ages. It took all the elements of horror, jump-scares, old-fashioned ghost stories, and turned it up to the next level. There isn’t many movies where you can say it was completely scary, but this movie was that 100%. Every scene in this movie, well, the easiest way to put it is… it almost had me crapping my pants.
The fact that it was also based on a true story makes you want to crawl up in a ball and just cry. You will be up for nights thinking about it. The Conjuring is a slow burn at the beginning but once that second act hits, you will barely be able to keep your eyes open. Unlike the other films on this list, The Conjuring follows normal horror rules but you will be scared out of your mind. It also revolutionized horror by producing one of the most successful franchises in history. Giving us these scary films like Annabelle, The Nun, and all The Conjuring sequels.
2. Hereditary (2018)
Hereditary leaves us squirming on our seats. Just when you think the film is going one way, it takes a detour and completely messes with your mind in another fashion. This may be one of the only movies on this list you need to pay attention to every single minute because each scene is essential to the plot. It went in directions that I never thought imaginable and the best way to describe this movie is a modern-day exorcism.
The horror of the movie is present, but the meaning behind everything makes your bones shiver. The performance we received by Toni Collette is arguably the best performance ever in a horror film. She gave it everything she had and showed us that it requires acting to make a great horror movie, not just “acting”. Hereditary does things not many films can because of what it is willing to do. This movie is pure horror was a masterpiece that just keeps on giving.
1. The Witch (2014)
The Witch may be one of the most beautifully composed, acted, and written pieces of horror I have ever seen. Now, some parts are slightly boring, but each scene is essential to the plot, and you need to keep your head glued to the screen. It takes the Salem Witch trials and puts its own spin on it with one of the most wild rides in horror you will ever witness. The Witch does everything right with amazing acting by everyone in this film and nails the time period perfectly.
When you get to the last hour of this film, you don’t know who to trust or where to look. The climax is rewarding as hell, and at the end of the movie you can let out a deep breath, and say damn that was intense. The movie grabs you and never lets you go, and holds you there until the credits role. While The Witch isn’t for everyone, it’s a superb time piece that will leave you satisfied in the end.
It was the start for psychological horror and now there is no going back. I also never thought witchcraft could be so scary, but now I don’t even want to watch Halloween anymore after this movie. The Witch was a true masterpiece and did everything you want in a horror film, or should.