“Crimson Peak,” a new horror movie from Guillermo Del Toro starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska, premieres on October 16. I am so excited to see this movie because it seems like Del Toro will play up both his writing and directorial skills. It’ll definitely be a highlight of this Halloween season, but I’d also like to reminisce on past horror movies that have terrified me. Here are the best horror movies from the past 10 years:
This Australian-Canadian horror movie was written and directed by Jennifer Kent. It is about a grieving single mother who begins encountering a monster called the Babadook when tensions with her young son begin to rise. Essie Davis, who plays the mother, gives an amazing performance with some of the most genuine acting I’ve ever seen. The monster is hardly ever seen, but it manages to work its way down your spine until you’re checking your closet at night. The actual plot of the story is ambiguous in the sense that it is never clear whether the family is actually seeing a monster or suffering from a grief-ridden psychological breakdown.
“It Follows” was written and directed by David Robert Mitchell and made me cry in a movie theater. The plot involves a group of teenagers living in an almost-real alternate universe who are being stalked by a monster who simply follows its victim. It can look like any person in the world and, once it catches up to you, you’re a goner. It’s one of the most suspenseful films I have ever seen, and it uses growing tension to build fear instead of outright shocks. Like “The Babadook,” the meaning of the film is up for interpretation and it is incredibly fun to analyze with friends.
Imagine if “Amityville Horror” was basically remade into a better movie for a more modern crowd. Now, take that image in your mind and project it onto a screen. Turn it into a movie. That movie is “The Conjuring.” Written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes and directed by James Wan, this film got the horror movie dream team and all-star crew to make it. It tells the classic tale of a family that moves into a spooky house and encounters some supernatural occurrences; however, the film finds new, interesting and terrifying ways to frighten its audience.
Cabin in the Woods
Speaking of sorta-remakes of classic horror movies, “Cabin in the Woods,” written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard and directed by Goddard, is about a group of stereotypical teenagers who venture to a”¦small house in a forest”¦ for a weekend of fun, sex and booze. But, uh-oh, there’s a scary killer hellbent on picking them off one-by-one. Or is there? Maybe it’s a facility that needs to perform ritual sacrifices to prevent the end of the world? Either way, the scene with all the monsters is a cinematic masterpiece.
House of the Devil
This film, which was written and directed by Ti West, is one of the most subtly terrifying things I’ve ever seen. It is about a young girl who is invited to babysit for an older couple’s single infant. However, as is predicted, the couple has some shady dealings going on in the nursery room she isn’t supposed to enter. The film builds tension by being almost completely silent for its majority. There are long scenes when the girl is exploring the house, searching through rooms, picking up objects. These scenes really help the movie develop a slow pace, but it is all broken up by an intense climax when the true intentions of the homeowners are revealed. It’ll really make you rethink answering that next Craigslist ad.
The life of the incredibly wealthy isn’t easy, as is explained by Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s vicious slasher film. Sometimes, the high-class end up being systematically murdered in their beautiful vacation homes. This film is so creative with its plot and every single death in the movie allows the viewer to either feel mournful or satisfied. It’s also got one of the most kick-ass female characters in horror movie history. My favorite part was honestly a mixture of the epic twist at the end and the elaborite death scenes.
I believe that Oren Peli reinvented the found footage genre. “Paranormal Activity” is a “home movie” made by a couple who believe that they are experiencing demonic activity in their new suburban house. The found footage aspect forces the audience to almost sympathize with the characters and situations, which makes the content even more scary.