This movie is a well-executed take on a horrific home invasion that tests the breaking point of an unsuspecting couple (Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler). It excels in “edge of your seat” suspense, as you wonder where the masked killers will come from in the hauntingly quiet vacation home that this pair has isolated themselves to. It is unnerving and hard to watch, but very well done. The most bone-chilling aspect of this film is when the mysterious villains reveal that their reason for terrorizing the couple is simply “because [they] were home.” Definitely worth a watch if you can handle the intensity of it.
The Conjuring (2013)
I cannot explain how much I enjoy this movie. It has every element of scary that you could want, on top of outstanding acting (Vera Farmiga and Lili Taylor are flawless- not to mention Patrick Wilson in a phenomenal supporting role). It is the story of Ed and Lorraine Warren, real-life paranormal investigators, who help a family being threatened by a dark presence in their home. If demonic possession is something difficult for you to watch, you will certainly have a tough time with this one, but I have to give it credit for being one of the most believable depictions of it I have ever seen portrayed on film. The whole thing still creeps me out, especially when I think about the vulnerability and agony that is involved in this particular illustration of possession. Speaking of getting the creeps, this movie has also made it so that I will never again play hide and seek. Ever.
It Follows (2014)
It Follows is one of those movies that takes you by surprise. It is about a young girl who is being followed by a supernatural entity (taking multiple creepy human forms) after a sexual encounter. I went in to this film not expecting much, or at least nothing out of the ordinary. However, the true eeriness of this film is much more than standard or typical. In fact, it is probably one of the most interesting and unique horror movies to be seen in a long time. The writer/director put a good amount of thought in to the easter eggs throughout this story, and it quickly ropes you in to the world of the young girl (Maika Monroe) and her friends as they figure out why they are being hunted- and ultimately how to stop it. The subtlety of the film is a big part of why it is so intriguing…it doesn’t have to try too hard and isn’t over the top. Thumbs up on this one, for sure.
Don’t Breathe (2016)
This movie literally takes your breath away. It is quite possibly one of the most intense and suspenseful movies I have ever seen. It is a clever telling of three young thieves who decide to rob a blind man for his fortune. Little did they know this would end up being the biggest mistake and most frightening experience of their lives. Not a single moment is boring, and props to Stephen Lang for playing the disturbed and truly petrifying blind man so incredibly well. Dylan Minnette is always a favorite, and his chemistry with co-lead Jane Levy does not disappoint. There are scares around every dark corner, and crazy twists that are jaw-dropping. Excellent film all around.
I don’t think enough good things can be said about the 2017 version of It. A slightly different telling of Stephen King’s classic novel, this has so many enjoyable things in it- most notably the characters. It goes without saying that Bill Skarsgard’s portrayal of Pennywise is brilliant and masterful; not much else could have been done to make him a more perfectly evil and incredibly horrifying clown. But beyond that, the kids are out of this world with their talent. I personally found Finn Wolfhard and Jack Dylan Grazer to be the stand-out performances of the Losers’ Club, but that in no way takes away from the exceptional performances of any of the others. It is not cheesy or hokey at all, which is difficult to pull off for a movie such as this. Also, seeing this group of friends come together and face their fears is awesome. Trust me, this movie is the stuff of nightmares, but I loved every minute of it.
Lights Out (2016)
Lights Out is underrated in my opinion. There was not much talk about this one after its release, but I found it to be quite affective in its scare element. It has a pretty interesting story, which revolves around a young woman (Teresa Palmer) who must help figure out why an evil being attached to her mother is resurfacing to terrorize her and her younger brother. It also does a great job using what is unseen in the movie (the dark is a major component of how the being exists) to make everything come in to play in a terrifying way. The characters surprisingly make smart and quick decisions, which also kicks it up a notch from other movies of the like.
The Den (2013)
I appreciate the idea of this movie, but sadly it just doesn’t work. The thought of witnessing a murder online is unfathomable, especially when you are secluded most of your time like the main character (Melanie Papalia). However, this movie is hard to follow, which while that does add to the panic feeling for the viewer’s sake (especially since it is shot webcam style), the story is only interesting at the beginning and end. Nothing in the middle draws you in.
Another movie shot webcam style, this one just leaves you feeling…nothing after you watch it. Well, nothing except the idea that teenagers are horrible people all the time. I give it a few points for uniqueness, since all the conversations and interactions are via web, making you naturally more drawn in to what is going on. However, in the end it is a waste of time because it is very predictable and underwhelming.
The House October Built (2014)
This one is my biggest let down on the list. I had high hopes that this would be truly frightening since it is about a group of friends road tripping in search of the most epic haunted houses. Potential in that, right? Well, it ends up feeling more like a documentary about the people than it is about haunted houses. When they finally get to the creepy parts of the movie, with strange masked people stalking them, it becomes too random to be scary. There is no huge build up, not sensible explanation, and ends rather abruptly. The worst part is that they made a sequel.
The Redwood Massacre (2014)
How do I put this nicely… let’s just say this movie should have never been made. It has to be the worst acting I have ever seen. Not a single believable moment. In fact, it is mostly laughable… seriously. This one is about a group of friends who go camping near an old murder site, and predictably become the next victims of a deranged killer. It feels like an attempt at Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only a billion times worse. The only way I recommend even speaking the name of this film is if you want a solid laugh.
Wish Upon (2017)
This movie is almost so bad I can’t even talk about it. Unoriginal, trying to tie in too many elements, and lackluster acting make this movie almost a complete train wreck. Admittedly, it does an okay job with suspense, but aside from those handful of moments, this film is a complete miss in my book.
Please check out our review for why this is one of the best horror films in a long time. The film in many ways improves on the original with compelling storytelling, jump scares, visually creepy moments, and all the while making people antsy for a sequel. Don’t let the creepiest month of the year end without seeing this one!
The Conjuring (2013)
One of my personal favorites over the past few years. I walked into this movie with zero expectations and was pleasantly surprised with the experience that I got! This movie takes a lot of old school scare tactics and uses them to perfection here. The long eerie shots that it uses to set you up for scares was really a lot of fun! Watch it in the dark!
Let the Right One in (2008)
At a time where the Twilight films were all the craze, I picked up this Swedish film on a hunch, looking for a quality vampire film. This wound up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This film will compel you, it will scare you, and it will linger in your memory for days. This IS the best Vampire/Horror story you will see in the past 10 years! Definitely deserves to be here on the list! It even inspired an American Remake, but make sure you see this one first!
28 days Later (2003)
The Walking Dead has been the focal point of Zombie Horror for past few years. However, when I think of the genre, I always come back to this Gem from 2003. This British zombie epic was visually appealing and often thrilling throughout its runtime. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen an army of zombies frantically running toward you behind a dilapidated London backdrop! Chilling, frantic, and compelling throughout, this is one zombie affair that belongs up there with the best of them!
I had to put this in because it holds a special place in my heart as a sleeper hit of 2014. Believe me, this is one of the most creatively-told, psychologically freaky, and visually chilling movies that you will see. The plot is about a haunted mirror, which sounds crazy, but trust me the illusions, delusions, scares, and intrigue make this one of the most fun times I’ve had at the movies in the past few years. The story draws you in and then plays this guessing game with you as you try to figure out what is real and what isn’t. The result is you feeling just as the characters do and I can’t compliment the film on that enough.
Get Out (2017)
I absolutely loved this film from earlier this year! Not only is it innovative, intelligent, and immersive, it is one of the best horror/scary movies to arrive in a long time! Arguably it’s one of the best movies of the year! See it before your year is up!
Human Centipede II (2011)
This movie is freaking horrible! The sequel to the original cult classic takes the horror and gross factor into a completely different direction. This risk however, doesn’t pay off because the toilet humor, lack of scares, stupid characters and boring scenes make this one of the most disappointing sequels probably ever.
Vampire Dentist (2006)
Two rookie dentists decide to go into business with Dr. Vam Dent (yes, that is his name), a dentist who for some reason only operates his business at night. Needless to say, a few stupid people wind up dead and for some reason there is a mystery to solve. Please skip this if it ever makes its way back to Netflix!
Dark Water (2005)
I had to put this on the list because of the disappointment factor. The film had a great cast with Jennifer Connelly and John C. Reily, and seemed like something that could really work as a psychological horror film. However, what you get is a boring affair that drains you of your life force in ways that would make a vampire jealous. Don’t even look at it when you see it on the bargain bin.
In the early 2000’s there was a slew of “acronym” horror movies that came out for some reason. All of them were bad but SICK (Serial Insane Clown Killer) is probably the worst of the lot. This tries to spoof “It” and other clown horror films and fails so miserably with terrible acting and vomit-inducing camera work. Please do me a favor and never watch it.
When I was first approached with the opportunity to make a worst horror list, this was the first film that came to mind. A maniac luchador masked wrestler goes on a killing spree in Mexico. Need I say more? Inept, brainless, and lacking anything close to a scare, this is probably the worst slasher/horror like movie I have ever seen! Keep in mind that I am a professional wrestler, but even I couldn’t forgive this abomination. Please miss this, your life depends on it!
Not only is this one of the better horror films in the last decade it’s also probably the best movie on this list. This movie is expertly crafted and well-acted. Hopefully this movie will inspire studios to have faith in well-made horror films again.
It Follows (2014)
The simplicity of this movie is where it shines. They establish the rules and just let you go along for the ride. This movie makes you want to rewatch it, because once you get the rules you want to see if you can spot more.
The Babadook (2014)
Whether you want to consider this movie a ghost movie or a monster movie it excels. Excellently paced and shot, this movie is a cut above in almost every way. Plus, anytime you get a good child actor in a movie like this is always an awesome addition.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
While this movie is a comedic homage/parody of zombie films, it is also the best zombie movie in decades. This movie has it all, humor, gore, scares, and heart. The cast have perfect chemistry and Edgar Wright deftly blends all of his elements into a cinematic masterpiece.
Let the Right One In (2008)
This is probably one of the best vampire movies ever made. It has scares, gore, and expertly mixed in heart. This is a total package, must see movie. I’ve never seen the American remake, so I can’t vouch for it, but this one is the real deal.
The Witch (2015)
Ultra-creepy period movie with phenomenal acting. Super simple premise that allows the movie to feel real and unforced. This film is a masterclass of storytelling and acting.
Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence (2015)
What could possibly be worse than human centipede 2? Human Centipede 3. It's like the the first two, but at a prison with way more people. You'd think more people would make it more fun. It doesn't. At all. It actually just makes it more pointless, nonsensical, and somehow dumb.
Old dolls are inherently scary. You wanna know how to ruin that? Not having the doll be the actual monster or do anything. The doll does nothing. This movie could be about anything, a book, a plant pot, a spoon. The doll is meaningless.
Circus of The Dead (2014)
Ugh. Just read my review here.
Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
I’ve always had an issue with Freddy being humorous and almost silly. The problem with this one is that it’s almost too serious. They took away some of the ambiguity in his story and just made him 100% monster. That’d work if everyone and everything around him wasn’t stupid and ridiculous. When the only way your plot can move forward is stupidity on the part of your main characters, then you know you have a problem.
Ring 2 (2005)
I hated the first Ring. It was boring and slow. After watching White Noise, my friends and I were joking about what would be the worst possible way to end a Ring sequel. We playfully suggested going into the TV and fighting her. IT F*%@ING HAPPENED! ‘Nuff Said…