Have the past few horror movies you've seen not been that great? Are you in a bad horror movie slump? Wanna snap out of it? Then this list is the perfect way to do so. I guarantee that these movies will chill, frighten, and horrify you! From breathless tension, jump-out-of-your-seat moments, and scarring scenes of terror, this list has it all.
1) The Conjuring.
With Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, this movie revolves around strange goings on in an old house. While many horror movies have that same premise, this one stands out from the rest. Genuinely scary!
A young boy has a rather strange ability of dream-travelling. Sounds cool, it isn't. Not when he leaves his body vulnerable to possessions from various demons. Also, starring Patrick Wilson, alongside Rose Byrne, this is sheer terror in a film. Jumpy. Tense. Frightening.
An author prepares for his next novel, predicting another bestseller. His research takes him into darker places than he ever imagined, including tapes of family deaths in the attic of his new house. A house where many a murder took place. Truly unnerving and constantly unsettling.
4) Evil Things.
A group of young people head out to a cabin to celebrate a birthday. They expected laughs, alcohol, frolicking and good times. They didn't foresee being stalked by something beyond their comprehension. Low budget but terrific! This film challenges horror movies with Hollywood budgets as it achieves genuine thrills and chills.
5) Insidious 2.
I know, I know. Sequels don't seem to be popular with horror fans, personally I love them, if they are done for the right reasons and add to the story. This one does. The family are now suffering the consequences of the dream-travelling child and what they went through to get him back. Now the horror is a little closer to home. Again, sensationally sinister, but the part that will haunt your dreams about this movie, is the villain: mind-numbingly horrifying.
6) Lights Out.
Stemming from a short film, comes a feature length movie of perfect horror. Sticks to all the rules, yet doesn't get boring or predictable for one second. A young girl helps her brother battle a supernatural being that's been plaguing him. Many jumps. Many scares. All woven through an intriguing story.
7) 30 Days of Night.
Vampires have never scared me, until this movie. Darkness consumes an Alaskan town for a month, leaving it vulnerable to attacks from unnatural beings. The fear factor of this movie is the vampires. Disturbing fiends. Foreign language. Blood-thirsty. Smart. Strong. They are the beasts that monsters have nightmares about. Melissa George and Josh Hartnett star.
8) Paranormal Activity.
A home invasion by a ghost. Sounds overdone, right? Wrong! This movie actually offers goosebump-moments in abundance. Tip, if you are one of those annoying movie watchers that can't pry their phone or tablets from their hands, even during a movie, maybe forgo this one, or leave technology at the door. This is only terrifying if you pay attention. The horror is in the subtly and realism.
9) Don't Breathe.
While scariness is slight, there is a wealth of tension practically throughout the whole movie. Never have I watched such an excellently tense movie. A threesome of youngsters break into a house, hearing the owner is blind and therefore weak and disadvantaged to a burglary, should he wake up. They didn't take into account that this man isn't your typical blind person. Tense. Tense. Tense. You have to watch this!
10) The Visit.
Do some old people creep you out? They will after this movie. Two kids reconnect with their grandparents only to discover these aren't your ordinary Gramps and Grams. Something is seriously wrong with these senior citizens. Steady pace stitched with bizarreness and creepiness, that leads to a superb yet horrifying ending.
What originally started as a short film - a rather chilling, impressive one - has now become a full-length movie. I had high hopes for this feature as I really enjoyed the short. And the movie didn't disappoint.
In short, Rebecca must uncover the horror behind her younger brother's terrifying encounters with an unnerving and creepy being. This forces Rebecca to relive some disturbing and upsetting childhood memories of her own.
With a complex family situation, we delve into the mystery of a creature that can only attack in the dark. Shine a flashlight on them, or turn on a light, and they disappear. But the second that source of light goes out, it will get you!
Teresa Palmer (Rebecca) takes the lead with some terrific acting, portraying a truly sympathetic and empathetic older sister torn between protecting her younger brother and saving her mother. Despite her obvious beauty, this girl can act. Too often, movies only care about the appearance of their performers. If they look the part, that's all that matters, disregarding the importance convincing performances have on the story. Palmer shattered this genre convention by giving us a sensational portrayal of Rebecca that didn't relent for a second. Her commitment to the role was obvious. She guided us through the story with frightening grace.
Gabriel Bateman (Martin) didn't do bad either, hacking through the plot with a vulnerability that made us nervous and emotionally attached to the young boy. Putting a child against such scariness, I feel, makes the horror all the more unsettling. He's a boy, what can he do? How can he defend himself? Then you can't help but be compassionate towards him, given his difficult home life.
And of course, we can't leave out the mother, Sophie (Maria Bello) who a few will recognize from 'Demonic' and 'Coyote Ugly'. Her acting chops are superb, exposing us to a shaken, anxious woman struggling to cope with her life. Yet despite her inner and outer demons, her maternal instincts are admirable and give the story teeth. There was nothing but realism in her interpretation of a suffering mother, subtle yet explosive.
As for the director and writer, David F. Sandberg, known for some brilliantly spooky short films, this movie was his feature debut. I strongly believe - and hope - we'll be seeing a lot more from him soon.
David respected the genre, and the audience, by avoiding monotonous and irritating genres cliches. He made this monster, along with the rules of horror, and exploited that in unique and compelling ways.
Everything, from the cinematography, soundtrack, effects, costume, script, and pace, all hit the mark. Overall, 'Lights Out' is a cleverly crafted, passionately produced, perfectly rendered horror movie that ticks all the boxes. I highly recommend you watch it. It's currently available to rent from Redbox from $1.50!
Bestselling horror author, marketer, blogger, reviewer, business owner, freelance writer.