My Favorite Horror Movies of the Decade (2010-2019)

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The Last Exorcism

EVERYONE IS DOING IT! And by IT, I mean making lists of the best of the decade — so I decided to do one too that highlights my favorite horror films in hopes of getting some more eyes on some films that I think are pretty great.

2010

BEREAVEMENT
Directed by Stevan Mena
This twisted little indie horror is in the “making of a serial killer” category, in which a murderer in a creepy-as-fuck farmhouse kidnaps a young boy and forces him to watch every murder her commits with the idea that he’s training the kid to be his murder-y replacement. Come for the atmosphere; stay for the SPLATTER.

BLACK SWAN
Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Yeah, I know – I KNOW: there are many people who don’t consider this a horror film, but I’m here to tell you that there is nothing more terrifying to me than the extreme pressure people put on themselves to be “the best,” sacrificing their physical and mental health in the process. That, and stage moms (did you even SEE how horrific Barbara Hershey is in this thing?!).

HATCHET II
Directed by Adam Green

The first HATCHET is excellent, and this sequel takes the insanity even further, which I love. So many great practical effects; the cast is made up of horror royalty (Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Danielle Harris); and the comedy and splatter mesh together perfectly.

THE LAST EXORCISM
Directed by Daniel Stamm

One of my favorite uses of found footage! I adore the idea of a camera crew following around a con-man Reverend who performs fake exorcisms, and then discovers his latest patient might actually be possessed by the devil. The performances in this are ON FIRE.

PIRANHA 3D
Directed by Alexandre Aja

Yes, it’s ridiculous. But it’s also incredibly enjoyable! As a kid, the original Piranha thrilled and terrified me, and Piranha II: The Spawning was AMAZING. So I’m super stoked they did an update and cranked up the over-the-topness of killer fish + set it during spring break. So. Many. BODIES. Also HELLOOOOO Elisabeth Shue. ❤

TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL
Directed by Eli Craig

The whole premise of this just fills me with glee: two good-natured backwoods dudes buy their “dream cabin,” (aka: a rundown, creepy looking shack) and then encounter a bunch of teens in the woods who keep accidentally dying, sending the rest of the group into a panicked frenzy. The more Tucker & Dale try to help the rest of the group survive; the more things go awry.

The Innkeepers

2011

FRIGHT NIGHT
Directed by Craig Gillespie

A remake done right, with a cameo by the original Fright Night Vamp! I love everything about this updated version of Fright Night — especially Toni Collette & Anton Yelchin. Colin Farrell’s Jerry is appropriately sexy and creepy, and his secret surburban torture chamber is EEEEEESSSSHHHHH. Also, LOL at turning Peter Vincent into a showy Las Vegas magician.

THE INNKEEPERS
Directed by Ti West
This slow burn of a ghost story is packed full of atmosphere and incredibly well-written and acted, and I just love its incredibly bleak ending. Also: ALL HAIL KELLY MCGILLIS!

SCREAM 4
Directed by Wes Craven

Meta-meta-meta-meta horror. While I still find Hayden Panettiere annoying as fuck, props to Williamson and Craven for having a female movie nerd to walk us through the horror rules this time around! I know this doesn’t get as much love as the rest of the series, but I think it’s stronger than people give it credit for.

YOU’RE NEXT
Directed by Adam Wingard

A beautiful homage to slashers, the return of QUEEN BARBARA CRAMPTON — and a kick-ass Final Girl who takes charge and gets shit done. I am so into every single scene of this film, and I particularly love the meta-banter about filmmaking by actual directors (Joe Swanberg & Ti West).

American Mary

2012

AMERICAN MARY
Directed by Sylvia & Jen Soska

Katharine Isabelle shines as Mary: a medical student who gets date-raped by her superior (warning: this scene is extremely hard to watch) which causes her to drop out of school and start a business as an underground surgeon who specializes in extreme body modification. Mary’s avenue of revenge is extremely satisfying, and the weird world-building of body mods includes a woman surgically altered to look like Betty Boop and the directors themselves playing a pair of Goth twins who swap body parts to be closer to one another. I’m into it!

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Directed by Drew Goddard

Of all the movies on this list, I have probably watched this one the most. Goddard & Whedon teamed up to create the mother of all meta-horror films and the entire thing fills me with such joy I can’t properly express it. Every viewing, I pause on the elevator scene over and over to try and see as many details on the monsters as possible (psst – all these practical F/X were created by David Leroy Anderson, who is married to Heather Langenkamp!). Also, the entire cast is perfect and it makes me laugh so fucking hard. Watch out for that unicorn!

COCKNEYS VS ZOMBIES
Directed by Matthias Hoene

This fun little UK indie involves a botched bank robbery and a retirement home that gets overrun by zombies. It’s incredibly funny and charming, and a damn shame it didn’t get a bigger release over here across the pond. Also, OMG Honor Blackman!

LOVELY MOLLY
Directed by Eduardo Sánchez

I’m not gonna lie; Lovely Molly is a hard watch, in that you’re watching a woman disintegrate into madness and re-experience trauma layered under a ghost story. But it’s so worth a watch if only to see Gretchen Lodge, who plays Molly, do a fantastic job taking us through her descent and raw, bleeding emotions.

THE PACT
Directed by Nicholas McCarthy

Sisters Nichole and Annie don’t exactly agree on how to handle their mother’s death—but when Nichole goes missing, Annie returns to their childhood home to find out what happened. And then shit. gets. crazy! This is one that is best watched going in fresh, without knowing too much about the plot!

PROMETHEUS
Directed by Ridley Scott

People love to hate this entry into the ALIENS franchise, but I fucking love it. From the overtly sexual parasites to Charlize Theron’s mad-with-jealousy mission director and the extremely gory alien baby abortion, I’m in for the ride. And no matter how you feel about it, you have to admit that Noomi Rapace is FANTASTIC as Elizabeth Shaw, and Fassbender’s Android David is creepy as fuck.

[•REC]³: GÉNESIS
Directed by Paco Plaza

Campy to the max — this third installment in the [REC] series is one big juicy rollercoaster of splattery zombie goodness — I mean BUCKETS and buckets of blood and gore — with plenty of in-jokes about how insane a wedding can get. Once the bride gets ahold of a chainsaw, you can’t help but cheer!

V/H/S
Directed by Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and the filmmaking collective Radio Silence.

This found footage anthology film is pretty tight! There’s not a single film in it that I didn’t at least like a little, but my faves include Amateur Night, about a group of obnoxious college boys who plan to film an amateur porn video and end up picking up a very dangerous girl; Second Honeymoon, about a couple who gets stalked by a mysterious stranger; and The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger, about a woman with a strange bump on her arm.

We Are What We Are

2013

CURSE OF CHUCKY
Directed by Don Mancini
Twenty-five years after the first Child’s Play, Chucky arrives in mail to the home of paraplegic Nica Pierce and starts up with the murderin’ almost immediately. This installment plays more like a haunted house; I adore all the creepy, creaky moments and the way Mancini ties Charles Lee Ray (played by Brad Dourif) to Nica (played by Brad’s daughter, Fiona) together is masterful — and that post credits scene! WHOA

EVIL DEAD
Directed by Fede Alvarez

It is hard to do a remake right, and I know plenty of people aren’t into this one, but I am 100% here for a female “Ash” as a traumatized recovering heroin addict who has to figure out what’s going down with her brother and friends and hold her own against the Deadites until the entire screen is covered in blood for corner to corner. It’s smart, fun, and very very very VERY gory.

HATCHET III
Directed by B. J. McDonnell
Beginning with an intense fight to the death and the heroine walking into a police station covered in blood, this sequel adds Zach Galligan as the local Sheriff who is convinced VIctor Crowley doesn’t exist, and Caroline Wiliams (Stretch!) as a journalist determined to find out who’s responsible for the pile of bodies that were amassed during the first two films. Even more over-the-top kills ensue. So many limbs and heads being pulled apart and off!

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE
Directed by Jim Mickle

Beautifully directed and quietly deranged; a very different kind of cannibal movie. Also, HOLD ONTO YOUR BUTTS during that last 10 minutes! (I also recommend the original from 2010: Somos lo que hay).

WILLOW CREEK
Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait

Goldthwait did his homework for this found footage-Sasquatch terror flick, providing a solid explanation for why the entire thing would be filmed, casting two actors who came across as normal, likeable people, and filling every minute with humor and hints at what’s to come while slowly building an incredible amount of suspense. The last 20 minutes are one long, slow take of greatness—with some downright right incredible foley.

Starry Eyes

2014

THE BABADOOK
Directed by Jennifer Kent

This film absolutely WRECKED ME on my first viewing, and continues to wreck me every time I watch it. The basics: grieving mom, out-of-control son, creepy book, unleashed creature, possession, and some really amazing imagery. The Babadook is a non-stop ball of tension from beginning to end, the acting is freaking amazing, and the creature F/X are amaze.

CREEP
Directed by Patrick Brice

Mumblehorror forever! Mark Duplass is perfect as Josef, an overly friendly guy who seems just a little bit …. off … in this talky psychologically terrifying thriller. The lesson here is: do not EVER take a job that requires you to meet someone out in the middle of nowhere.

A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour

Visually stunning with an amazing soundtrack — and who doesn’t love a cunning female vampire who tricks men into thinking she’s an easy target and then RIPS THEIR THROATS OUT?!?!

GOODNIGHT MOMMY
Directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz

Two angelic 9-year-old twin boys arrive home to find their mother in the hallway with a face all wrapped up in plastic surgery bandages. Mommy needs her rest in order to recover—never mind that she lurks around in her bedroom poking at her bloodshot eyes or pretends to be sleeping when she’s really having a snack. After awhile, her strange behavior convinces the boys that maybe she’s not their mommy at all and that’s when the games begin. Don’t worry! They’re just little boys … who keep an entire glass aquarium filled with cockroaches in their room. Totally normal, right?

IT FOLLOWS
Directed by David Robert Mitchell

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horror film use the death by sex trope in such an effective, creepy way. Each second of this film is filled with heavy atmosphere, and it’s one of those movies where every frame is a piece of art, the kind of movie that you wish you could freeze and pluck still images from to hang on your wall. Bonus points for not over-explaining what “IT” is — it’s relentless, and it follows. That’s all you need to know.

OCULUS
Directed by Mike Flanagan

I love the twisty way this haunted mirror flick unfolds, and how its two timelines merge. Eleven years after seeing the mirror drive their parents mad, Kaylie tracks it down and devises a plan to destroy it, enlisting her brother Tim’s help. The slight wrinkle being that Tim has spent that time being treated in an asylum, and now believes he’s responsible for his dad’s death and that the mirror was just part of his imagination. There are shares of The Haunting of Hill House all over this, and its bleak resolution is absolutely fantastic.

STARRY EYES
Directed by Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer

Alex Essoe deserves ALL OF THE AWARDS for her portrayal of Sarah, a young woman determined to do anything (including a Satanic casting couch- ewww) to achieve fame and fortune as a movie star. This movie has some of the most insane, gross out body horror EVER and I’m super into it.

TUSK
Directed by Kevin Smith

This smodcast-story-turned-movie features douche-y podcaster Wallace Brighton finding an intriguing note posted in the bathroom of a local pub by Howard Howe (Michael Parks), and sets off to meet Howe in his cavernous mansion to hear all about his tales of travel including his mysterious and tragic friendship with a walrus named Mr. Tusk. Every second in Howe’s house leaves me on edge and Parks does an amazing job in this role, to the point where his insane scheme actually seems plausible. It’s almost the perfect terrifying little tale — IF I could just remove Johnny Depp’s Guy Lapointe and lose that stupid epilogue. I still like it, though. It’s just not quite perfect.

The Invitation

2015

CRIMSON PEAK
Directed by Guillermo del Toro

It’s like Guillermo del Toro reached into my brain and pulled out the perfect nightmare marriage of everything I love and fear and then plopped it on screen in a Victorian Gothic wrapper: A forbidden romance. A murder. A giant, crumbling old mansion. Mysterious family secrets. Really frightening ghosts. And, of course, lots of gruesome gore. Pay no attention to that GIANT hole in the ceiling, or the fact that the house is sinking into a huge, oozing red pit of clay. NOTHING TO SEE HERE! Move along.

THE FINAL GIRLS
Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson

A charmingly funny tribute to 1980s slashers, wrapped around a sweet mother-daughter relationship. After losing her mother in a tragic accident, teenage Max attends an anniversary screening of her mom’s most popular film Camp Bloodbath — and through a bit of magic, her and her friends end up trapped inside the film and have to use the rules of the genre to get out alive. Hilariously fun, and THAT ENDING. So good!

THE GIFT
Directed by Joel Edgerton

Edgerton directs himself as a stalker who targets a former high-school classmate and his wife as revenge for bullying him. “Gordo” is quietly terrifying the whole film, and his final act of revenge is … whelp. I don’t wanna ruin it for you! Just see it for yourself.

THE INVITATION
Directed by Karyn Kusama

Will and his girlfriend Kira are invited to possibly the most awkward dinner party ever: a reunion of old friends at Will’s ex-house with his ex-wife Eden — whom he hasn’t seen in over two years — and her new husband, David. Add in a slightly unhinged stranger who is part of a religious “experience” Eden & David had in Mexico plus an incredibly fucked-up game called “I want,” and you know something crazy is about to go down even before John Carroll Lynch walks through the door. Hold on to something {or someone} for that last bit — including the mesmerizing final shot.

KRAMPUS
Directed by Michael Dougherty

Be careful what you wish for — or a giant horned demonic spirit from Germany will arrive on Christmas and fuck your shit up. Adam Scott & Toni Collette are PERFECT in this as a disenchanted husband & wife trying to keep the holiday spirit alive despite difficult family guests, and the fantastical effects are pure joy. Worth watching over and over and over!

THE LURE
Directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska

For the first 15 minutes of The Lure, I felt like I was watching a David Lynch movie on Acid. This New Wave musical nightmare romance is about two young mermaid sisters who find themselves in an ’80s style nightclub. The club owner urges them to create a striptease act which quickly becomes the club-goers’ faves, and it’s all fun and games until one of the sisters falls for a hot, shaggy-haired band member. Jealously ensues, weird sex stuff happens, and eventually, those mermaids get HUNGRY for human flesh.

SOUTHBOUND
Directed by Radio Silence, Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, and Patrick Horvath

Another great anthology that features some weird tales that are all connected to each other — my fave, and the most gory, is The Accident, in which a man hits a young woman with his car and takes her to what looks like an abandoned hospital where he’s instructed how to “operate” on her by the 911 dispatcher. It’s just … EEEESSSSSHHHHH.

THE WITCH
Directed by Robert Eggers

This movie is so goddamn stunning and I am in love with its historical lens as a means of showing us how the patriarchy has kept women beneath them for 100s of years by accusing and punishing them for just like, being WOMEN. That moment when Thomasin finally breaks free is literally my everything. Live deliciously, bitches. LIVE DELICIOUSLY.

The Girl with All the Gifts

2016

THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE
Directed by André Øvredal

Surprisingly effective given it’s mostly one-room setting! I didn’t know how they could make an autopsy scary, but with each reveal I was fascinated. There’s some pretty great tension and some glorious backstory here, and I was surprised by the outcome.

DON’T BREATHE
Directed by Fede Álvarez

What could be easier than robbing a blind man’s house? I mean, unless that man has honed his other senses sharply and is also a disturbed serial killer who keeps women in his basement …. Hey, also – TURKEY BASTER.

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
Directed by Colm McCarthy

A new spin on the zombie genre, in which children infected with a zombie virus are kept imprisoned and experimented on in order to find a cure. Sennia Nanua as Melanie is heart-achingly good, and her friendship with her teacher, Helen, tugs at all the right emotions. Plus, the end KICKS SO MUCH ASS.

GREEN ROOM
Directed by Jeremy Saulnier

This gritty horror film is goddamn perfect. A punk band accidentally witnesses a murder and gets trapped in the green room, and then hunted down by a group of neo-Nazis led by PATRICK FUCKING STEWART. My heart almost couldn’t take the gore in this; it feels almost too real.

HUSH
Directed by Mike Flanagan

Another stunning film by Flanagan; Hush features his wife, Kate Siegel, as a deaf and mute writer who lives in a remote house being terrorized by a serial killer. The minimal dialog and absence of sound in this heighten the EXTREME tension, and the final act is one, long, relentless sequence that will have you screaming at the screen.

THE LOVE WITCH
Directed by Anna Biller

“What do men want?” “Just a pretty woman to love, and to take care of them, and to make them feel like a man — and to give them total freedom in whatever they want to do or be.” Goddamn I love Anna Biller’s The Love Witch! It’s such an amazing, scathing, satiric commentary on the patriarchy and such a gorgeous and rich scenic treat. Long live Elaine!

THE NEON DEMON
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

A beautiful, brilliant, and hilarious skewering of a problematic industry I’ve never been able to understand or embrace. And yes, this is also a horror film, not just a literal interpretation of how Refn views L.A. model culture. I’ve never seen someone mash-up such rich, gorgeous visuals with over-the-top satire before, and Refn does it almost effortlessly. ALSO THAT SOUNDTRACK

RAW
Directed by Julia Ducournau

Another fresh take on the cannibalism subgenre! Raw is gritty and visceral, and jesus that veterinary school has some weird hazing rituals. I was squirming through most of the gory stuff and I will NEVER RECOVER from the scissors scene. Never. Ever.

XX: The Box

2017

CULT OF CHUCKY
Directed by Don Mancini

I appreciate how this one just cranks up the total insanity by having Bill Ray’s soul inside of a ton of Chucky dolls that are stalking and killing inmates in an asylum. Fiona Dourif as Nica, who was great in the previous installemnt, is fucking AWESOME in this one, and that last scene with her and Tiffany (JENNIFER TILLY FOREVER) is the best. ever.

GERALD’S GAME
Directed by Mike Flanagan

How do you do an effective horror in a single room with (mostly) one actor? Get Mike Flanagan to direct it, and hire Carla Gugino to act the fuck out of it. I never imagined this Stephen King novel would make a good movie, but it’s actually a GREAT movie, and much better than the other two King adaptations available on Netflix.

GET OUT
Directed by Jordan Peele

Listen, I have had a raging crush on Catherine Keener for years, but after seeing the way she spins a spoon around a cup of tea and sends people to the Sunken Place, my feelings are v. confused. A group or rich, white supremicists who auction off the bodies of black people so they can take over their brains? FUUUUUCCCCK. The mad science aspects of the story don’t make it seem any less terrifying — this shit is just too close to real life in America for me to feel like it’s a fantasy.

HAPPY DEATH DAY
Directed by Christopher Landon

This one is just ridiculously fun! Jessica Rothe is fantastic as Tree — a mostly unlikeable sorority girl who gets trapped in a time loop on her birthday in which she is murdered over and over and over and over; and the kills are innovative and very, very splattery. I still need to see the sequel, which I hear is just as good.

IT (CHAPTER ONE)
Directed by Andrés Muschietti

I like the original miniseries as much as anyone, but It 2.0 is also pretty fucking baller. It’s definitely the kind of film you need to view through the lens of preteen nostalgia in order for it to be fun — the more you can disconnect from your adult brain and dive into your young, un-jaded, pre-real world nightmare times self, the better. Easy for me, since 1988 pushes my memories of summer BFF hangs into overdrive. Also, THOSE KIDS. So good. (If only they had just … ended the reboot with this one and left Chapter Two unmade).

XX
Directed by Roxanne Benjamin, Annie Clark, Karyn Kusama, and Jovanka Vuckovic
One of my go-to horror anthologies; XX is produced, written, and directed by a bunch of kick-ass women who take us through a tale-of-terror based on the Jack Ketchum story “The Box,” a traumatic birthday party; a very bad trip to the desert, and a woman in denial about her son’s propensity for evil. The creepy stop-motion wrap story by Sofia Carrillo is perfect too!

Cam

2018

ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE
Directed by John McPhail

Sing Street meets Sean of the Dead in this charming teen musical with zombies. Anna features very catchy songs, likeable leads, killer practical F/X, and some pretty bleak moments. I immediately fell in love!

APOSTLE
Directed by Gareth Evans

It’s like this movie was fucking MADE FOR ME. Dan Stevens plays Thomas, a very broken man, tasked with rescuing his sisters from a cult that is holding her hostage for money. Turns out the cult has a complicated backstory, and while life was one an idyllic paradise for them, the goddess they worship isn’t making things easy for them anymore. Apostle perfectly illustrates how destructive the patriarchy is (and has always been); how power is corruptive; how religion can so easily be twisted into ugliness; how men react with violence when they can’t control women, and more. Also, the score is fucking gorgeous.

ASSASINATION NATION
Directed by Sam Levinson

This one seems to have slipped under the radar — I don’t remember seeing it advertised at all, and only found out about it via a friend’s recommendation (and finding it by chance on Hulu). It’s a fantastically bloody statement about toxic masculinity, slut-shaming, mob mentality, and hypocrisy. I want to memorize Lily’s speech at the end and repeat it to everyone, everywhere, forever.

CAM
Directed by Daniel Goldhaber

Madeline Brewer shines as both Alice, a successful Cam girl who breaks conventions to get to the top — and Lola; a doppelganger who suddenly appears to steal her livelihood and ruin her life. It’s a supernatural mystery that also shows sex work as legimate work, and shows the prejudices people have towards women who choose to do it. (which makes sense, because screenwriter Isa Mazzei is a former cam girl).

HEREDITARY
Directed by Ari Aster

There are horror films that are meant to f*ck you up, and then there is Hereditary — which, IMO, is in a category all on its own. I’m not gonna lie: this is a tough watch. That said, everything about Hereditary is pitch perfect, from the casting to the cinematography to the killer score. I LOVED how subtle clues kept dropping to move the story forward, and also how each scene contained so. much. more. than what you see at first glance.

KNIFE+HEART
Directed by Yann Gonzalez

Just gorgeous in every way. A modern-made giallo set in 1979 that is just queer, sexy, bloody goodness. I don’t want to say anything more than that; JUST SEE IT.

MANDY
Directed by Panos Cosmatos

This technicolor revenge film goes places I wasn’t expecting, with Nic Cage as a heartbroken forester named Red who hunts down the cult (complete with demons) that killed his lady love in front of him, employing a hand forged axe-weapon-thing and engaging in a chainsaw duel. Oh yeah, there’s also a TIGER.

ONE CUT OF THE DEAD
Directed by Shin’ichirô Ueda

It’s not hard to see why this one won the Fantastic Fest Audience Favorite award. The first part of this is a straight-up hilarious zombie flick, where a shoot for a TV series goes terribly awry once real zombies show up. The second part is a heart-warming commentary on all the hard work (and heartache) that goes into filmmaking, in which you see that same zombie production come together, including the setup of all the F/X, and all the mishaps that happen and must be fixed in real time. It’s funny and charming and just an absolute joy to watch.

THE PERFECTION
Directed by Richard Shepard

Allison Williams plays Charlotte, a former musical prodigy who had to give up her rising career when her mother got sick. Now that her mother has passed on, Charlotte contacts her former trainer and joins him and his new star, Lizzie (Logan Browning) in China. Once there, it’s clear that Charlotte is fixated on Lizzie — and on getting back what she lost, whatever the cost. It’s gloriously campy and very clearly doesn’t take itself too seriously — and while it’s easy to see where the story is going, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to anticipate how it gets there. I fucking loved it, and I think this one is destined to become a cult classic.

REVENGE
Directed by Coralie Fargeat

This isn’t just your typical vengeance horror flick. Director and writer Coralie Fargeat has taken the ever-looming threat of what toxic masculinity can do and delivered it on screen, turning the woman who’s victimized by it into a badass survivalist killing machine — and she does it all by flipping the male gaze a giant, middle finger.

SUMMER OF ‘84
Directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell

Tight update of Rear Window that focuses on a boy in the 80s who suspects his next door neighbor is a serial killer. A couple of things elevate this beyond the usual suspense flicks; most of which is contained in the final 15 minutes of the film. This is one I keep turning over and over in my mind.

SUSPIRIA
Directed by Luca Guadagnino

Guadagnino’s Suspiria unfolds in six acts with a beautifully perfect score by Thom Yorke; each act ramping up the intensity and suspense until the final, brutally insane and satisfying conclusion.

This is more than just a good reboot/remake/homage/whatever you wanna call it:

It’s a vision of women working together to smash the patriarchy.
It’s a story about regret and guilt and how those things can drag you down for life.
It’s a cautionary tale about how lust for power can ruin you, and everyone in your path.
It’s a fever dream of hallucinations and incredibly unsettling gore.
It’s an irresistible fucking spell and I want everyone to see it.

YOU MIGHT BE THE KILLER
Directed by Brett Simmons

This is a great tribute to 80s slashers with lots of inside jokes and some awesome bloody splatter! The film opens with Sam (Fran Kanz) covered in blood and trapped in a cabin, calling his friend Chuck (Alyson Hannigan) to help him out by using her vast knowledge of horror films. As Chuck gathers more details, she becomes convinced that instead of being stalked by a killer, Sam might actually be the killer. Honestly, watching Fran Kanz & Alyson Hannigan do ANYTHING for an hour and 1/2 is goddamn delightful. Plus, that post-credits scene is A++

Riot Girls

2019

CULTURE SHOCK (Hulu’s INTO THE DARK Series)
Directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero

You should all stream Culture Shock! It’s equal parts entertaining and terrifying, with standout performances by Martha Higareda and Barbara Crampton. I 100% believe this scenario could actually happen, and I laugh-cried at the “president’s tweet” in the end credits. TOO ACCURATE.

DOCTOR SLEEP
Directed by Mike Flanagan

Obviously I whole-heartedly LOVE everything Flanagan does, so it’s no surprise Doctor Sleep was one of my favorite movies of this year. Even though I read the book, this film was pure joy to watch and kept me guessing a few times. The True Knot is 100% as terrifying as it is in the book, particularly Rose, thanks to a masterful performance by Ferguson. THOSE OVERLOOK SCENES THOUGH. Holyshit; I was blown away.

MIDSOMMAR
Directed by Ari Aster

Midsommar, aka, I took a trip to a remote Swedish village with my shitty boyfriend and his self-centered friends and all I got was a bad mushroom trip and this lousy flower crown. Everything I want in a fucked-up, fantastical, creepy cult horror film — and also more than that — and Florence Pugh is a goddamn revelation as Dani. I’ve watched this a few times now and I see something new every. damn. time. It’s my FAVORITE!

RIOT GIRLS
Directed by Jovanka Vuckovic

Set in an alternate 1995, this post-apocalyptic queer horror romance takes place in the fictional town of Potter’s Bluff, in which a mysterious “rotting disease” has taken out all the adults. The teens who are left have been split into two groups divided by class: poor punks scavenging whatever they can and taking care of each other on the East Side; rich jocks ruling the West Side with a “Cobra Kai”-like cruel discipline in their former High School, wearing “Titan” letterman jackets as status symbols. Riot Girls is a super fun, nostalgically bloody ride — I was rooting for Scratch and Nat the entire time, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

SATANIC PANIC
Directed by Chelsea Stardust

This 80s-tinged Satanic comedy is hilarious, bloody, and hella entertaining. Rebecca Romijn, Hayley Griffith, and Ruby Modine are all fantastic — see also Jerry O’Connell, “Look what you made me do! I’m a feminist” and the extreme spit take I did when I heard that. Bonus points for an innovative murder method that reminded me of Ken Russel’s insane contraptions from The Lair of the White Worm.

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID
Directed by Issa López

YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FILM. Every scene is flat out gorgeous, and the kids are all AMAZING at drawing you into their world and making you feel for them. Was I a sobbing mess at the end? Absolutely. Was I also in awe of how seamlessly the magic blended into the story? Hell. Yes. Tigers is one of those films that takes your breath away while you’re watching and immerses you completely in its world.

US
Directed by Jordan Peele

From the moment those red jumpsuit doppelgängers show up (which is, if I remember correctly, only about 20 minutes in), this film gets super INTENSE with absolutely no moments to breathe. It’s a good thing that Peele injected the script with a lot of humor, or viewers might pass out while watching. It is fucking terrifying — but it’s also a lot of fun. I was on the edge of my seat, yelling at the screen, hiding behind my hands, and laughing through the entire film, even when it plunged into its completely insane third act.

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