Horror has always been an enjoyable genre. There’s something about seeing jump scares and killer clowns that makes the movie-watching experience so much more fun.
Nowadays though, horror isn’t confined to the tried-and-tested scream-bait formula we’ve seen before. Directors and writers are finding new ways to scare people without relying on demons, ghosts, or serial killers. Most recently, the scares lie in the mood, score, and terrifyingly realistic situations.
Want to see what kinds of films we’re talking about? Come check them out.
The Witch (2015)
Horror powerhouse A24 released this eerie period film in 2015, marking Anya Taylor-Joy’s first foray to the big screen. Set in 1600s New England, The Witch explores the deep faults in Puritan ideals in the form of a settler family who descends into conflict and tension amidst the disappearance of their youngest child. Packed with ominous backdrops and heavy ambience, this film definitely began A24’s domination of modern-age horror.
The Invitation (2015)
At first glance, The Invitation is a simple story. A man receives an invitation from his ex-wife to attend a dinner party full of friends. It becomes apparent, however, that the dinner is far from normal. We can’t say much more than this because the twist in the film is just too good to spoil. It’s a slow burn thriller that will definitely surprise you by the time dinner is over.
As Ari Aster’s feature film directorial debut, Hereditary defied expectations and went on to become one of the best horror films ever made. The story revolves around a family buried in trauma and mystery after the matriarch passes away, leaving a trail of disaster and terror in her wake. If you’re looking to scare yourself in a completely different way, this movie is for you.
Us functions as Jordan Peele’s intense follow-up to his first critically acclaimed hit, Get Out. Like the former, Us is filled with complex themes of racism and classism, as well as commentary on American society today. In the film, we see a gang of strange doppelgangers attack the image of the everyday American family; fans of Lupita Nyong’o will get to see her shine in what can be considered a performance of the decade.
Another bizarre A24 production, Midsommar shocked audiences worldwide with its graphic portrayal of the inner workings of a Scandinavian cult. It features a group of friends who find themselves attending a seemingly harmless Swedish festival. As the film goes on, the scenes only become more and more disturbing, showing off the real message behind Aster’s brightly colored nightmare.