We’ve seen the classics and been wowed by innovative, modern flicks. Horror has always been a genre where you can kind of expect the scare, but still get frightened anyways.
But what do we say about horror that does more than a simple jump scare? What about horror that actually says something about you and me, and us as humans? Whether you’ve seen them or not, these films exist. And they’re actually pretty good.
Check out these horror flicks if you’re trying to get a different kind of scare.
Sinister depicts Ethan Hawke as a true crime writer who intentionally moves into a house with his family where the previous owners were brutally murdered. Inspired by a real nightmare, Sinister is loved by the horror community because it intertwines elements of found footage, true crime, and the paranormal, all in one go. Watch on if you dare.
A beautiful, eerie depiction of the best and worst of a mother’s love, Mama follows the story of two young girls after they’re left in the woods. The girls are cared for by a mysterious spirit who eventually follows them into the suburbs as they attempt to adapt to domestic life. The film has got its fair share of textbook scares, but also packs a punch with moments of sentimentality and gripping suspense. In short: expect the unexpected in this movie.
In Oculus, siblings Kaylie and Tim are plagued by the presence of an antique mirror, which they believe to be the cause of their family’s misfortune. The mirror itself brings on a hoard of psychological distress for both the characters and the viewers, as reality painfully blends into hallucinations. It’s a classic “cursed object” horror trope, with a sprinkle of deep-set trauma and familial dysfunction.
The Babadook (2014)
Australian writer and director Jennifer Kent struck gold with her 2014 horror flick, The Babadook. Centered on a single mother struggling to care for her troubled child after a traumatic accident, The Babadook had critics across the board praising the film for its very genuine portrayal of grief, anxiety, and depression. Aside from those emotional aspects, the movie does its job and is actually pretty scary. Beware.
It Follows (2014)
Another critically-acclaimed 2014 horror film, It Follows revolves around a girl who is terrorized by a supernatural entity after a sexual encounter. The plot is simple, but undoubtedly brings a sort of dread and fear as the film wears on. What makes the movie especially different are the themes that underlie its story. As the audience, we’re made to think past the conventional boundaries of sex and face the prejudice attached to it. If you needed a film to remind you to stay chaste, this is it.