The problem with 90% of modern horror movies is that they are exclusively populated with jump scares. Gone are the days of suspense building movies that keep audiences gripped and hiding behind a pillow. Think about the likes of Halloween. Michael Myers appearing behind the hung up washing line and disappearing in the blink of an eye. Not knowing where he would appear next. These are the horror movies that defined a genre! They have been replaced by vapid movies that ruin moments of tension.
In recent years, horror movies feature very little in the way of interesting plots and the characters are painfully obvious stereotypes who are bound to trip over when running from the killer, or who will definitely "go in there" despite audiences members telling them not to. Movies such as Insidious, Sinister and The Conjuring do well commercially because they provide their audiences with an easy watch and, while they provide plenty of jumps and squeals, are actually very poor on the whole. They feel thrown together and most of them are topped off with acting that would struggle to make it into a children's nativity performance. Even big names in the acting world, like Ethan Hawke, can't save a movie whose villains are children possessed by the boogie man (yes, that's essentially the actual plot of Insidious...).
But there are some modern horror movies that save the genre and that do more than merely make you jump. These movies will give you nightmares and make you double check that locked door before you go to bed.
10 It Follows (2015)
Now, on the surface, the plot of It Follows seems ridiculous. A curse is passed between unsuspecting people after they have sex with each other. Manifesting itself in whatever form it likes, it hunts and kills, walking (and only walking) after its victims. Yes, this is essentially a killer STD but It Follows does this madcap narrative justice.
9 Hush (2016)
Hush is about a deaf and dumb woman who lives on her own in the woods and enjoys the simple things in life like cooking, writing novels and not being murdered by a masked psychopath. So guess what happens? She gets attacked by... you guessed it... a masked psychopath who is hell bent on killing her! A simple idea, there is no doubt about that.
8 You're Next (2013)
You're Next is essentially a slasher flick on the surface. But what You're Next does differently is that it doesn't take itself seriously, in the same way Scream redefined slashers. It is set during a small getaway for a family wedding anniversary, where an awkward family meal is disrupted by mass murder. Much like the previous two movies on this list, the protagonist is a female who is not afraid to fight back. And fight back she does!
7 Poltergeist (2015)
Remakes always stir controversy. There is always too much to compare a remake to and people struggle with that. If there is any way to save a remake it is with two simple words; Sam and Rockwell. Rockwell brings his typical brand of cynical and dry humour to the remake of the ghostly disturbance classic Poltergeist.
6 28 Days Later (2003)
Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later is swiftly becoming a cult classic in its own right. This is the oldest movie on our list but is undoubtedly one of the most highly acclaimed. After Dan (Cillian Murphy) awakens from a coma, he discovers London has been taken over by flesh-hungry creatures infected by rage induced laboratory chimpanzees. Yes, it's the original zombie movie plot with a truly disturbing and dystopian twist.
5 Cabin In The Woods (2012)
If there was ever a marmite style horror movie that splits audiences directly down the middle it is Cabin in the Woods. Much like You're Next, Cabin in the Woods takes itself anything but seriously. It pitches you with a classic stereotypical scenario; the jock, the scholar, the virgin, the stoner and the whore... in a cabin... in the woods (obviously).
4 Saw (2004)
Whatever you think of the Saw sequels and prequels, the original movie was, without any shadow of a doubt, revolutionary in the horror movie genre. There are so many twists and turns in this movie that it's difficult not to get motion sickness. The beauty of this movie is in its simplicity, contradicted by the mind bending plot that underlies the stark imagery of the neon lit bathroom where ninety-five percent of the movie is set.
3 Evil Dead (2013)
This is the second remake on our list. In the original The Evil Dead the special effects were limited to plasticine melting heads. So Evil Dead decided to go all out. This movie will outdo any nightmares you have ever had and then some. The special effects aren't over the top, which is great, as some horror movies abuse CGI to the point that scenes become laughable.
2 House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Influenced by some of the greatest horror movies of all time and the directorial debut of Rob Zombie himself, House of 1000 Corpses is a horror movie set in the deep south of America. A group of overly optimistic teenagers are aiming to write a book on roadside attractions on the good ol' U.S. of A. when things take a very grim turn for the worse.
1 Dead Man's Shoes (2006)
Shane Meadows' writing and directing style is distinctive to say the very least. It's gritty and realistic and makes audiences face their fears head on. Dead Man's Shoes is the furthest away from a typical horror movie on the list... but it is certainly a movie that will do more than make you jump.
Richard (Paddy Considine, who co-wrote the movie) and his mentally challenged brother Anthony (Toby Kebbell) return to their home town to cause bloodshed. Dead Man's Shoes takes a very simple premise and turns it on its head. Suspenseful, difficult to watch and gripping, Dead Man's Shoes is a must watch and is possibly the best British movie in years.
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