Published on April 25th, 2018 | by voxx0
10 Best Horrors of the Decade So Far
Horror movies aren’t always the type of entertainment to break box office records, and in some cases they can be hated by many people, with some saying it’s always the same. Critics aren’t always keen either. But, like with all genres, there are standouts where audiences and critics agree unanimously, and in this last decade, or maybe the past few years alone, horror movies have developed a bit more class. ‘Get Out’, for example, is the only recent horror to be nominated for 4 Oscars, including Best Picture, walking away with a win for Best Original Screenplay. Before this there have only ever been a few horror movies that went down a storm in all three categories (critics, audience and awards praise). So, here are ten of the best horror films from 2010 to the present day. Prepare the hiding cushions…
10. The Woman in Black (2012)
When it was announced that a new adaptation of Susan Hill’s bestselling horror novel, The Woman in Black,was set to be released with ‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe playing the main character, questions were asked. Will it be as good as the novel? Will it be better than the original 1989 film? Or, indeed, will it be scary? Well surprise, surprise, it was actually pretty good. It has a generally good story and there are a few good scares, topped off with a stellar performance by Radcliffe. This is still probably the lowest rated film on this list with a middling Rotten Tomatoes of 67%, but despite that, there’s some good stuff if you want to be scared and don’t mind a story that needs a bit of work. It’s a good place to start for horror enthusiasts.
9. The Conjuring (2013)
During ‘The Conjuring’s’ initial release, the film conjured up a heel of a stir in the eyes of audiences and critics, receiving praise for its ambitious story. The film focuses on paranormal investigators Ed and Loraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga), who investigate a family in rural America who have been suffering a few hauntings from demons. Okay, that aspect of it is not entirely different for previous horrors, but the film did something that no other horror did. Instead of going for the stringed music route whenever a jump scare comes, director James Wan (known for many horrors such as the first ‘Saw’) settles for pure horror tactics. There are doors banging, pictures clanging on the floors and hands that pop out of the dark. It’s no wonder this received the praise it did, and it deserves it.
8. The Witch (2015)
This film is massively different to the ones above. ‘The Witch’ was brilliantly received by critics, earning a score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it only received a lowly 57% by audiences. However, there’s a reason for that. It’s one of those horrors where you shouldn’t watch the trailer, which showed as a pure horror movie that would scare the living daylights out of you. Instead, when it was released, it was completely different to the expectation. Like ‘The Conjuring’, it settled for pure horror tactics, but instead of going for the banging objects, this went to a new place entirely in what critics call “Post Horror” – basically, horror that’s already happened. Set in 1630’s New England, a farming family is living day-to-day but with the invasion of a few witches they think that they are cursed when their lifestock suddenly starts disappearing and suffering the worst. That’s scary in itself, but unfortunately, there were many who walked away clueless from its message.
7. Split (2017)
Argued as the perfect comeback for writer-director M. Night Shayamalan, ‘Split’ was praised by audiences and critics alike with it’s intriguing story and Shayamalan’s usual slow-bearing horror-thriller approach. Starring James McAvoy in perhaps the best performance he’s ever done, we follow Kevin, a man who suffers from multiple personality disorder. He changes to various personalities, and each time he changes McAvoy keeps the performance genuine, never faltering. However, his performance isn’t the only reason this movie got such high praise. It was called a great comeback for the director after he made a few bad films, such as ‘After Earth’, ‘The Last Airbender’ and ‘The Happening’, and with a sequel to ‘Split’ coming out next year, let’s hope his comeback doesn’t fall any time soon.
6. The Wailing (2016)
Another horror from South Korea, released not long after Number 5 on this list. It’s much lesser known, but still worth it. This one focuses less on zombie tactics on a train and more on demonic murdering in a small town outside Seoul. After a spate of brutal murderings in the rural area of South Korea, police investigators try to uncover the mysteries of the murders, trying to figure out why it’s happening with one hell of a sinister twist. ‘The Wailing’ is longer than a lot of the films on this list at a whopping 156 minutes, but despite its length and an awkwardly long third act, this is a very effective devilish horror that will stay with you even after the credits roll.
5. Train to Busan (2016)
This South Korean action/horror brings the barest essential trope of horror back to basics; Zombies. You may be thinking, zombies? Been there done that, right? Not like this, quoted by genre master Edgar Wright as the best zombie movie he’s seen in years, and for good reason. Here you essentially have ‘Poseidon’ put on a train. Add the ‘Snowpiercer’ atmosphere, mix with a few zombies, stir it all together and you have one deliciously smart take on the zombie subgenre. The story focuses on Seok-woo and his young daughter, Su-an, on a train journey from Seoul to see her mother in Busan. It starts off as a simple train journey where nothing can go wrong, but with the announcement of a zombie incident on board it turns into 453 km (281 miles) of pure adrenaline-fuelled action, clever tricks and pure utter terror. And if you want the story before the incident, checkout the animated prequel ‘Seoul Station’.
4. The Babadook (2014)
Something different this time than a zombie movie on a train or brutal murderings in rural South Korea, or perhaps even post horror. This Australian horror plays on real horror; you know, the things that scare us in real life, specifically the loss of a loved one and trying to avoid the grief of loneliness. A mother (played Essie Davis) and her young son (Noah Wiseman) start to be haunted by a demon spawned from the makings of a children’s bedtime story. The son thinks it’s real, but the mother isn’t convinced. It’s one of those wait-for-the-outcome movies. It’s not a possession of a demon but a possession of self and it’s very effective. Granted, the special effects are a little lumpy and the demon doesn’t look as good as other modern horror demons, but it’s an effective one at least and it’s a film that will stay with you forever.
Of course, this had to have a place here. Director Andy Muschietti’s creepy take on Stephen King’s 1138 page magnum opus is one of the best horror films of all time, featuring a cast of brilliant youngsters, including ‘Stranger Things’’ Finn Wolfhard, defeating a terrifying demon clown (a fantastic Bill Skarsgård). As King fans flocked to the cinema the film didn’t disappoint, with audiences and critics alike giving it total score of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. It also became the most successful horror film of all time, dethroning classic horrors like ‘The Exorcist’ (before inflation) and ‘The Sixth Sense’, and the highest grossing King adaptation ever. There was no end to the success of ‘IT’, and with a sequel lined up for 6 September 2019, there’s no worry of that success falling any time soon.
2. Get Out (2017)
Hilarious social commentary, directed by a top American comedian and with some comedy verses on the script, ‘Get Out’ doesn’t sound like your average horror, and for a while it isn’t, it’s just a thriller. However, the film has a larger message and that is that racism in America is still going on today. This was the message that writer-director Jordan Peele had hidden in his Oscar winning pages. The plot is basic; African-American photographer Chris Washington (played by British actor Daniel Kaluuya who was nominated for his performance) visits the family of his Caucasian girlfriend, who at first seem like friendly people, but he soon notices that something isn’t quite right. What does he see? You’ll have to watch it. Every outcome in Peele’s directorial debut is super effective, and there’s a reason it got such high critical praise and walked away with an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
1. A Quiet Place (2018)
Now, what horror movie is so good that it tops all the horrors of this decade? It is new film ‘A Quiet Place’, a film so nerve-shreddingly tense, so creepy and so thumpingly scary that it beats all previous horrors. It is set in 2020 where a family of four is forced to live in an abandoned farm house after a global invasion of monsters that can only hunt by the slightest sound. It’s one of those horrors that’s more effective around quieter atmospheres, meaning the audience has to be quiet too for the effect to be strong. Plus, it’s made better by some really clever monsters, characters speaking by sign language, and nerve shredding tension, and it’s worth every minute. Just 90 minutes of pure spine-tingling tension, and like ‘Get Out’, this too was directed by a person who came from a comedy background.
So there you have it. These are just ten of the best horror movies of this decade. However, there are a few more horror movies to come out this year that could change the list, including ‘Hereditary’ (to be released in June), and ‘The Nun’ (spin-off of The Conjuring 2 to be released in early September), so there’s a lot still to look forward to.
Want to watch these movies yourself? Nine of these are on DVD and Blu-ray now; ‘A Quiet Place’ is currently in cinemas.
- By Corey Denford