It is traditional at this time of year to revisit old classic horror movies and have them turn the screws on your psyche all over again. There is something comforting about revisiting old classics like The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby, Suspiria, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Exorcist and discovering their power to scare is little diminished even after many decades of familiarity and endless references in popular culture. The classics have a power that will endure for many Halloweens to come.
But what about horror in the modern era? Is it back from the dead, or did it have the final nail hammered in its coffin many years ago? These are the questions that have lurked around the genre for many years. Creativity is a hard beast to capture in modern story-telling and this is particularly true in modern horror. The ghosts of old tales lurk around the minds of modern directors – it is very hard for them to cover new ground in the most well-worn of movie genres. The problem with horror is that it has always been easy for it to fall into cliché and formula once the initial terror of the premise has become familiar. How many slasher franchises for example, kill their concept with endless franchise sequels? Looking at you, Halloween.
Long-term horror fans yearn for new nightmares and primal fears to be uncovered. There is something thrilling about being unsettled particularly around Halloween.
The problem with mainstream studio horror is that it is often aimed at a young teen audience, many of whom might be uneasy for the wrong reasons about watching films made before 2000. This means old ideas can be recycled, hackneyed jump scares can be endlessly milked for cheap thrills and derivative films can be repackaged for unsuspecting younger audiences. This for me is the big problem with the very inauthentic Conjuring series. The Nun for example, was an endless string of recycled ideas stolen from The Omen and The Exorcist. Hopelessly un-scary unless you had never seen a classic horror film.
Horror is at it’s most unnerving when it is raw and made outside of the mainstream studio system. It is unlikely that we will ever see another era like the 70s, the golden age of horror, where the films got naturalistic, real, psychological, authentic and seriously scary.
While we may never see another time of terror as remarkable as the seventies, the genre is doing enough to stave off its obituary. In the last two years, it has undergone a renaissance. Every now and then a director finds a way to totally reinvigorate an old theme. In the last two years there have been more than a few signs that the genre is rising from the dead….
If you are looking for some Halloween-appropriate thrills and chills, the following films could well provide.
15. Mandy (2018)
An acid-soaked psychotropic trip of a horror film, Mandy has the most lucid day-glow visual style seen in horror for a number of decades. It’s a throwback to horror styles of the eighties, a mixture of garish aesthetic Dario Argento style, eerie backlit smoke scenes like John Carpenter’s The Fog and deranged fiends who could stand comfortably along the pantheon of demons from Hellraiser.
Mandy has a simmering slow-burn sense of dread directed with a strangely slow pacing by director Panos Cosmatos. It’s like some sort of hazy midnight nightmare and has a use of color flare, shadow and mist that gives it a hypnotic twisted beauty. It also has Nic Cage, delivering another, emotionally over-the-top, utterly deranged Nic Cage performance. It seems like a horror movie pitched towards fans of retro death metal – reflected in the late Johann Johannson’s ominously atmospheric metal tinted score; there’s a lot of imagery that tips its hat to the twisted dark fantasy imagery of rock metal album covers too. For me, the hyper-stylized, luminous aesthetics were so ethereal, they offered a chance of a better supernatural story, than the underwhelming, conventional revenge fantasy at the heart of Mandy. The quality of the first strange and unnerving first hour, makes the second hour a victim of the first’s success. It takes an age to reveal the core drive of the story and when it does, if you are not a hardcore gore fan or lurid horror imagery enthusiast, you might start to see that there are a lot more genre conventions in the narrative and you can practically join the dots of Nic Cage’s character’s plan of execution. Having the often overwrought Nic Cage stops the full tragedy of the story impacting, but on the other hand you have no limits Nic Cage, who brings a sense of over-the-top cartoon histrionics to action now; seeing him do such mad things as battle with a chainsaw and light a cigarette with a flaming skull is highly, wryly amusing. Seeing a somewhat conventional horror story twisted out of shape due to spaced-out drug fueled madness does give Mandy something unique and its dark, brooding, nightmarish quality haunts long after viewing.
14. IT (2017)
Most people agree now that there are few things as scary as clowns. And what is really disconcerting is that clowns are real, even having their own scientific phobia categorization: coulrophobia. With so many people admitting to coulrophobia, freshening up of ideas in Stephen King’s classic IT was timely. Pennywise is really a demon in clown form, so a demon who likes to deliver his scares with a wry sense of fun-house humour provided an entertaining and jolt-inducing macabre carnival of twisted fun. Horror movies can often become repetitive, but as Pennywise tailored his nightmarish opinions around each character’s personal fears, it meant that visually and psychologically there was a lot more variation in the horror. Tim Curry played his Pennywise as a creepy older guy with a 50 cigarettes a day gruff voice, in the original made for TV two part drama. In a contrast that justified a reboot Pennywise, here he was a bit more clown like, with a sly amusement factor and an un-nerving over-sized clown baby appearance to haunt your nightmares.
13. Veronica (2018)
For someone who loves horror films, I’m not a great believer in the supernatural. Yet I’d sooner plunge a knife into my own arm, than dabble with a Ouija board. One of the things horror cinema has taught us is this is not a board game to be played with. Yet, curious teenagers continue to seek them out. One such teenager was Estafania Gutierrez Lazaro. In the film, she tried to contact her deceased father with one of the dreaded boards. Big mistake: some unknown force was released and what exactly happened to the girl is much more disturbing than most other Ouija board stories. When you see the strange and alarming occurrences that torment the girl and the three siblings she is in charge of protecting, you’d think it is the stuff of creative fiction. There’s a police officer who witnesses something at the start of the film that prompts such a look of shock on his face, that it gives the film an unlikely gravitas as well as a sense of suspense about what he actually witnessed. The film does muster about five good bonafide scares, and an atmosphere of unease, but on the whole it is a pretty standard haunting story. However, there are numerous accounts of Netflix viewers turning it off on grounds that it is too scary to finish. As there is so much police procedure involved in the story, you get a sense that it is real, enticing you to google what it is based on and when you do that, that is when the real chills will get provided. It turns out that the true story behind Veronica, is even more spine-tingling and chilling than anything that happens in the film. If anything, they toned down what actually happened in the film – and the patriarchal ghost figure in the real story is far more threatening than in the actual film. It’s not every day that police are faced to explain the paranormal, but in the case behind Veronica they were; and their lack of credible explanation gives the story and the film an authenticity that lift it above the bog standard jump scare horror on offer elsewhere.
12. Cargo (2018)
Martin Freeman seemed an unlikely lead in a horror movie before this year, but he has been one of the lead actors in two good horror films on this list, the first being this unusual Australian set zombie film. Locating a zombie movie in the outback of Australia freshens up the conventions of the genre really well. Zombie outbreaks taking place in the red clay wilderness of Australia’s bush, creates some interesting and fresh visuals. There is an inventive use of aboriginal culture as the indigenous people have their own methods of dealing with the increasing masses of the un-dead. The harshness of the zombie film is often off-set with the other side of the genre: the sense of unlocked love when the central character is forced to contemplate a course of action when a family member is contaminated. And in Cargo, that’s where Freeman comes in. He’s convincing as a sensitive dad gaining strength in a determination to protect his newborn baby from the virus. Just when you think that so many zombie movies have arisen that they are indistinguishable from one another, Cargo comes along with a totally new spin on the genre conventions.
11. The Ritual (2017)
Having a group of friends travel off into the woods is almost a sure-footed path to cliché in the post -Blair Witch Project era. The fact that The Ritual steps out of the shadow of the Blair Witch and wanders down its own wonderfully weird pathway, is due to a range of factors. Firstly, the protagonists are not a group of naive teens, but a closely connected gang of forty-something men, who would presumably have steely resolve in the face of uncertainty. Secondly, something happens at the start of the film, a startling and unsettling event, that fractures their long friendships just enough for a simmering tension to creep in. Its grounded believably allows the film a platform for the tension to arise. Unusually authentic character exchanges help take you on their increasingly foreboding journey deeper into an ominous forest. When strange things start occurring hinting at potentially occult-connected residents in the woods, you are swept into the same feelings of dread and unease as the central characters are. The key to horror working is always much more to do with the characters than the occurrences. If you build a sense of realism around your characters, audiences can be hooked into believing things that may otherwise seem a stretch. The Ritual plays that trick rather well. If you keep your audience in the dark about a potential exclamation for the threat that lurks behind the sense of dread, you can generate a deeply unnerving atmosphere. The Ritual manages to do this for an impressive length of time and although the explanation does owe a great debt to certain cultist films of the past, and is more than a little silly, you are so locked in with the sense of terror the characters have, you just go with it.
10. Ghost Stories (2018)
Anthology horror can usually be hit or miss as the vignettes don’t have time time build a necessary sense of dread or connection with the characters. With that in mind, Ghost Stories is the most successful example of the horror anthology since Trick R Treat or VHS. It has an interesting central character: a paranormal skeptic hailing from the Dana Scully school of paranormal cynicism. He spends his time unceremoniously exposing TV psychics. This gives the film a neat setup as you have a central character less likely to be scared by any of the supernatural tactics than the audience.
He’s told by his paranormal debunking hero that he has to investigate three ghost stories that will shake his certainty that the supernatural is fake. The film sets itself a task to present to him and you that there can be evidence of the paranormal. That is a tough challenge for any horror movie to take on, as we really now need to see something we haven’t seen before. The film then plays a clever trick, efficiently building some spooky scares that are creepy, if a little underwhelming to prove that film’s central conceit to us and the central character. But the film has some audacious but plausible and oddly poignant tricks to play, that first allow it to get seriously weird and creepy, then ultimately provide a satisfying pay-off that neither you or the character could ever see coming. With two experimental zombie movies –The Girl With All the Gifts and The Cured – there are signs that the long dormant British horror scene is starting to reawaken.
9. Halloween (2018)
Has there ever been a forty year time gap between film and sequel? Halloween has had countless reboots and sequels, so director David Gordon Green wipes the slate clean, eliminating all the messy story-lines that have occurred in the many, many sequels to John Carpenter’s seminal slasher. Forty years is a lot of time for off-screen emotional baggage to have been built up in the skewed psyche of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode. We meet her hardened by trauma. She’s estranged from her daughter, who has had to endure a childhood shaped by the paranoia of her victimized mother; she’s run out of patience with her mother’s obsession with Michael Myers and now deems our former teenage scream queen mentally damaged beyond repair. Laurie almost needs another Michael Myers knife spree, to prove that her preparation was not irrational but prescient and with Myers being transferred from his mental hospital on All Hallow’s Eve she might just get her chance to confront her bogey man and settle her mind…
The world has changed a lot since Halloween (1978) came along and ignited a craze for murderous, mask-wearing psychopaths. In the post ‘me too’ movement, the very idea of a slasher movie makes people seem nervous for different reasons. Vulnerable screaming girls running from knife-wielding masked men, isn’t going to work in the age of female-driven defiance of abuse. But Halloween works as it’s aware of this and sets itself up as a massive chance for Laurie to fight back against the figure who ruined her life. Jamie Lee Curtis’ character undergoes the kind of transformation Linda Hamilton’s went through in Terminator 2. She’s no longer carefree and innocent, she’s tough, fearless, and in possession of both the strength and arms to vanquish her tormentor.
The character development means there is a lot more reason to revisit this seemingly exhausted franchise than anniversary nostalgia. It is made with a lot of love, respect and understanding of the original. The film’s spirit is encapsulated in the opening credits when a decaying jack-o-lantern is playing in reverse shot and comes back to health. This captures the film’s intention to resurrect a dead franchise by inverting the original. It does this very well, with Myers’ attack scenes having just enough of a tweak to create tension all over again. Perhaps there are a number of scenes that make more sense in terms of homage to the original rather than story-logic, but overall Blumhouse have justified doing a new Halloween movie. In the past few years, the flood gates have opened on women coming forward to confront their real-life monsters; Michael Myers has been offered up here as an effigy. It’s a chance for three generations of women whose lives have all been affected directly or indirectly by his cold-hearted crimes, to fight back. In that sense, this is the right horror movie to come out in the post ‘me too’ movement. Women are as mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore. It’s only right that this should infiltrate the horror genre.
8. 1922 (2018)
Isolated farmlands surrounded by cornfields is always an enticing platform to build a horror film on. This Netflix-produced Stephen King adaptation boasts a chillingly steely performance from Thomas Jane. Horror films can really get in your head when seemingly ordinary characters decide to take a pathway towards evil in pursuit of personal gain. It’s possible to sympathize with the character’s plight, but not his plan; the details of which are revealed in the character’s cold chilling inner monologue. The element of sympathy the character garners for his predicament, allows the film to sink its hooks into your psyche. It has a simmering Hitchcockian tension and some stark, brutal and shocking imagery that lingers in your mind for days after viewing. Rats are inherently creepy, and their presence is cleverly woven into the fabric of the story as a stark horror gains a supernatural element. Going to extreme crimes to gain wealth is always an-ill-advised step for a character to take. It’s a a familiar story arc given, a renewed sense of horror in this chilling and dark period-set cautionary tale.
7. The Girl With All the Gifts (2017)
George Romero is rightfully credited as the founder of the cinematic zombie, but even he struggled to find a way to make the idea of a more mentally refined un-dead population seem plausible.
What was thrilling about The Girl with all the Gifts, is that it found a way to bring the idea of an un-dead apocalypse into the modern age. Zombie movies usually start with a clear sense of what macabre madness is unfolding; in a refreshing approach, the first twenty minutes of this earthy British film created a sense of uncertainty of what level or indeed which characters were the real threat. Was it the seemingly innocent children who were wheeled up in chairs designed to restrain the likes of Hannibal Lecter? Was it Glenn Close’s eerily focused scientist? Or was it the edgy military types patrolling within the under-bunker, unwilling to give the chair-bound children an inch of freedom? This unsettling atmosphere of uncertainty made the film deeply immersive. The patient start to the film built up significant levels of tension, so when the film exploded into life to reveal the dangers, it had done enough to sink its teeth into its audience and from that moment, it did not let up.
What followed was a film that consistently found new ideas and direction in a seemingly saturated market. The central character, Melanie (played by Sennia Nanua), yet another astonishing child performance, had a mesmerizing mix of sweet charm and feral primal energy. She is the reason why this was such a thought-provoking film.
Usually, the zombie movie is used as a comment on the decadence of society. Here there was social commentary of a different kind with an oddly optimistic attitude towards a zombie apocalypse. There was a sense that the demise of man may prompt the evolution of other creatures.
Director Colm McCarthy used the concept to explore the arrogance of our self-imposed place at the top of the food chain and something quite unique began to happen when the characters’ fight for survival twisted into reflections of how certain our place on this earth really is. It was the evolution of the zombie movie then in more ways than one. The best zombie movie in years.
6. The Apostle (2018)
Director Gareth Evans clearly sets out here to make a horror movie in the raw, grim tough tradition of British classics like The Wickerman; The Devils and Witchfinder General. The Apostle is not only worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with those films, but it steps out of their ominous shadow, shaking off a sense of familiarity quite early and then it starts to do something very different with the period set Medieval horror film. We are taken to a strange island in which we are told the sister of the central protagonist has been held for purposes of ransom by an imposing leader of a cult, (played superbly by Michael Sheen). Dan Stevens needs to infiltrate the weird, fundamentalist community by convincing the leaders he is a follower of the faith, but there are secrets, lies and weird mythologies which will work against him.
The Apostle stays engaging and unnerving throughout as each act introduces a new unforeseen, deeply shocking and surprising element which heightens intrigue, unnerves thickening the sinister atmosphere of dread in the film.
The film seems to owe a debt to Robert Egger’s really eerie The Witch (2016) as it’s a period-set horror film, that gains its threat by creating a community in which health of the lands and the mindset of the people seems to be warped by insane religious dogma.
The film is unflinching, and punishing as we see leaders with ego-driven messiah complexes and a community driven to madness by the fear of god. Like The Witch, the hard edge to the horror is a cautionary tale of how well-intentioned religious doctrine can be dangerous to the mind and community, with faith in false prophets.
Evans is clever enough to take key elements from horror mythology and subvert them. There is a vague supernatural element that creeps quietly into the story, which has quite an effect due to its unexpectedness.
I was both excited and nervous when I heard about The Apostle as it is made by a Welsh director; stars one of Wales’ best actors; and was filmed in Bridgend in Wales, with Welsh studio help. After twenty minutes I forgot about those elements as I was immersed in this dark, deranged and suspenseful horror film.
5. The Wailing (2017)
When Western horror was locked in a torture porn dungeon in the early 2000’s, it was Asian horror movies that emerged, being as they were, psychological, eerie and full of a sense of dread about all that is dark in the world. In the last few years, South Korean horror has had a bit of a resurgence with first a barnstorming take on the zombie movie, in Train to Busan. And secondly, this unnerving genre-splicing horror film. The Wailing is a hefty two-and-a-half hours, but justifies its running time with an inventive plot and shape-shifting story that undergoes numerous tonal shifts. What starts out as a hilarious horror comedy as a bumbling easily unnerved police officer struggles to contain a virus that rips through his village, eventually becomes a ruthlessly dark and unflinching supernatural chiller. The director impressively finds a way to shift gears from monster fable to zombie movie, to ghost story to demonic possession in quite a convincing way.
The fact there are so many elements at play in the film means a lot of intrigue and suspense builds up as you try to deduce an explanation for what is unleashing such dark forces in such an innocuous village. The film is a riff, possibly even a satire on the hostility directed at foreigners when things start to go wrong. A lot of the plot centres around a Japanese man whose presence uneases locals in a South Korean village. A lot of the tension that arises says something about racial conflict, but it is quite interesting to see this played out in a different culture.
The story builds to an inventive, utterly unnerving climax that has set so many different supernatural elements up, that there is a lot of mystery to what is the cause which the film capitalizes on with a really unusual ending.
One thing that unsettles so much about Asian horror films is the sense that the central character’s vulnerability can be used against them, the vibe of Asian horror films usually chime with the harshness of reality than the rules of storytelling. It’s worth watching to see just how differently a South Korean exorcism is handled from a Western one – in one of the many intense scenes in this original hyper-supernatural film.
4. A Quiet Place (2018)
In A Quiet Place, no one can hear you scream. Heck, no one can even here you snap a twig, as the consequences for making any noise at all is being ravished by sound sensitive extra-terrestrial beasties. They offer no explanation for their acute response to noise – they just devour you. Understandably, planet Earth has been changed. We are a noisy lot, so many of us haven’t survived. The ones who have creep around, using sign language to communicate and trying desperately not to step on anything. This is such a neat concept that it is actually both genius and obvious. It is quite amazing that no one has come up with it before. It’s strange that the person who stumbled on such an undiscovered gem of an idea: was John Krasinski, that bloke who played Martin in the American remake of The Office. He writes and stars alongside an ever excellent Emily Blunt. It turns out that he is a rather accomplished director as his original concept creates an extraordinary level of suspense and tension in A Quiet Place. This was one of the best cinematic experiences in the cinema this year, as there is an odd connectivity between the characters on the screen and the people in the theatre seats. What happens on screen is mirrored in the crowd; this is highly unusual. The film completely silenced the popcorn munchers and candy wrapper rattlers, who became as fearful of making noise in a eerily silent film as the characters up on screen. This duality of tension was extraordinarily gut-churning to experience. Hopefully it doesn’t lose this edge for the home viewing crowd. The sound of silence being broken has never been so chilling.
3. Hereditary (2018)
One of the rules of horror cinema is to get the characters right in order to drag the audience into the horror. Hereditary was exceptionally successful at doing this. It didn’t achieve this by making you like the family at the centre of the story, but instead it created a believable mounting tension between them and a growing sense of dread around their inability to understand each other’s point of view. There is a palpable sense in Hereditary that the ever-fraying relationship between mum (played by Toni Collette) and son is going to lead to major disturbances. There’s a brilliantly realized exchange at a dinner table between them that has you shifting as uncomfortably in your seat as you would if it happened at a real dinner party you had attended. You realize that this has all had the effect of getting its hooks deep in your psyche and deeply involved in the emotional conflict.
What Hereditary does expertly well is present a cliché and then completely wrong-foot you with a sly side-step away from convention. As it does this, it delivers a sucker-punch of an emotional blow, almost as a punishment for wrongfully assuming the direction would be derivative. Take the little girl. She’s got a weirdness to her that screams something supernatural in the vein of Carrie. Director Ari Aster plays with that and absolutely flaws its audience with how exactly that character’s story is woven into the narrative, not once, but several times. If you think it is hackneyed you are not looking close enough; very few horror films ever reach this level of emotional intensity. This film picks you up, throws you around in your chair and forces you to feel something. It put me through the emotional wringer to such an extent that I was physically flailing around in my seat, like a person possessed. This was simultaneously thrilling and upsetting. No detachment here – it shakes off your sense of apathy many times over.
It takes its time to build such a tragic emotional dynamic between the characters, that by the time the supernatural element is brought in you feel like you’ve gone through enough bruising emotional blows that you are a member of their family. The fact that the director seems concerned with providing scares at the malevolent end of the supernatural spectrum, gives the film intensity that disturbs the soul. It doesn’t matter that we have seen a lot of the supernatural stuff done in other films, it is so frightening because of the emotional investment, the uneasy sense that the characters are mentally unraveling and just how much intent of malice is in the film – on and off the screen, There has been a lot of hyperbole talk that this is the new Exorcist. This is way off the mark, the right level of buzz but the wrong film reference: there is a sense that the characters are doomed due to an unseen force conspiring against them; that makes Hereditary a lot more like a Rosemary’s Baby for the modern generation. Disturbing; emotionally hard-hitting and outrageously scary.
2. Raw (2017)
Shocking provocative, but oddly subtle and delicately handled in a way only European Art-house cinema can achieve, Raw is one of the most memorable horror films of the century. The story about a veggie veterinarian student who pursues a recently awoken taste for iron in a way no human should, is a horror film that strengthens and becomes even more disturbing on subsequent viewings.
What’s clever about the direction of the film, is that the central character’s story slightly shifts on second viewing, when you realize the full meaning of the girl’s disturbing appetites. On first viewing, it seems as if the girl is losing a battle with a moral dilemma and being corrupted by the brutal institution she is encamped in, leading her down an ill-advised pathway that is increasingly demented. On second viewing, you realize just how much unease has been awoken in the girl’s soul and how ingrained her appetites are in her blood. She’s more sympathetic on second viewing, as you realize she is as powerless to resist her carnal urges as a relapsing junkie who has found a stash of heroin. This renewed interpretation seems to add a new element of power to the expertly handled shocks.
There’s a genius scene where a perceived food-poisoning looks like something far more chilling the second time around. Plenty of scenes occur which deepen in meaning and significance on further viewings. It’s a horror film that seems a very different beast on revisitation, almost supernatural. Raw manages to be simultaneously depraved and classy, and leaves audiences with a hunger for a new wave of European horror films.
1. Get Out (2017)
Socio-political commentary is something the horror movie has done very well. For evidence, see the closing shots of Night of the Living Dead, which delivers a stark racial message as a sting in the tale. In that respect, Jordan Peele’s Get Out has something in common with George Romero’s masterpiece. They both build to uncomfortable endings that deliver a thoughtful message on race.
The genius of Get Out though was it was a horror film that gained its ability to shock and unnerve from a form of racial tension that is unmistakably present day. It built its sense of unease and dread from a less visible more undercurrent sense of race-based issues in society. When the bemused central character meets the tellingly awkward family of his white girlfriend, it is not an outward hostility but an over-enthusiasm towards racial difference that causes the discomfort and provides the platform for a film that works both as an excellent horror film and a prescient social satire.
There is a sense in the film that the Middle Class baby boomer generation are a little too eager to experience what they think it is to be black. One of the many things that is clever about the film is that the story does give you a sense of the awkward tension that black people must face every time someone makes a well-intentioned, but misjudged race-based comment. You get to experience the full effect of how draining this must be from the expertly telegraphed looks of incredulity on lead actor Daniel Kaluuya’s face as his looks of bemusement shift to expressions of outright concern.
There is evidently an insidious threat to all the outward fervour to race shown by the awkwardness of the people the lead character encounters in this strange community. The film brilliantly took inspiration from Rosemary’s Baby and the Stepford Wives, with a plot that has a sense of conspiracy surrounding the central character, who is unaware of just what the strange signs are indicators of. The reveal was so twisted it was impossible to predict, with a finale that sent audiences reeling, in one of the most inventive and important horror films of the century.
Is Netflix the new house of horror?
One of the reasons horror has had a hard time in the last few decades is that cinema has been increasingly targeted at younger, disposable cash flush 15-year-olds. The 18 certificate movie was prominent in eras when cinema was more attended by adults. Many films now are major victims of this, as fewer movies get made and horror has become sanitized. Since then, fewer studios have wanted to fund the 18 movie as they are not so commercially viable.
Netflix have a different remit to a lot of the studios since they want to generate a lot of content and seem to realize that the horror genre has a lot of dormant potential.
Netflix seems to be positioning itself as the new house of horror. As studios become ever more conservative in their attitude to new ideas, the streaming service seems a lot more daring and willing to green-light projects that would not get made elsewhere. A lot of the films on this list were made by Netflix and they have a nice line in horror tinted sci-fi too, like Annihilation, a film I will talk about in my end of year best of list.
Go to the horror section on Netflix and there is increasingly more self-commissioned original content. If there is ever going to be a new wave in horror films, there is more of a hint that this could come from Netflix. If the horror film genre is bursting back out of the grave, Netflix were the company that loosened the nails in its coffin.
Thanks for reading.
Have a fiendish Halloween horror fans.