It’s hard out here for a horror fan. All we want is a spine-tingling serial killer or bone-chilling ghost or a bloodcurdling zombie – something to make us sleep just a tiny bit worse and check under the bed before crawling in.
But all too often, a supposedly scary flick ends in disappointment, not the sweat-through shirt and soiled pants we were hoping for. High-quality scares are a scarce commodity.
With Halloweekend almost here, there’s no better time to look back on the best new horror movies of 2016. These are the spooky features you’ll want to binge-watch ASAP.
Three reckless, young thieves break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong. The Don’t Breathe trio soon realise they’re in over their heads as truths about the blind man come to light and the lines between villain and victim quickly become blurred.
Critics Say: “Equal parts Texas Chainsaw Massacre and High Tension, this elegant and surprisingly fast-paced blend of horror and suspense overcomes some of its more ridiculous ingredients thanks to endless invention.” – IndieWire
The Conjuring 2
Sequels get a bad rap, but The Conjuring 2 is the exception. Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson reprise their roles as Lorraine and Ed Warren, paranormal investigators who travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.
Critics Say: “With his latest sequel, James Wan has mastered the horror genre, infusing traditional jump scares with genuine character development and stakes.” – IGN
All roads lead to terror in this horror anthology. From the creators of the popular V/H/S trilogy, Southbound follows the fates of a group of weary travellers who are forced to confront their worst fears and darkest secrets in a series of interwoven tales of terror and remorse on the open road.
Critics Say: “Southbound is a prime example of a horror omnibus film: even the weaker segments have something to recommend them.” – Roger Ebert
Silence takes on a terrifying new dimension for author Maddie Young in Hush. After losing her hearing as a teenager, she retreats from society to live alone in the woods in a completely silent world. Young is forced to fight for her life when a masked killer appears at her window, pushing her beyond her mental and physical limits in order to survive the night.
Critics Say: “This is a super creepy affair with some brilliant technical decisions behind the camera and inside the editing room. Hush is no doubt one of the year’s best.” – Dread Central
Will attends a dinner party in the Hollywood Hills hosted by his ex-wife, Eden, and her new husband, David. Amid Eden’s suspicious behaviour and her mysterious house guests, Will becomes convinced that his invite was extended with a hidden agenda. The Invitation blurs layers of mounting paranoia, mystery, and horror until both Will – and the audience – are unsure what threats are real or imagined.
Critics Say: “The shivers arrive early and often in The Invitation, a teasingly effective thriller that builds a remarkable level of tension over the course of its 99-minute running time.” – Variety
10 Cloverfield Lane
Outside is dangerous… inside might be worse. After a catastrophic car crash, a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up in a survivalist’s (John Goodman) underground bunker. He claims to have saved her from an apocalyptic attack that left the outside world uninhabitable. As his increasingly suspicious actions lead her to question his motives, she’ll have to escape to discover the truth.
Critics Say: “10 Cloverfield Lane comes loaded with everything a psychological thriller needs to shatter your nerves — and then kicks it up a notch.” – Rolling Stone
The Eyes Of My Mother
In their secluded farmhouse, a former surgeon teaches her daughter, Francisca, to understand anatomy and be unfazed by death. One afternoon, a mysterious visitor shatters the idyll of Francisca’s family life, deeply traumatising the young girl… but also awakening unique curiosities. Francisca’s loneliness and scarred nature converge years later when her longing to connect with the world around her takes on a distinctly dark form.
Critics Say: “Writer/director Nick Pesce has delivered one of the most startling debuts in quite some time, the kind of smart, mean, and truly unique horror movies that those who claim the genre is dead obviously haven’t seen.” – /Film
It’s Patrick Stewart vs punks in Green Room, a brilliantly crafted and wickedly fun horror-thriller about a diabolical club owner and a resilient young punk band. What seems merely to be a third-rate gig escalates into something sinister when the band witness a murder backstage and must face off against the club’s depraved owner – a man who will do anything to protect the secrets of his nefarious enterprise.
Critics Say: “Green Room has all the makings of a cult classic—one likely to find enthusiastic fans sooner rather than later.” – The Atlantic
New England, 1630: William and Katherine try to lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. The Witch is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own sins, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.
Critics Say: “Robert Eggers’ stunning debut feature is one of the scariest horror movies in years – and not the creep-up-and-prod-you kind of scary either, but a profound, unsettling dread that gnaws at your bones, and which comes back to find you in the dark.” – The Telegraph
Train To Busan
Train To Busan is a harrowing zombie horror-thriller that follows a group of terrified passengers fighting their way through a countrywide viral outbreak while trapped on a blood-drenched bullet train. They’re bound for Busan, a southern resort city in South Korea that has managed to hold off the zombie hordes… or so everyone hopes.
Critics Say: “This film is the real deal: not only will Yeon Sang-ho be the next major Korean filmmaker to watch, but any self-respecting horror fan should run, not walk, to the closest theater showcasing Train To Busan.” – Fangoria