October is the perfect month for horror movies because of Halloween.
Here, I’ve gone into detail about some of the best horror movies of the last couple of years that you may have missed.
Many end up watching the same horror movies every Halloween. With this list, you’re sure to find at least one movie that you haven’t seen yet.
Scroll down to find something that you can watch through your fingers this Halloween!
1) Best Modern Horror Movies – Black Swan
The immortal question of the “Madonna or the whore” is alive, well and evident in the movie “Black Swan” starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Winona Ryder. To horror viewers they will instantly recognize and be familiar with the intensity and passion that is a mainstay in all melodramatic horror on the market, past and present.
For the viewers who are more prone to appreciate the aesthetics of the cinema, then “Black Swan” handles its business there as well – with the graceful dancing of the actresses who fought so hard to make their scenes seem like the work of professional ballerinas.
While the movie has a lot of high powered talent, it is Portman who steals the show. Despite allegations that came out later that she may have not done all her dancing scenes, the way that she portrays the innocent-yet zealously ambitious-Nina is a work of near genius.
“Swan” follows the story of three ballerinas in the New York City ballet. When dancer Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) is replaced by the ballet’s artistic producer then Nina is the most logical choice to fill the void in the premiere of the ballets signature production Swan Lake. However there is a little competition as a new dancer named Lily (Kunis) starts to attract the admiration of the director.
The production of Swan Lake requires that the star is able to play the white swan and black swan. The white swan is the embodiment of Nina-full of innocence and grace-while the black swan is more like Lily-provocative, sensual and full of sinful pride. The competition builds and the two dancers, despite their passionate competition, are drawn to each other and form a sick sort of friendship.
Nina realizes that there is a side of the world and herself that she must harness and then nourish if she has any hopes of growing as a person and winning the lead role. Things start to backfire on Nina though, when she starts to become too in touch with her dark side. She quickly becomes reckless and too loose for her own good. Will it destroy her or will she be able to harness here ambition and drive enough to realize that talent and career are not worth losing one’s sense of self?
Compounding Nina’s issue is that her ex-ballerina mother, played by Barbara Hershey, stalwartly supports her daughter’s ambition and is trying to push her daughter further into the world of competitive ballet at any cost.
The Delivery of Horror
“Black Swan” is a dark and terrifying look at a person’s need to feed and appease the monster that is self-drive and a highly competitive world with the compromise of their own morals. Or is it the evident fact that is almost TOO EASY for a person to realize that sin may be feel better than purity and switch to a darker role in life?
2) Best Modern Horror Movies – Frozen
Just when you might start thinking that the thriller/horror genre is getting pulled further and further from reality with the inundation of vampire and werewolves, there comes a movie that is set in more of a realistic setting with a truly frightening premise. Frozen takes a very simple scenario and turns it into a terribly horrible ordeal.
The icy settings of a mountain ski resort are refreshing as well as a turn away from the populated cities, high schools and campsites that run rampant through the horror genre. The dark, snowy woods can be a frightening place.
Anyone who has ever been on a ski lift that stops momentarily can probably feel the immediate terror that the main players in Frozen feel. If it happens to you then your mind tends to set off in the “what if I were stuck up here” direction. Even in the sunlit cascades of a nice ski day your mind drifts to a dark night, howling winds and nocturnal predators lurking about below you. If you can’t relate to a ski lift than no doubt similar feelings arise in tunnels, on subways, and over bridges.
Frozen is masterfully paced as it turns out the larger dilemma and then a series of smaller ones that must be worked through. The movie keeps going at every turn and is sneaky so that when the feel of juvenile stupidity seems overwhelming the actors are terrorized when reality finally sets in and they realize that trouble is lurking.
The ski lift stops and the running lights go out. The three occupants quickly realized that the ski resort is most likely going to be closed until the next weekend. So the occupants take matters into their own hands and make their way down to the solid ground. The sudden halting of the lift and a precarious trip downward, builds the thick tension that will reside through the rest of the flick.
Once on the ground the three friends realize that there are powers about that puts hypothermia second in their mind. What follows is a frozen grasp for survival and tension. The drama unfolds, the problems keep arising and the fear is non-stop.
The Delivery of Horror
Frozen delivers on the horror because in a genre made up of the spectacular it is easy to find “real” as being particularly scary. The viewer is immediately thrown into a “what if that were me” dialogue in their mind. How would I act? With panic? With dignity? At what point does it become an everyman for themselves situation?
It is a situation that may happen to any group of friends on winter break from college or a yearly outing. There are always stories on the news of people being stranded on mountain and frozen to death. Add a little bit of the horrifyingly unknown and the panic and tension rises so that you’re sitting on the edge of your seat and wondering where your kids are.
3) Best Modern Horror Movies – Let Me In
Anytime a movie is a remake of a European hit it will often open to some strong critical reviews. This happened with “Let Me In” in 2010. The Swedish film in 2008 titled “Let The Right One In” was considered the perfect horror movie by Swedish standards and American standards alike. Some critically questioned: “Why try to improve upon an already extraordinary film?”
“Let Me In” quieted the critics, delighted viewers, and presented the world with an improvement of the Swedish hit. Director Matt Reeves scoffed at the word “unnecessary” and later had many film critics apologizing and looking forward to his next movie. It is a vampire movie after all and who does the undead better than Americans?
Despite all the success of the Swedish version, “Let Me In” plays out more like a horror movie from the beginning. The scenes are darker. The plot thicker with the horror element and more graphically distorted. For example, in the 2010 version we see a vampire explode in the sunlight. The camera and shot gets up nice and tight as we see her agony and bloody suffering.
While “Let The Right One In” may be the more powerful movie “Let Me In” is the better horror movie. And as it should be; the American version plays more to the dramatic and theatrical while the Swedish version centers around the romantic and the fleeting despair of the characters.
“Let Me In” tells the story of young boy, Owen, who is a victim of bullying at school and is forced to become a recluse in his own house. Afraid and without friends, Owen takes his aggressions out it in the tree next to his house. Soon he befriends the new neighbor, Abby, who is wise beyond her years and the charge of a caretaker. Abby has a dark secret though and one of the consequences of that dark secret is that she can’t be out before the sun sets.
By the time Owen realizes that something may be amiss about his new friend his attachment to her has strengthened in their bond has formed. As Abby becomes more and more vulnerable, and Owen’s bullies are becoming more and more blatant, theirs is a bond strengthened and mutually beneficial.
However, the caretaker disappears and numerous bloody murders are taking place throughout the city. Will their bond be able to survive Abbey’s truth? How needy is Owen for friends and companionship? Each child is trapped in their own misery one of constant fear of the undead and one of middle school. They’re both right for each other to let in.
The Delivery of Horror
“Let Me In” is a true horror movie. Exploding vampires, dark scenes, and the innocence of youth are all present. The movie spectacularly compares and contrasts fear of something horrible but so totally different. This makes the discomfort of each child seem even more severe and touches each viewer in the heart. Once that emotional bond is formed with the characters you feel every fear and tear.
3) Best Modern Horror Movies – Rare Exports
“Santa is buried here,” are not the words you’d expect to find in a Christmas or holiday themed movie. However, that’s just what you get in this horror/fantasy. “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” is a movie that is designed to still deliver holiday morals but also scare the wits out of you.
Although still a holiday movie it is much different than the common claymation, puppet shows, and cheery animation that we see towards the end of every year. There are no cute reindeer. There is no jolly Santa Claus. This movie consists solely of deviants, a strange town in northern Finland, and a plan to uncover the tomb of old St. Nick.
Again, the burial ground of Santa Claus is a novel idea in holiday movies to say the least. One almost doesn’t believe its occurrence in the movie and it is almost comical until dismembered reindeer and sacks full of kidnapped children appear.
The town where the movie takes place is rough around the edges. The men are men. The boys are supposed be men. And the women or near nonexistent. Many scenes have the men and boys riding snowmobiles with rifles across their back.
High above the settlement looms a mountain where there is a commercial dig going on by a multinational company. The man in charge of the dig is convinced that he is on track to find the tomb of Santa Claus. As his team digs they find moral instructions and warnings such as “don’t smoke” and “don’t say bad words” and other rules against being “naughty”. The team eventually does find Santa but what comes with this discovery it not what they expected.
Since the diggers have ignored the warnings, once Santa Claus is found and unleashed the settlement below pays for the indiscretion. A large herd of reindeer, of what the townies must have considered to be a lucrative and a great commodity, is found slaughtered.
Unbeknownst to the company diggers two children have snuck a peek at their discovery. Once the reindeer are slaughtered the children start doing research on the origins of Santa Claus. Evidently the town is in possession of old tomes (what good horror movie is without tomes!) and what they find out is truly disturbing. The story of the origin of Santa Claus reveals a horned creature that is more intent on killing than giving.
Now the hardened villagers must do battle with the evil creature for the sake of their own survival and to purge the world of the this darkness.
The Delivery of Horror
“Rare Exports” is able to deliver the most part it does because of the novel idea of making simple. Mutilated reindeer and sacks full of children so contrast with our image of the holidays and old St. Nick that the impact is threefold and our surprise leaves us vulnerable.
The opening and doing the things socially and morally weak, the villagers are hardened yet odd, and Santa turns out be a maniacal creature.
5) Best Modern Horror Movies – Red, White and Blue
Red White & Blue was called one of the highlights of the year back in 2010 and a more than two years later it is still a relevant and engrossing thriller/slasher horror movie with more than its fair share of twists and turns. It is very frequently a brilliant film and it contains a hint but addictive calling that asks to be watched all the way through in one sitting with no pauses allowed.
Erica is a hardened and somewhat miserable nymphomaniac who seems intent on sleeping with as many men as possible. She moves from man to man and is at peace with herself for it.
Erica is rootless and travels through America spending much of her time in clubs and bars, sleeping around, uprooting and moving on. She eventually winds up in Austin, Texas where she meets Nate who is an Iraq war veteran.
Despite Nate’s seemingly “bad boy” attitude Erica is surprised to find that he does not want to immediately sleep with her and the two form a kind of wary bond and friendship. In their first conversation it is revealed that Nate has a history of torturing small animals but it is also evident that he has a sincere concern for Erica’s promiscuous ways.
Then cometh the darkness.
One of Erica’s sexual conquests, an angry and hopeful rock and roll star named Frankie is brought back into the picture and the possibility erupts that something terrible will involved all three of the characters in the warped triangle.
It is evident since the beginning of the show that all three leads have somehow been dealt a raw deal and that their efforts in life may not deserve the kind of existence each leads. How well each character deals with this lowly situation is what truly develops the suspension and thrills that this horror movie eventually delivers and that viewer suspects will eventually blow up.
The Delivery of Horror
Directed by Simon Rumley, it would be important to point out that Red White & Blue is not a torture porn despite all of the sexual tension, looseness and nudity. It is also not just a love story though there is an underlying story line that brings us in that direction. It is back roads and bars Americana that involves rock and roll, the war overseas and sexual promiscuity. Rumley takes all of the characteristics of reckless youth and lumps them into a dark but touching slasher flick with a deep plot.
Rumley calls on the human existence of three lowly individuals who could have it all going on but just don’t. It is a spectacularly embellished piece of Americana that centers on revenge, anger and near hatred. What would a person do–to what lengths would they go–if jealousy got the better of them? Better yet: put a person who already feels that there is nothing much to lose and make one thing very important to them in the exact same situation and the outcome can be horribly enjoyable and bloody.
6) Best Modern Horror Movies – Tell-Tale
With a movie based on an Edgar Allen Poe short-story that has lived on through the ages it is hard to go wrong if it’s done right. Tell Tale does it right. It is a fresh look at a story that is more than a century old and this film breaths great, inspired life into the original.
It is a re-tooling, that much is evident from the beginning but Tony and Ridley Scott’s newest remake of the classic tale is riveting and dramatic. Tell-Tale can be considered dramatic horror, or science fiction and fantasy horror due to the weird and spectacular foundations that the brothers have poured into it.
The original story of the The Tell-Tale Heart was written in 1843 by Poe and is one of his shorter works. It basically tells of a crazed man that stalks an elderly gentleman. The insane man eventually kills the older man as he is sleeping in bed because he believes that he can hear his heart thumping and it is driving him mad. He dismembers the body and hides it in the floor boards but when the police arrive the man believes that he can still hear the heart beating and is sure that the police can as well. He snaps and admits to the crime.
Tell-Tale changes the look but not the impact of the terror. It has involved modern day scientific and medical knowledge by using a heart-transplant patient at the center of this creepy tale.
Tell-Tale centers around a man that has received a heart transplant that saves his life. But right away something isn’t right. The heart communicates with him and he is drawn to follow it as it leads him on a wild goose chase of non-stop action, dramatic recollections and terror.
The hearts main goal, which becomes the man’s obsession, is to locate clues and the murderer of its previous owner. This heart surely does tell a wicked tale and for a man who just had a transplant you can imagine that the dread and excitement are nearly more than he can handle.
The Delivery of Horror
Our past sins are always around to haunt us and bring back pain or suffering to us. The precious bodily organs that are at the center of the original story and this modern film remake are two very different entities but both cause the downfall of evil men.
While the original did nothing in the way of intelligent and organized planning, the modern Tell Tale heart is a scheming and driving force that uses its host body as a means for revenge. A dead man tells no tales but his heart evidently takes care of business when it is needed to ensure that justice is met and to haunt their aggressors for ever or until vengeance has been struck.
7) Best Modern Horror Movies – The Crazies
In this day and age it takes a lot of gall to remake a horror movie by a thriller legend. Furthermore, it takes loads of talent to make it work as well as The Crazies does. However, that is just what Breck Eisner (Sahara) and Ray Wright (Pulse) attempted and accomplished with the re-hashing of George A. Romero’s 1973 shock/horror film The Crazies. And just like the original it is intelligent and tense with superb film shooting and the horror stands in columns like an imposing Greek temple.
It is a modern zombie film reincarnated and refashioned. While the reviews of this film and the original don’t go so far as to call the local inhabitants who go insane in the small town of Ogden Marsh “zombies” they are the type of killing machines that is common within the zombie-horror genre. The difference is that these “crazies” are not mindless.
Though the killing is common and often the The Crazies offers sophistication in a “town gone wild” flick which other movies that have attempted the same scenario fail at. The shiny new make-over that has been given to this cult classic will have viewers longing for the hey-day of American horror while at the same time developing a deeper appreciation of today’s genre masterminds.
Looking at a picture of small-town middle America you’ll probably recognize the town of Ogden Marsh with its friendly, happy–but otherwise bland and non-descript–citizens. They are content in their simple lives and town. Then the worst happens.
A mysterious toxin is infecting the people turning and them into raging, crazed maniacs that cannot stop killing each other. They are driven mad and their bloodlust is uncontrollable.
It is left up to 4 people: the sheriff, his pregnant wife, a deputy and a terrified medical assistant to fight of “The Crazies” and also find a way to stop the spread of the toxin’s manically murderous symptoms and save the town.
The Delivery of Horror
For the small town sheriff to determine what could make a man want to murder an entire youth baseball team or a loving father decide to burn his family alive can be quite the daunting task. He has help alright but it comes in the form of fellow local yokels. Can these small-town inhabitants find the hardness to protect themselves and save the city?
The other supremely captured trait in The Crazies that succeeds in scaring the viewer is the knowledge that you are going to have to kill your next door neighbor, butcher or fellow PTA member to be able to survive the epidemic. It is kill or be killed by a friend and these 4 people will have to find it in themselves to get bloody or suffer the similar fate of their neighbors.
8) Best Modern Horror Movies – Devil
You’re in an elevator with five people. Trapped with nowhere to go and then you realize the devil himself is among you. What do you do? That is the basic premise of the movie “Devil“. It is a story written by M. Night Shyamalan and unlike some other of Night’s movies this one actually has a lot of actual horror and stands ready to deliver an invigorating movie that will impress horror aficionados.
Directed by John E. Dowdell of “Quarantine” and written for the screen by Brian Nelson, famous for his work on”30 Days of Nights” this thriller of mystery, suspense, and horror delivers promise that three brilliant minds can bring to a movie screen. The movie is actually the first installment of a set of movies that will be directed by up-and-coming film makers for Night. The series will be called “The Night of Chronicles.”
The movie starts off with five Philadelphia business people getting into an elevator in a downtown office building. The office business of this day is not what a typical day brings however, as sheer terror encompasses the group when the elevator becomes inoperable and stuck between floors. Is the devil personally responsible for this occurrence or is this purely coincidental. Does the devil himself have it out for these people?
Realizing that the devil does exist is bad enough as it is, but doing so in a crowded, broken elevator will make the bravest of men totally break down. And Satan has a plan for these people.
While rescue workers are trying frantically to save them from sure death the unlucky elevator dwellers realize that their only chance for survival is to admit their darkest secrets, most intimate fears, and lay them out in front of each other.
The Delivery of Horror
Although the movie does take place mainly in the small cubicle of an elevator, the plot’s dialogue and suspense are masterfully done. The fear of something as evil as the devil and the prospect of dying in an elevator shaft is superbly portrayed by each actors and actresses. It is evident from the beginning that the devil has something dark and devious up his sleeve however, the way the movie plays out disguises the obvious and the viewer is rewarded with constant suspense.
The movie explores the sin of man and the pure joy the devil gets out of it. The guilt and conscience of man, that pure evil of the devil, and a precarious situation present the viewer with an all-out terror filled experience and never lets us go from beginning. Night’s writing is always tight and perfectly suited for the horror screen. His imagination is as dark as it is spectacular in weird.
“Devil” delivers a traditional horror “feel” by a contemporary horror team. Aficionados of this genre are sure to be delighted and will have no problems at all if Night’s previous reputation might scare them off.
9) Best Modern Horror Movies – Paranormal Activity 2
Paranormal Activity 2 is the second movie in the series but is actually a prequel to the first one, taking place a few months before the events of the first. Viewers who liked the first film will be engrossed by the second and the ones that were less than impressed by the previous movie will be more than mildly surprised at the whollop of horror that the second try was able to get right.
In many respects Paranormal Activity 2 is a better film than the first.
As horror series go, the The Paranormal Activity series is a fast mover. The movies have come almost right on top of each other. The imaginative new story lines to the ghost horror genre and the way in which they are delivered have breathed new life into what is sometimes a sluggish area of the horror genre.
There is only so many times a ghost story can be told but the Paranormal Activity activity seems to be able to find novel an better ways to deliver the hauntings and howlings of the genre. The movie doesn’t transcend the first by many levels but the series itself is fresh and excitingly scary.
When Katie goes to live with her well to do sister in an upscale Los Angeles suburb she brings, what will be in the second one, the onset of bad things that will follow her for a long time to come.
Katie’s sister is happy and secure in her life. She has a newborn baby, a loving husband who has brought his teenage daughter into the picture and a hulking but peaceful dog. It’s the American dream; but not for long.
Once Katie joins the family there is soon evidence of evil spirits about in the house. The Hispanic housekeeper insists that is a haunting. However, when the family returns home to find the residence disheveled the most the husband does is install an alarm system. Katie’s boyfriend and her sister’s husband cannot bring themselves to accept evil spirits but the girls are not quite sure.
When the step-daughter begins to research the matter it seems to make the evilness stronger and perturbed and it could all be due to a dark secret that the family harbors from long ago.
The Delivery of Horror
Paranormal Activity 2 doesn’t offer much in the way of answers to the first movie and it is not its intention to do so. It relies almost solely on the terror filled haunting and screeching of the evil spirits that erupt onto the scene.
The effects are done well and what the story lacks in intricate plotlines is easily made up for in the performances of the cast as we see and feel their horror which is only fueled by their lack of understanding the issues. It is only when the step-daughter begins to seek to understand that these dark forces really show that they mean business.
10) The Best Modern Horror Movies – The Last Exorcism
The Last Exorcism has the feel of the Blair Witch Project and delivers on its chilly expectations. Intelligent thrills and insane effects make this movie a “definite” on the horror watch list.
The Last Exorcism’s purported “found documentary footage” is in the tradition of the Blair Witch%u2026 and Paranormal Activity and helps to darken the drama. Its shaky footage, random swings, and off camera sounds of terror and discomfort bring the viewer along for a great, and horror-filled ride.
Because the main character, Reverend Cotton Marcus, is a scammer it is a lot easier to accept the documentary style filming because we expect it to be a fake anyway. We stick through to the end with the Reverend just waiting for the axe to fall and his game to be up.
The Reverend is a trickster, a scam-artist played beautifully by Patrick Fabian. At one point Fabian actually looks into mirror–directly at the camera–and gives us all a great big smirk, as if to say “can you believe that people actually bought this stuff for so long? I mean, I am goooood!” It is hard not to like and hate the Reverend. We love his confidence and what eventually happens to him and we hate his guile at the same time as we despise his untruth ways. However, it is hardly difficult to feel too bad for priests (or the such) these days.
Our friend Reverend Marcus has been doing exorcisms for a long, long time and he is considered to be a renowned expert. The problem is that all of that expelling of demons has been a hoax. So now, for the last exorcism of his career, he has hired a documentary crew to film it and finally spill the beans to his fans.
However, at the last minute he picks his final “patient” by random. The letter is from farmer in a remote area and it tells Marcus that his 14 year old daughter, Nell Sweetzer, is possessed by the devil and that the Reverend is their last hope for saving her. The letter mentions that Nell is suspected of killing the livestock in gruesome fashion.
With that Marcus slaps a fish symbol on his car (to show his cynicism) and heads to the farm. The most perfect set-up by the demons unfolds as a man who has been playing with fire for far too long is about to find out that demons really do exist.
The Delivery of Horror
With the climbing of walls and the way the possessed Nell talks, acts, and looks, The Last Exorcism is a movie that will cause you to turn the lights on in the house. Ashley Bell is truly horrifying as the possessed Nell. She drowns dolls, kills cats and contorts her body in some scenes while at others she tugs on our heart-strings because of how she plays the little girl in torment.
The Reverend is drawn to this vulnerability, as we are. Will any of us get away with our lives?