Writer-director David Robert Mitchell (The Myth of the American Sleepover) admits that the basic scary idea of It Follows comes from a recurring dream he experienced as a child – the not uncommon terror of being pursued by something relatively slow but relentless.
A prologue featuring the gruesome death of a previous victim, who runs to the shore and can go no further before her fate catches up with her, makes clear the fatal consequences of being tagged by the pursuer. Having dreamed up a fresh horror menace, Mitchell explores the logic of his own invented mythology.
Even after she’s convinced of her peril, Jay is most upset by the callous treatment he has meted out to her.
Unusually in contemporary horror, Mitchell surrounds his heroine with friends and relatives who are sympathetic to her plight and do their best to help, even if it puts them in jeopardy too.
Mitchell uses the widescreen frame in the manner of vintage John Carpenter, while Disasterpeace (aka Rich Vreeland) contributes a score that evokes Carpenter’s insistent synth sounds but forges its own unique, nerve-scraping identity. Bright spark Maika Monroe, also the ‘final girl’ in last year’s The Guest, leads a young, comparatively unfamiliar cast; in contrast to the way ‘kids’ are represented in much contemporary genre cinema (cf. A recurring nightmare from director David Robert Mitchell’s childhood inspired the menace that threatens the teen victims in his ethereal horror film It Follows, which triumphs in its stubborn refusal to be constrained by genre expectations.
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Much to the pleasure of us horror fans the 21st century has been a bastion for great horror films.
I have based this list off of my own personal favorites as well as the reviews and comments by readers and contributors to our site. Starring Woody Harrelson it tells the story of two guys and two girls crossing across a zombie infested mid west to make their way to an amusement park and salvation from the undead. Remakes as a rule can never hold a candle to the original but Zach Snyders remake of Dawn of the Dead had homage to the original George Romero film while adding in his own elements of action and new characters to make it almost its own movie.
Directed by Toby Wilkins this film was released in an extremely limited way by MAGNET and unfortunately I think alot of you may have missed out on seeing this master piece. A foreign zombie film it is a throw back to Sam Raimi’s EVIL DEAD in both its writing, characters and gruesome yet entertaining zombie carnage. Starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman this one is a psychological thriller which got absolutely rave reviews from readers and critics alike. Get over it, when talking culturally about decades and centuries, people refer to 2000 as the beginning of the 21st century. The absence of THE CABIN IN THE WOODS from this otherwise impeccable list of yours is criminal!
Displaying a level of body horror that would make David Cronenberg lose sleep French import Martyrs is one of the most visceral and terrifying horror movies of the last 15 years.
The film’s central narrative is that of a group of young girls being captured and then psychologically and physically tortured by a mysterious group who at first offer no motive for their actions.
As the film progresses it becomes increasingly difficult to watch with the films final few scenes being ones that are incredibly difficult to shake from memory. Eli Roth’s HOSTEL was way over billed as the most violent film ever made and mainstream press started tossing around TORTURE PORN like crazy.
Rob Zombie as a director made me groan initially but I have to admit he did deliver with not just Devils Rejects but the remake of Halloween as well. Last and by no means least on the list of epic horror movies everyone should see from the 21st century is FEAST. It’s undoubtable that a dark breezy night is the perfect time to cozy up beneath a blanket and watch some of the late-night cutting-edge scary movies. A demonic unit lays statement to family living in an isolated farmhouse, exhorting them to seek the aid of two well-known paranormal researchers in this story of proprietorship inspired by actual events.
The film follows six women who, having entered an unmapped cave system, become imprisoned and are chased by troglofaunal flesh-eating humanoids.
Four weeks after an enigmatic, irrepressible virus spreads all over the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary. College student Samantha Hughes takes a creepy babysitting job that overlaps with a full lunar eclipse.
A journalist inspect a surreptitious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.
A true-crime writer finds a cache of 8mm home movies films that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose career dates back to the 1960s.
Ankur Mehta, an IT Engineer by education, loves to write articles, and is an educator at TGES. The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.
With the Cult section of the BFI London Film Festival offering a tasting menu of the some of the most striking new horror cinema, we got to thinking: what are the best horror films made since the year 2000?
The inclusion of a spanking new 4K restoration of Tobe Hooper’s notorious shocker The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) in the Cult strand at this year’s BFI London Film Festival can’t fail to make horror fans cast a nostalgic eye back to the good old days of genre cinema; a time when horror films felt dangerous and truly subversive, fresh and heart-stoppingly original. From the campy histrionics of the Misery-inspired Shrew’s Nest to the ascetic brutality of Latvia’s first ever horror film, The Man in the Orange Jacket, this year’s LFF has something to keep everyone awake at night. There’s delicious slasher fun to be had in Oliver Blackburn’s Kristy, and probably the most macabre love story you’ll ever witness with Spring. So, as we prepare ourselves for a terror-filled October, let’s remember 10 more great contemporary horror films, which continue to prove that, actually, they do make them like they used to. With his last couple of directorial efforts, The Call (2013) and Stonehearst Asylum (2014), amounting to little more than competent but stylistically anonymous pot boilers, Brad Anderson’s recent decline into mediocrity has been somewhat distressing to witness, not least when one considers the early promise he displayed with the genuinely unsettling Session 9. Infusing the gothic tradition with a neat industrial spin, the film follows a group of workmen employed to remove the asbestos from an old, abandoned mental asylum. A recent favourite among genre lovers, but sadly unknown to most filmgoers outside the horror community, Lucky McKee’s profeminist riff on the Frankenstein story deserves recognition as one of the modern greats.
Distinctive in many ways, not least in its unexpectedly progressive take on sexual identity, and boasting a devastating performance from Angela Bettis in the lead role, this sublime debut is a work of immense sensitivity, not to mention deliciously cruel humour. Comparable to the likes of Jaws (1975) or Alien (1979) as a near-perfect exercise in pure cinematic tension, Neil Marshall’s account of six ill-fated women who embark on the caving expedition from hell is just about as exciting as it comes. Marshall’s expert understanding of space and his use of oppressive darkness make for an out-and-out masterclass in how to build atmosphere, and thankfully he’s not afraid to crank up the carnage when the nocturnal nasties finally do arrive. It’s fair to say that William Friedkin’s 1990 nanny-from-hell romp The Guardian, his first foray into horror since The Exorcist (1973), was something on a disappointment.
Adapted from Tracy Letts’s play about a waitress’s destructive relationship with a man obsessed by delusions of insect infestations and the government, this exploration of psychosis achieves near unbearable levels of intensity, burrowing deep into the escalating mania of its characters, and showcasing a staggering performance from Ashley Judd at its core. Grouped under the evocative banner of New French Extremity, a wave of particularly confrontational films emerged from Gallic shores at the turn of the 21st century.
In a neat twist on the home invasion format that besieged horror cinema of the early 2000s, Inside saw a demented Beatrice Dalle on a maniacal rampage to steal the unborn baby of an expectant single mother, with the help of a rather large pair of scissors.

It’s widely understood that Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s extraordinary debut is a rare example of the modern giallo film, a model made famous by classic Italian filmmakers like Mario Bava and Dario Argento. Tracing the sexual evolution of a young woman in three distinct chapters, the film is an erotic, perverse and often terrifying exploration of female desire and the body, that will delight and quite probably mystify unsuspecting viewers with its surrealistic tendencies, which are as indebted to experimental film form as they are to the horror genre.
There is no denying that this is the work of someone who knows their horror history, and while Ti West’s film is a perfectly realised throwback to the terror titles of yesteryear, it also stands proudly as one of the finest, most authentic horror films to appear in recent memory.
If Mark Hartley’s ozploitation documentary Not Quite Hollywood (2008) taught us anything, it was that no one blends the horrific and the hysterical with quite the same perverse irreverence as the Australians, and with his delirious debut, Sean Byrne proved that Aussie genre cinema is still as gleefully unruly as ever.
When Lola’s advances toward class hottie Brent are rebuffed, she will not take no as an answer, and formulates a killer plan to make her dream prom night a reality.
Touching on themes of family dysfunction, poverty and child abuse, Jorge Michel Grau’s remarkable slice of kitchen-sink grand guignol is a contemplative and challenging genre entry that defies easy categorisation. In among the expertly handled horror sequences are some intriguing observations on notions of familial tradition and responsibility, while a particularly effective subplot revolving around the teenage son’s burgeoning sexuality gives the film unexpected resonance for queer audiences.
In much the same way Amer made reference to the classics of Italian giallo cinema, without necessarily being a giallo per se, Peter Strickland’s arresting Berberian Sound Studio similarly pays tribute to the glory days of Euro-horror (with shades of David Lynch and Brian De Palma also sprinkled throughout) while ultimately coming up with something entirely fresh and distinctive in itself. Set in an Italian film studio in the 1970s, Strickland’s descent into an abstract musique concrete nightmare is a genre lover’s dream, overflowing with in-jokes and references that serve as just minor pieces in Strickland’s complex jigsaw puzzle. Robert Louis Stevenson said the idea for his “fine bogey tale” Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde came to him in a nightmare, while Bram Stoker claimed that he dreamed up Dracula after dining “on a surfeit of dressed crab”. After this shock, the rest of the film gets scares simply by having the mute, murderous spirit walk towards heroine Jay at an even pace, unseen except by those who have been cursed. In the climax, it appears to Jay as her absent (dead?) father; earlier, it kills Jay’s ex Greg while in the form of his (living) mother, battering at his bedroom door, and shows itself to a briefly uncursed Jay creeping into Greg’s house while looking like a sleepwalking Greg. There’s plainly a subtext about STDs and casual sex – the curse’s means of passing from one victim to the next. His assurance that she’ll have no trouble finding someone else to have sex with in order to pass on the curse – because “you’re pretty” – only makes things worse. Note, however, the spark of opportunism in Jay’s male would-be saviours as they volunteer to sleep with her for her own good.
The inspired use of depopulated, post-industrial Detroit (also a locus of the supernatural in Only Lovers Left Alive) gives It Follows a sense of economic apocalypse, but the film is almost as stylised as Brick (or, as Mitchell says, Peanuts) in its depiction of a world with few adult presences, where kids have to cope with their own problems by themselves but also have the freedom to take off for days on end to fight monsters. Eli Roth, Rob Zombie), Mitchell is sensitive to the complicated nuances of teenage friendship, rooting the horror in relationships that are believable and affecting. Admittedly there have been alot of really bad ones but there has also been an abundance of horror that both new and traditional horror fans love and are passionate about.
The films focus on rules of survival made it a smash hit as well as its great writing, unique characters and easily one of the best zombie cameos ever. Extremely creepy and action packed Dawn of the Dead is really the DIE HARD of zombie movies with lots of carnage, great writing and truly believable characters.
I watched it about 2months after I watched MARTYRS and its a toss up on which film is more disturbing. A group of medical students head into the mountains for some camping fun and inadventantly stumble on Nazi zombies and the insane violence adn comedic zombie madness ensues. You are hard pressed to find any horror fans who don’t think that REC is an absolutely visionary zombie film. If you troll or post spam or act like a child we will send you to your room without dinner and take away your posting priviledges. Haute Tension is slick and stylish and scary (id say its modern giallo in some of its stylish cinematography and inventive kills) and INSIDE is just fucking brutal, when people ask what is horror-that movie is pure horror. Talking of horror comedies, I’ve found CABIN much more compelling and wise than both ZOMBIELAND and SHAUN. Hostel is a good film packed with plenty of gore and carnage and is well worth checking out but the focus really is on the violence and not so much the story which admittedly is a unique and well thought out one. The Devils rejects sees a local sherriff going toe to toe with a sadistic and murderous family. The project was made as part of Project Greenlight and is hands down one of the bets mid-budget horror films ever made.
These top five modern day horrors are guaranteed to have you snooping out for inexplicable mysterious sounds. But while it’s tempting to go down the familiar ‘they don’t make them like they used to’ route, the rest of the 2014 Cult selection offers a veritable embarrassment of horror riches, pointing to a genre in rather rude health. David Robert Mitchell follows his gorgeous The Myth of the American Sleepover with the equally gorgeous, but infinitely more terrifying, It Follows, while Carter Smith more than exceeds the promise he showed with his underrated debut The Ruins with the creepily melancholic Jamie Marks Is Dead. There’s even that rarest of all horror rarities, a genuinely great remake in the form of The Town That Dreaded Sundown. As Stanley Kubrick did with The Shining (1980), Anderson finds horrors in the vast and sometimes brightly lit expanses of his majestic setting, and this shrewd reimagining of the familiar haunted house genre feels simultaneously old-fashioned and strikingly modern.
Perhaps cinema’s most sympathetic anti-heroine since Carrie White, May Canady is a shy outcast, lonely and looking for love. McKee’s interest in female-focused horror has developed impressively over the last decade, be it in his savage (and much misunderstood) critique on domestic and sexual abuse, The Woman (2009), or the sassy femme politics of All Cheerleaders Die (2013). Even in advance of the monsters turning up, it’s an ordeal to watch these thrill-seekers make their way through the claustrophobic subterranean labyrinth, and therein lies Marshall’s masterstroke: to craft a horror film that is completely terrifying before the actual horror begins. Be sure to avoid the sanitised US release, which softened the relentlessly downbeat conclusion (and paved the way for 2009’s lacklustre The Descent: Part 2), and stick to Marshall’s nightmarish original cut. Critically mauled and hilariously (or perhaps enjoyably?) misjudged, it seemed to suggest the former master had little left to offer the genre. As a study of modern paranoia, it is up there with the likes of Lodge Kerrigan’s Clean, Shaven (1993) or Todd Haynes’s [Safe] (1995), while its biological preoccupations recall the venereal horrors of a young David Cronenberg to delightfully squirm-inducing effect. While the transgressive terrors of works like Trouble Every Day (2001), High Tension (2003) or the infamous Martyrs (2008) tested the boundaries of the more adventurous filmgoer, it was Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s unremittingly torturous Inside that packed the most satisfying punch. As beautifully stylish as it is horribly grotesque, the film is perhaps most notable for the unexpected sadness that permeates the blood splatter, elevating it from mere exploitation romp into something altogether more memorable and brutally affecting.
But while Amer certainly displays many of the virtuoso visual tropes of giallo cinema, narratively the film is a far cry from the crime fiction templates that defined the classics of the genre. There is the ever reliable ‘based on a true story’ declaration that proudly kicks things off. Taking the concept of slowburn to almost unbearable levels, this is a film with just one thing on its mind: to completely terrify its audience. In a perfect world, Lola would be up there with Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees as one of the most iconic antagonists to grace the silver screen. The story of a reclusive family whose culinary habits may be hard for some to swallow, Grau bravely trusts his audience to fill in the very deliberate gaps he leaves, and make their own sense of what is unfolding on screen. Jim Mickle’s impressive US remake in 2013 offered a unique twist by cleverly reversing the gender dynamics that exist at the very heart of the melancholic original to create an entirely new vision, but it’s Grau’s film that ultimately has the deepest bite. With a simply staggering sound design for which only the most high-tech audio system could do justice, this love letter to the craft of filmmaking is an expressive, idiosyncratic and occasionally frustrating exercise in cinematic technique. Modern horror inspired plenty of passion when we asked you on social media what we’d missed from this list.

Most of the forms it takes are unexplained, but they seem – in the mode of the unquiet dead of The Sixth Sense or the grudge-holding spooks of J-horror – to be atrocity victims, with a relatively high incidence of naked, bloodied women, though there’s also an unusually tall man and a couple of folks who seem simply dazed or unconcerned. Jay is shocked by the sudden transformation of her seemingly caring boyfriend after she’s had sex with him in the back of his car: he drugs her and then ties her to a chair “for her own good” to show her an incarnation of the follower stumbling towards them.
This is not a story about a woman punished for having sex, but an indictment of the calculating guy who gets out from under the curse by passing it on to an innocent. I have put together a list of what I consider to be the 21 Top Horror Movies of the 21st Century. As always if you have seen any of the films on this list please leave feedback in the comments. The story is about two slackers who would rather eat donuts and sit on the couch than reach for the stars in life. Sarah Polley who starred as the female lead delivered in a big kind of way and is starring in SPLICE which just hit theatres to relatively decent reviews.
A couple out camping get car jacked and things get worse when they end up trapped in a gas station and have to band together with their captors to survive an ecological monster set on ‘absorbing’ them. Dead Girl is about a group of students who find a woman bound in an abandoned hospital who quickly make some extremely disturbing moral choices resulting in extreme violence, moral ambiquity and one of the most disturbing and though provoking films I have seen since Martyrs. A couple who are ending their relationship stay in a friends house and end up being set upon by a group of strangers wearing masks. An apartment building is put under quarantine after a strange attack and absolute insanity ensues as the undead set upon a group of trapped residents including some fireman and a reporter sent out to investigate.
Packed with violence, two dimensional characters and a pile of genre stars The Devils Rejects is fast moving, extremely gruesome and a truly fantastic tale of family, friends and brutality. It tells the story of a group of friends in New York who must survive an unknown monster attack. It tells the story of a small town bar set upon by monsters forcing the bar hoppers to band together to fight off the monstrous creatures. On the strength of this clever, funny, subversive home invasion movie and their latest a€?The Guest,a€? which sadly all but disappeared from theaters due to stiff competition in a very crowded market, theya€™re two upstart genre filmmakers whose careers youa€™ll want to follow.
The result was that a€?Berberian Sound Studio,a€? his horror-tinged follow-up, was very much under-the-radar when it arrived, but the film successfully broke open the skulls of pretty much everyone that saw it. The formulaic ending may be a tad underwhelming, but there’s no denying the skill that Anderson demonstrates in getting there.
When a series of romantic encounters end in crushing disappointment, May decides to take her own drastic actions in a desperate attempt to find the perfect mate. Thankfully, in 2006 he proved the haters wrong with his gruelling chamber piece Bug, which once again placed Friedkin at the top of his game. Not for the faint hearted; although, that said, the strong hearted should probably approach with caution too. In fact, the film can perhaps be more accurately described as the twisted product of two minds who have simply watched far too many Italian horror movies. Beautifully realised by Byrne, and flawlessly performed by Robin McLeavy, she is that classic villain you just can’t help but love, no matter how far they go.
But for all its clever tricks and knowing deconstruction of genre, it still manages to be absolutely terrifying too.
Jay agonises about the moral implications of following suit in a way he didn’t even consider.
When the end of the world comes they must unite to save their friends and family in very comedic style. The film ends up taking a heavy religious tone as this story of revenge is turned on its face. Well written and quite disturbing The Strangers is a very dark thrill ride sure to please fans of the genre. Shot from a shaky cam view the film made me seasick but admittedly was the most innovative monster movie made since GODZILLA. Featuring great one liners, an awesome hero moment andatalented cast of b-movie actors its a gruesome and gorey horror comedy that every single horror fan should own… or stop calling themselves a horror fan. Head inside… if you dare… Make sure that all the doors and windows are closed before you head off to any of these movies. Directed by a pre-a€?Pirates of the Caribbeana€? Gore Verbinski, the film follows roughly the same plot as the original, with a journalist and single mother (Naomi Watts, whoa€™d just broken out in a€?Mulholland Drivea€?) discovering that her niece has died a mysterious death, her body frozen in a position of horror. Without question what they do next is an exciting prospect (a remake of the excellent a€?I Saw the Devil,a€? the Korean revenge film to end all Korean revenge films, was recently announced), but for now we have a€?Youa€™re Next,a€? currently available to stream on Netflix.. Influenced by both David Lynch and classic giallo horror, the film starred the great Toby Jones as Gilderoy, a sound engineer who travels to Italy to work on a horror picture called a€?The Equestrian Vortexa€? (the filma€™s director takes exception at calling it a horror film: one imagines Strickland might say the same). And, as if that’s not enough, there is even a charming cameo from genre legend Dee Wallace (Critters, Cujo, The Howling), which will make even the most cynical horror fan feel right at home. Featuring the most unpleasant dinner party since The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and characterised by a deathly streak of jet black humour, The Loved Ones is just about as loveable as ultraviolence gets.
The scenes in this movie are extremely hard to watch and is one of two films where I had to fast forward through a scene which was just to violent and disturbing to watch. How can 2000 be part of the 20th century lol get your facts straight before constructing an argument. At 123 minutes, the movie is a decidedly slow burn, but it ramps up to a rare (and essentially unguessable) twist that doesn't totally discredit the rest of the movie. Digging into the case, she finds that the death may have been linked to the urban legend of a mysterious video tape that causes the death of anyone who watches it after seven days. Ita€™s a thrill ride, a reminder of when horror films were fun, and almost never disappoints. Although its extremely gruesome its quality writing makes it much more then a sadistic film of violence. Instead, it makes the climax, set in Connecticut but turned, thanks to Jeff Cutter's chilly cinematography, into a snowy world more reminiscent of the ice planet Hoth, even more powerful and perverse. Ita€™s probably not superior to the 1998 original as such, but Verbinski retains much of what worked about Hideo Nakataa€™s film, and beautifully amps up the atmosphere, with an almost painterly feel to the photography by Bojan Bazelli, and a halting, jolting score by Hans Zimmer. Ita€™s in part a horror film about the effect of horror films, and that we barely see anything of the film-within-the-film only lets your imagination play havoc with the unpleasant squelches and screams that are being created by the sonic wizard (and Jones is absolutely terrific in the part). And though the shock of the filma€™s ending was probably lessened for those whoa€™d seen the original, those coming to the remake fresh almost certainly never forgot it.
Wea€™ll leave it for you to discover what wea€™re getting at, because a€?Youa€™re Nexta€? works best when characters turn the tables and expectations are upended. Pure genre fans might come away disappointed with the lack of jump-scares or actual gore, but this is a truer kind of horror, one that reaches in and shakes your skeleton through your ears.

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