2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for horror movie lovers as there have been announcements for Halloween Ends and Jeepers Creeper’s: Reborn, both set to release by the end of the year. All enthusiasts of this genre look forward to new films – both sequels and originals. As viewers have been experiencing, horror movies have graduated to a new tier, which can be credited to not only the ever-improving CGI effects but also the shift from jump scares to psychological mayhem.
Through a recent poll on Ranker, horror movie lover’s identified the spookiest and most unsettling movies that have been released in recent years. This list of the top-voted films is comprised of those that incorporate both elements of suspense and the chaos of the human psyche.
10 The Platform (2019)
This movie is set in a futuristic prison where inmates are forced to watch their peers on the upper levels eat while those on the bottom starve. This psychological thriller is eye-opening to the horrors of real-life classism, how worldly status affects individuals, and how empathy for humanity has unforeseen consequences.
This film is ripe with metaphors and intricate inter-relationships between humans. It’s disturbing on a whole new level when a horror movie is comparable to real life and it’s starting for the viewer to see that the evildoer is relatable, or that they are quite possibly the villain. The Platform fits into a more elevated form of horror, and not all viewers will understand the gravity of the symbolism that is displayed.
9 Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (2019)
Audiences can’t get enough of this ragtag group of kids pit against the horrors that await them around every corner. This thriller, adapted from Alvin Schwartz’s original books, has enthralled young readers for generations and the terrifying monsters are magnificently brought to life by the naive teens who stumbled into the horrors.
This story of friendship opposing the face of evil draws the audience in without fail. The escalation from imagination to seeing these abnormalities on the big screen will successfully spook those who grew up reading Schwartz’s classics. Even though the film is directed toward younger people, the plot twists and shock leave the viewer wishing for more.
8 Lamb (2021)
A couple, Maria and Petur (Noomi Rapace and Bjorn Hlynur Haraldsson) who have long desired a child, come across an unusual infant in their barn. They name the wild half-human, half lamb child Ada and begin to raise her as their own. Yet it seems every happily ever after comes with a price.
This modern horror movie plays on the psychological trials circling motherhood and childless grief – a pain that is all too relatable for many viewers. The suspense and uneasiness throughout the film are undeniable to audiences as they watch the couple fight the forces of the wild for their chance at a family. The unnatural circumstances and chaos push this film into the top 10.
7 X (2022)
A group of actors arrives at an elderly couple’s farm to shoot an adult film. They are greeted by eccentric yet seemingly harmless hosts, who do a phenomenal job hiding their true abilities and desires from the unsuspecting victims. The viewer is dragged into a compelling narrative of young people with ambition and inexperience with the evils of the world, fighting to survive.
The shock factor and escalation of violence in this film have horror lovers raving. It is centered on two different human failings: doing anything for power or vanity and, on a much darker level, giving into vice. X is not a film for the faint of heart, and it will change how viewers see the evil hiding in the dark and the dangers that lurk behind innocent faces.
6 The Invisible Man (2020)
Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) is being stalked and intimidated by her invisible ex-boyfriend, Adrian Griffin, who is played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen. The impossibility of her situation leaves her completely isolated yet acclimated to the challenge and the plot twists have heads reeling at the conclusion.
The premise is relatable to viewers who can empathize with a woman trying to escape a toxic relationship and the frustrating obstacles that accompany telling an impossible truth. Its most engaging feature is how it makes the audience question Cecilia’s sanity and reality in real-time with the plot. The Invisible Man is a delectable mix of horror, sci-fi, and drama that appeals to varying audiences with great success.
5 It Chapter 2 (2019)
Another sequel to a timeless classic, It Chapter 2 successfully gathers the treasured squad of underdogs, fast forward 27 years. This series is revered for its relatable characters that withstand not only the horrors brought on by Pennywise but also the hardships and confusion of life, in general.
As an audience, just happy to be there for the nostalgic ride, it’s hard to not feel a connection with these comedic and eccentric protagonists as they navigate their deepest fears, yet again. The improved CGI and soundtrack truly get heartbeats throbbing as every great Stephen King novel does. Three years after its release, audiences are still talking about what they loved and what could have been better with the plot.
4 Doctor Sleep (2019)
This shocking sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining has audiences on edge as they follow the beloved Danny, now played by Ewan McGregor, on his journey into horror and heroics as he tries to rescue a girl who shares his psychic abilities. He is forced to face the torment of his past as the film retraces back to the famous hotel that once tickled the nightmares of the masses.
Many viewers have grown up alongside Dan, which creates a strong tie to the lead as he battles new and old villains. Not only this, but he is now experiencing PTSD and alcoholism, making him a more relatable character for some. The genius of incorporating flashbacks from the original Shining throughout this new addition to the genre is just what viewers are begging for. It’s the perfect mix of new and classic.
3 Ready Or Not (2019)
The protagonist, Grace (Samara Weaving) is hunted down by her in-laws on the same night she is married into the estranged De Lomas family. Due to a curse laid on the family years before, she is dragged into a ruthless fight for her life since the loser will forfeit not only all their riches but their life, as well.
The gripping narrative of Grace, the underdog, fighting for her life against darkness undoubtedly more vindictive than herself is relatable and enthralling to viewers. The film represents how the rich who prey on the weak tend to be victims themselves to their own life-manipulating demons. This horror movie leaves audiences wondering what is more appealing, life or luxury?
2 Us (2019)
Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) travels with her family to a place rife with her childhood trauma and violence. In an intense fight for survival against their doppelgangers, Adelaide is faced with the reality that everything she believes is false and that the world she made for herself never belonged to her.
Jordan Peele is a new director in the psychological horror movie scene, shaking audiences to the very core. He makes films with a substantial number of metaphors and plots designed to make viewers think deeper. This film unleashes horror with a surprise ending that has the audience questioning their reality and individuality. Viewers are still talking about this film today, especially as a new release from Peele is to come out this year.
1 Midsommar (2019)
This thriller, which begins with a couple in turmoil, quickly descends into a rabbit hole of horror at the hands of a pagan cult. The film capitalizes on not only the trauma of a girl experiencing grief and neglect, but also highlights the downfalls of human fault and the evils that exploit it.
The emotional and horrific journey that Florence Pugh’s Dani endures leaves the audience on the edge of their seat, questioning who the real villain is. The deeper meaning revolves around an individual breaking free from toxicity and starting a new life for herself. Audiences will forever be drawn in by the questionable morals of a cult that is disguised as an idyllic society.
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