After enduring seemingly endless Paranormal Activity sequels in the late 2000s, the 2010s has been a refreshing era for the horror genre. Here are the movies that changed the game for the decade ahead.
IT broke records at the box-office back in 2018. Horror movies have never quite pulled in as much profit as more mainstream genres but IT pulled in impressive figures for the blockbuster adaptation of Stephen King’s terrifying horror. The movie attracted an all-star cast along with its high viewing figures. The success of the franchise has thus proved that there is hope for the horror genre yet.
When Babadook arrived, it was a relatively unheard of film that discretely made its way out of New Zealand and into America. In the era of CGI, Babadook strips back flashy effects and cuts the cast of demons and monsters down to little more than grieving mother and her son. By keeping it simple, Babadook succeeds in being so much more than your average Hollywood horror film. When you strip back the horror, what is left behind is a terrifying story of grief. Babadook restored horror to its former glory and paved the way for the likes of Ari Aster’s Hereditary.
Jordan Peele’s Get Out is one of the most thought-provoking and brilliant movies of the decade. Peele classifies his social justice-fuelled drama as a “social thriller.” All the creepy stares and mysterious characters are scary, but what is truly horrifying is the magnifying glass Peele puts up to racism in modern America. And just like that, monsters going bump in the night doesn’t quite cut it.
Ari Aster released two exceptional horror movies in the 2010s. Both Hereditary and Midsommar abandon traditional horror tropes for something far more substantial and disturbing. What is so ground-breaking about Midsommar is that 90% of the movie takes place in daylight. Aster succeeds in sustaining suspense and an unnerving feeling of terror while never turning out the lights.
The Witch is another masterpiece which strips everything back to basics. The premise is simple, a family lives alone on a farm and they fear a witch lives in the forest. We barely catch a glimpse of this witch and yet the presence of something evil persists throughout the film. The Witch raises the status of the horror film once more by transcending genre tropes to create something uniquely unnerving.
Love it or hate it, The Conjuring movies have made their mark on the horror genre. In the 2010s, the franchise introduced the idea of a “Conjuring” universe to include the Anabelle films and more recently, The Nun. After the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, its no wonder that horror-makers wanted a slice of the multiverse pie. And it just so happened that their gamble was a big success.