This year’s horror movies in Hollywood so far strike close to home. These films depict genuine fear felt in life, society’s horrors, and a human’s horrifying predatory character.
Themes of environmental destruction (Crimes of the Future), gender oppression (Men), toxic internet culture (Scream), surveillance (Watcher), and sexual repression (X) loomed large, linking fantasy horrors to genuine fright.
Let’s look at the top 8 Horror movies so far this year.
Crimes of the Future
David Cronenberg‘s lightly-sketched plot involves a man who grows extra organs in a ruined-Earth future, where his partner surgically removes them for captive audiences. Things become complicated once the government starts to get involved. Introducing the audience to a world of superfans, assassins and children who eat plastic trash cans.
The Black Phone
This feature adaptation of a Joe Hill short story involves Ethan Hawke as ‘The Grabber’ abducting children in ’70s Colorado. The script is sturdy enough to keep emotions swelling as much as frights. Hawke chews all the scenery as the masked Grabber in a frightening physical performance that asks for more appearances.
Julia, a lonely expatriate, living in Bucharest, is aimless while supporting her career-focused husband. She’s convinced that someone across the street is watching her. Yet she is no pushover and an excellent cypher for an audience destined to spend the following days peering in on their neighbours and checking around every corner.
The blood and surprises come quickly, with a ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ remix featuring a van full of photographers clandestinely shooting their next film at the guest house of a conservative old couple. The cast’s ability to manipulate the audiences’ exceptions creates one of the year’s most fun rides.
The movie revisits some of the franchise’s best notes without being overly beholden to the past. The meta-by-design ‘Scream’ can keep things fresh and avoid potential pitfalls with plenty of twists and red herrings.
Alex Garland‘s latest nightmare is an all-too-timely tale about men controlling and gaslighting women. Although the film offers little insight into gender dynamics, several unforgettable scenes crank the tension up to 11. And with an incredibly divisive and disgusting final act. The film is designed to spur more discussion with each new audience.
This early-1900s werewolf tale remixes classical mythology with some frightening new visions. The movie narrates the story of the mother of a cursed son, and Boyd Holbrook acts beautifully as a werewolf hunter with a dark past.
This rom-com turned cannibal nightmare brilliantly builds a budding romance for 33 minutes before unleashing a sharp twist and a darkly comedic opening credit sequence. ‘Fresh’ never loses steam, despite a violent climax that hands out justice with a bitter aftertaste.
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