The Best Horror Movies to Watch Now

The Best Horror Movies to Watch Now

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The horror genre can be notoriously divisive, with cult favorites derided by critics and critical darlings called out as pretentious by the genre’s fans. At agoodmovietowatch, our job is to bridge that gap—recommending you a healthy dose of scary movies that offer more than your standard blood and gore and jump scares, but that still scratch your itch to see something creepy and messed up. Here we’ve prepared a list of horror films we still think are underseen by most people, but whose quality we’d cross our hearts and hope to die for.

30. Thelma (2017)

7.2

Country

Denmark, France, Norway

Director

Joachim Trier

Actors

Anders Mossling, Camilla Belsvik, Eili Harboe, Ellen Dorrit Petersen

Moods

Gripping, Intense, Suspenseful

Much like the 1976 horror classic Carrie, Thelma centers on a young telekinetic woman whose religious upbringing and sexual repression give way to unpredictable moments of fury and rage. When she meets the cool, charismatic Anja, she falls in love immediately, but the wave of emotions that overwhelm her threaten to destabilize not just their budding romance, but other relationships and lives as well. 

Thelma recalls Carrie in other ways too, most notably in the way it uses supernatural elements to allude to female fury and lust, but it also stands on its own as a singular piece of work; the mesmerizing transitions, the slow-burn pace, and the undercurrent of melancholia are all known trademarks of director Joachim Trier. This layering of old and new makes Thelma an intriguing watch, at once recognizable and wholly original. 

 

29. I Saw the Devil (2010)

7.2

Country

Korea, South Korea

Director

Jee-Woon Kim, Kim Jee-woon

Actors

Byung-hun Lee, Cheon Ho-jin, Choi Jin-ho, Choi Min-sik

Moods

Thrilling

I Saw the Devil is a South Korean psychological thriller/horror film. IT IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!!! It has a lot of blood and gore that could make even the strongest stomachs turn. A young woman is kidnapped from her car while waiting for a tow truck and the kidnapper murders her far from her car and scatters her body parts around. Her fiancé, a secret service agent of the National Intelligence Service, sets out to track down her murders and extract his revenge. If you’re looking for a thrill ride, look no further- but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

28. The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

7.3

Country

Mexico, Spain

Director

Guillermo del Toro

Actors

Adrian Lamana, Berta Ojea, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi

Moods

Intense

Pan’s Labyrinth is often considered director Guillermo Del Toro’s best film, and rightfully so. But if you’re looking for a straight-up ghost story, this is the film that gets the job done. Everything about this film is sad and beautiful and unnerving, from the setting (an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War) to the atmospheric visuals.

27. Fright Night (1985)

7.4

Country

United States of America

Director

Tom Holland

Actors

Amanda Bearse, Art Evans, Bob Corff, Chris Sarandon

Moods

Easy, Intense, No-brainer

Fright Night wastes no time confirming that, yes, that handsome new neighbor is a vampire, and yes, he has to be defeated. By cutting to the chase, the film refreshingly lets its heroes and villains spend a lot of time together, goading each other on in a battle of wills. But apart from that, Fright Night sticks to the reliable ’80s-horror formula, full of spectacular makeup effects, cheesy thrills, and delightfully over-the-top performances. Chris Sarandon is irresistible as the evil vampire Jerry Dandrige, while Roddy McDowall’s heartfelt performance as the fraud vampire hunter Peter Vincent gives us a redemption arc worth rooting for.

26. Hereditary (2018)

7.4

Country

United States of America

Director

Ari Aster

Actors

Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, Ari Aster, Austin R. Grant

Moods

Intense, Thrilling

A chilling and dark movie to be especially appreciated by true suspense lovers. At the funeral of the family’s matriarch, no one is emotional except the granddaughter, whose grieving is disturbing, to say the least. When both grieving and not grieving are unsettling, you can tell what kind of family (and movie) this will be.

25. Triangle (2009)

7.4

Country

Australia, UK, United Kingdom

Director

Christopher Smith

Actors

Bryan Probets, Emma Lung, Henry Nixon, Jack Taylor

Moods

Intense

A woman joins some acquaintances on a sailing trip only to get caught in a storm. They are rescued by a seemingly empty cruise ship and struggle to make sense of the mysteries that unfold. Definitely one of those “The less you know the better” type of films. If you like well-written creepy thrillers with a nice amount of gore, you will most likely enjoy this.

24. Ringu (1998)

7.5

Country

Japan

Director

Hideo Nakata

Actors

Hiroyuki Sanada, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Hitomi Satô, Kiriko Shimizu

Moods

Dark, Gripping, Slow

Despite being remade, parodied, and absorbed into pop culture over the years, the original Ring defiantly marches to the beat of its own drum. Focused entirely on building a slow-burn mystery instead of dispensing scares, the film provides ample space for a number of interpretations: on the spread of technology, the erasure of traditional beliefs, or even motherhood. It’s all relentlessly quiet and extremely creepy, the tension building with the same energy as ghost stories told around a campfire. And while famous for its eerie images and the rules surrounding its cursed videotape, Ringu also serves as a reminder that great horror should compel the audience to keep on watching, even if they already know exactly what awaits them if they do.

23. The Wailing (2016)

7.5

Country

Korea, South Korea, United States of America

Director

Hong-jin Na, Na Hong-jin

Actors

Bae Yong-geun, Cho Han-cheul, Chun Woo-hee, Do-won Kwak

Moods

Discussion-sparking, Dramatic, Mind-blowing

In rural Korea a policeman starts to investigate peculiar and violent events that most of the people in his village attribute to the arrival of a new Japanese resident. As the occurrences keep multiplying, and different perspectives in the film are shown, you start to lose touch with reality in the face of what can only be described as genius film-making. As critic Jada Yuan puts it, the film operates on a level “that makes most American cinema seem clunky and unimaginative”. For this reason, and while The Wailing is a true horror flick with a great premise, it’s also more than just that: it boosts a mind-boggling, interesting plot that will have you thinking about it long after the credits roll. Protip: grab the person next to you and make them watch this movie with you so you can have someone to discuss it with after!

22. Let the Right One In (2008)

7.5

Country

Sweden

Director

Tomas Alfredson

Actors

Anders T. Peedu, Henrik Dahl, Ika Nord, Johan Sömnes

Moods

Raw, Slow

Somehow an art house film, horror, and romance all in one, Let the Right One In explores the boundaries of its genres with unprecedented finesse, and offers a stunning alternative for those disappointed with recent vampire love stories. From its haunting minimalist imagery to its incredible score, it is persistently beautiful. The film follows twelve-year-old Oskar and Eli, drawing on numerous aspects of traditional undead lore, and still manages an impressive feat in feeling entirely fresh and devoid of cliche. Those in search of a terrifying movie might need to look elsewhere, but if what you’re looking for is simply a great watch, don’t pass this one up.

21. Green Room (2015)

7.6

Country

United States of America

Director

Jeremy Saulnier

Actors

Alia Shawkat, Anton Yelchin, Callum Turner, David W. Thompson

Moods

Dark, Intense, Raw

This is the follow-up film by the director of the (also) excellent and intense Blue Ruin. Like that film, Green Room often subverts genre expectations. The basic premise: a lefty punk band winds up taking a show at a skinhead club because they are desperate for cash. The show goes well, but afterward the band accidentally witnesses something they shouldn’t have and are trapped in the club’s green room. This film is brutal and intense, especially because you actually care about what happens to the characters. Bonus: Sir Patrick Stewart plays the leader of the skinhead organization, and gives a subtle yet effectively sinister performance. While some truly horrific acts of violence occur (especially in the back-half of the film) they really do serve the story. Still, there are a handful of scenes that may require more sensitive viewers to cover their eyes. You have been warned.

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