The Best Horror Movies to Watch Now

The Best Horror Movies to Watch Now

April 19, 2024

Share:

twitter
facebook
reddit
pinterest
link

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.

31. Barbarian (2022)

7.7

Country

United States of America

Director

Zach Cregger

Actors

Bill Skarsgård, Brooke Dillman, Derek Morse, Georgina Campbell

Moods

Dark, Grown-up Comedy, Intense

Rarely do we get horror movies that are as dedicated to toying with audience expectations as Barbarian. Even rarer is a horror movie that pays so much attention to setting, and how men and women approach and interact with physical spaces in different ways. It’s a film that’s ultimately about entitlement—except it’s delivered to us with jet-black humor and manic energy, shifting from romantic to ridiculous to raving mad. But with instantly charming performances from Georgina Campbell and Bill Skarsgård—and Justin Long doing a brilliant job playing an absolute jerk—Barbarian never leaves you grasping in the dark, even if it leads you deeper into hell.

32. El Conde (2023)

7.7

Country

Chile

Director

Pablo Larraín

Actors

Aldo Parodi, Alessandra Guerzoni, Alfredo Castro, Amparo Noguera

Moods

Dark, Discussion-sparking, Grown-up Comedy

After Jackie and Spencer, the dark satire El Conde is a surprise new entry in Pablo Larraín’s stacked filmography. Already, the film has prominent differences– it’s shot in black and white, starting with narration from an unseen and posh Englishwoman that makes the film’s events feel like entries in Bridgerton’s scandalous newsletter. The subject is far from the beloved wives of presidents and princes– it’s centered around a notorious Chilean dictator who remains unpunished for his crimes. However, as his fictional vampire version deals with his rightfully ruined legacy, El Conde proves to be a witty satiric twist to Larraín’s usual themes. Through familial squabbles over ill-gotten wealth, confessions and exorcism conducted by a nun, and certain foreign interventions, El Conde paints an everlasting greed that continues to haunt Larraín’s homeland.

33. X (2022)

7.7

Country

United States of America

Director

Ti West

Actors

Brittany Snow, Bryony Skillington, Geoff Dolan, James Gaylyn

Moods

Dark, Intense, Raw

Though it isn’t the groundbreaking slasher movie that it initially seemed to be marketed as, X simply knows how to do its job very well: the gore is plentiful and the build-up to the inevitable kills is just loaded with anticipation. But where the film becomes much more interesting is in the palpable sadness that seems to follow all of its characters. Innocent or murderous, each of these people is just trying to cling to an idea of personal freedom and beauty that never seems to last. It’s a horror movie that takes its portrayals of sex and sexuality very seriously, exploring the limits of sexual liberation in a country that actively tries to punish it.

34. The Babadook (2014)

7.6

Country

Australia, Canada

Director

Female director, Jennifer Kent

Actors

Adam Morgan, Barbara West, Ben Winspear, Benjamin Winspear

Moods

Challenging, Thrilling

In an age where recent horror films mostly use the jump-scare as a crutch to make their CGI-spawned (not to mention generic) creatures seem scary, The Babadook portrays real scares, relatable characters and a moving story. Jennifer Kent (director and writer) sets this on the backdrop of heavily Lars von Trier-inspired cinematography, elevating The Babadook from a shot at an amazing horror to a resemblance of an art house film. The unease felt during this film only increases as it creeps towards its conclusion. Whenever the Babadook (the monster of the film) is seen lurking in the peripherals of the camera, appearing in television sets and the shadows to create a sense of omnipresence that disturbs the viewer on a deeper, more primal level than that of so many recent horror films could even hope to reach. It leaves the audience with the sensation that they are being lowered onto a lit candle, spine-first. In short; the seamless acting, the beautiful shots, the slow-burning terror together creates a masterpiece that strides past any horror film of the past decade (maybe even further) and stands toe-to-toe with the greats without even breaking a sweat.

35. Sunshine (2007)

7.6

Country

UK, United Kingdom, United States of America

Director

Danny Boyle

Actors

Benedict Wong, Chipo Chung, Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy

Moods

Dramatic, Thrilling

Sunshine is a sci-fi thriller that details pretty much exactly what you don’t want to happen on your journey into space. It follows the struggles of a crew who know that they are humanity’s last hope to rekindle a dying sun and save their loved ones back home. Out of radio contact with Earth, relationships become strained and when things start to go horribly wrong the diverse cast give a fantastic performance as they encapsulate both the terror and humanity that arises from such an alien situation. Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later).

36. Green Room (2015)

7.6

Country

United States of America

Director

Jeremy Saulnier

Actors

Alia Shawkat, Anton Yelchin, Brent Werzner, Callum Turner

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.

37. The Dead Zone (1983)

7.6

Country

Canada, United States of America

Director

David Cronenberg

Actors

Anthony Zerbe, Barry Flatman, Brooke Adams, Chapelle Jaffe

Moods

Dark, Dramatic, Gripping

The shiver-inducing talents of Stephen King, David Cronenberg, and Christopher Walken meld to produce this supremely chilly supernatural thriller adaptation. Schoolteacher Johnny’s (Walken) perfect life is overturned when a horrific car accident puts him in a coma that robs him of five years of his life — and with them, his job and girlfriend Sarah (Brooke Adams), who moves on with someone else.

For anyone familiar with Cronenberg’s films, the director’s involvement might lead you to expect results from this premise as idiosyncratic as Crash or Videodrome’s, but The Dead Zone takes a decidedly more mainstream path than those works. In the place of graphic body horror is more palatable — but no less affecting — emotional bleakness, as Johnny contends with losing Sarah and a reality-warping new ability: he now has the power to see into the future of anyone he touches. While being forewarned about house fires and nuclear war might be a blessing for those whose lives he saves, Johnny struggles with the emotional burden of being responsible for preventing these future tragedies. More than any of the chilling setpieces — a frantic hunt for a serial killer, the attempted assassination of a demagogue — it’s Johnny’s grappling with this gift-slash-curse that gives The Dead Zone its fierce intensity.

38. Huesera: The Bone Woman (2023)

7.6

Country

Mexico, Peru

Director

Female director, Michelle Garza Cervera

Actors

Aida López, Alfonso Dosal, Emilram Cossío, Enoc Leaño

Moods

Dark, Discussion-sparking, Original

Huesera: The Bone Woman might not be the scariest film horror fans would see, but it does strike at the heart of the scary experience of motherhood. Through eerie sounds of breaking bones and weirdly contorted hands at the edge of beds, the film depicts new mother Valeria being haunted by the titular spirit, despite her prayer to the Virgin Mary. Valeria pleads for her husband and family to listen, though each time she does becomes proof of her faults as a mother. The terror in newcomer Natalia Solián’s face makes it all feel believable, but it’s the folk-inspired imagery of first-time feature director Michelle Garza Cervera that turns this film into a feminist masterpiece.

39. The Wrath of Becky (2023)

7.6

Country

United States of America

Director

Female director, Matt Angel

Actors

Aaron Dalla Villa, Alison Cimmet, Courtney Gains, Denise Burse

Moods

Raw, Thrilling

There’s not much to analyze in The Wrath of Becky, which might sound like a jab, but for grindhouse thrillers such as this, it comes as a compliment. The story is lean, the action is on point, and the dialogue is whipsmart. There is little to distract from the main attraction, which is the creatively gruesome ways in which everyone tries to kill each other. 

It’s so simple, in fact, that you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a standalone film, instead of a sequel to an earlier movie, simply titled Becky. Efficiently, parts of the first installment appear as flashbacks here, but they’re hardly needed to convince us of Becky’s ferocious might. Wilson already does an excellent job with minimal but evocative gestures. Seann William Scott, too, is surprisingly terrifying as the head of the Neo-Nazi group out to get Becky. It’s easy enough to paint the incel as a villain, but to portray him with such palpable terror is a challenge that Scott steps up to.

40. Late Night with the Devil (2024)

7.5

Country

Australia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America

Director

Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes

Actors

Adam Batt, Christopher Kirby, Clare Chihambakwe, David Dastmalchian

Moods

Dark, Discussion-sparking, Gripping

After you get back home, and you tuck your kids to bed, we search for some easy entertainment in the late-night talk show. Quips about today’s news and intimate conversations with guests are just the thing to wind down, but theoretically, anything can happen at late night. Late Night with the Devil plays as a pseudo-documentary centered on late show host Jack Delroy on a Halloween night, pairing the charged, uncensored atmosphere with a supernatural twist. The film alternates between the color-toned show and black-and-white behind the scenes, and as Delroy tries to lead the show to safe entertainment, with David Dastmalchian’s genial aura, things don’t go as planned as Lily becomes host to a scary demon with Ingrid Torelli’s terrifying physicality. It’s creepy and slightly comedic, with the classic selling of the soul for fame interrupted with words from their sponsors, and it’s certainly a fun twist to the late night we’re used to seeing.

Comments

Add a comment

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw

© 2024 A Good Movie to Watch. Altona Studio, LLC, all rights reserved.