10 Best Modern Horror Movies

Looking to expand your freaky film horizons? From ravenous bears to a deadly cabin in the woods, here are 10 of the best modern horror movies out there.

By DeAnna Janes April 7, 2015
10 Best Modern Horror Movies

The bloody writing is on the wall of your favorite cinema – we’re in the middle of a modern horror movie boom.

Old school slasher flicks have morphed into superbly spooky features celebrated for their inventive plots. Quality screamers are oozing out of the global film festival circuit and scoring major releases in theaters or popping up in your favorite streaming services.

Interested in expanding your freaky film horizons? Grab the popcorn and dim the lights. Here are 10 of the best modern horror movies out there.


 

it follows

It Follows
Find showtimes here

Critics are raving about this one, calling it sublime, creepy, and the scariest movie of the modern age. What makes the film so alluring is director David Robert Mitchell’s deft hand at subverting the age-old horror movie cliché – those who “do it” are always the first to get offed. What’s more, It Follows nails the retro-horror synth score (no offense, John Carpenter).

The Guest
Watch it on Google Play

Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens makes for one creepy bad guy as a well-mannered soldier with a terrible secret. But horror genre newcomer Maika Monroe – who currently stars in It Follows – steals the show. Director Adam Wingard certainly knew how to pick his scream queen for this high-octane thrill ride of a mysterious stranger and the violent deaths that follow him wherever he goes.

Backcountry
Watch it on Amazon

Adam McDonald’s debut feature about a couple of doomed backpackers just hit VOD last Friday, and it’s a gem. The film, which switches out the backwater hillbillies of Deliverance for a very hungry black bear, aims to do for the woods what Jaws did for the ocean. Get ready to be shocked straight out of your hiking boots.

honeymoon best modern horror movies

Honeymoon
Watch it on Google Play

One of the best horror movies you haven’t seen, Honeymoon debuted at SXSW last year. The eerie thriller follows a couple, Paul (Harry Treadway) and Bea (the fantastic Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones), on their post-wedding vacay to a lake house. One night, Bea vanishes into the woods and comes back, shall we say, different.

You’re Next
Watch it on Netflix

Mumblegore at its core (it even stars Joe Swanberg), You’re Next is a one-set film that flips the idea of the scream queen on its severed head. A pack of animal-masked killers stalks a family reunion, picking off loved ones one after the other – that is, until one of the hunted fights back.

The Babadook
Pre-order on iTunes

Horror movie scribes get so caught up in concocting a killer twist ending, they often forget to plug all the little plot holes. No so with Jennifer Kent’s excellently crafted Aussie creature feature, which sent shivers down the spines of moviegoers everywhere.

a girl walks home alone

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Watch it on Amazon

Just when you thought every idea under the sun had been done to death, director Ana Lily Amirpour puts out a pitch-black Iranian vampire western, breathing new life into the blood-sucking genre. The gist: A skateboarding lady vampire drains dudes who disrespect women. Righteous.

Sightseers
Watch it on Netflix

You never really know what you’re going to get with filmmaker Ben Wheatley, but that’s part of the fun. The director stunned festival-goers with his first feature, Kill List, which begins as a relationship piece, mixes in mob drama, and ends with – well, if we told you, we’d have to kill you. A year later, he released Sightseers, a dark modern horror movie set in the British Isles about a couple’s weekend getaway-turned-erotic killing spree.

What We Do in the Shadows
Find showtimes here

A hit at last year’s SXSW festival, and currently making the rounds in select cities, Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s mockumentary about a crew of vampy bachelors breaks ground in both the horror and comedy genres. Not familiar with the darkly funny pair? Waititi’s the original voice behind the quirky Eagle vs. Shark, while Clement is one half of the kiwi comedy folk monsters, Flight of the Conchords.

cabin in the woods

The Cabin in the Woods
Watch it on Google Play

A cabin in the woods is where bad things happen. Think you’ve heard it before? Well, think again when script writer/puppet master Drew Goddard is pulling the strings. Goddard’s brilliant reimagining of classic horror tropes comes packed with the hunk, the vixen, the stoner, and, of course, the virgin. But that’s where the clichés end.

Stills from “It Follows” via Northern Lights Films; Still from “Honeymoon” via Fewlas Entertainment; Still from “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” via Say Ahh Productions; Still from “The Cabin in the Woods” via Lionsgate