2015 stacked up to be quite a pleasing year in the realm of horror. Some of our favorite veterans returned to the plate to deliver the hits, plus there were a slew of surprising titles from up and coming directors who we now look forward to seeing more from. Shit, even a lot of the not-so-great films were still pretty watchable.
These are the 10 best horror films that 2015 has to offer. From disturbingly dark and horrific, to hilariously fun and innovative, this list will serve to help you narrow down your viewing decisions.
10. THE VISIT (M. Night Shyamalan)
It’s been awhile since M. Night cranked out a satisfying horror film, but his dry spell is over with The Visit. A eerily effective found footage film that makes visiting your grandparents more terrifying than it already is. The “twist” that Shyamalan is often known for leaning on, isn’t so crucial to the story and actually helps make for an intriguing ending. By no means is The Visit a masterpiece, but it’s miles a head of anything in The Happening… scary wind? What the crap is that all about?
09. DEATHGASM (Jason Lei Howden)
This New Zealand death metal horror flick pits evil forces against evil rockers in an over-the-top spectacle of blood and face paint. Take a dash of Dead Alive and a Burzam record, mix em’ up, and you’re ready for Deathgasm… the most metal film of 2015.
08. THE GREEN INFERNO (Eli Roth)
After years of being put on hold, Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno finally got its theatrical release this year and it was well worth the wait. Take a cannibalistic romp with a group of conservationists into the wild jungles of the Amazon and also into a lot of blood… like tons of it. If you’re easily upset by gore, you should probably avoid this film, but then why are you reading a horror top ten list if you’re not into blood and guts.
07. TURBO KID (François Simard, Anouk & Yoann-Karl Whissell)
So this technically isn’t a horror movie, but it borrows a lot from the genre and I really love it, so I’m throwing it in. Imagine if Rad, Mad Max, and a Sam Raimi film all hooked up and had a baby, the results would be something similar to Turbo Kid. An exploitive good time that’s guaranteed to be one of the most memorable movie experiences of 2015.
06. WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi)
Explore the realities of living as a vampire with flatmates in modern day New Zealand. This is by far the funniest horror film you will find this year and one that perfects the mockumentary genre. What We Do in the Shadows brilliantly pokes fun at all the devices that plague vampire films while still ramping up the gore and injecting itself with everything we love about horror.
05. WE ARE STILL HERE (Ted Geoghegan)
A couple retreat to a country home to get away from a recent trauma in their lives, but that’s where the real nightmare begins. A true horror throwback that channels Fulci’s The Beyond or Carpenter’s The Fog, and it’s solidified by the addition of Barbara Crampton as the lead. But just because it harkens back to the old school doesn’t mean it has nothing fresh to offer. The ghosts were downright terrifying and the score was one of the best of the year.
04. POD (Mickey Keating)
Equally as impressive as We Are Still Here, Pod also wears its love for the classics on its sleeve. Low budget, questionable performances, but yet somehow it all worked cohesively. An intervention gone wrong, where nothing is as it seems, Pod will remind you of an X-Files episode on steroids.
03. THE FINAL GIRLS (Todd Strauss-Schulson)
Imagine stepping into Friday the 13th and taking part in the film as it unfolds, the campy humor, the bloody machete, all seem familiar yet different. The Final Girls finds an inventive way to take the 80s campsite slasher and put a modern twist on it. The meta aspects to the story channel something like Cabin in the Woods, while still managing to feel atypical.
02. BONE TOMAHAWK (S. Craig Zahler)
Follow Kurt Russell and a group of frontiersmen as they track a missing girl who was scooped up by a group of deadly troglodytes. A perfect blend of a character driven western mixed with gruesome horror. Solid A+ performances, nasty practical effects, and largely underrated. Horror fans must get their hands on this title ASAP.
01. IT FOLLOWS (David Robert Mitchell)
A unique story of an evil spirit that’s like some STD you can’t rid yourself of. It Follows unleashed an idea that felt fresh and original, in a sea of mundane horror films (all the ones not on this list). Artistic sensibilities married alongside traditional horror tropes that blended into a one of a kind experience that won’t soon be forgotten. Easily 2015’s best horror film.
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