If the 2000s were a good time for horror cinema with its return to the 70s, the 2012s have been a complete expansion, exploding in diversity and going beyond violence and blood to cover areas of author horror that recover the best of Polanski or William Friedkin. The unprecedented box office success and acceptance in popular culture have made it, without doubt, the most important decade for the genre since the 1980s. Horror Movies, Best of the Decade, The Warren File: The Conjuring, Babadook, The Wellness Cure, Hereditary, Best Movies, Lists. We review in these 27 titles the main currents, names, authors and most important films in these years following a chronological order. Many important ones are missing, but space is limited and probably some of these other films represent your style or sub-genre. What are your favorites?
Direction: James Wan
Cast: Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, Ty Simpkins, Barbara Hershey, Andrew Astor, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson
The first and genuine James Wan supernatural film of the decade, although he recovered details from his ‘Dead Silence’ (2007) and made them more commercial, picking up the wake of ‘Paranormal Activity‘ (2007), the director injected his influences from Mario Bava and created a 21st century classic with little money and good ideas.
‘The Crazies’ (2012)
Director: Breck Eisner
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker, Christie Lynn Smith, Brett Rickaby, Preston Bailey, John Aylward, Joe Reegan, Glenn Morshower.
Not all remakes are successful and, to tell the truth, George Romero has been quite lucky with his 70s works. Although he fails to capture any of the ideological concerns and corrupt moral undertones of its protagonists, ‘The Crazies‘ is a film of infected a copy full of action and suspense and a tone of hopelessness that sets it apart from other similar films.
‘Black Swan’ (Black Swan, 2010)
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder, Barbara Hershey, Tina Sloan, Christopher Gartin, Sebastian Stan, Benjamin Millepied, Ksenia Solo.
Pure paranoia echoes of Polanski, giallo and Satoshi Kon in which a broken Natalie Portman shines that manages to go from anguish to anger until she is scary in her internal and external metamorphosis. The film that brought the European angle closer to the horror of 2010 , and that could be considered the pioneer of the nonexistent topic of elevated horror.
‘Stake land’ (2010)
Director: Jim Mickle
Cast: Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Danielle Harris, Kelly McGillis, Michael Cerveris, Bonnie Dennison, Sean Nelson, Traci Hovel, Marianne Hagan, Tim House.
Jim Mickle , at the beginning of the decade a promise that had not yet passed through Netflix’s independent authors blender , took the production company Glass Eye Pix to the top in this all- too-forgotten post-apocalyptic road movie in the form of a near-miss comedy. western that anticipated ‘ The Walking Dead ‘ in many ways.
‘Kill List’ (2011)
Director: Ben Wheatley
Cast: Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Harry Simpson, Michael Smiley, Emma Fryer.
The horror folk already been established as a term of use and disuse but in reality has always been there. In this modest production it was quiet and did not explode until its harrowing end , but you have to credit Ben Wheatley for his experiment in mixing pagan country terror and hitman movies.
‘The cabin in the woods’ (Cabin in the Woods, 2011)
Director: Drew Goddard
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Anna Hutchison, Jessie Williams, Amy Acker, Brian J. White, Tim De Zarn.
Driven by its mind-blowing final stretch , this horror comedy is often considered better than it is, but if it leaves a good taste in your mouth, it’s because its climax – rushed and shorter than one remembers in reviews – truly is a marvel of monster mash taken on an epic scale.
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast: Ethan Hawke, James Ransone, Juliet Rylance, Vincent D’Onofrio.
Scott Derrickson continued his estimable ‘ The Exorcism of Emily Rose ‘ (2005) with a resounding reformulation of the bogeyman and pure evil alongside modern haunted house codes, achieving one of Blumhouse’s greatest hits, which unfortunately reminds us of better times for the production company.
‘Lords of Salem’ (2012)
Direction: Rob Zombie
Cast: Sheri Moon Zombie, Christopher Knight, Dee Wallace, Clint Howard, Udo Kier.
Rob Zombie’s best horror movies is this dreamy exploration of Satanism and witchcraft according to the British horror house Tigon , the most irreverent Ken Russell or the Fulci of his Eibon trilogy. A controversial work, with production problems that would have allowed us to see a clear precedent for ‘ La Bruja ‘ (The Witch, 2015) but which is postulated as one of the most influential of this decade.
‘The Warren File’ (The Conjuring, 2013)
Direction: James Wan
Cast: Lili Taylor, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Joey King, Ron Livingston.
We could put the second part as an example of a sequel that changes and improves many of the findings of the original, but the commercial impact of this makes it the code name to contemplate. Perhaps a bit more blurred in the routine exorcism ending, the set pieces of the palms and the basement are anthology, making Wan’s name the only one that is repeated on the list.
‘Under the Skin’ (2013)
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Paul Brannigan, Robert J. Goodwin, Krystof Hádek.
The film that outraged the dicks in search of a complete nude of Scarlett Johansson and they found a silent chronicle of an atmospheric extraterrestrial visit and bordering on video art. A film that was born modern and continues to talk about, its description of black space was shot by ‘Stranger Things‘.
‘Babadook’ (The Babadook, 2014)
Dirección: Jennifer Kent
Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West.
Jennifer Kent’s voice in terror has not lasted long with ‘ The Nightingale ‘ (2019), but her debut was such a marvel that seeing her again over the years only reaffirms her more as a modern classic , one of which they raised raw horror cinema as a tool with as much value and prestige as the most.
‘What we do in the shadows’ (What we do in the shadows, 2014)
Direction: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement.
Cast: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzales-Macuer.
The terror can also be a comedy . Taka Waititi He already had a good handful of movies under his belt, but if people are talking about ‘ Jojo Rabbit ‘ (2019) right now it is due to this hilarious mockumentary of vampires that played with all the topics of the genre and created a magnificent altarpiece of what a horror comedy must be. And it gave for series, of course.
‘The Witch’ (The VVitch, 2015)
Direction: Robert Eggers
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Lucas Dawson.
‘ The Witch ‘ is a horror film bordering on the dark fairy tale and the religious drama of the period with a feminist subtext, however, it is worth more as an aesthetic exercise and horror proposal based on the anachrony of the superstitions of the first settlers . A little gem that its director has failed to continue in the disappointing ‘ El faro ‘ (The Lighthouse, 2019).
‘The Scarlet Summit’ (Crimson Peak, 2015)
Direction: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam.
Guillermo del Toro went with all his arsenal of classic and fantastic horror films to recreate in great detail what must be a gothic drama with supernatural echoes. The result is a very careful work of stylistic goldsmithing where the archetypal plot of blue beard and Edgar Allan Poe were the least.
‘Last Shift’ (2015)
Director: Anthony DiBlasi
Cast: Juliana Harkavy, Joshua Mikel, J. LaRose, Natalie Victoria, Sarah Sculco.
One of the jewels lost in the vast VOD market that exploded in this decade. The classic story of the night watchman, here inside a police station, on the last night before closing it. Like good ghost stories, these are more of a psychological influence on a mind prone to it from the start.
‘The Nightmare’ (The Nightmare, 2015)
Director: Rodney Ascher
Cast: Yatoya Toy, Siegfried Peters.
The documentary on sleep paralysis that put Rodney Asher, author of the documentary ‘ Room 237 ‘ on the map , and which is posed, from the outset, as an outright horror movie. The dramatizations of the stories of the different interviewees make the hair stand on end, but less than connecting the dots between their testimonies.
‘The Stranger’ (The Wailing, 2016)
Address: Na Hong-jin
Cast: Hwang Jung-min, Kwak Do-won, Chun Woo-hee, Jo Han-Cheol.
This tremendous display of Korean genre cinema begins as a version of the typical oriental crime thriller, but the atmosphere grows thin as it embraces the supernatural and reaches its fiery and shocking finale. A theosophical nightmare that despite its humor takes the horror and dilemma of faith it poses very seriously.
Address: Can Evrenol.
Cast: Muharrem Bayrak, Mehmet Akif Budak, Fadik Bülbül, Mehmet Cerrahoglu, Elif Dag.
The explosion of Turkish terror in 2010 is a phenomenon that has not yet been assimilated in the West, probably due to having a good number of examples that go to the easy fright, however the name Can Evrenol rises above all his compatriots with a counter-current story that mixes the textures of torture porn into a nightmare matrix between Clive Barker and Argento.
‘El Demonio Neon’ (The Neon Demon, 2016)
Direction: Nicolas Winding Refn
Cast: Elle Fanning, Karl Glusman, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee.
The apocryphal remake of ‘Suspiria’ (1977) that improves the officer. Nicolas Winding Refn had one eye on the Argento Mothers trilogy and another on Kenneth Anger when he crafted this ultra-stylized magical arthouse horror piece. Despite some necrophilic excess and gratuitous vampire lubricity, it is iconic for good reason.
‘The autopsy of Jane Doe’ (The Autopsy of Jane Doe, 2016)
Direction: André Øvredal
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Brian Cox, Ophelia Lovibond, Michael McElhatton.
A chapter of ‘ Tales from the crypt ‘ testing new textures and elements of current terror. Following the pattern of ‘El Viy‘, the autopsy on a corpse is posed as a night watching over a dead woman who hides more than meets the eye, becoming a detective story and a night of old-school mortuary scares ideal to recover in Halloween.
‘The Wellness Cure’ (A Cure for Wellness, 2017)
Director: Gore Verbinski
Cast: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Susanne Wuest, Celia Imrie, Lisa Banes.
Gore Vervinski unfolds a whole carousel of gothic sumptuousness in an apocryphal remake of the French ‘ Shock treatment‘ (Traitement de choc, 1973), with a Lovecraftian frame and an aesthetic approach to the cycle of Poe de Corman, the Italian horror film of the sixties and the paranoid texture of Polanski’s cinema. An absolute marvel.
‘The void’ (The Void, 2017)
Direction: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
Cast: Ellen Wong, Kathleen Munroe, Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Art Hindle.
A modest recreation of the lovecraftian horrors of John Carpenter and Lucio Fulci that understands the cosmic horror experience of its main characters better than that of most official adaptations (perhaps only rivaling the films it honors and the recent ‘ Color Out of Space ‘) which is surprising coming from a crowdfunding that also proposes amazing monsters and practical fx.
‘Let me out’ (Get out 2017)
Director: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Betty Gabriel.
There are films that are, at first glance, nothing more than a thriller with supernatural overtones, but their sociological significance can change the course of culture. And this is what the Oscar winner for best screenplay by Jordan Peele achieved , an excellent trip to the heart of makeup racism expressed in a mad doctors delusion and mental jails.
‘The Evil Within’ (2017)
Direction: Andrew Getty
Cast: Frederick Koehler, Sean Patrick Flanery, Brianna Brown, Dina Meyer.
The rarity of the lot is this piece started in 2003 that exemplifies the concept of a cursed movie from its very inception. The life project of a descendant of the Getty, died of drug miscontrol, which was finished posthumously. A multifaceted, anachronistic, clumsy and fascinating artisanal nightmare from every angle.
Address: Paco Plaza
Cast: Sandra Escacena, Bruna González, Claudia Placer, Iván Chavero, Ana Torrent.
One of the best horror movies in the history of Spanish cinema, in which Paco Plaza manages to mix his manners with a dark initiation story metaphor of menstruation, a real paranormal case with Íker Jiménez and the post- James Wan paranormal tendency in vogue in the decade.
Director: Ari Aster
Cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd
There are not many films of this decade that combine the authorial gaze so well with the masterful use of paranoia and the distraction plot without giving up images of pure horror, gore, esotericism and a look at the classics with coverage of drama. If Scorsese praises her, it’s for something . If we didn’t follow a chronological order it would go to number one.
Director: Matthew Holness
Cast : Sean Harris, Alun Armstrong, Simon Bubb, Andy Blithe.
A simplistic look can see in it a repetitive journey of a man walking through the streets with a suitcase in his hand, but within this traumatic nightmare there is a complex psychological study of a man who may or may not be a pedophile, who may be haunted by a marionette in the form of a spider or not and that reflects the oppressive horror of the British adaptations of MR James .
Address: Panos Cosmatos
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Bill Duke, Richard Brake, Hayley Saywell
Unclassifiable and dreamlike , Panos Cosmatos ‘ second film has part of ‘Cobra’ (1986), part of ‘Hellraiser’ (1987) as well as revenge films. A violent psychedelic odyssey that oozes heavy metal aesthetics and surreal terror, violence and referential resample from Tobe Hooper to Larry Cohen . One of the essential experiences of the decade .
‘Doctor Sleep’ (Doctor Sleep, 2019)
Director: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Zahn McClarnon.
Possibly Mike Flanagan is one of the directors with the most ballots to have more than one film on this list, but with ‘Doctor Sleep’ he has managed to create an adaptation of Stephen King superior to the work on which it is based , a worthy sequel to the film by Kubrick , taking into account the material of the original novel and a work purely his. Flawless and elegant , in the Tarantino top 3 of 2019.
‘Daniel isn’t real’ (2019)
Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer.
Cast: Miles Robbins, Sasha Lane, Hannah Marks, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Faith Logan.
Premiered at the Sitges festival and currently in limited exhibition in the US, this rereading of the archetypal account of the psychological duality of ‘ William Wilson ‘ or Jeckyll and Hyde is patiently taken to the terrain of modern terror, drawing on classics such as’ Jacob’s ladder ‘(Jacob’s ladder, 1990) , whose protagonist, Tim Robbins , is not by chance the father of the main actor in this. More works like this are needed.
Direction: Andy Muschietti
Cast: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff …
Separating the adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘IT’ into two chapters is a commercial move, but in reality it is a single film that works as a complete story that takes its true meaning when you finish watching its second part. A bloody, daring, epic and beautiful commercial adaptation of the great American horror novel, with a Pennywise that has permeated popular culture in surprising ways. Unavoidable and to evaluate, it will pass as the ‘ Nightmare on Elm Street ‘ of this decade.