Every horror movie of 2020, definitively ranked (including holiday anthology 'Deathcember')
This year we've taken on the task of definitively ranking every new horror movie, and like a final girl in a slasher flick, 2020 is nearing its bloody end.
The world's been plenty frightful with viral outbreaks and uncertainty about theaters reopening amid the pandemic, but there are all sorts of chillers to choose from, even during the holiday season. The new anthology film "Deathcember" is like an advent calendar of, well, death, with 24 different seasonal mini-chillers from all over the world.
Here's how "Deathcember" and some theatrical titles hitting VOD and streaming – "Come Play," "New Mutants" and "Freaky" (available Tuesday) – stack up against what's come out thus far:
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86. 'The Turning'
The horrid adaptation of Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw" stars Mackenzie Davis as a governess hired to take care of a young girl who's driven nuts seeing ghostly figures and hearing things that go bump in the night. Way more frustrating than freaky, the film also has one of the worst endings in recent memory.
85. 'Blumhouse's Fantasy Island'
Give Blumhouse credit for casting Michael Peña in Ricardo Montalban's old Mr. Roarke role and wanting to make the old TV concept fresh again. Yet so much else fails in this convoluted retread with guests being put through their individual hells and one huge forced plot twist after another. It's just a checklist of bad horror tropes by the end.
There's a strong sense of style in this noir horror fantasy, though not much resembling a cohesive narrative, with a renowned trumpet player (Stephen McHattie), the hitman (also McHattie) hired to bring back one of the musician's fingers, and a bonkers plot involving psychics, jazz, pedophilia and vampires.
83. 'The Honeymoon Phase'
Like a particularly underwhelming "Black Mirror" episode, the middling sci-fi thriller stars Chloe Carroll and Jim Schubin as a young lovers who pass themselves off as a married couple to be part of a 30-day social experiment that comes with some nice self-isolation digs, $50,000 and a nightmarish situation. Spoiler alert: The money's totally not worth it.
This one's maybe only for those who are really missing "Saw" movies. Nine friends harboring an old secret return for their high school homecoming, party hard in the woods and then wake up in the middle of the night with high-tech time bombs attached to their chests in the gory survival thriller.
81. 'The Grudge'
In the latest (and forgettable) redo of the Japanese horror movie, a couple of cops and others come to face-to-face with a vengeful phantom that attaches itself to houses and people and haunts them until their unavoidable doom. The film offers nonlinear intertwining story lines, ghosts coming out of bathtubs and little else.
80. 'No Escape'
A popular vlogger (Keegan Allen) is taken to Moscow by his friends to produce an epic anniversary episode at a Russian escape room that involves very sharp traps and killer puzzles. Here's a shocker: It goes oh-so-very-wrong as the unoriginal thriller liberally borrows from various "Hostel" and "Saw" movies.
The survival horror is pretty standard stuff, with a recently widowed woman (Jules Willcox) being stalked by a middle-aged psycho (Marc Menchaca). There is a solid grounding in reality, however, that gives it some extra fear factor and leads to the killer being forced to deal with his life outside of being a creepy homicidal maniac.
78. 'The Sonata'
Freya Tingley plays a gifted violinist whose composer father (the late Rutger Hauer) dies extremely violently. She inherits a Gothic castle and an unpublished masterwork – filled with weird symbols courtesy of dad's dark interests – in a movie with cool classical music but no real scares.
77. 'Brahms: The Boy II'
Katie Holmes is a mom whose family moves to the English countryside after a violent break-in and Christopher Convery plays the young boy who finds and befriends the freaky doll Brahms. Brahms is plenty unnerving, but the sequel frustratingly undermines what made the first film's twist ending cool and instead falls back on boring horror tropes.
76. 'Death of Me'
You can't beat the premise: A married couple (Maggie Q and Luke Hemsworth) wake up from a night of partying and probably would rather go back to bed after seeing a smartphone video of him strangling her to death. The rest of the thriller fumbles its potential, as they begin to learn of the island's dark, magical mythology.
75. 'The Dark Red'
The indie psychological thriller hinges on a psychiatric patient (April Billingsley) who insists her newborn baby has been kidnapped by a secret cult collecting folks of her rare blood type. Its "Is she crazy or not?" narrative takes a goofy third-act turn into a revenge flick better at showing Billingsley's pull-up prowess than doling out chills.
In the fleetingly clever social-media thriller, wannabe influencer/rideshare driver Kurt Kunkle (Joe Keery) is so desperate for likes that one day he goes on a murderous rampage and live streams the whole thing. Former "SNL" star Sasheer Zamata is the highlight as a stand-up comedian who gets caught up in Kurt's world.
73. 'A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting'
When her young charge is nabbed by a flamboyant Boogeyman ("Harry Potter" actor Tom Felton) with nefarious machinations, a teen girl (Tamara Smart) joins up with the all-business leader (Oona Laurence) of a top-secret supergroup of babysitters to save the world.
72. 'Behind You'
Two young sisters move in with their very strange estranged aunt, all the mirrors in the house are covered up (for a reason, naturally), and when one of the girls uncovers one, she releases a nasty demon that’s haunted the family before. The few highlights are undone by a convoluted mythology, plenty of clichés and a lack of scares.
71. 'The Room'
A European couple buy an old house and in the midst of spiffing the place up discover a hidden room where whatever they wish for comes true. It's pretty standard "Monkey's Paw" material for much of it, though the movie shows some depth when it finally gets personal with its main characters and their deepest desires.
70. 'Sea Fever'
On one hand, it's hopelessly derivative. On the other, it's got an exploding eye that'll leave you squirming. The sci-fi horror centers on a marine-biology student who boards a European fishing trawler that's invaded by an otherworldly organism, which infects the sailors and turns them mad. Maybe not the best flick if you're weirded out by worms.
69. 'The Pale Door'
Following a twilight train robbery that goes south for the Dalton gang – including their outlaw leader (Zachary Knighton) and his younger brother (Devin Druid) – they end up a ghost town that, unfortunately for them, contains a coven of bloodthirsty witches. And they just so happen to be the best thing about this Western-flavored indie horror.
68. 'Books of Blood'
Clive Barker's acclaimed anthology gets a so-so adaptation of four intertwining tales featuring a troubled young woman (Britt Robertson) staying at a B&B, an academic skeptic (Anna Friel) who meets a medium (Rafi Gavron) for the dead, and a criminal (Yul Vazquez) searching for a seriously sinister book.
67. 'The Witches'
As the leader of a kid-snatching coven, Anne Hathaway is just cartoonishly over the top – think Cruella de Vil meets the Joker after 10 cappuccinos – in Robert Zemeckis' family-friendly film. Jahzir Bruno stars as an Alabama boy turned into a mouse by the wicked villainess and Octavia Spencer plays the coolest grandma around.
66. 'After Midnight'
In the down-home indie horror romance, a small-town bar owner's forced to deal with a vicious monster that attacks his front door every night. As the creature's appearance coincides with the disappearance of the dude's girlfriend, "Midnight" deftly explores the push-pull between expanding your horizons and remaining comfortably complacent.
65. 'Evil Eye'
In a psychological thriller that melds dark magic and Indian culture, a young New Orleans woman (Sunita Mani) has a meet-cute and starts dating a seemingly cool guy (Omar Maskati), but red flags go off for her overprotective Delhi mom (Sarita Choudhury) when she's sure the dude is connected to her dead abusive ex.
64. 'Sleepless Beauty'
A Russian woman (Polina Davydova) is kidnapped and forced to weather a nonstop, livestreamed slate of torture, sinister tests, and a virtual-reality headset full of terrifying images so she can't sleep. It's not always a pleasant experience, though the film explores real-world threats and impressively commits to its weirdness.
The "Alien" influence isn't at all subtle in the action-packed thriller starring Kristen Stewart as a mechanical engineer on a doomed drilling team seven miles below the ocean surface. There are lots of claustrophobic escapes, crushing deep-sea dangers and neato monsters, plus Stewart does a decent job rocking a modern Ripley vibe.
62. 'Disappearance at Clifton Hill'
Playing a quirky podcaster, horror legend David Cronenberg is a scene-stealer in the film about a young woman (Tuppence Middleton) who returns to her Niagara Falls home still traumatized by a tragedy she witnessed as a girl. The immersive narrative is convoluted in its resolution, yet offers a few well-crafted moments worth the watch.
61. 'We Summon the Darkness'
In the middle of a satanic panic with murderers on the loose in their 1980s-set Midwestern locale, a pack of girlfriends go to a rock show, befriend three dudes and things get bloody when the pentagrams and chainsaws come out. You can see the twists coming, though “Darkness” takes a horror-comedy stab at cults of personality.
Suburban madness is real for the main couple (Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots) when they're trapped in an otherworldly identical neighborhood, especially as a baby is plopped in front of them with the message "Raise him and be released." There's a creepy kid to be had as well as a larger metaphor about life and parenting.
In a desperate gambit for new subscribers, a vlogging influencer (Matthew Solomon) spends Halloween weekend with his crew at a cursed LA hotel that was frequented by a serial killer. The best part about the found-footage movie is the most annoying characters get put through haunted hell.
58. 'You Should Have Left'
Kevin Bacon stars as a middle-age dude with a mysterious bit of infamy and a much younger actress wife (Amanda Seyfried) whose Welsh getaway turns sinister when dark forces keep him trapped in a modern house that defies time and space. There are some eerie moments but they should have made a less predictable flick.
57. 'The Lie'
Mireille Enos and Peter Sarsgaard are divorced parents who protect their teen daughter (Joey King) when she confesses to murdering her best friend. It's not quite that cut-and-dry, of course, but writer/director Veena Sud ("The Killing") juggles enough real-life nightmares to freak out most devoted moms and dads.
Wil Wheaton channels his inner creepy Mister Rogers in this freaky, 1990-set flick about a lonely dude named David (Brian Landis Folkins) whose love life has taken a back seat to caring for his mom with dementia. A self-help VHS tape starring the oddly chummy Andy (Wheaton) leads to a very disturbing "friendship."
55. 'The Owners'
The next time you take some old folks for granted, remember this British home-invasion thriller. Maisie Williams plays young woman who gets embroiled in a bad situation when her boyfriend's ne'er-do-well pals pull a house robbery, the elderly residents come home, and the whippersnappers deal with a brutal comeuppance.
54. 'The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw'
This super-duper bleak 1970s-set chiller centers on an isolated Protestant village chock full of food shortages, pestilence and death, and everybody blames Agatha Earnshaw (Catherine Walker) and accuses her of witchcraft. But things get really bad when they find out she's been hiding a teen daughter Audrey (Jessica Reynolds) since birth.
In one of 2020's biggest swings, comedian Kevin James sports a shaved head with a huge swastika tattoo in this revenge thriller, a twisted take on "Home Alone" featuring a rebellious teen girl (Lulu Wilson) fighting back against a pack of escaped convicts led by their sadistic neo-Nazi leader (James).
52. 'Tales from the Hood 3'
Executive produced by Spike Lee and directed by original "Tales" filmmaker Rusty Cundieff, the third movie in the social horror anthology series features an old man ("Candyman" icon Tony Todd) and a little girl swapping stories, including a small-time criminal cursed after stealing a pair of gold basketball shoes.
51. 'Before the Fire'
The timely female-led thriller stars Jenna Lyng Adams as a TV actress displaced from Hollywood by a deadly influenza outbreak. She ends up back in her South Dakota hometown and is forced into a survival situation when her abusive dad (Charles Hubbell) proves more dangerous than a contagion.
The honest truth about having two dozen horror-themed shorts over two and a half hours is they're not all going to be gems. But most of the Christmas-y efforts feel original, including a bloody throw down in a retail store, a twisty story with heisting Santas, and a yuletide family dinner that'll give you the willies.
49. 'Scare Package'
With a 1980s-style video store as a framing device, the horror-comedy anthology unleashes seven tales gleefully sending up various subgenres – for example, three girls are possessed by a demonic lollipop in one story and an unkillable slasher gets the spotlight in another – and putting a clever meta spin on a trove of tropes.
48. 'Get Duked!'
The horror comedy perfect for those who've missed the working-class European charm of "Shaun of the Dead." The horror comedy is plenty silly – and gleefully gory – as a motley crew of teenage boys on a camping trip in the Scottish Highlands are hunted by a older gentleman (Eddie Izzard) in a weird mask.
47. 'The Dark and the Wicked'
Things get extraordinarily dreary down on the farm where an old man (Michael Zagst) is near death, a supernatural darkness has infected his wife (Julie Oliver-Touchstone), and their grown-up daughter (Marin Ireland) and son (Michael Abbott Jr.) show up right in time for things to get really bad courtesy of an evil, shapeshifting figure.
It's a classically tinged schlock-fest when a young pianist (Sydney Sweeney) at a prestigious arts school finds a dead classmate's music notebook (full of demonic scribblings, by the way) and utilizes it to gain an advantage on her talented sister (Madison Iseman) – with some consequences.
45. 'New Mutants'
While it's not enough of a superhero flick or a horror film, the X-Men-adjacent movie isn't terrible and features some creepy visuals – plus a demon bear! – as five superpowered teenagers (Maisie Williams, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Charlie Heaton and Anya Taylor-Joy) are kept in a mysterious hospital and forced to face their worst fears.
44. 'Extra Ordinary'
In this small-town Irish charmer full of spooks and satanic pacts, Rose (Maeve Higgins) is a driving instructor and reluctant psychic who has to save a virgin from the devil-worshipping shenanigans of a pop-music has-been (Will Forte). The film intriguingly digs into the loneliness of ghosts and has a fun but gross running gag involving ectoplasm.
A Greek doctor (Prometheus Aleifer) gets a new gig in a remote village and becomes enchanted by a reclusive and mercurial woman (Anastasia Rafaella Konidi) who lives isolated in a forest and has a strange skin condition. Sparks fly but things get thorny between them in a dark fable about love and nature.
42. 'Hubie Halloween'
The sweet and goofy Netflix comedy features Adam Sandler as mumbling misfit Hubie Dubois (Sandler), the bullied Halloween protector of Salem, Massachusetts. This year, however, the town actually needs his oddball services when an escaped psycho hits town and residents start disappearing
41. 'The Craft: Legacy'
OG fans of the original '90s "Craft" will dig this follow-up, which centers on another youngster, Lily (Cailee Spaeny) who gets witchy with a coven of fellow high schoolers (Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone and Zoey Luna) who get in over their heads in terms of magical shenanigans and unexpected foes.
40. 'Come to Daddy'
Noir and comedy mix in this kooky outing that begins with quotes from two luminaries: Shakespeare and Beyoncé. A privileged dude (Elijah Wood) travels to see the estranged father who left him behind when he was a child, their reunion is a disaster, and a crazy reveal forces our man-child hero to survive a series of bloody predicaments.
39. 'Scare Me'
Writer/director Josh Ruben stars in the horror comedy as an amateur writer hoping to get some work done in a Catskills cabin when he meets his neighbor (Aya Cash), the greatest thing since Stephen King. They engage in a competition to tell the scariest story, a situation that gets even nuttier when a pizza guy (Chris Redd) shows up.
38. 'Body Cam'
Starring Mary J. Blige as an officer investigating the gruesome murders of fellow cops, what seems at first an ordinary law-and-order drama turns very supernatural with interesting themes involving revenge and police brutality, a twist on the found-footage model in cool ways, and plenty of exposed organs for gore hounds.
37. 'The Mortuary Collection'
Storytelling mortician Montgomery Dark (Clancy Brown) and a curious drifter (Caitlin Fisher) looking for a job swap four terrifying tales, from a satisfying twist on the slasher-villain archetype to the shudder-spawning example of unprotected college sex gone very, very wrong.
After her boyfriend dies, a pregnant British woman (Tamara Lawrance) moves in with her dead lover's mom (Fiona Shaw) and his stepbrother (Jack Lowden), though they don't seem to have her best interests at heart in a psychological thriller that's not exactly innovative but is plenty effective.
35. 'Random Acts of Violence'
Jay Baruchel co-stars in and directs this intriguing exploration of artistic responsibility and modern morality about the Canadian creator (Jesse Williams) of a successful comic book in which the masked protagonist is based on an actual serial slasher, and during a road trip to New York Comic Con, he sees all-too-familiar scenes of disturbing carnage.
A recent LA transplant (Nicole Brydon Bloom) scores a sweet Hollywood pad with seemingly nice neighbors who cook out. Only too late does she realize the bizarre reality of her new surroundings. “1BR” is aces at tackling the ideology behind community and cults and goes to some fairly unnerving places in its brutality.
In director Romola Garai's devilish horror flick, an ex-soldier (Alec Secareanu) moves in to help a young woman (Carla Juri) with the upkeep of her decrepit house. The weirdness lies upstairs, though, where her elderly mother lives and some freakiness will be revealed during a slow-burn chiller that messes with your expectations.
Shot and produced remotely during COVID-19 quarantine, the clever film taps into timely circumstance and successfully tweaks the found-footage model in a lean-and-mean fashion with the story of locked-down friends who attend an online seance via Zoom and some aggressive spirits don't maintain appropriate social distancing.
31. 'Come Play'
A rare fright fest that deals with a special-needs child, the film centers on a nonverbal boy (Azhy Robertson) with autism who uses a smartphone to communicate but becomes haunted by a horrifying creature named Larry that invades electronic devices and wants to be his "friend."
30. 'Bad Hair'
Elle Lorraine is a newcomer to watch as a young woman in the music-video business who gets a weave to help her career prospects – until the hairdo begins to have a bloody-thirsty mind of its own. It's overall an intriguing mix of body horror and dark magic that explores beauty-obsessed culture in regards to race and women.
29. 'The Cleansing Hour'
A popular web personality (Ryan Guzman) and his producer buddy (Kyle Gallner) livestream fake exorcisms for clicks, but it's all fun and games until their latest guest star (Alix Angelis) actually is possessed. It's a neat premise made better with an uncomfortably timely, thought-provoking ending.
Janelle Monae rocks her dual roles in this timely and twisty Shyamalan-esque thriller. She plays an enslaved woman working on a plantation ruled over by ruthless and vicious Southerners, and also a modern-day sociologist targeted by some mysterious villains. A rousing, action-packed final act only boosts its deeper message.
The clever and gory horror comedy by Chris Landon ("Happy Death Day") stars Vince Vaughn as a masked serial killer who stalks a teenage girl (Kathryn Newton) and, thanks to a magical dagger, they swap bodies and the youngster has to works against the clock with her pals to set things right.
Haley Bennett stars as happy-on-the-outside housewife Hunter who becomes pregnant and develops pica, leading her to compulsively swallow pins, screwdrivers and other objects that'll make you squirm. However, the "Oh, please don't eat that" situations switch to more hopeful ones as Hunter reclaims her identity and deals with a dark past
25. 'Dogs Don't Wear Pants'
The Finnish thriller, which played at last year's Cannes and Toronto film festivals, is surprisingly as endearing as it is disturbing. A widowed heart surgeon is a cold fish with sexual hangups when he meets and forms a strong connection with a BDSM dominatrix whose strangulation methods prove addictive, freeing and oddly cathartic for him.
"Booksmart" meets "Shaun of the Dead" and "Gremlins" in the teen horror comedy centered on a teen girl who loses her virginity and gives "birth" to an alien baby. Come for the gruesome shenanigans of a monstrous critter that attaches itself to people's heads, stay for estranged childhood pals reuniting to become creature-hunting BBFs.
In an eerie sci-fi chiller set during the Cold War, a Soviet cosmonaut (Pyotr Fyodorov) comes back to Earth inhabited by unwanted extraterrestrial cargo. He's taken to a secret site where the deadly creature comes out when its host is asleep, and a controversial doctor (Oksana Akinshina) is the best chance for the space guy's survival.
Exploring folk terrors with intriguing depth, the Indonesian flick stars Tara Basro as a woman who travels to a remote village to investigate a residence that belongs to the parents she never knew, and she learns of the locale's bloody history and an old curse that has the residents wanting to kill her.
21. 'The Babysitter: Killer Queen'
In the entertaining follow-up to 2017's underrated horror comedy, a teenager (Judah Lewis) lived through one attack by a Satanic death cult, and now they're back – with fresh new villains – to ruin a weekend getaway involving his best friend (Emily Alyn Lind) and a mysterious new girl (Jenna Ortega) who enters the picture.
20. 'The Hunt'
"The Hunt" takes no partisan prisoners in imagining cold warfare between the left and right taken to ultra-violent ends. It struggles to find balance between clever metaphor and comedic splatter-fest, but you'll still revel in watching Betty Gilpin star as a Bible Belt car-rental employee with a very particular set of hidden skills.
19. 'The Other Lamb'
Taking on gender power dynamics and toxic masculinity, the coming-of-age story stars Raffey Cassidy as a teen born into an all-female flock that worships a strange messianic figure (Michiel Huisman). Transitioning to adulthood, she begins to see the awful truth around her in a film full of artistic imagery and pervasive unease.
18. 'The Beach House'
Feeling a little cabin fever from being cooped up with a pandemic outside? This nasty little piece of cosmic horror probably won't help: A young couple (Liana Liberato and Noah Le Gros) venture to a beach house but their sandy getaway turns into ground zero for a supernatural force rising from the water and infecting the locals.
17. 'The Wolf of Snow Hollow'
Writer/director Jim Cummings plays a stressed local cop and recovering alcoholic dad who investigates a series of werewolf attacks in his Utah ski town in this horror-comedy full of heart and humor. A great monstrous metaphor is deftly at play, though Cummings is so good as a dude always five minutes away from a nervous breakdown.
16. '12 Hour Shift'
Angela Bettis ("May") is a highlight of this bonkers dark comedy, starring as an Arkansas nurse who's a source for an organ-trafficking ring. A kidney meant for the black market goes missing and all hell breaks loose during a murderous night at the hospital in search of a replacement.
15. 'Blood Quantum'
Tired of the same old zombie movies? Canadian director Jeff Barnaby’s horror film carves out a place in the undead subgenre by focusing on timely issues of contagion, with a Canadian tribe of First Nation people who are immune to a terrifying virus but have to weigh morality vs. survival, even among their own family.
A wealthy man (Omari Hardwick) flies his family in a private jet to rural Appalachia for his father's funeral. After his plane crashes, he wakes up alone with a serious injury and he discovers that the woman (a deliciously evil Loretta Devine) taking care of him has created a doll from his own skin and blood in a satisfying squirm-fest.
13. 'The Platform'
The gory Spanish satire imagines a tower-esque prison where the incarcerated are fed via a platform filled with high-end vittles, and prisoners on lower levels have to eat the scraps from those above them. The class metaphor is fairly obvious, but salient points are made in the extreme lengths people will go to hold their status over others.
Director Natalie Erika James infuses a dread-filled twist on the haunted-house movie with an emotional undercurrent about the effects of dementia. An old woman (Robyn Nevin) goes missing from her dilapidated country home, turns up behaving oddly and worries both her daughter (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter (Bella Heathcote).
Andrea Riseborough is an elite hitwoman who, thanks to some sweet high-tech science, inhabits an unknowing dude (Christopher Abbott) so she can eliminate his girlfriend's tech mogul dad (Sean Bean). When she starts losing herself in her subject's mind, and he begins to fight back, the results are trippy, disturbing and awfully bloody.
10. 'Black Box'
Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr.'s sci-fi thriller stars Mamoudou Athie as an amnesiac dad struggling to get his memories back after the tragic car accident that claimed his wife's life. He volunteers for an experimental procedure that unlocks a subconscious mystery, one that and features a dark, pursuing figure that will weird you out for at least a week.
9. 'Color Out of Space'
In this trippy, slow-burn gore-fest based on an H.P. Lovecraft short story, a New England alpaca farmer (Nicolas Cage) and his family discover a meteorite's landed in their yard and they're taken over by an alien presence. The invasion creates stunning visuals, and Cage going absolutely bonkers never gets old.
Directing duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead ("The Endless," "Spring") deliver again in a gripping, emotional mind-bender about an EMT (Anthony Mackie) with terminal brain cancer who discovers a pill that allows people to time-travel. He learns its weird rules (plus that the past can be hell) and searches for the missing daughter of his partner (Jamie Dornan).
7. 'The Wretched'
Those who adored Reagan-era coming-of-age flicks like "The Goonies" and "The Lost Boys" will appreciate the love and care – plus unnerving visuals and dread – directing duo Brett and Drew T. Pierce inject into their tale of a teenage boy sent to live with his divorced dad in a coastal town who discovers a deadly forest witch is living next door.
6. 'The Rental'
Dave Franco's impressively sinister directorial debut is an unnerving tale of Airbnb guests ready for a weekend of relaxation – and perhaps a little molly – that's instead chock full of tension, infidelity and, yep, some bloodshed. Paying more attention to character than shock value, the film also deftly weaves in modern issues – secret surveillance, racist microaggressions – for maximum effect.
5. 'Gretel & Hansel'
In this fairy-tale reimagining, Gretel (Sophia Lillis) and little brother Hansel (Samuel Leakey) find a super-weird house and are enticed by an elaborate feast inside, where they meet the witch (Alice Krige) who runs the place. The film features wonderfully unnerving sights, a nuanced narrative and an intriguing empowerment story.
4. 'The Lodge'
Like your horror super-duper bleak? "The Lodge" is full of despair as Grace (Riley Keough), who's still haunted by her childhood being the only survivor of a religious death cult, gets trapped with her fiancé's kids in a remote house. But that's just the start of the twisty terrors that grip the place in this beautifully shot, slow-burn chiller.
3. 'She Dies Tomorrow'
Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) believes she's going to die tomorrow, and it's a doom-ridden thought that proves contagious as it metastasizes among a group of people including her friend Jane (Jane Adams) and Jane's brother (Chris Messina). Trippy and dark, the well-crafted film evolves into absurdist comedy for an experience that's equally unnerving and stunning.
2. 'The Invisible Man'
The impressive combo of social consciousness and inspired scares modernizes an old-school monster for the #MeToo era. Elisabeth Moss' heroine finds no one believes her when she insists her sociopathic ex faked a suicide and haunts her as an unseen antagonist. It's a satisfying film as much about domestic abuse and gaslighting as it is freaking you out.
1. 'His House'
Politically relevant and absolutely unnerving, writer/director Remi Weekes' stunning take on the haunted-house film stars Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù and Wunmi Mosaku as a couple who escape war-torn South Sudan, seek asylum in Britain and face very personal nightmares in their new suburban digs.