2017: Get Out
The unquestionable best horror film of 2017, Get Out took Jordan Peele from comedy star to Hollywood bigshot.
What puts Get Out above its competition isn’t scares, but its frank social commentary on race relations in America – there’s criticism of those who engage in casual racism, showing that it’s just as dangerous as overt bigotry. There are scares present too, and said thrilling moments keep the film entertaining throughout. The exploration into the background of lead protagonist Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) through hypnotherapy, which causes him to enter “The Sunken Place”, was one of the most chilling sequences of the year and a truly creative way for Peele to teach us more about the character. The film’s Oscar nominations prove the film’s power, and its Screenplay win was a huge deal for the future success of Horror as a genre; the renaissance was confirmed by Get Out, arguably the most important horror of the century.
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There is no horror film as disturbing as Hereditary in the 2010s.
This Ari Aster written and directed film is about a family dealing with loss and trauma following the death of the protagonist’s mother, and shows how powerful grief is as a tool for filmmakers. Aster’s visual style is unique, framing scenes similarly to the model house Toni Collette’s character Annie builds in the film, or using single takes that change in composition to match the emotions the characters display. There are moments that make you just want to pause, call your loved ones and reflect on your life choices. It’s a powerful film, an explosive directorial debut and one of the most memorable releases in all of cinema this decade; an unforgettable experience.
2019: It: Chapter Two
It: Chapter Two brings together an ensemble cast to complete a classic story in a satisfying way that also stays true to the novel; something other horror franchises should take great inspiration from.
Chapter Two has more scares than its predecessor, both realistic and fantastical, and it’s the realistic kind that really drive the horror home. The film opens with a scene where a gay man is severely beaten, reminding viewers that this is a story with things to say about the brutal tragedies of reality, while a scene in which Pennywise lures a young girl through emotional manipulation is another terrifying moment that plays off expectations and is worse than any spider monsters or unsettling humanoid manifestations of fear. Us and Midsommar are stiff, highly rated, competition for this Andy Muschietti release, but they miss out due to Chapter Two‘s more substantial social impact.
There you have it; a film for each year of the decade, defining 10 of the very best horror movies put to screen since January 2010. Do you agree with our choices? Want to debate about any given year’s greatest horror film? Make sure to leave a comment!