Director: Jennifer Kent
Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman
The mummy’s curse
The territory where scary movies overlap with social realism remains largely unexplored by filmmakers. Horror has traditionally been a genre bent on entertainment – however twisted – and so reminders of real-world tragedy tend to stifle the fun. So props to first-time filmmaker Jennifer Kent for never shying away from her central character’s predicament: yes, our heroine Amelia is being stalked by something supernatural, but we’re never sure if it’s made the life of this grieving single mother appreciably worse. And as women continue to be shut out of filmmaking roles, how satisfying that ‘The Babadook’ was one of the best-reviewed horror movies of the decade so far. TH
Due to the events of 2020, there weren’t that many notable horror movies released. Thankfully, 2021 looks set to deliver for horror fans as we play catch up. Along with the long-awaited sequel to John Krasinski's A Quiet Place, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren return for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. There’s also the sequel to the 2018 soft-reboot of Halloween to look forward to, M Night Shyamalan’s rapid-aging thriller Old, and Neflix’s ambitious Fear Street Trilogy, which will no doubt be loads of frightful fun.
Of course, 2020 wasn’t a total dud either: Elisabeth Moss was brilliant in The Invisible Man, horror streaming service Shudder had a lot of fun with the very real terror of weekly Zoom calls for its exclusive Host, and Saint Maud, the exceptional debut film from UK writer-director Rose Glass, was original and unsettling.
In fact, a couple of films released in 2020 were so good that they made their way on to our extensive, expert-assisted list of the greatest and scariest films ever. As with our picks of the best comedy movies or best thrillers, the below list is a proper smorgasbord of horror movies, including genre-busting science fiction like Alien or murderous serial killer thrillers such as The Silence of the Lambs. The list is also full of the classics, too, as well as some recent releases that left us terrified. To find out which new movie releases made the cut and where demonic Damien from The Omen or rotten Regan from The Exorcist landed, we present the 100 best horror films.
Written by Tom Huddleston, Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, Phil de Semlyen, David Ehrlich, Joshua Rothkopf and Alim Kheraj