This list of horror movies has been updated to include September release.
The conversation around horror movies this year has been dominated by two words: Get Out. Jordan Peele’s boundary-breaking thriller has deservedly become the reflexive repose to the question, “Seen any good horror movies lately?” But while Peele’s directorial debut has been generating early Oscar buzz, a lot of another great horror movies have hit theatres so far this year. young actresses like Sennia Nanua, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Garance Marillier have impressed in showcase roles, while occult stories like A Darl song and The Blackcoat’s Daughter have moved past the well-worn exorcism narrative in favour of more distinct takes on satanic horror. And there have also been some very good bad guys! Here then, are the best horror films of the year so far that are not Get Out.
1. Annabelle: Creation
Annabelle: Creation is the fourth movie in the ever-expanding Conjuring universe, and it served as one of this year’s biggest summer horror surprises. Director David Sand berg came on for the second Annabelle movie, putting some snap back into the sub-franchise by taking viewers even farther back in time to learn the origins of the wicked doll. Dark, brooding indies are always been appreciated, but sometimes, here you just want jump scares served up on a platter. That’s exactly what Creation delivers – it is absolutely overflowing with good, cheap thrills.
You can watch the trailer here Annabelle: Creation
2. Berlin Syndrome
There are always more and more strong roles for women in horror films, but still too few female directors. With Berlin Syndrome, Cate Shortland has made a terrifying film about the psychological toll of abusive relationships. Veteran horror heroine Teresa Palmer stars is in the movie as an Australian tourist who gets taken as a prisoner after a one-night stand in Berlin, and the actress is even better in Berlin than she was in last year’s Light Out. Shirtland’s claustrophobic look at toxic masculinity and the line between love and obsession is a powerful first foray into the suspense genre.
You can watch the trailer here Berlin Syndrome
3. The Blackcoat’s Daughter
Blackcaoat’s Daughter is the first feature from Osgood Perkins (star of Legally Blonde, son of Anthony), who also recently directed Netflix’s I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. If these films are a guide, Perkins has an affinity for stories about quiet, emotionally isolated women susceptible to being overcome by spirits, and Blackcoat’s DAughter is one of the more eerie possession movies in recent memory. It stars Kieran Shaipka and Emma Roberts as two characters on distinct but intersecting paths, both of whom suffer from troubling visions and flashbacks, and who are linked together by a boarding school in the North.
You can watch the trailer here The Blackcoat’s Daughter
4. A Dark Song
A Dark Song is the feature debut of Ireland’s Liam Gavin, who comes on the scene strong with this meditation on grief and loss. A woman becomes obsessed with communicating again with her dead son. One big catch: Once the house has been bound no one can leave it until the process done. One thing is certain, though: When you open the door to the dead, you have to be prepared for whatever comes through.
You can watch the trailer here A Dark Song
5. Hounds of Love
Australian make really good rural-crime horror. Hounds of Love is the feature from (Actor)Ben Young, and it tells the story of a mildly rebellious high-schooler taken prisoner by a couple that kidnaps a local girl, makes them sex slaves, then kill them. Young does a phenomenal job of leaving the worst of the violence offscreen; he knows there is little value showing a brutal rape when a cutaway will deliver the message just as well. In this movie a female victimizer (Emma Booth), who herself is a trapped in a cycle of abuse and infatuation with her murderous boyfriend, who takes Hounds to the next level.
You can watch the trailer here Hounds of Love