I’ll admit it- 2015 was not my favorite year in horror history. Most big studio films failed to impress, so I found myself reaching further into the indie markets for horror sparks. There, I found some great movies. Though I feel the year across the board was a tad lacking, the titles I ultimately curated on my list are brilliant and very deserving of accolades. I applaud these media-makers on creating something innovative within the horror genre and hope to see more from them in 2016!
My Top 10 Horror Movies of 2015:
New Zealand horrors have been top on my list for the past few years. I can’t get enough of their style of comedy, horror and gore. Two metals heads unknowingly summon an ancient evil in this hilarious flick!
9- THE VISIT
I was not expecting to like this movie as much as I did considering I tend to be rather anti-found footage. But Nana and Pop Pop quickly grew on me. This was also by far my best theatrical experience of the year. The crowds were alive with excitement and gasping at the screen. That’s how you f’n watch a horror movie with a group!
8- SUBURBAN GOTHIC
Director Ricky Bates weaves a quirky tale about a college grad forced to move back in with his parents. He soon finds a like-minded female companion and a supernatural presence that is plaguing the town.
7- LET US PREY
In this British-Irish production, a stranger shows up at a police station and begins to take hold of not only the volatile situation, but everyone’s minds. With an insane amount of violence and bloodshed, LET US PREY just feels like a fun 70s/80s exploitation movie. It’s sleazy and vicious, but somehow a stylish treat to watch!
Though centered more for kids, this film is a blast. Such a wonderful homage to the book series that fueled my horror love during my adolescent years.
5- THE HALLOW
A married couple with an infant son move into a rural Irish farmhouse. The townsfolk warn them repeatedly about creatures living in the woods. The duo dismiss it as folklore, but soon realize they are the targets of some very real “folk tales”. The creature and practical effects in this are fantastic.
4- THE FINAL GIRLS
I was mixed on this one for awhile, but over time I’ve come to really appreciate what the film is doing. Yes, it is overly “meta” and somewhat mocking the slasher subgenre, but it works, thus creating an enjoyable horror comedy that ended up becoming one of my fave films of the year.
3- THE LAST SHIFT
THE LAST SHIFT was by far one of the scariest films I saw this year. A female police officer is left alone to guard an isolated precinct while it is under a supernatural assault.
2- BONE TOMAHAWK
I know some will argue this is a western, but it has enough gruesome and chilling moments for me to comfortably add it to my horror list. The movie boasts top notch acting, a riveting story, stellar special FX, and it somehow works in humor as well. I’m glad to see the Western genre returning to our screens and delighted to find one take such a bold foray into horror!
1- WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
From the comedic geniuses behind THE FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS comes this fun love letter to vampire films. Set up as a documentary on the lives of modern vampires living in New Zealand, the film hilariously explores the undead from all walks of life along with a rival gang of werewolves.
Easily the best movie I saw in 2015, I’m only stashing it in my “honorable mentions” section because it has not done a full nationwide release yet. Stark and minimalistic, THE WITCH creates an eerie environment from the first frame as a frontier family embarks into the rural landscape to create a homestead.
This one is questionably riding a line between horror and science fiction, but it does have a serial killer as the central plot point. In my opinion, this was one of the smartest films of the year. I watched it twice just to see how the many curves and twists work.
This is just a fun movie across the board, renascent of holiday classics like GREMLINS or SCROOGED.
Though I did not love the film as much as many other critics, IT FOLLOWS did have some of the best suspense scenes and scares of the year. This may have been the only time I actually jumped a bit during a screening in 2015.