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Top 25 Best Horror Movies Of 2015

13th – The Nightmare
Starring: n/a
Director: Rodney Ascher
Released: June 5, 2015

 -Seen It-  Part-documentary, part-horror movie exploring the terrifying real life condition, sleep paralysis. This is a phenomenon where a person, either while falling asleep or awakening, experiences an inability to move, speak or react. It is often accompanied by terrifying hallucinations (such as an intruder in the room) to which they are unable to react. ‘The Nightmare’ interviews half a dozen tortured, lifetime sufferers and their recounted experiences are recreated by the filmmakers with top-level production values. It ties their experiences together by exploring common symptoms, particularly the appearance of “shadow men”, terrifying silhouetted figures, and cat-like animals sitting heavy on the chest. The whole result is extremely creepy, with the near-constant reconstructions and unpredictability of dream narratives meaning you’re never sure if the next cut will be to a horrifying image. I actually had to stop myself watching it alone in bed, that’s how unsettling it is. As a factual documentary though its message is more suspect. The director made ‘Room 237’, the entertaining doc about theories surrounding ‘The Shining’, and similarly this is happy to throw far-fetched ideas at you without really exploring their factual basis. ‘The Nightmare’ doesn’t speak to any experts, suggests that one sufferer was ‘cured’ by turning to religion, and that the condition can be spread to someone else just by telling them about it. The latter is particularly ridiculous since thousands watching the documentary would contract it and how irresponsible would that be if they really believed it, which surely they don’t. Sleep paralysis is a medical condition (likely caused by a disruption to REM sleep, during which there’s a muscle lock-down to prevent sleepers from acting out their dreams), and by turning sufferers away from scientific and medical help they do them a disservice.

12th – The Final Girls
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Åkerman, Alexander Ludwig, Adam DeVine
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Released: October 9, 2015
Best Horror Films 2015

 -Seen It-  ‘Last Action Hero’ meets PG-13 ‘Friday the 13th’. A young woman (Farmiga) is grieving the loss of her mother (Åkerman), a scream queen from the 1980s. At a screening on the anniversary of her death, the cinema magically catches ablaze and she escapes through the screen with her friends into her mother’s most famous movie, ‘Camp Bloodbath’. Finding themselves trapped in the events of the movie, and in the same danger from the Jason-style stalker, she reunites with her mother to bend the slasher rules and find a way to escape… The self-aware characters/premise has been well covered in recent years by the likes of ‘Behind the Mask’, ‘Cabin in the Woods’, ‘Stage Fright’ and ‘Tucker & Dale vs Evil’. The fewer of those you’ve seen, the more original this will feel. The movie is a mixed bag. It starts off thinking it’s far more amusing than it is. The dialogue for the 80s slasher characters is completely inauthentic, using 70s disco funk vernacular, 90s phrases or sassy ‘Juno’-style dialogue. The portrayal of the horror movie’s final girl (badass, leather jacket) is completely wrong too. The ‘real world’ characters are just as cliched as those in a slasher (being the virgin, the handsome boyf, the not so attractive funny best friend, the nerd, the bitch), which is a missed opportunity for contrast. While the lead actress has a constant doe-eyed insipid expression, like she should be caring for an injured mouse. All that aside, ‘Final Girls’ is a very creative and effective compilation of previous concepts that run back to ‘Purple Rose of Cairo’, it strives to find an emotional heart, there are some good lines later on, and the visuals during the final act are impressive. It’ll pick up a cult following for sure.

11th – The Green Inferno
Starring: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns
Director: Eli Roth
Released: September 25, 2015
Top Horror Movies 2015

 -Seen It-  Student activists from New York City travel to the remote jungles of Peru to stage a protest, but when their small plane crashes they are captured by a tribe of cannibals. This is the first movie Eli Roth has directed since ‘Hostel: Part II’ five years ago. It’s clearly inspired by the macabre masterpiece ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ in which a group of reporters go to the Amazon in search of the last cannibal tribe. Roth’s shoot was truly guerrilla, meaning a tiny crew, basic living conditions, and filming in a remote tribal village in the Peruvian jungle using actual tribesmen as extras. If you’ve never seen a cannibal film before this offers something truly different to the rest of this year’s titles. It’s genuinely scary, a lot of fun, and the cannibal scenes are absolutely gruesome. It’s good to see Roth back behind the camera and this should be applauded for being daring …even if it’s kinda a remake.

10th – A Christmas Horror Story
Starring: George Buza, William Shatner, Zoé De Grand Maison, Jeff Clarke
Directors: Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban, Brett Sullivan
Released: October 2, 2015

 -Seen It-  Anthology of four interwoven stories that take place on Christmas Eve, sewn together by a hard-drinking festive radio host (Shatner): A family chopping down a Christmas tree accidentally brings back a changeling instead of their son; a student documentary in the bowels of a university building awakens a ghost; Krampus the anti-Santa hunts down a family of sinners; and an axe-wielding Santa has to deal with his elves becoming zombies in the North Pole… From the team behind the ‘Ginger Snaps’ trilogy. Unlike, say, ‘Tales of Halloween’ there isn’t a weak link here. The Santa story is the highlight while the teens in the basement the most generic, but they’re all effective and tie together well. By limiting the anthology to four stories instead of ten, and cross-cutting rather than presenting each in its entirety one at a time, it feels more pacey and they have enough room to breathe. The result is very entertaining. Shatner is a national treasure.

9th – Krampus
Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman
Director: Michael Dougherty
Released: December 4, 2015
Scariest Horror Movies 2015

 -Seen It-  A boy bemoans that his Aunt’s obnoxious family are joining his for Christmas and, in amongst the squabbling, rips up his hopeful letter to Santa. In response, a blizzard sets in and Krampus – the sinister opposite of Santa, based loosely on European folklore – appears. The two families soon find themselves under siege from his many minions, including gingerbread men, destructive elves and an evil treetop fairy, all intent on dragging them to the underworld… From the director of cult favourite ‘Trick ‘r Treat’. Imagine a darker version of ‘Gremlins’ meeting ‘A Christmas Carol’. Bloodless, but creepy and twisted, this is a glossy studio production that feels like a throwback to 80s horror. The creature design and execution is excellent, using animatronics, puppetry and costuming almost entirely instead of cgi. Some memorable, well-made sequences include Krampus leaping rooftops and Grandma’s stand-off. The problems lie with the characters, humour and somewhat unsatisfying ending. Because the characters are meant to be obnoxious enough to summon Krampus, the film finds it hard to recover from the distaste it creates toward them. There are many stabs at humour before Krampus shows up, but they don’t quite land. The divisive ending lacks a satisfying payback, and leaves quite a bit unanswered (what the encroaching snowmen were, what was under the snow, and what happened to the daughter etc). Despite these sorts of issues, ‘Krampus’ is entertaining, atmospheric, and refreshingly bucks recent horror trends. It’s so steeped in Christmas it doesn’t make much sense to watch it at any other time of year.

8th – Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont, David Koechner
Director: Christopher B. Landon
Released: October 30, 2015
Scariest Horror Movies 2015

 -Seen It-  Ben (Sheridan – ‘Mud’, Cyclops in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’) and Carter, two of the three members of the dwindling scout group led by Scout Master Rogers (Koechner), decide to sneak off from their last ever camp-out to attend a huge warehouse party. But while they were out in the woods, sticking marshmallows to their heads and making belching calls, a zombie outbreak has taken hold, meaning they’ll need to put all their badge training to use if they’re going to survive… After a fairly uninteresting start this picks up steam, turning into a raucously amusing outing. Zombie-comedies are tired as hell (perhaps the same story with a different monster would have veered it away from box office doom), but ‘Guide’ is smart and wins over in a ‘Monster Squad’ kinda way. The trio of scouts are all likeable and it makes good use of settings, be it a battle in a Dolly Parton-themed house as ‘9 to 5’ plays, getting chased by an irate zombie bouncer in a strip bar, or a casual chat in a police cell while surrounded by zombies trying to get in. There’s the subtly of a zombie extra wearing a ‘yolo’ t-shirt, and the unsubtly of a toothless granny only able to suck on the ass cheek she’s trying to bite. All in all, if you’re open to it you’ll have a good time.

7th Place >

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32 Comments »

  • gd smith said

    There’s too many cuddly zombie movies. But otherwise there’s some decent looking stuff. “It Follows” looks interesting. The Krampus/evil Santa idea has been done a few times notably Rare Exports, Saint and Santa’s Slay.

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    • Dobie said

      Krampus is a real myth that’s been told many ages ago though.

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      • Terry said

        In reply to Dobie – Rare Exports is a real myth told by many through the ages. Krampus is the same myth. As the other reviewer (G D SMith) said, Krampus has been done before. I havent seen Krampus yet but it would need to be extremely well done to beat Rare Exports – shame only “hollywood” blockbusters get noticed tho. Rare Exports is a brilliant movie that should have a lot more recognition.

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  • craig said

    Whatever happen to the individual stalker type horror movies like Halloween, Scream? There are too many scary movies in 2015 that deal with spiritism. I don’t know why Hollywood keeps making stuff with demons, ghosts, spirits, witchcraft, and the Devil.Don’t invite stuff like this into your home or life,keep the Devil away because watching movies like that can affect a person’s thinking and an individual can become desensitized toward other people. Avoiding them protects my spirituality and well-being, also my relationship with God.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Slasher films are still out of fashion, there were a few last year like ‘Stage Fright’ and ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’. It needs something clever like Halloween or Scream to kick off another wave and there’s no sign of that at the moment. Ghost stories are cheap to do and make good money. Especially if they’re found footage, then they’re really cheap.

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      • gd smith said

        Have been loads of slasher films released over the last few years but they tend to be low budget and aimed at the DVD and on demand market. Blood Shed, Varsity, Blood, Chastity Bites, Bloody Homecoming, two movies called Mischief Night etc. The thing about ghost movies is that you can do them as PGs and PG 13s with lots of jump scares so the potential audience is bigger which means they are more attractive to major studios and cinema chains at the moment.

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    • Lisa said

      I do not understand how you would think that slasher movies are good for your soul…these type of movies are terrible for your soul, and glorify murder…also these type of films will desensitize you more then any other.

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      • gd smith said

        I’ve been watching slasher since I was a Tot. I’m a pretty sensitive dude. In fact If I got anymore sensitive I would actually become a mystical aura.

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    • Blah said

      Watching a horror movie about evil does not make you evil. That’s absurd. Im sure god will be alright with me watching these movies. Christians are so ridiculous.

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  • Paws said

    why do they have to change director for series? Insidious chapter 3 and Sinister 2 will be the best horror movies of 2015 good series both of them I love ghost stories and these are some of the best in my opion. but James Wan should still tdo them. does anyone know if the lipstick demon is going to be in this one?

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  • Onion said

    “Unfriended” and “Before I Wake” sound the most intriguing to me. Is a feature-length succession of static computer screen frames in “Unfriended”, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, going to be particularly scary? And if “Before I Wake” is the tiniest little downsized bit like unforgettable scenes from “The Cell” or “Pan’s Labyrinth”, it’s going to be a great – if quite unsettling – watch.

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  • Igor said

    As a fan of the gothic I think the best horror movies of 2015 will be Crimson Peak and Victor Frankenstein. Victor Frankenstein sounds like an interesting take and Daniel Radcliffe is becoming a better actor imho.

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  • Lisa said

    This is a fantastic list of horror films…I am happy so many paranormal and haunting titles are here…I am most excited about M Night, and Del Toro releasing a new film…they are my favorite horror film directors, and it has been too long since they have released a film. Thank You for a great list!

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  • chulookin said

    Hopefully the Soska sisters put out a SEQUEL TO THEIR FIRST MOVIE…….. “Dead Hooker In A Trunk”…

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  • prawn said

    The 2015 horror movies I would recommend are Insidious: Chapter 3 & Sinister 2. nothing is as frightning as hell and spirits except they have both 🙁

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  • franky goes to holliwood said

    Maggie is not a horror movie. It’s a freaking painful to watch drama, that could be interpreted as a movie about some deadly disease, definitely NO HORROR in that movie. I mean seriously if you get Arnold S. to play in a so called “zombie-movie” please make it a zombie-movie and not a abstract cancer drama.. jesus.. what a waste..

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  • AlanItsAlive said

    A lot of choice, but Victor Frankenstein among the top horror movies of 2015? It looks like a Sherlock Holmes adventure. Mary Shelley would not be pleased. We should dig her up, pump electricity and give her the bad news.

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  • Kid Ney said

    It Follows – best horror movie of 2015 so far.

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  • Gizbot said

    “It Follows” has to be one of the worst horror (well, maybe of any genre) film I have ever seen. Seriously, aside from the metaphor movie from hell, what made anyone in their right mind give this first place? Good grief, not only did I want the main character to die (preferably with her leg sticking backwards), I kept praying the movie would kill my TV so I did not have to watch another second. Ugh.

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  • putch said

    Since you asked, the best horror movies of 2015 are The Final Girls and Crimson Peak. Done.

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  • Babe said

    I’m going to be honest, I skipped to the last page after I saw that Insidious 3 somehow ended up as one of your top picks. That’s the sort of mistake that might have driven a less forgiving reader away instantly, but I was relieved to see that you picked a great number one in the end. I’m fairly positive that the sort of people who pick on It Follows just don’t really like horror that much, because it’s a well executed original concept that manages to perfectly evoke the golden era of slashers without riding on their coattails. No, It Follows detractors, “but the stupid clam shell e-reader!” is not valid criticism.

    Anyway, I scrolled down to your all caps “NOT GOOD ENOUGH” section and that newfound sense of satisfaction with your list was gone almost immediately. We Are Still Here, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, and Creep were easily some of the best horror flicks of the year. All three of those are better films than even the first two thirds of Insidious (the only redeemable part of the saga). They’d definitely make much better additions to your list than the various horror-comedies (I’ll give you What We Do In The Shadows, but are we not done with these yet? seriously?). Also, Unfriended was absolutely lame compared to the far superior The Den. We don’t need two found-footage webcam movies – frankly, I was skeptical that we’d even need one.

    I know this is all a matter of opinion and whatnot, but some of yours are just wrong.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      I’m going to guess you didn’t read what I wrote about Insidious 3. I compile this list from my experience, not what I’m ‘expected’ to like. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is the most overrated film of the year, decent first 15 minutes but then what a boring film.

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  • Terry said

    The Last Shift is one of the best of 2015. Just saying. 🙂 And I agree about Creep. I found it pretty dull

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