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Top 25 Best Horror Movies Of 2015

7th – Crimson Peak
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Released: October 16, 2015
Best Horror Films 2015

 -Seen It-  Gothic ghost-chiller set in 19th century America and northern England. An aspiring author (Wasikowska), the daughter of a savvy millionaire, is visited by the ghost of her mother warning her to “beware of Crimson Peak”. When a mysterious down-on-his-luck landed Brit (Hiddleston) appears with his sister (Chastain) looking for financial backers, she finds herself falling for his charms, over those of her childhood friend (Hunnam). Before long she ends up staying in the siblings’ estate in England, a spectacular old mansion with rot in the walls, that’s gradually sinking into the red clay beneath. What is the true purpose of her being there? The spirit in the house knows. It remembers… Director Del Toro co-created the idea, and accurately describes it as “a classical romance ghost story, but with scenes that are really disturbing in a very modern way. It’s a proper R rating. And it’s adult.” His aim was to honour large-scale horror like ‘The Innocents’, Robert Wise’s ‘The Haunting’, and ‘The Shining’. “I think people are getting used to horror subjects done as found footage or B-value budgets,” he says. “I wanted this to feel like a throwback.” Amen to that. The beautiful, perhaps overly elaborate main set does sometimes veer closer to the ‘The Haunting’ remake, and the emphasis on style does drown out scares. However the $55 million budget is well-spent, with terrific visuals, a talented cast and lavish costuming. It is gory, with a truly gruesome murder and a number of disturbingly creative stabbings. The ghosts are a mixed bag, sometimes effective, sometimes distractingly cgi, but they’re a lot less important to the story than you’d imagine.

6th – The Voices
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver
Director: Marjane Satrapi
Released: February 6, 2015
best horror movies 2015

 -Seen It-  A chirpy loner (Ryan) spends his nights talking with his cat and his dog in two-way conversations that are all in his head. The dog is supportive and positive, while the cat pushes aggression and self-satisfaction. At his new factory job he is enthusiastically pursuing his workplace crush (Arterton), but when she stands him up for a date, things turn sinister. His life spiralling out of control, the persistent interest of another woman from accounts (Kendrick) might pull him back to the right path… if he doesn’t behead her. This is a black-comedy horror along the lines of ‘American Psycho’. There are no big laughs, rather a peversely upbeat atmosphere conveying the world through his unmedicated eyes. Ryan Reynolds gives a fantastic performance full of nuance and complexity that carries the audience’s sympathy despite increasingly frequent moments of deeply sinister menace – somehow by the end you love the character but still want him to kill himself. Reynolds also does excellent, virtually unrecognisable voicework for the cat and dog. Sometimes it’s incredibly sad and bleak but overall ‘The Voices’ is a really interesting watch.

5th – Deathgasm
Starring: Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman
Director: Jason Lei Howden
Released: October 2, 2015

 -Seen It-  New loner kid in town Brodie and bad-boy Zakk quickly bond over their mutual admiration of heavy metal. When Zakk takes them to break into the home of their metal-thrashing icon, they end up with a satanic verse which, when they unwittingly perform it as a song, turns the neighbours into demonically-possessed maniacs and summons an ancient evil entity known as The Blind One… New Zealanders are the reining kings of comedy-horror with ‘What We Do In The Shadows’, ‘Housebound’ and now this. It’s little surprise that this is directed by an fx artist who worked under the man who started the NZ tradition, Peter Jackson. Thankfully ‘Deathgasm’ is not the Rob Zombie metalhead depiction, rather it’s closer to Bill & Ted. The possessed monsters are copied wholesale from ‘Evil Dead 2’, but it’s done so well it feels like a welcome sequel. ‘Deathgasm’ sports inventive gore, thoroughly likeable characters, and razor sharp comic timing.

4th – Spring
Starring: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker
Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Released: March 20, 2015

 -Seen It-  A young man (Pucci – 2013’s ‘Evil Dead’) in a personal tailspin flees the US to Italy, where he sparks up a romance with a woman harboring a dark, primordial secret. As they grow closer, they near her day of reckoning. This is a much better movie than its trailer might suggest (and she’s not a vampire it’s more interesting than that). The acting is effortless and natural while the script is wonderfully free-flowing and sometimes a little profound. It’s a moving story against a scenic backdrop that’s nicely filmed and scored. The biology of the creature is confusing at first, she doesn’t quite come across as the old soul that she is, there’s no antagonist, and don’t expect frights or much in the way of gore, but this might be one of the beautiful monster movies you ever see.

3rd – Bone Tomahawk
Starring: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Richard Jenkins, Matthew Fox
Director: S. Craig Zahler
Released: October 23, 2015

 -Seen It-  When a murderous thief (Arquette) desecrates the holy site of a creepy tribe of cannibalistic Indian-Troglodytes, they pursue him into town and kidnap him, along with a deputy and the wife of a local man (Wilson). To attempt a rescue, the sheriff (Russell) teams with the husband, the 2nd deputy (Dawkins) and a smart-suited Indian-killer (Fox) to make the dangerous three day ride through the desert to the cave… ‘Tombstone’ meets ‘Ravenous’ in this low key release that’s a gem. Whenever Kurt Russell is a cowboy you know he’s going to own it but behind him you’ve got the fine cast of Patrick Wilson, Richard Dawkins playing it wonderfully inept, the underrated Matthew Fox, and David Arquette (a ‘Ravenous’ nod no doubt). With arguably the best character work and one liners of the horror year, the script has the Wild West lingo down pat, and is littered with terrific exchanges. Emotional connections are strong and effortlessly forged. It’s inventive in its gore too, which doesn’t linger on screen long until a showstoppingly gruesome scene toward the end. The troglodytes are chilling and mysterious, although they lose some of that aura when we finally enter their lair. At 2hr 15min it runs longer than normal and the horror aspect is missing for a huge stretch (which could theoretically turn off some), but it’s hard to recall a genre movie where such affinity is felt toward four men facing down death. (P.S. If you enjoy this then seek out ‘The Forest’ on PC, it’s practically the game of the movie.)

2nd – What We Do In The Shadows
Starring: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh
Directors: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Released: February 13, 2015
Good Horror Movies 2015

 -Seen It-  Horror-comedy mockumentary about four vampires turned in different eras sharing a house in Wellington, New Zealand. Viago (Waititi), Deacon (Brugh), and Vladislav (Clement) are hundreds of years old, but still have to keep up with household chores, dress well without being able to use a mirror, get into nightclubs when they need to be invited in, and overcome flatmate disputes like “who let the vampire hunter in?” When a modern day New Zealand lad is turned and joins the household with his human friend Stu, they appreciate Stu’s knowledge of the internet but find the new vampire’s insistence on showing off difficult to deal with. On the horizon is the big vampire ball and a fateful run in with some local werewolves. Directed and written by stars Clement and Waititi (who also starred in and directed ‘Flight of the Conchords’ respectively), this is the best vampire-comedy ever made, underpinned by its social satire, high-spirited performances, keen knowledge of vampire mythology and heartfelt pathos.

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32 Comments »

  • jpc said

    to put rubbish like Unfriended on your list…and totally rip apart a We Are Still Here makes me think that you have really bad taste in horror.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Unfriended has plenty of big issues as I point out, but I respect innovation. Think about how hard it is to craft a horror movie using just a pc monitor. There was nothing innovative or original about We Are Still Here, just same old same old.

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  • Aleks said

    I knew this list sucked when you dissed Rob Zombie.

    There’s only like 0 actual horror movies. As in terror, suspense, action, gore.

    You millennials don’t know what good horror is. F your stupid Romances, and Comedies. People don’t make good horror anymore or people just can’t find it because all the good horror movies I see these days seem to be indie and hard to find. That’s why I look for lists like this. But you disappoint me.

    Bone Tomahawk was a good film. I suggest anyone to watch it. It’s like the hills have eyes meets small old western town.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Bone Tomahawk is on the list. So surely that makes it 1? Please let me know what else should have been on here… Zombie’s Devil’s Rejects was a good movie, but his Halloween remake was awful. Deal with it.

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  • Batesmotel said

    You couldn’t be more wrong about a girl walks home alone at night. Youre probably someone who thought PTAs Inherent Vice wasn’t any good cuz it was “all over the place”.

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  • saeed from Iran said

    Im crazy about horror movies but I believe that they can have bad effect on peopls mind or life

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  • Kamarea said

    These are great movies

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