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Top 25 Best Horror Movies Of 2015

< 2nd Place

1st  It Follows
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Jake Weary, Daniel Zovatto
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Released: February 27, 2015 | Budget: $2m | Box Office: $14m

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Latest Horror Movies 2015

 -Seen It-  What if a curse could be sexually transmitted? For one 19-year-old (Monroe, ‘The Guest’), life should be about school, boys and weekends out at the lake. But after a sexual encounter she finds herself stalked by an eerie, slow-walking figure whose touch brings death. That figure frequently changes and could be anyone, stranger or acquaintance. As it is always silently advancing on her position, her only hope is to buy time by putting distance, or to pass on the curse by having sex with someone else. However if they were to die she’s back to being next in line… Some of the greatest horror concepts get you at a human vulnerability, ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’s was we all have to sleep, ‘The Omen’ was the instinct to care for your child, and here ‘It Follows’ preys on our basic need to rest, to be stationary. Everything about the movie is fresh and original from its premise, to its cinematic new star, to its music (no other recent horror would have the artistry to turn a screeching car exit into a sonic wail), to its brilliantly designed camerawork. It’s as if John Carpenter was at his peak and influenced by ‘The Virgin Suicides’. And as with Romero’s best work it’s layered with subtext, from small visual cues like the title of the date movie, to more broadly having something to say about the era in which it’s set (in this case a touch of the modern mixed with the early 80s, when AIDS emerged and casual sex began to have deadly consequences). It’s clear from the comments on this post that ‘It Follows’ is, sadly, not for everyone. It’s cerebral, values menacing tension over body count, and like ‘The Shining’, the characters’ acting is deliberately stilted to create an unsettling feel, which makes them hard to warm to. But be sure this will be a mainstay in top 100 horror films for decades.


– NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO GET ON THE LIST –


Poltergeist
Starring: Rosemarie DeWitt, Sam Rockwell, Jared Harris, Kyle Catlett
Director: Gil Kenan
Released: May 22, 2015

 -Seen It-  A family move into a foreclosed house without realising supernatural forces are present. Strange occurrences escalate, and when their youngest is abducted into the spectral realm, the family must work with paranormal investigators to try and rescue her. From the director of animated movie ‘Monster House’, this is produced by Sam Raimi. Raimi did a solid job producing the ‘Evil Dead’ remake, but this is a huge disappointment. Even though it’s a remake, and events play out pretty much the same, for some reason they have changed the family name and the most iconic character Carol Anne, with her distinctive white-blonde hair, is replaced by a generic kid. Meanwhile the son is given a lot more acting duties than the original, but is too wooden to carry it. The great love (and naturalistic acting) that the original family displayed is gone too, with Rockwell’s dad and the teenage daughter being particularly unlikeable. And rather than find an interesting character actor/physical type to replace Tangina the psychic, they go with a generic ghost-buster from TV (just like ‘Fright Night’). Strip out the distinctive Jerry Goldsmith score and make every scene 50% less intelligent and you have a film which really is pretty pointless. It made me go back and rewatch the original in HD, and that really holds up, feeling as fresh today despite the sea of generic housed house films – there’s a level of craft in the original that’s almost completely absent in modern ghost-horror, even in its own remake.

The Diabolical
Starring: Ali Larter, Wilmer Calderon, Kurt Carley, Merrin Dungey
Director: Alistair Legrand
Released: October 16, 2015

 -Seen It-  When a single mother (Larter, ‘Final Destination’) and her two young children are tormented by an increasingly strange and intense presence in their quiet suburban home, she turns to her scientist boyfriend to take on the violent forces that paranormal experts are too frightened to face… The central idea, and image (which I won’t spoil) of what these ‘ghosts’ are, is a creepy one. The problem is the rest of the movie is woefully underdeveloped. Screen time is dominated by the mom and her two kids and they’re not at all interesting. There are too many plot holes and illogical questions raised by events. And when the mother travels to the source of the apparitions there’s an opportunity for real creativity but what they come up with is frankly, pathetic.

Tales Of Halloween
Starring: Pollyanna McIntosh, Alex Essoe, Pat Healy, Adam Green
Directors: Darren Lynn Bousman, Lucky McKee, Neil Marshall & More
Released: October 16, 2015

 -Seen It-  Anthology of ten stories from ten directors set in an American suburb on Halloween. Ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers all appear for one night to terrorise the unsuspecting residents… This is essentially a collection of short films that never seem to be working together as a coherent whole. The first (‘Sweet Tooth’), middle (Axelle Carolyn’s ‘Grimm Grinning Ghost’) and last (Neil Marshall’s killer pumpkin) are reasonably effective but most of the rest aren’t worthy of the big screen. There’s no wraparound story and even some repetition of the same ideas (little devil boy and little troll boy?). For a big horror fan there’s fun to be had spotting the cameos from many horror directors (such as John Landis and Joe Dante, who should have been given a section to direct rather than just act on screen) and there’s a warm horror community feeling to so many names coming together. This year’s ‘A Christmas Horror Story’ was a far more impressive anthology movie.

We Are Still Here
Starring: Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Monte Markham, Lisa Marie
Director: Ted Geoghegan
Released: June 5, 2015

 -Seen It-  After their teenage son is killed in a car crash, Anne (Crampton – ‘Re-Animator’, ‘You’re Next’) and Paul (Sensenig) move to the quiet New England countryside to try to start a new life for themselves. But the grieving couple become the target of vengeful Frontier spirits residing in their new home… Heavily inspired by Lucio Fulci (‘House By The Cemetery’), who has plenty of bad points, and 70s ghost horror, this is fatally misconceived, unable to decide if it wants to be spoof or serious. Because the humour is often too subtle and inconsistent the clanging lines just make it seem like a bad movie. Other than that it’s slow, boring, unfrightening and little happens. The only upside is the villain’s fairly entertaining line delivery. If you want to see this idea done right, watch fake trailer ‘Don’t’ by Edgar Wright, it covers far more ground in 88 seconds.

Cherry Tree
Starring: Naomi Battrick, Anna Walton, Sam Hazeldine
Director: David Keating
Released: TBC 2015

 -Seen It-  15 year old Faith’s world is turned upside down when she discovers her beloved father is dying of leukemia. Then her mysterious hockey coach Sissy offers her a way out – carry a baby for a centuries-old witches’ coven and she’ll use the fruit of their ancient cherry tree to cure him. But you can’t trust a magical hag and when the unborn child starts growing at an alarming rate and its potential impact on humanity becomes clear, Faith will have to make a stand… From the director of 2010’s ‘Wake Wood’, the 2015 London FrightFest opening night film was also one of the most mediocre, a shade above amateur. Acting ranges from average to bad, particularly the villainous witch who gets a lot of screen time but is uncomfortably wooden. The lead actress (from TV’s ‘Crossing Lines’) has screen presence but isn’t well directed – hint: when a character announces they worship the Devil it should get some sort of reaction. Special FX are often executed quite poorly too. Has there been a good Devil pregnancy movie since ‘Rosemary’s Baby’?

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
Starring: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Released: April 20, 2015

 -Seen It-  In an invented Iranian town, where a pile of bodies lies untouched in a ditch, a vampire walks the streets at night looking for sinners to feed on. A local man, caring for his drug addicted father, encounters her while searching for the dealer who took his car. The two begin a cautious romance… This is a Persian-language film filmed in LA rather than Iran (a disappointment), and it comes with considerable critical praise. The black and white photography is impactful for the first 10 minutes, but the story gets slower and slower. Ultimately it’s a very sluggish, dull film where 30 minutes of unremarkable plot are stretched out to 100 minutes by style (and is it actually that hard these days to shoot in black and white with long shadows and not have it look good?). The lead actress has a face that exudes nothing except boring, and all the actors get upstaged by a very ordinary cat. If you have a high level of arthouse pretentiousness you might find this wonderful but don’t believe the hype.

The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death
Starring: Phoebe Fox, Jeremy Irvine, Helen McCrory
Director: Tom Harper
Released: January 2, 2015

 -Seen It-  40 years after the first haunting, as bombs rain down on London during the Blitz of World War II, a group of schoolchildren are evacuated with their young schoolteacher (Phoebe Fox, TV’s ‘Switch’), to the safety of the English countryside. Taken to an old and empty estate, cut off by a causeway from the mainland, they are left at Eel Marsh House. One by one, the children begin acting strangely and she discovers, with the help of the local military commander (Jeremy Irvine, ‘War Horse’), that the group has awoken a dark force far more terrifying than the city’s air raids. She must now confront her own demons to save the children and survive the woman in black. The first film turned great material into a workmanlike effort. It was decent, but should have been a classic. This time the author of the ‘Woman in Black’ novel is only “story consultant”. Instead a tie-in book was published last year, written by someone else, and the reviews for that were poor. The new director’s BAFTA-winning resume, from ‘The Borrowers’ to ‘Peaky Blinders’, doesn’t have a scare in it, and sure enough this ‘Woman in Black’ turns out to be a well made gothic ghost story that’s not as effectively chilling as it ought to be. There’s an over reliance on jump scares and a few of the key sequences are so darkly lit as to make them impenetrable. If you’re looking for an old fashioned ghost movie, in sharp contrast to today’s low budget found footage trend, it’s almost worth a look.

Creep
Starring: Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice
Director: Patrick Brice
Released: June 23, 2015

 -Seen It-  A videographer answers a Craigslist ad for a one-day job in a remote mountain cabin. When he arrives the client (Duplass) reveals he has terminal cancer and that he wants him to document a day for his unborn son. But as the client’s behavoir becomes increasingly erratic and unsettling, the videographer starts to question if he’s been told the truth… Despite being only 75 minutes long, ‘Creep’ often gets boring. It can feel like like hanging around with a jerk for far longer than you would wish, and there’s nothing to look at except his annoying face. This is accentuated by the drab and basic found footage camerawork, not nearly as interesting as last year’s ‘The Sacrament’ or ‘Willow Creek’. The acting isn’t bad (just a bit self-conscious), a few jumps and moments are a little scary and it’s unnerving being stuck in a house at night with a weirdo, but these are easy scares. The videographer’s actions at the close are unimaginable under the circumstances. Not terrible, but not worth the time.

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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 ๐Ÿ™

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I agree about Creep. I found it pretty dull

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