Sommerleigh Pollonais – Senior Writer
Good gravy where did the time go! Have you ever been watching one of your favorite movies thinking to yourself “I remember how much I loved seeing this in cinema a few years ago,” only to realise it actually came out 15 years prior!
That’s one of the ways you know a movie is great-when no matter how many times you’ve seen it, it feels like it was just yesterday. The wonderful thing about horror movies as a genre is when they’re good they’re really good, but when they’re great they’ll haunt you in the best ways forever!
So get ready to take a trip back in time with me as I breakdown my TOP 10 FAVORITE HORROR MOVIES OF THE DECADE!
FYI, a quick peek behind the curtain of my horror-loving mind. I tried to pick one movie, from each year of the decade (some years were much better than others) and I’m throwing in Honorable Mentions as well. Gotta give props where props are due right?
Note: This list isn’t in order of worst to best or anything. I simply took my favorite of a particular year and went from there 🙂
#10 TRICK R’ TREAT (2009) Honorable Mention – Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)
Anthology horror is one of the trickier sub-genres to pull off. If you’re lucky, you get maybe 3 out of 5 good stories and that’s a BIG maybe.
Trick ‘r Treat is that rare gem of this genre to get them all right while also perfectly linking every story together, not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination. It’s now a Halloween tradition, as a fan of horror, to watch this movie and when that happens, you know you have something amazing on your hands.
#9 I SAW THE DEVIL (2010) Honorable Mention – Insidious (2011)
There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, and I’m paraphrasing here, on a journey of revenge dig two graves. This South Korean movie about a man who does just that certainly lives up to this adage. Shockingly violent and masterfully acted and directed, if you haven’t seen this one, hell, if you avoid foreign language horror in general, you’re missing out some truly terrifying and fantastic films.
Seriously, go watch this and tell me it doesn’t’ deserve to be on this list. I dare you.
#8 THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012) Honorable Mention – The Conjuring (2013)
Satire is one of the hardest things to pull off right in movies (watch any of those crap parody flicks like Epic Movie and you’ll see what I mean) But when it’s done right (Final Girls/Scream/Tucker and Dale), it becomes one of those movies you have to watch over and over again to catch all the “winks” you missed out on.
I’ll readily admit, I missed the satire here the first time around due to the AWFUL trailer and the way this movie was marketed as a straight-up horror flick. It took me a second go around (and some internet time) to realise what this was and thank goodness I did, because this is honestly one of my favorite love-letter-movies-to-horror-fans ever made.
#7 THE BABADOOK (2014) Honorable Mention – It Follows (2015)
You remember that scene in Pulp Fiction, when Vincent injects a needle full of adrenaline directly into Mia’s chest and she jumps back to life? That’s what I feel this movie did for horror in 2014. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that we weren’t getting decent horror movies before that (see #10-8) but it had been a long ass time, since I saw what I like to call “cerebral horror” on screen.
The kind of horror movies that has layers to it, that makes you stop and think, “what’s the deeper meaning here?” Think I’m kidding? It Follows, The Witch and Green Room are only a few of the smart horror movies that came out after this one. I rest my case.
#6 THE WITCH (2015) Honorable Mention – Hush (2016)
The devil is in the details. This is a perfect phrase to describe the directorial debut of Robert Eggers. Eggers insistence on every aspect of this movie being authentic to the period it takes place in, including the way the actors speak, may have been divisive to audiences upon release, but for most horror fans and critics, The Witch delivers with its slow pacing that builds on the tension perfectly. The unsettling isolated environment, not to mention an ending that pays off in the tone of other horror greats like The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby.
This one will definitely stand the test of time.
#5 TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016) Honorable Mention – Split (2017)
I can’t stop saying it. GO WATCH FOREIGN HORROR MOVIES, because you have no idea how much good stuff you’re missing out on!
I’m still trying to figure out how director Yeon Sang-ho managed to make me laugh, scream and freaking cry (actual tears people!) while watching a zombie movie. I’m not saying there aren’t other zombie films out there (and, ahem, TV shows) that contain both the emotional and the horrific elements. What I am saying is, none have done it better, than Train to Busan.
#4 GET OUT (2017) Honorable Mention – Upgrade (2018)
Social commentary in horror movies isn’t a new thing. From the anti-consumerism of Dawn of the Dead, the horrors of war in Jacob’s Ladder to the political undertones of The Purge franchise. But in 2017 we got this film from an unlikely source, comedian Jordan Peele, and he shocked everyone with his directorial debut.
Not only was the movie an intelligent one, it also managed to pull off that most difficult of feats, making a horror movie that was both smart and genuinely scary. Kudos to him and after the solid follow-up that was Us, genre fans are waiting with baited breath to see what social topic Peele will slice apart next.
#3 HEREDITARY (2018) Honorable Mention – Halloween (2018)
Cerebral. There’s that word again right? But trust me when I say, there’s nothing that gets under your skin like a horror movie that makes you think. And Ari Aster is another director who keeps you on your toes.
While his sophomore follow-up Midsommar took a look at what grief does to you, Hereditary is his dark, twisted take on mental illness, and the fear of inheriting such illnesses from your family.
It also contains some of the most messed-up moments in horror you will ever see, and has an ending that will have you reaching for the rewind button post-haste.
Did I mention Toni Collette should’ve won an Oscar for her work here? Because Toni Collette should’ve won an Oscar for her work here.
#2 A QUIET PLACE (2018) Honorable Mention – Midsommar (2019)
Any movie that can make an entire cinema audience stay perfectly silent for an hour deserves high praise. All kidding aside, this movie once again proves you don’t need a huge budget or a ton of special effects to make a fantastic film.
This film had a simple gimmick (noise = death) but in the hands of a capable director. Throw in well-written characters that you’re emotionally invested in and you get a film that takes inspiration from similar stories like Alien, but can stand on its own merit.
When the copy cats start popping up (The Silence, Bird Box), you know you have something special going on.
#1 THE LIGHTHOUSE (2019) Honorable Mention – Doctor Sleep (2019)
Robert Eggers, with just two genre films under his belt, has quickly become a director whose movies I will not miss (barring the apocalypse and even then, I’ll probably hold up in my local cinema. Free popcorn y’all!). It didn’t even matter that I saw (and loved) Hereditary, the trailer for this movie alone, had me chomping at the bit to see this beautiful black and white throwback to horror movies like Nosferatu and Psycho.
The Lighthouse turned out be everything I wanted and so much more. The aspect ratio heightens the feelings of paranoia and claustrophobia, the 35mm film and orthochromatic (photography devoid of light) visuals adds to the vintage feel and tone of the film, and the acting WHOO-BOY the acting is phenomenal. Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe give us arguably the best performances of their careers.
I’m aware this movie won’t be for everyone out there, but I can say with total confidence true lovers of film, no matter the genre, will be blown away by this extraordinary achievement in film making. And The Lighthouse will forever be, one of the best movies not just of this decade, but of every decade to come.
You see how much I adore you readers? I just saved you a TON of Google time by putting together the best of the best for you. So show some love for the genre by checking out the films you haven’t seen, commenting on what were you’re favorites of the past decade that I may have missed out on, and sharing this and any of your favorite articles from Redmangoreviews.
Consider it my Birthday-Christmas-and whatever people give each other for New Year’s gift and have a wonderful Holiday Season.
Here’s to you!
For my Top 5 Winter-Themed Horror Movies you can click here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes. Double Tap Baby!