My Top Ten Horror Movies Of The 21st Century

**This list was updated March 2019 for a lot of new additions. There have been some fantastic horror films the last couple of years.**

It’s probably obvious to regular readers that I’m rarely a fan of modern day horror films. I’m sure I come across as quite picky since my ratings for current horror films, even ones I seemed to enjoy, are usually pretty low. I’d never call horror my favorite genre (it’s sci-fi) but that’s probably because there are far more bad films within this genre than in any other. But when a genuinely good horror comes along, I love it! Unfortunately, the good ones have just been few & far between since about 1987 (when the awesome A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was released). 😉

So, even though horror films of the Seventies & Eighties will forever be my favorites, I wanted to prove that I have actually liked a few since 1987. However, most of the movies on this list still come nowhere near the genius of things like The Shining & The Omen but there’s been an improvement in the quality of horror releases the past couple of years. Hopefully this continues.

One quick note: I’VE EXCLUDED HORROR COMEDIES! When working on this list, I ended up with lots of them as I’ve liked so many since the year 2000. As I already did a list of My Top Ten Horror Comedies, I’ve decided to leave them out to keep things simple. I’m also leaving out some films I like that I don’t consider horror and see more as “thrillers”, such as my guilty pleasure The Purge films & the excellent Battle Royale, and some monster movies like Cloverfield & The Host. I’ve also left out Slither, which I put into My Top Ten Body Horror Movies list.

So, here are My Top Ten 21st Century Horror Movies counting down to my favorite (but let’s be annoying & make it a Top 20…):

TOP TWENTY:

20. The Secret Of Marrowbone
19. The House Of The Devil
18. Ginger Snaps
17. [Rec]
16. Land Of The Dead
15. Gerald’s Game
14. The Others
13. Final Destination
12. A Quiet Place
11. The Orphanage

TOP TEN:

10. TIE: A Tale Of Two Sisters & Let The Right One In

9. The Descent

8. Mandy

7. The Mist

6. 28 Days (& Weeks) Later…

5. It Follows

4. Train To Busan

3. It (2017)

2. The Babadook

1. Dawn Of The Dead

Some Honorable Mentions:
Saw (first film only – hate the rest)
The Conjuring
The Innkeepers
The Boy
Absentia
Honeymoon
The Wailing
Pontypool
Hereditary
Us

My Top Ten Horror Movie Scores & Soundtracks

A movie’s score and/or soundtrack of songs is extremely important to me as I think the right music can make a good movie into a great one or even a bad movie into a cult classic. When you think of the biggest Oscar films, almost all of them had award winning scores from highly respected composers. When I think of my own personal all-time favorite movies, the majority have brilliant scores that helped to suck me into that magical movie world that only the very best composers can help create. Can you imagine The Good, The Bad And The Ugly without Ennio Morricone’s amazing score?? (No. You cannot.)

I’m very picky when it comes to the horror genre & have loved very few horror films since the 70s & 80s. I do find it interesting that most of my all-time favorite old horrors are on this list of scores, though. It goes to show that they used to put so much more effort into these films than they do now, even down to the scores (but I do have a couple fairly current films on the list too). I think the score is even more important in horrors as the mood & atmosphere are fundamental to this genre. I don’t understand why so many modern horrors put so little effort into using a score effectively to create the right mood. Oh well – this genre is showing more promise again so maybe we’ll see a return to great horror scores.

More than anything, I love a good musical score that has been composed for a film but do also appreciate when a soundtrack of great songs, whether existing or new, are put together for a movie’s soundtrack. So my top ten will consist of scores but there are a few horror soundtracks that I really love so I didn’t want to exclude them.

Here are a few Horror Movie Soundtracks That I Love:

Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Composer: AC/DC

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Composer: Danny Elfman

The Lost Boys (1987)
Composer: Thomas Newman Score/Various Artists Soundtrack:

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
Composer: Tyler Bates Score/Various Artists Soundtrack

And now onto My Top Ten Horror Movie Scores (and their composers):

Honorable Mentions:

The Fog (1980)
Composer: John Carpenter
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Composer: Krzysztof Komeda
The Shining (1980)
Composer: Wendy Carlos/Rachel Elkind
The Omen (1976)
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

Top Ten:

10. It Follows (2014)
Composer: Disasterpeace

9. Suspiria (1977)
Composer: Dario Argento/Goblin

8. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Composer: Charles Bernstein

7. Psycho (1960)
Composer: Bernard Herrmann

6. The Thing (1982)
Composer: Ennio Morricone/John Carpenter/Alan Howarth

5. Jaws (1975)
Composer: John Williams

4. 28 Days Later… (2002)
Composer: John Murphy

3. The Exorcist (1973)
Composer: Mike Oldfield

2. Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
Composer: Goblin/Dario Argento/De Wolfe Music Library

1. Halloween (1978)
Composer: John Carpenter

My Top Ten Movies Of 2015

Yesterday I did a list of My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2015 so today I’m posting My Top Ten Movies That I Saw In The Cinema In 2015 (going by UK release date – I know some of these were 2014 in America). 

Like yesterday, I’ll just list them (counting down to my favorite – plus I’ve again included the next five as honorable mentions) but feel free to further discuss any with me in the comments. The one thing I’ll say is that number one and two are closer than you’d expect considering what a big fan I am of the series of one of them. I actually think that number two is, technically, the better film. But nostalgia won out… 🙂 Oh, and I’m very proud that I managed to review all of these! Here’s my list:

Honorable Mentions:

15. Ant-Man
14. Avengers: Age Of Ultron
13. Kingsman: The Secret Service
12. Terminator Genisys
11. CHAPPiE

Top Ten:

10. Krampus

9. Whiplash

8. Big Hero 6

7. Suffragette

6. The Peanuts Movie

5. Inside Out

4. It Follows

3. Ex Machina

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Fury Road is awesome! But it’s not Star Wars… 🙂

**If you can’t live without knowing how I’ve ranked the rest, you can see the full list of all 29 movies I went to see in 2015 HERE. Have a Happy New Year, everyone! I’ll be posting My Top Ten Books Read In 2015 tomorrow so be sure to read that while you’re hungover. Ha!** 

Oh! I have to add this: Nothing makes my day more than when some 80’s movie star briefly acknowledges my existence on Twitter. 😉 Marshall R Teague, who was in the f*%king awesome ROAD HOUSE, retweeted my Road House review a couple of days ago. Everyone! You must watch Road House if you’ve never seen it! Put it on your Bucket Lists!!!!!

My Top Ten Swimming Pool Scenes In Movies

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Summer is here! (I think?) I don’t know – it’s hard to tell in England! We did have a few hot days last week… Anyway! As schools are finishing all across England, that means it’s summer which means things like BBQs & pool parties! Except it’s been rainy & crap all week and no one here really has a pool as it would be pointless to have one.

This introduction is depressing me! Let’s just get on with my list, shall we? Here are My Top Ten Swimming Pool Scenes In Movies counting down to my number one… 🙂

10. TIE: A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 & 5

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I love the Nightmare On Elm Street series so had to include these. Although these two films kind of suck plus I can’t ever get 4 & 5 straight in my head… I really thought the diving board one was from number 4. Oh well. Freddy Krueger is still my favorite slasher villain.

9. Almost Famous

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I am a Golden God“! Remember when Cameron Crowe made some really good movies like this and Say Anything? This is a great scene. I could probably do a top ten just of people jumping off roofs into swimming pools. Idiots. At least this ended a little better than it did for the dude in All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. Speaking of Crowe, he also wrote my number one choice in this list…

8. Caddyshack

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I’m not crazy about this movie in the same way that males my age & a little older seem to be but, like when I included The Big Lebowski (even though I don’t love it) in my list of My Top Ten Carpets & Rugs In Movies, this list wouldn’t be complete without this scene. I know it would top many other people’s lists. And rightly so! It’s a classic.

7. Cocoon

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Well, there’s more than one pool scene in Cocoon. I love it when the old people go swimming like little kids. I love Cocoon! Who else here loves Cocoon?? No? Just me, then?

6. Harold & Maude

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Look! It’s my “please take me seriously as a movie blogger” choice! 😉 I do love Harold & Maude, though. This scene is hilarious.

5. WALL-E

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WALL-E is one of my all-time favorite films so I had to include this moment when the humans realize how much they’ve been missing out in life. “I didn’t know we had a pool…”

4. It Follows

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This movie just keeps going up in my estimation & I like it even more now than when I first saw it. Such a refreshing change from the loads of crappy horror films these days. I don’t want to go into this scene much as even knowing there is a pool scene in this movie is kind of a spoiler. I liked that this scene felt so much like a scene from an 80’s horror movie and I liked the naïve innocence of the teens.

3. Let The Right One In

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This scene is intense! I remember going to this in the cinema and being quite stressed out during this scene. In fact, I missed the big moment here the first time around as I just couldn’t watch it. Man I’m a wuss!

2. Gremlins

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Yeah! Gremlins! My Twitter buddy Zach Galligan! A movie from 1984! Those who know me won’t be surprised by something like this being so high on my list – you’ll find no Wild Things on MY list (well, my number one is filthy). This scene is obviously quite an important scene, of course, as it’s the big moment when the shit really hits the fan.

1. Fast Times At Ridgemont High

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Another Phoebe Cates movie! This topped another list of mine (My Top Five Movie Scenes Of Self-Pleasure – do you like how I avoided using a dirty word there?). Well, it had to top this list as well – it’s such a famous moment. I’m surprised I’ve chosen it as I’m not normally a fan of naked boobs but you really can’t “beat” what Judge Reinhold does during this scene. Ha! (See what I did there?) 😉 *Also, Happy Birthday to Phoebe Cates who turns 52 today! I’ll pretend I knew that before this posted….*

Honorable Mentions:

You know what? I’m just going to post pictures of my honorable mentions without naming them. How about we make this a little QUIZ! That’ll be fun, yeah? The winner will receive…… Um. My respect! 🙂

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It Follows Gets Cool Poster Art And Expanded Release

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I LOVE this totally 80’s looking poster I found at Geek Tyrant for the film It Follows!

It looks like this film is getting a wider release in America this weekend plus I think it’ll be available online there from March 27th. I liked this movie a lot & it’s actually gone up in my estimation since I reviewed it HERE. Definitely not for everyone but I loved the retro look & feel plus the amazing score. It’s great to see some good horror films being made again. 🙂

It Follows (2014) Review

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It Follows (2014)

Directed by David Robert Mitchell

Starring:
Maika Monroe
Keir Gilchrist
Olivia Luccardi
Lili Sepe
Daniel Zovatto

Running time: 100 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind.

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My Opinion:

I’ve said it here before but I rarely like modern horror films. I did a list of My Top Ten Horror Movies (HERE) and the most current one is from 1985 (Day Of The Dead but I’d also count A Nightmare On Elm Street 3, so… 1987. Dream Warriors rules!). That’s pretty sad – I suppose I’m showing my age. There have been a few okay ones such as The Descent and 28 Days Later, comedy ones like Tucker And Dale Vs Evil, and foreign ones such as Let The Right One In but, until the brilliant The Babadook came out recently, I was really disappointed with the horror genre these past 28 years. It Follows, although not perfect, is still in the very rare “good horror” category for me.

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It Follows is a hard movie to describe. I’ll say it’s definitely going to be one that will divide horror fans. This is one of those horror movies that’s apparently been shown at a lot of film festivals since last summer & is now getting a full release in the UK (and in the US on March 13th). It’s had some glowing reviews from critics & very positive word of mouth. It’s a slow, atmospheric, low budget (as far as I can tell) psychological thriller. Those looking for loads of gore will need to go elsewhere as will those who want a fast-paced horror full of cheap jump scares. Not to say there aren’t jump scares in It Follows but it feels a bit more fresh and far less formulaic than something like The Conjuring, which I thought was also a pretty decent modern horror yet was still guilty of certain horror clichés.

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I’m still trying to figure out what other movies can be compared to It Follows. Bear with me – I’m going to list a lot of them as I think it may (or may not!) give you a better idea of what to expect if you watch this one. At times I thought it felt like a Ti West film (especially The House Of The Devil) in that the pacing is very slow & a lot of attention is paid to creating the right sort of atmosphere & setting. I also thought it had the same sort of mood & pacing as the slightly underrated All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. From the little bit I’ve read about the movie online so far, I was surprised to see some comparisons to The Virgin Suicides as well. I can see that – it has similar characters & the same sort of mood (plus both share a similar Michigan setting, I suppose). The Virgin Suicides is definitely set in the 70s, however, but It Follows is one of those films that seems to make a point of not revealing the exact year. There’s just enough to show that it IS set now however the use of old cars, old televisions, black & white films, the clothing not being too specific to a time period, etc, makes you sometimes question when this is all taking place & gives it a timeless feel that I really like. Finally, certain scenes made me think of A Nightmare On Elm Street while the fantastic John Carpenter-esque score constantly brought Halloween to mind.

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I should mention the characters & the acting. The main girl, Maika Monroe, is very good & young enough to actually be believable as a teenager. She’s also apparently in The Guest, which I haven’t yet seen. I loved that she had a real Nightmare On Elm Street “Final Girl” look about her (specifically a cross between Patricia Arquette then Tuesday Knight from A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 & 4). It will be interesting to see if she’s able to break away from the horror genre & be in other types of films. The other actors all did well and I liked their characters, which is rare for a horror film. One of my biggest complaints about horror movies is that the characters are so underdeveloped and hateful. In It Follows, they focus on Monroe, her sister, two of their friends & a neighbor boy. The friendships were believable as were the ways in which they tried to help their friend with her visions of being followed by people only she can see. They don’t always do the “smartest” things, as is the case with most horror characters, but they didn’t do anything to the point of being annoying.

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Summary:

I suppose I should wrap this up before I compare It Follows to every other horror film ever made. The thing is, it actually feels quite unique which is why I’m still trying to decide how I really feel about it & trying to figure out what other movies it could possibly be compared to. I do admit that I’m a sucker for a good score and I LOVED the retro synth score from Disasterpeace. It really helps set the mood & I do wonder if I’d have enjoyed the film as much without it. As I also said, the movie is very atmospheric & I loved the Midwest suburban setting in a non-specified time period. As for it being scary? Well, I have to admit that I didn’t find this one at all scary but very few movies manage to frighten me. It may work more with teenagers as It Follows is basically about not having sex before you’re ready and STDs & all that but, unfortunately, this slow-paced psychological type of horror probably isn’t the type of movie that teenagers will like. Overall, I enjoyed It Follows and always appreciate films that try something a bit different, especially in a genre as tired as horror. It’s not as good as The Babadook but I’m still happy enough to say I’ve actually seen two good modern horror films in the past year now.

My Rating: 8/10

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