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Six Modern Horror Movie Recommendations


Halloween Week is officially underway; a time to embrace all things spooky, scary and in some cases, sadistic. For over 125 years, horror has evolved from the gothic stories of subhuman entities to the distressing tales that explore the spectrum of realism & the supernatural (and in some cases, both). As a fan of the genre since my adolescence, I’ve experienced a plethora of movies over the years & while more recent entries don’t make me cower under my bedsheets, I feel my taste for horror has evolved from seeing these movies as petrifying experiences to appreciating their storytelling abilities.


Although this is a perfect time of year to see revisit the violent antics of Jason, Michael, & Freddy, I would like to put the spotlight on a number of more-recent movies that have garnered my attention & appreciation. Today, I give you my six modern day horror movie recommendations; either to watch this week or in the future.



Don’t Breathe

Released: 2016 | Director: Fede Álvarez

Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime


From the director of the recent remake of the 1981 Sam Raimi movie; The Evil Dead, Don't Breathe takes three young hooligans who break into houses & steal for a living & adds the prospect of a blind gentleman, rumoured to have thousands of dollars in cash hidden somewhere in his house & you have a basic suspense movie. What separates this from others is the heightened sense of this army veteran & the dark secrets hidden within his home. A simple job with a big reward turns into a fight to make it through the night.


Starring Jane Levy (Evil Dead 2013), Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why) & Stephen Lang (Avatar), the film focuses on tension-fuelled situations where our group must not be detected & try to escape with the money and their lives in tact. While you may side with the homeowner & their right to protect their property, the films later moments will have in conflict over this premise. For a film made with only four primary actors, it’s simple and effective; brimmed with suspense & will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Platform

Released: 2019 | Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Where to Watch: Netflix (Exclusive)


The Platform is a science-fiction movie focused around a building called the “Vertical Self-Management Centre”; a tower comprising of multiple levels where its residents live in a prison-like state. Every 30 days, they are assigned a new floor with another resident each day, an enormous buffet of food is brought down via a large hole present in the centre of each floor. Residents are given a fixed time to each as much food as they want before it descends to the next floor. The problem here is that those on the lower floors are left with the scraps of those above, sometimes inedible & they could be left to go hungry for days, even weeks.


We see through the eyes of our protagonist, Goreng, and learn of his experiences with other residents and tries to do what he can to survive. It portrays the sadist & selfish traits of humanity with a blend of mental challenges for our residents to face, representing a sobering truth of the class system in society. Whilst this is the only non-English film in this list & I don’t want to spoil it further, this was one of my personal favourites of last year; brutal and chilling. Although this is exclusive to Netflix, I recommend giving this Spanish gem your attention when you can.


IT (2017)

Released: 2017 | Director: Andrés Muschietti

Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime


IT showcases the lives of a group of teenagers terrorised by a clown named Pennywise, who preys off children in a particular town in the state of Maine every 27 years. But Pennywise is no ordinary clown, as is able to manipulate reality & cannot be seen by adults. He also has a series of sadist traits, using his influence to capture & feed off his victims. Throughout the movie, the group must work together to confront Pennywise’s threats & their fears.


The film stars a number of upcoming child actors such as Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Jaeden Martel (Knives Out), Sophia Lillis & Wyatt Oleff (I Am Not Okay With This) amongst others. Bill Skarsgård’s portrayal of Pennywise looks almost indistinguishable from his normal appearance & his performance stands out positively here. Whilst this entry only covers the first part of this story, it’s a great initial entry into Stephen King’s classic novel & that stands out from a presentation standpoint, whilst maintaining the scare factor of the original 1990 mini-series starring Tim Curry.


A Quiet Place

Released: 2018 | Director: John Krasinski

Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Netflix

The world has been taken over by a species of extra-terrestrial beings who, with their heightened sense of hearing, will kill anyone they hear. Focusing around the Abbott family, we experience their journey as they must traverse this barren post-apocalyptic world to maintain their survival; all whilst remaining silent as the consequences are deadly. Directed and featuring John Krasinski (The Office US) as well as starring his real-life wife, Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada), the movie follows in similar suit to our aforementioned movie, Don’t Breathe.


Approximately 95% of the movie is silent and uses a combination of sign language & lip syncing for our cast to combat the circumstances they are faced with. The tension is always heightened, as a single sound will almost guarantee a haunting threat of death knocking on their door. If you want a film that doesn’t give you the opportunity to breathe (metaphorically speaking), check this gem out.


Get Out

Released: 2017 | Director: Jordan Peele

Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime


Meeting the parents of your partner is often an exciting but sometimes daunting experience. This is the position our protagonist Chris faces, as he sets off to meet the family of his girlfriend, Rose, for the first time. However, tensions appear to arise quickly as Chris picks up on several racial comments made by the family. Chris’ suspicions only escalate further as he picks up strange vibes from several staff at the house & at an annual get-together, hosted by the family. As Chris learns of the horrifying truths around his suspicions, he realises his life is at risk & must try to escape with his consciousness in tact.


The film deconstructs the themes & traits surrounding racism, whilst showcasing a horrifying tale of power. It’s able to meld comedic & horrific elements to a professional degree, which we rarely see pulled off so effectively in the genre. Daniel Kaluuya (Black Mirror) delivers a great performance as Chris, alongside the likes of Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich) & Bradley Whitford (The West Wing). Those looking for a perfect blend of laughs and terror, wrapped up with a nice bow, I recommend you give this movie a shot.

Midsommar

Released: 2019 | Director: Ari Aster

Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime


Midsommar presents the story of a girl named Dani, struggling with her mental health following a recent event. She embarks on a trip to Sweden with her slowly-distant boyfriend and his friends. Their friend takes them to a town called Hårga, where they meet with a pagan cult during their midsummer festival. As they begin to realise the inner workings and traditions of this group, their trip no longer feels like a getaway retreat as the cult’s claws begin to dig deep into our group.


There’s something intriguing about the operations of a cult; their practices, the rules they abide by & how far they take their faith. It uses the traditional horror trait of a group of familiar people in a unknown location, showcasing how they act physically & mentally under the circumstances. The film’s setting provides a deceptive atmosphere of harmony, which compliments the frightening & striking practices of the cult. The performances of Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth), Will Poulter (Black Mirror) and Jack Raynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction) were all very good & gave an opportunity for them to showcase their skills. After finishing the film, it took me a while to recognise the film’s purpose & it was enlightening to watch a horror that made me think after the credits rolled. Recommended to those looking for a thought-provoking experience from the director of 2018’s critically acclaimed movie; Hereditary.


Thank you for checking out our list! Were there any horror movies from the last five years that we’ve missed? Feel free to comment down below, as we would love to hear your personal recommendations.

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