Dummies Guide To Horror Films

5 must see modern-day horror films

First, your outlook of horror movies needs to change. It’s exponentially larger than jump scares and deafening haunting sounds. Those can also be found on cringe misleading Instagram Reels which say “wait for it.” Scaring audiences for 2-3 seconds is easy. In my opinion, horror films NEED to include a gripping plot in addition to the frightening aspects. To truly terrify the audience for the entirety of a film is the real challenge and more appreciable in my opinion.

Having a disturbing looking creature pop out of nowhere is undoubtedly petrifying but directing a magnificent film requires attention to other integral technical factors as well. An evocative score (i.e. the instrumental/background music) with skillful sound editing and exquisite cinematography amplifies the movie experience and makes for a superior horror film. 

Us (2019)

Creepy from beginning to end. The film revolves around a family who meets their doppelgangers. Imagine coming face to face with people who look exactly like you, except they can’t speak and have animal-like physical attributes. The doppelgangers desire to hunt the family down and take their life, figuratively and literally. The movie becomes an actual ginormous “kill or be killed” gory fest. The on-screen deaths are satisfyingly bloody. Oh, and it ends with a really horrifying plot twist. The final twist of the knife. That disturbing last scene is enough to keep you awake at night.

A Quiet Place (2018)

This film gives birth to a new type of creature to pop culture. The lead family is being hunted by monsters who are blind but sensitive to sound. Not just loud sounds, but even the faintest ones. The characters need to communicate in sign language to ensure survival and walk barefoot. The sound of munching is enough to get you slaughtered. A Quiet Place offers an anxiety induced viewing experience from the first minute itself. It is impossible to thoroughly immerse yourself in this movie without turning up the sound (earphones recommended), putting your devices on silent, sitting in a pitch black room and locking out your bothersome friends who talk and eat loudly while watching movies. Thank me later.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

No horror list would be complete without a zombie apocalypse film. However, adding comedy to the mix is something remarkable and highly enjoyable. This film is not even closely generic. In fact, the protagonist is oblivious and ignorant to an actual zombie attack. In addition, his self-doubt creeping in the face of armageddon is perhaps the most comedic yet relatable aspect of the film. Zombies are eliminated in the grimmest and most amusing manner. A must-watch piece of cinema with extreme rewatch value.

Get Out (2017)

Directed by the same Jordan Peele who brought us Us (2019), Get Out (2016) is centered around a black man who visits his white girlfriend’s parents in their secluded mansion. You know what’s next. Except you don’t. Each event unfolding is more eye-opening and scarier than the last. The bloodbaths are overwhelming and some scenes will make your bowels irritable. There’s actually a scene where human organs get tossed into a bin, which surely takes a while to fully sink in. The conclusion is gratifying and vindictive, and if you’re analytic enough, you’ll be  able to draw a parallel with the world’s true horror. Stellar acting performances are a bonus. P.S. This film is hilariously satirical.

Insidious (2010)

Perhaps the scariest movie of last decade in my opinion. On reading its synopsis, Insidious (2010) will seem like your typical haunted house film. However, it’s an outright technical achievement. The scares have been executed to perfection and the score plays an effective part in it. The least I can say about this film is that if you want to avoid pissing your pants, don’t watch Insidious on the loudest and largest screen possible.

Raghav Shah

“I’m an average nobody, get to live the rest of my life like a schnook”