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PHOTO BY: Brooke Palmer/Courtesy of Warner Bros.
After we put out the candy, spiderwebs and jack-o'-lanterns this Halloween, we're usually tempted to turn off the lights and turn on a horror classic like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th or, well, Halloween. In the last five years, there has been a resurgence of horror movies to frighten audiences everywhere, with evils ranging from demons and spirits to beings simply called "It." Here are the best of the recent horror movies that will leave you checking under the bed and in the closet.
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PHOTO BY: A24 Films/Courtesy Everett Collection
'The Witch' (2015)
Set in New England in the 1630s, The Witch is a moody, Gothic slow burn of a horror movie. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin, the daughter of deeply religious parents, the film's dialogue follows a strictly puritanical dialect as it envelops the audience in a story surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Thomasin's baby brother, Samuel. The movie's chills come from its atmosphere. We feel just as alone as Thomasin as she struggles with a presence of evil in her family's cabin, far away from civilization.
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PHOTO BY: Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection
'The Conjuring' (2013)
Starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as married paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring was one of the biggest box-office hits of the horror genre from the past five years, raking in $318 million. It has plenty of horror hallmarks — a haunted house, an evil spirit, an exorcism — and plenty of spooks earned with clever editing by director James Wan.
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PHOTO BY: Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection
'10 Cloverfield Lane' (2016)
After getting knocked out in a car accident, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up locked in an underground cellar. She is told by a stranger named Howard (John Goodman) that the air outside is poisonous and she won't be going anywhere. The film is a claustrophobic gem of a horror movie, and Michelle's panic in being locked in Howard's cellar is palpable. The movie is excellently paced, and Goodman's performance is one of the best — and most unheralded — of his career.
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PHOTO BY: IFC Films/Courtesy Everett Collection
'The Babadook' (2014)
This Australian movie initially flew under the radar before picking up steam
afterthe 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Now it's one of the most acclaimed horror films from the past few years — for good reason. Its lead, Essie Davis, 47, stars as Amelia, an exhausted single mother to her erratic, hard-to-handle 6-year-old son, Samuel. She has to defend herself and her son from a mysterious spirit from a pop-up children's book. The film's monster — Mister Babadook — is terrifying, and Davis elevates its terror with one of the best performances in horror-film history.
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PHOTO BY: Brooke Palmer/Courtesy of Warner Bros.
One of the biggest box-office hits of the year, It masterfully brings Stephen King's terrifying novel to the screen in one of the most enjoyable horror movies in recent memory. Its leads have a phenomenal chemistry, while its villain — Pennywise the Dancing Clown — is sure to go down as one of this year's most recognizable movie characters. It is spooky and delivers plenty of fright, but its calling card is that it's just so much fun — packed with jokes that lighten the air and keep the film from getting too serious. It is, after all, about a murderous clown.
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PHOTO BY: Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection
'Get Out' (2017)
Released in February and still near the top of movies-of-the-year lists, Get Out is a brilliant work of social commentary dressed up as a fantastic work of horror. The relatively unknown Daniel Kaluuya stars as Chris, a black photographer who travels with his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), to visit her parents (the phenomenal and chilling Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) at their isolated estate. The film's script, written by director Jordan Peele, is a work of genius, and the movie is chock-full of visual metaphors that make it worth watching over and over again.
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PHOTO BY: Entertainment Picture/Alamy
'It Follows' (2015)
A stylistic masterpiece, It Follows stars Maika Monroe as Jay, a high school student haunted by 'it' — a paranormal being only she can see that slowly and steadily follows her wherever she goes. Director David Robert Mitchell's visual style is one of the most unique and terrifying in all of
horrorcinema. His panoramic shots build the tension and force the audience to look for "it" — whatever or whoever "it" is. The best horror movie of the last five years, It Follows is sure to leave you trembling with fear. You'll be looking over your shoulder well after Halloween is over.
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