Today, the horror movie genre seems to be kind of forgotten, at least compared to how popular it used to be 25 to 20 years ago. Back in the 90s (and raise your hand if you’re a 90s kid too), movies like The Exorcist (1973), The Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) or Halloween (1978) or The Shining (1980) would, sometimes literally, take our breath away. Don’t even get me started on the whole Poltergeist series – it fascinated and scared me for months after seeing it. But our receptivity to horror movies seems to have dwindled away somewhat ever since the rise of fantasy movies with magic and dragons and all that jazz. Sure, it could be argued that not even fantasy movies are as popular as they were 10 or 5 years ago, that the world kind of had its fill of Harry Potters and Frodos. But if we are considering the popularity still enjoyed by the universes created by Terry Pratchett and George R. R. Martin, I don’t think the theory stands at all.
Horror movies, on the other hand, seem to be definitely not that popular anymore, and even though new ones still come out every now and then, declaring yourself as a fan of the genre is becoming more and more an indie move, cool only (or mainly) in its obsolete charm. You definitely don’t see as many popular culture musings over them, as many fan clubs or reenactments inspired by them, or any thematic festivals. On this note, let’s bring into light a few nice recent horror movies which deserve a shot. Who knows, maybe you’ll actually like them and give the entire genre another sot afterwards.
Rigor Mortis (Hong Kong, 2013)
In this movie, a broke and washed-up artist moves into a haunted apartment building, feeling quite desperate and suicidal. To make things even worse, the building he moved into is populated by ghosts and ghost hunters and Taoist exorcists and things just seem to be getting weirder and weirder. What’s interesting about this one is that, unlike most horror movies who need to be very bloody and gory to produce any effect, this one manages to scare the living bajeesus out of you through mostly psychological hints and suggestions.
Wolf Creek 2 (2013)
This Australian movie is actually a sequel to the first Wolf Creek and features a serial killer and demented torturer called Mick, who kidnaps tourists in the wild and murders them. It’s a classic suspense and tension-ridden flick, almost as good as they used to make them in the good old days of horror movies.
A remake of the Stephen King classic, Carrie is actually a horror which has every chance of conveying a deeper social meaning regarding bullying. Or at least bring this sad phenomenon more into mainstream consciousness. Only that anti-bullying campaigns are definitely more mainstream than horror movies seem to be lately, so on second thought, perhaps not.
We are what we are (2013)
Another movie which is a bit more on the subtle side, actually, and these seem to be the best. There’s nothing wrong in enjoying a simple slasher every now and then, but the horror movies that seem to make a deeper impression on us are still the ones where the actual horrific details are implied or guessed rather than shown in full light. This one is centered on a family history ripe with dark secrets and with the internal struggle after the young daughters attempt to make a clean break with tradition.
Curse of Chucky (2013)
Last, but not least, this little gem of a horror movie (pictured all the way up) definitely deserves a spot on our list. To all nostalgic 90s kids reading this post, Chucky is back! The movie wasn’t a compilation of the old ones, as some fans suspected, but it was actually a continuation of the story, to the delight of many of us. If only for the cult icon value, this is definitely a movie you should try watching, with good company and plenty of popcorn.