In contrast to previous years, 2018 horror movies seem to be given more careful consideration.
The sudden finding that horror is about trauma, a phrase that constantly showed up in reviews of Hereditary, Suspiria, and Halloween, is impossible to ignore when you’ve been paying attention to the genre for this long.
It’s also worth noting that 2018 saw a surge in the number of horror movies exploring complex topics such as loss of control over one’s body functions, female autonomy, and trauma.
There are certain movies whose deeper meanings are overstated, but Halloween isn’t one of those.
1. What Keeps You Alive
- Director: Colin Minihan
- Star casts: Hannah Emily Anderson and Brittany Allen.
- IMDb ratings: 5.7
What Keeps You Alive is one of the 2018 horror movies that have an alternate storyline that is far less intriguing than the movie adaptation.
The movie’s writer and director, Colin Minihan originally wanted the story to focus on a straight couple. The queering of the narrative was just what was needed to take his movie to the next level.
As a way to commemorate their first wedding anniversary, Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson) brings her wife Jules (Brittany Allen) to an isolated lodge in the woods.
She becomes suspicious as Jules discovers more about Jackie’s unusual history, and that suspicion is heightened when Jackie abruptly shoves Jules down a cliff and dies.
When it turns out that Jules survives, What Keeps You Alive turns into a suspenseful game of cat and mouse. However, it is easy to miss when the suspense is this high since there are instances where it is difficult to believe what is going on.
Horror movies have shown us that marriage can be a nightmare, and extending that to same-sex marriage is a refreshing change.
- Director: Matthew Holness
- Star casts: Sean Harris and Alun Armstrong
- IMDb ratings: 5.7
“Possum” stars Sean Harris in the role of Philip. He is a disgraced children’s puppeteer who must return to his hometown to deal with the demons from his past, which take the form of an ominous spider-like puppet from his childhood that he just cannot get rid of.
Philip has tried everything he can think of, yet the filthy and creepy sucker keeps returning, no matter what he tries.
In Possum, a thick fog threatens to engulf the viewer, making it feel as though they’re being suffocated at any minute.
The movie’s co-writer and director, Matthew Holness avoids shocks and action sequences in favor of a dread-inducing slow burn. You will be haunted almost as much as Philip by the puppet’s horrific face by the end of this movie.
- Director: Ryûhei Kitamura
- Star casts: Stephanie Pearson, Rod Hernandez, and Kelly Connaire
- IMDb ratings: 5.4
Downrange is a good choice for you among the 2018 horror movies. A group of young people is stuck on the side of a deserted road in Downrange, where an unknown sniper is taking them out one by one.
That there aren’t any significant surprises or dramatic shifts in the plot is probably not a spoiler. The snipers would be victims huddling behind the shelter of their SUV in Downrange, which is a fantastic example of claustrophobic terror.
Ryûhei Kitamura co-wrote the screenplay for The Midnight Meat Train. He demonstrates once again that he is a master of exquisite horror in the style of The Midnight Meat Train with his latest horror movie, The Midnight Meat Train II.
This is a scary movie, but not everyone will enjoy it because of the constant fear of gun violence. Despite this, Downrange is an extremely adept study in the art of balancing excess with restraint if you can stomach it.
4. A Quiet Place
- Director: John Krasinski
- Star casts: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe
- IMDb ratings: 7.5
Almost every modern movie director has followed Spielberg’s pattern at some point in their career. However, few have managed to capture Spielberg’s feeling of wonder, geography, and pace, as well as John Krasinski, did in his horror blockbuster A Quiet Place.
His monster thriller/family drama is based on the Spielberg playbook, and director John Krasinski should be proud of himself for channeling those traits with confidence.
As one of the year’s most intriguing concepts, A Quiet Place features a silent world invaded by a sound-hunting alien.
Krasinski does a fantastic job milking the inherent thrills for all they’re worth with perfectly executed set-pieces based on the dynamics of a family that you can’t help but fall for.
Krasinski also offers one of the strongest dramatic performances of his career with his real-life wife Emily Blunt. She takes on the movie’s most challenging and meatiest character with all the elegance and grit that is expected from the outstanding actor.
- Director: Gareth Evans
- Star casts: Richard Elfyn, Paul Higgins, and Dan Stevens
- IMDb ratings: 6.3
Fans of director Gareth Evans, best known for his chaotic Indonesian action movie The Raid, may find Apostle, his latest move, to be a disappointment.
Apostle’s methodical pacing works in its favor so that when the movie finally comes to its brutal end, the carnage seems well-earned.
Dan Stevens plays Thomas Richardson, a guy with a secret history who journeys to a secluded island to rescue his sister from a cult that is keeping her for ransom.
Even though the cult and Thomas’s past before his arrival on the island are revealed in bits and pieces, Evans manages to instill a sense of unease.
Apostle gets under your skin so skillfully that even when nothing overtly terrifying is occurring, you still feel on edge.
Also, in times of more overt terror, Evans has created some frightening visuals that stick in your memory long after the film is over.
- Director: Coralie Fargeat
- Star casts: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens, and Vincent Colombe.
- IMDb ratings: 6.4
This is one of the best 2018 horror movies. The rape-revenge genre is stripped of its creepiest exploitative tendencies in Coralie Fargeat’s gripping, blood-soaked survival horror and transformed into a candy-colored story of a woman’s rebirth in her darkest hour.
Lutz’s portrayal is as self-created sexpot Jen, who comes to the desert with her married boyfriend for a risqué get away and ends up fighting for her life.
Especially when her boyfriend’s frightening hunting partners arrive up early, unleashing a relentless chain of violence, is nothing short of stunning.
Rather than surrendering to the rape-revenge genre’s darker impulses, Fargeat subverts it with bracing visuals and a fine sense of style.
The result is an intensely disturbing picture. That was just the beginning. Jen proved herself to be a far greater hardcore than she ever thought possible.
Style and frenetic action scenes, culminating in some achingly magnificent showdowns that are both cathartic and stomach-turning, are packed throughout Fargeat’s film.
- Director: Daniel Goldhaber
- Star casts: Madeline Brewer, Devin Druid, Imani Hakim, and Patch Darragh
- IMDb ratings: 5.9
When you’re on the internet, it’s so easy to get lost in the shuffle. With all the dark wonders of the internet age, such as identity theft, catfishing, and cyberbullying, online life has become an unstable zone where fiction and reality collide in terrifying ways.
A sleek and powerful doppelgänger thriller, Cam, is the result of director Daniel Goldhaber and screenwriter Isa Mazzei channeling all that fear.
Alice is a cam girl who finds her sense of reality sliding as she attempts to log on one day. Only to discover a replica of herself has replaced her is played by Madeline Brewer in a career-best performance.
Cam succeeds as an existential thriller, but it’s much better as a story of a young woman desperate to wrest control of her identity from the online presence that threatens to devour her. Cam has refreshing sex positivity and denies every opportunity for exploitative indulgence.
8. The Ritual
- Director: David Bruckner
- Star casts: Rafe Spell, Arsher Ali, and Robert James-Collier
- IMDb ratings: 6.3
The protagonists in The Ritual are a group of longtime friends who have come together to grieve the death of one of their own in a horrific liquor shop robbery just a few weeks earlier.
Only Luke (Rafe Spall) was in the store at the moment, frozen by uncertainty and cowardice, as he saw his friend die. He bears most of the group’s responsibility.
Everyone but Luke seems to hold him responsible for this. Also, they’re on this hiking trip to Sweden to test whether or not they can mend their strained relationship in the wake of Luke’s death and go on with their lives.