30 great horror flicks from the last 30 years

By Steve Newton

I’ve been reviewing horror movies professionally since 1988. Here’s 30 of my faves:

Hereditary (2018) “The wrath of Satan seems pretty tame compared to the suffering that damaged family members can inflict on one another.”

A Quiet Place (2018) “…ultimately A Quiet Place emerges as an effective nightmare-maker for parents that is one of those rarest and most welcome commodities for fright-flick fans: horror with heart.”

Get Out (2017) “If you only see one horror movie this year, let it be Get Out. And if you only see one movie of any kind this year, same thing.”

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) “Go into 10 Cloverfield Lane mostly blind and let its mysteries unfold like a long-lost, newly discovered Twilight Zone episode. Because that’s kinda what it is.”

It Follows (2015) “Every once in a while a low-budget indie fright flick comes along that makes everything on the major studios’ horror plate look like a pile of steaming crap.”

Creep (2015) “Duplass’s whacked-out performance keeps you fairly riveted to the screen, wondering what crazy s*** Josef’s gonna pull next-and how the tormented Aaron will respond.”

Backcountry (2015) “It all leads up to a scene of flat-out, primal horror that brings to mind how Werner Herzog might have felt listening to that tape of Timothy Treadwell’s final moments in Grizzly Man.”

Goodnight Mommy (2015) “It’s the most unsettling identical-twin psycho-thriller I’ve seen since The Other-and that was back in ’72!”

The Babadook (2014) “Forget Insidious and its ilk, The Babadook is where it’s at for supernatural horror in the home.”

In Fear (2014) “A masterful example of lean ‘n’ mean outdoor nightmare-making that resonates with the same power of Wolf Creek, but without all the torture and gore.”

Evil Dead (2013) “In memory of beloved horror-booster Roger Ebert I’m gonna give it one hideously mangled tongues-up.”

The Cabin in the Woods (2012) “The Cabin in the Woods is crammed with so many twists and turns that the mere thought of reviewing it and ruining the fun for others is scary in and of itself.”

The Woman in Black (2012) “The Woman in Black successfully plumbs the atmospheric vibe of The Haunting but is even more disturbing because all its bad stuff happens to little kids.”

Chronicle (2012) “The visual effects in Chronicle are astounding, but it’s the well-drawn characters and convincing performances that keep it so wildly entertaining.”

Frozen (2010) “Green avoids Hatchet‘s corny clichés and totally redeems himself with a harrowing portrait of humans at the mercy of the great outdoors.”

A Perfect Getaway (2009) “A riveting horror-thriller that should do for hiking in Hawaii what Hostel did for backpacking in Slovakia.”

Stuck (2008) “Stuck is not only the most entertaining horror flick to hit North American theatres this year, it’s arguably the top Canadian shocker of all time.”

The Orphanage (2007) “As director Juan Antonio Bayona proves with his astonishing feature debut, you don’t need a rusty scalpel to reveal the inner workings of the human heart.”

The Descent (2006) “I dare say that it’s in the running with The Hills Have Eyes as top horror flick of the year.”

Slither (2006) “The gonzo, gore-oriented Troma spirit is clearly evident in this over-the-top splatter-comedy about sluglike thingies from outer space.”

Severance (2006) “Discriminating horror fans should also note that it’s the most exhilarating fright flick to hit theatres since last year’s The Descent.”

Wolf Creek (2005) “Low-budget horror doesn’t get much better than this.”

Bubba Ho-Tep (2003) “Who would have thought that such a far-out B-movie premise could result in this sharply directed, wonderfully acted, and laugh-out-loud-funny tale of courage and redemption?”

House of 1000 Corpses (2003) “This in-your-face homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the most unrelentingly sadistic flick to come out of Hollywood in quite some time.”

Event Horizon (1997) “Eschewing the predictable plotting and happy endings of recent big-budget sci-fi productions, Event Horizon emerges as a truly twisted, nightmarish summer shocker.”

Breakdown (1997) “Although Breakdown certainly resembles a compacted version of George Sluizer’s Americanized remake of his 1988 Dutch/French psychothriller, it actually owes a lot more to The Hitcher in terms of tone, atmosphere, and execution.”

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) “The odd psychological interplay between the gutsy, but green, Starling and the deranged, yet fascinating, Lecter provides the basic tone for Jonathan Demme’s well-made, insidious shocker.”

Misery (1990) “Like Stand By Me, Misery can’t help but broaden the audience for movies based on Stephen King’s work.”

Darkman (1990) “Raimi’s $14-million project is a thrilling comic-book-style adventure that goes for the heart but uses romance and tragedy in lieu of an eight-inch blade.”

Child’s Play (1988) “With equal portions of frolic and fear, Child’s Play is a hilarious hair-raiser that is highly recommended for horror fans.”

 

 

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