• James Reid

The New Modern Horror

By James Reid, contributing writer




Horror is in sort of a modern Renaissance. These new movies have created a fun and more accessible avenue for people who aren't fans to find something they enjoy. With Shaun of the Dead in 2004, horror has seemingly aimed to become either edgy or artistic in its fundamental makeup. Shaun of the Dead is arguably the movie that sparked the career of Edgar Wright, a man whose next movie happens to be a new age horror called Last Night in Soho. Horror has also seen the emergence of a trio of new artists known as 'The Three', Ari Aster, Robert Eggers, and Jordan Peele.


Some lesser known horror movies that emerged between Shaun of the Dead and the next big zombie movie which we will get to in a second. The Host from the reigning Best Director Oscar holder was released in 2006. Also in 2006 you had the release of Slither from the The Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy director James Gunn.


In 2009 the popular zombie satire Zombieland took the genre even further. It didn't create the careers of Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg but it did help. Since the release of that movie Jessie has received one Oscar nomination for portraying Mark Zuckerberg and was cast as Lex Luthor. Emma on the other hand received an Oscar win for La La Land and was nominated for The Favourite. In addition to Zombieland the 2009 critical hit Drag Me to Hell was also released. While polarizing to audiences it was critically acclaimed with an 83/100 from the critic grading website 'Metacritic'


A year after the release of Zombieland, a hillbilly comedy known as Tucker and Dale vs Evil was released and became critically acclaimed. According to film aggregate website 'Rotten Tomatoes' the movie holds an 88%. In 2011 Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, played a supporting role in the Drew Goddard film Cabin in the Woods. It was popular with certain crowds but also was notorious for being a little silly for others.


In 2014 there was the horror which can be considered more a thriller The Guest which was followed in 2015 by The Invitation, another horror thriller. 2015 also saw the first emergence of Robert Eggers who directed the puritanical horror film The Witch. He would be the first of the three to release what I call "A24 horror". 2015 also saw the release of Final Girls a unique and quirky take on the final girl trope and formula for "order people are killed in these movies"


In 2017 Get Out from Jordan Peele was released and went on to be a powerful Oscar player, garnering Peele two Oscar noms, one of which was a victory in writing. The movie has been questioned by people who find racial analysis in film to be uncomfortable but critics and film scholars still praise it to this day. A more quirky and fun horror saw the time loop trope juxtaposed with a slasher and college setting in Happy Death Day.


2018 continued the trend of new artistic horror with the release of Hereditary and The Quiet Place. John Krasinski was finally respected as someone other than the guy who played Jim Halbert, although Jack Ryan might have helped also. Ari became and instant hit with critics and released another movie just a year later.


2019 one of the more fruitful years of the 21st century for horror saw all three new directors competing against each other. Jordan Peele had the disappointing yet still somewhat acclaimed US. Ari Aster had the also somewhat acclaimed yet polarizing Midsommar. Robert Eggers kept to the past with a 20th century look at the horrors of two men stuck on an island in The Lighthouse.


Lastly we need to take a look at 2020. Invisible Man earned critical acclaim and was actually considered an Oscar contender before the Academy pushed back deadlines so that more prestige works could have time to finish their work. You also have Freaky which is a take on Freaky Friday starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton. It should be out before the end of the year.


Some movies and franchises that I haven't mentioned are the Conjuring series which features everything from two conjuring movies to three Annabelle installments. You also had the desperate fight from found footage to stay relevant and failing.

Krampus was a fun little romp and Babysitter might serve as a fun Netflix watch for some people.





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