Best Horror Movies of the 2010s: Award Show Style!

Welcome to 2020!

Since that’s out of the way, let’s forget about the New Year one last time and take a trip through the decade we just left. Doesn’t everyone climb out of the pool, dry off, get warm, and then jump back in one last time? That’s basically what we’re doing! I’ll start you off with the Top 10 horror movies of the last decade and then we’ll take a deep dive into the past 10 years.

Best Movies Of them All!

(Top 10 horror movies of the 2010s, in order! That’s right. Come fight me. Or share on Twitter.)

 
1. A Quiet Place
2. Observance
3. The Boy
4. Let Me In
5. The Conjuring 2
6. Us
7. Sinister
8. The Conjuring
9. Insidious
10. Cabin in the Woods


Before we go any farther, let’s set up some guidelines. There will be a lot of categories, both “Best of” and “Worst of.” You’ll see a lot of movies, some honorable mentions, and read a little bit about all of them. I’ll probably link to my reviews, because the more links you click the happier I get. Here’s one now. (All my movie reviews here!)

So, without further ado, let’s just get this thing going and find out what kind of movies we’re leaving behind in the 2010’s. Are they good? Sometimes. Will we get better ones in the next decade? I very much hope so. This is a mixed bag and we’ll talk about the good, the bad, and the Krampus.


Best “Blockbuster” Movie

(There are very few horror movies that could be called blockbusters, so we’ll just go by some of the bigger ones. Some of them had huge releases, some of them were big after-the-fact. Either way, you’ve probably heard or even seen them.)

A Quiet Place

(Review Link)

Honorable Mentions:

Insidious, Sinister, Conjuring, Carrie (2013), The Boy, Conjuring 2, It: Chapter One, Get Out, Us

AH JIM. Sorry, it’s actually a good movie. And it has Jim.

There’s not a ton that needs to be said about this movie. After all, it generally received the praise that it deserves. The artistic qualities in this movie, added to the exceptional plot and world-building, shows this probably isn’t a fluke for John Krasinski. His first foray into horror, along with his wife Emily Blunt, carries both of them at peak acting abilities. They really fuel this film and push it to be the best of the decade, at least in terms of blockbuster appeal.

I can’t remember a single movie that was so utterly quiet. Seeing this in a movie theater was an incredible experience. The movie is so silent that you worry about even taking a drink from your soda. The complete, unnerving lack of sound makes for a memorable finish down the stretch, full of the intense, horrific battles that could be found in any other movie from this genre. The silence pairs perfectly with Krasinski and Blunt’s moments of terror and sacrifice, always loud, always keeping your attention. This movie, sticking with you, is anything but quiet.


Worst “Blockbuster” Movie

(Self-explanatory. What’s worse than a bad movie? A bad movie with a budget of 55 million.)

The Nun

While It: Chapter 2 is definitely the worst movie in relation to its budget, advertising, and overall hype, it isn’t technically the worst blockbuster movie of the decade. Don’t worry. It gets a bad award, just later on down the list.

(Dis)Honorable Mentions:

Mama, Don’t Breathe, The Shallows, The Bye-Bye Man, Slender Man, It: Chapter Two, Split,

The Conjuring folks’ first big flop. Can’t win ’em all.

There are a lot of ways to make a bad movie. One of the easiest is to prop it up with some good advertising and include a character that’s become a bit of a legend. Up to this point, everyone wanted to see more of “the Nun,” that evil entity that persists throughout the Conjuring universe, specifically The Conjuring 2. After all, when you have a frightening, fascinating villain, it isn’t that far-fetched to expect a spin-off will be alright and make some money.

Well, it did make some money. The Nun is really just… boring. It tries to be clever, and is at times, but for the most part there isn’t anything exciting. Nothing that makes it worth it. Even the “big twist” at the end is pretty obvious leading up to it. This isn’t exactly a bad thing, but it felt like the movie was leaning too heavily on that twist. When it fell through, so did the whole “feel” of the movie. At the end, you’re left with some confusion, a cringe, and less money. And an overwhelming urge to simply re-watch The Conjuring 2. A much, much better use of time.


Best Movie You Haven’t Heard Of

(Again, obvious. These are movies that were obscure and probably only seen on some streaming service. Lucky for you, I have found them.)

Observance

(Review Link)

Honorable Mentions:

The Crazies, Cabin in the Woods, The Invitation, I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House, Let Me In

This movie is as mind-bending and difficult to find as this poster.

Don’t even get me started on this movie. Well, you did. This is one of those gems that I found on Netflix all by myself and am forever proud of discovering. I’ve told everyone I can about it. It’s as astoundingly good movie, with some of my favorite elements. The sudden, abrupt start. The deeply-scarred main character. The shadow of a cult. The ambiguous, unexpected ending. This movie has basically everything. It’s received praise from those who have reviewed it, except for that stupid IMDb website. Who cares about them, though?

This movie is incredibly close to perfect, with a few things that could have been improved, but for 90 minutes it utterly squeezes the life out of you and refuses to let go. The tension continues to build, as these multiple story-lines come together. And then, in the final scene, you’re waiting for everything to make sense and it… doesn’t. But I didn’t even care. I was astounded. Not even mad about the ending. I loved it. And the best part is, 80% of you probably haven’t seen this. So, word of advice, go watch it! If you do nothing else. And then remember I’m the one who suggested it. Hehe.


Best Sequel

(These sequels don’t have to be from series that started in the 2010’s. Example: Conjuring 2. They can also be sequels to movies that started decades ago. Such as Saw 7.)

Conjuring 2

Honorable Mentions:

Insidious 2, Insidious 3, Happy Death Day 2U, Carrie (2013) (remake)

That’s how you make a sequel, folks.

I hate sequels. There are many reasons not to make them and very little to do so. –(One exception is when you’re already adapting a series. Think Harry Potter or Hunger Games. Obviously, you have to have sequels there.)– You can tarnish the legacy of the original movie and those characters. You can run into complications with directors, actors, etc. all coming back. But, of course, there is money, and that’s the main reason you make another one.

Here’s the great thing about these Conjuring folks (namely James Wan). They got this sequel exactly right. Are the spin-off movies great? Well, no. But is this? Absolutely. This movie is even better than the original. They added character levels and depth; they added humanity to the Warrens and foreboding to their story. The movie takes everything up a level, deals with the critics of the Warrens and supernatural events in general. It doesn’t go too far or try to be more than it is. It knows what it is. An exceptional franchise, with two legendary actors at the forefront, and the behemoth of horror for now. Will it stay that way? Nobody can say for sure. But I know I’m out-of-this-world excited for The Conjuring 3. Even little old me, who hates sequels.


Worst SequeL

(Disclaimer: I didn’t watch the really dumb ones. Like Saw 7. But I tried to find a bad one that was also hyped. So that’s what this mess of a category is.)

It: Chapter 2

(Review Link)

(Dis)Honorable Mentions:

Rings, VHS 2, Poltergeist (2015) (remake), Annabelle: Creation

This one had great advertising. Should’ve used that time to make a better movie.

What can I say about this movie? Well, for starters, I didn’t really enjoy the first one, at least not as much as everybody else seems to. IT: Chapter One wasn’t my favorite, and still I felt that IT: Chapter Two was an extraordinary letdown. This movie had the full weight of everything behind it. A budget of 80 million (huge for a horror movie). The full force of expectations. A perfectly-timed release. Everything. All the hype. Coming off of Chapter One, this was supposed to be the culmination of horror movies, of Stephen King adaptions, of this story that so many grew up with and so many others discovered for the first time in 2017.

IT: Chapter Two is awful in a special way. It’s not really the worst horror sequel. Obviously, VHS 2, Rings, and even Annabelle: Creation are worse movies, speaking technically. But this movie is the biggest letdown. It’s boring. It’s bland. It doesn’t have that little spark present in the original. This movie’s best moments are basically the deleted scenes from Chapter One. That’s not good. Not when you spent 80 million to make this sequel. Of course, it destroyed the box office and is (I believe) the second or third highest-grossing horror film of all time. But it isn’t worthy of that. It isn’t even as good as the first.


Most Boring

The Witch

Honorable Mentions:

Taking of Deborah Logan, The Visit, Autopsy of Jane Doe, Oculus, Annabelle Comes Home, Rings

I almost fell asleep. This movie needed a few more goats. I don’t know if that’s a joke or not.

Not really sure how I’ll write an entire two paragraphs on this movie. I guess we’ll do it like one of my good, old-fashioned movie reviews. There is definitely some good here. The premise is good. The first twenty minutes are good. The climax, with all the action is good. Everything in between and after is… different degrees of bad. But, more than anything, more than bad, more than pointless, this movie was boring.

Trust me, I love foggy endings. I love suspenseful builds. I love slow-burners. Heck, I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House is even slower than this movie. But that movie really does something. You can feel it pulling you in through many different methods of directing, screenplay, character growth, etc. The Witch doesn’t really do anything. It tells a story, a story that I don’t have much reason to care about. It doesn’t have any deeper meaning. It doesn’t have any good twists. It doesn’t have a fog over it. It’s just boring. Bland. It is the stale bag of chips that you should’ve closed but instead they’ve been sitting open for two months, so you go back and watch The Crazies again instead.


Big List Of Awards

Best horror movie with….

Lots of Weed: Cabin In The Woods

Vampires: Let Me In

Jump Scares: Insidious

Ghosts: I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House

Lots of blood: Carrie

Big Beards: The Witch

Elvis Impersonation: Conjuring 2

Stupid Ending That Ruins It: Sinister 2

Cliche/Flat Antagonists: Hush

Lots of Laughs: The Babysitter

Bella Thorne: You Get Me

ZOMBIES: The Crazies

A Super Confusing Ending: Observance

A+ Plot Twist: The Boy

Your New Best Friend: 13 Cameras

Krampus: None


Bonus Category: random Thoughts

(These are just a few of the many thoughts I had while watching almost 100 hours of horror over the last 3 weeks.)

–Insidious…. has some of the best jump scares, spawned a really interesting series, but the movie itself seems much older than 2011. Snatches of dialogue, the melodramatic music at times, and just some weird directing choices. And while the “Ghostbuster”-esque team is good, it’s always… comical at times.

–The Crazies moves so ridiculously fast that it’s hard to really feel everything there is in the movie. Much better on the second watch, oddly enough.

–I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House is so deliciously confusing. Just excellent. Some of you will probably hate it, but if you love it, you’ll adore it.

—Patrick Wilson is the KING of 2010’s horror movies and you can’t really debate it. He’s integral in two of the biggest franchises.

–Ethan Hawke is so good. Also, the people in charge of the Sinister movies are… seriously freaky, weird weird bad ways to kill people. However, that’s all they having going for them in the second installment. Great premise overall.

–Conjuring is an instant classic, but I think the original is a little bloated by years of distance. Not quite as exceptional as I remembered. Conjuring 2 actually feels like a more complete movie.

–2010’s will probably be known as the Decade of the Conjuring Folks. Movies they made, including spin-offs: Conjuring, Conjuring 2, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, Annabelle Comes Home, The Nun, The Curse of La Llorona. Almost 2 billion dollars grossed. Plus at least 5 films in the next decade. This is like the new Marvel of horror, except they make mostly good movies.

A Quiet Place was fantastic and I’m not really excited for #2. I don’t… have confidence in it. Hopefully I’m proved wrong.

The Invitation and Us have basically the same twist (think red lanterns), just at different parts of the movie. Made me think a little less of Us. But then there was the second twist and I realized it’s great anyways.

–Hot take: Us is better than Get Out. Or maybe I just saw Us in theaters and that made it better. Who can say. Not I.

–Conjuring franchise is WAY BETTER than the Insidious one. Even adding in the bad spin-offs (The Nun, Annabelle: Creation)

–I really can’t wait for the 2020’s. There’s so many experimental minds in the horror genre, it’s a very exciting path. A lot of really good seeds moving forwards.


The End

That’s all, folks! I hope you enjoyed this “award show” of sorts. I watched a lot of movies and I hope you found one here that you’ve never heard of before or didn’t think to watch. But before we go, let me give a special shout out to the worst of all horror movies, the most miserable movie experience I’ve ever had, and the greatest waste of money humanly possible. Made for a great second date memory!

Thank you, Krampus, for wasting my money and nearly two hours of my life. So bad you aren’t even enjoyable. Even elf-toy-demons can’t save this film.

Oh, and here’s one last movie review link 😉

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