Horror is an acquired taste, but one desires a bit of it every now and then. So, here are 10 modern-day horror films for those who don’t like horror.
Horror isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t enjoy being scared, some find the subject matter too disturbing, and others just don’t care for the genre. There are also those who just have not been exposed to it as frequently as others.
Regardless of the reason, there are plenty of great films released within the last decade that can convert even the scarediest of scaredy-cats to full-fledged horror aficionados. Consider these ten films as a starter guide for the world of modern horror or horror-inspired films. These movies will do a good job of easing newcomers into the genre, thanks to their fusing of genres or their larger political statements. These are the ten best modern horror films for those who cannot stand the horror genre.
10 The Dead Don’t Die (2019)
Jim Jarmusch’s 2019 zombie film, The Dead Don’t Die, is a smart and funny social satire that uses a zombie apocalypse to symbolize modern society. It features an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Rosie Perez, Selena Gomez, and even the Wu-Tang Clan’s own RZA.
What really makes this apocalypse story stand out is its commitment to deadpan humor. Jarmusch’s signature style in most of his films. It’s one of the more unique films in the zombie subgenre.
9 Goosebumps (2015)
Based on the R.L. Stine series of children’s books of the same name, Goosebumps takes all the classic characters from the books and puts them together in this delightful family romp.
Jack Black stars as a fictionalized version of the author, as he tries his hardest to contain a supernatural evil. This evil takes the form of different monsters throughout the series’s history. This is a pretty good film for families, feeling like The Cabin in the Woods for kids.
8 Attack The Block (2011)
Between Star Wars and Pacific Rim, John Boyega sure loves his sci-fi. In 2011, he starred in Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block. This British, science-fiction film combined elements of horror and comedy to deliver a timely commentary on modern society.
The story concerns a teenage street gang who now has to defend a public housing district in England from a full-blown alien attack. For fans of Edgar Wright films, this might be a perfect choice.
7 Green Room (2015)
Less scary and more thrilling, Green Room is the story of a punk band’s capture by a group of neo-Nazi skinheads. Jeremy Saulnier directed this film that stars Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, and Patrick Stewart. Stewart steals the show though, playing Darcy Banker, the leader of the skinheads.
Tense and oozing with that classic punk style, Green Room is a great film for fans of thrillers or The Dead Kennedys, while remaining a culturally relevant film for these uncertain times. It also has a killer soundtrack.
6 It Chapter One (2017)
Sure, killer clowns are terrifying for anyone, regardless of how big a fan they are of horror films but Andy Muschietti’s 2017 film, It, combines so many wonderful elements of other films that the scares don’t feel as bad. Based on Stephen King’s book of the same name, this film takes place in 1988 and follows some junior-high schoolers on a journey to confront their fears.
Pulling elements from films like The Goonies, The Thing, Near Dark, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and even TV shows like Stranger Things to craft one part adventure film and other part horror film.
5 The Shape Of Water (2017)
Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water is not a horror film but it pulls from many to create a wonderfully enchanting love story that feels, unlike most modern films. This film tells the story of Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins), a mute cleaner who works at a government lab, and her connection to an amphibious sea creature.
Fans of romance and the Golden Age of Hollywood will appreciate this film and will appreciate it’s more optimistic use of movie monsters.
4 Crawl (2019)
And now, for a different kind of sea creature. Crawl was directed by Alexandre Aja and executively produced by Sam Raimi and details a student-athlete being trapped and hunted by alligators.
This modern-day B-movie is the perfect film for those looking for fun over fear and was even hailed by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino as his favorite film of 2019.
3 Get Out (2017)
Jordan Peele’s excellent debut, Get Out, combines old school scares with some smart social commentary. Visiting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time, Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) uncovers a dark secret in their estate.
Peele effectively used the horror genre to effectively satirize the microaggressions that African-Americans face on a daily basis. Smartly written, aptly shot and directed, Get Out was and still is the perfect blueprint for a masterful debut film. Viewers who don’t like horror can appreciate the theme of the film and its technical merits.
2 The Lighthouse (2019)
Robbert Eggers’s second film, The Lighthouse, feels like a modern Alfred Hitchcock film. While unsettling and deeply claustrophobic, this film isn’t that scary but provides so much in the way of visuals and storytelling.
The story of two lighthouse workers trying their hardest not to go mad is shot in black-and-white and in 1.19:1 aspect ratio to evoke the feeling of old horror films. It’s one of the finest efforts from a rising director. Film fans will love its literary allusions and its themes, as well as countless different interpretations of different things.
1 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Dan Trachtenberg’s debut is a masterful thriller that takes place within the universe of the Cloverfield films. Set in an underground bunker the film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr. Goodman steals the show as the film’s villain though this film is best experienced completely blind to any plot elements.
It’s a tense and thrilling affair that came as a shock to audiences in 2016 but it paid off as one of the best thrillers of the 2010s.
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