Last year, Raw, Get Out, and Split surprised horror film buffs with ingenuity and expert execution that dazzled and terrified. Yet, 2018 proves there are many more ways to scare up an audience and crawl into our minds to make a lasting impact. Here at The Horror Dome, we’re in the business of scare. It’s our job to keep up with the latest chilling creatures, recognizable Halloween costumes
, and mind-bending horrors.
Here are five of the finest scary movies of 2018 that are well worth your time.
Hereditary is the blockbuster at the Box Office, reeling in $59.7 million since its $13.5 million June 8 opening weekend. Much of its success comes from word-of-mouth enthusiasm, as director Ari Aster was previously unknown to the world prior to the thick buzz surrounding this year’s Sundance and SXSW Film Fests. Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine) delivers a flawless, Oscar-worthy performance as a gallery artist who makes miniature rooms, coming to grips with the death of the estranged matriarch. The supporting cast – played by Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, and Milly Shapiro – are equally compelling in this haunting exhumation of family secrets. Devoid of the typical “jump” scares you’d expect from the genre, Heredity simmers slowly, building to an enormous impending sense of dread that stays with you. Tremendous technical filmmaking and artistic direction engage the mind throughout, while the group’s supernatural inheritance disturbs long after the 127-minute experience is over. Joe Morgenstern from The Wall Street Journal calls Hereditary a “haunted-houses movie for the ages.”
A Quiet Place
This $329.9 million-grossing SXSW horror-bomb dropped in April, featuring Jon Krasinski alongside real-life wife Emily Blunt as a couple trying to keep their children safe in a post-apocalyptic dystopia run by super-evolved extra-terrestrials who hunt based on sound. Krasinski also directed the film, and admitted that “there were scenes so intense the entire crew had a nervous breakdown.” The suspense is much like the raptors-in-the-kitchen terror of Jurassic Park, with a tension that doesn’t abate. Bryan Woods and Scott Beck’s script follows the Alfred Hitchcock ethos: “When you have an audience screaming their head off, grab them by the neck and don't let go.” Best of all, A Quiet Place goes beyond cheap scare tactics and provides us with a meaty core of parental paranoia and believable squabbles. Peter Rainer of the Christian Science Monitor called it “one of the most inventive and beautifully crafted and acted horror movies” he’s seen in a long time, with the family crisis at its core the main reason for the allure. Josephine Livingstone from The New Republic concurs, stating that it’s “a movie about the sound of fear” that “gives us a great deal more to listen to.”
If you’re new to the chilling, suspenseful weirdness of Directors Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, watch Resolution and Spring before delving into this next-level mindbender. Moorhead and Benson also star in the film as brothers who are lured back to a dusty desert death cult they escaped ten years prior. The execution falls somewhere amid David Lynch, Stuart Gordon, and Don Coscarelli. Though it was made on a shoestring budget, the otherworldly mystery “is a pungent one,” writes Chris Vogner for Dallas Morning News, “and the images and ideas stay with you after the lights go up.” More cerebral than bloodbath, The Endless is “a story about what it means to be comforted, and ultimately confined by, the routines that make up your life,” explains Polygon film critic Ben Kuchera.
The Ritual stands out not only for the way it digs deep into emotions of shame and regret, or for its amazingly scary monstrous stalker, but in the fact that its debut was not at the box office, but as a Netflix Original. While there’s nothing new here in terms of what spooks you, the combination of writing, acting, and cinematography blend together in just the right fashion to make an indelible mark on your psyche. David Bruckner’s first feature film follows four friends traveling into foreboding Scandinavian woods to mourn the death of a friend. The premise is simple, but The Ritual excels in its breathless pace, well-designed “Beast,” and insightful resolution. By the end, you’ll be wondering whether it’s the monsters or our own choices we should fear.
You could argue Annihilation is more sci-fi than horror, but if you’ve seen Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, it’s easy to see the crossover between genres. Based on the first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, this ambitious home-run begins with a group of scientists (played by a largely female, all-star cast Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and Oscar Isaac) sent to explore a shimmering electromagnetic field where government scientists have disappeared. It’s an artful slow-burn that explores self-annihilation through grief, fear of the unknown, depression, perversions, and the darkest corners of human nature. Visceral and emotionally haunting, Annihilation is in a class of its own for the quiet moments of exploration that go beyond the astounding visuals – which it also delivers by the barrel!
Whether you look to the latest horror movies to inspire your costumes, or just want something original and fresh that no one else will have, browse our Halloween costume collection to find the perfect selection.