5. A Quiet Place (2018)
Summed up in three words: Silence is golden.
In a post-apocalyptic world, a family lives as best as they can whilst constantly being on alert from monsters who hunt by sound. If they hear you, they hunt you.
Directed, starring and co-written by John Krasinski, who co-wrote the screenplay with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, A Quiet Place was a major box office hit. It grossed $339 million against a budget of $17 million, and was critically acclaimed with its premise being especially highly praised. The film was so well received that a sequel is scheduled to be released in 2020.
Trivia: Before making A Quiet Place. Krasinski wasn’t a big fan of horror films. So in order to prepare, Krasinski watched films like Get Out, The Witch and The Babadook. He made notes on at what points he was scared or nervous. He realised that it was not so much the visual style that would scare him but the tension. This made Krasinski realise that he wanted to make a film where the tension was drawn out.
4. Under the Shadow (2016)
Summed up in three words: Intelligent, thought-provoking horror.
In the midst of the War of Cities, the building in which Shideh and her daughter Dorsa live in is hit by a missile. When an overly superstitious neighbour suggests that the missile was cursed and may have been carrying malevolent spirits, Shideh becomes convinced that there are supernatural forces at work who are trying to possess her daughter.
Under the Shadow is an international co-production between Qatar, Jordan and the United Kingdom. It was written and directed by Babak Anvari and grossed $126,62 at the box office. The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was selected as the British entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards. Under the Shadow has been named as one of the best films of 2016.
Trivia: Under the Shadow has been included in ‘1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.’
3. It Follows (2014)
Summed up in three words: Modern horror classic.
After teenager Jay sleeps with her boyfriend for the first time, she discovers that she is now the recipient of a fatal curse and she will be pursued by a supernatural entity until she dies. The supernatural entity will appear as a friend or stranger and will follow her unless she can pass the curse on.
Written and directed by David Mitchell Green, It Follows was received well both commercially and critically. It made $23.3 million at the box office against a budget of $2 million. Mitchell Green conceived the idea for the film based on recurring dreams that he had in his youth about being followed.
Many people have interpreted the film as cautionary tale about sexually transmitted diseases, however Mitchell Green has always stated that the film is dream logic and he is not personally interested in putting a label on where ‘it’ comes from.
Trivia: The time frame of the film is kept purposely ambiguous so that it resembles a dream or a nightmare. The opening scene shows a girl using a cellphone and driving a modern car, but throughout the rest of the film the cars are from different time periods and conflicting technology is used.
2. The Witch (2015)
Summed up in three words: Atmospheric, supernatural horror.
In 1630 New England, a farmer’s son goes missing causing widespread panic. The family of the missing boy blame their oldest daughter Thomasin who was looking after the boy at the time of his disappearance. As suspicion, blame and paranoia mount up, Thomasin is suspected of using witchcraft which tests the village’s faith and loyalty to one another.
The Witch was written and directed by Robert Eggers in his directorial debut. The film received mostly positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing $40 million against a budget of $4 million. Eggers was inspired to write the film because of his many childhood visits to the Plimouth Plantation and his childhood fascination with witches and witchcraft.
Trivia: A hare often appears in the film. This is because in colonial New England, hares were considered magical creatures and were often associated with witches. Witches were also thought to be able to turn into hares in order to spy on people or to influence them.
1. The Wailing (2016)
Summed up in three words: Intense, mysterious thrills.
A police officer is sent to investigate a mysterious disease that has broken out in a village. The villagers believe that the arrival of a mysterious stranger may be to blame. As the villagers’ suspicions increase they begin to kill each other for no apparent reason, causing panic. When the officer’s daughter also falls victim to the strange paranoia, the officer seeks the help of a shaman to help find the source.
The Wailing was written and directed by Na Hong-jin, his third film and first film in over six years. The film received critical acclaim and grossed $51 million against a budget of $8 million. The film was so well received that in January 2017 it was announced that Scott Free Productions, who are based in the United Kingdom, were in talks to remake the film.
Trivia: Whilst filming the ceremony scene, actor Jung-min Hwang filmed for fifteen minutes without taking a break. This resulted in one long take scene.