10 Great 2021 Horror Movies You May Have Missed

5. Agnes

It’s one of those films that you have to give a bit more info on the plot, just to prepare the audience to what to expect. From its poster, it looks like your average exorcism-related horror film and it indeed is about demonic possession but there’s something more going on here. The title character Agnes is a nun in a very traditional place. Mother Superior is incredibly strict. outburst during a group meal with her fellow nuns startles us and leads the Mother Superior to request assistance from the Church to address what appears to be demonic possession. However, the man who arrives – Father Donaghue doesn’t believe in demons.

It’s better to not spoil the rest but the movie is open to interpretation. It’s more interested in crisis of faith and even asking some philosophical questions rather than flat-out frightening the audiences with scary images. Mickey Reece remains as one of the distinctive independent filmmakers and even though his films are low-budget, he still manages to fill them with so many interesting ideas, a compelling atmosphere, and good actors that it doesn’t feel like that at all.


4. Blood Red Sky

On a transatlantic night flight from Dusseldorf to New York, hijackers take control of the plane and guide it back east – towards the rising sun. But the passenger Nadja cannot allow that: She is a vampire-to-be and has her son with her. She takes medication to stop the process. She has booked a flight to the USA to be treated in a special clinic. That’s why now she has to fight against terrorists. We had a thriller/horror, we had comedy/horror and now it’s time for our action horror. There are some physical fighting scenes between the terrorists and Nadja, portrayed effectively by Noomi Rapace. Alexander Scheer is also very good as our convincingly psychotic villain.

While the action is cool and the horror elements are scary, the film becomes entertaining mostly due to its unexpected plot devices and twists. Most of the film takes place in the aircraft, the director uses the setting very well to build tension and bring the action. Transformation stories are always intriguing in vampire movies because watching the vampire side clashing with your human side brings out some delicious acting moments and also interesting plot points. A movie like that, of course, will have some humor too and it works well here. If you like things like “Snakes on a Plane”, chances are you’ll enjoy this one as well.


3. The Night House

Time for some psychological horror. Rebecca Hall had an excellent year; first, she fought with monsters in a blockbuster hit “Godzilla vs. Kong” and then directed a critically acclaimed arthouse drama “Passing”. Between those films, she also made a very fine horror film called “The Night House”. It all starts as a standard haunted house story. Hall gives a remarkable performance as our central character Beth. She just lost her husband to suicide. Feels devastated and depressed. Soon after, she starts to suffer from strange supernatural events at night and finds a strange reversed floor plan for their house. Is this her imagination or something different going on? Well, it sure sounds like a typical haunted house movie but definitely is not.

It goes nowhere you expect it to go and keeps delivering twists, with a strong lead performance you can’t take your eyes off of our main character. For a film like this, it’s very important, ‘cause you have to feel the obsession and the confusion our lead character goes. You need to be interested in things as much as she does. Luckily, they found the right actress for the part. Elisha Christian is also doing a notable job as a cinematographer with choosing the right colors and creating the right atmosphere for us to get involved in. After the film, you’ll find yourself thinking about its themes and have your own interpration of the story.


2. Oxygen

Elizabeth Hansen wakes up in a cryogenic unit, she can’t remember who she is or how she got there. A device monitors her brain activity, and the only one that could answer her questions is the artificial intelligence MILO. The oxygen reserves are steadily decreasing. Before she runs out of air in the chamber, which is hardly bigger than a coffin, she has to find a way out. Her fragmented memories are slowly coming back.

A mix of sci-fi horror and thriller, “Oxygen” is the latest feature from Alexandre Aja and the film writing debut of Christie LeBlanc. Aja is one of the finest genre directors around. Especially if you’re not looking for something extra deep or anything. He’s got a good eye for visuals and a good sense of humor as it’s evident from his “Horns” and “Piranha 3D”. He’s not afraid of going “out there” but his stuff can be serious and he knows how to make it all work as well.

“Oxygen” is probably his second most accessible film, right after “Crawl” but if it came out at the right time with more promotion, it’d get even more attention. Maybe it’s also because people are a bit tired of one-setting survival stories recently but “Oxygen” is not too similar to many others. It’s strong on its mystery aspects and while the answers might not be too satisfactory, you still feel entertained in the end because it’s incredibly atmospheric, very well-shot, and amazingly acted by Mélanie Laurent in what might be her career-best performance.


1. The Amusement Park

Produced in 1973, showed once at the 1975 American Film Festival and we didn’t get to see it until 2021. If you’re a horror fan, you know who George Romero is and you probably had seen “Night of the Living Dead”, “Dawn of the Dead”, “Martin” and his other classics.

Between two great films “Season of the Witch” and “The Crazies”, Romero also made a work-for-hire film called “The Amusement Park”. It was commissioned by the Lutheran Service Society of Western Pennsylvania as an educational film about elder abuse and ageism. Romero shot the film in three days. According to her, they used it initially but it was a little edgier than they expected, so they shelved it. She approached them in 2018 to see if they have a print ‘cause her own print was a mess. Luckily it was found and restored by IndieCollect.

The film is mostly excellent. Sure, Romero had never been subtle with his messages and some of the themes might be outdated but who cares, we’re not seeing the films for being incredibly relevant with our time, and not to mention, there are things that are still relevant. Romero’s use of camera, actors, lighting, and music are still disturbing as they must have been in the 70s.

The story is basically an elderly gentleman finding himself having a nightmarish day in the amusement park, and the things happening there are basically metaphors of what elder people go through. It’s a mesmerizing film and it should be appreciated as a cinema magic that such lost films by respected and beloved auteurs are getting found and released. Bit disappointing that they don’t end up being a bigger event but what to do. We’re living in a world where “The Other Side of the Wind” couldn’t score a single nom from Academy.