In this weeks horror takeover on My Life My Migraine, our ghostwriter G.C. dives deeper into the list sharing some of the best of the best horror movies that landed in spots 84-66.
Did you miss out on the first part of this series? You can check out the top 101 – 85 movies here! Don’t forget all things Horror are hiding out on the new page “Horror Corner” so you can easily access lists and other exclusive content.
84. November (2018)
One of the most original films on this list, this Estonian fairy tale is wildly strange, mystical and dreamlike, evocative of Tarkovsky and Sukorov.
83. Starry Eyes (2014)
David Lynch meets David Cronenberg in this nightmarish trip that follows an aspiring actress through the Hollywood underbelly. A completely lucid mélange of shifting genres united under one tone, the film also contains audition scenes that seem to conjure the later La La Land and prefigure #MeToo.
82. Nina Forever (2016)
One of the most acclaimed horror films of the decade, Nina Forever is hard to pin down. A dry romantic-comedy hybrid that doubles as a haunting investigation into grief, the film twists and turns but never relents on the twisted, blood-soaked foundations of its morbid premise: a man’s deceased girlfriend who keeps rising from the sheets every time he and his new girlfriend become intimate.
81. We Are What We Are & We Are What We Are (2011/2013)
This Mexican original and its American remake are almost equally good for very different reasons. Jorge Michel Grau’s original is lean, edgy and intense, while Jim Mickle’s fleshed out remake is poetic and haunting. If forced to choose, I prefer the less seen original, not because its commentary seems fiercer, but because the film itself does. Note: Mickle is one of America’s great independent genre filmmakers, one of the few leaders of the first half of the decade who would veer away from horror halfway through the decade. His thriller Cold in July, dark enough to almost be considered a horror movie, is my favorite film by the director.
80. Creep & Creep 2 (2015/2017)
Hilariously creepy, inventive and surprising low budget films starring Mark Duplass, both perfect in their very idiosyncratic ways.
79. Insidious (2011)
There’s no doubt in my mind that Insidious will always be James Wan’s scariest film. In time, it may also receive credit for being the most important American horror film of its time, revitalizing Wan’s career, outselling Scre4m and paving the way for the stream of original horror movies that are currently dominating the landscape. Do I actually think this is a better film than The Conjuring? In the most objective, mainstream sense, no. The Conjuring is a classic bit of horror that keeps its composure, while Insidious is operatic, and more of an exercise in generating terror rather than a coherent narrative. In the case of this list, that’s what elevates it.
78. Livide (2012)
Bustillo and Maury’s follow-up to Inside never even received an American release, but it is the easily the best film French-language film made this decade by any of the major New French Extremity directors. Its scarcity could be due to the difficulty in marketing a uniquely strange film that encapsulates numerous genres, morphing from extreme horror to poetic fantasy. I should note a couple things here. Why does it seem as though these French directors must accept a remake gig in order to solidify their success in America? Alexandre Aja followed High Tension with The Hills Have Eyes, and has had no problem getting funding in America ever since. Bustillo and Maury’s French films have not seen American distribution, but they recently sort of made it it with the Texas Chainsaw prequel Leatherface. Pascal Laugier was set to follow Martyrs with a remake of Hellraiser, but jumped ship when he clashed with the studio; why any sort of non-budget related clash could have occurred in a franchise that always goes straight to video shows the sad state of control that studios would try to exercise over their products, especially when Laugier was such a perfect fit for a Hellraiser film. Since then he has made only two films, The Tall Man in 2012 and Incident in a Ghostland in 2018, the former which appeared on the “Further Favorites” portion of this list and the latter which deserves special mention as a film that is in the same realm of shocking and emotional as Martyrs, and may one day come to be seen as a disturbing masterwork.
77. Unfriended & Unfriended: Dark Web (2015/2018)
Approximately equal in quality, each addressing different aspects of the same modern technology. Where Paranormal Activity forces you to scour a room in search of a non-existent ghost, the genius of the Unfriended films is that they fix your eyes on a computer screen and cause you to scour multiple tabs amidst an information overload, an activity that you’re accustomed to doing every day, and in the process exploring in real time the very real dangers of an all-access world at one’s fingertips.
76. Alleluia (2015)
Another take on “the honeymoon killers,” this time from Calvaire director Fabrice Du Welz. This one is especially stylish, atmospheric, and haunting in its depiction, especially thanks to Lola Duenas’ performance.
75. The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2017)
The feature debut of Oz Perkins (son of Anthony) is a moody stunner that tells two related stories simultaneously, each enhancing the dread of the other while only hinting as to how they are connected. The dark atmosphere of the film is nearly unmatched, and the chilling finale lingers in the mind.
74. A Dark Song (2017)
Throws you into its narrative in such a way that you learn the rules of the ritual alongside the protagonist. It feels like a journey through a set of strictly defined guidelines that nonetheless can’t ever be comprehended and outcomes that remain impossible to predict. The climax is transcendent.
73. The Eyes of My Mother (2016)
A film as beautifully poetic as it is hauntingly disturbing. It’s not the kind of thing you watch for fun or suspense. It unapologetically devises a scenario that is truly disturbing and then forces the viewer to observe it like it is just a slice of everyday life.
72. Goodnight Mommy (2015)
One of the first of the string of massively acclaimed horror films from the latter part of the decade, but I’ve admittedly never been that much of a fan. It is effective, as long as you’re into its grueling, Michael Haneke-esque, slow burn, and both its few dreamlike sequences and premise are unimpeachable.
71. The Pact (2012)
This movie does some things that I can’t recall seeing done all that often before it, but something which I’ve seen a few times since, and I won’t even allude to what that is. I was utterly terrified by this film, which is both a ghost story and a mystery, glued together by a stillness of tone that is at first reminiscent of the first 40 minutes of Lynch’s Lost Highway.
70. Crimson Peak (2015)
A gothic romance with the most ornate set design of Guillermo del Toro’s career, and indeed the most visually arresting big-budget horror film since Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Once you let go of the fact that it’s not that scary and get on its very specific wavelength, the film emerges as something worth cherishing.
69. Split (2017)
One of Shyamalan’s best and most mature films, a surprisingly powerful investigation and ode to victims, survivors and outcasts.
68. A Serbian Film (2010)
I’ve seen this movie like six times. Yeah. Let that sink in, cowards. My favorite thing about it is that it was cited as one of the ten best films ever made by one critic in the last Sight & Sound poll. The film supplies a powerful metaphor, regardless of how its detractors may try to state that it’s too sick to be art. Mostly, though, I simply can’t deny the uncomfortable, sweat-inducing effectiveness of the film-making as our protagonist begins his descent into the unknown depths of depravity.
67. Hounds of Love (2017)
There’s simply nothing so crisp as Australian exploitation cinema, and Hounds of Love is a prime example of its unnerving levels of realism. Another film you do not watch for fun, but which will thoroughly rivet as it disturbs regardless. The final 15 minutes seem gruelingly designed to be a uniquely upsetting endurance test meant to challenge the very idea of hope.
66. Evolution (2016)
Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s first feature since 2004’s Innocence is another rarified coming of age film, this time focusing on a young boy who lives on an island of women. Something is amiss. Everyone is a miss! Strange occurrences give way to nightmarish revelations.
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