With 2020 hardly being the year many of us hoped for, and major films now being delayed until later in the year or even next year, there’s still been many quality movies hitting home streaming platforms. Offering escapism while keeping us entertained and on the edge of our seats, here are some of our most surprising horror films of the year which we encourage fans to seek out…
If you like your horror comically dark and twisted, Hunter’s Moon takes a home invasion detour following three young women on an orchard who are tormented by group of dangerous local boys, before a mysterious creature also shows up. Using elements of teen horror, dark comedy and monster movie tropes, it’s a wild ride. The film features Thomas Jane (The Punisher), Katrina Bowden (30 Rock), Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints), Jay Mohr (Jerry Maguire) and it’s helmed by rising writer/director Michael Caissie, who also penned the underrated Al Pacino movie, Hangman. As a fun indie horror, this is well worth a watch.
If lockdown has brought us one thing, it’s innovation from filmmakers! In this Shudder original film, a group of young friends gather on Zoom to hold a fun little séance, only they manage to awaken something horrific, and watch as each member of the group is attacked by a spooky presence. Since the “found footage” horror subgenre became a trend in the late 1990’s, various “gimmicks” have come and gone – but this is a really great film. With a solid young cast, eerie visuals and some great jump scares, Host is the surprise horror hit of the year.
If you enjoy a traditional sub-genre (exorcism) with a fresh twist, this could be the one for you. Single father Joel (Robert Kazinsky, Captain Marvel) suspects his young son may be possessed. Struggling with his own mental health, he can’t be sure what’s real, and what exists in his imagination. So, he’s aided by Father Lambert (Peter Jason, They Live) who seeks his own redemption after serving prison time for the death of a child during an exorcism. Together, can they defeat this evil? What really elevates this is the psychological theme and some very strong performances, making it faithful enough to an old genre formula, and still something new.
The Invisible Man
In this new take on a classic horror tale, the H.G. Wells story gets a new spin with Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) giving an amazing performance as a woman intent on escaping her abusive boyfriend, only to realise he’s still stalking her – and he’s invisible! Creepy, scary, tense, yet still thoughtful, fans and critics agree it’s one of the best mainstream horror films in recent memory. Give it a watch!
Following the tradition of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13, we know that everyone loves an exciting siege movie. This taut and tense action thriller blends elements of horror and gore to deliver something very fun. It pits old veterans against a ravenous gang of drug-addled crazies, with superbly violent results. Helmed by Joe Begos (Bliss) and featuring a roster of great character actors including Stephen Lang (Avatar), Fred Williamson (From Dusk Till Dawn) and William Sadler (Bill & Ted Face the Music), this one is a blast!
If you like the kind of inventive, low-key British sci-fi that UK filmmakers do so well, you need to catch Alien Outbreak. In a rural English town, two police officers begin their normal shift but realise something is wrong. With residents behaving strangely and horrific events unfolding before their eyes, they realise they are under attack from terrifying alien creatures and must fight to defend their town and community. Watch out for some beautiful English locations and unsettling alien creatures, but why are they here?
Dark, shocking and fast-paced, The Hunt stars Betty Gilpin (GLOW) and Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) in a contemporary take on the human hunting premise, with added style and a genuine breath of fresh air. Never a genre to shy away from making a statement, there’s real socio-political commentary to boot and lots of humour and digs directed at both sides of the political spectrum. Expect to laugh, think and still be thoroughly entertained along the way.