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The Best Horror Films of 2015: A Collection of Creeps, Jerky Demons and Rampaging Bears

December 21, 2015

If you’ve been reading MFF for sometime you know how much I’ve been praising the horror of 2014-2015. We’ve been lucky to have fantastic horror films that appeal to every type of person. They’ve been a proactive bunch that create new worlds and have adapted old tropes and made them modern. I love how they’ve taken familiar themes (slasher, found footage) and made them unpredictable. The five horror films I’ve picked stand out because they feature something new and exciting. They were critcally beloved and they’ve been building a bigtime following. It is a fun time to be a fan of horror because these films are actually good.

Here are my five favorite horror films of 2015!

  1. Creep

Creep takes the found footage world into unexpected territory by focusing on believable characters. It creates a modern, unsettling and believable bad guy who is totally refreshing. Mark Duplass is perfect in the role and I love how he manipulates and takes advantage of insecurities. He is the rare bad guy that I want to see more of and I hope a world is built around him.  If you are looking for inspiration and want to create something in the film world I totally recommend you watch Creep. It is simple, smart and builds to a brutal conclusion. Let me know what you think when you watch it!

If you are interested check out the podcast we did for Creep and Spring

Creep wolf mask Mark Duplass


2. Spring

Spring plays like Before Sunrise met An American Werewolf in London and spawned something like Species but totally different. It is an earthy film that plays with romance, love, loss and lots of squishy things. The critics have rallied around it (89% RT) and it is part of a recent low-budget horror revival. Spring has proven itself to be a genre lifter that take old ideas and makes them original.

A neat example of where Spring veers from the horror path is in the meet cute. The two characters lock eyes, she is obviously out of his league and when he approaches she immediately invites him back to her apartment (think Species). He is caught off guard and begins to wonder whether she is trying to rob, kill or trick him. He declines the offer and instead tries to set up a coffee date. It is a neat moment that plays against type and sets up a really neat romance.


3. It Follows

It Follows has a unique style that blends a lurking sense of dread with absolute urgency.  It isn’t afraid to mess with the genre while sticking to well-worn tropes.  If you combined  All the Real Girls with Nightmare on Elm Street and threw in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Elephant and The Sixth Sense you would have something sorta resembling the film

Director David Robert Mitchell (The Myth of the American Sleepover) takes my favorite aspects of horror (urgency, dread, patience) and combines them with a beautifully simple story about the dangers of sex. Mitchell lets the film breath and this allows the rabbit and hare story to unfold organically. The teens sleepless state creates a dreamy atmosphere that is captured nicely by the lingering camera and patient editing. The film moves at a methodically slow pace yet you have a hard time catching your breath. Check out the It Follows podcast!

I love how Mitchell breaks down the opening scene in The New York Time’s Anatomy of a Scene video.


4. Backcountry

When you watch as many horror movies and thrillers as I do you learn to appreciate when a good one comes around. Backcountry is a fantastic thriller that is crazy tense and actually creates likable characters. It is beautiful to look at and the story revolves around two hikers having a terrible trip. The young couple Jenn (Missy Peregrym) and Alex (Jeff Roop) are likable people and it breaks your heart because you know something will inevitably go wrong.  You want this couple to make their way back to safety and not have a Grizzly Man experience. Backcountry is a crazy effective film that fills you with dread and unease. That is the highest compliment you can pay a thriller.

Backcountry movie poster


5. Insidious: Chapter  3  

I love the Insidious films  and I think they excel at creating truly memorable bad guys. The Man Who Can’t Breathe is a great villain and I guarantee he will make you uneasy.  Insidious 3 features my favorite horror moment of the year. A teenage girl (who is actually nice) is in bed because she broke both of her legs. Her legs are wrapped in casts and she is unable to move which makes her perfect prey.  The jerky demon takes over her body and she stands up and breaks her leg casts on her wooden bed frame. Then, she walks on her crunchy broken legs and attempts to attack her father and friends. It is a crazy moment and gives the audience a truly memorable moment (listen to me wax poetic about it on the podcast).  Also, Elise is awesome and I want more movies featuring her, Tucker and Specs. They are my current dream team of horror.

Insidious 3 tucker specs elise



3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2015 12:12 pm

    I LOVED It Follows…I remember when I saw the trailer, and I didn’t think it was anything great, but it’s brilliant. Great list!


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