The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

Cale’s cinema corner: The modern horror movie hall of fame

Fox Searchlight Pictures
“Black Swan” movie

The film industry is always in flux. The popularity — and, by extension, producibility — of genres wax and wane with time. Romantic and studio comedies, a mainstay of the late 20th century and 2000s, have fallen to the wayside. But horror, year after year, remains relevant.


And with Halloween right around the corner, there is no better time to revisit the genre’s best. Here are a handful of my favorites from the 2010s — and the 2020s so far.


“Black Swan” (dir. Darren Aronofsky)

Darren Aronofsky’s depictions of anxiety might be better than those of any other director working today. “Black Swan” is the cinematic equivalent of a two-hour panic attack. It follows Nina Sayers, played by Natalie Portman, as she works her way up the ranks of a New York ballet company. Sayers, shy and timid but ambitious and relentless, is hungry for success, and the film showcases the lengths she will go to for recognition and validation. Whether or not “Black Swan” counts as horror depends on what you find scary. Some say it is a thriller; others say it is psychological horror. But I will say, it still haunts me to my core, which is why I have only seen it once.


“Get Out” (dir. Jordan Peele)

“Get Out” might be the signature horror film of the 2010s, and Jordan Peele might be the signature horror filmmaker of our time. A box-office sensation released in the wake of Donald Trump’s election with themes of contemporary race relations, and seemingly well-meaning white Americans’ role in them, it was able to tap into the cultural zeitgeist. In under two hours, Peele juggles edge-of-your-seat terror, jaw-dropping plot twists and subtle yet thought-provoking cultural criticism. You cannot ask for much more from any film, let alone a low-budget genre film produced by Blumhouse Productions. And, it introduced me to Childish Gambino’s “Redbone.” “Get Out” is the definition of a modern classic.


“Hereditary” (dir. Ari Aster)

Since Ari Aster’s debut feature, “Hereditary,” premiered at South by Southwest, he has emerged as one of the most promising directors working in horror — and one of the most promising filmmakers of his generation. His two follow-ups, “Midsommar” and “Beau is Afraid,” are brightly lit and lengthy; “Hereditary” is pitch-black and tight. And, unlike Aster’s more recent work, it is filled to the brim with soul-shattering supernatural. Toni Collette gives one of my favorite performances of all time as Annie Graham, a mother whose family spirals out of control after the death of her own mother, the Grahams’ matriarch; it is one of my favorite movies of all time. Aster has said he is moving on from horror. If that is true, “Hereditary” serves as a reminder of what we are going to lose: high-level, thoughtful genre filmmaking.


“Titane” (dir. Julia Ducournau)

I have a weak stomach; blood and gore are not my thing. My girlfriend wanted to watch all the “Saw” movies before “Saw X”; I barely made it through the first one. Ironically, Julia Ducournau’s “Titane,” one of the gnarliest films I have ever seen, is also one of my favorites of the decade so far. Ducournau’s directorial debut, “Raw,” made me nauseous. And, after hearing the early word on “Titane,” I was not sure if I would be able to make it through it. But I did, and I will say, it is worthy of every bit of praise it has received — including the Palme d’Or, which it won at the Cannes Film Festival. The less said about the film, the better. Go into it blind — and with an empty stomach.


“Pearl” (dir. Ti West)

Scares are the backbone of horror, but many of my favorites in the genre balance frightening, stomach-clenching imagery with emotionally relieving humor. Ti West’s “Pearl” is not funny; it is downright hilarious. The prequel to West’s adult-film slasher “X,” the film follows the titular Pearl, a poor farm girl desperate for a bigger, grander life. Her husband, Howard, a soldier, is overseas. Left to tend to her family’s farm and her father, and endure her menacing mother, Pearl grows restless — and goes on a bloody rampage. You have to see it to believe it. The end credits sequence might be my favorite of all time.


“Crimes of the Future” (dir. David Cronenberg)

David Cronenberg is the king of body horror, and he has been since he earned the title in the ‘80s and ‘90s. His latest, “Crimes of the Future,” may not be true-blue body horror, but it is as visceral as anything I have seen in the past five years. The film stars Viggo Mortensen and Léa Seydoux as Saul Tenser and Caprice, a pair of performers-turned-lovers in a dystopian future. Environmental apocalypse looms. Out of necessity, humans rapidly evolve to adapt to the increasingly synthetic world around them. Some can digest plastic; others, including Tenser, can “grow” new organs. He, with the help of Caprice, of course, removes these organs on stage and becomes a celebrity in a body modification-obsessed society. It is an odd premise, I know. Ironically, it is every bit as funny as it is gory — in large part because of Kristen Stewart’s nervy, oddball performance as Timlin, a bureaucrat in charge of the, wait for it, “National Organ Registry.” Like “Black Swan,” I do not know if “Crimes of the Future” is a “horror movie.” But, if you are looking for something creepy and eerie to mix in with your favorite Halloween classics, it might be right up your alley.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Bobcat Multimedia Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *