20 Best Scary Movies of 2018

There is a certain pleasure in being scared out of your wits. Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush that we get without being in any real danger ourselves or the longing for a mystery that needs no logic or explanation. The psychology behind liking scary movies is a pretty intricate issue, but that’s not what we are here to discuss. 2018 has been a great year for films and it was full of great scary movies. While some of the most anticipated ones turned out to be an utter disappointment (looking towards ‘The Nun’!), there were others that dared to be different and ruled the box-office. In case you were wondering what were the best scary movies of 2018, worry not! Today, we are going to list down the top horror films of the year that we recommend you should not miss.

20. Ghostland (2018)

There are a lot of things that horror movies have taught us. One of them is that inheriting a house, or even a small box, from a distant relative, can be a cause of distress and, in severe cases, death! But, the characters in this film haven’t yet learnt that lesson. Colleen lives with her two daughters and life is difficult as it is. So, when her aunt dies and leaves her a house, it only feels logical for Colleen to instantly move into it to alleviate her financial troubles. But trouble ensues when some dangerous people find their way in, and Colleen has to fight for her life and that of her girls. They survive this, but the trauma of the incident doesn’t leave them. It only worsens when they reunite, years later, in the same house.

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19. Bad Samaritan (2018)

If you haven’t yet seen this film, let me mention beforehand, there are no ghosts in it. The villain of this story is worse than an evil entity haunting someone’s house. A rich, resourceful, menacing and ruthless serial killer. Sean Falco works as a valet at a restaurant where rich people dine. Knowing that people whose cars he is parking have lots of money, Sean, along with his friend, steals from them. He breaks into their homes to steal whatever he can get his hands on. On one such regular night, he breaks into the house of Cale Erendreich. But things turn around on him when he discovers a woman tortured and held captive in the house. On seeing her condition, Sean decides to do the right thing and reports to the police. However, Cale is one step ahead of Sean. He hides the woman in some other place, gets the police off his tail, and after the mess has been cleared, he sets his eyes on Sean.

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18. Mandy (2018)

It has been a while since Nicholas Cage came out with a blazing performance and wowed everyone. A long while! If you have been waiting for the moment where Cage will reclaim his glory days, you should watch this film. Again, there are no ghosts with a ton of makeup, there are horrible humans who will make your skin crawl. Set in 1983, it tells the story of a couple, Red and Mandy, who lives in a small cabin in the woods, isolated from the world, trying to make peace with their demons and have a peaceful life. This peace is destroyed when the leader of a cult sees Mandy and is enchanted by her. In order to get his way with her, he does some truly horrible stuff, which paves a path for worse things.

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17. Possum (2018)

Everyone’s life is shaped by their experiences. Bit by bit, every incident carves a mark on a person and makes them who they are. Phillip’s life was marked by a childhood trauma that never really left him. He suffered abuse as a child and in his youth, found this pain affecting his current life. When his career as a puppeteer hits rock bottom, he returns home to find some clarity. But, the skeletons in his closet haven’t rested, and their ghosts come out to haunt him.

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16. Upgrade (2018)

Perhaps, some people will find ‘Upgrade’ better in the list of thriller or action films. The reason I put it in the horror category is that its tone sets it apart from other genres and places it in a very complex position. It has a little bit for everything, and it successfully uses all its techniques to effectively deliver its story. ‘Upgrade’ is the story of a man named Grey Trace who loses everything after a car crash. His wife dies in it, but he survives. However, his spinal cord is severed which renders him a quadriplegic. All thanks to modern technology, he is introduced to a new form of the brain that will be planted inside his head to make him better. Better as in better than a human. But, one body can house only one brain.

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15. Summer of 84 (2018)

It is 1984, and a small town in Oregon is having a rough summer. A serial killer is on the loose who is targeting teenage boys. Thirteen boys have been killed by far and the cops have no clue as to who it could be. Davey, a fifteen-year-old boy, has a taste for conspiracy theories, and with his calculative and suspicious mind, he suspects that his neighbour is up to no good. Unable to bring any proof to the police, Davey is left to his own devices, and his friends, to uncover the truth.

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14. Cargo (2018)

The love that a parent feels for their child surpasses every other form of love. In order to keep their child safe, a parent would fight death or at least hold it at bay for as long as they can. Andy has to perform a similar feat for his one-year-old daughter, Rosie. He lives in a world that has been taken over by a virus that turns people into zombies. When Andy falls prey to this virus after he is bitten by one of the infected, he has forty-eight hours to find a safe place for his daughter before he turns into something that will eat her alive. This moving tale explores the limitations of the human body and the strength of his mind that is driven by love.

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13. The Endless (2018)

Teenage is a very complex time. There is a contradiction in beliefs and people try all sorts of things to expand their boundaries. Justin and Aaron did something similar when they were young. Taken by the idea of sci-fi and alien stuff, they joined a mysterious UFO cult. But, soon, they grew out of it and went their separate ways. Years later, they found themselves unable to do anything well and wonder about their time in the cult, which differs remarkably for both of them. When they receive a video cassette from the cult, they decide to go back and rediscover it. But something else is waiting for them.

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12. The Night Eats the World (2018)

Paris is a beautiful place and Sam is having a great time at a party. Pulling an all-nighter becomes a bit much for him and he sleeps through the apocalypse. When he wakes up, he discovers that the world is not the same anymore. The undead beings roam the streets and he very well might be the last living person left on the Earth. Now, he has to find a way to get himself to safety as the flesh-eating dead continuously cross his path.

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11. The Cleanse (2018)

Life is a tiring thing and every now then, each one of us feels a need to take some time off, to regain composure and cleanse the soul. Paul Berger is going through a similar phase in his life. He wants a reprieve from everything and leaps at the opportunity when he sees an ad about a place that will allow him to do so. Along with a couple of other people, he joins a program that promises to change their lives. They soon find out how literal the mottos of this place are.

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10. Halloween (2018)

A sequel to the 1978 film of the same name, this film picks up where its predecessor left off. After his killing sprees that have gone forty years old, Michael Myers is in the jail waiting for his chance to get back into the world. He soon gets it when a transport car carrying him crashes and he manages to survive. The news of his freedom reaches Laurie Strode, who had survived Myers forty years prior. She prepares for his comeback, warning friends and family about him. But, no one listens and Myers continues with the massacre.

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9. The Devil’s Doorway (2018)

It is the year 1960 and two priests in Ireland are faced with an intriguing task. They are sent to a Catholic asylum to investigate a phenomenon where the statue of Virgin Mary wept blood. This asylum is a depraved place as it is. Situated in an isolated area, it is for the treatment of women who do not abide by the morality of society. At least, that’s what it looks like to the outside world. As the priests begin their investigation, they discover some dark secrets about the place and the people who live there.

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8. The Witch in the Window (2018)

A house is a very intimate thing for a person. Their heart and soul go into building it and making it their home. It is the one place in the whole world that they can truly call their own. Perhaps, this is why some people can’t let go of it even when life has let go of them. A woman named Lydia loved her house so, and never really left it even after she died. Years later, Simon, in order to bond with his estranged son, found the old house and decided to repair it with him. But, as every fault in the house is fixed, Lydia’s spirit gets stronger.

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7. Are We Not Cats (2018)

People have strange habits, and Eli is one of those people. He eats hair! Obviously, this makes it quite difficult for him to stand out as a normal, not creepy person. He gets dumped, and his misery is increased when he gets fired too, on the very same day. As if that wasn’t enough, he loses his apartment too. Vying for an escape, he leaps at a chance to get out of the city, to take a break and analyse his life. All of this goes into the dumpster when he meets someone who shares his love of eating hair. But, the strangeness of this woman doesn’t end just at this uncommon habit. She holds more intrigue and mystery, and Eli has just scratched the surface.

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6. Unsane (2018)

Claire Foy has made a name for herself after appearing as the Queen in Netflix’s critically acclaimed and widely popular drama, ‘The Crown’. Now that she has been freed from that responsibility, she is exploring a lot of other things and is passing with flying colours in all of them. In this film, she plays the role of Sawyer Valentini. She faces a constant state of paranoia because a stalker has been on her tail for quite some time. This takes a toll on her psyche, and she begins to have trouble even on the slightest interactions with other men. To get herself better, she voluntarily checks into a mental institute. However, it turns into a problem when the doctors decide to keep her indefinitely and she discovers that her stalker is in the institute, too.

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5. Ghost Stories (2018)

Phillip Goodman is a well-known personality when it comes to exposing the frauds who pose themselves as psychics or supernatural mediums. His ways and beliefs haven’t failed him and it is with this thought that he decides to investigate three sinister cases. One calls for him to investigate an asylum that had been abandoned a long time ago but not quite. The other takes him deep into the woods where an unfortunate accident happened. The last one brings him to test the presence of the spirit of a child who was never born. As Goodman investigates one case after another, he finds a connection between them that changes his whole belief system.

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4. Suspiria (2018)

What is better than one Tilda Swinton? Three Tilda Swintons! Apart from playing two very intriguing women, in ‘Suspiria’, she also plays the role of a male psychotherapist. If there is one thing that this piece of information points towards, it is that there is some serious acting in this film, apart from some monumentally weird things. The story begins with an American girl who gets a chance to join a dance academy in Berlin. This academy is famous not just because it makes good dancers out of people, but because it is suspected of being run by a coven of witches! Set in the post-Second World War era, ‘Suspiria’ plays with a couple of themes while maintaining its soul as a horror film. If you need one more reason to watch it, you should know that it was directed by Luca Guadagnimo, the guy who directed last year’s ‘Call Me by Your Name’.

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3. Apostle (2018)

Most of the horror films focus on how otherworldly things, more powerful than humans pose a danger to them. How they can destroy human lives. (Not to spoil or anything, but…) ‘Apostle’ provides another look at this thought. There are so many things that humans are capable of, but above all, they are capable of exploitation. This forms the central theme of this film. The mix of horror only adds to the flavour. The story starts with a ransom note. Thomas Richardson, or rather, his father receives a note which states that Thomas’ sister has been captured by a cult and they want to make a trade for her life. This cult has isolated itself from the rest of the world, living on an island, forming its own society, abiding by its own rules, worshipping a god different than the rest. In order to find and free his sister, Thomas travels to this island, and in his quest, discovers a secret darker than he had imagined.

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2. A Quiet Place (2018)

One of the most successful films of the year, ‘A Quiet Place’ has enjoyed its fair share of praise. John Krasinski has come a long way from his time in the ‘The Office’, and his sensibility in making such a movie proves that there is so much more that he can do. ‘A Quiet Place’ is a lot more than a simple horror film. It is more a film about family than it is about survival. Parenthood sets the tone of the film and gives the audience a reason to talk about it. It is set in a world where humans are no longer on the top of the food chain. The world has been overrun by the creatures that are highly receptive to sound, and “if they hear you, they hunt you”. The Abbott family tries to survive in this world by staying as silent as they can be. But, mistakes happen, and sounds are made.

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1. Hereditary (2018)

I like watching horror films, and I have seen a whole lot of them. But I have never been as scared as I was when I saw this film. There were so many ways in which this film was different from others in its genre. I can’t say that it was entirely original, there are bound to be a cliché or two in every film. But no matter what horror film I have seen, I have been able to shrug off its effect sooner rather than later. Most horror films don’t even haunt my dreams anymore. (I don’t know if I should be happy about that or concerned!) But this film made it a lot difficult for me to sleep. It tells the story of a family who stands witness to a streak of horrific events after the death of the grandmother in the family. There were secrets that the old lady took to her grave, but the dangers lurked behind and came back to destroy all that was left of the family.

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1 comment

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