If your looking for the best horror movies of 2016 so far you have come to the right place!
We’re about half way through 2016 and as has been the trend over the last handful of years, it’s been a great time frame for horror. And – again – the trend sees independent films dominate in the eyes of viewers. In fact, there are only two pictures on this list that received respectable theatrical pushes. 2016 isn’t going to be the year of the theatrical blockbuster, there’s no denying that.
But there is some great stuff out there, already available should you choose to fork over a few bucks and take a risk on one of our recommendations. For the record, we’re convinced you’ll get a kick out these movies.
You’ll notice plenty of entrants here that were released to the festival circuit in 2015. We know that. We also know they weren’t made available to the masses until 2016. So don’t go crucifying us when you visit imdb and see a 2015 release year affixed. Some of these movies were indeed shot in 2015 (a few even longer ago), but we couldn’t see them until this year. Now we’re happy to praise the standouts.
Verdict: Reminiscent of The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Emelie is extremely unnerving and should serve as a stern reminder that it’s a bad idea leaving your kids with a babysitter you don’t know!
A couple’s replacement babysitter turns out to be more than they bargined for when she subjects their kids to a series of twisted activities.
14 Plan 9
Verdict: Every bit as ridiculous as Ed Wood’s original, this remake is a ton of fun. Somehow it’s so strange and disjointed it even feels like Wood’s film. If you like absurd comedy and WTF craziness, you’ve got to watch this. If so-bad-it’s-good movies are your thing, this is a treasure waiting to be unearthed.
Plan 9 is the story of Nilbog, a small town with a big story. The beginningof an invasion! These aliens have a different plan for the inhabitants of Earth. To resurrect their dead as their own army set with but one goal: to wipe out all mankind! This night will decide the fates of all who walk the planet and thought they were the top of the food chain.
Verdict: You may not know the film yet, but you’re going to soon enough. It’s a psychological kick in the nuts that turns a shoestring budget into an appealing, creepy little piece that many will be able to relate to. Keep your eyes open for a finale you definitely don’t see coming.
A cab driver and an unexpected passenger descend into a night of darkness.
12 Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla
Verdict: An absolutely mesmerizing tale of obsession, this pic finally makes it stateside after a successful run in Australia, and it’s in your best interest to seek it out. Glenn Maynard turns in one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. No lie.
A black comedy/drama about a lonely ice-cream van driver, Warren Thompson, and his unhealthy obsession with television soap starlet, Katey George.
11 The Pack
Verdict: There are very few killer dog flicks out there that impress, but there’s something very special about Nick Robertson’s The Pack, and it far surpasses simple impressing. Watch it, it’s one of the year’s best (and most slept on) without a doubt.
A farmer and his family must fight for survival after a ferocious pack of wild dogs infiltrates their isolated farmhouse. Through a series of frightening and bloody encounters they are forced into survival mode to make it through the night.
Verdict: One of the year’s finer slow burn pictures, They Look Like People defies the limitations of shoe string budget and deliver an extended creep-out session.
Suspecting that people around him are turning into evil creatures, a troubled man questions whether to protect his only friend from an impending war, or from himself.
Verdict: One of the absolute best anthologies we’ve seen post 2010. ‘Nuff said, right?
On a desolate stretch of desert highway, weary travelers – two men on the run from their past, a band on their way to the next gig, a man struggling to get home, a brother in search of his long-lost sister and a family on vacation – are forced to confront their worst fears and darkest secrets in a series of interwoven tales of terror and remorse on the open road.
Verdict: Baskin is batshit crazy. We’re talking scratch your head and drool in bewilderment crazy. But it’s got some powerful visuals and some horrifying sequences to admire.
A five-man unit of cops on night patrol get more than they bargain for when they arrive at a creepy backwater town in the middle of nowhere after a call comes over the radio for backup. Entering a derelict building, the seasoned tough guys and their rookie junior, who’s still haunted by a traumatic childhood dream, do the one thing you should never do in this kind of movie: split up. They soon realize they’ve stumbled into a monstrous charnel house and descend into an ever-more nightmarish netherworld where grotesque, mind-wrenching horrors await them at every turn. This is one Baskin (that’s “police raid” to you non-Turkish speakers) that isn’t going to end well.
Verdict: A chilling and claustrophobic film if ever there was one, 10 Cloverfield Lane confused some, given the title, but that’s somewhat irrelevant. This movie is really all about characters, and these particular characters are quite memorable.
Soon after leaving her fiancé Michelle is involved in a car accident. She awakens to find herself sharing an underground bunker with Howard and Emmett. Has she been saved from an apocalyptical event as Howard & Emmett tell her or are there other motives for her being held against her will?
06 Before I Wake
Verdict: An absolutely awesome story that’s going to have the masses talking it up, Before I Wake is creepy as hell, as Mike Flanagan works his mystery building magic once more. This guy is starting to feel unstoppable.
In this intense and heart pounding supernatural thriller, Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane) decide to take in a sweet and loving 8-year-old boy, Cody. Unbeknownst to them, Cody is terrified of falling asleep. At first, they assume his previous unstable homes caused his aversion to sleep, but soon discover why: Cody’s dreams manifest in reality as he sleeps. In one moment they experience the incredible wonder of Cody’s imagination, and in the next, the horrific nature of his night terrors. To save their new family, Jessie and Mark embark on a dangerous hunt to uncover the truth behind Cody’s nightmares.
Verdict: Another slow burn film (there seem to be a lot of these this year!) about a haunted house (there’s more to it, but that’s spoiler territory) makes the list, and it does so because it outperforms just about every recently released, similar themed film. Stellar performances and terrific, nurtured scares helped to ensure this one ranks as one of 2016’s greatest.
Seven months pregnant, Jennifer Branagan reluctantly returns to her hometown in Kansas after an unexpected mental breakdown. Coping with her fears of motherhood, a strained relationship with her husband, Luke, and the overbearing presence of her own mother, Meredith, Jennifer struggles to regain control of her life. But when strange things start happening in their rental home, Jennifer begins to fear that it may be haunted. Alone in her convictions, Jennifer is forced to question her sanity as she attempts to find out what, if anything, is plaguing the house.
04 The Witch
Verdict: I’m going to keep it real simple here: if you don’t enjoy lengthy films that gradually build to unorthodox crescendos, you might not enjoy this one. It also has something of an arthouse vibe, and while I enjoyed that, others may not.
New England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. ‘The Witch’ is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.
Verdict: Home invasion tales are hit or miss. These days, as the idea is now frequently explored, it’s tough to find the true homeruns. Mike Flanagan’s Hush breaks a few rules while generating a serious sense of dread and utter hopelessness. It’s great.
A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears at her window.
Verdict: Ever gone to a dinner party even though you really didn’t want to? Watch this movie and realize that sometimes it’s okay to pass on an invite. There’s more mystery than horror here, but it’s captivating and technically speaking, absolutely gorgeous.
Will and Eden were once a loving couple. After a tragedy took their son, Eden disappeared. Two years later, out of the blue, she returns with a new husband… and as a different person, eerily changed and eager to reunite with her ex and those she left behind. Over the course of a dinner party in the house that was once his, the haunted Will is gripped by mounting evidence that Eden and her new friends have a mysterious and terrifying agenda. But can we trust Will’s hold on reality? Or will he be the unwitting catalyst of the doom he senses?
But wait! Things aren’t what they seem in this truly disturbing, outrageously gory, and increasingly surreal film whose unpredictable narrative pulls the carpet from under your feet and keeps you guessing right up to the final moment. A wildly original whatsit that reconfirms Turkey as the breakout national cinema of the moment.
Verdict: I can’t express to you how much hatred I have inside for bugs. I just can’t handle them. I can however handle a movie about them. Hence the inclusion of the masterful Bite. You’re probably not going to care too much for the film’s characters, which is only going to leave you smiling when the lead female undergoes an astounding transformation… and rids us of those unlikeable characters!
While on her bachelorette party getaway, Casey, the bride to be, gets a seemingly harmless bite from an unknown insect. After returning home with cold feet, Casey tries to call off her wedding but before she’s able to, she starts exhibiting insect like traits. Between her physical transformation and her wedding anxiety, Casey succumbs to her new instincts and begins creating a hive that not only houses her translucent eggs, but feeds on the flesh of others. As her transformation becomes complete, Casey discovers that everything can change with a single bite.