The Sunday Scaries are upon us once again! Yes, as the weekend concludes, most of us feel an oncoming sense of anticipatory dread about the week ahead. Anxiety about work manifests itself into a feeling that’s known as the Sunday Scaries. However, we at Awards Radar are here to combat that, by taking back the name. Now, we want you think about a horror-centric piece on the site when you hear the term. So, let us continue on with another installment of the Awards Radar Sunday Scaries! Today, we’re ranking a certain studio’s best genre offerings…
A24 is a brand that’s close to unparalleled when it comes to cinephiles. Moreover, an A24 horror film, especially when it’s an elevated horror title, almost immediately gets rockstar status. Earlier this month, the company releases Beau is Afraid (reviewed here), which isn’t horror but came from a filmmaker who made scary movies prior. The discussions about it got me thinking about these genre efforts. In short order, a ranking was born…
Below, you’ll see my top half dozen A24 horror joints. I’ll also include a few honorable mentions, but I avoided any titles that weren’t predominantly horror. So, if you’re not a fright flick, you’re not eligible. That might change your list, but what you’ll see next is mine. Fair warning…I don’t have Hereditary in the position most of you will.
Here now are my favorite A24 horror films:
*Special Citation to A Ghost Story and Under the Skin (they’re not quite horror but are adjacent and just incredible movies)*
Honorable Mention: Hereditary, It Comes At Night, Men, and Pearl
6. The Monster – This massively underrated film is from Bryan Bertino of The Strangers fame and stars Zoe Kazan. Those factors alone put this one on my radar, but it’s a really great metaphor tale. Kazan is incredible, the scary scenes are very tense, and it builds tension well. You probably haven’t seen this one, but that’s something to rectify immediately. The Monster is unfairly slept on, I assure you.
5 The Witch – Robert Eggers went back to the early days of America for this supernatural spook-fest. One of the grandfathers of elevated horror, it’s synonymous with A24. The Witch has some deeply fucked-up images and even scenes, so it has the capacity to really scare. Plus, it’s just a compellingly complex flick.
4. Green Room – This is admittedly a mix of action, horror, and thriller, but there’s enough terror to the premise of Green Room that it counts. Jeremy Saulnier ratchets up the dread as the stakes mount, to the point where you might break out in a cold sweat while watching. That’s certainly worthy of inclusion on this list, isn’t it?
3. Midsommar – Ari Aster just subjected me to Beau is Afraid (as mentioned above) and Hereditary didn’t blow me away, but this one did. Midsommar doesn’t just have a great Florence Pugh turn, it has its terror take place during the day, which is truly novel. It’s arty and weird, to be sure, but the existential dread and gore really do rule the day.
2. Tusk – I’ve written about this Kevin Smith horror movie before (here), but it’s such a weird outlier for A24, it had to be high on this list. Tusk does have some comedy, but it’s body horror, through and through. Be sure to check my previous Sunday Scaries piece on this one out, but if you’ve dismissed it as silly, it’s not what you’re expecting at all.
1. X – I’m in the minority with preferring X to Pearl (though both are good), but this retro slasher is one of their most effective offerings. Pearl has its charms (as I wrote about here), but X is just terrific. My review from its release is here, so give that a read, but there’s a reason it has now launched a trilogy of terror with the upcoming MaXXXine. This is the best slasher movie of the past decade plus, without question.
Stay tuned for another Sunday Scaries installment next week!