2019 Summer Horror Movie Roundup
It’s not even October yet, and 2019 has already delivered some great horror films. Most of the below selections came out this summer, with a few appearing before that. There really is something for everyone this year, so without further ado here are the horror movies you should be streaming now.
If You Like the Classics:
This reboot of the 1989 adaptation of Steven King’s book is just as satisfying as the original. It avoids being a predictable remake by taking the story in a few new directions, but it doesn’t stray too far for die-hard fans. The film’s cast, including stars Jason Clarke, Amy Seimitz and John Lithgow, give an excellent performance. It is also enjoyable to see the “Semetary” brought to life with modern special effects.
The Prodigy is the latest take on the possessed child theme. It draws heavily from classic films like The Exorcist. This story of a mother trying to figure out what is causing her son’s disturbing behavior is not exactly original. If you are a fan of the creepy kid trope, you will probably still enjoy it. Jackson Robert Scott does a great job of playing said, creepy kid. As a bonus, this film also stars Golden-Globe nominated actress Taylor Schilling.
If you liked the 1988 version of this film, then the new one is worth a watch. In this modern take on the original, single mother Karen gives her son Andy a Buddi doll, unaware of its sinister nature. The film stars Aubrey Plaza and Gabriel Bateman as the mother and son. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 64% on the Tomatometer. Not bad for a remake.
If You Like Your Horror to be Intentionally Funny:
Happy Death Day 2U
The sequel to the popular Happy Death Day is even funnier than the original. The hero, Tree Gelbman, discovers that the only thing worse than dying over and over again is facing the future. A dangerous future. The original Happy Death Day was a fresh, unique take on the horror genre. By definition, the sequel is not quite as fresh, but fans of the franchise will still appreciate it.
Ready or Not
Part slasher, part comedy, this smart, dark movie earned a whopping 88% on the Tomatometer. The story follows a young bride who finds herself part of a strange tradition after marrying into a wealthy, eccentric family. Now she and her new husband have to join his family members in a race to the death. Starring Somara Weaving and Mark O’Brien, this movie will have you laughing and cringing in equal measure.
If You Love Horrifying Folklore:
The Wind is one of the very best horror films of the year. It’s a folkloric tale of madness and terror that refuses to be predictable. The story takes place in the 19th century American West and follows Lizzy ( Caitlin Gerard), a hardy frontierswoman. Living on the lonely frontier, Lizzy begins to sense a hostile presence that seems to emanate from the land itself. Director Emma Tammi has created an atmospheric tour-de-force that will continue to haunt you after the credits roll.
The word most frequently used to describe this film in reviews is “disturbing,” but many agree that it’s disturbing in the best possible way. The story follows a young American couple and their friends as they embark on a trip to a remote Swedish festival. The friend group is already dealing with relationship problems, grief, and mental illness, and all of these struggles continue to play out as the festival devolves into cultic, ritualistic terror. One of the most disturbing aspects of this film is that since it takes place during the Swedish summer, there is no darkness to hide the gory goings-on.
The Hole in the Ground
Inspired by folklore, this film brings every parent’s nightmare to life. Sarah moves with her young son Chris to a new home in the Irish countryside. Unfortunately, the nearby forest is home to a massive sinkhole. One night Chris vanishes, but he returns unharmed. After this event, Chris’s behavior slowly begins to change, leading Sarah to realize that he may not be her son at all. Fans of Changeling stories will enjoy this folkloric take on the creepy kid trope.
Digging deep into the rich world of Jewish folklore, The Golem is a compelling horror story. During an outbreak of the plague, a mystical Jewish woman tries to save her community, but the creature she conjures to protect it ends up being the greater evil. Slow pacing is the only downside to this otherwise solid film.
If You Like Foreign Films
Ever After (Endzeit)
A German zombie film that leans heavily towards the Arthouse side of things Ever After has garnered plenty of praise from both audiences and critics. This film blends zombie horror with drama and mystery for a fresh take on the genre. If you want to see tons of brain-eating, this film may not be for you. If you are open to a different take on the zombie apocalypse, it is one to check out.
Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse
Another Arthouse style European horror film, this one could also be classified as folk-horror. Hagazussa is director Lukas Feigelfeld’s first movie, and it impresses as an atmospheric, slow-burn story that will stay with you. It tells the story of a woman in a remote Alpine village who has for years been the victim of misogyny and superstition. She finally decides to get revenge, leading to a series of strange, hallucinatory events.
Tigers are Not Afraid
This Mexican film has consistently been rated as the best horror film of the summer. Tigers are Not Afraid is truly a must-see. Director Issa Lopez tells the story of a group of orphan boys on the run from the drug cartel that murdered their parents. Lopez weaves fantasy with reality creating a haunting world that is hard to forget. Tigers are Not Afraid is a powerful, emotionally gripping modern fairytale and the monsters are all too real.