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Image / Living / Culture

The best modern horror films to watch this weekend


By Sarah Gill
20th Aug 2022

Nope

The best modern horror films to watch this weekend

From multi-layered, socially aware horror films to downright disturbing recent releases, here are our top picks to dive into this weekend.

In recent years, filmmakers have been moving away from the old school slasher and jump scare style of scary movies as they carve out a new niche sub-genre of elevated horror.

With more considered plotlines that veer into drama-thriller territory, the modern horror delves into wider themes, exploring social issues with precision and originality through an aesthetically pleasing lens.

Jordan Peele has largely been credited with redefining what makes a good horror film, and rightly so. In honour of the release of his latest film NOPE in Irish cinemas last week, here’s a roundup of top-notch options to watch this weekend.

NOPE (2022)

This film’s been generating quite a bit of buzz recently, you may need to pencil in a visit to the cinema this weekend to check out Jordan Peele’s latest endeavour. Starring Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya and Brandon Perea, the film follows residents of a lonely gulch in inland California as they bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery. They say there’s nothing scarier than a horror that takes place during the day, and this movie seeks to discover what a bad miracle really is.

Midsommar (2019)

Another daylight horror that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled, Midsommar is a truly anxiety inducing, visually stunning film. Starring Florence Pugh, this over-saturated, head-spinning horror centres around a visit to a friend’s ancestral commune that quickly devolves into a cult ritual with quite the climactic ending.

Ma (2019)

Described as a psychologically thrilling horror, Ma stars Octavia Spencer in the role of Sue Ann, otherwise known as Ma, who allows a group of teenagers to make use of her basement for late night boozing, but she’s got some conditions that the kids weren’t expecting. A commentary on childhood rejection, loneliness and revenge, Sue Ann continues to ask, “Are you guys mad at me for something?”

Hereditary (2018)

Starring Toni Collette, Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro, Hereditary tells the tale of a family in the aftermath of tragedy and overcome by grief, but there are some sinister powers at play that throw things in a whole new direction as an unknown ancestry comes to light. Leaving the viewer equal parts stunned, terrified and confused, this is one you can find something new in every time you watch it.

Get Out (2017)

From the mind of Jordan Peele, Get Out earned him the title of the first African-American writer/director to cross $100 million at the box office. The film is dark and unsettling, and speaks to societal issues that remain rampant today. Starring Daniel Kaluuya as the Black boyfriend of Rose, played by Girls’ Allison Williams, the film sees her take him home to meet the family who are at first overly accommodating before things take a deeply disturbing turn.

Us (2019)

Staying true to form, Jordan Peele continued to send shockwaves across contemporary culture with the provocative, socially-conscious horror, Us. Starring Lupita Nyong’o as a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Black Panther’s Winston Duke), and their two children, an idyllic summer getaway brings up unexplainable and unresolved trauma from her childhood.