Hereditary is director Ari Aster’s feature debut, and he started off with a literal bang. Early in the film the character the audience presumes will be a main character is suddenly — and gruesomely — beheaded in an extremely upsetting accident that leaves the Graham family suffocating in the wake of trauma. The trauma fractures the family unit, leaving them vulnerable for a demon king named Paimon.
A remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, The Ring started the J-horror craze in America. The movie follows a single mother, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), who works as a journalist. Rachel investigates the death of her niece and her niece’s friends, who all died at 10pm the same night. She discovers an urban legend about a cursed videotape in which viewers die seven days after watching.
After a failed engagement at a friend’s wedding, couple James and Kristen plan to spend the night at James’ isolated family summer home. Despite being exceptionally late, the doorbell rings shortly after their arrival, and a young girl asks for someone the couple is unfamiliar with (“Is Tamara home?”). Through a series of jump scares, the couple realizes that they are being stalked by three masked assailants with seemingly no purpose other than to terrorize them.
Sinister is a suspenseful supernatural horror movie about a true crime writer, Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke), who moves his unwitting family into a murder house in order to research his next book. Unfortunately he uncovers a supernatural element to the murders, a demonic entity named Bughuul. Bughuul grooms children to murder their families and then allow him to consume their souls. Ellison races to piece together the series of family murders and Bughuul’s motive while living in the haunted murder scene.
A forgotten independent horror movie from the 70s, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death is a creepy film about a haunted house, vampires and mental illness. Recently released from a psychiatric institution into the care (and authority) of her husband, Jessica is focused on proving that she is sane. She then begins to hear voices and experience strange things in the old dilapidated farmhouse they’ve moved into.
While there are no jump scares in The Vanishing, the film will leave you with an enduring sense of unease. Dutch couple Rex and Saskia are on vacation in France when they stop for gas. Saskia goes inside the gas station and is never seen again. A desperate Rex spends years searching for her while flashbacks show Saskia’s abductor, Raymond, practicing his plan of kidnapping a woman.