2016 was a varied year in horror. A big mix of psychological horror, monster horror, sci-fi horror, supernatural horror, and straight-up gory horror were the year's offerings. Despite these varied subgenres, they all have one thing in common: greatness.
Shyamalan, bolstered by the success of 2015's The Visit, made his triumphant return to studio horror with Split, a mind-bending psychological thriller. A young man named Kevin abducts three teenage girls and keeps them locked up in his underground bunker. Kevin has dissociative identity disorder, along with 23 distinct personalities - which the girls try to take advantage of in order to free themselves. But there is a 24th personality, The Beast, who seems to exhibit superhuman powers and is intent on controlling the other personalities. Thankfully, Shyamalan moved away from his signature "twist" ending here, finding one that fits the film.
Jane Levy plays Rocky, a young delinquent who, along with two cohorts, rob houses to earn a living. Rocky, saving money to escape an abusive mother, follows a rumor to the house of a blind veteran who is said to have just come into several hundred thousand dollars. But things don't go according to plan. The man turns out to be far more capable than his disability leads the teens to believe, and is protecting darker secrets than anyone ever imagined.
The Conjuring 2
The second The Conjuring movie isn't so much a sequel as it is the next chapter in the Ed and Lorraine Warren story. The pair of supernatural investigators set their sights on the Enfield Haunting. Dubbed Britain's Amityville Horror, a previous owner of the house, who died there, is said to haunt the property in an attempt to get the property back. The Enfield Haunting actually happened in real life, with residents reporting strange noises, broken curios, levitating children, and disembodied voices - yikes.
The Purge: Election Year
The Purge films get more sophisticated with each installment and the third film is no exception. Perhaps they're fitting into an increasingly volatile political state of affairs in this country...or perhaps the franchise's creators are becoming better at using their time, experience, and budget. In Election Year, an anti-Purge Senator is close to winning the election for president and The New Founding Fathers of America don't like that. They revoke the "immunity for politicians" rule and the night of survival finally takes no prisoners.
Before A Quiet Place there was Hush. Flanagan wrote the film with his wife, Kate Siegel, who also stars as Maddie. Another film without dialogue, it was almost completely silent. Maddie is deaf, mute, and living alone in a secluded forest home - a bad combination when a masked man kills her neighbor and lays siege to her home. When the assailant discovers she's deaf, he begins toying with her before going for the kill.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe
A young woman's body is found at the scene of a bloody homicide, but without any obvious signs of death. The coroner and his son spend the film performing the atopsy, finding stranger and stranger things. The woman has broken ankles and wrists, her tongue cut out, her lungs are burned, and her tooth is found wrapped in cloth in her stomach. Is Jane Doe the victim of strange circumstances - or did she cause the strange circumstances?
This French-Belgian co-production quickly became notorious after several audience members fainted during a screening at the Toronto Film Festival, allegedly due to the severity of the film's gore and violence. In Justine's first year in veterinary school, the vegetarian is forced to suspend her beliefs when a hazing ritual requires her to eat a raw rabbit's kidney. Unfortunately, this seems to awaken an insatiable hunger for meat - one that leads to Justine's undoing.
The Neon Demon
Part horror film, part psychological thriller, part supernatural thriller, and all art film, The Neon Demon is an intense ride through the horrors of high fashion. An innocent young girl arrives in Los Angeles ready to become a model. The jealousy she faces from her contemporaries leads to the disturbing occult rituals that echo the industry's narcissism.
Toho, the production company behind the original Godzilla movies returns with this intense reboot of the franchise. Here, Godzilla is created by a radiation leak, then uses his immense size and strength to destroy Japan. In addition to the typical message against nuclear power in, Shin Godzilla offers a satire on the Japanese government's reliance on bureaucratic red tape and politeness.
10 Cloverfield Lane
Initially, 10 Cloverfield Lane was not meant to be part of the Cloverfield franchise. Originally titled The Bunker, the micro-budget script was purchased by Paramount and further developed by Bad Robot, who noticed it was a "spiritual successor" to 2008's Cloverfield. A young woman gets into a car accident and wakes in a bunker with two men. Howard, the owner of the bunker, tells her that the air outside is now poisonous and the bunker is the only place that is safe. Michelle's opinion on Howard and his story changes wildly - until she finally learns the truth for herself.