Before setting out to compile this list, I was thinking that 2014 was something of a weak year in the way of horror films. We’re still being inundated with found footage and haunted house stories, and there weren’t many notable traditional horror films to come out. Going through my list, however, I realized my initial conceptions were completely incorrect and this year had some really solid entires in the genre.
Before diving into my top 10 horror movies of the year, I wanted to note some films that some may include in the horror category, but I didn’t. Blue Ruin is one of my absolute favorites of the year, and while this bloody tale of revenge could easily be considered horror, I found it to be more of a thriller and didn’t include it on the list. The same goes for Nothing Bad Can Happen, but you’ll see both of these on my top 20 of year.
Two others that came out this year that I loved but wouldn’t consider horror are the vampire films Summer of Blood and A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. While both are stories involving vampires, neither of them focus on that aspect, and aren’t attempting to be horror movies in the first place.
There are also a number of notable films I saw this year that won’t be out till next year, including Cub, What We Do in the Shadows, and Suburban Gothic, which will most likely land on my top ten next year so be on the look out for those.
Okay, enough blathering, here are my top ten horror films of 2014:
Although I've grown tired of the haunted house film, there are enough creepy moments and unique scares in Oculus to make it one of my favorites of the year.
9. Starry Eyes
How far would you go to achieve fame? This gruesome body-horror film takes a simple premise and flips it on its head making this slow descent into hell one of the best of the year.
Like Starry Eyes, this is another unsettling body-horror film featuring a strong female lead that has some very bad things happen over the course of the film.
This takes all the craziness of the first film and amps it up to 11 in one of the goriest, most fun movies I've seen all year. Even if you weren't big on the first one, check this out.
6. Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
6. Cheap Thrills
Twisted, dark, and funny, E.L. Katz's Cheap Thrills is as entertaining as it is disturbing.
This horror-comedy from New Zealand provides an ample amount of laughs and atmosphere while using a very interesting plot device to keep everything contained. The main character is on house arrest and cannot leave her home- which happens to be haunted.
4. Under the Skin
I'm not sure if this is considered a horror film by most, but it certainly rattled me enough to put it on this list.
3. The Babadook
Certainly the scariest film of the year, Jennifer Kent's feature debut has some fantastically creepy visuals to go along with this nightmarish tale of a mother and son tormented by a supernatural being.
Completely bizarre on every level in the best kind of way. Borgman is this year's Dogtooth.
1. The Guest
Dan Stevens knocks it out of the park in this thriller that is simply pure fun on every level. The soundtrack is bombastic, the violence is over the top, and it's the type of film that wants you to have a good time- and it succeeds.