There are those horror films that are scary, but in an atmospheric, sinister, slightlydisturbing kind of way.
They’re chilling, but they probably aren’t going to get your heart racing.
If you’re in the mood to be white-knuckled, jump out of your skin, sleep with the lights on terrified, then here are six “jump scare” films that will get your blood pumping:
The basic plot of You’re Next is nothing particularly new. A family, holidaying at an isolated Missouri cabin,come under attack from masked, psychotic, and very violent intruders. Thefamily (the Davisons)can’t really escape, and they get picked off, one at a time.
If you can handle gore and jump scares (mixed with just a touch of dark humour), however, then this wildly entertaining slashermight just become your new favourite scarymovie.It takes a concept that is known to work (because it’s so terrifying) and makes it – yes – even more terrifying, but also kind of fun.
As one reviewer put it, You’re Nextis“like an awesome grab bag of the best horror films from the past 30 years”.
If you’re not convinced, then check out a trailer here:
Speaking of masked psychotic killers, The Strangers is the kind of film that makes you wish the two protagonists would sit back to back, holding large, sharp knives, and stay there until the morning.
Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman play a young couple, spending the night in – yes – a remote vacation home. They quickly realise that they’re not exactly alone (surprise surprise), and that a trio of masked weirdos are pretty intent on killing them.
Essentially an earlier version of You’re Next (maybe not quite as clever), if you want traditional jump scares, then watch The Strangers. Just make sure you’ve locked your doors beforehand…
Yet another heart-stopping, don’t-watch-it-in-the-dark thriller, The Descent sees a group of women trapped in an uncharted cave when a passage collapses behind them. Now that, for most people, is nightmare enough.
What makes this film, “super-scary and vicious”, however, is what happens next. You see, the women aren’t alone in this unexplored nightmare. No. There’s creepy, humanoid creatures (“crawlers”) that – spoiler alert – aren’t exactly what you’d call vegetarians.
Trying to find a way out of the cave, while avoiding the hungry “crawlers”, the women are separated, and as their mental states begin to suffer, they turn on each other… In four words: “brutal, bloody, terrifying, astonishing.”
28 Days Later
Before The Walking Dead, before World War Z or Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead, there was 28 Days Later: Danny Boyle’s post-apocalyptic thriller that arguably revitalised the whole zombie genre (while scaring the pants off a lot of people in the process).
In it, the “rage virus” turns otherwise nice British citizens into frenzied, murderous killers, all in the space of about 20seconds. And– without giving away any spoilers – you don’t actually need to be bitten to be infected…
28 Days Laterhas jump scares – yes – but it’s also clever. It makes you care about the characters, and there’s some really poignant, beautiful moments.
Moments that you can cling on to during the white-knuckle horror of the rest of the film…
The Woman in Black
Daniel Radcliffe proved that he was capable of more than justmaking magic in The Woman in Black: a spooky, Victorian tale of a ghost that goes after children.
In it, a lawyer (played by Daniel) is tasked with visiting the isolated home of a deceased client in order to sort through her affairs. (And trust us, things get a lot scarier than the prospectof paperwork…).
The lawyer quickly realises that something is afoot in the village: the scared townspeople are being terrorized by an angry supernatural force – the titular Woman in Black – thatlivesin Daniel’s client’s house.
This film is atmospheric, suspenseful and very tense. Definitely worth at least one watch.
A 2013 British horror that largely flew under the radar, In Fear sees a couple – Lucy and Tom – get lost on their way to a music festival in Ireland. What follows is – admittedly – essentially them driving around and bickering, but simultaneously being terrorized by persons unknown.
If you’ve ever been lost on a desolate country road, you’ll relate to this film. And if you haven’t, then In Fear will be more than enough to keep you well away from the road less travelled…
It’s tense, it’s sinister and it is genuinely scary. Check out a trailer here:
In It Follows: the “best horror film in years”, teenager Jay has sex with her boyfriend Hugh, only to find out that he’s given her the mother of all STIs. Apretty inconvenient curse that entails an entity (that can take any form) following her around.
It can only go at walking pace, but if it catches up to Jay, it’ll kill her. And the only way to get rid of it is to pass it on to someone else.
Yes, we know this premise is weird, but somehow, it really, really works. Not only will It Follows scare the pants off you, it will also leave you thinking about it for days. What would you do if you had the curse? Run? Hide? Or pass it on, and condemn someone else…
If you’ve got any scary movie suggestions, add them to the comments!