Every A24 horror movie, rated
There is something magical about A24 and moviegoers know it. While the independent production studio and distributor take care of a myriad of genres – Lady Bird, mid-90s, moonlight, uncut gemstones and Minari are just a handful of their most successful projects – arguably their biggest impact is in the horror world. Typically quirky, intelligent, and slow-burning, their spookier versions possess the remarkable ability to penetrate under your skin and leave you in a cold sweat. Their latest film Lamb – set in faraway Iceland and centered around a couple and a mutant sheep – does pretty much exactly that. But while the studio has a reputation for creating high-quality horror, there were a few hiccups.
So, to keep you from spoiling your movie night, we’ve reviewed the 18 A24 Creepers with the goal of deciding once and for all which elites are and which they probably wish they had never made. It’s important to note that we’re only talking about horror here, so you won’t find their sci-fi thrillers or offerings, such as Enemy, high life and Under the skin – although the majority are also quite disturbing in themselves.
This is every A24 horror movie, ranked.
18. False positive (2001)
Finally, a film that answers the burning question: what if you made a film about a woman whose whole personality wants a baby? That dreadful riff on Rosemary baby throws away any promise he had in his absurd last minutes.
17. Defense (2014)
A character in defense asks Wallace (Justin Long) to refuse the funny one, but what’s less than zero? defense is outrageously silly and relentlessly boring, and its third act seems to exist entirely for a terrible Johnny Depp cameo. Guess that’s not that surprising since the whole movie exists thanks to a Vote on Twitter.
16. Tranche (2018)
This movie starring Chance The Rapper about the pizza delivery guy murder has so little interest that you might as well order a Slice and look at a blank screen instead.
15. The Monster (2016)
A film whose real horror is that almost nothing happens. The editing is neat: a mother and her daughter are stranded on a remote road and tormented by a monster. Ultimately though, The monster falls victim to poor marketing – the film is far more of a straightforward family drama than a horror film.
15. Life After Beth (2014)
A horror comedy that is neither funny nor scary, Life after Beth is an atypical romance about Zach (Dane DeHaan), whose girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza) unexpectedly dies, but returns as a zombie. He runs out of steam and is misinterpreted – DeHaan is too sinister to play harmlessly, and Plaza is too convincing for such a lifeless role (pun intended).
13. The Hole in the Ground (2019)
A pretty refreshing take on the evil child genre, The hole in the ground has a lot of scary images and has some real scares. The first hour is engaging, but the film ends up being swallowed up by its own metaphors.
12. The Murder of a Sacred Deer (2017)
Right before Yorgos Lanthimos draws his Oscar The favourite, the director made The slaughter of a sacred deer, his thorniest film to date and divisive by nature. If you can ride with the deliberately staid nature, you’ll find a chilling story about morality (or, rather, a complete lack of it).
11. It Comes at Night (2017)
A nightmarish family drama comes to life in It comes at night. Paul (Joel Edgerton) and his family live in isolation as a mysterious disease ravages the world and a family seeking help threatens their way of life. Haters will say it’s boring, but look deeper and you’ll find a frightening psychological study of people being pushed to their limits.
10. In fabric (2018)
A film that might as well have been called Attack of the Slayer Red Robe, by Peter Strickland the offer is arguably the strangest and most unique of A24. While he gradually loses his footing, the film is one hell of a mad rush and proof that Marianne Jean-Baptiste must be cast much more often.
9. February (2015)
You’ve probably never heard of February (The girl in the black coat in America) because the film barely made a dime at the US box office and never had a UK theatrical release. For those with patience, the film is a slow burn and mean. It offers a brilliant performance by Kiernan Shipka and a fabulously scary atmosphere.
8. Highlight (2018)
The rebel film buff Gaspar Noé directed Climax, which begins as a ravishing explosion of dance before the spiked drinks turn the evening into a relentless nightmare. An audiovisual orgy, Climax is electrifying, disturbing, disgusting and unforgettable. There is no such thing as a better anti-drug PSA.
7. Sainte-Maud (2019)
Welsh actor Morfydd Clark stars as faith-obsessed Maud in a performance that deserves to make him one of the most talked about movie stars of the decade. Holy maud is a prime example of sustained terror, and its phenomenal, shocking ending takes it up a few more spots.
6. Green room (2015)
Perhaps A24’s most premonitory horror release, Green room features a punk band in a vicious fight for their life against a gang of neo-Nazis. The movie – starring Imogen Poots, Callum Turner, and Alia Shawkat – delivers the same electric power you expect from a punk gig, and buckets of gore to boot. Come for the terror, stay for the perfect performance by Patrick Stewart.
5. Lamb (2021)
Completely attractive, Lamb manages to take an absurd premise and transform it into a hard-hitting look at grief and trauma. Iceland’s rural setting helps add to the spooky atmosphere, Noomi Rapace is in great shape, and director Valdimar Jóhannsson strikes a great balance between horror and heart.
4. The Lighthouse (2020)
Who would have thought that a movie about two people losing their minds in an isolated lighthouse could be so funny? Disturbed men, vengeful seagulls and daring sirens: Lighthouse is a black and white claustrophobic fever dream. All you can think of next is Willem Dafoe’s sensational read of “Why Did You Spill Your Beans?”
3. Hereditary (2018)
Yes, we too are still in shock at the lack of an Oscar nomination for Toni Colette, who delivers one of the best performances of the decade in Hereditary. Her role of Annie is scary, heartwarming, funny and hypnotic. Toni is unforgettable, as are a number of jaw-dropping twists and turns. In sheer horror terms, this is perhaps the scariest movie A24 has made.
Ari Aster followed Hereditary with a bigger and bolder sophomore effort. At 140 muscular minutes (171 for the brilliant director’s cut), Environment is a horror epic and movie that won’t let you relax for a single unsettling and thrilling minute. So many scares in horror movies happen in the dark of night, but Environment is a fantastic reminder that the day can be just as terrifying.
1. The witch
The movie that catapulted Anya Taylor-Joy to a well-deserved superstar, few movies have such a lasting impact as The witch. Robert Eggers put his name on the map with this exploration of female identity and American folklore. The film fits perfectly with A24’s horror brand: an intelligent, socially aware, and scary af. The witch, quite simply, is the ultimate horror of A24.
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