5 Best Horror Movies of 2020 – Best New Scary Movies of 2020 – HarpersBAZAAR.com

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Watching a horror film amid a real-life apocalypse might not exactly be your kink, but if you are looking to escape the nightmarish news headlines, know that 2020 has served up a few titles that manage to be both frightening and provocative. And they all center on women battling issues we face every day.

From grief and gaslighting to motherhood and inferiority, these films capture horrors already familiar to many of us. You know youre viscerally affected by whats happening on-screen when you start squirming on your couch or yelling Dont go in there! at your TV. Thats the mark of a gratifying chiller.

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Yes, rising queen of the unhinged Elisabeth Moss makes this list twice. Here, the actress plays Shirley Jackson, real-life author of The Haunting of Hill House, in this Gothic drama from director Josephine Decker and screenwriter Sarah Gubbins. Its not every day that the genre gives us a film that centers on not one but two fascinating portrayals of women on the edge of sanity. In one corner we have the reclusive Shirley, recently ostracized from the literary community after publishing the kind of thrillingly horrible work reserved for men in this pre-Depression era. And in the other, there is Rose (Odessa Young), a wide-eyed newlywed who decides to temporarily reside in Shirleys home and is soon enraptured by her increasing dread in this claustrophobic and utterly spellbinding narrative.

Out on June 5


Weve certainly seen the normal kid-turned-evil story countless times in horror (The Bad Seed immediately springs to mind). But director and co-writer Brandon Christensens Z barrels toward a refreshing pivot in its third act that is entirely unexpected. Still, its most gratifying scares come from the first two-thirds of the film, when a mother (a wonderful Keegan Connor Tracy) struggles to navigate her sons (Jett Klyne) increasingly maniacal behavior. If youre in the marker for a few legitimate jump scares, look no further.

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3The Grudge

Few sounds are as bone-chilling as this franchises signature creek attributed to its longtime villain, a restless female ghost who continues to terrify the living. Writer-director Nicolas Pesce effectively explores the trauma, horror, and rage derived from masterful original Japanese film Ju-On in this latest English-language adaptation of The Grudge. Recapturing the palpable fury of its scorned phantom, the haunting tale oscillates between the sins of our past and a present determined to repeat itself through the stories of a single mother (Andrea Riseborough) and an expectant father (John Cho).

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2The Invisible Man

Elisabeth Moss helps revitalize H. G. Wellss classic work in writer-director Leigh Whannells latest. Building off the rampant gaslighting in todays #MeToo era, Whannell delivers a tale as old as time: Abused woman is not believed. Female protagonist Cecilia (Moss) is being terrorized by her presumed dead ex, only to be doubted by every other character. Remarkable and relevant, The Invisible Man examines a universal fear of things unseen.

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1The Lodge

Grief catalyzes writers-directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franzs nightmarish film that centers on two siblings (Lia McHugh and Jaeden Martell) who lose their mother and are instantaneously pulled into a new relationship with their dads mysterious fiance (Riley Keough). As the trio coops up together at the eponymous residence, more and more frightening and inexplicable things happen that cause both the siblings and their stepmom-to-be to begin suspecting each other. The Lodge is an utterly terrifying film that also leaves you looking at each of the characters a little sideways by its macabre conclusion.

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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