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Let's Talk About... The Best Horror Films of the 2010s!

Best Horror Movies of the 2010s

An article made for October... being published in November... I'm good at my job!

An article made for October... being published in November... I'm good at my job!

Will We Have Tricks or Treats?

It’s that time of year again, October! [Discard that… it took me a month to write this] Which means the month of thrills and chills as we sit in the dark watching our favorite horror movies! Well, that’s what it means to me anyways. There’s just one problem though… There’s so many to choose from! Where to start though? Well, I thought about it and I realized that the 2010s had a lot of great horror movies that have yet to be the future classics they will inevitably become in time.

In this article, I would like to take a look at all the subgenres of horror in what they had to offer and determine what I believe to be some of the greatest examples within their respective categories; paranormal hauntings, demonic possessions, slashers, sequels, remakes, etc. Originally, I was tinkering with the idea of doing something similar to my Best Films of the Decade (2010-2019) article; picking out what I declared as the best horror film of each year between 2010 to 2019. However, I find this idea of choosing the best flick out of each individual subgenre of horror to be a bit more exciting.

Please keep in mind, horror is subjective. Film in general is subjective, obviously. What one person may find to be utterly terrifying, I might shrug my shoulders at. Or vice versa, I might be afraid of certain elements far more than anyone else. So if there are movies you may disagree with me about or believe there should be specific entries that should have been made yet wasn’t for some reason, comment down below so we can chat about it! Without further ado, here’s my list of the best horror movies out of the 2010s!

What an excellent day for an exorcism!

— Creepy Demon Reagan

Best Horror Comedy


Horror-Comedy, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult subgenres of horror that one could write and even harder to execute correctly without the humor disrupting the horror or the scares not fitting quite right with the laughs. On top of that, there are so many ways to play with the formula that no two Horror-Comedies almost ever feel exactly alike; some might be comedies with a few horror elements sprinkled in, another might be pure terror with the occasional comic levity, and then there are the ones that blend both genres seamlessly together into one hilariously creepy experience.

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Us (2019)


The Plot: A family of four go on vacation to Santa Cruz when coincidences start transpiring all around them, until one night their vacation home is invaded by a group of doppelgangers looking exactly like the family themselves. From there it is a night of terror as the family fight themselves in order to stay alive.

Jordan Peele’s sophomore production proves not only that he’s a capable director, but a God damn masterclass artist of horror and comedy behind the camera. This man knows how to craft the perfect blend of pure tension with gut busting laughs; a task, as we all know, is not as easy as it sounds to convey on the page, nor execute on the screen. Yet, somehow, Peele pulls this challenge off as though it were nothing. Because Us does so wonderfully at the balancing act of horror and comedy unlike any other I’ve seen in decades, it was a relatively easy winner in this category.

I know that for most people, Get Out is the superior film and I wholeheartedly agree that the Peele’s directorial debut was undoubtedly a masterpiece. Both are spiritual channelings of twisted Twilight Zone tales that are terrifying exercises in tension with a natural voice of humor between those thrills. However, the deciding element that helped edge out Us into the lead, for me personally, were the themes of the human soul and will. Do we have control over our actions, or is there something else deep down within us all pulling the strings? Are we puppets destined to destroy ourselves? Do we all have it within every one of us the ability commit terrors that appease our darkest desires? Are we all good people keeping the monster at bay or monsters disguising ourselves as being decent? These questions raised by Us is a major reason why I believe it is ever so slightly better than Get Out.

Besides the endless thought provoking ideas, the film’s strength comes heavily from its talented cast who all have dual roles as the normal family members and the darker versions. At no point does anyone stick out as miscast or distracting, when we are following our protagonists we have a charismatic bunch with lovable chemistry together; then when they flip the switch, these same actors are strange, soulless creatures that creep the hell out of me. Everyone is at the top of their game, with the standout for me being Lupita Nyong’o, who is giving both performances 110% in every single frame. She breathes every one of her lines with such commitment it’s jaw droppingly intense, the attention to detail to every concise bit of movement she performs is mesmerizing, Nyong’o is simply incredible and is one of my favorite horror heroes/villains out of the entire decade!

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Best Stephen King Adaptation


Stephen King is an undisputed master of horror and has been for decades, we all know this. From his literary works of art to the many cinematic and televised adaptations created over the years, the man has succeeded time and time again in scaring the sh*t out of us! My favorite film adaptation of King’s work is honestly Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, even though I know King doesn’t personally care for the movie in the slightest as years afterward he made his own TV miniseries to better represent his source material, one that I actually reviewed last year.

However, what film adaptations stuck out from the 2010s for this iconic author? What was the movie to interpret King’s terrifying material into great heights and chill us deep to the bone within the last ten years? I have my picks on what frightened me most, but I definitely did not list every adaptation to come out of the decade; so if anyone disagrees, I apologize, I simply did not find every Stephen King adaptation released to be all that good or scary. Again for anyone disagrees, please by all means, comment down below so we can discuss the subject further. Until then, here’s the King flicks that creeped me out most!

With that grin, it's impossible not to adore the man!

With that grin, it's impossible not to adore the man!

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This is probably considered cheating, but out of all the Stephen King movie adaptations that came out from the decade, IT Chapter 1 AND 2 were too good for me to overlook as being the best. Picking either the first or second chapter only had proved rather difficult as I enjoy both pictures, but for slightly different reasons. Both are darkly funny with really cool carnival haunted house styled scares to be had, the visual effects are mostly done with astonishing results, and they both contain a beautiful heart that I couldn’t dare myself to ignore.

In that tremendous heart of both chapters are its lead casts; Jaeden Martell and James McAvoy as Bill, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Jay Ryan as Ben, Wyatt Oleff and Andy Bean as Stanley, Finn Wolfhard and Bill Hader as Richie, Sophia Lillis and Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Jack Dylan Grazer and James Ransone as Eddie, and lastly Chosen Jacobs and Isaiah Mustafa as Mike. All of which are excellent in their respective roles with damn perfect casting, especially in regards of the adult actors taking on the roles performed by the child actors first; how they were all able to recapture their spirit of the kids from the first movie was f*cking incredible and it actually wowed me that the adult cast found a way to catch that same lightning in a bottle that the first movie had done so effortlessly.


One difference why I feel between the two movies is that the first chapter feels more like a quick funhouse horror perfect for the Halloween season; a summer and fall time atmosphere, quirky frights, and a delightful young group of kids we watch take on a monster. It’s just a fun flick that harkens back to movies I’d love as a kid, along with a fantastic R rating to give it that extra edge of gore that us horror geeks love so much. While the second chapter is a bit more of an epic, not quite harnessing that same level of fun re-watchability factor of the first as this is a far grander scale with an even longer runtime, clocking in at nearly three hours long! With that said, it’s still one hell of an awesomely creepy and fun watch for those three hours!!

For me, however, the most notable difference between the chapters is the utilization of Pennywise the Clown played by Bill Skarsgard. In the first movie, Pennywise was mainly used as a means for cheap jump scares. Just to pop out at the screen randomly to get a jolt out of the audience to cash in on the clown phobia craze basically. The second movie, on the other hand, gives Skarsgard far more material to work with; supplying him some truly terrifying moments to sink his teeth deep into as he mentally torments the sh*t out of our protagonists and he is a total blast to watch! Scary yet funny, weird yet perfect for a clown persona, intimidating yet plausibly friendly on the surface, Skarsgard is perfect and I’m personally glad that the sequel gave him a chance to shine finally.


Both, Chapter 1 and 2, are great horror flicks and I believe that they’ll be fondly remembered for that funhouse terror they elicit so well. The special effects are very solid with maybe the occasional hiccup, the gore is gruesomely awesome, the characters are all lovable as hell, Finn Wolfhard and Bill Hader as Richie were possibly my favorite parts out of the group as he’s equal parts hilarious and endearing. Both movies ride that very peculiar thin line of horror and comedy which King is famous for and it rides the line perfectly. I sincerely don’t think there was a better Stephen King adaptation to come out of the entire 2010s!

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Best Slasher


When it comes to the Slasher genre, I won’t lie when I say I have a major soft spot for this particular subgenre of horror. Growing up largely on some of the biggest names Slashers had to offer with Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and so on. Sadly though, when it comes to Slashers nowadays, they’ve more or less faded into obscurity. Luckily, there have been a few entries bringing the underrated Slasher back to life in excitingly new ways… but which one did it best?

Green Room (2015)


The Plot: A punk rock band, who reluctantly plays a set at a Neo-Nazi skinhead bar, stumble across a murder scene in the green room. Now it’s a battle for survival with this small, young group against a small army led by an extremely racist Patrick Stewart.

Green Room is a tad on the stranger side of Slashers, as this is truthfully an Arthouse Slasher. An attentive and thoughtful thriller burning slowly at first, but rapidly picks up the pace with one of the most suspenseful experiences out of the entire decade. Patrick Stewart as the Neo-Nazi leader of this pack is intense as hell as soon as he shows up onscreen with a very subtle and understated demeanor about him.

Predicting who is going to live or die throughout this horrible night is not easy either because members of the punk band will just abruptly die out of nowhere; whether by the hands of the Neo-Nazis themselves wielding machetes, or from their lethally trained hound dogs that’ll rip out someone’s throat in an instant. The violence is always sudden and visceral in its realism. It truly is some intense sh*t that we white-knuckle through the entire runtime, hoping to God that someone out of this bunch makes it out alive… and if possible, in one piece.

I’d also like to mention the late Anton Yelchin, who does a great job here. Especially since, when I think of Yelchin as an actor, I don’t automatically think “punk rocker.” Yet he managed to pull it off well and the role was written just right for him to smoothly embrace this character. Plus, there’s a really great setup with his character pertaining to a specific question asked to his band, “What would be the one band you’d want to be able to listen to if you were deserted on a desert island?” As the movie goes along, it feels like a familiar trope to build up character growth, then when it is finally resolved at the end, it leads to one of my favorite closing lines I’ve ever heard in a horror movie; it’s frankly quite brilliant!

Best Horror Sequel/Prequel


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Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)


The Plot: In 1967, there was a widowed mother and her two daughters who perform a phony psychic séance business for the people of their town. After they add a new stunt to their act involving the brand new board game attraction, the Oija board, subsequently inviting an evil presence into their home without realizing it.

Selecting Ouija: Origin of Evil as the best horror sequel/prequel from the decade was probably the easiest decision out of this entire list. Not only did Origin of Evil follow up one of the lamest horror movies to come out of the 2010s, 2014’s Ouija, it also followed it successfully as a prequel! I don’t know how everyone else feels about this specific subject, but to me, prequels are practically the definition of “killing suspense” for any horror movie. Why? Look back at some of the horror prequels that have come out to see just how low the success rate really is; Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Annabelle, Insidious 4: The Last Key, countless Paranormal Activity prequels, Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist, and last… but certainly the least… The Thing (2011).

All of these entries and more have failed at being scary, mostly because we all know every single one of them have to end a certain way in order for the prequel’s predecessor to even exist; typically what that means is the prequel must end in tragedy, taking away most of the emotional investment for the characters and constructing a predictable narrative. Therefore, the audience has no reason to care and no reason to become scared for our protagonists since we know they’ll have to die anyways. Hence it is damn near impossible to scare anyone with a horror prequel, resulting in mostly a pointless experience for everyone.

Enter writer/director Mike Flanagan, one of the most ambitious horror filmmakers to come out in the last few decades. If it wasn’t already noticed before, nearly every film Flanagan directed out of the 2010s has been nominated throughout my entire list; Oculus, Hush, Gerald’s Game, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Doctor Sleep! Speaking honestly, I was exceptionally tempted to somehow wedge his miniseries, The Haunting of Hill House, somewhere into this article but unfortunately couldn’t manage finding a loophole with the criteria being centered on feature films alone.

Anyways, what we have here in Origin of Evil is a stylish late ‘60s to early ‘70s slow burn haunted house horror throwback with a tremendous amount of heart among the three lady leads; played by Elizabeth Reaser as the mother along with Annalise Basso and Lulu Wilson as her two young daughters. These three actresses are acting their hearts out as this small family trying to keep afloat after the sudden passing of her husband and their father. The introduction to these three characters I actually found quite refreshing for a haunted house/possession movie as typically the paranormal guidance characters who perform the séances and such are normally taken seriously as the source of information for the supernatural disturbances occurring; except this movie sort of pulls off the opposite approach as the mother is actually orchestrating a con of sorts, only with a less cynical motive of scamming people, but rather trying to give grieving people a sense of comfort while still trying to make some cash to support her family.


The Zander family here are all lovable with a unique setup to their personal situation, which I found myself engaged in their story fairly early on; honestly within the very first scene I was fascinated with the family’s séance act and they had such a great instant chemistry with each other that I genuinely rooted for them throughout. As things became more and more grim, I feared for this mother and her two girls, despite knowing everything I had remembered from the first film. And the prequel ties into its predecessor surprisingly well, never attempting to ignore the details established prior; which is impressive and commendable to say the least.

Best Horror Remake


Remakes in general are a fairly controversial subject, especially in the modern age of cinema where it seems half the movies to come out are remakes or reboots of some sort. Disney certainly has played their fair share into the remake train. True, there is a select sum that manage to make something out of rebuilding the source material, even in the horror genre. Those rare occasions are exactly what we’re going to talk about now! Because I believe that those occasional good remakes of classic horror pictures should at least get some recognition.

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The Crazies (2010)


The Plot: After a strange plane crash, an unusual toxic virus enters a quaint farming town. A young couple are quarantined, but they fight for survival against all who are infected and everyone else trying to contain this plague.

Choosing a horror remake I thought was the best out of the decade was surprisingly difficult. At first I thought it shouldn’t be too tough, just pick one I like. Turned out that there weren’t very many I liked, then after that I realized that even the few that I highly enjoyed, never reached levels of greatness really. Suddenly I remembered 2010’s The Crazies, quickly realizing that was the only one I could think of where I preferred the remake over the original. Which is obviously one of the most rare occurrences to happen when it comes to this particular cinematic subject.

What exactly makes this specific remake relatively superior to the George A. Romero 1973 original? While there is certainly its fair share of suspense and is well made, of course, unfortunately there’s something about the ’73 picture that doesn’t quite resonate with me on a character level. Mainly because we jump around between following an assortment of different characters who don’t get all that much time to breathe. On top of that, rather than delving into the madness unfolding amidst the infection spreading, the original flick sets a little too much focus on the politics and researchers investigating the disease. Resulting in a mostly missed opportunity that the remake heavily capitalizes on.


In the remake, we get characters we give a real damn about as they fight tooth and nail for their lives while the whole world around them goes crazy. Starring a couple of the most underrated talents working in Hollywood, Radha Mitchell and Timothy Olyphant, as our leading couple we experience anxiety attack after anxiety attack watching as they come across every psycho trying to kill them. The film gets the pace going straight away with the intensity and it doesn’t let up until the ending credits roll. Plus, this is one of the few and best examples of a film utilizing the “two days earlier” cliché in a way that actually works exceedingly well for the story, roping the audience right way in wondering what could have led to these apocalyptic events in this small town. And it’s a suspense thrill-ride finding out how!

Best Sci-Fi Horror


One of the most popular and iconic merging of two different genres for probably the last half century or more. Science fiction and horror simply go hand in hand, complimenting each other perfectly in strange and surreal imagery while also oddly enough being grounded in some form of logic. Almost bringing a weird plausibility to these creepy ideas while also heightening them into weird territories never thought possible before. Bringing us some of our favorite horror movies ever made, or simply some of the most iconic titles ever produced; Frankenstein, Alien, John Carpenter’s The Thing, Predator, Pitch Black, Event Horizon, The Fly, and The Blob are known around the globe as some of the greatest horror has to offer. So let’s take a look at what the 2010s had instore for us!

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Annihilation (2018)


The Plot: Alex Garland gives us another provocative and creatively inspired sci-fi tale revolving around a biologist, Lena (Natalie Portman), whose husband (Oscar Isaac) disappeared under mysterious circumstances during a secretive scientific mission. After several months he seems to have re-emerged out of nowhere, leading Lena as a volunteer to join the expedition of the strange environmental disaster zone with a team of highly intelligent and badass women in order to figure out what is going on. Along their journey, they discover that within the disaster zone lies dangerous mutations that lurk around every corner.

Annihilation was like having a smarter and more thrilling version of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus come out, for me. It shares similar themes of evolution, God, and the human condition that I thought was delved far more deeply into here than in Prometheus, even though I liked Prometheus, it contained issues that Annihilation seems to rectify. The lead cast is particularly incredible with these very strong and engaging performances; this is how a team of badass women in an action situation is done incredibly well… I’m looking at you, Ghostbusters remake.

The action and horror is heart pounding, the visual effects are impressive, the creature and environment designs are ambitiously beautiful, and the ideas the story eludes to are thought provoking. My only gripe would have to be with the framing device used to go back and forth in time with telling the story, I feel that is the weak link that is only present to provide useless exposition. Other than that, this is intensity filled sci-fi at some of its best. It irritates me that the film got such a terrible deal with its theatrical release and was basically sabotaged by its own producers financially, because of creative differences with its director. But the final result of the film is most definitely worth the watch.

Truth be told, Annihilation is probably the best sci-fi horror movie I’ve personally seen since James Cameron’s Aliens. Each member of the armed research team played by Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thomspson, and Tuva Novotny are some of the toughest and coolest female leads I’ve seen in years; in my opinion, these ladies should have become icons of the genre alongside Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley or Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor. Sadly, I don’t believe that will happen anytime soon, but I still hope for the cult following of this film to keep growing and maybe one day earn the appreciation it so rightfully deserves. Hell, that terrifying as f*ck mutant bear scene alone deserves all the love and attention in the world, let alone the rest of the movie as fantastic as it is!

Screw that creepy bear right there!

Screw that creepy bear right there!

Best Family Horror


Horror is not strictly for the adults, the genre should be shared along with the rest of the family too! There’s plenty of spooky fun to be had, even in kids’ flicks; and the kids’ flicks from the last decade had some very admirable contributions to the horror genre indeed. I’d even say that some of these entries are destined to be future household staples or cult classics among the youngsters that eventually grow up with these family chillers.

ParaNorman (2012)


The Plot: Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a misunderstood kid who can speak with the dead, but sadly the entire town of Blithe Hollow have mostly shunned the boy and ridicules him on a daily basis. Norman’s uncle Mr. Prenderghast (John Goodman), on the other hand, insists that the boy’s gifts are meant for a purpose to keep the people of Blithe Hollow safe from an angry witch’s curse centuries old. Now Norman and his gang of misfits have to band together in order to stop the dead who have risen from wreaking havoc on the town.

ParaNorman is not only one of the best creepy family features to be released out of the decade, it’s one of the best family and horror flicks from the 2010s in general. Fantastically dark comedy that works for both kids and adults alike, the stop motion animation is some of the most stunning animation I’ve ever seen in any movie as the visuals make an effort in recreating that of an Italian horror movie, the scares are really creepy and pushes the envelope of how scary a family flick can be, the satire and social commentary is reminiscent of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead while still crafting its own identity, countless horror references and homages that feel genuine and pretty damn funny too, and the twists that go along with the witch’s curse is incredibly smart and truly heartbreaking.

On the surface, one person could look at the premise of a young kid talking to ghosts as some sort of tamed down rip-off of The Sixth Sense, that’s not what ParaNorman is at all. It’s a story about a kid dealing with some real issues as seemingly the entire world is bullying and picking on him for being different. And this movie has such a great moral to teach children about how it’s okay to be different, so long as they don’t let others dictate who they are or how they act. Bullying is hard to deal with, but never let that change the person you are or want to be. These heartfelt themes to me make it a quintessential watch for anyone who’s young and having a hard time.

The entire movie is basically a love letter to horror as a whole, as well as to all the weirdos in the world; the strange and peculiar, the goofballs, the artists, the outcasts, the ones deemed to be different and ParaNorman gives them a place to feel safe. Let anyone who can relate to Norman know that they aren’t alone and they should use their creativity as a form of expression, much like all of the filmmakers at Laika studio who produced this amazing picture.


Best Paranormal/ Supernatural/ Possession/ Haunting


Arguably the most popular subgenre of horror to be released out of the last couple of decades; anything and everything that had to deal with the supernatural or paranormal; venturing into several different realms of what goes bump in the night from ghost hauntings, demonic possessions, cursed video tapes, evil genies, creepy Ouija boards, and even vengeful mirrors.

The Conjuring (2013)


The Plot: Paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) work to help the Perron family, who are being terrorized by a malevolent presence in their farmhouse in 1971.

Let’s travel back in time to the year 2013, a young and optimistic art school student had heard of a very intriguing upcoming horror movie by a talented director he was fond of called The Conjuring. That art kid convinced a few of his close friends that they should ditch school for a couple hours to see this latest creepy flick by James Wann together in the theater. So they did… I remember so vividly where we sat in the theater too, far over onto the left side of the giant room, practically in our own little section as the entirety of that theater was jam packed with dozens of other moviegoers. We sat there in the dark filled with anticipation for the projector to shine bright onto the big screen with our next two hours of terror. As soon as that first ominous note played of the musical score, my whole body became cold, and I remained that way for the rest of the show.

The Conjuring, to me, elicits a fear that I haven’t quite felt in any other horror movie in the 2010s; or even a couple decades prior for that matter. This is a special movie, one of the scariest movies I’ve ever witnessed, and I knew that as I watched it that very first time in the theater with my friends. I knew that this was a great haunted house flick that wouldn’t be topped for years to come, and thus far, it hasn’t; including the rest of the Conjuring franchise, which I largely enjoy and find plenty of frights to be had as well. This one though, the first Conjuring film, is the crowning achievement out of the decade for paranormal thrillers. This is the one that has made the biggest impact on cinematic history in general and proves to still be affective to this day as the series is still going strong, with the third Conjuring installment set to be released in 2021.

What makes The Conjuring so terrifying compared to all the others from the decade? Is it the creepy as hell musical score that practically makes me feel as though I am breathing the winter air? Yes. Is it the fantastic production design and cinematography transporting me directly into the early ‘70s as though I’m witnessing true and terrifying supernatural occurrences transpire? Yes. Is it the ghosts and demons and witches that burst suddenly into the scene or walk nonchalantly in the background haunting this family? Yes. All of those elements are definitely major reasons why this is one of the scariest movies out of the decade… but it’s also because this movie makes us care so damn much about this family, along with Ed and Lorraine, that it scares the utter sh*t out of me to see anything possibly harmful happen to any of them.

This movie, as well as the rest of the series, is masterful at creating sheer tension around characters we fall madly in love with. It’s one thing to craft a smidge of suspense in a scene, it’s another thing entirely to wrap that modicum of suspense around people we care deeply about and yearn to see make it through by the end. The heart of this film is truly why I think this film is as affectively scary as it is and why it overpowers most other entries in its respective horror subgenre of paranormal creep shows. Yes, it harkens back to those iconic horror movies like The Amityville Horror and The Exorcist, but it has an identity all its own and separates itself just enough to feel like more than just any simple throwback… This is the f*cking Conjuring!


Best Creature Feature


There’s just something about a good monster movie that can span into being true blue terror or an effects filled showcase of a rollercoaster ride. Monsters over time in cinema history unfortunately became less and less commonplace; starting out on top with classic terrors such as the Frankenstein monster, Dracula, and the Wolfman in the first half of the century. Later spanning out into even more outlandish creatures, such as giant arachnids and faceless men from outer space. Evolving over the decades into Xenomorphs, killer sharks, intergalactic warriors hunting in the jungle, changelings that mimic humans, and demons spawned from pumpkins.

After the 1980s passed, arguably the best decade for creature features as the practical effects utilized at the time were some of the most ambitious and revolutionary in cinematic history, then monsters became less and less popular. Sadly, it doesn’t seem as though monster movies have made all that much of a comeback in the last decade, but there were still at least a few that managed to make their mark on the horror genre!