It's a truth long since acknowledged that horror isn't what it used to be. Fans will point to movies like Halloween or The Exorcist from the past and then compare that to modern films like Ouija or The Devil Inside, declaring that this genre is dead.
But while there are certainly some downright terrible horror films constantly hitting theaters, there have been some absolutely fantastic ones made in this decade that stack up with some of the best of the best. Even though the decade is only halfway over, audiences have already seen some defining films that will probably go down in history.
Among these highlights, there have been three pretty common fads. One is found footage, brought back into the mainstream by Paranormal Activity. The other is films that play up their old fashioned style like The Conjuring, almost trying to pass themselves off as being made in the past rather than the 2010s. They pay tribute to movies fans grew up on and execute an old formula in an effective way. Then there's movies that take something quite familiar and put a spin on it, adding in something interesting that gives a well worn trope a new life.
Every now and then, of course, there are just truly original creations that offer something that audiences have really never seen before.
From the past five years of demons, ghosts, boogeymen, haunted mirrors and blood soaked mermen, here are the absolute best 15 horror films of this decade so far.
From executive producer Guillermo del Toro comes Mama, an extraordinarily creepy little movie with one of the most scary and creative villains in recent years.
The movie revolves around Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Annabel (Jessica Chastain), who try to raise Lucas' young nieces after they were abandoned in the woods for five years. During that time, they were raised by a mysterious, supernatural figure they call Mama, and that entity soon returns to find them.
Even though Mama starts to go off the rails in the third act - with a bizarre ending that doesn't really fit to what the movie has been building up to - it's hard to beat some of the film's best scares. Mama herself has got to be one of the most terrifying horror creations of this decade. She looks completely otherworldly and not like anything you've seen in a movie before, often crawling and flashing across the room with her body bending in all directions. She's not your typical, cliche ghost.
The movie is definitely flawed, but a bunch of moments are absolutely unforgettable, and the visual of Mama darting across the room towards you is something that's really hard to get out of your head.