This year was a great year for horror, plain and simple. The year was dominated by critically praised and commercially successful horror films. Three films solidified the genres year of success: The Conjuring 2, Lights Out and Don’t Breathe, supported by many other good horror films as well.
The Conjuring 2 was a sequel to the highly successful 2013 horror film, The Conjuring. The film did what most sequels fail to do: expand on the stories and characters of the original while offering something new. It dominated the box office, making around $320 million, nearly three times as much as Purge: Election Year, another solid horror sequel, made this year.
Lights Out was an original film based on a short film of the same name, which also happened to be a success this year. The film flipped horror on its head by applying a new type of monster with new rules that plays on your fears of the dark. It’s effective and scary, and it was another box office success. With a budget of $5 million, it had a box office earning of $136 million. Another highly rated horror film, The Shallows, made approximately $100 million this year too, showing how many of these films are having great commercial success.
The most recent film to be released, Don’t Breathe, is another horror with a strong, original story. Through a break-in that goes wrong, the film creates a near unstoppable villain who doesn’t even have the ability to see. The sound editing of the film alone creates such deafening silence as you fear the slightest sound will alert the villain of the film. Although it was only released this month, the film has already made $64 million at the box office.
With these films already out and promising sequels like Blair Witch and Rings soon to be released, it is hard to deny a resurgence of horror that demands well-made films. No more is there a saturation of poorly made horror. For example, films like 10 Cloverfield Lane, Green Room and The Witch are not only receiving praise as great horror films, but are also being considered as some of the best films released this year, being included on top 10 lists by The Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone and USA Today.
by Ryan Horan