Best Horror Films of the Year (So Far)

Our horror critic chooses the best horror flicks of 2024 – so far!

Last Updated on July 18, 2024

Best horror

I hate when people claim “nothing has come out this year” when it’s more a matter of access versus lack of great content. 2024 has already seen a slew of fantastic horror films released. And yet, I’m still hearing the same sentiment. “Nothing has been released.” “The year is trash.” We must be looking at completely different years because not only has this year been killer, but we’ve received some films that transcend labels. Chris Bumbray recently revealed his own favorites of the year, so I felt it was time to focus on the horror side. So join me as I look back on the best horror films of the first half of 2024.

Longlegs:

Rarely does a film live up to the hype when said hype is astronomically large. Yet Longlegs managed to come along with absolutely tremendous performances and a terror that emanates every bit of celluloid. Writer/Director Osgood Perkins knows precisely how to draw your attention and build tension. His command of the frame and use of sound design over score make him one of the most intriguing filmmakers today. And the film serves as a lesson on how to correctly market a film and leave your villain in the shadows. I hardly ever give perfect scores on a first viewing but Longlegs is an easy 10/10.

A birthing scene in The First Omen, a prequel to The Omen, contains a shot that nearly earned the film an NC-17 rating

The First Omen:

Nell Tiger Free absolutely stuns in this The Omen prequel that, minus a few scenes, completely stands on its own. I’ve seen this film no less than four times since release (two of those being in theaters) and I’m blown away every time. The narrative is so perfectly concocted and the performance by Free is utterly fantastic.

The horror film Late Night With the Devil returns to theatres with a special introduction and a Q&A with David Dastmalchian and Kevin Smith

Late Night With The Devil:

I’m not going to let a few pieces of AI get in the way of this fantastic story. I feel most of us have been waiting for Dastmalchian to get his due and he’s finally given a role he can sink his teeth into. On Halloween Night, talk show host Jack Delroy is desperate for ratings and will do anything to be number 1. What results is a night full of terror and mayhem, with some of the better low-budget effects out there.

Infested

Infested:

Not since Arachnophobia has a film handled spiders in such a terrifying way. Following a rundown apartment in France, a mysterious spider who continues to grow in size starts breeding and taking over the building. The dwellers must band together in order to survive. I don’t know about anyone else but I was very disappointed with Sting, so it’s nice that this was able to deliver all the spider goods that the film promised.

Humane

Humane:

Last year’s Infinity Pool ended up being my favorite horror film of the year. So when I heard that Brandon’s sister Caitlin would be joining the family business and releasing a film of her own, my ears perked up. Add in a realistic look at a climate-riddled world, and we get to examine the human conflicts that can spring up on both a global and individual scale.

A Sacrifice

A Sacrifice:

Something about cult stories have always appealed to me. The way that a charismatic leader is able to brainwash impressionable groups is a truly horrifying prospect. Sadie Sink and Sylvia Hoeks deliver phenomenal performances in what is sure to be an underseen film.

Immaculate

Immaculate:

Overshadowed by The First Omen, there’s still a lot to like about Immaculate. Sydney Sweeney seemed to be just about everywhere this year and her love for the genre is likely to make her a genre staple. And if this film is any indication, she’s definitely going to be putting in the work. Sweeney plays Cecelia, a nun at a new convent who is up to dark and nefarious things. Her faith is tested as she discovers more and more unsavory things about the place that was supposed to be her haven.

The Devil's Bath

The Devil’s Bath:

Depression and suicide are already some pretty tough topics to touch upon. But The Devil’s Bath takes the actual history of Austria where women would murder children in order to then be put to death and makes it into a compelling narrative. There are several moments in this film that left my mouth on the floor in shock. From the filmmakers of Goodnight Mommy, don’t let the subtitles sway you away from this terrifying time.

Destroy All Neighbors

Destroy All Neighbors:

Horror comedies can be hard to pull off but when they’re done well, they’re an absolute blast. Following Jonah Ray’s struggling musician character, he ends up getting a neighbor from Hell. Featuring some great rock music and some incredible practical effects, this works as a great double feature with star Alex Winter’s Freaked.

Stopmotion

Stopmotion:

Shudder continues its awesome streak with this slow burn about a girl searching for identity. After being forced on her mother’s path for so long, she finally decides she want to forge her own path. Her mother guided every aspect of her life so through her art she tries to break free and satiate her own desires. The stop-motion animation is beautifully disgusting with its fleshy appearance.

MaXXXine

MaXXXine:

Color me shocked. As a big hater of both X and Pearl, I went into this with extremely low expectations. What I didn’t expect was a fantastic homage to films like Maniac Cop and one utterly killer performance from Mia Goth. With some incredible side characters and great practical effects, this feels like the 80s movie we never received but always thought we had.

What are some of your favorite horror films of the year? What did I miss? Let us know in the comments! (And no, In A Violent Nature won’t be on any list with my name on it.)

About the Author

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Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.