Top 10 Horror/Thrillers of 2019!

Last Updated on August 3, 2021

Ah hell, who’s harboring a holiday hangover? Little too much rum in the nog? F*ck it, primp a hair of the dog or two to get your asses back to level. We’ve got a significant Horror Ten Spot to unwrap and dig into!

That’s right y’all, as we look forward to 2020, it’s also time to look back at the best of 2019. And by best, we of course, mean the best horror/thrillers of the year. In retrospect, 2019 was a pretty decent year for genre joints across the board, with old masters once again showing their filmmaking might, as well as new generational voices proving they’re no flash in the pan. It’s been tough whittling the list down to 10, but just know that this list considers the whole of (we have glowing reviews of every flick on the list). Okay, no more bullshite, it’s time to pour a stiff drink, roll a bat and get this shindig started. Here is our Top 10 Horror/Thrillers of 2019!


A number of different ways we could have gone to get this mother*cker cracking, but because Larry Fessenden has been such a staunch lifetime horror champion, we feel it only right to salute his genuinely upsetting take on the Frankenstein tale in his cool indie chiller DEPRAVED. In a classic case of the execution overcoming the lack of originality, DEPRAVED digs beneath the skin of humanity to explore the hidden depths of depravity. The flick finds a psychologically vexed surgeon determined to animate a human body from a farrago of spare body parts. Sounds tired and trampled, we know, which makes the dynamic result all the more impressive.


Gaspar Noe’s baleful bacchanal of hallucinatory horror reaches an absolute CLIMAX at the end of its breakneck 95 minutes. Few filmmakers can inject the raw energy, kinetic sexual sleaze (LOVE, IRREVERSBLEL), and dazzling visual array the way Noe can and does to the utmost degree in CLIMAX. The flick follows a ribald troupe of dancers who gather in an abandoned schoolhouse for rehearsal on a frigid winter night. When their sangria becomes spiked with LSD, a mortifying and transformative night of deadly debauchery takes hold. As only Noe can do, the movie is an indefatigable assault on the senses!

#8. US

Proving GET OUT was no fluke of first film, Jordan Peele followed-up admirably with his menacing metaphorical home-invasion riff, US. Featuring one of two superb genre turns from the lovely Lupita Nyong’o (LITTLE MONSTERS), US concerns a nuclear family unit who, after an idyllic to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (my fellow Slugs, what-up!), is suddenly terrorized by a clan of sinister doppelgangers. Sure, the explication of such in the end feels less inspired than the rest (cloning gone awry, really?), the viscerally charged homicidal hunt inside the home confirms Peele knows how to get under the skin!


In a much-welcomed returned to form for French filmmaker Alexandre Aja (HIGH TENSION, THE HILLS HAVE EYES), the killer-crocs-on-the-loose-during-a-hurricane horror-show proved to be one of the most fun genre joints of the summertime. With a breakout turn from Kaya Scodelario, the taut little thriller finds the young woman desperate to rescue her father from a roiling Cat5 hurricane, which happens to raise water-levels high enough to unleash a horde of uncouth Floridian crocodiles. With a right-headed and goodhearted message on the perils of climate change, CRAWL is good old fashioned creature-feature fun executed to the highest level!


When our man E.Walk drops a 9-ball on a horror movie review, you know that shite is a qualitative must-see! Such is certainly the case for the gonzo Japanese horror-comedy import ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, which, despite being made in 2017, didn’t come out in North America until this past year. Well worth the wait, the movie is uproarious and disquieting at once, fusing barbarous gore with slapstick silliness in a way we’ve not seen since the days of early Pete Jackson. The flick concerns a film crew making a zombie joint in a bombed-out WWII factory, only to be savagely marauded by a spate of real-life zombies. Life imitates art, yo!


Ari Aster’s petrifying debut HEREDITARY was Arrow in the Head’s number one best horror movie of 2018. In 2019, his Swedish MIDSOMMAR solstice festival is good enough, nay, sinister enough, to crack the Top 5. The bottom line takeaway: Aster is the real-deal as one of the most promising new voices in the cinematic horror realm. And while we almost unanimously agree MIDSOMMAR isn’t as strong or scary as HEREDITARY, in the end, his sun-dappled revenge-fantasy set in Harga, Sweden is a head-swirling and bone-clattering meditation on the dissolution of a romantic relationship.


Jennifer Kent had the herculean task of, if not outdoing, at least recreating the high terror quotient of THE BABADOOK, easily one of the most hailed horror flicks of the past half-decade. Clearly up to the task, Kent went in a bold new direction for her follow-up THE NIGHTINGALE, which centers on a tough-willed and strong-headed young woman named Clare (Aisling Franciosi), an Irish escapee who, to avenge her fallen husband, traverses the Tasmanian wild to exact revenge on her tyrannical ruler, Hawkins (Sam Claflin). As a celebration of female empowerment and awe-inspiring capability (for both Clare and Kent), THE NIGHTINGALE sings loud and soars high!


Anyone else been a fan of Rian Johnson since he dropped that sick neo-noir BRICK back in ’05? F*ck yeah! After making LOOPER, Johnson was wooed by Disney to helm a Star Wars flick or two, but anyone who’s seen the superbly enthralling Christie-like whodunit KNIVES OUT knows that Johnson is at his best when paying heartfelt homage to beloved movie genres of yore. In KNIVES OUT, Johnson assembles a stellar ensemble to gather amid a garish mansion, only to find each other involved in a head-scratching and heart-grasping murder mystery that induces as many guesses as it does chuckles!


Fewer films in 2019 were as hotly anticipated as Robert Eggers’ THE LIGHTHOUSE, his long-awaited follow-up to unanimously praised 2015 outing THE WITCH. Again, well worth that, THE LIGHTHOUSE features two of the best performances of any horror/thriller in 2019, and in the end amounts to a dizzying, hypnotically arresting fever-dream of a descent into abject hell. Pattinson and Dafoe emblazon the screen in stark black and white photography, with Eggers proving what an assured directorial grasp he continues to build upon following THE WITCH. Simply put, by the time this movie ends, you feel just as loopy and unstable as the characters themselves!


The best movies ever made tend to defy description, transcend genre, and offer a little bit of every emotion and cinematic style under the sun. Thankfully, Bong-joon Ho is at the top of his game as one of the most talented filmmakers on the planet right now, which is evidenced by his Palme d’Or-winning new masterpiece, PARASITE. While THE HOST filmmaker does give us a dose of fright in PARASITE, the movie is so much more than just a genre piece, as it explores salient social stratification, class divisions, poverty, wealth, and the dire deeds people are willing to do in order to cross the line from one to the other. See this movie immediately!

Tags: Hollywood

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