03 January 2016

Top 20 Best Horror Films of 2015

This is probably the weirdest Best-Horror-list I have ever compiled, mainly because *sigh* this year was a really, really terrible year for the Horror genre. That's why you will find more horror-related stuff than pure horror stuff here (e.g. 1, 6, 8, 16, 18, 19 & 20).

Also, due the fact that there were so few good horror films, I had a super-hard time to make at least a Top 20 list. Gone are the glorious Top 30 days... *sigh* well, whatever. Here are my 20 favorite horror / horror-related movies I've seen in 2015:

Maynard's Top 20
Best Horror / Horror-Related Movies 2015

Colin Trevorrow's
USA, 2015

The best dinosaur movie since "Jurassic Park" (1993), the best sequel to "Jurassic Park", and next to "Tremors 5", the best monster movie of 2015. An unexpectedly excellent return to Spielbergian form that, despite all of its flaws, delivers exactly what you expect from a dino-flick: entertainment, fun, suspense, dino-action and T-Rex awesomeness.

Fran├žois Simard, Anouk Whissell & Yoann-Karl Whissell's
Canada / USA / New Zealand, 2015

Fuck "Fury Road". THIS is the best post-apocalyptic movie of 2015, and also one of the most heart-warming 80s tributes I've seen in a long time. Crammed with hilarious characters, insane amounts of gore and wonderful-looking sets/outfits, plus: an adorably kewt Laurence Leboeuf + one of the cooler Michael Ironside performances in recent years.

International Title: The Nightmare
Germany, 2015

No, the best German horror film of 2015 is NOT "German Angst", but this little gem that pays homage to, and combines story elements from "E.T.", "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Basket Case" - sounds insane, but works tremendously fine, thanks to the top-notch direction, the splendid acting, all the ace techno music and all the superbly made special effects.

Benjamin Rocher & Thierry Poiraud's
France, 2014

Haven't seen a truly awesome zombie flick in quite some time - until I stumbled over this completely overlooked French gem that combines football and living dead in such an unexpectedly genius way, I'm still flabbergasted. It's witty, suspenseful, gory, original, packed with damn well actors, eye-agsmic images and rad-looking zombies. Goal!

Marjane Satrapi's
USA / Germany, 2014

I went into this expecting it to be a silly horror-comedy and got rewarded with a movie that is more disturbing than funny, thanks to a few unforeseeable pitch-dark plot twists and one of Ryan Reynolds' most impressive performances ever as half-quirky, half-dangerous loner. Nevertheless, there's also lots of super-funny cat/dog-awesomeness and many, many uber-hilarious dialogue.

Christopher Denham's
USA, 2014

"Preservation" could be described as some kinda "Eden Lake - light" or "Eden Lake U.S.", but aside from being similar to the 2008 violence-fest, it's a surprisingly breathtaking and extremely effective survival-chiller that delivers the goods by giving you interesting characters, terrific electro-music, mesmerizing atmosphere and shitloads of super-eerie images/masks.

Patrick Brice's
USA, 2014

Next to "The Visit", the best found-footage-themed movie of the year. "Creep" manages to be damn funny, damn scary and damn disturbing at the very same time, thanks to a more-original-than-expected story, loads of amusing/unsettling scenes that make your laughter go stuck in your throat and a really powerful performance by Mark Duplass as sociopathic creep.

Spike Lee's
USA, 2014

Second-best vampire movie of 2015. I'm probably the only person in the world who has such high praise for this movie, but I can't help it: Spike Lee's first crowdfunded movie is a deeply fascinating remake of 70s flick "Ganja & Hess", full of incredibly gorgeous images, unbelievably atmospheric scenes and really excellent soul/hiphop songs. Can't help it, I love it!

Michael S. Ojeda's
USA, 2013/2015

Not just the most badass rape'n'revenge-themed movie since "I Spit On Your Grave 2", but also possibly the most imaginative one ever made, including a fantastic storyline, a fabulous main character (massive kudos to Amanda Adrienne), non-stop tension, some horrifying violence and an unexpectedly uber-epic finale. 

Ana Lily Amarpour's
Iran / USA, 2014

The best vampire-movie of 2015. A super-stylish and gorgeously filmed little piece of art, at times funny, at times artsy, at times eerie as hell, incl. tons and tons of marvellously beautiful black-and-white images, a few really superb actors, one of the greatest songs ever recorded in full length ("Death" by White Lies) and the cutest kitty of all time ^_^.

M. Night Shyamalan's
USA, 2015

After 4 more-or-less terrible films, Mr. Shyama-lama-ding-dong, the semi-godfather of plot-twists is back with the best horror-comedy of 2015 and the best found-footage movie of the year and the best straight-horror wide-release of the year. So funny and so scary and so good, I actually went to see it twice at the theater! Not kidding!

Don Michael Paul's
USA, 2015

The absolute best "Tremors" film since "Tremors 2: Aftershocks" (1996) and the absolute best monster movie of 2015. An unexpectedly wonderful sequel that captures all the elements of classic "Tremors" and successfully moves it to a completely new level with the best CGI in the entire series, new awesome monster mutations and a Burt Gummer in top form.

Denis Villeneuve's
Canada / Spain / France, 2013

Denis Villeneuve is the only director this year who has one movie on the horror list AND one on the non-horror list ("Sicario"). My absolute favorite director at the moment, everything he does is outstanding, same for "Enemy", a stunning cinematic puzzle with a great-as-always Jake Gyllenhaal, a deeply fascinating story and the scariest mega-spider-scenes I've ever seen.

Anthony DiBlasi's
USA, 2014

A fucking frightening scarefest that manages to pays tribute to John Carpenter's "Assault on Precinct 13", as well as to fully stand on its own, thanks to its super-talented, still-underrated director (who made the fucking amazing Clive Barker adaptation "Dread"), great writing, excellent cinematography and shitloads of outstandingly scary scenes/settings/images. Forget about the slightly similar and overhyped "Let Us Prey".

Joel Edgerton's
USA, 2015

Far from being a straight horror film, but so full of super-scary and immensely haunting scenes, I'm still terrified. Interesting and unpredictable characters combined with a fabulously written story full of marvellous twists and turns, wonderfully filmed, with great music, top-notch actors and a killer ending. A gift of a movie!

Michael Dougherty's
USA, 2015

Undoubtedly one of the best Christmas-themed horror movies of all time, in terms of tone, creativity, enterainment and scariness the perfect Xmas companion piece to Michael Dougherty's Halloween-themed "Trick 'R Treat". Slow-paced but never boring, suspenseful, creepy, packed with great actors (Berta!) playing "Christmas Vacation"-like characters, an uberhilarious opening, a genius animation sequence and an armada of cool creatures, like the gingerbread monsters or the jack-in-the-box creature.

Karyn Kusama's
USA, 2015

A movie like a hammer to the head. Starts out weird and uncanny, ends up brutal and quite shocking. Packed with fantastic acting performances, and powerful dialogue, incl. a terrific twist that, just like in last year's masterpiece "Goodnight Mommy", might be predictable, but has no negative effect on how amazing the movie is. I still can't believe that this was made by the same person who directed "Jennifer's Body" and "Aeon Flux"!

Ted Geoghegan's
USA, 2015

The most awesome haunted house movies of 2015 was NOT made by Guilleromo Del Toro (Fuck "Crimson Peak".), but by some guy called Ted Geoghegan who proves that it's still possible to make a movie about people vs. ghosts in an old haunted house that is scary as hell - well, actually, Geoghegan made something that is not just scary, but also batshit brutal, hilariously funny and insanely atmospheric, and for that, we should be more than grateful. Thank you, Ted!

Corey Norman's
USA, 2015

To all the filmmakers who ever botched an adaptation of a short story by Stephen King: watch this! THIS is how to do it. One of King's scariest stories got turned into a stunningly effective and excellently made little masterpiece that perfectly captures the essence of its source and also delivers one of "Nightbreed"-star Anne Bobby's best performances in her career. Wow!

Adam Rifkin's
(a.k.a "Reality Show")
USA, 2015

"Shooting the Warwicks" was released on DVD in August, but thanks to zilch marketing efforts, no-one noticed its existence. It has a mere 6,3 from 39(!!) users on Imdb, and there's hardly any reviews for it out there... for a movie by a filmmaker who was involved in such cult flicks like "Detroit Rock City", "Small Soldiers" or "Mousehunt" *shakes head*

In this horrible horror-year, this was the best, most impressive, most shocking thing I have seen. A badass blast of a movie that rocked my world because it is so entertaining and so unpredictable and so unsettling and so disturbing. I love the hell out of it! If you haven't seen it yet, buy it, stream it, check it out ASAP. It's simply brilliant!

Honorable mentions:
German Angst / Unfriended / Spring / The Lazarus Effect

Btw, if you disagree with me, you might like this Best-of-2015 list more ;-)



  1. Yay! Jurassic World! Yay Unfriended! Yay The Visit! Yay Avenged! YAY KRAMPUS!Yay Tremors 5! Yay...The Voices?


  2. They all sound super - and I want to watch every single one. I'll have to wait till Poland or Italy decide to put them on TV satellite though. *sigh*

  3. It sucks that horror had such a crappy year!

    So glad to see Krampus and The Gift high up the list - two of my favourite films this year. Krampus was actually more fun second time around.

    As usual I haven't heard of the vast majority of these films although I have see Preservation (thank you Netflix) and it was just okay! Not half as brilliant as Eden Lake

    Hopefully 2016 will be a better year for horror



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