What are the best A24 horror movies? Despite having a range of non-horror films to its name, production company A24 has become synonymous with the horror genre. Having been the brand behind some of the biggest, most bankable horror hits of recent years, you could be forgiven for forgetting that it also produced the likes of Lady Bird, Supersonic, and The Children’s Hour, among other A24 movies.
But, with another horror movie on the horizon, in the shape of Ti West’s X, it seems the film-maker driven, indie favourite production company shows no signs of slowing down their output in this particular genre. The film – due for release this month – has proper Texas Chainsaw vibes about it, namely due to its rural 1970s setting and group of hapless teenagers seeking to evade the local slasher.
So, with audiences no doubt keen to see the latest A24 production, we thought it would be nice to reflect on what has gone before. Here are our top five A24 horror movies. Feel free to disagree in the comments section or on our social channels. (Notable mentions go to It Comes at Night, Green Room, and Climax, which all narrowly missed out on a more in-depth mention.)
The top 5 best A24 horror movies are:
- The Witch
- The Blackcoat’s Daughter
- Saint Maud
- The Lighthouse
Released back in 2015 with the sub-title “A New England Folk Tale”, The Witch really established A24 as purveyors of top quality horror movies. Directed by Robert Eggers, a visionary with such a decadent, assured sense of style, the film charts the arrival of an English family to America of the early 1600s.
Religious paranoia is rife; food is scarce. Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie star as William and
Katherine, a God fearing couple who are convinced that demonic forces are causing their new life to fail. It’s a film that is both visceral and quiet; shocking and absorbing. The last third, complete with the utterly terrifying presence of Black Phillip, will chill even the most ardent of horror fans. A modern masterclass in the art of the slow burn.
In 2019, Ari Aster followed up his A24 debut, Hereditary, with the nightmarish, disorientating
Midsommar. There’s no dark, shadowy corridors or screeching black cats, here. Instead, all of the horror takes place in the blinding Swedish sunlight. The overhead shots of the banquet tables and the beautifully disorientating camera work within the May Queen dance sequence are brilliant examples of fresh, challenging horror cinematography.
It’s also a film that – owing to its themes of grief and emotional abuse – may well leave you feeling a little overwhelmed. It gives off Wicker Man vibes, for sure, but it’s one of the most thought-provoking horror movies in contemporary cinema.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter
Released in some regions under the name February, The Blackcoat’s Daughter will
manage to thoroughly creep under your skin and stay there for days on end. Director by Oz Perkins – son of horror icon, Anthony Perkins – the 2015 horror movie centres around a Catholic boarding school over the Christmas holidays. It’s not as overt as say, Suspiria, but there are lots of satanic goings on that will leave you both repulsed and compelled.
It’s quite bloody, which seems at odds with the slow-burn, creeping sense of unease that the film seeks to create, but it works. Every sentence feels loaded with sub-text – it’s one of these films that you know something is wrong but you can’t quite decipher who is telling the truth. Emma Roberts, Lucy Boynton, and Kiernan Shipka are absolutely outstanding in the lead roles.
Religious fundamentalism is always good horror fodder, and Rose Glass’s feature length debut, Saint Maud, really goes all out to convey and confuse. Released back in 2019, the film focuses on Morfydd Clark’s titular Maud, as she cares for a woman whose lifestyle does not fit in with Maud’s own staunch religious beliefs.
There are a couple of really big jump scares towards the end but, other than that, this film is trope and cliché free. Instead, it feels like a character study. We are with Maud – but are we seeing what she is seeing? Is she truly experiencing religious ecstasy or is this a sign of something else? The ambiguity really works here and Clark delivers a phenomenal lead performance.
Robert Eggers teamed up with A24 again to release The Lighthouse in 2019. It’s not a film that’s
going to appeal to out-and-out gore fans, however, this is another film that you just can’t seem to shake off. It’s shot like a German expressionist horror movie, and truly plays around with the notion of – not just the visuals – light and shade. The endlessly lashing rain mangles day into night, leaving you disorientated; etching a sense of misery across both characters and viewers alike.
It’s an unsettling watch – one that demands your full attention at all times, owing to complex dialogue and little to no soundtrack. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are shot in claustrophobic close ups as they ponder the loneliness of their work, and those before them who have gone mad doing the same. Again, you can never quite work out what is fantasy and what is reality; who is telling the truth; who is mad, or just plain evil.
The new A24 horror movie X, starring Jenna Ortega, Mia Goth, Brittany Snow, and Kid Cudi, will be in cinemas on March 18, 2022. If you’re still hungry for more A24 content, why not check out our guide to A24 vibes.