Are you tired of mainstream horror films that fail to challenge your intellect and artistic sensibilities? Yeah, you're kind of pretentious, aren't you? You probably clarify to those around you that you only watch “elevated horror,” not just cheap jump scares with weak plots.
Lucky for you, we explicitly crafted these recommendations with you in mind — the A24 superfan with a taste for thought-provoking narratives, stunning visuals, and unconventional scares.
Not all of these films were produced by A24, but they all have the same A24 “vibe.”
1. Hereditary (2018)
In Hereditary, directed by Ari Aster, a family's life unravels following the death of their secretive and reclusive grandmother. As they delve deeper into their family's dark history, terrifying supernatural forces begin to haunt them. This chilling film explores themes of grief, guilt, and generational trauma.
2. The Witch (2015)
Set in 1630s New England, The Witch follows a devoutly religious family as they confront evil forces they believe are coming from the nearby woods. As their crops fail and tensions rise, suspicion falls on their eldest daughter, who is accused of witchcraft. This atmospheric period horror, directed by Robert Eggers, explores themes of religious hysteria, isolation, and the primal fear of the unknown.
3. Get Out (2017)
Directed by Jordan Peele, Get Out is a social thriller that examines race relations in America. When a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend's family estate, he uncovers a disturbing conspiracy that threatens his life and sanity. The film satirizes racial tensions, cultural appropriation, and the commodification of black bodies.
4. Us (2019)
Also directed by Jordan Peele, Us introduces us to a family who encounters their doppelgängers, referred to as their “tethers,” while on vacation. The family must confront their hidden shadows as the nightmarish doubles reveal their sinister intentions.
This thought-provoking psychological horror film is a commentary on the American dream and social inequality pulled off brilliantly with spectacular acting performances, visuals, and music. This film takes the cake for the most improvement in the story following the first act.
Besides the opening scene, I honestly didn't think it was going anywhere. Then, Jordan Peele does it. He reels you in with an incredibly inventive premise and knocks it out of the park.
5. Midsommar (2019)
In Midsommar, directed by Ari Aster, a grieving woman joins her boyfriend and his friends on a trip to a remote Swedish commune to participate in a midsummer festival. What starts as an idyllic retreat soon becomes a waking nightmare as the group becomes entangled in the cult's increasingly disturbing rituals.
This visually stunning and unsettling daytime horror explores themes of grief, codependency, and the allure of collective beliefs.
6. The Night House (2020)
In The Night House, a recently widowed woman discovers unsettling secrets about her late husband's past. As she investigates a mysterious neighboring house, she becomes convinced that something supernatural is at play.
This atmospheric thriller, directed by David Bruckner, is an excellent metaphor for mental illness while delivering a genuinely creepy atmosphere and a top-notch performance from Rebecca Hall.
7. You Won't Be Alone (2022)
In this Macedonian film that takes place in a remote mountain village in the 19th century, an ancient spirit kidnaps a young girl and turns her into a witch. This film is equal parts strange and beautiful, with a hauntingly beautiful whispered narration from Noomi Rapace as she shapeshifts into other people's bodies in an attempt to understand what it's like to be human.
8. Barbarian (2022)
Barbarian follows a young woman who books an Airbnb in a sketchy area of Detroit only to discover someone else is in her rental when she arrives in the middle of the night. With nowhere else to go, she decides to stick it out until they sort out the mistake. Hesitant to trust the strange man in her Airbnnb, she discovers what's lurking in the house is much worse than an untrustworthy tenant.
9. It Follows (2014)
In It Follows, a teenage girl named Jay is pursued by a malevolent supernatural entity after a sexual encounter. As the entity takes on different forms and approaches relentlessly, Jay and her friends must find a way to break the curse.
This atmospheric and allegorical film, directed by David Robert Mitchell, has been described as a metaphor for STDs or assault, but it's actually a deeper exploration of human existentialism and coming to terms with our mortality.
10. The Babadook (2014)
The Babadook, directed by Jennifer Kent, is a psychological horror film that touches on maternal stress, grief, and the metaphorical embodiment of personal demons. It revolves around a single mother plagued by the sinister presence of a storybook monster that materializes in her home. As the creature's influence grows, threatening the safety of her and her son, she must confront her grief and darkest fears.
11. Goodnight Mommy (2014)
This Austrian film, directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, follows twin brothers who become suspicious of their mother's behavior after she returns home from facial surgery. Isolated in their remote countryside home, they question whether the woman claiming to be their mother is who she seems. This unsettling psychological horror probes the boundaries between reality and imagination.
12. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, The Killing of a Sacred Deer follows a successful surgeon who forms a mysterious bond with a troubled teenage boy. As their relationship unfolds, the surgeon's family becomes entangled in a sinister supernatural curse, forcing him to make a dreadful decision.
13. The Lighthouse (2019)
Directed by Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse immerses viewers in the isolated world of two lighthouse keepers on a desolate New England island in the late 19th century. As their sanity unravels amidst supernatural happenings and psychological torment, their grip on reality slips further. This black-and-white psychological horror brilliantly captures isolation's effects on the human psyche.
14. Pearl (2022)
In this sequel to Ti West's X, the brilliant Mia Goth reprises her role as Pearl in this horror slasher about this small-town girl with big dreams. This film's events precede those of X, providing context to how Pearl grew up on an isolated farm and had to care for her sick father and many animals.
Dreaming of a more glamorous life as a movie star, Pearl's sociopathic tendencies and her frustration with her mediocre life come to a boiling point. Though the concept behind X was intriguing, I found the execution to be lackluster and not very scary or disturbing.
Pearl is a huge improvement and Mia Goth gives a compelling performance as a female Joker-eque unhinged psychopath.
15. The Endless (2017)
This mind-bending cosmic horror blurs the line between cult indoctrination and supernatural phenomena, leaving audiences in bewildering uncertainty. Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, The Endless follows two brothers who return to a UFO death cult they escaped years ago.
As they immerse themselves in the cult's rituals and beliefs, they question the nature of time, reality, and their existence. This film is part of the same universe as Resolution and Spring. I highly recommend watching Resolution first, which is a hilarious indie horror film that makes this story even more gripping and juicy.
16. The Neon Demon (2016)
Just a teenager, Jesse arrives in Los Angeles with hopes of becoming a successful model. While she starts to gain traction and starts seeing her dreams come true, there are people who will use Jesse as she tries to use her beauty to elevate herself in the world.
17. Mother (2017)
Mother! is an indie film that could easily take a spot in A24's lineup with its confusing plot and very artistic lens. The movie follows an unnamed husband and wife who live in a secluded mansion. Their lives change drastically when a random couple shows up at their door, which is only the start of the unexpected visitors arriving at their home.
18. The Invitation (2022)
In The Invitation, Evie is desperate for family after the loss of her mom. When she finds that she has long lost cousin, she attends a lavish wedding with her new family, only to be thrown into a night of survival when she learns about the secrets her new family has been keeping from her.
19. Bodies, Bodies, Bodies (2022)
This A24 film is a satirical take on the horror genre, where a group of friends decides to ride out a hurricane from a mansion. While hanging out, someone decides they should play “Bodies, Bodies, Bodies,” but when one of them ends up dead, the hunt is on to figure out who's the killer among them.
20. The House That Jack Built (2016)
The House That Jack Built is about a serial killer named Jake, who over 12 years, has been developing his methods of murder. For Jack, he sees each killing as some sort of art, creating a dark and twisted movie for viewers to watch.