It’s hard to evaluate a decade that just ended. But from the vantage of the beginning of the 2020s, the 2010s look like a watershed.
The most exciting films in the genre were created by a younger generation of directors—Jordan Peele, Robert Eggers, Julia Ducournau, Anna Biller—many of whom, unlike their predecessors, were not white men.
How influential or far-reaching the 2010s focus on different horrors and different perspectives will be is difficult to say. But films like Titane and Candyman in the current decade suggest it’s not a fluke, but a permanent and welcome shift.
Comedian Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out, is easily the most consequential horror film of the 2010s, and arguably of ever. It’s the first horror film centering the Black experience to gain massive critical and commercial success.
After an entire film of aridity and abuse, the viewer too, like eldest-child Thomasin longs to “live deliciously” and fly, even if doing so requires boiling down the fat of one’s siblings. Horror often tells you that the evil is seductive. The VVitch makes you actually root for the devil.
You wouldn’t think that a horror-comedy mashup of The Evil Dead and The Truman Show would work at all, much less function as a profound statement about cruelty and complicity. But somehow Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods does.