The 5 Best Horror Movies From 2015

Much like every year, 2015 was packed with new horror movie releases. With all the tropes, cheap scares, and overused premises, making a good quality horror movie in the modern age is a daunting task. Even so, this year yielded a few goodies. As we transitioned into Fall and looked toward the remaining horror movie releases before the year's end, we started to look back, too. Read on for five new horror movies that really kept us awake in 2015.

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Crimson Peak

While Guillermo del Toro's film might not be very high on the scary scale, there are a lot of other merits that speak to its success. It's an artistic piece, a return to the Victorian ghost story, which focuses less on terror and more on tension, discomfort, and eeriness. The symbolism and beauty are difficult to miss, and there are tons of noted references to classic gothic tales.

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We know, we know. You're tired of found footage, and so are we. And while it's hard to justify the use of the camera for the entire duration of the film, it certainly puts viewer anxiety through the roof. There's a brilliant progression from discomfort to sheer terror through the film, and it ends on a blunt, horrifying note. Also, don't even get us started on that nightmare-inducing wolf mask.

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The Nightmare

If you're not familiar, The Nightmare is a documentary about a horrific phenomenon called sleep paralysis. Basically, those experiencing it regain consciousness, but they're locked in their own bodies, unable to move. They often experience nightmarish hallucinations, sometimes called "shadow men." The scariest part about this documentary is that it draws from real experiences, and the execution increases the terror tenfold. Not only do victims of sleep paralysis describe their own episodes of sleep paralysis, but the viewer gets a firsthand reenactment of each one. Good luck sleeping after watching those horror shows.

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It Follows

It Follows plays off one of the biggest human fears: the fear of the unknown. We do not know what "it" looks like in "its" original form. We only know that "it" follows you. We can only see the horrible forms "it" takes, and boy, are they twisted. The film also places viewers in an uncomfortable place of constant tension. The main character must always look over her shoulder, and she dreads turning every corner. The audience's experience mirrors hers much in the same way. We know "it" will return eventually, and each encounter is more jilting than the last.

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The Visit

With an energy that perfectly straddles horror and comedy, a hard-to-predict twist, and a talented cast, The Visit not only met expectations, it obliterated them. The film itself marks a unique case in which the found footage aspect isn't distracting. The grandparents make utterly chilling antagonists — are they from another planet? Are they monsters in disguise? As their behavior grows increasingly stranger and more violent, we can only clutch our seats in terror and hope for the best. Let's just say that image of Grandma crawling underneath the house and saying, "I'm gonna getcha!" will be burned into our memories for quite a long time.