Adrenaline junkies, we bring you the best horror movies of 2023 to give you a mood boost this holiday season. The spookiest, creepiest, sickest slasher movies that will haunt you long after the credits roll.
Not everyone enjoys horror movies. Many stay away from the genre as much as possible. But for the rest of us who enjoy exploring the dark side of humanity as a form of therapy, we’re happy to consume every flick. Must all horror films evoke fear?. Well, it can be convincingly contended that the first ingredient to unsettle an audience thoroughly is fear. If a horror film fails to elicit fear, one might question the purpose of its existence in the genre.
Here are the best horror movies of 2023 to watch this Christmas.
The Best Horror Movies of 2023 on Netflix/Amazon Prime Video/Max/Hulu/Peacock
Birth/Rebirth Horror Movie 2023
Laura Moss’ “birth/rebirth” explores the pain and stress of manipulating human bodies through medical experimentation. The film centers on Rose and Celie, two women who, after the death of Celie’s daughter, embark on a twisted journey to reanimate the child’s body. Contrary to expectations, the narrative avoids typical horror tropes, presenting a medical thriller where Celie and Rose, both with hidden motives, collaborate on this bizarre experiment.
Rose, an intense and secretive morgue worker, and Celie, a delivery nurse, unexpectedly join forces. Rather than a conventional conflict, the film unfolds with dark humor as they conduct their experiment while going about their daily lives. The story challenges norms by portraying everyday medical procedures, such as obtaining essential serum from fetus cells, in a gruesome light.
The mood is eerie and mournful, with a muted color palette, hospital settings, and a lack of outdoor scenes. While a few scenes follow expected horror tropes, the entire narrative subverts conventions. The “birth/rebirth” movie is a thought-provoking exploration of medical ethics and the extremes people are willing to go for their goals.
Knock at the Cabin Horror Movie 2023
In M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, “Knock at the Cabin,” the exploration of human behavior in the face of an impending apocalypse serves as the backdrop for a morality study that gradually loses its depth. The movie begins with the premise of a home-invasion thriller, featuring four armed strangers descending upon a remote cabin, but defies genre expectations by presenting characters who do not conform to stereotypes.
The family renting the cabin is not the conventional one; it consists of a gay couple (Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge) with an adopted Chinese-American daughter (Kristen Cui). The intruders, including a second-grade teacher (Dave Bautista), a nurse (Nikki Amuka-Bird), a short-order cook (Abby Quinn), and (Rupert Grint), deviate from typical character archetypes. While the film suggests that these characters represent facets of our existence and experiences, the attempt falls short, creating characters that don’t resemble anyone encountered in real life.
The movie begins with Eric, Andrew, and their daughter Wen attempting to enjoy a family vacation when the outsiders choose their cabin for a break-in. The twist in the plot reveals that the fate of the world rests in the hands of this gay couple, and the family has to sacrifice one of their own to save the world.
“Influencer,” the latest thriller from director Kurtis David Harder, follows Madison, a social media influencer, as she grapples with the consequences of her online persona while vacationing in Thailand. The film takes unexpected turns, deviating from the typical social media obsession narrative. Madison’s encounter with CW, a seemingly off-the-grid individual, adds complexity to the story. As the plot unfolds on the picturesque backdrop of Thailand, cinematographer David Schuurman captures the country’s beauty effectively.
Emily Tennant and Cassandra Naud deliver nuanced performances, steering away from stereotypical characterizations. Despite occasional script flaws and puzzling plot elements, the movie remains reasonably entertaining. It surprises viewers with unexpected twists, challenging the typical thriller conventions. While not a cinematic masterpiece, “Influencer” offers a decent watch, especially if you can detach from social media for a 90-minute break.
Evil Dead Rise
Evil Dead Rise” by Lee Cronin pays homage to Sam Raimi’s series, offering plenty of Easter eggs for fans. The narrative shifts from a cabin in the woods to an apartment complex, introducing a young aunt trapped in a high-rise with her sister turned Deadite, driven to harm her children. With a plethora of visceral and gory scenes, Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland shine as heroic and malevolent sisters, respectively. The film introduces a compelling wraparound tale and a new monster to the “Dead” lore, setting the stage for a potential sixth installment.
A tranquil vacation in the fictional country of Li Tolqa takes a dark turn for James (Alexander Skarsgård) and Em (Cleopatra Coleman). Seeking inspiration, James, a struggling writer, faces a bizarre punishment in this conservative nation after a fateful car accident. The penalty involves cloning and witnessing their double’s execution, unleashing a hedonistic group led by Gabi (Mia Goth) who exploits this loophole for twisted games.
While the film briefly touches on existential questions about clones sharing memories, it primarily chronicles James’ descent into madness through surreal scenes of orgies and murder. Despite initial setups about the stark contrast between wealthy tourists and the impoverished locals, these elements are swiftly overshadowed. Infinity Pool doesn’t fully explore its high-concept premise but captivates with Cronenberg’s shocking imagery and standout performances by Skarsgård and Goth.
Skarsgård impeccably embodies the transformation, evolving from a clean-cut individual to a monstrous force driven by power and violence. Mia Goth, a darling in modern horror, delivers a mesmerizing portrayal of Gabi, smoothly transitioning from calm charm to terrifying intensity. While the film may not deeply explore its initial themes, it remains a strange and unsettling exploration of tourists’ descent into debauchery. And it is a compelling watch for those drawn to disturbing and provocative cinema.
In this contained Canadian production, young children find themselves trapped in their darkened homes. Creating a clever narrative that occasionally brushes nightmarish terrains through a visual aesthetic reminiscent of old-fashioned analog film. The film’s POV shots mimic found footage, adding to its eerie atmosphere. However, Skinamarink falters as it undermines its tension with traditional startles and jump scares. Deviating from its otherwise brilliant path it started on.
Ball, known for his YouTube channel Bitesized Nightmares, infuses his esoteric style into Skinamarink. Merging it with the dark internet horror trend seen in works like We’re All Going to the World’s Fair. Set in 1995, the film follows siblings Kevin and Kaylee. Trapped in their home with their divorced father missing and doors and windows inexplicably gone. Ball skillfully employs dark corners, using digitally recreated film grain to obscure time passage and create a disorienting effect.
The disconcerting ambiance is intensified by oblique angles capturing the children’s feet, mid-20th-century cartoons, and inexplicably moving toys. A mysterious, unseen presence whispers to the children, adding authenticity to the lo-fi horror vibe. Skinamarink effectively distorts childhood memories, turning familiar objects and spaces into eerie images that evoke genuine fear.
The film explores the metaphor of a loveless family and a home devoid of protection, where darkness symbolizes accepted torment. However, conventional horror scares disrupt the film’s thematic cohesion, impacting its overall fabric. Despite its stylistic shortcomings, the film’s $15,000 budget and wide theatrical release are a rarity for such indie production. While Skinamarink may not fully deliver on its potential, it’s a positive development for the horror genre. Offering possibilities for a new wave of imaginative, web-inspired horror indies and contributing to Ball’s future career prospects.
That’s it for the best horror movies of 2023 to keep you on your toes. Stay tuned for the top Christmas movies of 2023!.