10 Best Horror Movies of 2016 – Rolling Stone
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10 Best Horror Movies of 2016

From Puritan witches to perverse serial killers and predatory sharks – our picks for the year’s scariest, most shocking horror flicks

In terms of sheer, unmitigated terror, it was hard to beat the shriek-inducing fright that folks woke up to on November 9th, as they realized that the nightmare they now faced wasn't make-believe. But that doesn't mean that horror films didn't give the bloodcurdling reality we now face some more-than-decent competition. From surprising mainstream releases to a solid "mumblegore" anthology, serial-killer character studies to shark v. starlet showdowns, Gothic ghost stories to uncut Puritan dread, the cinema du scare had a great showing in 2016. We've stitched together our top 10 choices for the best the genre had to offer over the last 12 months – movies that still manage to send shivers down our spines and cause our stomachs to turn.

(Note: Green Room borrows horror-film elements but isn't a horror film per se, so much as the greatest siege thriller to ever feature skinheads, shotguns and box-cutters. That's the only reason it's not on this list.)

1

‘The Witch’

A shape-shifter, a baby-killer, a forest predator who communes with the Devil himself – the title character of Robert Eggers' Puritan "folk tale" is a Satanic hag of the first order. And when this monster gets her claws into a 17th-century New England family excommunicated by their righteous religious neighbors, it feels less like a cathartic comeuppance for old-world bible-thumpers and more like a vicious assault on people trying their best to live and love in an unforgiving world. Star Anya Taylor-Joy joins the Jamie-Lee Curtis/Heather Langenkamp lineage of canon-worthy "final girls"; damned by her family for crimes she didn't commit, she's given no choice to but spill more blood and add to our nation's legacy old, weird American nightmares. This is horror as an inescapable cycle of abuse. This is horror in which crows peck at flesh and the cinema's most evil goat – damn you, Black Philip! – might reasonably ask a young maiden, "Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?" This is horror at its best. STC

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