World War Z (Netflix)
This 2012 zombie disaster film currently ranks as Brad Pitt’s biggest blockbuster of all time, and rightly so: It’s an impressive, scary production that’s packed with both grand, jaw-dropping visuals and raw, uncomfortably-close horror elements. It also manages to tell a wide-reaching (literally) story about the fall of civilization as we know it to the undead hordes. While it differs dramatically from the novel that inspired it, it does a fine job of standing on its own as a great zombie movie.
You’re Next (Netflix)
Home-invasion horror movies have been all the rage lately, and this 2011 entry in the genre is one of the best of the recent bunch. While it doesn’t do a lot to set itself apart from other, similarly themed films in most elements, star Sharni Vinson is the real draw for this film. Set up to be the typical “last girl alive” dame in distress, Vinson’s character proves to be anything but helpless in this intense thriller.
An American Werewolf in London (Amazon Instant)
The makeup effects in this 1981 horror movie were so far ahead of their time that an Academy Award was invented to honor artist Rick Baker for his work bringing a story of an American tourist bitten by a werewolf to hairy, toothy life on the screen. While some of the FX sequences might seem dated now, there’s more than enough scares to still be had in this classic directed by the great John Landis.
V/H/S (Amazon Instant)
If you want your horror in bite-size chunks, this 2012 anthology is made up of several short films directed by some of the genre’s rising stars around the world. From vampire and witch tales to weird stories that defy explanation (but will linger in your nightmares), this film proves that big scares can come in small packages.
The Woman In Black (Amazon Instant)
Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe starred in this 2012 film about a widowed lawyer who must travel to an isolated estate to process the paperwork left behind by its deceased owner. While there, he encounters all manner of things that go bump in the night, offering yet another great return to classic haunted house stories. The film also marked the modern-era return of Hammer Films, the studio once synonymous with blood-curdling horror cinema.