When A24 debuted its brand of “elevated horror,” audiences lost their minds. Story and suspense? Metaphors and thrills? They said it couldn’t be done! But visionary directors such as Ari Aster and Robert Eggers begged to differ. For the past decade, modern horror masterpieces such as Hereditary, The Witch, and Midsommar have pushed the genre in a whole new direction. The big trade-off, mood-wise, is that constant jump-scares are replaced by long, unsettling moments of dread. Usually, it all leads to one of the most disturbing images you’ve ever seen. Toni Collete floating with the piano wire in Hereditary and Willem Dafoe going batshit in The Lighthouse are just a couple examples of images that are burned into people’s minds. If you know, you know.

A24 isn’t afraid to swing and miss. Aster’s Beau is Afraid and Alex Garland’s Men both received mixed reviews—but at least the distributor takes risks. Justin Long became half-human, half-walrus in Tusk. The biggest star of Lamb was a little girl with a lamb head! For better or for worse, whenever that A24 logo pops up, you know you’re about to see something you’ve never seen before. But if you want the best of the best that the brand has to offer, look no further. Below is your A24 horror starter pack.

1. Hereditary

In one of the scariest films in recent memory, Toni Collete stars as a miniature diorama artist who is grieving the loss of her late mother. Coupled with a grief demon and a horrifying accident that changes the family (and the tone of the film) forever, Hereditary created images that audiences will never forget.—Josh Rosenberg

2. Pearl

Mia Goth stars as the titular Pearl in Ti West’s prequel, honing their craft and turning in one of the best performances of the year. Goth capping off the slasher with a three-minute-long stare in the credits? Icing on the cake. —JR

3. The Lighthouse

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson fighting half-naked in a lighthouse would have sold me on The Lighthouse—no matter who distributed it. Regardless, A24 and director Robert Eggers certainly delivered a tale both disturbing and surprisingly lively for a story about two men living in seclusion.—JR

4. Lamb

Ada the lamb—who is the cutest little animal since Bambi—was more than just a gimmick in 2021's popular folk-horror film. Starring Noomi Rapace and directed by Iceland’s Valdimar Jóhannsson, the inventive debut film gained a cult audience for its themes on humanity’s treatment of nature. —JR

5. Bodies Bodies Bodies

Bodies Bodies Bodies might not be that scary but it’s a fun twist on the whodunnit genre. This star-studded film follows a group of friends who travel to a remote house for the weekend. Tensions rise when an unexpected guest arrives—and someone winds up dead.—Bria McNeal

6. The Monster

This is absolutely the sleeper on the list. The Monster follows a mother and daughter who take an unexpected, road trip. During the drive, they crash their car, and discover a sinister presence lurking in the woods. With no means of transportation, they’re forced to rely on each other to survive.—BM

7. Talk To Me

A24’s latest offering, Talk To Meis shaping up to be a modern classic. All hell breaks loose when a group of friends discover they can connect to the dead by holding an embalmed hand. After they contact an unfriendly spirit, what starts as a party game quickly becomes a fight for survival.—BM

8. Midsommar

Midsommar is equal parts disturbing and insightful. The film follows a couple who take a trip to Sweden to celebrate midsommar. To their surprise, the festival is being run by a pagan cult—which just so happens to be the perfect spark for a phenomenal Florence Pugh performance.—BM

Originally published on Esquire US

Camille L'Espanaye (played by Kate Siegel), Tina (Aya Furukawa) and Toby (Igby Rigney) stare at... something.

Gather around the TV for a bonfire. Halloween approaches and it's time for Mike Flanagan to scare us once more. He, of "The Haunting" series with NetflixThe Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor—both based on the works of Shirley Jackson and Henry James, respectively. His final "The Haunting" project with Netflix before he leaves for Amazon Studio is based on the works of the OG of gothic horror, Edgar Allan Poe.

Called The Fall of the House of Usher (not a tell-all doc about Usher Raymond IV), we have only the trailer and this synopsis to go on: "To secure their fortune—and future—two ruthless siblings build a family dynasty that begins to crumble when their heirs mysteriously die, one by one." While the trailer looks like the latest series will be more lurid than previous "The Haunting" fare, it will warm the cockles of any fan of Poe's work.

What to Expect

If there was a bingo card of sorts, we may expect the following from the series: a gold bug; someone called "Lenore"; a raven (shown in the trailer); the word "nevermore" uttered (said many times in the trailer!); someone being entombed alive; a "conqueror worm"; a beating heart; Auguste Dupin and a locked-room mystery.

The usual suspects of Flanagan's previous "The Haunting" instalments return: Carla Gugino; Kate Siegel; Henry Thomas; Rahul Kohli; Katie Parker... but the one face that tickles this writer's fancy is Mark Hamill. The figure behind Batman: The Animated Series' Joker or Luke Skywalker, plays *reads notes* "a character surprisingly at home in the shadows." Right. That makes things clearer. From the looks of the trailer, it looks like he's the Usher's... problem solver, if you know what I mean.

The Fall of the House of Usher will stream on Netflix on 12 October.