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.
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
Mia Goth stars as the titular Pearl in Ti West’s X 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
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