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Scariest movies of the last five years

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There is scary, and then there is SCARY! The following movies are ranked on a 1 to 10 scale for your viewing pleasure for Halloween.

The Conjuring 8/10 — A family of seven moves into an enormous farmhouse in Rhode Island. It doesn’t take long before things take a terrifying turn, and the Ed and Lorraine Warren, demonologists, are called out to the farmhouse to inspect the presence of demons on the property. The vastness of the large farmhouse lends itself to this movie, as does the era. This is a must watch.

The Visit 7/10 — M. Knight Shyamalan, found footage, twist ending — how did this movie go right? Two ways: it incorporates enough humor to keep the movie fresh, and it delivers scares of all kinds. A mother sends her two teens by train to stay with her parents for five days, and things get weird. I’m not sure how the experience of this film transfers onto the small screen, but in theaters it kept me on the edge of my seat. Where most horror films fail, this one succeeds. The inconsistent tone is one of the strengths in this movie.

It Follows 7/10 — A sexually transmitted disease parable, this film personifies the anxieties (maybe 30 or more years too late) of the sexual revolution. Though I disagree with the intentions of films like these, which seem a little like “Reefer Madness,” this one works like a piece of art, less than a propaganda piece. Truly scary.

Honorable Mentions: 

The Witch 6/10 — This film could have made the top of the list, but its deaf tone seems to extend to its director, Robert Eggers, to the point where I question if the flat, understated tone of the movie was intentional, rather than a consequence of the director’s blind spots in his own mind. The ending of this film is where it should take off, but instead it takes the least interesting route possible in a film full of possibilities.

The Babadook 5.5/10 — If “The VVitch” takes a wrong turn at the end, “The Babadook” tries to turn, rolls over, and lands top-down in the ditch. The movie — at times — fires on all cylinders and has genuinely scary moments (the first three-quarters of the film succeed). The ending though is unsatisfying.

Dark horses: 

The Big Short 10/10 – Is the scariest movie made during the last 10 years. There won’t be jump scares or anything like that, but prepare to be horrified on an intellectual level.

Making a Murderer 10/10 — The Netflix Original Series shows the power of the criminal justice system and the media. Prepare to be shocked.

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