Top 6 (+1) “Intellectual” Horror Movies / Series

Let’s explore the world of horror which is mixed with smart storyline, twists, simple yet effective jumpscares. Mike Flanagan’s horror mocies are a must see!

The types of horror movies in this list will not just be mere ghost sightings, lights flickering, and terrible ghostly faces. You will encountering some Nolan-like concepts, twists; action, psychological twisters, concepts will scare you in an unusual way. There’s no knowing what you will find spooky or give a rush of adrenaline alongside the characters. Let’s dig in.

Also, skip the trailers. Probably read the summary and go for it. Nowadays, most of the spoilers are given in the trailers itself.

The Haunting series

The Haunting is an American television anthology series created by Mike Flanagan and produced by Amblin Television and Paramount Television, for Netflix. The first season is titled The Haunting of Hill House and the second, titled The Haunting of Bly Manor.

The haunting of the Hill House

The haunting of the Bly manor

Well, let me talk about Mike Flanagan. Over the period of time, I have fallen in love with his unique set of horror films. He gives a new definition to the meaning of horror. I found both these series, especially The Haunting of Hill House, lethally amazing. The twists, jump scares (One of the best jump scare I have ever come across), character growth, expertly connected forth and back storylines, flashbacks, and again twists. I got hooked it to it the moment I started seeing it. Each one of the actors are amaze!

The Haunting of Hill House, is loosely based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson. The future, present and past are all connected which led the family to the mansion, to stay in mansion, paranormal activities ….Everything is connected. There are less words to describe how much I loved this series.

The Haunting of Bly Manor, to be based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. There is no connection between the Hill House and this. The story tells of a young au pair hired by a man to look after his niece and nephew at the family country house after they fall into his care. Arriving at the Bly estate, she begins to see apparitions that proceed to haunt the premises. It is again an intellectual piece, there are flashbacks, twists, unexpected occurrences with a sad ending. Although it is a completely horror film, it has it’s own share of gothic vibes.

Ready or not

 After the wedding ceremony of a young woman, her new in-laws force her to participate in a seemingly innocent game. Things soon turn bloody and sinister, revealing the sick rituals of the family. It is a mandatory Hide & Seek game whereby each new spouse must pass a kind of postnuptial initiation. People are literally equipped with crossbow, pocket pistol or battle ax. It is obvious that no one is going to think that a certain family is going to take “Till Death do us apart” so seriously. The family is held together by this silly and horrific ritual. The one who gets to hide and is to be sought, the family is obligated to kill them before. If not, deadly consequences wait for them. Yes, not killing them is going to get them killed, ridiculous right? But well, when you see this crazy family being scared out of their life for having missed to shoot her or something, sums up pretty well that you are are about to go on a ride of Dark Humor, crazy humans with their crazy weapons.

Amidst this craziness, the amazing actress Samara Weaving, portrayed her character through and through. This movie is has also highlighted crazy richness, statuses, etc. in a exaggerated way of course. The reason I put this this in this list is because of her acting and all the ways she defended herself, especially in a bridal attire. For me, the hunt, plot, acting were top-notch regardless of few clichés. But, it is a totally different, new, and unique horror movie out there.

Host

Six friends accidentally invite the attention of a demonic presence during an online séance and begin noticing strange occurrences in their homes. Yes, I know séances over zoom and demonic activities sound impossible and a recipe for disaster. Personally, I am rarely spooked out, but this movie did give me few chills. In this world, where we do use zoom to attend colleges, meetings, seeing a movie made completely over Zoom gives you a totally different experience. Host, do not get confused with other Host movies, it is like a short film which was released by SHUDDER.

This movie was made on Zoom and the actors use their own lights as well. You will be hit with weird occurrences through the screens, filters on invisible ghosts, footprints on floor(Flour :p). If you want a short spooky movie, do see it in a dark from. Yes, I did it and it’s probably the reason for my chills. Nevertheless, it gives you the feeling of being in the same page with movie.

Oculus

A recently released inmate from a mental asylum learns from his sister that the murders he was convicted of committing were actually orchestrated by a supernatural entity, the Lasser Glass mirror. It is a American supernatural psychological horror film co-written, edited, and directed by Mike Flanagan.

It is not just your typical horror movie, it is an elegant piece of art; psychological thriller, and again a unique masterpiece by Mike Flanagan. As you go through the movie, you experience what they experience, you see what they see, and realize what’s happening alongside them. There are many baffling scenes, some will make your skin crawl (Not extremely in a bad way). In the end, you are just amazed and shocked by what you have seen. You also might want to punch the brother now and then.

Insidious

Insidious is a series of American horror films created by James Wan and Leigh Whannell. There are four films in the franchise—Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2, Insidious: Chapter 3, and Insidious: The Last Key. The franchise is very well known. Each of it’s films have a plot, punches of adrenaline rush and some jumps scares.

The one that really really got my attention was “The last key” film. It is where Elise, the somewhat paranormal expert has to visit her childhood hellhouse. The demon has the power to posses one and make him act and do bad things. They have the power of completely muting someone. The connection between this and other movie in this franchise is astonishing. The jump scares are not that cliché. Overall, if u do want to watch something with quick pace, this film could be goof for you.

Lights out

Rebecca and her boyfriend try to investigate the connection between her mother and her imaginary friend, Diana, after her stepfather is murdered by a supernatural entity. This movie connects psychological wellbeing and paranormal entity to a different level. Also, it took our childhood memories of balancing on and off button in a completely bizarre way. It is basically spooky of when you can see Diana, demon with lights off. It is actually an evil concept.

It does have some really spooky, emotional, and crazy scenes. If you want a light yet scary movie to watch (At night, yes). It is a spooky movie with a simple yet functional execution. But, I do not agree with psychological use in here. Other than that, why not see all the movies for yourself and have a fine collection of spooks.

Bonus Suggestion: HUSH by Mike Flanagan. Yes, him again.