The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (2024)

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The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (1)

2024 has been loaded with horror releases, with scary stories about everything from rampaging spiders to satanic late-night talk shows. This crop is distinctive for its unconventional reworkings of well-worn tropes. There’s a slasher that owes as much to Terrence Malick as to Jason Voorhees; a dystopian-future tale that eschews global destruction to examine the implosion of one family; and two movies about nuns with evil pregnancies. Better yet: Several of these efforts have made waves at the indie box office, illustrating the horror audience’s affinity for going to strange new places.

Some of the year’s biggest titles are to come, from original works (“Trap,” “Longlegs”) to hotly anticipated sequels (“MaXXXine,” “Alien: Romulus”) to bone-chilling indies (“Terrifier 3,” “Oddity”). But the following already stand tall among 2024’s best releases.

  • Abigail

    The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (2)

    Universal Pictures

    Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have perfected their mix of scares and comedy with “Scream VI” and “Ready or Not,” and “Abigail” is no exception. When a gang of crooks kidnaps a vampire who appears to be a little girl, they’re quickly in over their heads in this gory caper, elevated by inspired performances by Melissa Barrera and Dan Stevens.

  • The First Omen

    The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (3)

    20th Century Studios

    Director Arkasha Stevenson and star Nell Tiger Free make the most of this moody prequel to the nearly 50-year-old franchise. Deft camerawork and creepy sets build a haunting backdrop for Sister Margaret’s investigation into her unwanted conception. And Free’s increasingly feral performance echoes cinematic triumphs like 1981’s “Possession.”

  • Infested

    The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (4)

    Shudder

    The creature feature of the year is this French spider bonanza, in which director and co-writer Sébastien Vanicek brings a tidal wave of lethal arachnids to a run-down apartment building. Audiences will jump, flinch and itch as the body count rises and the spiders run amok across every wall and surface.

  • Stopmotion

    The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (5)

    IFC Films / Shudder

    Robert Morgan’s dour look at artistic obsession blurs the lines between reality and nightmare as a stop-motion animator (Aisling Franciosi) is freed from her controlling mother but finds untold darkness while fashioning her own story. A punishing mixture of psychological, surreal and body horror, Morgan’s vision is hopeless yet gorgeous.

  • Immaculate

    The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (6)

    Neon

    All hail Sydney Sweeney’s coronation as a scream queen, as she leads this deliciously lurid chronicle of a young nun who finds herself pregnant. Helmed by Michael Mohan, the handsomely shot saga cranks up the creepiness until Andrew Lobel’s script flies into B-movie madness, ratcheting up the gore and giving Sweeney an indelible final shot.

  • I Saw the TV Glow

    The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (7)

    A24

    This touching, surreal drama about lonely teens forever bonded through a cult TV series is equal parts hypnotic and poignant. Writer-director Jane Schoenbrun has created a bold story exploring the dysphoria of the closeted trans experience, where the unease of alienation becomes more disturbing than any monster could be.

  • Humane

    The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (8)

    IFC Films / Shudder

    Director Caitlin Cronenberg’s feature debut is set in a future where Earth’s resources are limited and citizens are urged to get euthanized for cash to reduce the population. Michael Sparaga’s funny, fleet script focuses on a rich family that can’t buy its way out of trouble this time. A delightfully nasty indie that examines how badly we treat the ones we love.

  • The Coffee Table

    The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (9)

    Cinephobia Releasing

    Not for the faint of heart, this supremely sinister domestic drama has a hook it’s best not to spoil. Director Caye Casas turns a new father’s purchase of a tacky coffee table into a fable that spins out of control, with a horrific twist of fate so nauseating it will leave viewers drenched in nervous sweat. Go in blind, if you dare.

  • Late Night With the Devil

    The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (10)

    IFC Films / Shudder

    David Dastmalchian (“Dune,” “Ant-Man”) is commanding as a second-rate talk show host determined to juice his ratings, so he dreams up a Halloween episode featuring a girl who might be possessed by Satan. The cleverly constructed tale moves in real time and keeps the proceedings erratic right up to an off-the-wall final act.

  • In a Violent Nature

    The Best Horror Movies of 2024 So Far, Ranked: ‘Immaculate,’ ‘Late Night With the Devil,’ ‘In a Violent Nature’ and More (11)

    IFC Films / Shudder

    Director Chris Nash’s innovative take on ’80s slashers is catnip for VHS-era fans. The deliberately paced film follows a supernatural killer named Johnny, with a camera over his shoulder keeping the viewpoint tightly controlled. Amid the outrageous kills and crisp camerawork lies a sharp satire laced with empathy, beauty and genuine fear.

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