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Top Elevated Horror Movies

Top Elevated Horror Movies

If you’ve heard people talking about horror in the past decade, you’ve probably encountered the phrase “elevated horror.” You’ve probably also heard the endless debates about whether or not it constitutes a real genre, whether it’s fair to categorize some horror movies differently from others, and whether these elevated horror movies are genuinely scary or merely “weird.” What does it actually mean for a horror movie to be considered elevated?

The term is essentially a contemporary take on the “art horror” movies from the ’60s and ’70s. Those films were visually striking and thematically rich, while still delivering scares. The “elevated” in elevated horror implies that there’s more to the story besides traditional elements like blood, demons, boogeymen, or vampires. One could argue that all horror movies have deeper meanings upon closer inspection, often addressing themes of trauma in some way. Elevated horror is a term we’ve started using to describe movies that seem obviously more complex than others.

So, what actually qualifies as elevated horror? It’s ultimately a “you know it when you see it” phenomenon, but over the past ten years, fans have created a sort of canon for this unofficial subgenre. It mainly features directors like Ari Aster, David Robert Mitchell, and Jordan Peele. These newer directors have breathed new life into the horror genre through their examinations of family dynamics, race, class, and sexuality. However, you’ll also find some veteran filmmakers who combined their indie sensibilities with horror elements to create something artier than typical slashers. These movies aren’t necessarily better than other horror films, but they offer an interesting look at new ways of scaring audiences.

The Best Movies To Watch If You Love Elevated Horror

What does it actually mean for a horror movie to be considered elevated?

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Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky

Source: Various sources