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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 term “elevated horror.” You’ve also likely come across debates about whether it’s a legitimate genre, whether it’s fair to categorize certain horror movies separately, and whether elevated horror films are genuinely scary or just “weird.” But what does it actually mean for a horror movie to be considered elevated?

The term is essentially a modern extension of the “art horror” films of the ’60s and ’70s. These were movies that were visually striking and/or thematically dense, in addition to being scary. The “elevated” in elevated horror suggests there’s more happening beyond the usual blood, demon possessions, boogeymen, or vampires. One could argue that all horror movies have deeper layers upon closer inspection, with many being “about trauma” in some way (more on that later). Elevated horror is a term we now use to describe films that seem more complex than others.

What actually qualifies as elevated horror? It’s ultimately a “you know it when you see it” situation. However, over the past ten years, a canon has emerged. If you’re interested in learning more about this unofficial subgenre, you’ll find it’s mainly dominated by directors like Ari Aster, David Robert Mitchell, and Jordan Peele. These newer filmmakers breathed new life into the horror genre through their examinations of family dynamics, race, class, and sexuality. You’ll also find some cinema veterans here—directors who combined their indie sensibilities with horror elements to create something that feels more artistic than your typical slasher film. These movies aren’t necessarily better than other horror movies, but they offer an interesting look at the new ways we’re figuring out how to scare each other.

Source: Claudia Minerva