When it comes to horror, some people are quick to say that only the old horror movies truly stand up. In these people’s eyes, only horror movies released in the 1970s and 1980s are really any good; modern horror just takes too many cuts. In fact, that’s far from the truth. Modern horror movies and TV shows can be just as suspenseful and truly scary as horror from decades ago. To prove it, here are some horror movies released in the last 20 years that have terrifying basement horror moments galore.
Parasite – 2019
The most recent movie on this list, Parasite, is certainly a movie that terrifies and startles anyone who watches it. In fact, it’s such a compelling movie that in 2020 it became the first-ever foreign language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Even aside from the incredible design of the movie, it’s clear that Parasite has some extremely spooky moments. Part of the impact of the film is the fact that the Kim family lives in a basement apartment, which does a good job of showcasing the class elements of the film. It might not be the source of the horror, but it gives insight into what is.
A Quiet Place – 2018
In 2018, A Quiet Place came out to both critical and financial success. The movie deals mainly with the terror of parenthood — director and lead actor John Krasinski said that the recent birth of his second child had a significant impact on the creation of a film that contemplates how far someone would go to protect their child.
In the movie, the monsters hunt using sound. That’s why the main characters craft a soundproof basement, which is a good place for their newborn to hide. However, in a climactic and terrifying scene, the basement floods due to an exploded pipe and the characters have to determine how they can escape.
Get Out – 2017
This modern-day horror movie explicitly draws on the horror movies that have come before it to tell a story that you can never really see coming. By crafting a story supposedly drawing on old, cliché horror tropes, Get Out makes the viewer think that one thing is going to happen, then intentionally subverts those tropes.
The basement plays a huge part in this concept. From the outside, the home in which Get Out mostly takes place seems mostly innocent. However, in the basement, some terrifying things are happening. The main character undergoes hypnosis, after which he goes to the horrifying Sunken Place.
Stranger Things – 2016
Stranger Things is a mix of drama and horror. Although horror certainly ranks high on the list of things that many people watch the show for, it’s also a story of a small Indiana town struggling to make sense of supernatural happenings in their home. That mix of science fiction, horror, and drama all combine to make a compelling story.
The character connections in this movie are one significant part of what makes it so interesting. One main character, Mike, goes into his basement every night to call another main character, Eleven. Though these conversations might not be scary, they’re an integral backdrop of the horror.
The Grudge – 2004
This movie dates all the way back to 2004, and while it may not have had the best critical response, it definitely had a significant cultural response — it made back over 18 times its initial budget. Many of the tropes in this movie are still in use today.
The Grudge also has one of the most typical basement horror scenes. A main character, Muldoon, enters the basement with only a flashlight and a gun, where he engages with a horrifying fate. It might not be the most original basement scene, but it’s certainly scary.
There are plenty of great horror movies released in all sorts of eras. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that horror is only relegated to one era because it’s clear that it can be anywhere. From these ultra-recent films to films from decades ago, there’s nothing wrong with trying out a new horror classic.