A24 began its life as a film distribution company but is now an extraordinarily celebrated and awarded production company. Responsible for movies and television series such as Euphoria, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Moonlight and Room, A24 has solidified its reputation as a reason to go to the movies, producing many distinctive works of art.
A24 is recognized for supporting new, vibrant ideas and voices. This is especially true when it comes to the horror genre. In the past decade, A24 has produced some terrifying movies written and directed by visionary creatives. These movies have become popular with audiences for their enjoyable, but often deeply disturbing narratives.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for A24’s Men, and mentions violence and suicide.
10 The Lighthouse Shows Two Men’s Dissent In Madness
Written and directed by Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse continues with the psychological horror elements and disturbing nature of the director’s previous works. The film stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as lighthouse keepers who, throughout their stay in the lighthouse, begin hallucinating and experiencing unexplainable events.
The movie keeps audiences on edge for its entire 109-minute run time and contains many classic horror elements as well as explorations of mythologies, characters, and male sexuality. In addition, the psychological aspects of the movie, as well as the depictions of violence, especially in the end scene, are deeply disturbing, and are enough to make any audience member think carefully before watching.
9 Lamb Pits Humans And Animals Against Each Other
In the 2021 folk horror Lamb, farmers Maria and Ingvar are shocked when their sheep gives birth to a human/sheep hybrid. The couple takes the lamb, whom they name Ada, and decide to raise it as if it were their own.
The narrative takes a turn and becomes a disturbing battle between man and animal, with Ada being shunned by Maria and Ingvar’s family, who are convinced that Ada is a beast. Maria also has to contend with Ada’s biological parents, who have no problem going up against the humans to claim Ada as their own.
8 Tusk Is A Questionable Body Horror
Inspired by an episode of his podcast, Kevin Smith’s 2014 comedy-horror Tusk follows a podcaster, Wallace Bryton, who meets an eccentric man named Howard Howe, who is obsessed with walruses. The movie quickly shifts into a grotesque body horror as Wallace is drugged, waking up with his leg amputated.
Howe confesses to Wallace that he plans on altering Wallace’s body to fit him into a walrus costume in an attempt to recreate Mr. Tusk, a walrus who saved him as a child. Howe conditions Wallace to act like and become as close to a walrus as possible, which affects him on a deep level for the duration of the film.
7 Under The Skin In An Intense Sci-Fi/Horror
Directed by Jonathan Glazer, the 2013 sci-fi horror Under the Skin follows a mysterious woman who travels around Scotland seducing men. The overall feeling of the film, along with Scarlett Johansson’s performance in the lead role are incredibly unnerving. While the horror elements become more terrifying as the narrative progresses and viewers begin to understand more about Johansson’s character, what becomes equally disturbing is the reality of what it means to be a human woman.
As Johansson’s character discovers more about the human experience, she is subjected to unwanted male advances and assault, with the movie’s final scene showing the character shed her human skin.
6 Anya Taylor-Joy Leads The Witch
Robert Eggers’ feature directorial debut, The Witch (aka The VVitch), is a psychological horror folktale that follows a family from 1630s New England who is banished from a Puritan Colony. One day, the youngest member of a family, a baby, is taken by a witch and killed to use in the creation of a hallucinogenic ointment.
The family begins to be haunted by many disturbing events, including their goat producing blood instead of milk, the son being seduced by a mysterious woman, and many deaths, leaving the daughter, Thomasin, to be accused of witchcraft. Many scenes in the movie are tough to watch, especially because they occur within a family with horrifying things happening to young children.
5 The Killing Of A Sacred Deer Shows A Family At Breaking Point
Yorgos Lanthimos is known for creating deeply disturbing movies, and none embody that more than his 2017 film The Killing of a Sacred Deer. The movie follows a surgeon, Steven, who forms a relationship with a young man, Martin, who is grieving his father’s death. It is discovered that Martin’s father died during a surgery that Steven performed while intoxicated, so Martin blames him. Martin threatens Steven, telling him to kill either his wife or one of his children, or they will all die.
The family discovers that Martin is being truthful about his ability to cause harm when they all start unexplainably falling ill. The movie is a disturbing and horrific display of any family’s worst nightmare, having to choose a loved one to sacrifice or risk losing everyone.
4 X Is An Exciting But Disturbing Slasher
Released in early 2022, A24’s slasher movie X, written and directed by Ti West, is unlike many other films seen before. The movie follows a group of friends who travel to a cabin in Texas to shoot an adult film. The cabin is owned by an odd but seemingly harmless elderly couple who quickly prove themselves to be more than your classic grandparents.
Not only are many of the sexual scenes in the movie difficult to watch, but the overwhelmingly creepy feeling that permeates throughout the entire movie keeps audiences on edge. As a slasher, each murder is creative but deeply troubling.
3 Hereditary Features Many Harrowing Moments
Ari Aster’s Hereditary is a terrifying psychological horror film that follows a family who experiences tragedy after tragedy. After the death of her mother and her daughter Charlie, who is decapitated in an accident, Annie Graham and her family are tormented by a malevolent force that she believes to be her daughter.
Not only is this a disturbing narrative in itself, but many scenes that follow are particularly difficult to watch. Annie’s husband is burnt alive, her son is possessed and slams his head against a school desk, and, in a tragic end, Annie is possessed and decapitates herself in front of her son. While Hereditary is decidedly not a film to sit down and watch with grandma, it is not a film to watch alone either.
2 Men Is A Wild Horror Story
Written and directed by Alex Garland, Men is a 2022 folk horror that follows Harper Marlowe, a woman who escapes the city after the tragic death of her husband. The town Harper visits has an uneasy feeling from the beginning, being empty and eerie, but grows considerably more terrifying when she begins being stalked by a man who appears in her garden, completely naked.
What unfolds is an entirely wild narrative that includes doppelgängers in various guises, threatening text messages, attempted murder, and a chain reaction of men giving birth to clones of themselves. Men is a movie to watch with a group as it’s not only terrifying but inspires conversation as the credits roll.
1 Midsommar Is Disturbing From The Very Start
At first glance, Ari Aster’s Midsommar may seem like a bright, colorful, cheerful movie, but watching just the opening scene lets audiences know that is not the truth. The film starts with a difficult-to-watch murder-suicide, leaving protagonist Dani without her parents or her sister. To escape her trauma, Dani joins her boyfriend and his friends on a trip to visit a community in Sweden, which quickly reveals itself to be a cult.
Dani, and the audience, are pushed to their limit, experiencing harrowing rituals, murder, suicide, and the constant sense that things are only going to get worse for the characters. Florence Pugh’s incredible performance has already become iconic and will go down in history as one of the most outstanding performances in the horror genre.
10 Most Disturbing A24 Movies