A Decade of Terror: The best horror films of the 2010s

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Bone Tomahawk–Courtesy of Caliber Media Company and RLJ Entertainment

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

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Somewhat surprisingly, westerns have enjoyed a great deal of success throughout the decade. From Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight to James Mangold’s Logan (yes- the Wolverine movie), the genre has been spreading its seed across the great plains of cinema. Bone Tomahawk, however, may be the best of them all.

S. Craig Zahler’s western horror hybrid is impressively effective in both categories. As a western, it hits every note that classic cinema lovers could possibly need, delivering an old fashioned story of good guys with guns on a rescue mission to save a beautiful and beloved damsel in distress. The cinematography by Benji Bakshi beautifully captures the vast landscapes of untapped desert wilderness, while also building ominous dread through horror imagery. Zahler manages that transition into brutal horror seamlessly, with the latter events of Bone Tomahawk feeling natural to the world they belong to.

And when I say “brutal,” I mean just that.

Zahler has a knack for unflinching violence, as is also evident in 2017’s Brawl in Cell Block 99. It isn’t enough for viewers to see the pain — they have to feel it. When bones snap and flesh is literally pulled apart, it’s hard for even the most seasoned horror fans not to wince because Zahler directs these scenes with such traumatic realism. Add in a tremendous ensemble cast, unexpected character beats and a story that is refreshingly unpredictable, and now you have the recipe for one of the best horror films of the 2010s.