The Most Underrated Occult Horrors of the 2010s, Ranked
Spoiler alert: we won't spoil the endings, so you're in for full-fledged terror; proceed at your own risk.
10. The Ritual (2017)
Here's a classic "friends on a hiking trip gone wrong" scenario. Four pals venture into the Swedish wilderness to honor their dead friend. Bad choice. They stray off the path (because, of course, they do) and end up in a forest filled with weird carvings and gutted animals hanging from the trees. They find an abandoned cabin and spend the night, experiencing surreal nightmares. One of them, Luke, keeps having strange visions mixed with pagan symbols. Soon, they realize they're being hunted by an ancient Norse deity.
9. Starry Eyes (2014)
Struggling actress Sarah Walker dreams of Hollywood stardom. She lands an audition for a mysterious film project and is asked to do some... let's say "unconventional" acts, like throwing a tantrum on command. She nails it but starts to experience gruesome bodily transformations afterward—hair falling out, nails peeling, the whole shebang. Turns out, she's unwittingly auditioned for a role that requires her to become a vessel for a demonic entity. This one's got a body-horror spin that'll make you cringe but can't stop watching.
8. The Void (2016)
When you mix a hospital and cultists, you get The Void. Police officer Daniel Carter picks up a drugged-out guy on the road and takes him to the nearest hospital, which is mostly empty because of a recent fire. Soon, they're surrounded by cloaked figures, and inside, people start mutating into grotesque monsters. They discover the hospital was built on the gateway to another dimension. Carter and the survivors try to navigate a maze of flesh and bone to escape. It's got Lovecraftian vibes and is seriously underappreciated.
7. A Dark Song (2016)
Sophia is a grieving mother who hires occultist Joseph Solomon to perform a Kabbalistic ritual to contact her dead son. They lock themselves in a secluded mansion, drawing magic circles and reciting incantations. Weird events start to unfold—shadowy figures, unsettling noises. As they go deeper into the ritual, their sanity starts to fray, and they question whether they should continue.
6. Oculus (2013)
A cursed antique mirror is at the center of this intricate mind-bender. Siblings Kaylie and Tim reunite years after the death of their parents. Kaylie is convinced that the mirror is responsible for their family's downfall and has spent her life researching its dark history. Tim, fresh out of a psychiatric facility, is skeptical. They set up cameras and temperature sensors to document the mirror's supernatural powers.
5. The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015)
Two girls, Kat and Rose, are stranded at their Catholic boarding school over winter break. While Rose is worried about a possible pregnancy, Kat begins acting super strange—think unexplained vomiting and creepy phone calls. Meanwhile, another storyline follows a young woman named Joan, who's traveling by road and seems connected to the school somehow. As it turns out, Kat is possessed and performing satanic rituals.
4. Kill List (2011)
A British hitman named Jay is going through a rough patch—financial woes, a troubled marriage, you name it. His friend Gal persuades him to take on a new assignment, a "kill list" of three people. The first two kills are standard fare for Jay, but the third one is where things go sideways. The target thanks him before dying, which is, you know, weird. Jay discovers he's been roped into an occult conspiracy where he's the chosen one for a ritual sacrifice.
3. Hereditary (2018)
The Graham family is going through a tough time following the death of the secretive grandma. Cue creepy occurrences—Charlie, the young daughter, sees apparitions and decapitates a bird for a toy. Mom Annie tries séances to connect with the dead. Bad idea. The family is actually pawns in a scheme to summon a demon king. Toni Collette's performance is a show-stealer, and the dread here is palpable.
2. The House of the Devil (2009)
Okay, so technically not the 2010s, but it was so close and criminally underrated that it had to be here. College student Samantha Hughes takes a babysitting job in a remote mansion. The creepy homeowners, the Ulmans, are actually Satanists who drug her and plan to use her as a vessel for their demonic ritual during a lunar eclipse. The tension in this one builds up so well that when things finally go down, you're clutching your seat.
1. The Invitation (2015)
Will and his girlfriend Kira go to a dinner hosted by his ex-wife Eden and her new husband David. It starts off normal enough until David shows a video about a spiritual group that assists in "crossing over" to escape worldly pain. Guests start to leave, sensing something's off. Turns out, Eden and David are part of a cult planning a mass murder-suicide.