Cults are very front-loaded with public dread and paranoia. Something is comforting about watching a scary horror movie in your own home. You can hide behind your favorite pillow or pause the movie when needed. Much of the work scares an audience for the filmmaker. Only the names and practices need changing. From Elisabeth Moss’s latest terror turn to cult classic remakes. These are some 2020 horror movies you can enjoy right now. For this list, a “cult” defines a group or movement that adheres to the absolute belief in a charismatic leader’s word.
The Black Cat- 1934
The Black Cat (1934) is a classic, enigmatically disturbing horror film from Universal Studios in the 1930s. It became Universal’s top-grossing film of the year.
The film depicts Boris Karloff as a Satanist. He lives in a futuristic house somewhere in the middle of a lonely landscape. Boris Karloff and Béla Lugosi were paired for the first time in the creepiest and strangest movie ever to come out of Hollywood. An expressionistic tale of devil worship and futuristic architecture in the aftermath of WWI. “A nightmare that involves necrophilia, drugs, a deadly game of chess, torture, flaying, and a black mass with human sacrifice. It’s just bizarre, utterly irrational masterpiece.” –Philip French
The Devil Rides Out- 1968
American author and screenwriter Richard Matheson wisely pared down Dennis Wheatley’s 1934 novel to its basics. Over the years, this film’s reputation has grown enormously, and its cult status must be as high as any horror movie.
Christopher Lee has never been better than as the grim opponent of Satanism. The night in the pentacle during which the forces of evil mobilize. It rediscovers aspects of mythology, which the cinema had overlooked entirely. The film’s depiction of a Satanic ritual, complete with the appearance of the Goat of Mendes. Moreover, it also strikes the right balance of frenzy, terror, and ecstasy. Half a century on, there’s still something utterly bone-chilling about the next bout between good and evil. It’s an essential film in what’s called the Black Aquarius. The occult wave in British culture in the 60s and 70s.
The Wicker Man- 1973
Robin Hardy‘s 1973 thriller is all about religion’s essential mystery. Detective Neil Howie comes to Summerisle in search of a missing child. He discovers that the isolated island residents have embraced their pagan heritage of free love and human sacrifice. The contrast between Howie’s Christianity and the locals’ unbridled old-time religion leads to some astounding outcomes. The film has a legendary climax. The 2006 Nicolas Cage remake has some fun, overacting, and memorable scenes.
The Wicker Man sets us down in a Scottish island community. Here the abandonment of Christianity took place in favor of paganism, superstition, and ancient rituals. However, it isn’t easy to believe that Hollywood dumped Robin Hardy’s film into a B-movie slot.