Halfway to Halloween: The 13 best horror films of the year (so far)

From Arcadian to Abigail, we're taking a look at the best horror cinema of 2024

Halfway to Halloween: The 13 best horror films of the year (so far)
Clockwise L to R: The First Omen (Moris Puccio/20th Century Studios), Abigail (Universal Pictures), Immaculate (NEON), Late Night With the Devil (Shudder/IFC Films) Graphic: The A.V. Club

We’ve officially reached the magical point in the year where Halloween is finally just six months away. We’re now heading downhill towards Spooky Season, and since “Halfway to Halloween” has become an unofficial holiday among the horror faithful, it seems like a perfect time to take stock of how the genre has treated us so far this year.

In just the first four months of 2024, we’ve seen more than a dozen fantastic horror releases on both big and small screens, from stories of stop-motion (or Stopmotion, if you will) animation gone horribly wrong to Nicolas Cage battling apocalypse monsters. Each film offers something different, but together they make one thing very clear: It’s going to be another great year for horror.

So, in honor of Halfway to Halloween, here are our picks for the best horror movies to get a wide release so far this year.

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Arcadian Trailer #1 (2024)

Directed by Ben Brewer and written by Michael Nilon, Arcadian follows the A Quiet Place blueprint of a family trying to survive the end of the world, and does some new things with the format along the way. The story of a father (Nicolas Cage) and his two sons (Jaeden Martell and Maxwell Jenkins) who must contend with monster-ridden nights while scraping out a living on their farm, the film succeeds by rooting its story in universal and potent emotional themes, carried through by strong central performance. Then there are the monsters, which truly look and act like no other end-of-the-world beast you’ve ever seen.

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