The Halloween season is here and in the run up to the big day I decided to
examine what is considered “scary” in the world of horror movies.

Going with Rotten Tomatoes list of the 31 scariest movies, I decided to
compare each film with another horror film from the same year to determine which one I found scarier.

It Follows

After carefree teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake Weary), for the first time, she learns that she is the latest recipient of a fatal curse that is passed from victim to victim via sexual intercourse. Death, Jay learns, will creep inexorably toward her as either a friend or a stranger. Jay’s friends don’t believe her seemingly paranoid ravings, until they too begin to see the phantom assassins and band together to help her flee or defend herself.

With a 95% Rotten Tomatoes score, It Follows received a lot of critical acclaim upon its release.


A great concept.

Interesting STD metaphors throughout.

A couple of interesting visual scares.

You do find yourself looking for “It” in the corners and the shadows.


The movie is boring.

The characters are dull, plodding and forgettable.

There is no consistency to the “It” in the film.

There’s nothing scary in it because every moment is predictable.

The “It” walks up on the lead from behind, totally catching her by surprise and the only thing it can think to do is pull her hair straight up?

The ending makes no sense because nothing established in the film hints that it could possibly work.

The Lazarus Effect

Medical researcher Frank (Mark Duplass), his fiancee Zoe (Olivia Wilde) and their team have achieved the impossible: they have found a way to revive the dead. After a successful, but unsanctioned, experiment on a lifeless animal, they are ready to make their work public. However, when their dean learns what they’ve done, he shuts them down. Zoe is killed during an attempt to recreate the experiment, leading Frank to test the process on her. Zoe is revived — but something evil is within her.

David Gelb directs an all star cast including Sarah Bolger, Donald Glover and Evan Peters in this film.


A self contained horror film that takes place entirely in the lab. Gives more time to establish the characters.

Olivia Wilde is fantastic across the board.

Mark Duplass is great as the obsessive scientist. His turn is very controlled and interesting.

There are some great, unexpected moments throughout.

Great visuals with some disturbing imagery.

The twist with the reveal of Zoe and her past was well done and completely unexpected.

The ensemble cast works really well together and are believable.


The story is predictable.

The concept isn’t original.

The conceit of the story is overdone.

The ending was trite.

Neither of these films will ever revolutionize the horror genre, but for having the nerve to at least be interesting in its visuals as well as having a cast with the ability to express emotion, the winner of this showdown is…..

The Lazarus Effect

Which one of these movies is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

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