10 Recurring Marks In Horror Movies A24

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The stars at noon is in theaters now and offers another immersive story from A24. Dividing and controversial like other films from the company in 2022, it sparks a series of discussions about how A24 has its own style, especially when it comes to horror.


A24 gained trademark status due to the distinctiveness of its films, and truth be told, most of its horror films share a similar approach. That’s why they’ve attracted a legion of fans interested in getting a new horror experience every time.

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Ambiguity

Steven talks to Martin in The Killing Of A Sacred Deer.

If there’s one thing all A24 horror movies have in common, it’s a tendency to never provide viewers with easy answers. Sometimes viewers have no idea what is going on in the film, as is the case with The Killing of the Sacred Deerwhere things escalate terrifyingly with no explanation of what lies behind the story’s disturbing events.

Related: 10 A24 Movies Redditors Can’t Recommend Enough

The ambiguity factor is often at its best when it comes to the endings of these films. A24 wants fans to chew on what they just saw and ponder the various hidden symbolisms and clues, leading to a great after-watch experience as things gradually begin to fall into place according to their own interpretation.

dark atmosphere

The end of the lighthouse explained

Whatever the A24 film, each of them has a special atmosphere to offer. Often cold, eerie and mystifying, the ambiance almost feels like a character from the story, from the spooky house of Hereditary on the mysterious island of Lighthouse. The setting and the atmosphere it conveys manipulates the characters into acting the way they do, as if driven by outside forces they can’t quite understand.

Instead of resorting to cheap jumpscares, A24 horror films lean towards their dark atmosphere; liminal spaces and empty farmlands that hold terrifying secrets. Even in Midsommara film set entirely during the day, it stands out as one of the film’s most effective horror elements.

Realistic character drama

Noomi Rapace in Lamb

The unknown in A24 horror movies represents a simple narrative device in their character arcs, something intrinsically tied to their psyches, or a chilling discovery that adds an extra layer of drama to a well-established story. In Midsommarfor example, the protagonist’s actions can be understood because of the focus on his painful past.

Another great example is Lamb, a typical A24 film in which most of the story centers around the harmful relationships between its three characters, who are bonded by the lead couple’s lamb-human hybrid. The only reason the movie hits so hard once it starts getting weird is because of the gripping family drama that drives the story to a point of no return, giving viewers not only a chilling conclusion, but also a melancholy and revolting end.

Strong lead performance

The first thing that pops into fans’ minds when asked about an A24 horror movie will likely be a face. There’s a tradition in the horror genre of not focusing too much on good performances and instead paying attention to the general atmosphere of the movie or the scares, but that doesn’t apply to A24 movies.

Related: 10 Great Horror Movies Without Monsters According To Reddit

Instead of being reduced to mere scream queens, the main performances of films such as Hereditary, Midsommarand pearl have a distinctive character psychology to adhere to and certain mannerisms that can only be effectively conveyed on screen when directed by legendary actors such as Toni Collette, Florence Pugh and Mia Goth.

Disruptive Formulas

x mia goth

A24 films are generally not specialized in the genre and reject the horror formula in favor of their own original approach. A good example is Xa film that clearly pays homage to the low-budget exploitation slashers of the 70s, while remaining true to its own original characters, including pearl, one of the best and most original villains of 2022.

Men, which came out earlier this year, is one of the weirdest A24 horror movies because it ends in a completely different place than it started. The way the story transitions from a slow-burn thriller to a gruesome body horror film is equally shocking and fascinating, showcasing a great deal of genre modulation from A24.

Psychological dilemmas

The Witch Anya Taylor-Joy

A24 horror movies tend to lean on evil. The concept of yin and yang applies to almost all of their films without any inherently bad or completely good characters. There’s always a clever dilemma, a controversial decision, and in the end, fans shouldn’t be surprised if evil triumphs.

Movies such as Under the skin and The witch offering chilling character studies on the other side of the coin; where religious restrictions are damnation and a life of sin means freedom. Plus, fans can’t really judge these characters because, no matter how controversial their psychological dilemmas, their cleverly constructed psyches justify most of their questionable actions.

Men 2022

The horror genre is known to be a genre centered around the graphic, the horrifying, or the exploitative. A24 discards all those obvious horror elements in favor of a chilling narrative filled with suggestive detail, symbolism and metaphors about the human condition that often make their horror movies don’t look like a.

Metaphors are crucial to the kind of discussions these films try to generate. What does the lighthouse represent? Is the green man from Men the embodiment of the protagonist’s repressed desires or the haunting presence of the guilt that consumes her? The A24 metaphors aren’t just thrown in there – they’re the crucial elements that separate the narrative’s surface from its suggestive horror elements.

Style over substance

It comes at night

Fans may wonder, “Does the black-and-white cinematography of Lighthouse really necessary? or “How many XDo we really need the exploitation scenes?”, but these movies just wouldn’t be the same without the sleek choices that make them so different from other modern horror movies.

Related: 10 Best Style Over Substance Movies According To Reddit

For some, choosing style over substance can easily backfire, causing distraction and estrangement from the film’s main plot, which explains the divisive reactions towards Men and It comes at nightbut they are also the very reasons why fans of these films particularly love them.

Outbursts of violence

Pearl promotional image.

The most dangerous characters in the A24 movies are the ones who seem harmless on the surface but are clearly nervous. A24’s tendency to rely on psychological horror is a smart move to pursue engaging character building; they seem ordinary but are gradually overtaken by madness, guilt or shame.

The way A24 deals with these extreme emotions always leads to impulsive outbursts of violence that knock viewers out of their comfort zone as the movies remind them that this is a horror movie. Right now, the characters morph into something completely uncertain, the narrative reaches its climax of tension. Instead of using relentless violence, A24 horror films casually insert violent instances to achieve the climax of each of their characters.

Horror as a vehicle

The main characters are scared in Green Room

There’s always someone who will watch a recently announced A24 horror movie and wonder if it will “really” be a horror movie this time around. Terms like “post-horror” or “high horror” are truly harmful to the genre, but the vast majority of A24 horror movies aren’t outright horror movies. In these films, horror is the common force that keeps the characters together or brutally separates them.

Horror is just a narrative tool – a vehicle to cut to the chase without taking the easy route. The truth is that A24 can insert elements of horror into any type of story, from Body Body Body‘ quirky satirical style for high lifethe terrible analysis of human behavior. There’s always a gap to explore, a chance to turn a seemingly innocent plot like a punk rock concert into a green room in a nightmarish struggle to survive.

Next: 10 A24 movies that deserve a sequel

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