13 of the Most Colourful Horror Movies

Banner of hollowed-out skull beside a candle near an open window.

Most horror movies are dark and shadowy with jump scares to terrorize you. These movies are slightly different. They try to use as much colour to convey a story to create some scares. They are some movies that go against the grain in terror. A few of these films are cult classics and the others are just good finds. Some of the most recent films on the list are based on the jewelled colour palette that as gained in popularity.

Mandy (2017)

Edgy and heavy metal cover art inspired horror movie that follows a scorned man avenging his murdered love of his life by an evil drug-filled cult. The cinematography is beautiful in this movie. The weird lighting, the coloured clouds, scenes in vibrant ramp colours in pink/red or orange/yellow or blue/purple adds to the uniqueness of the film being a drugged fuelled horror fest. Furthermore, Nicholas Cage is fantastic in this film with his complex layers of grief, anger, sadness and freaking out. There’s even an animated short in the style of the adult animated rotoscoped films like Heavy Metal (1981).

Suspiria (1977)

At a prestigious boarding school for dance in Germany, odd occurrences happen to the newly arrived American student. This is a hauntingly visual film with a very catchy soundtrack that works as the calling card of the witch. The film was originally filmed in technicolour and one of the last to do so. It became the O.G. of hyperintense colourful horror movies. Besides the colour, the visuals, cinematography and performances are suspenseful and build upon the horrors to come.

Neon Demon (2016)

A movie that was like a haute couture fashion magazine made into a horror movie. A young girl heads out to Los Angeles to make it big in the modelling world. The models are driven, plastic and grown colder the more they are in the business. Odd happenings and a personality change are seeming of an occult nature. There are images of the vestal moon, triangles, beasts (a puma) and death. This film also has a jewelled colour palette and every shot like a magazine spread.

The Cell (2000)

Inside the mind of a comatose serial killer looks like artistic madness. A serial killer locked a woman in a secret location before suffering a severe seizure rendering him into a coma. Law enforcement only has a few hours to find the woman and if there are others in the same situation. They use experimental technology to go inside the mind and imagination of a serial killer. The set designs were Gothic painting inspired. It’s very bright and vibrant that some might feel this film to be disturbing.

Annihilation (2018)

An iridescence packed science fiction horror movie that deals with grief, pain and an alien invasion. A woman dealing with the death of her marriage and a missing husband to come back into her life. He is not really the same person before his explorations in the alien violet-silver void. His wife teamed up with other military officials to audit what’s inside the void. The environment and the creatures inside the void are almost like the Earthlings but not.

Upgrade (2018)

A man loses his wife and the ability to walk after a car accident and an off-road attack. He is unable to live the life he had before unable to be independent (especially from technology), working as a mechanic to rebuild cars and to be with his wife. His last client, a billionaire tech whiz, hears about his paralysis and offers him a deal to help him with a device. He accepts the offer and goes through a test drive of experimental technology. The cinematography of the scenes was vibrantly lit and shot. The lighting is all based on the futuristic feel of the film. All the scenes have some sort of jewel-like quality to them.

Creepshow (1982)

A five-story horror movie designed to have the striking colour seen in a comic book, with some gore and dark humour. Different stories about terrible circumstances and terrible people within the full feature-length. Written by Stephen King in his screenwriting debut and directed by George A. Romero created an even feature that the viewer can choose which horror was scary to them. It also has brilliant acting from Ted Danson, Leslie Nelson, Hal Holbrook, E.G. Marshall and even a goofy performance from Stephen King.

The Boxer’s Omen (1983)

It’s a horror movie that’s more gross than scary with a lot of vomit references. A revenge story that first follows the recently paralyzed boxer combats a cheating Thailand competitor has his promoter/brother seeking revenge when the law and his legal standing can’t proceed to do anything. He seeks supernatural justice from black magic in Thailand only to be sidetracked by a Buddhist temple seeking him out revealing that he is his deceased twin brother from another pass life. But when his twin tells him that he will die too if his corpse decomposes. Therefore, the promoter becomes a monk to save his brothers from evil forces. One side fights real dirty, dark magic and trickery when the other side uses reason, light and martial arts. The colourful aspects of the film come from the use of black magic disorienting the view showing the manipulation and the bright saffron light from the monks.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

If it’s in Dracula’s castle, on the Victorian streets, in a dream sequence or in the crypt, the range of colour palettes used in the film making a very sophisticated horror movie in tone. The film is a close to an accurate adaptation of the novel written by Bram Stoker. The film can feel a little long but there’s a lot of character development and change in settings within the two and a half hours.

Blood and Black Lace (1964)

A classic horror movie that’s like a whodunit mystery with glamour and some gore. This was filmed in Italy in the 1960s under the original title Sei donne per l’assassino. The horror is based in the fictional Cristian Haute Couture fashion house where models who backstab to get a little ahead just put on a show for business executives and the countess of the house, Countess Christina Como, who recently was endowed with a fortune. Multiple models start to show up murdered inside the house by an apparent masked serial killer. Some scenes are lit up by coloured gel lighting but most of the props like the paintings, telephone and clothes are fairly colourful for a horror movie. This film has some gory murder scenes with bright red-orange blood dripping everywhere. This film inspired multiple directors like Martin Scorsese and  Quentin Tarantino and influenced countless amounts of films like The Neon Demon.

The Love Witch (2016)

This film is a throwback to other 1970s films with a Technicolor palette and similar themes. It’s sharp in high definition but very colourful looking like a remastered film. A young witch travels to California determined to find a man to love her after her husband dies under speculative manners. There’s a lot of feminist theory in the film that combats the main character. She questions what love is, what does she want from love, how society sees women and what is femininity.

These are just notable mentions that’s not within the horror category but do have horror movie elements in them.

Liquid Sky (1985)

I previously reviewed this movie but it is worth viewing at least once. It’s not really a horror movie but it has some elements that are from the horror movie genre like body horror, the unknown and a low budget. This movie is about a tiny invisible alien from outer space visiting New York City for “alien-like” energy. The alien follows a model in her life for a few weeks killing the people she is with crystal spikes that form out of their heads after orgasm.

Enter The Void (2009)

A film where scenes overlap to create a continuity that weaves in and out of the main character’s consciousness as he is left dying in the first act. The whole movie moves as the character are floating all over the screen in strange and odd angles. We review with the main character aspects in his life that made him the way he is. It’s not really a horror movie than a spooky atmospheric film. There are some flickering lights throughout the movie that might bother some viewers.

Banner Credit:  Viktor Juric from Unsplash with some Photoshop by Under The Moonlight
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