Over the years, horror movies have been loved, feared, and occasionally met with harsh criticism. However, the genre has never stopped evolving, and has frequently givens us the spine-tingling dose of adrenaline that every horror fan loves. But as important as a strong script, direction, sound effects, and visuals are to a horror film, so is an actor’s performance, and it’s fair to say that Hollywood has some of the best talent in this evergreen genre, too. One of them is Toni Collette, whose filmography does span various genres, but her performances in horror movies are particularly noteworthy.
Although Collette started acting during her school years, she officially got into the industry with the 1988 comedy television show Blah Blah Blah. After making small appearances on TV and doing theater, she earned her first role in the Anthony Hopkins-led Spotswood. Since then, Collette has consistently showcased her versatility in numerous stage productions, movies, and television shows. From beginning her career with rom-coms and comedies to now being considered a reigning contemporary Scream Queen, Collette proved that her acting range is truly applaudable. Here’s every Toni Collette horror movie, ranked.
In a satirical way, Velvet Buzzsaw puts emphasis on the art world and how some people’s greed for greater profits costs them heavily. Set in Los Angeles, the film begins with Josephina, who works for Haze Gallery, discovering the dead body of an artist named Vetril Dease and his mysterious paintings, some of which were also burned to ashes. Without giving it a second thought, she takes all of Vetril’s works to show to her gallery owner, Rhodora, and her current boyfriend, Morf.
While everyone is busy admiring the deceased artist’s paintings and trying to exhibit them for sale, things go awry when supernatural and paranomal activities start transpiring for the avaricious artists and collectors. Gretchen, an art curator for a museum, played by Collette, is a prime example of the dark side of the art business, as even she goes to great lengths to secure a better deal for someone else’s stolen art.
Krampus is a Christmas-themed horror movie helmed by Michael Dougherty, who got the idea for the film from the Krampus greeting cards his friends sent him. While Christmas brings everyone together and lightens up the spirits, for the Engel family, this joyous holiday swiftly transitions into a nightmare. The movie is about Max Engel and his family, who are all set for the holiday season and have invited his mother Sarah’s (Collette) side of relatives too.
Upon the arrival of his cousins, the joyful spirits are ruined when tension arises between everyeone. The situation becomes worse when Max’s cousin snatches his letter to Santa and makes fun of him, which ultimately leads to him unknowingly calling upon the Krampus, a demon who drags people to hell if they behave badly on Christmas.
Fright Night follows the story of a teenage boy named Charles Brewster, who learns that a guy known as Jerry Dandridge has moved to their neighborhood in Las Vegas. However, his best friend Ed thinks this new neighbor isn’t a human, but rather a vampire. Initially, Charles is hesitant to believe his best friend and breaks his friendship with him until he discovers the truth himself.
After finding out Jerry’s sinister motives and wanting to protect the neighborhood, he seeks help from a magician called Peter Vincent, who claims to have experience killing vampires. Collette portrayed the mother of Charles Brewster, who, as a real estate agent, sells houses and also tries her best to protect her son from this dangerous neighbor after becoming aware of his vampire roots.
Guillermo del Toro is best known for incorporating psychological elements into his darkest and fantasy-oriented tales that intend to explore intricate and complex themes, and Nightmare Alley is one of them. Although it underperformed at the box office, as a result of intense competition and a lack of mass appeal, it was still lauded by critics for its slow-burn plot, compelling characters, dark atmosphere, and star-studded casts’ enjoyable performances.
Based on a William Lindsay Gresham novel, Nightmare Alley is about an overly ambitious Stan Carlisle with a seemingly enigmatic past, who takes refuge at a traveling carnival and takes up a temporary job over there. During his time as a carnival worker, he learns psychic trade tricks from Madame Zeena, played by Collette. In a few years, he gains mastery over his newly acquired skills and becomes successful by means of deceit and fraud.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense is about a six-year-old boy named Cole, whose ability to see and communicate with ghosts has made him troubled and distant in real life. A prominent child psychologist, Dr. Malcolm Crowe, feels obligated to help Cole due to his failure to save his former patient from a tragic incident. He helps the kid channel his abilities to aid the disturbed ghosts and also guides him to do better socially.
In return, Cole encourages the psychologist to not hold back his feelings for his estranged wife. Collette plays Lynn Sear, the mother of Cole, who initially doesn’t believe in her son’s abilities, but eventually she accepts the reality worryingly. She also received an Academy Award nomination in the supporting actress category for her outstanding performance.
Hereditary is one of the finest performances from Collette, which was described as “soul-shattering,” “phenomenal,” and “hypnotic” by critics. She portrayed the matriarch of Graham family, the grieving mother, Annie, who is devastated by the sudden death of her 13-year-old daughter, Charlie, who gets beheaded on her way home. After her secretive mother’s death and now after learning about her daughter’s brutal accident, Annie struggles to cope with the loss and seeks the help of a séance to communicate with the dead.
As disturbing experiences start occurring, Annie slowly learns about the shocking secrets about her satanic ancestral roots. Ari Aster made his feature directorial debut with this creepy movie, and has since gone of to establish himself a prolific modern horror director.