Every Brad Pitt Horror Movie Ranked From Worst To Best – Screen Rant

Every Brad Pitt Horror Movie Ranked From Worst To Best – Screen Rant

From zombie apocalypses to cheesy slashers to serial killer thrillers, what is the best (and worst) of blockbuster star Brad Pitt’s horror movies?
Not all of Brad Pitt’s horror movies were critical successes, but some are surprisingly influential entries into the genre. For many actors, horror movies are a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Traditionally, the largely low-budget genre was viewed as a way for actors to get their name out there in the hopes that horror movie parts would lead to more impressive and — crucially — more respectable roles in the future.
However, the advent of “elevated horror” has shifted this perception. Nowadays, stars like Alexander Skarsgard don’t make horror movies until they are already well established and can often gain acclaim for their daring choice of projects. However, one star who took the traditional route when it comes to horror roles is The Lost City’s Brad Pitt.
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Although Pitt is better known for his blockbuster roles nowadays, the actor has featured in his fair share of horror efforts. Before his breakthrough role in Thelma and Louise, Pitt appeared in 1989’s Cutting Class around the same time that the actor cropped up in not one, but two, major horror anthology shows on television. After that early role, Pitt wouldn’t revisit the horror genre until 1993’s serial killer thriller Kalifornia, which was swiftly followed by the campy horror romance Interview With A Vampire, where Pitt bumped up his blockbuster credibility by starring alongside Mission Impossible franchise star Tom Cruise. Now a household name, Pitt was able to avoid the horror genre in favor of bigger budget projects, but he did return to the scarier side of genre fare for 1995’s serial killer thriller Se7en. That outing was his last horror movie until 2013’s much-delayed zombie movie World War Z, an epic that merged apocalyptic action with horror elements.
One of Pitt’s earliest roles, 1989’s Cutting Class is a weak slasher that arrived at the tail end of the sub-genre’s dominance in horror. Although there are some surprisingly fun moments of back comedy, Cutting Class’s predictable story of a misunderstood teen arriving out of a mental institution only to be surrounded by suspicious killings adds nothing new to the genre. That said, Cutting Class is still more fun than most classic slasher franchise sequels of the same decade, thanks to Pitt’s spirited turn as the school’s resident bad boy and comedy veteran Martin Mull’s supporting role.
2013’s World War Z is an atypically ambitious zombie movie, telling the tale of an undead epidemic not from the perspective of ordinary citizens, but Brad Pitt’s UN advisor. In World War Z’s original novel form, this gambit works well, offering a grounded (albeit somewhat dry) idea of what international bureaucracy’s response to a zombie apocalypse would look like. As a movie, however, World War Z is a little self-serious and worthy, not to mention nowhere near scary enough to function as a zombie horror. That said, World War Z is still a bit better than 2007’s earlier sci-fi horror adaptation I Am Legend, even though ultimately both apocalyptic zombie movies fall into the same trap. Big budget, large-scale action-horror rarely scares, and it’s even less likely to do so with an uber-famous lead actor who viewers can be sure will at least make it to the movie’s finale.
Pitt’s performance as the alluringly unhinged Early Grayce is the best thing about Kalifornia, a grungy 90s thriller wherein a serial killer and his disarmingly innocent girlfriend hitch a lift with an artsy, pretentious couple across the US. A harsher version of the same story was told in Dark Blood and a more playful, blackly comic version arrived in 1996’s Freeway, but Kalifornia is still worth a watch to see Pitt nail a sleazy villain role. However, horror aficionados who found Juliette Lewis’s child-like innocence discomfiting in Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear remake will want to steer clear of this one, as the actor manages to make Pitt’s girlish romantic partner/hostage tragically believable and accordingly hard to watch in a sad supporting role.
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Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, two titans of blockbuster cinema, come head to head in a melodramatic horror romance. Interview With A Vampire’s story spans centuries, telling the tale of vampiric life partners Lestat and Louis’s not-quite-romance. It’s touching, tragic, over-the-top, and surprisingly affecting at times, although despite its status as a horror movie, no one could claim that Interview With A Vampire is ever particularly scary. Pitt’s melancholic vampire is an engaging lead, and Cruise puts the cocksure charm of Top Gun’s Maverick to use in a rare villainous role. However, a preternaturally talented Kirsten Dunst steals Interview With A Vampire from under both actors as the foul-mouthed vampire child Claudia. Admittedly uneven and a touch overlong, Interview With A Vampire is still a campy delight that takes the over-the-top fun of Bram Stoker’s Dracula into even more ludicrous territory.
Unremittingly grim and brutal, Se7en is more of a horror movie than a detective story and more of a deep plunge into the depths of human depravity than a standard-issue horror movie. Director David Fincher’s modern masterpiece is easily Pitt’s best horror movie, and a massively influential entry into the genre to boot. Pitt and Fincher collaborated again on the more urgent Fight Club, but Se7en sees the duo find the perfect balance between the cold, clinical cynicism of Fincher’s style and the puppy dog sweetness Pitt brings to the role of inexperienced detective David Mills.
Se7en’s tightly-wound plot unravels slow, taking Pitt’s doomed hero on a trip through Hell as he pursues a mysterious murderer through a perpetually rain-soaked, impossibly gray metropolis. Willfully ugly, hopeless, and harsh, Se7en was a risky move for both its director and its star. However, thanks to Pitt’s engaging lead role, Morgan Freeman’s typically stellar support work as his taciturn partner, and the script’s constant stream of shocking twists, Se7en is a major gamble that paid off beautifully for all involved. Even as classic horror franchises are revived every other week, it is unlikely that Hollywood will produce another movie as nihilistic and dark as Fincher’s 1995 hit any time soon. Fortunately, this means Se7en will stay star Brad Pitt’s best horror movie – as well as one of the best psychological thrillers ever – for some time to come.
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Cathal Gunning has been writing about movies and TV online since 2020. His obsessions include The Simpsons, Stephen King, the Scream series, and the horror genre in general. He has spent more time thinking about Stranger Things than the writers of Stranger Things, and he has never seen a Star War.

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