Anya Taylor-Joy is currently gaining recognition for her critically acclaimed performance in the Netflix original The Queen’s Gambit. She plays Beth Harmon — a young Chess protege with aspirations to become a Grandmaster.
The character is complex, as she relies on alcohol and tranquilizer medications to “see the board,” or so she believes. Yet, her determination and fervor shine through as she embodies an independent woman on the brink of the 1960s Women’s Rights movement. However, Anya Taylor-Joy, prior to this dramatic turn, starred frequently in horror movies and thrillers. Taylor-Joy is at home when starring in the edge-of-your-seat production. Below are a few must-watch, filled-with-fright films starring Taylor-Joy.
1. ‘The Witch’ 2015
The Witch is a 2015 dramatic horror set in 1960s New England. When a young boy suddenly disappears, a famer, his wife, and their children enter down a panic-ridden road to terror.
Thomasin (played by Taylor-Joy) is the eldest daughter. She was present at the time of the boy’s disappearance, and the other siblings begin to accuse her of witchcraft, blaming her for her brother’s disappearance. The narrative tests the family’s love for and loyalty to one another, as black magic and possession take center stage.
2. ‘Split’ 2016
2016’s M. Night Shyamalan film Split stars Kevin (James McAvoy), who has revealed 23 different identities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley). One identity remains submerged and ready to dominate the others — The Beast.
Kevin is compelled to abduct three teenage girls, leading to a war for survival between his various identities, as well as between him and his captives. Taylor-Joy plays one of his kidnapped victims — Casey. Casey is resilient, clever, and determined to survive, despite the surmounting fear that she won’t make it out alive.
3. ‘Glass’ 2019
Glass — falling more into the dramatic thriller space than the typical horror film — features McAvoy’s character from Split, as well as Bruce Willis’ David Dunn and Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Prince from Unbreakable.
In this film, David Dunn, who is now a vigilante, comes face-to-face with Kevin — a man with an identity who can give Dunn ( and his super-human invincibility) a run for his money. Taylor-Joy reprises her character from Split, and the film introduces Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), who claims to specialize in delusions of grandeur — specifically treating those who believe they are superheroes.
4. ‘The New Mutants’ 2020
Taylor-Joy plays one of five young mutants in the recently-released film that approaches the X-Men franchise from a new origin point. The New Mutants is a fantasy horror with its protagonists trapped in a secret facility as they discover the depths of their powers. They must fight to escape to save themselves. Taylor-Joy stars alongside Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt, Alice Braga, and more.
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