21st Century Horrorby tapekebab | created - 7 months ago | updated - 11 hours ago | Public
Horror and horror-adjacent cinema from around the world from 2000 onward. We're living in the middle of a new golden age of horror, so I made this list to rank and keep track of the movies I've seen.
My definition of the horror genre is pretty broad, so in addition to pure horror in all of its many varieties, you'll also find some psychological thrillers, especially dark murder mysteries, disturbing art house films, horror comedies, serial killer biopics, and any other movie that creates an atmosphere of dread in a way similar to traditional horror films.
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1. Hereditary (2018)
R | 127 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets.
Votes: 152,351 | Gross: $44.07M
(Ari Aster, 2018) - 10/10 What can I even say? Loved it so much I’ve watched it three times already. Just absolutely nightmarish from start to finish, and there are enough layers of hidden symbolism to keep you coming back. Toni Collette should win an Oscar for this. Hail Paimon!
2. Pulse (2001)
R | 119 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Two groups of people discover evidence that suggests spirits may be trying to invade the human world through the Internet.
Votes: 14,571 | Gross: $0.05M
(Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001) - 10/10 I've never seen a ghost movie as eerily off-putting as this one. The sound design and weird, wailing score in particular are bone-chilling. One of my new favorites from any genre, but now I have a phobia of women in black dresses and heels walking slowly.
3. The Ring (2002)
PG-13 | 115 min | Horror, Mystery
A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it.
Votes: 298,196 | Gross: $129.13M
(Gore Verbinski, 2002) - 10/10 Scared the shit out of me when I was twelve, and after ten or so viewings, it’s still near-perfect horror. The cursed video alone is pure nightmare fuel, and every aspect of the film is so perfectly unnerving and gloomy. Somehow it's even better than the J-horror original.
4. Dogtooth (2009)
Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Thriller
Three teenagers live isolated, without leaving their house, because their over-protective parents say they can only leave when their dogtooth falls out.
Votes: 68,995 | Gross: $0.11M
(Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009) - 10/10 Exceedingly strange but masterfully controlled, this Greek head trip will disturb you in ways you've never experienced. A couple inflicts constant psychological horror on their adult children, whose minds are so warped that they don't even realize it.
5. Let the Right One In (2008)
R | 114 min | Drama, Horror, Romance
Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.
Votes: 195,163 | Gross: $2.12M
(Tomas Alfredson, 2008) - 10/10 Once you've seen a few hundred horror flicks, you start to consider a movie a success if it has a couple decent jump scares, so when you get to savor a movie like this that not only tells a story, but tells it beautifully, it's a real revelation. But is it scary? Yes... oh yes.
6. Irreversible (2002)
Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.
Votes: 107,303 | Gross: $0.75M
(Gaspar Noé, 2002) - 10/10 Forget all the torture porn and gore movies out there, this is the most disturbing film I've ever seen. If you're not prepared to be truly, deeply horrified, watch something else. Thomas Bangalter's delirious score is a masterpiece of discomfort as well.
7. It Follows (2014)
R | 100 min | Horror, Mystery
A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.
Votes: 183,048 | Gross: $14.67M
(David Robert Mitchell, 2014) - 9/10 Once or twice a decade you’re lucky enough to find a horror film that has everything. Here it’s the fresh concept of a nearly inescapable evil, the masterful wide-lens cinematography, the bowel-loosening electronic score, and the cold, forlorn setting the film inhabits.
8. Nightcrawler (2014)
R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
When Louis Bloom, a con man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.
Votes: 404,870 | Gross: $32.38M
(Dan Gilroy, 2014) - 9/10 Jake Gyllenhaal is Lou Bloom - a bug-eyed, cloyingly ingratiating everyday villain who may be the best creep in horror in twenty years. This movie is a noir-ish reminder that there’s something horrific happening not far from you every night. And it’s got my boy Bill Paxton.
9. The Babadook (2014)
Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Horror
A widowed mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.
Votes: 171,621 | Gross: $0.92M
(Jennifer Kent, 2014) - 9/10 This piece of good ol’ classic horror deserves all the praise it gets. There's a deeper dramatic story here, but even just at surface level, it's bloody scary, taking you back to a time when every shadow and creak sent you running to your parents’ room.
10. Kill List (2011)
Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
Nearly a year after a botched job, a hitman takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings. What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.
Votes: 32,833 | Gross: $0.03M
(Ben Wheatley, 2011) - 9/10 The first time I watched this, I thought it was a dark crime movie until it suddenly veered into psychotically violent folk horror territory that’s like “The Wicker Man” on bath salts. Ben Wheatley wisely leaves the finer plot points obscured for maximum pagan cult terror.
11. Get Out (I) (2017)
R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A young African-American visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.
Votes: 401,551 | Gross: $176.04M
(Jordan Peele, 2017) - 9/10 Believe the hype - it's rare that you find a horror film that flawlessly blends visceral thrills ‘n’ chills with big laughs and sharp social commentary, and even gets a Best Picture Oscar nomination to boot. Rankling the morons who think it's an “anti-white” film is just a bonus.
12. No Country for Old Men (2007)
R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.
Votes: 767,882 | Gross: $74.28M
(Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, 2007) - 9/10 Most folks might not deign to call a Best Picture winner a horror movie, but hear me out: in addition to being perhaps the most pessimistic film ever, Anton Chigurh is essentially just Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers with a cooler weapon and slightly more dialogue.
13. Good Manners (2017)
135 min | Fantasy, Horror, Musical
Clara, a lonely nurse from the outskirts of São Paulo, is hired by mysterious and wealthy Ana as the nanny for her unborn child. The two women develop a strong bond, but a fateful night changes their plans.
Votes: 1,612 | Gross: $0.03M
(Marco Dutra & Juliana Rojas, 2017) - 9/10 Many werewolf movies are kinda the same, but I can't say that about this Brazilian lesbian werewolf horror-musical. What "Let the Right One In" did for vampires, this does for werewolves: it takes a standard horror theme and makes it beautiful and moving.
14. The Conjuring (2013)
R | 112 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.
Votes: 397,627 | Gross: $137.40M
(James Wan, 2013) - 9/10 It doesn’t look like Hollywood is going to stop pumping out "The Conjuring" sequels and spin-offs anytime soon, and it’s not surprising considering that this is one of those bona fide timeless horror classics that will probably still be scaring people in thirty years.
15. Oldboy (2003)
R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery
After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.
Votes: 459,966 | Gross: $0.71M
(Chan-Wook Park, 2003) - 9/10 A cult hit if there ever was one, this blend of high art and filthy pulp was the top “can you believe this??” movie of my teenage years. I don't get why it's considered more a thriller than horror - the twist no one can ever forget is 1000x more horrifying than thrilling.
16. Hell's Ground (2007)
Unrated | 77 min | Horror, Thriller
On their way to a concert, a group of teens are diverted by a political protest, only to encounter a family of flesh-hungry psychopaths.
(Omar Khan, 2007) - 9/10 Turns out “Pakistan’s First Gore Film” is fun as hell. It’s got the same DIY edge as early slashers like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” but instead of Leatherface, you get a guy in a burqa swinging a giant flail. Zany, trippy, (unintentionally?) hilarious, and just rad.
17. November (2017)
115 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
In a poor Estonian village, a group of peasants use magic and folk remedies to survive the winter, and a young woman tries to get a young man to love her.
Votes: 2,469 | Gross: $0.02M
(Rainer Sarnet, 2017) - 9/10 This dazzlingly weird and beautiful dark folktale features a menagerie of odd creatures from Estonian lore, and I particularly love the “kratid” - rickety creations of bone and old tools who steal cows, and “Vanapagan” - the Devil in the form of a drunken fool.
18. Green Room (2015)
R | 95 min | Horror, Music, Thriller
A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.
Votes: 90,891 | Gross: $3.22M
(Jeremy Saulnier, 2015) - 9/10 We all hate Nazis (if you don’t then gtfo my list), so most horror that portrays them as shotgun fodder is good vicarious fun. But here we see them as real people who don't think twice about murdering an entire punk band. It’s visceral, real life terror and excitement.
19. I Saw the Devil (2010)
Not Rated | 142 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.
Votes: 94,125 | Gross: $0.13M
(Jee-Woon Kim, 2010) - 9/10 High in the running for most intense movie I've ever seen - it's often described as a cat-and-mouse game, but it's really more like watching two pit bulls rip each other to pieces. It's also got that uniquely Korean high-caliber storytelling that makes it a legitimate epic.
20. Demon (2015)
R | 94 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
A bridegroom is possessed by an unquiet spirit in the midst of his own wedding celebration, in this clever take on the Jewish legend of the dybbuk.
Votes: 4,286 | Gross: $0.10M
(Marcin Wrona, 2015) - 9/10 Bizarro, darkly comic Polish take on the Yiddish legend of the "dybbuk" demon that takes place at Poland’s strangest, drunkest wedding reception. A great trilingual film with fascinating glimpses of Poland's fractured past. RIP to the brilliant Marcin Wrona.
21. Don't Breathe (2016)
R | 88 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller
Hoping to walk away with a massive fortune, a trio of thieves break into the house of a blind man who isn't as helpless as he seems.
Votes: 187,066 | Gross: $89.22M
(Fede Álvarez, 2016) - 8/10 Word to the wise - don't go breaking into old houses in Detroit. It will not end well. This movie uses that bit of common sense to give a masterclass in taut, nail-biting intensity. Sure, it's a bit gimmicky, but dammit, they're great gimmicks!
22. The Loved Ones (2009)
R | 84 min | Horror, Thriller
When Brent turns down his classmate Lola's invitation to the prom, she concocts a wildly violent plan for revenge.
(Sean Byrne, 2009) - 8/10 This Aussie flick is goddamn insane and disturbing, but also kinda hilarious. It nails the early 2000’s teen movie aesthetic perfectly, but, y’know, it’s about a family that kidnaps and tortures a dude on the night of the big school dance.
23. Zodiac (2007)
R | 157 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.
Votes: 392,275 | Gross: $33.08M
(David Fincher, 2007) - 8/10 Although this dramatic take on the story behind one of America's most infamous mysteries is not horror per se, the murder scenes, particularly the one at Lake Berryessa, are some of the most horrifying in film history, and the subtle climax is remarkably chilling.
24. A Field in England (2013)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, History, Horror
Amid the Civil War in 17th-century England, a group of deserters flee from battle through an overgrown field. Captured by an alchemist, the men are forced to help him search to find a hidden treasure that he believes is buried in the field.
Votes: 9,415 | Gross: $0.03M
(Ben Wheatley, 2013) - 8/10 A one-of-a-kind experience (unless you can name any other psychedelic period horror movies about battling alchemists) filled with scenes that are captivating and unsettling in ways difficult to describe. Some might find it frustrating, but I think it's borderline genius.
25. The Invitation (I) (2015)
Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A man accepts an invitation to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife, an unsettling affair that reopens old wounds and creates new tensions.
Votes: 70,338 | Gross: $0.23M
(Karyn Kusama, 2015) - 8/10 This will make you hate Los Angeles rich people more than you already do, and you might find yourself shrieking in frustration a few times as the protagonist tries in vain to prevent the seemingly inevitable. Great flick if you’re into weird cults and/or canapés.
26. We Are Still Here (I) (2015)
Not Rated | 84 min | Horror
In the cold, wintery fields of New England, a lonely old house wakes up every thirty years - and demands a sacrifice.
(Ted Geoghegan, 2015) - 8/10 It's a familiar premise: grieving family moves to creepy old house to escape the past, finds out said house is super haunted. But this movie does it with such blood-soaked ferocity it'll have you gasping out loud. Plus the ghosts look really fuckin' cool.
27. Mandy (2018)
Not Rated | 121 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror
The enchanted lives of a couple in a secluded forest are brutally shattered by a nightmarish hippie cult and their demon-biker henchmen, propelling a man into a spiraling, surreal rampage of vengeance.
Votes: 44,569 | Gross: $1.21M
(Panos Cosmatos, 2018) - 8/10 One big bad acid trip of a movie, this is like "Enter the Void," "Mad Max," the animated "Heavy Metal" movie, and King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” all mashed together. Oh, and Nicolas Cage freaking out. Of course I loved it.
28. Errementari (2017)
TV-MA | 98 min | Fantasy, Horror
An orphaned girl discovers that the reclusive Blacksmith is keeping a demon imprisoned in order to avoid paying his debt to the Devil.
(Paul Urkijo Alijo, 2017) - 8/10 I’ve been fascinated by the Basque language and folklore for years, and this fantastical take on a Basque legend is breathtaking, especially the hellish set designs. Let’s hope this paves the way for many more Basque-language films, especially of the folk-horror variety.
29. Sinister (I) (2012)
R | 110 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Washed-up true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s.
Votes: 198,514 | Gross: $48.09M
(Scott Derrickson, 2012) - 8/10 If this movie doesn’t scare the pants off you, nothing will. The well-placed jump scares, the spine-tingling industrial/glitch score, and most of all, the bits of truly horrifying found footage within the movie's larger context - it's all fine-tuned for maximum fright factor.
30. Parasyte: Part 1 (2014)
109 min | Action, Drama, Horror
The humanity is suffering from murders all over the globe, called "Mincemeat murders". High school student, Izumi Shinichi has a parasite living off him, having replaced his right hand, and he might be the discoverer of truth.
(Takashi Yamazaki, 2014) - 8/10 Went into this manga adaptation knowing nothing about it at all, and I loved it! It's been ages since I was into manga, but this has everything you could want from it: a bizarre premise, a cutesy lil sidekick, a bit of romance, and some outrageously gory violence.
31. Unsane (2018)
R | 98 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution, where she is confronted by her greatest fear--but is it real or a product of her delusion?
Votes: 32,164 | Gross: $7.73M
(Steven Soderbergh, 2018) - 8/10 This stalker horror is terrifying because it’s entirely realistic and plausible - it’s kinda like "Misery" if it took place in a psych ward. Uncommonly terrific acting for a horror movie too, especially from Claire Foy and Juno Temple - these Brits keep taking our acting jobs!
32. Shutter (II) (2004)
Not Rated | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A young photographer and his girlfriend discover mysterious shadows in their photographs after a tragic accident. They soon learn that you can not escape your past.
(Banjong Pisanthanakun & Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2004) - 8/10 The first Thai horror movie I’ve seen, and it was creepy as shit. Similar to "Ju-On: The Grudge" in some ways, but even better in that it's full of both startling jump scares and deeply unnerving found footage-esque images. Don't watch it right before bedtime.
33. The Orphanage (2007)
R | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.
Votes: 137,737 | Gross: $7.16M
(J.A. Bayona, 2007) - 8/10 A masterclass in “less is more” horror that will still scare your ass off. This Spanish film has one brief scene of startling gore, one children's game made supremely creepy (“Un, dos, tres, toca la pared!”), and maybe the most gut-wrenching revelation in horror history.
34. Thelma (II) (2017)
Not Rated | 116 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
A confused religious girl tries to deny her feelings for a female friend who's in love with her. This causes her suppressed subconsciously-controlled psychokinetic powers to reemerge with devastating results.
Votes: 20,888 | Gross: $0.15M
(Joachim Trier, 2017) - 8/10 Feels weird to describe a horror film as "beautiful," but every aspect of this wholly unique Norwegian tale is so elegantly rendered and affecting that I can't think of another word for it. The scene at the ballet is stunning; it's as panic-inducing as it is moving.
35. Apostle (2018)
TV-MA | 130 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
In 1905, a drifter on a dangerous mission to rescue his kidnapped sister tangles with a sinister religious cult on an isolated island.
(Gareth Evans, 2018) - 8/10 If you love "The Wicker Man" (the OG 1970’s one, duh) like I do, but also wanna see some "Saw"-style blood-drenched insanity, then boy have I got a movie for you! The fact that the main guy also starred in "Downton Abbey" is hilarious to me.
36. The Wailing (2016)
Not Rated | 156 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Soon after a stranger arrives in a little village, a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman, drawn into the incident, is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.
(Hong-Jin Na, 2016) - 8/10 An uncommonly complex and emotional Korean horror in which several supernatural forces compete for the soul of a village. The shamanic ritual scenes are thrilling, and the shabby provincial setting is an interesting contrast to the typical Asian horror megalopolis.
37. It (I) (2017)
R | 135 min | Horror, Thriller
In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied kids band together to destroy a shape-shifting monster, which disguises itself as a clown and preys on the children of Derry, their small Maine town.
Votes: 359,917 | Gross: $327.48M
(Andy Muschietti, 2017) - 8/10 For some reason I was skeptical going into this one, but I shouldn't have been. Not only do the frights start immediately and never let up for over two hours, it's just a good old-fashioned adventure movie as well, like "Goonies" but with way more blood.
38. Possessed (2009)
112 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
After Hee-jin's younger sister So-jin, who is possessed by a spirit,disappears,the neighbors die one by one and a secret underlying their deaths is revealed.
(Yong-Joo Lee, 2009) - 8/10 Supremely creepy and macabre Korean possession story that barely resembles US/UK movies that handle similar themes. Also provides a fascinating look at dogma and superstition in both Korean Christianity and shamanism.
39. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War
In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.
Votes: 572,596 | Gross: $37.63M
(Guillermo del Toro, 2006) - 8/10 Reminding us adults just how phantasmagoric and violent the fairy tales we learn as kids really are, this brings together childlike wonder and adult tragedy like no other film. And if you don't think it's horror, revisit the Pale Man scene and tell me it doesn't freak you out.
40. Mom and Dad (2017)
R | 86 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller
A teenage girl and her little brother must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids.
(Brian Taylor, 2017) - 8/10 This wacko exploitation spectacle in which parents develop a sudden inexplicable urge to murder their children is one psychotic and frequently hilarious trip. Lance Henriksen makes a great cameo, and of course Nicolas Cage does insane the way only he can.
41. Jug Face (2013)
R | 81 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
Jug Face tells the story of a pregnant teen trying to escape a backwoods community when she discovers that she may be sacrificed to a creature in a pit.
(Chad Crawford Kinkle, 2013) - 8/10 Gnawingly fucked up backwoods tale that makes the folks from "Deliverance" seem downright cosmopolitan. Some iffy special effects don’t distract from the inventiveness of the plot or the quality of the acting in this very low budget indie flick.
42. The Eyes of My Mother (2016)
R | 76 min | Drama, Horror
A young, lonely woman is consumed by her deepest and darkest desires after tragedy strikes her quiet country life.
Votes: 9,516 | Gross: $0.03M
(Nicolas Pesce, 2016) - 8/10 A ghastly little piece of art-horror that flips the script on both the Norman Bates archetype and the entire torture porn subgenre. Full of moments both queasy and gorgeous, and the blend of Portuguese fado and new age-y minimal synth on the soundtrack is terrific.
43. Noroi: The Curse (2005)
Not Rated | 115 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A documentary filmmaker explores seemingly unrelated paranormal incidents connected by the legend of an ancient demon called the "kagutaba."
(Kōji Shiraishi, 2005) - 8/10 Idiosyncratic in a uniquely Japanese way, this is the most narratively complex of all the found footage horrors out there. Takes a while to start to come together, but the payoff is one of the most deliriously chilling and strange climaxes ever.
44. Kontroll (2003)
R | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A tale about a strange young man, Bulcsú, the fellow inspectors on his team, all without exception likable characters, a rival ticket inspection team and racing along the tracks - and a tale about love.
Votes: 22,935 | Gross: $0.24M
(Nimród Antal, 2003) - 8/10 Set entirely within the Budapest metro, this film hides a serial killer horror plot (a hooded figure is pushing folks onto the tracks) within some brilliant fantasy worldbuilding, wherein the subway feels more like a dark otherworldly realm than a simple public transit system.
45. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
R | 112 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller