(Photo by Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection)
Ah, the 2020s. May you live in interesting times, indeed. There was the Sriracha shortage. Wordle changed everything. Daft Punk broke up, but Ben and Jennifer got back together. There’s probably something we’re forgetting. Well, you can’t even be sure if this is being written by a
meatsack fleshpoid human (still learning) anymore. Certainly all fine bedrock for the horror genre, that blood-topped playground where filmmakers run from, to, and through the assorted dark preoccupations of existence.
In this guide to the best horror movies of the 2020s (so far), we’ve collected every Certified Fresh horror movie of the decade, then ranked them all by Tomatometer score.
From 2020, we’ve got pandemic-interrupted The Invisible Man, and then lockdown-created Host. In 2021, you could stay screaming from the comfort of your couch with the Fear Street trilogy, or join the audiences who clawed back to theaters in a big way, collectively exhaling to A Quiet Place Part II and The Black Phone. 2022 went hard with X & Pearl, Barbarian, Nope, Terrifier 2, Smile, and Predator prequel Prey. 2023 saw more long-MIA franchises returning (e.g., Scream VI, Evil Dead Rise, Saw X), alongside originals Talk To Me and M3GAN.
What warped wonders await? Don’t plan on dying this decade and you’ll find out with our ever-growing guide to best horror movies of the 2020s.
Adjusted Score: 106494%
Critics Consensus: Featuring genuine scares through every corridor, His House is a terrifying look at the specters of the refugee experience and a stunning feature debut for Remi Weekes.
Adjusted Score: 103923%
Critics Consensus: Lean, suspenseful, and scary, Host uses its timely premise to deliver a nastily effective treat for horror enthusiasts.
Adjusted Score: 103847%
Critics Consensus: A hard-hitting horror film whose surface-level frights are just as engaging as its thematic concerns, When Evil Lurks marks a viscerally unsettling addition to the possession horror canon.
Adjusted Score: 100203%
Critics Consensus: Unsettling and compelling in equal measure, My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To casts a visually striking and thought-provoking spell.
Adjusted Score: 102326%
Critics Consensus: The Innocents chillingly subverts the purity of youth in a powerfully acted thriller that lingers long after the credits roll.
Adjusted Score: 101459%
Critics Consensus: A bone-chilling body horror, Huesera offers genre fans a twisted take on What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
Adjusted Score: 99562%
Critics Consensus: Hellbender stirs a boiling cauldron of adolescent angst, serving up a coming-of-age story with dark horror overtones.
Adjusted Score: 99928%
Critics Consensus: A tense, terrifying, and all-around outstanding feature debut for its co-directing duo, The Boy Behind the Door should thrill discerning horror fans.
Adjusted Score: 103733%
Critics Consensus: A blunt yet visceral depiction of society’s treatment of the elderly, The Amusement Park sees George A. Romero exploring a different — yet still chilling — type of terror.
Adjusted Score: 99264%
Critics Consensus: Sissy weaves timely themes into its rich blend of horror and dark humor, topped off by terrific work from a talented cast led by Aisha Dee.
Adjusted Score: 99109%
Critics Consensus: A slim-cut slice of bizarre horror, Slaxx effectively balances quirk with gore — and has the good sense to get out before its oddball premise starts showing its seams.
Adjusted Score: 97989%
Critics Consensus: Smart, dynamic, and fast-paced, Saloum mixes tones and genres into a tart, smoothly blended treat.
Adjusted Score: 97667%
Critics Consensus: Delightfully dark and impressively ambitious, A Wounded Fawn offers a grimly distinctive treat for slasher fans.
Adjusted Score: 97297%
Critics Consensus: A possession thriller that knows the devil’s in the details, Attachment scares some fresh angles out of a well-worn horror subgenre.
Adjusted Score: 109093%
Critics Consensus: With a gripping story and impressive practical effects, Talk to Me spins a terrifically creepy 21st-century horror yarn built on classic foundations.
Adjusted Score: 109036%
Critics Consensus: The rare action thriller that spikes adrenaline without skimping on character development, Prey is a Predator prequel done right.
Adjusted Score: 105849%
Critics Consensus: A fresh spin on the classic slasher formula, X marks the spot where Ti West gets resoundingly back to his horror roots.
Adjusted Score: 106719%
Critics Consensus: Further refining his provocative vision, writer-director Brandon Cronenberg uses Possessor‘s potentially over-the-top premise as a delivery mechanism for stylishly disturbing thrills.
Adjusted Score: 109912%
Critics Consensus: Unapologetically silly and all the more entertaining for it, M3GAN is the rare horror-comedy that delivers chuckles as effortlessly as chills.
Adjusted Score: 103771%
Critics Consensus: Smart, darkly humorous, and above all scary, Barbarian offers a chilling and consistently unpredictable thrill ride for horror fans.
Adjusted Score: 103600%
Critics Consensus: Pearl finds Ti West squeezing fresh gore out of the world he created with X — and once again benefiting from a brilliant Mia Goth performance.
Adjusted Score: 99847%
Critics Consensus: Although it may strike some as too artsy for its own good, You Won’t Be Alone puts a thoughtfully fresh spin on familiar horror tropes.
Adjusted Score: 96171%
Critics Consensus: A rich blend of thrilling horror and sharp social commentary, Lucky acts as a bloody good calling card for director Natasha Kermani and writer-star Brea Grant.
Adjusted Score: 116507%
Critics Consensus: Smart, well-acted, and above all scary, The Invisible Man proves that sometimes, the classic source material for a fresh reboot can be hiding in plain sight.
Adjusted Score: 105504%
Critics Consensus: Relic ratchets up its slowly building tension in an expertly crafted atmosphere of dread, adding up to an outstanding feature debut for director/co-writer Natalie Erika James.
Adjusted Score: 99620%
Critics Consensus: A message movie in a hard horror shell, Hatching perches between beauty and revulsion — and establishes director Hanna Bergholm as a bright new talent.
Adjusted Score: 96138%
Critics Consensus: Over the top and enthusiastically strange, PG: Psycho Goreman delivers all the cheesy midnight-movie goodness promised by its title.
Adjusted Score: 94509%
Critics Consensus: Smart, well-acted, and above all scary, Coming Home in the Dark finds first-time director James Ashcroft making his mark with a white-knuckle ride for horror fans.
Adjusted Score: 93902%
Critics Consensus: Influencer should get plenty of likes from horror fans hungry for a smart, scary chiller with something to say.
Adjusted Score: 109616%
Critics Consensus: A nerve-wracking continuation of its predecessor, A Quiet Place Part II expands the terrifying world of the franchise without losing track of its heart.
Adjusted Score: 96526%
Critics Consensus: The Dark and the Wicked delivers on its title with an unsettling horror story whose deep dread and bleak outlook further compound its effective jolts.
Adjusted Score: 95686%
Critics Consensus: Brought hauntingly to life by Laura Galán’s committed performance, Piggy deftly deploys genre thrills in service of sharp social commentary.
Adjusted Score: 94838%
Critics Consensus: A rich visual treat for film fans, Mad God proves that even in the age of CGI, the cinematic allure of stop-motion animation remains strong.
Adjusted Score: 93298%
Critics Consensus: Proof that there’s still life in the found-footage gimmick, Deadstream is a scarily good bit of B-movie fun.
Adjusted Score: 92288%
Critics Consensus: What Josiah Saw may be too unrelentingly unpleasant for some viewers, but this slow-burning look at generational trauma leaves a lingering, nightmarish impact.
Adjusted Score: 102503%
Critics Consensus: Thrillingly provocative and original, Titane reaffirms writer-director Julia Ducournau’s delightfully disturbing vision.
Adjusted Score: 97188%
Critics Consensus: Led by Anna Diop’s strong central performance, the smartly disquieting Nanny is a promising debut for writer-director Nikyatu Jusu.
Adjusted Score: 95379%
Critics Consensus: Narratively challenging and visually haunting, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair adds a uniquely ambitious and unsettling entry to the crowded coming-of-age genre.
Adjusted Score: 93549%
Critics Consensus: Something in the Dirt reaffirms Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead as sci-fi storytellers with a distinctive — and darkly alluring — vision.
Adjusted Score: 93714%
Critics Consensus: The Wolf of Snow Hollow treads somewhat unsteadily between horror and comedy, but writer-director-star Jim Cummings’ unique sensibilities make for an oddly haunting hybrid.
Adjusted Score: 93543%
Critics Consensus: Although its story can feel circuitous and a bit baggy, Brooklyn 45‘s character-driven period horror is elevated by some excellent performances.
Adjusted Score: 91719%
Critics Consensus: The Queen of Black Magic mixes buried trauma with supernatural horror to produce a dark blend that genre fans will savor.
Adjusted Score: 91538%
Critics Consensus: A slasher with flair and crafty patience for the kill, The Stylist marks writer-director Jill Gevargizian as an uncommonly sharp genre filmmaker.
Adjusted Score: 91180%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by S.K. Dale’s inventive direction and Megan Fox’s committed performance, Till Death will part the viewer with all but the edge of their seat.
Adjusted Score: 91219%
Critics Consensus: Part creature feature, part romance, After Midnight somehow manages to combine its disparate ingredients and come up with something special.
Adjusted Score: 96773%
Critics Consensus: Occasionally uneven but bold and viscerally effective, Censor marks a bloody good step forward for British horror.
Adjusted Score: 94483%
Critics Consensus: A spooky yarn told with taut economy, Werewolf by Night is a standout Marvel entry that proves Michael Giacchino as atmospheric and skilled a director as he is a composer.
Adjusted Score: 90393%
Critics Consensus: The Sadness lives up to its title with an unstintingly grim — and overall effective — slice of dystopian horror.
Adjusted Score: 105595%
Critics Consensus: While its social commentary relies on basic ingredients, The Menu serves up black comedy with plenty of flavor.
Adjusted Score: 99691%
Critics Consensus: Led by Rebecca Hall’s gripping central performance, The Night House offers atmospheric horror that engages intellectually as well as emotionally.
Adjusted Score: 95416%
Critics Consensus: Although its story may lack surprises, Watcher benefits from director Chloe Okuno’s chilling grip on the material — and Maika Monroe’s terrific work in the leading role.
Adjusted Score: 93935%
Critics Consensus: Led by a daring performance from Jean Dujardin, Deerskin finds writer-director Quentin Dupieux working in a more accessible — yet still distinctive — vein.
Adjusted Score: 94314%
Critics Consensus: Effective space alien horror with a Soviet-era twist, Sputnik proves there are still some scary good sci-fi thrillers left in the galaxy.
Adjusted Score: 93587%
Critics Consensus: Violation presents a powerful depiction of one woman’s trauma — and its uncomfortably gripping aftermath.
Adjusted Score: 92881%
Critics Consensus: Bloody horror with barbed wit, Come to Daddy anchors its brutal violence in a surprisingly mature approach to provocative themes.
Adjusted Score: 92369%
Critics Consensus: Fear Street Part Three: 1666 sends the slasher series back in time for a trilogy-concluding installment that caps things off on a screaming high note.
Adjusted Score: 91606%
Critics Consensus: 1BR‘s occasionally ordinary storytelling is more than outweighed by tight direction, interesting ideas, and an effective blend of horror and thoughtful drama.
Adjusted Score: 91147%
Critics Consensus: Smartly creepy, You Are Not My Mother engages with a number of thought-provoking themes without sacrificing chills.
Adjusted Score: 94245%
Critics Consensus: While it could stand to be a little funnier and quite a bit scarier, The Blackening is a thoughtful satire that skewers horror tropes and racial stereotypes.
Adjusted Score: 93878%
Critics Consensus: Swallow‘s unconventional approach to exploring domestic ennui is elevated by a well-told story and Haley Bennett’s powerful leading performance.
Adjusted Score: 91848%
Critics Consensus: A smart and subversive twist on slasher horror, Fear Street Part II: 1978 shows that summer camp has never been scarier thanks to stellar performances from Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, and Ryan Simpkins.
Adjusted Score: 91992%
Critics Consensus: If Sea Fever never quite heats up as much as it could, it remains an engrossing, well-acted sci-fi thriller with effective horror elements.
Adjusted Score: 92491%
Critics Consensus: Totally Killer may not take full advantage of its promising conceit, but this time-traveling horror/sci-fi mashup is still enjoyable overall.
Adjusted Score: 89525%
Critics Consensus: Smart, self-aware, and all too timely, this slasher co-written by Kevin Williamson is Sick in all the best ways.
Adjusted Score: 89470%
Critics Consensus: With thought-provoking themes lurking beneath its absurd premise, Glorious is a brightly blood-spattered genre treat from director Rebekah McKendry.
Adjusted Score: 100929%
Critics Consensus: Turbulent waters even for strong swimmers, Infinity Pool provides a visceral all-inclusive retreat of Cronenbergian perversion for those wanting to escape commercial sundries.
Adjusted Score: 96651%
Critics Consensus: A welcome return for director Richard Stanley, Color Out of Space mixes tart B-movie pulp with visually alluring Lovecraftian horror and a dash of gonzo Nicolas Cage.
Adjusted Score: 95098%
Critics Consensus: Darkly imaginative and brought to life by a pair of striking central performances, Lamb shears expectations with its singularly wooly chills.
Adjusted Score: 92869%
Critics Consensus: Werewolves Within is the rare horror comedy that offers equal helpings of either genre — and adds up to a whole lot of fun in the bargain.
Adjusted Score: 88826%
Critics Consensus: Led by Ezra Dewey’s standout performance, The Djinn serves up a scary, sleekly effective cautionary tale about being careful what you wish for.
Adjusted Score: 88703%
Critics Consensus: Bringing Lulu Wilson back for another round of whooping on bad guys, this Wrath is one Becky with the good sequel.
Adjusted Score: 97306%
Critics Consensus: Impeccably cast and smartly written, Bodies Bodies Bodies is an uncommonly well-done whodunit.
Adjusted Score: 88974%
Critics Consensus: Jakob’s Wife gives genre legend Barbara Crampton an opportunity to carry an old-school horror story — and she bloody well delivers.
Adjusted Score: 89559%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and visually striking, Come True offers an eerily effective reminder of how the sleeping subconscious can be fertile ground for horror.
Adjusted Score: 88265%
Critics Consensus: Terrifier 2 outdoes the original in every way — which makes it bad news for the squeamish, but a bloody good time for genre enthusiasts.
Adjusted Score: 87507%
Critics Consensus: If its narrative ambitions aren’t always equaled by its chilling visuals, Gaia remains an effective slice of ecological horror.
Adjusted Score: 87411%
Critics Consensus: A painfully timely horror-fueled thriller, Soft & Quiet forces the viewer to confront the ugly underbelly of modern American race relations.
Adjusted Score: 98058%
Critics Consensus: Offering just about everything longtime fans could hope for while still managing to carry the franchise forward, Evil Dead Rise is all kinds of groovy.
Adjusted Score: 89167%
Critics Consensus: Fear Street Part One: 1994 kicks off the trilogy in promising fashion, honoring the source material with plenty of retro slasher appeal.
Adjusted Score: 88459%
Critics Consensus: A social satire with razor-sharp teeth, Speak No Evil offers a darkly delicious treat for fans of misanthropic thrillers.
Adjusted Score: 86764%
Critics Consensus: Injecting a classic story with fresh innovation and social relevance, The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster is a thrillingly assured feature debut for writer-director Bomani J. Story.
Adjusted Score: 86030%
Critics Consensus: A supernatural horror story grounded in real-world trauma, The Power marks writer-director Corinna Faith as an emerging talent to watch.
Adjusted Score: 85553%
Critics Consensus: Hypochondriac mistakes a few common horror ailments for exotic afflictions, but this unsettling look at mental illness and trauma proves properly contagious.
Adjusted Score: 108669%
Critics Consensus: Admirable for its originality and ambition even when its reach exceeds its grasp, Nope adds Spielbergian spectacle to Jordan Peele’s growing arsenal.
Adjusted Score: 85566%
Critics Consensus: Boys from County Hell stands out as an uncommonly good time in the crowded vampire genre — and proves the Irish countryside is a fine setting for slaying the undead.
Adjusted Score: 84871%
Critics Consensus: A stylish and well-acted tonal blend, Medusa confronts religious hypocrisy and sexism with invigorating anger.
Adjusted Score: 97377%
Critics Consensus: Although its subject matter may be hard to stomach, Bones and All proves a deeply romantic and thought-provoking treat.
Adjusted Score: 92032%
Critics Consensus: Uneven yet steadily absorbing, Resurrection benefits greatly from Rebecca Hall’s outstanding work in the leading role.
Adjusted Score: 87270%
Critics Consensus: A home invasion thriller with an extraterrestrial twist, No One Will Save You serves up more genre fun from writer-director Brian Duffield — and proves Kaitlyn Dever doesn’t need much dialogue to command the screen.
Adjusted Score: 88225%
Critics Consensus: Campy and creepy, Suitable Flesh delivers visceral, ’80s-inspired horror topped off by game performances from Barbara Crampton and Heather Graham.
Adjusted Score: 83962%
Critics Consensus: An effective spine-tingler despite clear budget constraints, Caveat suggests a deliciously dark filmmaking future for writer-director Damian Mc Carthy.
Adjusted Score: 94034%
Critics Consensus: The Black Phone might have been even more frightening, but it remains an entertaining, well-acted adaptation of scarily good source material.
Adjusted Score: 88464%
Critics Consensus: A darkly delirious satire rooted in real-life horror, El Conde finds Pablo Larraín revisiting familiar themes without losing their provocative power.
Adjusted Score: 83840%
Critics Consensus: A smartly ambitious supernatural thriller, Perpetrator blends an assortment of genres and influences into a bloody good time.
Adjusted Score: 95206%
Critics Consensus: Quintessential if not classic Cronenberg, Crimes of the Future finds the director revisiting familiar themes with typically unsettling flair.
Adjusted Score: 88918%
Critics Consensus: Deeply creepy visuals and a standout Sosie Bacon further elevate Smile‘s unsettling exploration of trauma, adding up to the rare feature that satisfyingly expands on a short.
Adjusted Score: 88247%
Critics Consensus: In the Earth‘s bleak kaleidoscope of horror is a hallucinogenic meditation on the residual pandemic fears that haunt humanity.
Adjusted Score: 84345%
Critics Consensus: If its story’s mysteries are ultimately less compelling than they might seem, Enys Men‘s retro aesthetic and intriguingly abstract visuals make this a chilly treat for horror fans.
Adjusted Score: 83783%
Critics Consensus: Traditional horror may not be on the menu, but for fans of the gruesomely disquieting, The Feast more than lives up to its name.
Adjusted Score: 83439%
Critics Consensus: Savagely funny and viscerally unsettling, The Columnist takes the unbridled vitriol of social media to its bloodily over-the-top conclusion.
Adjusted Score: 82082%
Critics Consensus: Offering a hauntingly lush style and plenty of gore, Bloodthirsty successfully captures the nightmarish darkness behind being hungry like the wolf in the quest for fame.
Adjusted Score: 87282%
Critics Consensus: Led by a franchise-best performance from Tobin Bell, Saw X reinvigorates the series with an installment that has a surprising amount of heart to go with all the gore.
Adjusted Score: 84038%
Critics Consensus: Part creature feature, part war movie, and part social commentary, Shadow in the Cloud doesn’t always blend its ingredients evenly — but it’s frequently pulpy fun.
Adjusted Score: 78672%
Critics Consensus: Perhaps it isn’t quite as much fun as a movie about a murderous robot Santa ought to be, but for fans of holiday horror, Christmas Bloody Christmas is still a gift.
Adjusted Score: 94991%
Critics Consensus: Certain aspects of horror’s most murderously meta franchise may be going stale, but a change of setting and some inventive set pieces help keep Scream VI reasonably sharp.
Adjusted Score: 92230%
Critics Consensus: The fifth Scream finds the franchise working harder than ever to maintain its meta edge — and succeeding surprisingly often.
Adjusted Score: 84463%
Critics Consensus: Although Malignant isn’t particularly scary, director James Wan’s return to horror contains plenty of gory thrills — and a memorably bonkers twist.
Adjusted Score: 78071%
Critics Consensus: Like most anthologies, V/H/S/99 has its ups and downs — but more often than not, this collection of shorts continues the franchise’s recent creative rebound.
Adjusted Score: 92369%
Critics Consensus: A darker and spookier spin on Branagh’s Poirot, A Haunting in Venice is a decent Halloween snack whose undemanding mystery gets a lift from nifty visuals and an all-star cast.
Adjusted Score: 83098%
Critics Consensus: It can be didactic rather than truly suspenseful, but Master is an impressively well-crafted horror outing with a lot on its mind.
Adjusted Score: 75673%
Critics Consensus: Within the outline of its fairly standard story, The Offering puts a unique — and often genuinely scary — spin on demonic possession horror tropes.