Best horror movies of the 21st century, ranked for Halloween

USA Today Entertainment 2 months ago

The Halloween season is coming so if you don't want Michael Myers stalking you, catch up on some good horror movies. Here are the best fright fests this century, definitively ranked:

50. "Deathgasm" (2015): This one definitely goes to 11: Two teenage rocker dudes (Milo Cawthorne, left, and James Blake) – who yearn to add some excitement to their lives – delve into black magic and accidentally conjure a demonic entity known as The Blind One.
49. "The Purge" (2013): In the franchise that's become way too timely for comfort, the first film is tops, with Ethan Hawke trying to keep his family safe from masked maniacs during an all-night legal crime spree.
48. "Trick 'r Treat" (2007): This Halloween treasure features four intertwining tales of mischief and menace. The common thread in the anthology? An enigmatic kid named Sam, wearing pajamas and a sack on his head, who punishes those who break holiday tradition.
47. "Paranormal Activity" (2009): The found-footage and haunted house subgenres went together like peanut butter and jelly in this low-budget chiller that chronicles the demonic threat to a young couple through the always-watchful lens of a home video camera.
46. "May" (2003): This Frankenstein-esque tale stars Angela Bettis as the title woman, a lonely sort whose sole friend is a doll made by her mom. As May starts to look for more personal connection, and struggles to find it, she crafts her own human pal, piece by piece.  
45. "The Ring" (2002): A cursed videotape that kills anyone who views it seven days later falls into the hands of an investigative reporter (Naomi Watts). Guys, ghost girl Samara is STILL freaking us out. 
44. "Donnie Darko" (2001): Is this psychological thriller a horror movie? Jake Gyllenhaal (left, with Jena Malone) dealing with an aircraft engine falling into his bedroom and interacting with a giant rabbit – who tells him doomsday's afoot – is all the answer you really need.
43. "The Loved Ones" (2009): There are both intriguing character relationships and super-gnarly home medical procedures to be had when an Australian teenager (Xavier Samuel, left) turns down the prom proposal of a classmate (Robin McLeavy).
42. "Halloween" (2018): The 11th film featuring machete-wielding masked man Michael Myers rids itself of unneeded previous canon and acts as a direct sequel to the 1978 original, pitting the villain vs. the woman (Jamie Lee Curtis) who's waited four decades for a rematch.
41. "Drag Me to Hell" (2009): Sam Raimi's flick starred Alison Lohman (left) as a loan officer who, wanting to impress her boss, refuses to extend an old gypsy woman's mortgage. Suffice it to say, not the best decision, considering the nightmarish days that follow.
40. "REC" (2007): Got claustrophobia? Then ease gently into this Spanish found-footage chiller. A night news crew enters a building with firefighters called in to help a trapped old woman, she gets a little too bitey and, before you know it, zombies everywhere.
39."V/H/S" (2012): Using a found-footage framing device, the anthology unleashes a bevy of shorts revolving around a mysterious woman (Kate Lyn Sheil) messing up a couple's second honeymoon and pervy dudes who make a deadly mistake with amateur porn.
38. "Ju-On: The Grudge" (2004): No, not the Sarah Michelle Gellar version. The original Japanese flick featured a social worker (Megumi Okina) seeing all manner of freaky ghost children in her house. There's a timeless quality, too, because ghastly kids are always ghastly. 
37. "We Are Still Here" (2015): Set in 1970s New England, the spin on the haunted house template centers on a couple moving to a sleepy hamlet following the death of their college-age son and into a place that still contains the dark, ashen souls of the Dagmar family that lived there.
36. "The Conjuring" (2013): The fact that paranormal expert Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) and her husband actually dealt with horrors in real life adds to the fear factor of the franchise starter, which focused on a Rhode Island family and some serious witchiness.
35. "Sinister" (2012): Ethan Hawke's true-crime writer finds a box of Super 8 home movies in his attic and plays them, consequently putting his family in grave danger thanks to the appearance of a Babylonian deity named Bughuul. 
34. "The House of the Devil" (2009): Director Ti West's ode to 1970s and '80s horror is slow-burn dread. A college student (Jocelin Donahue) gets a baby-sitting offer she can't refuse, which leads to utter satanic insanity for the last 25 minutes.
33. "Split" (2017): Ultimately revealed as a secret sequel to "Unbreakable," M. Night Shyamalan's psychological thriller stands on its own, thanks to James McAvoy's troubled Kevin Wendell Crumb, who has more than 20 distinct personalities and kidnaps a girl just as damaged as he is.
32. "Ready or Not" (2019): The horror comedy makes the list by being so darn enjoyable, and that's maybe not something you expect with buckets of blood, a catchily kooky Victrola tune and a bride (Samara Weaving) trying to literally survive a night with her in-laws.
31. "Inside" (2007): The French fright fest features a very pregnant widow (Alysson Paradis, below) who sees her home invaded on Christmas Eve by a mysterious woman in black (Beatrice Dalle) who's dead set on cutting her baby out with some scissors. 
30. "The Invitation" (2016): Karyn Kusama's twisty treat makes the boring dinner party anything but. A man gets invited to a shindig by his ex-wife, the revelry goes awry and you're left with jaw on the floor by a whopper of a last scene. 
29. "Goodnight Mommy" (2015): Full of dread and melancholy, the Austrian import flips the creepy-kid script a bit by centering on two boys (Lukas, left, and Elias Schwarz) who wonder whether their mom is still their mom after facial surgery.
28. "Happy Death Day" (2017): The enchanting time-hopper puts a sorority girl (Jessica Rothe) through her paces as she's forced to re-live the same day of getting murdered by a serial killer in a baby mask until she figures out whodunit.
27. "Don’t Breathe" (2016): Another intriguing take on the home-invasion trope has three young robbers (including Jane Levy) wanting fast cash and breaking into the house of a blind Gulf War vet harboring some seriously dark secrets of his own.
26. "You’re Next" (2013): This funny and vicious tweak of the "final girl" trope is an underrated gem about an Aussie woman (Sharni Vinson) visiting her boyfriend's family reunion and having to take on dangerous folks in animal masks.
25. "Train to Busan" (2016): Was the title "Zombies on a Train" already taken? An undead apocalypse emerges outside as well as inside a Korean bullet train headed for – you guessed it – Busan, and avoiding infection is a bigger problem for passengers than travel delays. 
24. "Us" (2019): Jordan Peele weaves in Bible references, rabbits and Hands Across America with the story of a family fending off their killer doppelgangers. And look out, Freddy Krueger, because Lupita Nyong'o's Red makes a strong case for sharpest horror villain. 
23. "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night" (2014): There's wonderful originality, a Western bent and style to spare in Ana Lily Amirpour's super-cool piece about an Iranian vampire (Sheila Vand) who skateboards around Bad City and attacks men who mistreat women.
22. "Insidious" (2011): The first outing in James Wan's haunted house series – starring Patrick Wilson (right) as a dad and Joseph Bishara as the Lipstick-Face Demon – makes use of old-school scare tactics, plus introduces an interesting interdimensional mythology.
21. "Starry Eyes" (2014): The deal-with-the-devil nature of Hollywood gets the scary-movie treatment with Alexandra Essoe as a waitress and struggling actress who will do whatever it takes to be a film star. She later realizes the wicked sacrifices, physical and otherwise.
20. "Mandy" (2018): A wacked-out, crazily emotional Nicolas Cage wields axes and a chain saw in heavy-metal fashion as a logger who goes on a fantastical revenge quest against the religious cult that killed his main squeeze.
19. 'The Conjuring 2' (2016): As good as the original film is, the sequel manages to outdo it with a religious theme, a possessed girl (Madison Wolfe) a la "The Exorcist," and some extra ghoulish delights.
18. "Raw" (2017): Garance Marillier stars in the French coming-of-age creeper as a vegetarian vet-school student forced to eat a rabbit kidney, which unlocks a whole new appetite not kosher in most circles.
17. "Suspiria" (2018): A rare remake that surpasses the original – in this case, Dario Argento's 1977 classic. The witchy tale of a young rookie (Dakota Johnson) learning a coven secretly runs her famous dance company is one of feminine strength and schlocky carnage. 
16. "A Dark Song' (2017): A grieving mom (Catherine Walker) mourning her murdered son rents a Welsh house for a black magic ritual and recruits an oddball occultist (Steve Oram) on her mission of revenge. Weird and spiteful but also beautiful, thoughtful and surprising.
15. "What We Do in the Shadows" (2015): The lesson of star/co-director Taika Waititi's blood-sucking mockumentary? Life's hard out there for a vampire. Hilarity ensues when fanged friends struggle with the hazards of modern living, such as chores and roommates. 
14. "It" (2017): The adaptation of Stephen King's epic tome introduced a bunch of outcast kids (from left, Wyatt Oleff, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis and Jeremy Ray Taylor) who find riendship and have to deal with a demonic clown.
13. "Shaun of the Dead" (2004): Edgar Wright's horror comedy sent up the undead just as they were starting to lumber all over pop culture. The real secret sauce, though: Nick Frost (left) and Simon Pegg as lovable, zombie-bashing best friends. 
12. "The Cabin in the Woods" (2012): In this genre-deconstructing thriller, teens (including, from left, Fran Kranz, Chris Hemsworth and Anna Hutchison) venture to a cabin in the woods before revealing a whole other conceit underneath, metaphorically and literally.
11. "Let the Right One In" (2008): There is an insightful sweetness to the story of a bullied 12-year-old boy and his new friend, a protective vampire (Lina Leandersson). When she states, "I am not a girl," there's a weight and sadness but also understanding behind it. 
10. "The Devil’s Backbone" (2001): Guillermo del Toro has risen to the annals of horror mastery, but there's a little bit of a Spielbergian nature to his ghostly tale set in the Spanish Civil War, about an orphan boy seeking the secrets of his school and the dead kid he sees.
9. "Black Swan" (2010): If "Suspiria" didn't already prove artistry was hell, the insane world of ballet does the job here. Natalie Portman cracks under the psychological and physical pressures of being a prima ballerina in "Swan Lake" and goes dancing on the dark side.
8. "It Follows" (2015): Maika Monroe stars as a young woman who just can't shake a shape-shifting menace that turns out to be a sexually transmitted curse, a high concept that gives the eerie thriller extraordinary, infectious life.
7. "The Babadook" (2014): In the emotionally fraught household of a single mother (Essie Davis) and a young boy (Noah Wiseman), it's hard to say what makes things worse: Mom's deteriorating mental state or the appearance of an expressionistic storybook monster.
6. "Hereditary" (2018): Ari Aster's disturbing debut would be impressive if you just stop at the spectacular implosion of a loving family and a heartbreaking Toni Collette. It rises to all-time status when you factor in occult leanings, horrifying imagery and a demon king.
5. "Get Out" (2017): Daniel Kaluuya's teary, shocked face, as his character enters the abominable Sunken Place courtesy of his white girlfriend's evil parents, is one of the most indelible horror-film sights this millennium, courtesy of filmmaker Jordan Peele.
4. "The Witch" (2016): The unnerving look at 17th-century paranoia is seen through the eyes of a young New England teenager (Anya Taylor-Joy). Come for the downward spiral of hellish familial despair, stay for macabre goat Black Phillip and the ominous climax.
3. "The Wailing" (2016): Ghosts? Check. The undead? Check. Hair-raising possessed kids? Check and check. The Korean masterpiece goes a lot of different places following a bumbling cop (Kwak Do-Won, left) investigating a dangerous infection turning neighbors into monsters.
2. "28 Days Later" (2003): The best zombie movie that didn't involve George Romero, period. From a bizarrely deserted London to rage-filled creatures who run instead of lumber, it captures post-apocalyptic life in a brutally realistic fashion that other films strive to but just can't.
1. "Kill List" (2012): In Ben Wheatley's brilliant and blistering work, a British soldier (Neil Maskell) returns home and embarks on a career as a hit man, finding strange little details while on his various jobs. Totally sounds like a normal crime thriller, but by the end, it isn't at all.

Source link
Read also:
USA Today › Entertainment › 2 months ago
The 21st century so far has given us scary movies with an artful bent, such as "Get Out" and "Hereditary." The best horror movies since 2001, ranked.
USA Today › Entertainment › 0 month ago
Ranked: The best horror movies of 2019 (so far)
The Sun › Entertainment › 2 months ago
HALLOWEEN is just weeks away, so what better way to celebrate than getting into the spirit of the annual event than by watching a list of horror films on Netflix? Here’s a list of the top seven horror movies available to stream on Netflix right now...
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 2 months ago
Disney Channel has been streaming plenty of spooky, fall-staple movies for the past few decades. Insider rounded up all of Disney Channel's Halloween-worthy and Halloween-themed movies and ranked them using audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes...
USA Today › Entertainment › 2 months ago
Plenty of cool horror films have hit screens this year, including the new Stephen King sequel 'It: Chapter Two.' Here are 2019's best so far, ranked.
The Guardian › Entertainment › 2 months ago
We polled 45 music writers to rank the definitive LPs of the 21st century so far. Read our countdown of passionate pop, electrifying rock and anthemic rap – and see if you agreeRead more about our No 1 choiceMore of the best Film | Classical Continue...
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 1 month ago
Netflix has released over 200 original movies since 2015. Insider ranked the top 51 Netflix originals based on their Rotten Tomatoes scores. Some of the movies, like "Roma" (No. 3) and "Mudbound" (No. 2) have been critically lauded and have even won...
The Guardian › Lifestyle › 2 months ago
Following our selection of this century’s best new plays and dance shows, readers give their reactions and suggestions – from Book of Mormon to The Red ShoesThe top 50 theatre shows of the centuryThe top 20 dance shows of the century‘Best thing...
Business Insider › Entertainment › 1 month ago
Halloween is right around the corner and streaming database Reelgood analyzed 13 streaming services to determine which is the best option for horror movies fans. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video ranked high on the list, but there were also some...
CNN › Entertainment › 2 months ago
October is when thoughts turn to Halloween and what better way to celebrate than by slashing through some horror movies?Here are seven movies currently streaming which are scary good to watch.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google