Best-Reviewed Horror Movies 2020

Seems cinema had a lot of demons to exorcise this year, starting with The Invisible Man, which just proves 8,000th time’s the charm when it comes to Universal figuring out how to make its classic monsters work in a modern era. Similarly, H.P. Lovecraft must be dancing (nervously, of course) in his grave thanks to The Color Out of Space, arguably the best adaption of his work since 1985’s Re-Animator. If you were stuck at home, the streamers made sure they got you where you sleep with breakout horror hits like the South Sudan immigrant story creeper His House, the Zoom-unfriendly Host, and Satanic panicker Anything For Jackson. Other highlights from a strong scary year include A24’s annual shocker (Saint Maud), Brandon Cronenberg fully assimilating into the family-name business (Possessor), and La Llorona, which seeks to take its namesake back from the 2019 Conjuring-adjacent American movie.

The order of the rank below reflects the Adjusted Score as of February 28, 2021. Scores might change over time.

Adjusted Score: 108.914%
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.
Synopsis: Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Moss) escapes in the dead of... [More]
Directed By: Leigh Whannell


His House (2020)

Adjusted Score: 104.424%
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.
Synopsis: After making a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, a young refugee couple struggle to adjust to their new life... [More]
Directed By: Remi Weekes


Host (2020)

Adjusted Score: 103.126%
Critics Consensus: Lean, suspenseful, and scary, Host uses its timely premise to deliver a nastily effective treat for horror enthusiasts.
Synopsis: Six friends hire a medium to hold a séance over Zoom during lockdown but get far more than they bargain... [More]
Directed By: Rob Savage


Possessor: Uncut (2020)

Adjusted Score: 103.014%
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.
Synopsis: From the visionary mind of writer/director Brandon Cronenberg, POSSESSOR is an arresting sci-fi thriller about elite, corporate assassin Tasya Vos.... [More]
Directed By: Brandon Cronenberg


Relic (2020)

Adjusted Score: 101.709%
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.
Synopsis: When Edna, the elderly and widowed matriarch of the family, goes missing, her daughter Kay and granddaughter Sam travel to... [More]
Directed By: Natalie Erika James


Saint Maud (2020)

Adjusted Score: 100.345%
Critics Consensus: A brilliantly unsettling blend of body horror and psychological thriller, Saint Maud marks an impressive debut for writer-director Rose Glass.
Synopsis: The debut film from writer-director Rose Glass, Saint Maud is a chilling and boldly original vision of faith, madness, and... [More]
Directed By: Rose Glass


La Llorona (2020)

Adjusted Score: 99.219%
Critics Consensus: La Llorona puts a fresh spin on the familiar legend by blending the supernatural and the political to resolutely chilling effect.
Synopsis: Indignant retired general Enrique finally faces trial for the genocidal massacre of thousands of Mayans decades ago. As a horde... [More]
Directed By: Jayro Bustamante

Adjusted Score: 99.874%
Critics Consensus: A talented cast and fiendishly frightening premise combine to make Anything for Jackson a must-watch for fans of supernatural horror.
Synopsis: A disturbed couple concocts a sinister plan of resurrection using a vulnerable pregnant woman in the wake of their grandson's... [More]
Directed By: Justin G. Dyck

Adjusted Score: 93.868%
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.
Synopsis: On a secluded farm, a man is slowly dying. Bedridden and fighting through his final breaths, his wife is slowly... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Bertino

Adjusted Score: 94.643%
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.
Synopsis: After a meteorite lands in the front yard of their farm, Nathan Gardner (Nicolas Cage) and his family find themselves... [More]
Directed By: Richard Stanley

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