(Photo by Shudder. Thumbnail: RLJE Films/Everett Collection.)
The Best Horror Movies of 2020, Ranked by Tomatometer
Over the past year, we’ve collected every Fresh and Certified Fresh horror movie with at least 20 reviews, creating our guide to the best horror movies of 2020, ranked by Tomatometer.
Before the pandemic shut theaters down, horror was off to a decent start, on pace to keep up with the long strides the genre had made in the 2010s. The Invisible Man resurrected the Universal monster movie (and at the fraction of what the 2017 Mummy cost), while Color Out of Space was the best H.P. Lovecraft adaptation since Re-Animator.
Sheltered in place, audiences turned to streaming, quickly raising quarantine-shot Host and Spain’s social class-dissecting The Platform into word-of-mouth hits. Streaming helped horror movies with diverse themes and origins get more attention than they would’ve during normal distribution times, like the Canadian First Nations zombie film Blood Quantum, the political La Llorona, Russia’s alien thriller Sputnik, and Sudanese refugee haunter His House.
As theaters edged towards re-opening later in the year, movies like Freaky, The Rental, and Possessor saw some success in luring people out of their homes.
See the full ranking of the best horror movies of 2020.
90 Best ’70s Horror Movies | 84 Best ’80s Horror Movies | 40 Best ’90s Horror Movies
80 Best 2000s Horror Movies | 50 Best 2010s Horror Movies| 200 Best Horror Movies Ever
Adjusted Score: 64.599%
Critics Consensus: Bad Hair's unwieldy ambitions are easy to respect -- even if the film's tonal jumble and uneven execution are impossible to ignore.
Los Angeles, 1989. Anna Bludso (Elle Lorraine) is a scarred survivor of a scalp burn from a mild relaxer perm.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 67.908%
Critics Consensus: Gretel & Hansel's rich visuals satisfy, even if this adaptation of a classic fairytale gets a little lost in the woods on the storytelling front.
A long time ago in a distant fairytale countryside, a young girl (Sophia Lillis, It) leads her little brother (Sammy... [More]
Adjusted Score: 69.646%
Critics Consensus: Joe Keery's magnetic screen presence can't disguise Spree's shallow critique of social media culture -- although that lack of depth may be precisely the point.
Meet Kurt, from @KurtsWorld96 (Joe Keery). He dreams of sitting atop a social media empire, but for now he drives... [More]
Adjusted Score: 60.864%
Critics Consensus: Although Feedback's generic story drowns out its timely messages, Eddie Marsan's performance makes it an experience worth airing.
Jarvis Dolan is the star journalist of the successful London late night radio show "The Grim Reality". The evening takes... [More]
Adjusted Score: 64.291%
Critics Consensus: The Owners will prove excessively mean-spirited and over the top for some, but should be just pulpy enough for genre enthusiasts up for some home-invasion thrills.
A group of friends think they found the perfect easy score -- an empty house with a safe full of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 73.506%
Critics Consensus: If its chilly sense of dread never quite becomes spine-tingling terror, Amulet remains smart, solidly disquieting fun for genre fans seeking slow-building horror.
Following an accident that leaves him homeless in London, former soldier Tomaz is brought to the rotting home of Magda,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 71.992%
Critics Consensus: An intriguing debut for writer-director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Black Box compensates for a lack of surprises with strong performances and an emotionally rewarding story.
Having lost his wife and his memory in a tragic car accident, news photographer Nolan Wright (Mamoudou Athie) is desperate... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81.227%
Critics Consensus: Led by an impressive Riley Keough performance, The Lodge should prove a suitably unsettling destination for fans of darkly atmospheric horror.
A bone-chilling nightmare from the directors of GOODNIGHT MOMMY, THE LODGE follows a family who retreat to their remote winter... [More]
Adjusted Score: 79.142%
Critics Consensus: The Wretched stirs up a savory blend of witch-in-the-woods horror ingredients that should leave genre fans hungry for a second helping from writer-directors Brett and Drew T. Pierce.
Following his parents' separation, a rebellious teenage boy, Ben, is sent to live with his father for the summer and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.116%
Critics Consensus: Some tricky genre juggling makes The Rental a bit of a fixer-upper, but effective chills and a solid cast make this a fine destination for horror fans.
Two couples on an oceanside getaway grow suspicious that the host of their seemingly perfect rental house may be spying... [More]
Adjusted Score: 78.057%
Critics Consensus: The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw compensates for a certain amount of frustrating narrative drift with solid performances and a strong command of mood.
Young Audrey Earnshaw (Jessica Reynolds) and her mother, Agatha (Catherine Walker, A DARK SONG), live clandestinely as occultists on the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.394%
Critics Consensus: While it may feel muddled at times, The Platform is an inventive and captivating dystopian thriller.
One day Goreng wakes up with his future colleague Trimagasi in the 33rd level of a prison style place, crossed... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80.636%
Critics Consensus: Some of its contents are more entertaining than others, but genre fans should still find this Scare Package well worth opening.
Chad Buckley is a horror aficionado, and he's lonely. Chad spends his days at his struggling genre video store arguing... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.199%
Critics Consensus: Synchronic sets off on an intriguingly idiosyncratic sci-fi journey that should satisfy fans of Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson's earlier work.
When New Orleans paramedics and longtime best friends Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) are called to a series... [More]
Adjusted Score: 79.384%
Critics Consensus: Porno mines sexual repression to produce a laughably lurid -- and genuinely scary -- outing that should delight genre fans in search of a good time.
Four repressed, religious teens and a straight-edge projectionist working at a small-town movie theater in the 1990s discover a secret... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84.002%
Critics Consensus: An intriguing and unsettling debut for writer-director Jeffrey A. Brown, The Beach House offers a delightfully grim getaway for fans of imaginative, ambitious horror.
Escaping to his family's beach house to reconnect, Emily and Randall find their off-season trip interrupted by Mitch and Jane... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.524%
Critics Consensus: VFW's solid cast, deft direction, and surprisingly weighty subtext add extra heft to a gory thriller that should hold buckets of sanguine appeal for grindhouse fans.
A typical night for a group of war veterans at the local VFW turns into an all-out battle for survival... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81.852%
Critics Consensus: Using an effectively creepy setting and a beguilingly evasive approach, Koko-Di Koko-Da takes a chilling look at the long tail of grief.
Elin and Tobias are a happily married couple who regularly vacation with their young daughter. The family is on a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.571%
Critics Consensus: Smart, well-acted, and suitably chilling, Scare Me uses its familiar horror setting as the backdrop for a fresh deconstruction of standard genre ingredients.
During a power outage, two strangers tell scary stories. The more Fred and Fanny commit to their tales, the more... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.284%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining slasher with a gender-bending, body-swapping twist, this horror-comedy juggles genres with Freaky fun results.
Seventeen-year-old Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton, Blockers, HBO's Big Little Lies) is just trying to survive the bloodthirsty halls of Blissfield... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.677%
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.
After a meteorite lands in the front yard of their farm, Nathan Gardner (Nicolas Cage) and his family find themselves... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.862%
Critics Consensus: Bloody horror with barbed wit, Come to Daddy anchors its brutal violence in a surprisingly mature approach to provocative themes.
Norval Greenwood, a privileged man-child arrives at the beautiful and remote coastal cabin of his estranged father, who he hasn't... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.922%
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.
Siobhán's a marine biology student who prefers spending her days alone in a lab. She has to endure a week... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.599%
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.
After leaving behind a painful past to follow her dreams, Sarah scores the perfect Hollywood apartment. But something is not... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.124%
Critics Consensus: Swallow's unconventional approach to exploring domestic ennui is elevated by a well-told story and Haley Bennett's powerful leading performance.
On the surface, Hunter (Haley Bennett) appears to have it all. A newly pregnant housewife, she seems content to spend... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.955%
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.
In this black comedy of middle-aged masculinity gone awry, Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin (The Artist) is a recent divorcee... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.122%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted, genuinely unsettling, and occasionally even funny, #alive proves the crowded zombie genre still has fresh stories to tell.
The rapid spread of an unknown infection has left an entire city in ungovernable chaos, but one survivor remains alive... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.683%
Critics Consensus: Part creature feature, part romance, After Midnight somehow manages to combine its disparate ingredients and come up with something special.
A small-time bar owner is stalked by a mysterious monster every night after his decade-long, blissful relationship with his girlfriend... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.459%
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.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow follows a small-town sheriff, struggling with a failed marriage, a rebellious daughter, and a lackluster... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.376%
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.
Due to her controversial methods, young doctor Tatiana Yurievna (Oksana Akinshina) is on the precipice of losing her medical license.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.87%
Critics Consensus: In the sharp, socially conscious battle of Vampires vs. the Bronx, comedy and horror blend brilliantly -- and the audience is the winner.
A group of young friends from the Bronx fight to save their neighborhood from a band of vampires.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.347%
Critics Consensus: Blood Quantum blends bloody horror with sociopolitical subtext, taking a fresh bite out of the crowded zombie genre in the bargain.
The dead are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi'gMaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.815%
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.
On a secluded farm, a man is slowly dying. Bedridden and fighting through his final breaths, his wife is slowly... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.752%
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.
When Edna, the elderly and widowed matriarch of the family, goes missing, her daughter Kay and granddaughter Sam travel to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109.073%
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.
Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Moss) escapes in the dead of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.051%
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.
From the visionary mind of writer/director Brandon Cronenberg, POSSESSOR is an arresting sci-fi thriller about elite, corporate assassin Tasya Vos.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.73%
Critics Consensus: Impetigore uses its folk horror setting as the brutally effective backdrop for a supernatural story that sinks its hooks into the viewer and refuses to let go.
Perempuan Tanah Jahanam tells the story of a woman who returns to her home village, only to find out that... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.99%
Critics Consensus: The rare anthology that maintains a consistently high level of quality, The Mortuary Collection is a must-see undertaking for horror fans.
When a young woman applies for a job at a decrepit old mortuary, she is treated to several tales of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.347%
Critics Consensus: Surreal, unsettling, and finally haunting, The Wolf House is a stunning outpouring of creativity whose striking visuals queasily complement its disturbing story.
Maria, a young woman finds refuge in a house in the south of Chile after escaping from a sect of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.16%
Critics Consensus: La Llorona puts a fresh spin on the familiar legend by blending the supernatural and the political to resolutely chilling effect.
Indignant retired general Enrique finally faces trial for the genocidal massacre of thousands of Mayans decades ago. As a horde... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.347%
Critics Consensus: A horror/rom-com hybrid that somehow manages to blend its ingredients without losing their flavor, Extra Ordinary more than lives up to its title.
Rose, a sweet, small town driving instructor, is gifted with supernatural abilities, "The Talents", which mean she can talk to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.114%
Critics Consensus: Lean, suspenseful, and scary, Host uses its timely premise to deliver a nastily effective treat for horror enthusiasts.
Six friends hire a medium to hold a séance over Zoom during lockdown but get far more than they bargain... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.376%
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.
After making a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, a young refugee couple struggle to adjust to their new life... [More]