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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.


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#43

Bad Hair (2020)
62%

#43
Adjusted Score: 66994%
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.
Synopsis: Terror strikes when a woman's new hair weave seems to take on a life of its own.... [More]
Directed By: Justin Simien

#42

Gretel & Hansel (2020)
63%

#42
Adjusted Score: 68895%
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.
Synopsis: When their mother descends into madness, siblings Gretel and Hansel must fend for themselves in the dark and unforgiving woods.... [More]
Directed By: Osgood Perkins

#41

Spree (2020)
67%

#41
Adjusted Score: 71775%
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.
Synopsis: Thirsty for a following, a rideshare driver has figured out a deadly plan to go viral.... [More]
Directed By: Eugene Kotlyarenko

#40

Feedback (2019)
62%

#40
Adjusted Score: 61535%
Critics Consensus: Although Feedback's generic story drowns out its timely messages, Eddie Marsan's performance makes it an experience worth airing.
Synopsis: Jarvis Dolan is a London talk-show host who plans to reveal a bombshell news story on the air. But when... [More]
Directed By: Pedro C. Alonso

#39

The Owners (2020)
63%

#39
Adjusted Score: 65582%
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.
Synopsis: An elderly couple turn the tables on a group of young thieves who broke into their house while they were... [More]
Directed By: Julius Berg

#38

Amulet (2020)
71%

#38
Adjusted Score: 74482%
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.
Synopsis: Terror strikes when a former soldier takes a job to help a young woman and her housebound mother.... [More]
Directed By: Romola Garai

#37

Black Box (2020)
70%

#37
Adjusted Score: 72825%
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.
Synopsis: After losing his wife and memory in a car accident, a single father undergoes an agonizing experimental treatment that causes... [More]
Directed By: Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour

#36

The Lodge (2019)
74%

#36
Adjusted Score: 84865%
Critics Consensus: Led by an impressive Riley Keough performance, The Lodge should prove a suitably unsettling destination for fans of darkly atmospheric horror.
Synopsis: During a family retreat to a remote winter cabin over the holidays, the father is forced to abruptly depart for... [More]

#35

The Wretched (2019)
75%

#35
Adjusted Score: 81041%
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.
Synopsis: A defiant teenage boy, struggling with his parent's imminent divorce, faces off with an old witch who has possessed the... [More]
Directed By: Brett Pierce, Drew Pierce

#34

The Rental (2020)
74%

#34
Adjusted Score: 86327%
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.
Synopsis: Two couples on an oceanside getaway grow suspicious that the host of their seemingly perfect rental house may be spying... [More]
Directed By: Dave Franco

#33
Adjusted Score: 79289%
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.
Synopsis: Protestant villagers suspect a mother and daughter of witchcraft as a deadly plague decimates crops and livestock.... [More]
Directed By: Thomas Robert Lee

#32

The Platform (2019)
79%

#32
Adjusted Score: 83944%
Critics Consensus: While it may feel muddled at times, The Platform is an inventive and captivating dystopian thriller.
Synopsis: In the future, prisoners housed in vertical cells watch as inmates in the upper cells are fed while those below... [More]

#31

Scare Package (2019)
81%

#31
Adjusted Score: 81632%
Critics Consensus: Some of its contents are more entertaining than others, but genre fans should still find this Scare Package well worth opening.
Synopsis: Seven filmmakers present seven terrifying and comedic tales of horror.... [More]

#30

Synchronic (2019)
79%

#30
Adjusted Score: 89330%
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.
Synopsis: When New Orleans paramedics and longtime best friends Steve and Dennis are called to a series of bizarre and gruesome... [More]

#29

Porno (2019)
77%

#29
Adjusted Score: 78801%
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.
Synopsis: Four repressed, religious teens and a straight-edge projectionist working at a small-town movie theater in the 1990s discover a secret... [More]
Directed By: Keola Racela

#28

The Beach House (2019)
81%

#28
Adjusted Score: 86968%
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.
Synopsis: College sweethearts on a romantic getaway struggle for survival when unexpected guests exhibit signs of a mysterious infection.... [More]
Directed By: Jeffrey A. Brown

#27

VFW (2019)
83%

#27
Adjusted Score: 85874%
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.
Synopsis: A typical night for veterans at a VFW turns into an all-out battle for survival when a desperate teen runs... [More]
Directed By: Joe Begos

#26

Koko-di Koko-da (2019)
80%

#26
Adjusted Score: 83459%
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.
Synopsis: A case of food poisoning derails a family's holiday and forever alters the course of their lives. Years later, the... [More]
Directed By: Johannes Nyholm

#25

Scare Me (2020)
82%

#25
Adjusted Score: 85094%
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.
Synopsis: Two strangers tell scary stories in a Catskills cabin during a power outage.... [More]
Directed By: Josh Ruben

#24

Freaky (2020)
83%

#24
Adjusted Score: 98617%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining slasher with a gender-bending, body-swapping twist, this horror-comedy juggles genres with Freaky fun results.
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Millie Kessler spends her days trying to survive high school and the cruel actions of the popular crowd. But... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Landon

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 100205%
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 and his family find themselves battling a... [More]
Directed By: Richard Stanley

#22

Come to Daddy (2019)
86%

#22
Adjusted Score: 91749%
Critics Consensus: Bloody horror with barbed wit, Come to Daddy anchors its brutal violence in a surprisingly mature approach to provocative themes.
Synopsis: A privileged man-child arrives at the beautiful and remote coastal cabin of his estranged father, whom he hasn't seen in... [More]
Directed By: Ant Timpson

#21

Sea Fever (2019)
87%

#21
Adjusted Score: 93895%
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.
Synopsis: Solitary marine-biology student Siobhán endures a week on a ragged fishing trawler, miserably at odds with the close-knit crew. But... [More]
Directed By: Neasa Hardiman

#20

1BR (2019)
88%

#20
Adjusted Score: 91848%
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.
Synopsis: New to Los Angeles, a woman moves into a seemingly perfect apartment complex, and soon finds out that there are... [More]
Directed By: David Marmor

#19

Swallow (2019)
88%

#19
Adjusted Score: 96015%
Critics Consensus: Swallow's unconventional approach to exploring domestic ennui is elevated by a well-told story and Haley Bennett's powerful leading performance.
Synopsis: A young housewife in a seemingly perfect marriage develops pica, the irresistible urge to ingest inedible objects and material.... [More]
Directed By: Carlo Mirabella-Davis

#18

Deerskin (2019)
89%

#18
Adjusted Score: 95918%
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.
Synopsis: A middle-aged drifter becomes obsessed with a fringed deerskin jacket that seems to hold mystical powers.... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Dupieux

#17

#Alive (2020)
88%

#17
Adjusted Score: 87754%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted, genuinely unsettling, and occasionally even funny, #alive proves the crowded zombie genre still has fresh stories to tell.
Synopsis: A rapidly spreading infection leaves one survivor in the entire city.... [More]
Directed By: Il Cho

#16

After Midnight (2019)
89%

#16
Adjusted Score: 90778%
Critics Consensus: Part creature feature, part romance, After Midnight somehow manages to combine its disparate ingredients and come up with something special.
Synopsis: Dealing with a girlfriend suddenly leaving is tough enough, but for Hank, heartbreak couldn't have come at a worse time.... [More]
Directed By: Christian Stella

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 93409%
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.
Synopsis: A stressed-out police officer struggles not to give in to the paranoia that grips his small mountain town as bodies... [More]
Directed By: Jim Cummings

#14

Sputnik (2020)
87%

#14
Adjusted Score: 94626%
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.
Synopsis: Summoned to a secluded research facility, a controversial young doctor examines a cosmonaut who returned to Earth with an alien... [More]
Directed By: Egor Abramenko

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 91997%
Critics Consensus: In the sharp, socially conscious battle of Vampires vs. the Bronx, comedy and horror blend brilliantly -- and the audience is the winner.
Synopsis: A group of friends band together to save their neighborhood from vampires.... [More]
Directed By: Osmany Rodriguez

#12

Blood Quantum (2019)
90%

#12
Adjusted Score: 95871%
Critics Consensus: Blood Quantum blends bloody horror with sociopolitical subtext, taking a fresh bite out of the crowded zombie genre in the bargain.
Synopsis: A zombie virus decimates all of Earth's population except the Mi'qmaq community of Red Crow.... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Barnaby

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 96822%
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: Plagued by waking nightmares, two siblings suspect that something evil is taking over their family at an isolated farmhouse.... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Bertino

#10

Relic (2020)
92%

#10
Adjusted Score: 107886%
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: A woman links her mother's increasingly volatile behavior to an evil presence at their family's decaying country home.... [More]
Directed By: Natalie Erika James

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 120044%
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: After staging his own suicide, a crazed scientist uses his power to become invisible to stalk and terrorize his ex-girlfriend.... [More]
Directed By: Leigh Whannell

#8

Possessor: Uncut (2020)
94%

#8
Adjusted Score: 107936%
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: Tasya Vos, an elite, corporate assassin, takes control of other people's bodies using brain-implant technology to execute high-profile targets.... [More]
Directed By: Brandon Cronenberg

#7

Impetigore (2019)
92%

#7
Adjusted Score: 93853%
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.
Synopsis: A woman inherits a house in her ancestral village, but she is unaware that members of the community have been... [More]
Directed By: Joko Anwar

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 98825%
Critics Consensus: The rare anthology that maintains a consistently high level of quality, The Mortuary Collection is a must-see undertaking for horror fans.
Synopsis: Desperate for work, a young drifter applies for a job at the local mortuary on the outskirts of town. There,... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Spindell

#5

The Wolf House (2018)
96%

#5
Adjusted Score: 98728%
Critics Consensus: Surreal, unsettling, and finally haunting, The Wolf House is a stunning outpouring of creativity whose striking visuals queasily complement its disturbing story.
Synopsis: A young woman takes refuge in a strange house in the woods after escaping from a German colony in southern... [More]

#4

La llorona (2019)
96%

#4
Adjusted Score: 100871%
Critics Consensus: La Llorona puts a fresh spin on the familiar legend by blending the supernatural and the political to resolutely chilling effect.
Synopsis: Alma is murdered with her children during a military attack in Guatemala, but when the general who ordered the genocide... [More]
Directed By: Jayro Bustamante

#3

Extra Ordinary (2019)
98%

#3
Adjusted Score: 102798%
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.
Synopsis: A woman who has supernatural abilities must save a possessed girl.... [More]
Directed By: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman

#2

Host (2020)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 105579%
Critics Consensus: Lean, suspenseful, and scary, Host uses its timely premise to deliver a nastily effective treat for horror enthusiasts.
Synopsis: Six friends accidentally invite the attention of a demonic presence during an online séance and begin noticing strange occurrences in... [More]
Directed By: Rob Savage

#1

His House (2020)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 107626%
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: A refugee couple makes a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, but then they struggle to adjust to their new... [More]
Directed By: Remi Weekes

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