TAGGED AS: Horror, movies, scary movies, thriller
(Photo by Paramount. Thumbnail: Paramount/Everett Collection.)
The Best Horror Movies of 2021, Ranked by Tomatometer
A Quiet Place Part II became the first post-quarantine theatrical release to match pre-pandemic box office numbers. So it was through horror that we declared, yes, we still like seeing movies with the lights off with strangers! It’s entirely fitting audiences came back to theaters screaming: Experiencing scary movies in theaters is a communal release of terror and tension, something a lot of people could’ve used after 2020. With this guide, we’ll be listing every Fresh and Certified Fresh horror movie of 2021, like Quiet Place II and Fear Street. —Alex Vo
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: 68024%
Critics Consensus: It struggles to find a successful balance between its genre and allegorical elements, but Antlers is sharp enough to recommend as a richly atmospheric creature feature.
From the visionary world of acclaimed director Scott Cooper and horror maestro Guillermo del Toro comes ANTLERS. In an isolated... [More]
Adjusted Score: 63563%
Critics Consensus: Willy's Wonderland isn't quite as much fun as its premise would suggest -- but it's still got Nicolas Cage beating the hell out of bloodthirsty animatronics, which is nice.
A quiet loner (Nicolas Cage) finds himself stranded in a remote town when his car breaks down. Unable to pay... [More]
Adjusted Score: 25550%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
A life-or-death battle spanning eight days to prevent the breaking of the seal that restrains "That Which Must Not Awaken."... [More]
Adjusted Score: 62470%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
A malevolent force preys upon the residents of a sleepy nursing home in The Manor, a gothic tale of terror... [More]
Adjusted Score: 67297%
Critics Consensus: Wrong Turn is a cut below more effective horror outings, but viewers in the mood for some gory chills will find that this franchise reboot does more than a few things right.
Backwoods terror and never-jangling suspense meet when Jen (Charlotte Vega) and a group of friends set out to hike the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80397%
Critics Consensus: An ambitious, over-the-top zombie heist mashup, Army of the Dead brings Zack Snyder back to his genre roots with a suitably gory splash.
From filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Zack Snyder's Justice League), ARMY OF THE DEAD takes place following a zombie outbreak that... [More]
Adjusted Score: 68281%
Critics Consensus: The consistency isn't always smooth, but Sound of Violence's blend of character study and horror marks writer-director Alex Noyer as an ambitious, visually distinctive filmmaker.
Adjusted Score: 71277%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Deep below the surface of a seemingly tranquil remote lake lies a perfectly preserved family home. When a young influencer... [More]
Adjusted Score: 56010%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
After getting a car ride from an unknown man, Lisa wakes up in a tube. On her arm is strapped... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92388%
Critics Consensus: Although it struggles to maintain its thrilling early momentum, Last Night in Soho shows flashes of Edgar Wright at his most stylish and ambitious.
In acclaimed director Edgar Wright's psychological thriller, Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83719%
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.
Paralyzed by fear from shocking visions, a woman's torment worsens as she discovers her waking dreams are terrifying realities.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82692%
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.
In the throes of World War II, Captain Maude Garrett (CHLOË GRACE MORETZ) joins the all-male crew of a B-17... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87719%
Critics Consensus: In the Earth's bleak kaleidoscope of horror is a hallucinogenic meditation on the residual pandemic fears that haunt humanity.
As the world searches for a cure to a disastrous virus, a scientist and park scout venture deep in the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81622%
Critics Consensus: Blood Red Sky makes the most of its high-concept vampire story, delivering a fast-paced treat for genre enthusiasts.
When a group of terrorists hijacks an overnight transatlantic flight, a mysteriously ill woman must unleash a monstrous secret to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81585%
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.
Grey, an indie singer, whose first album was a smash hit, gets an invitation to work with notorious music producer... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83056%
Critics Consensus: Savagely funny and viscerally unsettling, The Columnist takes the unbridled vitriol of social media to its bloodily over-the-top conclusion.
Femke Boot (Katja Herbers) is a columnist who is obsessed with reading the endless abusive messages and death threats posted... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83461%
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.
An affluent family gathers at their lavish home in the Welsh mountains for a dinner party, hosting a local businessman... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83485%
Critics Consensus: An effective spine-tingler despite clear budget constraints, Caveat suggests a deliciously dark filmmaking future for writer-director Damian Mc Carthy.
When a lone drifter with partial memory loss, Isaac, accepts a job to look after his landlord's niece, Olga, for... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84991%
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.
Strange events unfold in Six Mile Hill -- a sleepy Irish town that claims to have been traveled by the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88881%
Critics Consensus: Fear Street Part One: 1994 kicks off the trilogy in promising fashion, honoring the source material with plenty of retro slasher appeal.
A circle of teenage friends accidentally encounter the ancient evil responsible for a series of brutal murders that have plagued... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85883%
Critics Consensus: A supernatural horror story grounded in real-world trauma, The Power marks writer-director Corinna Faith as an emerging talent to watch.
London, 1974. As Britain prepares for electrical blackouts to sweep across the country, trainee nurse Val (Rose Williams) arrives for... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87346%
Critics Consensus: If its narrative ambitions aren't always equaled by its chilling visuals, Gaia remains an effective slice of ecological horror.
An injured forest ranger on a routine mission is saved by two off-the-grid survivalists. What is initially a welcome rescue... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88613%
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.
Looking for an escape from her recurring nightmares, 18-year-old Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone) submits to a university sleep study, but... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88723%
Critics Consensus: Jakob's Wife gives genre legend Barbara Crampton an opportunity to carry an old-school horror story -- and she bloody well delivers.
Anne is married to a small-town minister and feels like her life and marriage have been shrinking over the past... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92452%
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.
After a proposed pipeline creates divisions within the small town of Beaverfield, and a snowstorm traps its residents together inside... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94429%
Critics Consensus: Darkly imaginative and brought to life by a pair of striking central performances, Lamb shears expectations with its singularly wooly chills.
A childless couple in rural Iceland make an alarming discovery one day in their sheep barn. They soon face the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87521%
Critics Consensus: Its contents may be a bit busy and overly familiar, but Nightbooks offers a fun -- and actually fairly scary -- gateway to horror for younger viewers.
Alex (Winslow Fegley) is a creative boy with a strong passion for writing scary stories. But when he's labeled weird... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88596%
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.
A mute boy is trapped in his apartment with a sinister monster when he makes a wish to fulfill his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97595%
Critics Consensus: Led by Rebecca Hall's gripping central performance, The Night House offers atmospheric horror that engages intellectually as well as emotionally.
Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) is left alone in the lakeside home he built... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101623%
Critics Consensus: Thrillingly provocative and original, Titane reaffirms writer-director Julia Ducournau's delightfully disturbing vision.
Titane: A metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys, often used in medical prostheses due... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92424%
Critics Consensus: Violation presents a powerful depiction of one woman's trauma -- and its uncomfortably gripping aftermath.
With her marriage about to implode, Miriam returns to her hometown to seek solace in the comfort of her younger... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91576%
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.
Shadyside, 1978. School's out for summer and the activities at Camp Nightwing are about to begin. But when another Shadysider... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91078%
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.
After a romantic evening in their secluded lake house, Emma (Megan Fox) awakens handcuffed to her dead husband. Trapped and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96263%
Critics Consensus: Occasionally uneven but bold and viscerally effective, Censor marks a bloody good step forward for British horror.
Film censor Enid takes pride in her meticulous work, guarding unsuspecting audiences from the deleterious effects of watching the gore-filled... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91130%
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.
We all dream of being someone else... but for Claire (Najarra Townsend, Contracted), that dream goes from an obsession to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91481%
Critics Consensus: The Queen of Black Magic mixes buried trauma with supernatural horror to produce a dark blend that genre fans will savor.
A family travels to the distant, rural orphanage where the father was raised to pay their respects to the facility's... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92120%
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.
The origins of Sarah Fier's curse are finally revealed as history comes full circle on a night that changes the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108453%
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.
Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94295%
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.
A family's idyllic outing at an isolated coastline descends into terror when high school teacher Alan 'Hoaggie' Hoaganraad, his wife... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95289%
Critics Consensus: Over the top and enthusiastically strange, PG: Psycho Goreman delivers all the cheesy midnight-movie goodness promised by its title.
Siblings Mimi and Luke unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord who was entombed on Earth millions of years ago after... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95446%
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.
A self-help book author finds herself stalked by a threatening figure who returns to her house night after night. She... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98438%
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.
A possessed pair of jeans is brought to life to punish the unscrupulous practices of a trendy clothing company. Shipped... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98805%
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.
Recently discovered and restored 46 years after its completion by the George A. Romero Foundation and produced by Suzanne Desrocher-Romero,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99295%
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.
In The Boy Behind the Door, a night of unimaginable terror awaits twelve-year-old Bobby (Lonnie Chavis) and his best friend,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99636%
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.
Dwight (Patrick Fugit) prowls the streets after dark. He searches each night for the lonely and forlorn, looking for people... [More]