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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. And it’ll be the possible future home for anticipated releases like Halloween Kills, Last Night in Soho, and Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. Check back often to discover the latest of the best horror movies of 2021.


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

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 65144%
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.
Synopsis: A quiet loner (Nicolas Cage) finds himself stranded in a remote town when his car breaks down. Unable to pay... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Lewis

#39

Wrong Turn (2021)
64%

#39
Adjusted Score: 66919%
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.
Synopsis: Backwoods terror and never-jangling suspense meet when Jen (Charlotte Vega) and a group of friends set out to hike the... [More]
Directed By: Mike P. Nelson

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 58885%
Critics Consensus: The Blazing World's scattershot script isn't always able to support writer-director-star Carlson Young's ambitions, but its arresting visuals hold the attention.
Synopsis: Decades after the accidental drowning of her twin sister, a self-destructive woman returns to her family home, finding herself drawn... [More]
Directed By: Carlson Young

#37

Army Of The Dead (2021)
67%

#37
Adjusted Score: 82146%
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.
Synopsis: From filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Zack Snyder's Justice League), ARMY OF THE DEAD takes place following a zombie outbreak that... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 70572%
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.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Alex Noyer

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 92170%
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.
Synopsis: In acclaimed director Edgar Wright's psychological thriller, Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#34

Antlers (2021)
59%

#34
Adjusted Score: 67006%
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.
Synopsis: From the visionary world of acclaimed director Scott Cooper and horror maestro Guillermo del Toro comes ANTLERS. In an isolated... [More]
Directed By: Scott Cooper

#33

Meander (2020)
75%

#33
Adjusted Score: 55111%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After getting a car ride from an unknown man, Lisa wakes up in a tube. On her arm is strapped... [More]
Directed By: Mathieu Turi

#32

Malignant (2021)
76%

#32
Adjusted Score: 83620%
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.
Synopsis: Paralyzed by fear from shocking visions, a woman's torment worsens as she discovers her waking dreams are terrifying realities.... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 83669%
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.
Synopsis: In the throes of World War II, Captain Maude Garrett (CHLOË GRACE MORETZ) joins the all-male crew of a B-17... [More]
Directed By: Roseanne Liang

#30

In The Earth (2021)
79%

#30
Adjusted Score: 87184%
Critics Consensus: In the Earth's bleak kaleidoscope of horror is a hallucinogenic meditation on the residual pandemic fears that haunt humanity.
Synopsis: As the world searches for a cure to a disastrous virus, a scientist and park scout venture deep in the... [More]
Directed By: Ben Wheatley

#29

The Columnist (2020)
80%

#29
Adjusted Score: 82838%
Critics Consensus: Savagely funny and viscerally unsettling, The Columnist takes the unbridled vitriol of social media to its bloodily over-the-top conclusion.
Synopsis: Femke Boot (Katja Herbers) is a columnist who is obsessed with reading the endless abusive messages and death threats posted... [More]
Directed By: Ivo van Aart

#28

Bloodthirsty (2020)
80%

#28
Adjusted Score: 82062%
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.
Synopsis: Grey, an indie singer, whose first album was a smash hit, gets an invitation to work with notorious music producer... [More]
Directed By: Amelia Moses

#27

Caveat (2020)
83%

#27
Adjusted Score: 83822%
Critics Consensus: An effective spine-tingler despite clear budget constraints, Caveat suggests a deliciously dark filmmaking future for writer-director Damian Mc Carthy.
Synopsis: When a lone drifter with partial memory loss, Isaac, accepts a job to look after his landlord's niece, Olga, for... [More]
Directed By: Damian Mc Carthy

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 84559%
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.
Synopsis: Strange events unfold in Six Mile Hill -- a sleepy Irish town that claims to have been traveled by the... [More]
Directed By: Chris Baugh

#25

Gaia (2021)
84%

#25
Adjusted Score: 85735%
Critics Consensus: If its narrative ambitions aren't always equaled by its chilling visuals, Gaia remains an effective slice of ecological horror.
Synopsis: An injured forest ranger on a routine mission is saved by two off-the-grid survivalists. What is initially a welcome rescue... [More]
Directed By: Jaco Bouwer

#24
Adjusted Score: 88565%
Critics Consensus: Fear Street Part One: 1994 kicks off the trilogy in promising fashion, honoring the source material with plenty of retro slasher appeal.
Synopsis: After a series of brutal slayings, a teen and her friends take on an evil force that's plagued their notorious... [More]
Directed By: Leigh Janiak

#23

The Power (2021)
84%

#23
Adjusted Score: 85375%
Critics Consensus: A supernatural horror story grounded in real-world trauma, The Power marks writer-director Corinna Faith as an emerging talent to watch.
Synopsis: London, 1974. As Britain prepares for electrical blackouts to sweep across the country, trainee nurse Val (Rose Williams) arrives for... [More]
Directed By: Corinna Faith

#22

Lamb (2021)
84%

#22
Adjusted Score: 90774%
Critics Consensus: Darkly imaginative and brought to life by a pair of striking central performances, Lamb shears expectations with its singularly wooly chills.
Synopsis: A childless couple in rural Iceland make an alarming discovery one day in their sheep barn. They soon face the... [More]
Directed By: Valdimar Jóhannsson

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 92451%
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.
Synopsis: After a proposed pipeline creates divisions within the small town of Beaverfield, and a snowstorm traps its residents together inside... [More]
Directed By: Josh Ruben

#20

Nightbooks (2021)
87%

#20
Adjusted Score: 86836%
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.
Synopsis: Alex (Winslow Fegley) is a creative boy with a strong passion for writing scary stories. But when he's labeled weird... [More]
Directed By: David Yarovesky

#19

Come True (2020)
86%

#19
Adjusted Score: 90266%
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.
Synopsis: Looking for an escape from her recurring nightmares, 18-year-old Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone) submits to a university sleep study, but... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Scott Burns

#18

Jakob's Wife (2021)
86%

#18
Adjusted Score: 89572%
Critics Consensus: Jakob's Wife gives genre legend Barbara Crampton an opportunity to carry an old-school horror story -- and she bloody well delivers.
Synopsis: Anne is married to a small-town minister and feels like her life and marriage have been shrinking over the past... [More]
Directed By: Travis Stevens

#17

The Djinn (2021)
87%

#17
Adjusted Score: 89225%
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.
Synopsis: A mute boy becomes trapped in his apartment with a sinister monster after making a wish to fulfill his heart's... [More]

#16

Titane (2021)
88%

#16
Adjusted Score: 97109%
Critics Consensus: Thrillingly provocative and original, Titane reaffirms writer-director Julia Ducournau's delightfully disturbing vision.
Synopsis: Titane: A metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys, often used in medical prostheses due... [More]
Directed By: Julia Ducournau

#15

The Night House (2020)
87%

#15
Adjusted Score: 97269%
Critics Consensus: Led by Rebecca Hall's gripping central performance, The Night House offers atmospheric horror that engages intellectually as well as emotionally.
Synopsis: Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) is left alone in the lakeside home he built... [More]
Directed By: David Bruckner

#14

Violation (2020)
88%

#14
Adjusted Score: 92062%
Critics Consensus: Violation presents a powerful depiction of one woman's trauma -- and its uncomfortably gripping aftermath.
Synopsis: With her marriage about to implode, Miriam returns to her hometown to seek solace in the comfort of her younger... [More]

#13
Adjusted Score: 92491%
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.
Synopsis: A summer of fun turns into a gruesome fight for survival as a killer terrorizes Camp Nightwing in the cursed... [More]
Directed By: Leigh Janiak

#12

Till Death (2021)
89%

#12
Adjusted Score: 90327%
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.
Synopsis: After a romantic evening in their secluded lakehouse, Emma awakens handcuffed to her dead husband. Trapped and isolated in the... [More]
Directed By: S.K. Dale

#11

Censor (2021)
89%

#11
Adjusted Score: 96369%
Critics Consensus: Occasionally uneven but bold and viscerally effective, Censor marks a bloody good step forward for British horror.
Synopsis: Film censor Enid takes pride in her meticulous work, guarding unsuspecting audiences from the deleterious effects of watching the gore-filled... [More]
Directed By: Prano Bailey-Bond

#10

The Stylist (2020)
90%

#10
Adjusted Score: 91457%
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.
Synopsis: We all dream of being someone else... but for Claire (Najarra Townsend, Contracted), that dream goes from an obsession to... [More]
Directed By: Jill Gevargizian

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 90939%
Critics Consensus: The Queen of Black Magic mixes buried trauma with supernatural horror to produce a dark blend that genre fans will savor.
Synopsis: A family travels to the distant, rural orphanage where the father was raised to pay their respects to the facility's... [More]

#8
Adjusted Score: 93879%
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.
Synopsis: In 1666, a colonial town is gripped by a witch hunt that has deadly consequences for centuries to come, while... [More]
Directed By: Leigh Janiak

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 111359%
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.
Synopsis: Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they... [More]
Directed By: John Krasinski

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 95082%
Critics Consensus: Over the top and enthusiastically strange, PG: Psycho Goreman delivers all the cheesy midnight-movie goodness promised by its title.
Synopsis: Siblings Mimi and Luke unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord who was entombed on Earth millions of years ago after... [More]
Directed By: Steven Kostanski

#5

Lucky (2020)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 95175%
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.
Synopsis: A self-help book author finds herself stalked by a threatening figure who returns to her house night after night. She... [More]
Directed By: Natasha Kermani

#4

Slaxx (2020)
96%

#4
Adjusted Score: 98225%
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.
Synopsis: A possessed pair of jeans is brought to life to punish the unscrupulous practices of a trendy clothing company. Shipped... [More]
Directed By: Elza Kephart

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 98409%
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.
Synopsis: Recently discovered and restored 46 years after its completion by the George A. Romero Foundation and produced by Suzanne Desrocher-Romero,... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 98797%
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.
Synopsis: In The Boy Behind the Door, a night of unimaginable terror awaits twelve-year-old Bobby (Lonnie Chavis) and his best friend,... [More]

#1
Adjusted Score: 98939%
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.
Synopsis: Dwight (Patrick Fugit) prowls the streets after dark. He searches each night for the lonely and forlorn, looking for people... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Cuartas

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