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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 OldCandymanDon’t Breathe 2, Malignant, 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

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 66036%
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: When his car breaks down, a quiet loner agrees to clean an abandoned family fun center in exchange for repairs.... [More]
Directed By:

#33

Wrong Turn (2021)
64%

#33
Adjusted Score: 67405%
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: Despite warnings to stick to the Appalachian Trail, hikers stray off course and cross into land inhabited by a hidden... [More]
Directed By: Mike P. Nelson

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 71015%
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

#31

Army Of The Dead (2021)
67%

#31
Adjusted Score: 84829%
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: After a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries takes the ultimate gamble by venturing into the quarantine... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#30

Meander (2020)
73%

#30
Adjusted Score: 44314%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A woman gets locked in a series of bizarre tubes filled with dangerous traps.... [More]
Directed By: Mathieu Turi

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 82757%
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: While traveling with top-secret documents on a B-17 Flying Fortress, a female WWII pilot encounters an evil presence on board.... [More]
Directed By: Roseanne Liang

#28

In The Earth (2021)
79%

#28
Adjusted Score: 88713%
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 devastating virus, a scientist and a park scout venture deep into... [More]
Directed By:

#27

The Columnist (2020)
79%

#27
Adjusted Score: 82381%
Critics Consensus: Savagely funny and viscerally unsettling, The Columnist takes the unbridled vitriol of social media to its bloodily over-the-top conclusion.
Synopsis: A columnist and author decides to take revenge after being flooded with anonymous nasty messages and death threats on social... [More]
Directed By: Ivo van Aart

#26

Gaia (2021)
82%

#26
Adjusted Score: 85096%
Critics Consensus: If its narrative ambitions aren't always equaled by its chilling visuals, Gaia remains an effective slice of ecological horror.
Synopsis: A park ranger takes shelter with two survivalists after an attack by mysterious creatures in a primordial forest.... [More]
Directed By:

#25

Caveat (2020)
83%

#25
Adjusted Score: 83604%
Critics Consensus: An effective spine-tingler despite clear budget constraints, Caveat suggests a deliciously dark filmmaking future for writer-director Damian Mc Carthy.
Synopsis: A desperate drifter suffering from partial memory loss agrees to look after his landlord's psychologically troubled niece in an isolated... [More]
Directed By: Damian Mc Carthy

#24

Bloodthirsty (2020)
82%

#24
Adjusted Score: 82715%
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: After teaming up with a mysterious producer at his remote cabin, Grey's music transforms. She's disturbed to find that so... [More]
Starring: Katharine King
Directed By: Amelia Moses

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 84247%
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: Some hardy road workers, led by a bickering father and son, must survive the night when they accidentally awaken an... [More]
Directed By: Chris Baugh

#22

The Power (2021)
84%

#22
Adjusted Score: 85952%
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: A trainee nurse arrives for her first day at the empty East London Royal Infirmary, where she's forced to face... [More]
Directed By: Corinna Faith

#21
Adjusted Score: 89474%
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

#20

The Night House (2020)
86%

#20
Adjusted Score: 97043%
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 is left alone at the lakeside home he built for her.... [More]
Directed By: David Bruckner

#19

Candyman (2021)
84%

#19
Adjusted Score: 104289%
Critics Consensus: Candyman takes an incisive, visually thrilling approach to deepening the franchise's mythology -- and terrifying audiences along the way.
Synopsis: An artist begins to explore the macabre history of Candyman, not knowing it would unravel his sanity and unleash a... [More]
Directed By: Nia DaCosta

#18

Come True (2020)
86%

#18
Adjusted Score: 88708%
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: Strange events plague a troubled teen when she participates in a scientific experiment to stop her nightmares.... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Scott Burns

#17

Jakob's Wife (2021)
86%

#17
Adjusted Score: 90119%
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: Bodies start to pile up when a woman discovers a new sense of power and an appetite to live bigger... [More]
Directed By: Travis Stevens

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 94590%
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: A snowstorm traps town residents together inside the local inn, where newly arrived forest ranger Finn and postal worker Cecily... [More]
Directed By:

#15

Till Death (2021)
88%

#15
Adjusted Score: 89443%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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

#14

The Djinn (2021)
87%

#14
Adjusted Score: 90016%
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]

#13

Violation (2021)
88%

#13
Adjusted Score: 93406%
Critics Consensus: Violation presents a powerful depiction of one woman's trauma -- and its uncomfortably gripping aftermath.
Synopsis: A troubled woman who feels betrayed by those around her seeks revenge.... [More]

#12
Adjusted Score: 94389%
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

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 90782%
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 middle-class family travels into rural Indonesia to visit the terminally ill director of the orphanage where the father was... [More]

#10

Censor (2021)
89%

#10
Adjusted Score: 97707%
Critics Consensus: Occasionally uneven but bold and viscerally effective, Censor marks a bloody good step forward for British horror.
Synopsis: A British film censor links a disturbing horror movie to her sister's mysterious disappearance.... [More]
Directed By:

#9

The Stylist (2020)
90%

#9
Adjusted Score: 91219%
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: ... [More]
Directed By: Jill Gevargizian

#8
Adjusted Score: 94743%
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: 95710%
Critics Consensus: Over the top and enthusiastically strange, PG: Psycho Goreman delivers all the cheesy midnight-movie goodness promised by its title.
Synopsis: Intergalactic assassins converge on a small town after two siblings unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord.... [More]
Directed By: Steven Kostanski

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 113122%
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: The Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they fight for survival in silence. Forced... [More]
Directed By: John Krasinski

#5

Lucky (2020)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 94772%
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]
Starring: Hunter Smith
Directed By: Natasha Kermani

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 98130%
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: A seemingly ordinary day at an amusement park turns into a living nightmare for an elderly man.... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 98436%
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: Bobby tries to save himself and his best friend when they are kidnapped on their way home from school.... [More]

#2

Slaxx (2020)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 99822%
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

#1
Adjusted Score: 98684%
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: A man prowls the streets at night, searching for fresh human blood to keep his brother alive.... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Cuartas

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