(Photo by A24, RADiUS-TWC, Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)
The 50 Best Horror Movies of the 2010s
How often did we hear over the last decade that we were living in a horror golden age and we better be damn appreciative? And no wonder: Every few months it felt like there was something to top the previous horror hit: Get Out, Green Room, It Follows, The Babadook, Hereditary, The Witch…the list goes on and on.
We use horror to process our fears, to express the terrors wrenching at the soul. It also gives voice to underserved voices not just in cinema but the world at large, and we saw small movies make big breakthroughs, like Under the Shadow, The Wailing, Tigers Are Not Afraid, and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Of course, we can’t say horror had perhaps its best decade ever if it were only just arthouse hits. Studio films like It, The Conjuring, and A Quiet Place performed like bona fide blockbusters, keeping alive the pain and pleasure of sitting in the dark with strangers and getting scared half to death.
Whatever the style, or budget, we took every horror movie from the decade and then ranked them by Adjusted Tomatometer, a formula which weighs multiple factors, including a movie’s release year and its number of reviews. Speaking of, each movie needed a minimum of 40 reviews for consideration. And now, it’s time for us to look back in danger with the 50 Best Horror Movies of the 2010s!
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Adjusted Score: 89.823%
Critics Consensus: Unsane unleashes Steven Soderbergh's inner B-movie maestro, wading into timeless psychological thriller territory and giving it a high-tech filmmaking spin.
A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution where she is confronted by her greatest fear--but is it... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.979%
Critics Consensus: Part revisionist war drama, part zombie thriller, and part all-out genre gorefest, Overlord offers A-level fun for B-movie fans of multiple persuasions.
With only hours until D-Day, a team of American paratroopers drop into Nazi-occupied France to carry out a mission that's... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.357%
Critics Consensus: Smart, suspenseful, and visually distinctive, Julia's Eyes marks another modern Spanish thriller that quickens the pulse while engaging the mind.
A woman is trying to unravel a mystery that she literally can no longer see in this thriller from Spanish... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.762%
Critics Consensus: The Girl with All the Gifts grapples with thought-provoking questions without skimping on the scares -- and finds a few fresh wrinkles in the well-worn zombie horror genre along the way.
The near future humanity has been all but destroyed by a mutated fungal disease that eradicates free will and turns... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.927%
Critics Consensus: Carried by its charismatic young cast, Better Watch Out is an adorably sinister holiday horror film.
This holiday season, you may be home, but you're not alone... In this fresh and gleefully twisted spin on home-invasion... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.173%
Critics Consensus: Dark, violent, and drenched in dread, Goodnight Mommy is perfect for extreme horror enthusiasts -- or filmgoers who prefer to watch between splayed fingers.
In the heat of the summer. A lonesome house in the countryside between woods and corn fields. Nine-year-old twin brothers... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.225%
Critics Consensus: An action-packed creature feature that's fast, terrifying, and benefits greatly from a completely game Kaya Scodelario, Crawl is a fun throw-back with just enough self-awareness to work.
When a massive hurricane hits her Florida hometown, Haley (Kaya Scodelario) ignores evacuation orders to search for her missing father... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.434%
Critics Consensus: The Invitation makes brilliant use of its tension-rich premise to deliver a uniquely effective -- and surprisingly clever -- slow-building thriller.
In this taut psychological thriller by Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer's Body), the tension is palpable when Will (Logan Marshall-Green, Prometheus)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.297%
Critics Consensus: Gleefully nasty and darkly hilarious, Cheap Thrills lives down to its title in the best possible way.
Cheap Thrills follows Craig (Pat Healy, Compliance), a struggling family man who loses his low-wage job and is threatened with... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.436%
Critics Consensus: Smartly constructed and powerfully acted, Hounds of Love satisfies as a psychological thriller with a few nasty surprises -- and marks writer-director Ben Young as a promising talent.
In suburban Perth during the mid 1980s, people are unaware that women are disappearing at the hands of serial killer... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.527%
Critics Consensus: Rare Exports is an unexpectedly delightful crossbreed of deadpan comedy and Christmas horror.
It's the eve of Christmas in northern Finland, and an 'archeological' dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.089%
Critics Consensus: Creepy lives up to its title with a suspenseful and thoroughly unsettling - not to mention well-acted - blend of crime procedural and domestic drama.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who made his name with classics Cure and Bright Future, gets back to his roots by putting the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.681%
Critics Consensus: Worth watching for Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton's performances alone, Only Lovers Left Alive finds writer-director Jim Jarmusch adding a typically offbeat entry to the vampire genre.
Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.887%
Critics Consensus: As ambitious as it is daringly transgressive, Prevenge should thrill fans of pitch-black horror-comedy -- and open untold opportunities for writer/director/star Alice Lowe.
A pitch black, wryly British comedy from the mind of Alice Lowe, "Prevenge" follows Ruth, a pregnant woman on a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.417%
Critics Consensus: Well-crafted and gleefully creepy, The Conjuring ratchets up dread through a series of effective old-school scares.
Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. "The Conjuring" tells the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.332%
Critics Consensus: The Devil's Candy playfully subverts horror tropes while serving up more than enough stylish thrills to satisfy genre enthusiasts.
An artist and his family think they've moved into the house of their dreams, but when he is possessed by... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.905%
Critics Consensus: Bone Tomahawk's peculiar genre blend won't be for everyone, but its gripping performances and a slow-burning story should satisfy those in search of something different.
When a group of cannibal savages kidnaps settlers from the small town of Bright Hope, an unlikely team of gunslingers,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.058%
Critics Consensus: Most Beautiful Island plunges audiences into a little-seen sector of society, with writer-director Ana Asensio's fearless performance leading the way.
MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND is a psychological thriller examining the plight of undocumented female immigrants hoping to make a life in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.97%
Critics Consensus: Similar to the original in all the right ways -- but with enough changes to stand on its own -- Let Me In is the rare Hollywood remake that doesn't add insult to inspiration.
Twelve-year old Owen is viciously bullied by his classmates and neglected by his divorcing parents. Achingly lonely, Owen spends his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.985%
Critics Consensus: Ambitious and beautifully shot, Demon delivers a gripping -- and sadly final -- testament to the singular talent possessed by director/co-writer Marcin Wrona.
Newly arrived from England to marry his fiancee Zaneta (Agnieszka Zulewska, Chemo), Peter (Israeli actor Itay Tiran, Lebanon) has been... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.194%
Critics Consensus: Halloween largely wipes the slate clean after decades of disappointing sequels, ignoring increasingly elaborate mythology in favor of basic - yet still effective - ingredients.
Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.848%
Critics Consensus: Smart, powerfully acted, and devilishly clever, We Are Still Here offers some novel twists on familiar territory -- and heralds the arrival of a major talent in writer-director Ted Geoghegan.
In the cold, wintery fields of New England, a lonely old house wakes up every thirty years - and demands... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.823%
Critics Consensus: Alternately hilarious, gross, and simply diverting, Housebound is the rare horror-comedy that delivers on both fronts.
Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.85%
Critics Consensus: Don't Breathe smartly twists its sturdy premise to offer a satisfyingly tense, chilling addition to the home invasion genre that's all the more effective for its simplicity.
A trio of reckless thieves breaks into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they'll get away with the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.545%
Critics Consensus: Smart and suspenseful, CAM is a techno-thriller that's far more than the sum of its salacious parts -- and an outstanding showcase for Madeline Brewer in the leading role.
CAM is a technology driven psychological thriller set in the world of webcam porn. It follows Alice, an ambitious camgirl,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.861%
Critics Consensus: Train to Busan delivers a thrillingly unique -- and purely entertaining -- take on the zombie genre, with fully realized characters and plenty of social commentary to underscore the bursts of skillfully staged action.
TRAIN TO BUSAN is a harrowing zombie horror-thriller that follows a group of terrified passengers fighting their way through a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.342%
Critics Consensus: It Comes at Night makes lethally effective use of its bare-bones trappings while proving once again that what's left unseen can be just as horrifying as anything on the screen.
Imagine the end of the world. Now imagine something worse. Award-winning filmmaker Trey Edward Shults follows his incredible debut feature... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.787%
Critics Consensus: A B-movie with an A-level commitment to entertain, Harpoon should hit the target with horror fans in the mood for gory, darkly humorous antics on the open water.
Rivalries, dark secrets, and sexual tension emerge when three best friends find themselves stranded on a yacht in the middle... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.723%
Critics Consensus: Thelma plays with genre tropes in unexpected ways, delivering a thoughtfully twisty supernatural thriller with a lingering impact.
Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.044%
Critics Consensus: Revenge slices and dices genre tropes, working within an exploitation framework while adding a timely -- yet never less than viscerally thrilling -- feminist spin.
Jen (fearlessly embodied by Matilda Lutz, Rings) is enjoying a romantic getaway with her wealthy boyfriend which is suddenly disrupted... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.69%
Critics Consensus: The Love Witch offers an absorbing visual homage to a bygone era, arranged subtly in service of a thought-provoking meditation on the battle of the sexes.
Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her Gothic Victorian apartment she... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.29%
Critics Consensus: Successfully mixing the conventions of the teen and horror genres with a twist, Australian director Sean Byrne makes a striking directorial debut with The Loved Ones.
Lola Stone asked Brent Mitchell to the prom, but Brent said no, and now he's screwed. What happens when Lola... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.598%
Critics Consensus: Raw's lurid violence and sexuality live up to its title, but they're anchored with an immersive atmosphere and deep symbolism that linger long after the provocative visuals fade.
Everyone in Justine's family is a vet. And a vegetarian. At sixteen she's a brilliant student starting out at veterinary... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.063%
Critics Consensus: Green Room delivers unapologetic genre thrills with uncommon intelligence and powerfully acted élan.
GREEN ROOM is a brilliantly crafted and wickedly fun horror-thriller starring Patrick Stewart as a diabolical club owner who squares... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.773%
Critics Consensus: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night blends conventional elements into something brilliantly original -- and serves as a striking calling card for writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour.
The first Iranian Vampire Western ever made, Ana Lily Amirpour's debut basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.886%
Critics Consensus: Smart, subversive, and darkly funny, Ready or Not is a crowd-pleasing horror film with giddily entertaining bite.
Ready Or Not follows a young bride (Samara Weaving) as she joins her new husband's (Mark O'Brien) rich, eccentric family... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.197%
Critics Consensus: Mandy's gonzo violence is fueled by a gripping performance by Nicolas Cage -- and anchored with palpable emotion conveyed between his volcanic outbursts.
Pacific Northwest. 1983 AD. Outsiders Red Miller and Mandy Bloom lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.285%
Critics Consensus: Tigers Are Not Afraid draws on childhood trauma for a story that deftly blends magical fantasy and hard-hitting realism - and leaves a lingering impact.
A haunting horror fairytale set against the backdrop of Mexico's devastating drug wars, TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID follows a group... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.496%
Critics Consensus: The Wailing delivers an atmospheric, cleverly constructed mystery whose supernatural thrills more than justify its imposing length.
The arrival of a mysterious stranger in a quiet rural village causes suspicion amongst the villagers- but as they begin... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.571%
Critics Consensus: The Cabin in the Woods is an astonishing meta-feat, capable of being funny, strange, and scary -- frequently all at the same time.
Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.104%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core, It amplifies the horror in Stephen King's classic story without losing touch with its heart.
New Line Cinema's horror thriller "IT," directed by Andy Muschietti ("Mama"), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.795%
Critics Consensus: Under the Shadow deftly blends seemingly disparate genres to deliver an effective chiller with timely themes and thought-provoking social subtext.
Shideh (Narges Rashidi) and her family live amid the chaos of the Iran-Iraq war, a period known as The War... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.73%
Critics Consensus: As thought-provoking as it is visually compelling, The Witch delivers a deeply unsettling exercise in slow-building horror that suggests great things for debuting writer-director Robert Eggers.
In this exquisitely made and terrifying new horror film, the age-old concepts of witchcraft, black magic and possession are innovatively... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.442%
Critics Consensus: A gripping story brilliantly filmed and led by a pair of powerhouse performances, The Lighthouse further establishes Robert Eggers as a filmmaker of exceptional talent.
From Robert Eggers, the visionary filmmaker behind modern horror masterpiece The Witch, comes this hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.054%
Critics Consensus: Hereditary uses its classic setup as the framework for a harrowing, uncommonly unsettling horror film whose cold touch lingers long beyond the closing credits.
When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.792%
Critics Consensus: Smart, original, and above all terrifying, It Follows is the rare modern horror film that works on multiple levels -- and leaves a lingering sting.
After a strange sexual encounter, a teenager finds herself haunted by nightmarish visions and the inescapable sense that something is... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.243%
Critics Consensus: The Babadook relies on real horror rather than cheap jump scares -- and boasts a heartfelt, genuinely moving story to boot.
Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111.335%
Critics Consensus: A Quiet Place artfully plays on elemental fears with a ruthlessly intelligent creature feature that's as original as it is scary -- and establishes director John Krasinski as a rising talent.
In the modern horror thriller A QUIET PLACE, a family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious... [More]
Adjusted Score: 114.424%
Critics Consensus: Funny, scary, and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its trenchant social critiques into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror/comedy thrill ride.
Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend... [More]
Adjusted Score: 117.129%
Critics Consensus: With Jordan Peele's second inventive, ambitious horror film, we have seen how to beat the sophomore jinx, and it is Us.
Set in present day along the iconic Northern California coastline, Us, from Monkeypaw Productions, stars Oscar (R) winner Lupita Nyong'o... [More]
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