There's surely no movie genre more densely populated than horror, which with its low financial barrier of entry provides budding filmmakers the opportunity to demonstrate their chops on a small budget.
And while horror has always thrived on the home video market, the obvious recent changes in the film industry have only made horror fans even more spoiled for choice, with basically dozens of new genre films hitting streaming every single month.
Sorting through the hundreds of horror films releasing every year is no easy feat, but over the past 12 months, these are the ones you absolutely, positively need to see.
From bigger-budget Hollywood offerings by name directors to the most low-key films you've maybe never even heard of, and even a certain "lost" film that was recently rediscovered, these 20 horrors begged your attention more than all others in 2021.
Whether you're after gut-wrenching suspense, buckets of gore, or something a little more artsy and unexpected, the past year had something for everyone. Having pored over so many of 2021's horror movies, these are the ones that rose to the top of the pile...
M. Night Shyamalan's latest may not have been universally embraced by critics or fans, but would it really have been a modern Shyamalan film otherwise?
Old sees the director taking a rare trip out of Philadelphia to the Dominican Republic for a deeply disturbing horror-thriller set on a tropical resort where a private beach seemingly causes anyone on it to age rapidly.
It's a killer concept for a movie and one which Shyamalan executes with giddy aplomb, milking every last drop of gut-wrenching suspense and unease possible.
Simply, this movie gets far more disturbing than most audiences were surely expecting from the marketing, and while not without some of the filmmaker's usual indulgences - namely iffy dialogue and a risible self-cameo - it delivers a gnarly mainstream horror rollercoaster ride well worth taking.
Give yourself over to Shyamalan's twisted vibe and there's a hell of a lot to enjoy here, even if it's far from perfect.