Throughout this century, horror has been on quite the journey.
Throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, the genre was seemingly dead. It was dominated by terrible studio horror films, remakes and sequels, with only the occasional gem to be found in a sea of garbage.
Still, much like many characters in its movies, horror has returned from the dead in the last ten years and horror cinema has really got its mojo back. And with 2022, a notably great year for horror, recently concluded, it's a great time to look back on the 21st century's finest horror flicks.
So, what are the best horror films (including horror comedies) since 2000? And which comes out on top? It's time to find out.
Honorable Mentions: Ju-On, The Orphanage, Halloween (2018), Ring 0: Birthday, The Conjuring 2, Noroi: The Curse, Suicide Club, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Possessor, Ghost Stories, and Us.
Oh, and don't expect to see Midsommar, The Ring (2002), Zombieland, Split, Paranormal Activity or A Quiet Place on here. Those movies really aren't very good and there are at least 50 other 21st century horror films that absolutely shred all of those, starting with...
Plot: A family are haunted by a series of ghosts attacking their comatose son, and a ghost hunter (Lin Shaye) tries to help them break free.
James Wan had a rough few years after debuting with Saw, and some probably feared he'd end up being a one-hit wonder. Then, out of nowhere, he exploded back onto the horror scene with Insidious, a film that was exhilarating to watch because, for its time, it was that rare thing: a scary movie.
A genuinely terrifying and beautifully directed haunted house flick complete with intelligent pacing and characters we care about, Insidious was absolutely leagues ahead of nearly every other studio horror film around that time. Unfortunately, the film's final act is pretty lame but then it pulls itself back together to deliver a bruising cliffhanger ending which confirms Insidious as, flaws and all, a minor horror classic of the modern era.
A mostly weak series of sequels has followed; Insidious 5 is due this year.