Here are some of the best modern-day horror films to come out of the 2000s, as voted for by critics.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the horror film genre was in jeopardy. The growth of CGI had made filmmakers complacent, which was bad news for a genre that relies on its capacity to shock and amaze audiences. As a result of the meta takedowns of the ’90s like Scream, many horror cliches had been stripped of their ability to shock.
For horror filmmakers this meant that they were forced into new ways of making their films, which in turn led to a spike in prestige horror films in 2010. In order to make themselves feel better about applauding terrifying movies, the film buff community developed the unpleasant word “elevated horror.”
1. Kill List (2011)
However, despite the fact that Ben Wheatley’s Kill List begins with the protagonist trying to get his life back on track, the film takes a horrific turn when a cult attacks him in the woods.
Kill List, as is customary for Wheatley’s work, concludes with one of the most frightening and distressing climaxes in recent memory. In a nice manner, it leaves the audience feeling chilled.
2. It Follows (2014)
David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows is one of the decade’s most imaginative original ideas, based on a childhood nightmare. Sexually transmitted parasite causes a supernatural creature to follow the person infected until they either pass it on to someone else or die.
When It Follows was released, it didn’t have the intention of portraying the stigma of having a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
3. The Descent (2005)
While caving in an unexplored cave in The Descent, a party of pals gets stuck in a cave-in, which is scary enough. Then they uncover a mutant race that wants to maul and eat them who lives below there: the flesh-eating mutants.
It takes time to create the characters in the first half of Neil Marshall’s blood-spattered sophomore film, which is why their slaying in the fast-paced second half has more impact.
4. You’re Next (2011)
For Adam Wingard, the only thing left in horror movies that actually horrified him was a home invasion movie written by his buddy and fellow screenwriter Simon Barrett. You’re Next was written by Barrett as a home invasion thriller-turned-slasher that also pokes fun at the excesses of the privileged.
In spite of the distributor’s missteps, You’re Next is a standout among slashers for its originality, subversion, and sheer entertainment value.
5. Train To Busan (2016)
In many zombie movies since the days of George A. Romero, the hordes of flesh-eating zombies have been rushing for their living, breathing prey. Train to Busan, on the other hand, is one of the few examples of a zombie movie that is truly horrifying.
One of the most thrilling zombie movies ever made, Train to Busan has as much focus on action and horror as it does on social commentary about class struggle.
6. The Witch (2015)
Robert Eggers’ The Witch is the perfect antidote to the misuse of cheap jump scares in mainstream horror films. Due to their religious views, a family is exiled to a farm in the middle of nowhere and terrorized by a nearby witch.
The payoffs in Eggers’ film are more effective because of the film’s restraint, which is unique in horror films.
7. Let The Right One In (2008)
Let the Right One In is the best vampire romance, even if Twilight is the most popular. Tomas Alfredson, the film’s director, accomplished a delicate balancing act by focusing on the characters: a bullied boy and the vampire he befriends.
The movie uses this similarity between the tormented boy and the vampire to make their bond feel authentic.
8. It Comes At Night (2017)
Prior to It Comes at Night’s events, there is no mention of a catastrophic event that brought the world to an end. When one family reluctantly takes in another in the middle of a dangerous and unfriendly time, they must determine whether or not they can trust the newcomers.
It’s a feat of writing and directing that is reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s Overlook Hotel in The Shining, as Trey Edward Shults brilliantly builds tension throughout the film.
9. Hereditary (2018)
Hereditary, which some critics dubbed “this generation’s The Exorcist,” instantly elevated Ari Aster to the status as one of the most important horror filmmakers working today.
While playing a bereaved mother, Toni Collette provides an Oscar-worthy performance as someone who is unintentionally drawn into an ancient pagan sect that would ultimately lead to her family’s demise,
10. Get Out (2017)
Many feared that Jordan Peele, a popular sketch comedian, would not be able to deliver effective scares in a horror film. In spite of all the odds, Peele’s timely film revolutionized the global debate about racism, revitalized the “social thriller” genre, and earned a well-deserved Oscar for his passionately creative screenplay.
Ira Levin’s novels about women’s concerns, such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives, had a dread and anxiety that Peele exploited to explore race relations in the United States.