The Best Horror Films of the 21st Century, As Decided by The Internet

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The Best Horror Films of the 21st Century, As Decided by The Internet

28 days later

A recent poll conducted on Movies, Films, and Flix set out to determine once and for all: What are the greatest horror movies of the 21st century?

If the internet was designed for one thing, it's pornography. If it was designed for two things, it's pornography and cat videos. But if it was designed for *three* things, it's those first two and "Listicles to Argue About." Just look at the success of Buzzfeed and tell me I'm wrong.

With that in mind, Mark Hofmeyer of Movies, Films, and Flix spent a great deal of time over the past few months polling and collecting data from various film-ranking sites (IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, etc.), with the hope of determining what were the highest rated horror films of the 21st century.

When he had completed his research, Mark polled the readers of his own site to see how the choices would match up. Over 3,500 people voted, and Hofmeyer eventually compiled a list of 21 movies that included everything from cult hits like Session 9 to creature features like The Mist.

The top 10 went something like this:

10. Drag Me To Hell

9. Mulholland Drive

8. Shaun Of The Dead

7. The Babadook

6. It Follows

5. Let The Right One In

4. The Descent

3. 28 Days Later

2. Pan's Labyrinth

1. The Cabin In the Woods

Not too shabby, Internet. Not too shabby at all.

What's perhaps most interesting about this list, as Hofmeyer mentioned, was the variety of horror styles (slasher, creature, torture porn) it included.

"What I like about the 21 films is they cover every aspect of horror," wrote Hofmeyer, "It is an eclectic mix that features French transcendent torture, demon goats, ivory business cards, death via Merman and quite possibly the scariest child killer ever."

That two of the movies in the top ten were released just earlier this year (Babadook and It Follows) suggests that horror may even be experiencing a much-needed and long-awaited renaissance, but like most of you, I'm waiting until Ouija 2 is released before I render my final verdict.

Head over to Movies, Films, and Flix to check out the full list. Personally, I would have included a little indie slasher called You're Next somewhere on there, but what do you guys and gals think? How would your top 10 lists shape up?

Source: The AV Club

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The 10 biggest horror films of the last years, anything with Adam Sandler. The horror the horror......

I dont know that 8 and 2 are strictly horror... but sure

Half of the movies on the list aren't horror.

Cabin in the Woods and Shaun of the Dead are comedies, Pan's Labyrinth (2nd best movie ever made after Lego Movie) is a dark fantasy. I'm don't think 28 Days later even qualifies....

Babadook is really good horror though.

Also seriously missing from the list:

Darkness

image

What, no Dagon? The film that arguably inspired Resident Evil 4?
...I guess that's no surprise, considering Shaun of the Dead, Cabin in the Woods are just as much COMEDIES as horror.

"The Babadook"is pretty good but not deserving of top 10.

Wow, I really don't agree with that list at ALL. Humoristic "horror" films, while funny and entertaining, really don't belong on any such list in the first place imo.

Secondly, Pan's Labyrinth or Let the right one in, while again great films, don't either.

Possibly only one that gave me some sort of jumpscares were 3,4 and 6. That's pretty much it.
Though I admit I didn't see a number of them.

No Event Horizon? This list fails..

Makabriel:
No Event Horizon? This list fails..

Not a film made in the 21st century; if it was a 20th century list then it maybe there along with Alien.

Devin Barker:
I dont know that 8 and 2 are strictly horror... but sure

And for that matter, what's Mulholland Drive doing on that list? Not that it's not a great movie, but close encounters with a corpse does not a horror movie make.

I suppose this list uses a more cerebral, academic definition of what counts as 'horror'. Mulholland Drive does have a lot of story elements that are very horrifying for the characters, and Pan's Labyrinth too deals with horrible themes when the main character is concerned.

Also, we're not even two decades into the 21st century. Come on people, make that title for that list a little more sensible.

Modern horror films really suck if these are the best of the best.

Shaun of the Dead? Why not just Shaun of the Sheep if 'horror' is being played fast and loose these days.

Under The Skin should win it in my opinion, and yet it doesn't make the top ten. Plus it is including comedy films about horror, which is sort of like saying The Phantom of the Opera counts as an opera because it is a musical about opera.

Too bad Absentia wasn't on there. I thought it was great. Plus it's about as 21st century as you can get considering it was crowdfunded--for about $23,000--made on a budget of $70,000 and had a DVD release. I still recommend it to anyone looking for a horror movie but is tired of gorenograpy.

"Cabin in the woods" and "Shaun of the dead" don't really seem like they belong on this list because they aren't even trying to be scary. At least with "Drag me to Hell" it is close enough to horror for you to believe that the wacky silliness is an extra rather than the main point. "The Devil's Backbone" and "The Conjuring" should be on here instead.

I do agree with Pan's Labyrinth being on this list though because it is tense and scary (and really brilliant) and it's a very hard film to nail down genre-wise (historical-fantasy-horror-thriller). The overall theme though is attempting to escape from evil monsters, real ones and fantasy ones, which makes it horror enough for this list.

Does "Black Swan" and "The Orphanage" not get a look in because they're psychological horror?

Fdzzaigl:
Wow, I really don't agree with that list at ALL. Humoristic "horror" films, while funny and entertaining, really don't belong on any such list in the first place imo.

Secondly, Pan's Labyrinth or Let the right one in, while again great films, don't either.

Possibly only one that gave me some sort of jumpscares were 3,4 and 6. That's pretty much it.
Though I admit I didn't see a number of them.

Really? But that would leave out classics. Evil Dead 2 is one of my favorite horror films of all time, and it gets pretty goofy. In any case, I was happy so many smartly made movies made the list, instead of just grind house horror.

I think a 20th century list would be better. The Thing, Alien, Jacobs Ladder... Just priceless pieces of horror.

albino boo:
The 10 biggest horror films of the last years, anything with Adam Sandler. The horror the horror......

UN-ironic listing. They were voting straight up, I hope.

Atmos Duality:
What, no Dagon? The film that arguably inspired Resident Evil 4?

I've seen that movie. I wouldn't call RE 4 Lovecraftian, exactly. True, there is monstrous mutation and cultism, but the origin point is not the ancient and mysterious servant of Cthulhu. It's the fairly-modern and engineered Plagus.

OT: I think Cabin in the Wood fits fine. You see, it's comedic, but any of it at all is DARK comedy. The world of man manipulates the lives of the young and innocent in order to please the ancient gods through their lesser servants? Anything funny in that is only because we laugh at something that is mentioned funny - like the mermaid running gag - even though the whole thing is horrible. They have every monster, EVERY SINGLE ONE. They are using ALL the horror genres, killing dozens of people messily, and Sigourney Weaver is the villain. It wins. It so wins.

what, no "the grudge" original jap version? now this is creepy. even the conjuring was actually a good movie.

have to check out babadook since its mentioned here a lot. never heard of it.

I've only seen Shaun of the Dead and Pan's Labyrinth, which, if you agree with the comments here, aren't even really horror movies.

And it's not that I don't like horror, but I think maybe I don't like horror films. I have no interest in low-brow blood and guts or semi-serious subversions of the genre. I want actually scary, creepy, and only bloody if it adds to the suspense. Alien, The Thing, and Event Horizon are really the only horror movies I like.

The Babadook was a great movie, I was actually surprised I was the only one in my group that watched it that

Which to me actually made it a better movie

rembrandtqeinstein:
Pan's Labyrinth (2nd best movie ever made after Lego Movie) is a dark fantasy. I'm don't think 28 Days later even qualifies....

I am gonna say Horror is a really subjective thing...

But I would certainly say Pan's Labyrinth is horror. There's a lot of freaky stuff in that movie 0-0

28 Days is a lot more about the horrors humanity is capable of (which is sadly a pretty tired premise for zombie media by this point but I feel the movie was dark enough to beat most others) but I guess I can see people saying it's more of a thriller.

The Descent isn't on the list so it obviously fails.

FalloutJack:

Atmos Duality:
What, no Dagon? The film that arguably inspired Resident Evil 4?

I've seen that movie. I wouldn't call RE 4 Lovecraftian, exactly. True, there is monstrous mutation and cultism, but the origin point is not the ancient and mysterious servant of Cthulhu. It's the fairly-modern and engineered Plagus.

You're correct that RE 4 isn't lovecraftian, but the setting, directorial look and several elements of the plot (film version, not the books it was based on) are shockingly similar.

(Plagas are divergent, because it's Biohazard, and it needs its dern zombies!).
The timing is right too.

I'm not saying it's a ripoff, just an inspiration; Capcom could have done far worse.

IIRC, I don't think Dagon was the servant of Cthulhu; just part of the trinity the Deep Ones revere.

OT: I think Cabin in the Wood fits fine. You see, it's comedic, but any of it at all is DARK comedy. The world of man manipulates the lives of the young and innocent in order to please the ancient gods through their lesser servants? Anything funny in that is only because we laugh at something that is mentioned funny - like the mermaid running gag - even though the whole thing is horrible. They have every monster, EVERY SINGLE ONE. They are using ALL the horror genres, killing dozens of people messily, and Sigourney Weaver is the villain. It wins. It so wins.

I rather enjoyed that movie. Though the big thing I remember taking away from that was a sort of "pretentious" interpretation. That the whole movie was a black comedy, allegorical of the relationship between Hollywood and modern audiences.

The ancients that must be appeased by sacrifices to keep the system going?
THAT'S US. THE PAYING AUDIENCE. We are the reason Hollywood keeps forcing its creators to endlessly create and recreate the same old shit to remain relevant. (which is why the characters act like idiots until they discover they're being played; everything is designed to appease the ancients via MOVIE LOGIC and using MOVIE MONSTERS. It's a bit blunt, but I loved it.)

...Which come to think of it, actually is kind of horrifying.

Atmos Duality:
Snip

Actually, according to my sourcebook, Call of Cthulhu Sixth Edition, Dagon and Hydra are in the service of Cthulhu and his spawn as the leaders of their religion among the Deep Ones. They're active all the time, as opposed to Cthulhu's waking periods, possibly working alongside Star Spawn and sometimes having the employ of Shoggoths.

As for Cabin in the Woods, I ignored underlying messages and just enjoyed the movie.

This is a pretty terrible list, no Insidious or Sinister? Did someone tell these guys that Cabin in the Woods wasn't a real horror movie?

That two of the movies in the top ten were released just earlier this year (Babadook and It Follows) suggests that horror may even be experiencing a much-needed and long-awaited renaissance

Or, you know, like the audience of this site, nobody cares (or remembers, or is too young to know) about anything that's more than a couple years old, regardless of how good it is.

Remus:
The Descent isn't on the list so it obviously fails.

Pssst. It's at number 4. Should at least be at #3 or higher though. So the list == fail.

I really loved about 6 of those movies on the list, but I have to be honest. Are those really the best? It's a good thing there's plenty of 21st century left for horror films to get it together because so far that list can't hold a candle to the 20th century. That list can't really compete with a couple of individual decades in the 20th century.

Pan's Labyrinth is definitely not a horror movie. Shaun of the Dead was a comedy, no? Cabin in the Woods and Drag Me to Hell are arguable, I suppose. I really liked Cabin in the Woods (really cool twist). I've seen Drag me to Hell years ago; it bugs me that critics continue to praise this movie. I remember it as having a generic plot, and it wasn't very funny. Nothing special about it. Can someone explain the appeal? I got Cabin in the Woods, but Drag Me to Hell? Nah.

The reason that Cabin in the Woods was so cool was because it was being meta about horror movies. It started off as generic, but shifted gears in a really cool way.

Edit: 28 Days Later is also questionable. 28 Weeks Later (good or not) was more of a horror movie, while 28 Days Later was more of a thriller or drama or whatever.

Have to agree, El Labyrinto Del Fauno isn't a horror. Shaun of the Dead and Cabin in the Woods aren't either.

Insidious/The Conjuring/Sinister were actual horrors that should've been on the list - hell, I can see why people wouldn't like it but it's one of my top ten favourite movies of all time.

What, no Silent Hill? They aren't even trying-- HAHAHAHAHA I can't take myself seriously on this.

Cowabungaa:

And for that matter, what's Mulholland Drive doing on that list? Not that it's not a great movie, but close encounters with a corpse does not a horror movie make.

It seems no one else has seen Mulholland Drive here, because to me that was the first title that screamed itself out of that list. I can't remember anything at all terror-like in that movie.

Edit: ok, on the site there is a fair point in favor of its inclusion. Still, I think one scene/moment in the whole movie is not enough to put it in a specific genre.

srpilha:

Cowabungaa:

And for that matter, what's Mulholland Drive doing on that list? Not that it's not a great movie, but close encounters with a corpse does not a horror movie make.

It seems no one else has seen Mulholland Drive here, because to me that was the first title that screamed itself out of that list. I can't remember anything at all terror-like in that movie.

Edit: ok, on the site there is a fair point in favor of its inclusion. Still, I think one scene/moment in the whole movie is not enough to put it in a specific genre.

No, that title was the proverbial sausage roll in the soufflé to me too. It's a crime noir film, a thriller if you're really stretching it. Also, if Sean of the Dead can be on there then where the hell is Event Horizon?

I agree with some of the choices (The Descent, The Cabin in the Woods) and question others (Pan's Labyrinth as horror?).

Very surprised that the Spanish horror film [Rec] didn't make it on there; best use of shaky cam I can think of in horror, and wonderfully scary.

Comedy horror has been a staple sub-genre for a long time. Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, Cabin in the Woods, Tucker and Wade Vs Evil are all legit choices.

My beef is with Mulholland Drive and The Babadook. I don't know what Mulholland Drive is exactly, but it's not horror, maybe its just Lynch.

The Babadook is just another haunting-type horror, really amazed at how so many people are drinking the kool-aid with this one. I thought The Orphanage, The Pact, Paranormal Activity, The Ring were all more interesting to me.

Also, Martyrs was a totally over-rated high-concept but secretly shallow turd.

Frezzato:
Too bad Absentia wasn't on there. I thought it was great. Plus it's about as 21st century as you can get considering it was crowdfunded--for about $23,000--made on a budget of $70,000 and had a DVD release. I still recommend it to anyone looking for a horror movie but is tired of gorenograpy.

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by how effective that movie was. Another low budget horror flick I'd recommend is Pontypool, which puts an interesting twist on the zombie genre (and is based on an even more bizarre novel).

Has anyone here ever seen/heard of Rabies, the first Israeli horror film ever? It also mixes in comedic elements but is a pretty wild ride of a film.

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