For some individuals, horror films rank right up there with handling spiders, riding Nemesis at Alton Towers, and camping alone in the woods. Vietnam and civil unrest helped reignite a new golden age of American horror films in the late 1960s and early 1970s; shortly after the turn of the century, there was one massive public atrocity as well as many new wars to fuel a whole new wave of films dealing with communal anxieties through evil monsters and super-freaky maniacs.
The allure of witnessing the unfamiliar has always drawn viewers to movies, and horror, as a genre that takes them beyond the ordinary and into death, seems especially connected to this medium. So, from Midsommar and Us to the most recent releases, we’ve compiled a list of the best horror-thriller movies of all time.
Things Heard & Seen (2021)
Director: Shari Springer Berman
Writer: Shari Springer Berman
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, James Norton, Kristin Griffith
IMDb Rating: 5.3/10
A Manhattan artist and her small family move to a quaint Hudson Valley village. As she adjusts to her new existence, she begins to believe that her relationship has a nasty bitter side to it, one that equals the history of her new house. She quickly detects a terrible shadow behind the dilapidated property’s walls—as well as in her marriage to George. This is one of the new horror movies.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Vicky Krieps, Alex Wolff, Abbey Lee
IMDb Rating: 5.8/10
Guy and Prisca, an overworked married couple, arrive at a luxurious, suspiciously affordable resort they found online with their children in the hopes of choosing to spend the perfect tropical holiday and strengthening family bonds, only to discover later to their surprise that this beach is causing them to age rapidly — reducing their entire lives into a single day.
Director: Nia DaCosta
Writer: Jordan Peele
Cast: Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Vanessa Williams
IMDb Rating: 6.0/10
For as long as inhabitants can remember, the Cabrini-Green housing projects in Chicago have been terrified by a rumor of a supernatural murderer with a hook for a hand which can be easily called by repeating his name five times into a mirror. He unwittingly unlocks a door to a complex history that unwinds him as they flee together and unleashes a terrible tide of violence in his studio, eager to utilize these gruesome details as fresh grain for paintings.
Don’t Breathe 2 (2021)
Director: Rodo Sayagues
Writer: Fede Álvarez
Cast: Madelyn Grace, Brendan Sexton III, and Stephen Lang
IMDb Rating: 6.1/10
Part one of Don’t Breathe was previously named among the finest movies on Amazon Prime, and now part two is here to provide even more fun and pleasure. For years, the Blind Man has been hiding in a remote cabin, where he has taken in and raised a little girl whose parents perished in a house fire. As they flee together, Norman befriends the dog, who takes him to the gang’s hotel hideaway.
The Empty Man (2020)
Director: David Prior
Writer: David Prior
Cast: Sasha Frolova, Marin Ireland, James Badge Dale
IMDb Rating: 6.1/10
In the Ura Valley in Bhutan, in 1995. Paul explores a strange whistling call to him and falls into a crack. When Nora notices Amanda has vanished, she calls James for help. “The Empty Man pushed me to do it,” she scribbled in blood on her mirror, they discover. After the subject is taken up by official investigators, James decides to undertake his inquiry. When James can’t find the rest of Amanda’s friends, he investigates into the footbridge they were on. The horrors in this gripping movie come from the narrative and characters themselves, rather than gore or boogeymen. This is one of the best horror-thriller movies, with a compelling plot and stunning visuals.
Till Death (2021)
Director: S.K. Dale
Writer: Jason Carvey
Cast: Eoin Macken, Jack Roth, Megan Fox
IMDb Rating: 5.8/10
“Till Death” could not make it to the top of best movies, but it is among the new horror movies. Emma wakes up tied in their remote lakehouse. Being part of a twisted vengeance plan, she is left chained to her deceased husband. She cannot free herself and must fend for herself as two killers approach to put her to death. She’s trapped and secluded in the middle of winter, and she has to face hired murderers to get out of her husband’s sick scheme.
Spiral: From The Book Of The Saw (2021)
Director: Darren Bousman
Writer: Josh Stolberg
Cast: Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, Richard Zeppieri
IMDb Rating: 5.3/10
Spiral is a new chapter from the terrifying series of the Saw movies and books. It showcases a criminal mastermind who punishes the “sinners” in a twisted way. Brash Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks and his rookie colleague decide to handle the situation to unveil this killer mastermind before any more harm.
You Should Have Left (2020)
Director: David Koepp
Writer: David Koepp
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Avery Tiiu Essex, Kevin Bacon
IMDb Rating: 5.4/10
Theo, a middle-aged banker who is pressured and possessive, is married to Susanna, a young actress, and they also have a six-year-old daughter named Ella. They decide to take a vacation to a large, remote mansion in the Welsh countryside to settle their relationship’s difficulties out of the blue. However, they begin to suffer nightmares, and Theo suspects that something terrible is hiding in the home.
Director: Tate Taylor
Writer: Scotty Landes
Cast: Juliette Lewis, Octavia Spencer, Gianni Paolo
IMDb Rating: 5.6/10
A lonely woman meets a gang of youngsters and decides to party at her house in this new psychological horror film by Tate Taylor and Blumhouse. Things start happening that make the youngsters wonder about their eccentric host’s intentions just when they believe their luck can’t get much better. Sue Ann, who becomes known as Ma, finds it amusing since her connection with the high schoolers allows her to be sociable and invites her to parties. During the weekends, though, she finds it increasingly difficult to let go of her pals.
Director: David Gordon Green
Writer: John Carpenter
Cast: Andi Matichak, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Castle
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
Laurie Strode has been alive for 40 years after surviving a brutal attack by psychotic murderer Michael. Michael Myers, six years old at the time, viciously killed his 17-year-old sister, Judith, on a chilly Halloween night in 1963. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. However, on October 30, 1978, a 21-year-old Michael Myers carjacks and flees Smith’s Grove while being transported for a court hearing. He returns to Haddonfield, Illinois, his peaceful hometown, where he searches for his next victims.
Wrong Turn (2021)
Director: Mike P. Nelson
Writer: Alan B. McElroy
Cast: Adain Bradley, Bill Sage, Charlotte Vega
IMDb Rating: 5.5/10
When Jen and many friends set out to trek the Appalachian Trail, they encounter backwoods terror and never-ending suspense. Despite warnings to stay on the route, the hikers deviate and enter a territory inhabited by The Foundation, a secret society of mountain dwellers who defend their way of life with lethal means. Jen flings in the door, stabs Venable to death, then tosses the knife at the other worshipper, cutting him down before killing him. Finally, Jen walks Ruthie back to her family’s house, holding her hand.
Director: Gerard Bush
Writer: Gerard Bush
Cast: Jena Malone, Janelle Monáe, Arabella Landrum
IMDb Rating: 5.7/10
Veronica Henley, a successful novelist, is wrapping off a book tour before returning home to her husband and children. But Veronica’s life is about to be turned upside down by a startling turn of events that will push her to confront her past, present, and future before it’s too late. Just as the cops arrive, Veronica rides off her horse to look for other people, and she seems relieved. The abducted black people are rescued, and Antebellum is bulldozed to the ground.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
Director: Michael Chaves
Writer: David Leslie
Cast: Ruairi O’Connor, Patrick Wilson,
IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
Even seasoned real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were horrified by this terrible horror, murder, and unknown evil narrative. One of their most spectacular cases begins with a battle for a little boy’s soul, then leads them to the extreme they’d ever seen before, to become the first case ever in US history that a murder suspect was claiming the demonic possession as a defense.
The Night House (2020)
Director: David Bruckner
Writer: Ben Collins
Cast: Sarah Goldberg, Evan Jonigkeit, Rebecca Hall
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Beth is stranded alone in her husband’s lakeside home after his untimely death. She does her best to hold it together, but then the nightmares begin. Visions of a presence in the home calling to her, enticing her with a mysterious appeal, disturbed her. Against her friends’ caution, she begins rummaging through her husband’s possessions in search of answers. What she discovers are odd and unsettling mysteries, which she is eager to solve. Finally, Beth notices the shape of the devil hovering in the boat and says, “It’s nothing,” implying that she has finally conquered her sadness.
Director: Rob Savage
Writer: Rob Savage
Cast: Jemma Moore, Radina Drandova, Alan Emrys
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Six friends plan an internet séance just for laughs, but accidentally invite an unwanted and invisible entity – a demonic entity. As things start to unfold, weird things begin to occur in their houses. The unusual turn of events leaves the six friends speechless and gasping at whatever they can find to save themselves.
Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Writer: Aneesh Chaganty
Cast: Kiera Allen, Pat Healy, BJ Harrison
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Chloe, an adolescent who uses a wheelchair, is homeschooled by her mother. However, her mother’s odd conduct does not go ignored, and when Chloe prys into some confidential files, she discovers the truth. This covers not just medicines and physical treatment but also Diane’s homeschooling hours. As demonstrated by the several complicated engineering projects she worked on in her bedroom, Chloe is a clever young lady. She appears to have a promising career ahead of her.
Ready Or Not (2019)
Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Writer: Guy Busick
Cast: Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Samara Weaving
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Grace is overjoyed after marrying the guy of her dreams in his family’s opulent home. But there’s a catch: she’ll have to hide from midnight until dawn as her newfound in-laws hunt her down with firearms, crossbows, and other devices. Grace finds a way to flip the tables on her less-than-lovable family as she frantically attempts to make it through the night. In this highly dark satire featuring a great Samara Weaving and includes an unusually wicked Andie MacDowell, the class conflict stuff hits the fan.
Director: Adam Robitel
Writer: Bragi F. Schut
Cast: Deborah Ann Woll, Logan Miller, and Taylor Russell
IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
Escape Room is a psychological horror film from the United States that was released on Amazon Prime in 2019. Six individuals are locked in a room with the same objective in mind: to escape and win $10,000. They discover the secrets of the escape room while being imprisoned in several chambers with severe conditions and fighting to survive and find a way out.
Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
The Wilson family plans a trip to Santa Cruz, California, to get some fresh air and spend time away from their hectic life while connecting with friends and family. Meanwhile, at home, the Tyler family is ambushed and killed by their own doppelgängers. The Wilsons arrive and are ambushed as well, but they finally overcome Tyler’s duplicates and murder them. Adelaide recalls the traumatic night she first meets Red in the hall of mirrors as she takes the family away in the ambulance. Their little boy Jason almost walks away on a beach day, prompting his mother, Adelaide, to grow protective of her family. Ason casts a questioning glance towards his mother, who responds with a sly smile.
Director: Mark Tonderai
Writer: Kurt Wimmer
Cast: Kalifa Burton, Loretta Devine, Hannah Gonera
IMDb Rating: 5.5/10
A severe storm leads Marquis to lose the power of the jet bringing him and his family to his father’s burial in a town of Appalachia. He wakes up injured, alone, and imprisoned in Ms. Eloise’s attic, where she says she can treat him with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure fashioned from his blood and flesh. Marquis urgently attempts to be wise and break him free from her dark sorcery in order to protect his family from a terrible ceremony before the blood moon rises, but he is unable to call for aid.
The Platform (2019)
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Writers: David Desola
Cast: Ivan Massagué, Antonia San Juan, Mario Pardo
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10
A weird place, an enigmatic prison, and a massive abyss. There is an unknown number of levels. On each level of vertical cells, two prisoners will watch as detainees in the top cells are supplied while others below go hungry in the future. Goreng learns from his fellow inmates that the people below may succumb to madness and sanity loss, culminating in savage cannibalism. Hence, he devises a plan for the residents of The Hole. It has been nominated as one of the best horror movies on Netflix.
The Curse Of Llorona (2019)
Director: Michael Chaves
Writer: Mikki Daughtry
Cast: Raymond Cruz, Linda Cardellini, Patricia Velasquez
IMDb Rating: 5.3/10
The renowned ghost La Llorona stalks the night — and the children — in 1970s Los Angeles. A social worker and her children are dragged into a terrifying otherworldly realm after ignoring the ominous warning of a disturbed mother. A disillusioned priest who uses mysticism to hold evil at bay is their last hope of escaping La Llorona’s terrible fury.
The Invisible Man (2020)
Director: Leigh Whannell
Writers: Leigh Whannell
Cast: Aldis Hodge, Elisabeth Moss, Harriet Dyer
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
After planning his own death, a mad scientist uses his ability to disappear to follow and torment his ex-girlfriend. Cecilia believes her violent, deceased ex-boyfriend committed suicide and left her his money as a hoax. As a series of coincidences become fatal, Cecilia tries to demonstrate that she is being pursued by someone she can’t see. When the authorities refuse to accept her plea, she plans to take matters into her own hands and fight back. This film may not be in the top 10 horror movies of all time, but it will keep you fascinated until the very end.
The Hunt (2012)
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Writer: Thomas Vinterberg
Cast: Annika Wedderkopp, Thomas Bo Larsen, Mads Mikkelsen
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
While fighting for custody of his kid, a teacher maintains a solitary existence. His life progressively improves as he finds love and receives good news from his child. As the hunt begins, eleven inmates awaken in a forest with gags in their mouths. In a clearing, they find a cache of weapons and the keys to their gags, but five of them are quickly killed by an unseen foe.
Director: Carsten Myllerup
Writer: Rasmus Heisterberg
Cast: Jon Lange, Laura Christensen, Kristian Leth
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
Midsommer was released in 2003 and is a psychological horror film. A couple relocates to Sweden in order to participate in a well-known festival held in a tiny village. Unfortunately, what starts out as a peaceful retreat rapidly devolves into a strange and nasty fight between a pagan cult and its adherents.
Unlike thrillers, which frequently have convoluted psychologically challenging storylines and suspense, the best horror-thriller movies of all time aim to frighten audiences with gore, unexpected narratives, and a sense of impending doom from beginning to end. Some of our worst nightmares stem from a night spent viewing a movie we should’ve paused but couldn’t resist watching to the finish. Not everyone enjoys scary movies. Some individuals like scary or suspenseful plots but aren’t fond of the gore found in most horror flicks.