Table of Contents Show
If you’re not a horror fan, it’s hard to explain exactly why horror is so compelling.
Perhaps it’s the vicarious release of allowing yourself to be scared in a controlled environment, or maybe it’s just the visceral thrills of what you’re seeing on screen, but horror scratches an itch that no other genre can scratch for its fans.
2023 has been an excellent year for horror, and while there could still be some terrifying future classics on the way, we feel confident in calling the year’s best horror movies right now.
Let’s take a look at the best horror films of 2023!
Evil Dead Rise
Nobody expected the Evil Dead franchise to have the staying power it’s had, but the series is still going strong, as this year’s entry Evil Dead Rise proves.
Perhaps wisely, Evil Dead Rise does away with the continuity of the somewhat ill-advised 2013 reboot, returning instead to the core series (although you’d be forgiven for thinking this was another reboot).
By moving the action to a claustrophobic apartment block, director Lee Cronin wrings maximum tension out of his movie, bringing Evil Dead back to its brutal best.
Speaking of franchises nobody expected to get a second wind…Saw X is, as you’ve probably guessed, the tenth movie in the long-running Saw franchise, and it somehow manages to breathe new life into its series.
John “Jigsaw” Kramer is presented with a potential opportunity to cure his terminal cancer, but when that cure turns out to be bogus, he takes his revenge on the fraudsters as only he knows how.
Turning the tables in a delightfully interesting way, Saw X has proven popular with audiences and critics alike, which is unusual for the crowd-pleasing franchise.
Talk To Me
The premise of teenagers using Ouija boards or similar spiritual conduits to talk to the dead is nothing new, and nor are possession movies, but Talk To Me finds new ground to tread.
Thanks to its down-to-earth practical effects, Talk To Me never feels floaty and weightless in the way that truly bad horror can, and its characters and story are compelling as well.
There’s also a thematic underpinning to Talk To Me that we don’t want to spoil, but if you’re expecting this to be a straightforward horror movie, you may be surprised.
Admit it: when you first saw the title of this movie, you read it as “m-three-gan”, didn’t you? We certainly did. At any rate, this is a first-class techno-chiller, and one you’ll love if you’re a fan of both creepy doll horror movies and android stories alike.
The titular M3gan is assigned as a companion to Violet McGraw’s Cady, a young girl with tragedy in her past. Cady’s mother is M3Gan’s designer, but she gets much more than she bargains for when M3gan turns out to be less cuddly than she’d hoped.
Gerard Johnstone’s movie strikes the perfect balance between silly and scary, making it an ideal Halloween treat for spooky season.
The term “elevated horror” is one that’s proven somewhat controversial among critics; some praise it for lifting horror out of its splattery preconceptions, while others suggest that it’s pretentious and insulting.
Whatever your take on “elevated horror”, Enys Men isn’t like most other horror movies. It’s more of a symphonic piece than a straightforward story, so letting yourself soak up its atmosphere is paramount for enjoyment.
Enys Men is very much not for everyone, but if you immerse yourself in its tactile world, you’ll find plenty to love about it.
Huesera: The Bone Woman
If you can imagine a mixture of What To Expect When You’re Expecting and Rosemary’s Baby, with a healthy dash of Cronenberg-style body horror thrown into the mix, then you’re pretty close to Huesera: The Bone Woman.
Natalia Solián is Valeria, a woman who becomes pregnant for the first time. She’s overjoyed until she falls afoul of a curse, which threatens to destroy her family and her chances of happiness with her first child.
Obviously, if you’re pregnant yourself or hoping to be in the near future, you may want to avoid this one, but otherwise, settle in for a delightfully chilly Mexican-Peruvian production.
It’s an unfortunately common trope that the Black character in many horror movies is the first one to die, and that, plus many other racist Hollywood tropes, is what’s being skewered by The Blackening.
There’s a pretty solid pedigree behind The Blackening; its creative team includes Barbershop’s Tim Story, Harlem’s Tracy Oliver, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Dewayne Perkins, among others.
If you’re in the mood for a laugh-out-loud comedy that has some bite to it thanks to its satirical message, then you could definitely do a lot worse than The Blackening, so be sure to add this one to your spooky season watch list.
If you know the movies of Brandon Cronenberg, you’ll know that the apple has very much not fallen far from the tree; like his father, Cronenberg junior makes unflinchingly terrifying and unsettling horror movies, and Infinity Pool is no exception.
The movie takes place in a country in which those who have committed crimes can escape consequences by having a clone killed in their place.
When Alexander Skarsgård’s James Foster accidentally does something horrible, he decides to pay the huge fee required to go through this process, and naturally, things spiral downwards pretty quickly from there.