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What is the Best Horror Film of the 2010s (so far)?: An In-Depth Look at Critical and Audience Scores

June 22, 2016

Voting is still open. Make sure you vote for your favorite horror films below! 

It is a great time to be a fan of horror. The genre is redefining itself and we’ve been blessed with a lot of original films that have recycled old horror tropes and made them fresh again. For example, within the last few years we’ve been lucky enough to have The Guest, Backcountry, It FollowsSpring, The Conjuring, Creep, We are Still Here, The Babadook, I Saw the Devil, Honeymoon, Housebound,The Taking of Deborah Logan, Cheap Thrills, Under the Skin, Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead, Oculus, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Only Lovers Left Alive, What We Do in the ShadowsTusk, Hush, Green Room, The Witch and Bone Tomahawk

There is a new crop of horror directors and older maestros who are taking what they love of horror and creating films that rise above the stock B-movie label. There is a “boutique” vibe to the movies as they’ve become fashionable and wear classic/modern horror influences like accessories. They are told by horror lovers who are very much so part of the modern generation. Digital film making has been embraced and the resulting films look brilliant on tiny budgets. I love that new films like The Witch, Spring and It Follows have sparked a lot of arguments between genre fans and horror hounds and I think anything that shakes up the genre is a good thing.

Last year I figured out the best 21st century horror films according to critic/audience averages. The list and following posts were fun to write, but I kept seeing the same movies over and over. I like this list because it offers the world some new blood and features movies more people need to see.

When looking at the lists below you will see a wide variety of “horror” films. Like my 21st century horror posts I’ve included movies (I looked through hundreds,and collected data on 100) that I consider to be horror or have horror aspects. I compiled data from Rotten Tomatoes (critic, audience), IMDb (users) and Metacritc (critic) and combined them to find out the top horror films of this decade (so far).

Here are my six favorite horror films of this decade (so far). You can see they cover all aspects of the genre.

  1. I Saw the Devil
  2. Insidious
  3. What We Do in the Shadows
  4. Cheap Thrills
  5. Hush  – I know it is soon but I love this movie.
  6. The Crazies 

Cheap Thrills bad guys

The villains in Cheap Thrills are perfect.

These films are fun as well. Under the Skin, Honeymoon, We Are Still Here, Troll Hunter, Spring, Stoker, Interior, Devil, As Above, So Below, Grabbers and Backcountry

Here are the lists!

Make sure to vote below! I will post the results next week! 

Top 20 Critically Rated Horror Films According to Averaged Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic Critic Scores 

20. Bone Tomahawk (2015) – 81.5

19. Berberian Sound Studio (2012) – 81.5

18. Under the Skin (2013) – 81.5

17. Cabin in the Woods (2011)  – 81.5

16. Attack the Block (2011) – 82.5

15. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) – 82.5

14. The Guest (2014) – 83

13. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) – 83

12. Black Swan (2010) – 83

11. Creep (2014) – 83.5

10. Hush (2016) – 83.5

9. Let Me In (2010) -83.5

8. The Gift (2105) -84.5

7. Green Room (2016) – 85

6. What We Do in the Shadows (2014) – 86.5

5. Housebound (2014) – 86.5

4. The Witch (2016) – 87

3. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) – 89.5

2. It Follows (2014) – 89.5

  1. The Babadook (2014) – 92

The Babadook is a visually arresting horror hybrid that proved to be an amazing calling card for director Jennifer Kent. The Babadook is the type of movie that transcends genre and much like Rosemary’s Baby adds class to the horror world. The fact that The Babadook was universally praised by critics while featuring a truly bonkers plot proves that we are in a solid time for horror. I love what Kent said abouthorror filmmaking to New York Magazine.

I continue to watch modern horror films, despite the constant disappointment. I don’t think a lot of the filmmakers making horror now know its worth, or realize the potential of the genre. Just because it’s a horror film doesn’t mean it can’t be deep. I think a lot of filmmakers who make horror now go in with dubious motives — money, predominantly. They want to make a film that will feel like a theme-park ride, and ultimately make a lot of money.But horror is a pure form of cinema. I think there are some modern-day filmmakers our there who understand that. The films that will stand the test of time are the ones that have depth

the babadook


Top 20 Audience Rated Horror Films According to Averaged IMDb User Scores and Rotten Tomatoes Audience Scores

20. The Babadook (2014) , Housebound (2014), ParaNorman (2012) , World War Z  (2013) – 71

19. Cabin in the Woods (2011) – 71.5

18. Hush (2016) – 71.5

17. Enemy (2013) – 72

16. Cold Fish (2010) – 73

15. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) – 73.5

14. The Gift (2015) – 73.5

13. Bone Tomahawk (2015) – 74

12. Let Me In (2010) – 74

11. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) – 74

10. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) – 77.5

9. Shutter Island (2010) – 78.5

8. The Conjuring (2013) – 78.5

7. Green Room (2016) – 79

6. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010) – 80

5. The Skin I live In (2011) – 80

4. What We Do in the Shadows (2014) – 81.5

3. I Saw the Devil (2010) – 82

2. Black Swan (2010) – 82

  1. The Conjuring 2 (2016) – 83.5

The Conjuring 2 is mainstream horror perfected. It features copious jump scares, legit villains and Patrick Wilson covering Elvis. It is  on its way to becoming the top grossing horror film of this decade (already at $188 million) and a spinoff has already been announced.

The Conjuring 2

Get ready for more evil nun action in 2017. Please be better than Annabelle.

Top 20 films according to Averaged Rotten Tomatoes Critics/Users, IMDB Users and Metacritc Critic Scores

I consider these to be the highest rated “horror” films of this decade (so far)! It is a combination of critic and user scores which gives us a solid representation of the multiple scores.

20. Attack the Block (2011) – 76.25

19. Cabin in the Woods (2011) – 76.5

18. Bone Tomahawk (2015) – 76.75

17. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010) – 77.25

16. The Conjuring 2 (2016) – 77.25

15. Hush (2016) – 77.5

14. The Skin I Live in (2011) – 77.75

13. The Conjuring (2013) – 77.75

12. I Saw the Devil (2010) – 77.75

11. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) – 78

10. It Follows (2014) – 78. 75

9. Let Me In (2010) – 78. 75

8. Housebound (2014) – 78. 75

7. The Gift (2015) – 80.75

6. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) – 80.75

5. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) – 81.25

4. The Babadook (2014) – 81.5

3. Green Room (2016) – 82.5

2. Black Swan (2010) – 82.5

  1. What We Do in the Shadows (2014) – 83.5

The overall winner is the horror comedy What We Do in the Shadows! It is the best vampire mockumentary ever made, and I can’t wait for the sequel We’re Wolves.


What is your favorite horror film of this decade? Vote Below. You get two picks.

If you don’t see your favorite movies you can write them in.

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