Are horror movies back? Well, they never really left. After a successful 2022 at the box office that saw horror movies claim the top spot multiple times across the year, 2023 came around and gave us a truckload of excellent horror flicks. The competition between the movies was tough, especially near the top of the list. Between Shudder, independent films, and studio releases, horror fans had it good in 2023. Let’s get on with the list.

Each of the linked titles in this list goes straight to our reviews for each movie, so make sure to check those out!

Honorable Mentions: No One Will Save You, A Haunting In Venice, Soul Mates

Kaitlyn Dever as Brynn Adams in 20th Century Studios’ NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

No One Will Save You released on Hulu at a busy time during Halloween season, and didn’t disappoint. The literal alien invasion flick starred Kaitlyn Dever in a nearly dialogue-less film. Her performance was exceptional and the aliens in the film were more like your traditional movie aliens, but they still had some design intricacies that set them apart.

A Haunting In Venice was the third of Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot films, and easily the best. It combined all the best tropes of the mystery genre with a dash of horror vibes and plenty of dutch angles. If you’re in the mood for a more mature and frightening variation on Poirot, this one is for you.

You might have missed Soul Mates in 2023, but make sure you catch it. The commentary on social media, relationships, and dating in 2023 is biting and sharp. It has some great performances, especially Neal McDonough’s shit-eating grin as the Matchmaker.

10. M3GAN

This was the first horror film released in 2023, all the way back in January, and it set the tone for the entire year. M3GAN was an inventive and hilarious take on the modern amenities we have like AI, Alexa, toys, and more. Blumhouse crafted a new slasher villain with M3GAN and we’ve already got a sequel on the way, and talks of pitting her against Chucky.

9. It’s A Wonderful Knife

It’s A Wonderful Knife continues the tradition of Michael Kennedy writing horror movies that you wish you’d thought of. This time around, it’s a combo of It’s A Wonderful Life and a slasher flick. Winnie gets sent to a time where she doesn’t exist and sees how her not killing the Angel killer affects her whole family and town. It’s got plenty of heart and definitely makes for an excellent holiday horror addition to your holiday season.

8. Saw X

Saw X
Saw X. Photo Credit: Alexandro Bolaños Escamilla

For a series that has been going on as long as Saw has, and for being the tenth entry, but basically Saw 2.5, Saw X really shouldn’t be as good as it is. However, Saw X is just that good. It reignited fan interest in the series and gave us some truly triumphant and horrifying moments. Bringing back Jigsaw and Amanda was a stroke of genius. Here’s hoping the next film in the series has as much care put into it.

7. Totally Killer

Speaking of time-traveling slasher movies, Totally Killer gave us a dose of Back to the Future with murder. The movie was more on the comedy side than other movies released this year, but it was still a thrilling slasher. Kiernan Shipka stars and goes back in time to stop a killer from killing her mother in the present. Except she goes back to the 80s and has to find her way back.

6. Skinamarink

This is surely the most divisive movie on the list. The others, even the most hateful of horror fans, can at least find something about them that they like. Skinamarink, however, is all or nothing. Either you enjoyed the movie and were scared out of your mind, or you hated the film, and thought it was stupid. I was one of the people that was terrified. The premise is simple and taps into that childhood fear of being alone. Two kids wake up in their house, but their father is gone, and all the doors and windows are gone. It compares best to that feeling of waking up in the middle of the night, and the TV is on some public domain old cartoons, but there’s a feeling of unease. Watch it for yourself.

5. Scream VI

Ghostface in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream VI.”

Scream VI might not have captured the nostalgic energy of the fifth installment, but it still gave us a hell of a Scream movie. This one featured the story of Tara and Sam Carpenter going up against Ghostface(s) in New York. It had the trademark sequel energy of everything being bigger and more terrifying. We saw the return of Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere), but sadly, this one didn’t feature Sydney Prescott. The Scream series is in a rough patch at the moment with Spyglass Media losing both stars and the director of this film, so we’ll have to see where the series goes, if it goes anywhere in the future. For now, you can still enjoy Scream VI though.

4. Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving really had no right to be as good as it was. Based on a fake trailer from the 2007 film Grindhouse, Eli Roth directed this new slasher classic. It features John Carver, a slasher villain dressed as a pilgrim taking revenge on the town of Plymouth for a Black Friday riot. It gave off some serious Scream vibes, and had some absolutely gruesome kills.

3. The Boogeyman

It’s not every day that a movie scares you so much that you have to sleep with the TV on for the first time in a year. The Boogeyman did that and then some earlier this year. The creature and how they portray it in this movie is similar to that of Jaws or Alien, where you only see it sparingly. It’s led by Sophie Thatcher, Vivien Lyra Blair, Chris Messina, and features an absolutely exquisite performance from David Dastmalchian as Lester Billings. The Stephen King short story still has its teeth, but is modernized and expanded upon here. You won’t be leaving the closet door open for long after watching this movie.

2. Suitable Flesh

Prudes, stay away. Suitable Flesh grabs all the best of the gooey, fleshy, sexy, and horny of H.P. Lovecraft adaptations by Stuart Gordon. It stars Heather Graham, Judah Lewis, and Barbara Crampton in a tale of ancient entities taking over multiple bodies. Director Joe Lynch pays homage to Gordon but never verges into straight-up copying his style. This is still a Joe Lynch film through and through. We might not be in the age of the 90s sex thriller any longer, but for one movie, it comes back in full force. For anyone who wants a bit more eroticism and horror in their thriller, Suitable Flesh gives that and more.

1. Evil Dead Rise

I know I was apprehensive about Evil Dead Rise coming in; I really shouldn’t have been, because Lee Cronin and Co. crafted one of the year’s best and most mean-spirited films. All the hallmarks are there, and it even changes up the Evil Dead formula. Instead of a remote cabin, now the movie takes place in a run-down apartment building. It ratchets up the gore and blood, all the while telling a story of familial drama. Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland both knock their roles out of the park, crafting iconic horror characters between the two of them. It subverts horror tropes but still feels familiar to fans of the genre. Evil Dead Rise is a smashing pick for best horror movie of the year.

For more on Horror, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.

Keep Reading: