My Top Ten Horror Movies Of The 21st Century

**This list was updated March 2019 for a lot of new additions. There have been some fantastic horror films the last couple of years.**

It’s probably obvious to regular readers that I’m rarely a fan of modern day horror films. I’m sure I come across as quite picky since my ratings for current horror films, even ones I seemed to enjoy, are usually pretty low. I’d never call horror my favorite genre (it’s sci-fi) but that’s probably because there are far more bad films within this genre than in any other. But when a genuinely good horror comes along, I love it! Unfortunately, the good ones have just been few & far between since about 1987 (when the awesome A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was released). 😉

So, even though horror films of the Seventies & Eighties will forever be my favorites, I wanted to prove that I have actually liked a few since 1987. However, most of the movies on this list still come nowhere near the genius of things like The Shining & The Omen but there’s been an improvement in the quality of horror releases the past couple of years. Hopefully this continues.

One quick note: I’VE EXCLUDED HORROR COMEDIES! When working on this list, I ended up with lots of them as I’ve liked so many since the year 2000. As I already did a list of My Top Ten Horror Comedies, I’ve decided to leave them out to keep things simple. I’m also leaving out some films I like that I don’t consider horror and see more as “thrillers”, such as my guilty pleasure The Purge films & the excellent Battle Royale, and some monster movies like Cloverfield & The Host. I’ve also left out Slither, which I put into My Top Ten Body Horror Movies list.

So, here are My Top Ten 21st Century Horror Movies counting down to my favorite (but let’s be annoying & make it a Top 20…):

TOP TWENTY:

20. The Secret Of Marrowbone
19. The House Of The Devil
18. Ginger Snaps
17. [Rec]
16. Land Of The Dead
15. Gerald’s Game
14. The Others
13. Final Destination
12. A Quiet Place
11. The Orphanage

TOP TEN:

10. TIE: A Tale Of Two Sisters & Let The Right One In

9. The Descent

8. Mandy

7. The Mist

6. 28 Days (& Weeks) Later…

5. It Follows

4. Train To Busan

3. It (2017)

2. The Babadook

1. Dawn Of The Dead

Some Honorable Mentions:
Saw (first film only – hate the rest)
The Conjuring
The Innkeepers
The Boy
Absentia
Honeymoon
The Wailing
Pontypool
Hereditary
Us

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My Top Ten Horror Movie Scores & Soundtracks

A movie’s score and/or soundtrack of songs is extremely important to me as I think the right music can make a good movie into a great one or even a bad movie into a cult classic. When you think of the biggest Oscar films, almost all of them had award winning scores from highly respected composers. When I think of my own personal all-time favorite movies, the majority have brilliant scores that helped to suck me into that magical movie world that only the very best composers can help create. Can you imagine The Good, The Bad And The Ugly without Ennio Morricone’s amazing score?? (No. You cannot.)

I’m very picky when it comes to the horror genre & have loved very few horror films since the 70s & 80s. I do find it interesting that most of my all-time favorite old horrors are on this list of scores, though. It goes to show that they used to put so much more effort into these films than they do now, even down to the scores (but I do have a couple fairly current films on the list too). I think the score is even more important in horrors as the mood & atmosphere are fundamental to this genre. I don’t understand why so many modern horrors put so little effort into using a score effectively to create the right mood. Oh well – this genre is showing more promise again so maybe we’ll see a return to great horror scores.

More than anything, I love a good musical score that has been composed for a film but do also appreciate when a soundtrack of great songs, whether existing or new, are put together for a movie’s soundtrack. So my top ten will consist of scores but there are a few horror soundtracks that I really love so I didn’t want to exclude them.

Here are a few Horror Movie Soundtracks That I Love:

Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Composer: AC/DC

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Composer: Danny Elfman

The Lost Boys (1987)
Composer: Thomas Newman Score/Various Artists Soundtrack:

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
Composer: Tyler Bates Score/Various Artists Soundtrack

And now onto My Top Ten Horror Movie Scores (and their composers):

Honorable Mentions:

The Fog (1980)
Composer: John Carpenter
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Composer: Krzysztof Komeda
The Shining (1980)
Composer: Wendy Carlos/Rachel Elkind
The Omen (1976)
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

Top Ten:

10. It Follows (2014)
Composer: Disasterpeace

9. Suspiria (1977)
Composer: Dario Argento/Goblin

8. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Composer: Charles Bernstein

7. Psycho (1960)
Composer: Bernard Herrmann

6. The Thing (1982)
Composer: Ennio Morricone/John Carpenter/Alan Howarth

5. Jaws (1975)
Composer: John Williams

4. 28 Days Later… (2002)
Composer: John Murphy

3. The Exorcist (1973)
Composer: Mike Oldfield

2. Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
Composer: Goblin/Dario Argento/De Wolfe Music Library

1. Halloween (1978)
Composer: John Carpenter

My Top Ten Number Movies 

Being a crazy alphabetizer, those movie titles that start with numbers kind of annoy me! And should they go from lowest to highest number?? No! I believe the socially accepted order goes like this, for example: 10 then 10,000 BC then 12 Angry Men then 127 Hours then 1408. Right??? Crazy! 

So here are the simple rules for this top ten list: the movie title must start with a number (not spelled out). Loads of movies have a number somewhere in the title but I’m talking about the ones you have to put before ‘A’ on your DVD shelves. 😉

Today I have a lazy list just counting down from ten to my number one favorite. Here are My Top Ten (10??) Number Movies:

10. 21

9. 54

8. 50 First Dates

7. 13 Going On 30

6. 10 Things I Hate About You

5. 30 Days Of Night

4. 12 Angry Men

3. 2001: A Space Odyssey

2. 101 Dalmatians

1. 28 Days Later…

Honorable Mentions:
28 Weeks Later
2010: The Year We Make Contact
12 Monkeys (before anyone moans at this not being in the top ten, it’s because I barely remember it now & need to re-watch it. Also, I think it may officially be Twelve Monkeys)
200 Cigarettes
28 Days
1408
1984
21 & 22 Jump Street
(500) Days Of Summer
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
976-EVIL (Okay, I never saw it – just always loved the title!)