Best Horror Movies 2021: What Scary Movies Should I Watch in 2022?

If the horror movies of 2020 helped show how the bad things that happened that year made people feel alone and tense, 2021’s frustratingly repetitive quagmire only showed how the audience’s fears were growing. Even though we were still freaked out, angry, and scared for our lives in a way that few people have ever felt, we were also worn out and disappointed by this constant state of high alert.

And, maybe it’s just us, but we went to some strange places when we were so stressed. Not “weird places” like Shudder, which had its best year yet of original horror programming, but “weird places” like playing with our fears so that even the usual horror tropes, like slasher movies, werewolf movies, and creature features, had a touch of madness.

Even though they didn’t make our list, two of the biggest names in studio horror, James Wan and M. Night Shyamalan, both made movies that were just plain crazy. The Empty Man, a movie that was so hidden by its studio in 2020 that we didn’t even know it existed, found an audience and made it onto this list as our big exception.

The best horror movies of 2021 not only showed what was going on in the world at the time, but they also showed that even the deepest and darkest parts of a person’s mind are shared by many. And that sometimes the only thing you need is a great pair of jeans.

Best Horror Movies 2021 List

10. The Vigil

Best Horror Movies 2021

The Vigil is an American supernatural horror movie that comes out in 2021. Keith Thomas wrote the script and directed it for the first time. It stars Dave Davis, Menashe Lustig, Malky Goldman, Fred Melamed, Nati Rabinowitz, and Lynn Cohen.

It’s about a young man who is told to watch over a dead member of his former Orthodox Jewish community, only to be attacked by a bad spirit called a Mazzik (in Hebrew, ). Jason Blum is in charge of the movie through his Blumhouse Productions label.

In September 2019, The Vigil was shown for the first time at the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie was only shown in a few theatres in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand in July 2020. On August 5, 2020, it was shown everywhere else. IFC Midnight put it out in the United States on February 26, 2021.

9. Bleed With Me

Best Horror Movies 2021

Anyone who has ever had sleep paralysis knows how terrifying it is to feel like a scary presence is hovering over your bed. In Bleed with Me, written and directed by Amelia Moses, this hellish hallucination is taken to its most unsettling extreme.

During a winter cabin vacation, three friends discover that they have a parasitic relationship that involves taking blood from each other while the moon is out. Rowan (Lee Marshall), who has been going through a rough time in her life, is pleasantly surprised when coworker-turned-friend Emily (Lauren Beatty) invites her to a snowy getaway at her family’s remote cabin in the woods.

Emily’s boyfriend, Brendan (Aris Tyros), is also with them. Brendan is less excited about what seems to be a third wheel on what was supposed to be an intimate romantic getaway. Even Rowan herself thinks that her last-minute inclusion is just a show of kindness, but her presence on the trip seems to take on a more sinister tone.

In the middle of the night, when Rowan is still half asleep and her eyes are blurry, she sees a dark figure sitting by her bed. When she wakes up in the morning, she finds a small cut on her forearm. The cut is so new that it still shines with bright red blood.

Every night, a new nick appears in a straight line, like a tally mark, and it gets harder for her to believe that the figure next to her bed isn’t her beautiful blonde hostess. With hints of trauma and instability in her past, Rowan has a hard time believing what she sees, especially when her paranoia is obvious to those around her.

Rowan can’t get out of the cabin, so she has to decide if the evil thing is really there or if it’s just something she made up. Bleed with Me is Moses’s first film, and it has all the elements of a gripping, no-frills horror film. It also shows that Moses has a new way of looking at the horrors of being a woman, which she will surely talk about in her future work. —Natalia Keogan

8. PG: Psycho Goreman

Best Horror Movies 2021

PG: Psycho Goreman, or just Psycho Goreman, is a science fiction, fantasy, action, horror, and comedy movie coming out in 2020 from Canada. It was written and directed by Steven Kostanski of Astron-6. Nita-Josee Hanna and Owen Myre play a young sister and brother who accidentally bring back a long-dead alien ruler (voiced by Steven Vlahos and played by Matt Ninaber).

Psycho Goreman was supposed to make its debut at the South by Southwest film festival in March 2020, but the festival was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was shown at Beyond Fest, the Sitges Film Festival, and Monster Fest later that year.

Psycho Goreman came out in theatres and on video-on-demand on January 22, 2021. It was bought by RLJE Films and Shudder.

7. Werewolves Within

Best Horror Movies 2021

Werewolves Within is an American comedy horror movie coming out in 2021. It was written by Mishna Wolff and based on the Red Storm Entertainment video game with the same name. It stars Sam Richardson, Milana Vayntrub, George Basil, Sarah Burns, Michael Chernus, Catherine Curtin, Wayne Duvall, Harvey Guillén, Rebecca Henderson, Cheyenne Jackson, Michaela Watkins, and Glenn Fleshler.

It’s about a group of people in a small Vermont town who get trapped in a snowstorm and start to think one of them is a werewolf. In October 2018, Wolff and Ubisoft Motion Pictures began making plans for a movie version of Werewolves Within. Wolff is writing the script, and Ubisoft Motion Pictures is making the movie.

The cast was announced at the beginning of 2020, and the main filming began in February 2020. Werewolves Within had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 16, 2021. On June 25, 2021, it opened in a limited number of theatres in the United States, and on July 2, 2021, IFC Films put it on video-on-demand.

The movie’s screenplay, characters, and humour got mostly good reviews from critics. The movie based on a video game was the first to get a “Certified Fresh” rating, and it has the highest scores from critics on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

6. Censor

Best Horror Movies 2021

Censor is a 2021 psychological horror film that was directed by Prano Bailey-Bond and was produced in the United Kingdom. Bailey-Bond and Anthony Fletcher are credited with writing the screenplay that was used in the production. Niamh Algar, Nicholas Burns, Vincent Franklin, Sophia La Porta, Adrian Schiller, and Michael Smiley are among the actors featured in this movie.

On January 28, 2021, the film Censor had its debut in front of the world audience at the Sundance Film Festival. It was deemed the best European fantasy film and was awarded the Méliès d’Or in that category.

5. Candyman

Best Horror Movies 2021

Candyman is a supernatural slasher movie coming out in 2021. It was written by Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, and Nia DaCosta, and it was directed by Nia DaCosta. The movie is a direct follow-up to the same-named movie from 1992. It is also the fourth movie in the Candyman series, which is based on Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden.”

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo, and Kyle Kaminsky are among the actors in the movie. Vanessa Williams, Virginia Madsen, and Tony Todd will also play the same roles they had in the first movie.

In the early 2000s, the director of the first Candyman movie, Bernard Rose, wanted to make a prequel movie about Candyman and Helen’s love. But the studio said no, and work on the project slowed down to a crawl. In 2018, Peele signed on to produce a new movie through his company, Monkeypaw Productions.

In November of the same year, it was confirmed that Peele would produce the movie with Universal Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, as well as co-produce it with Rosenfeld and that DaCosta would be the director. The main filming for the movie started in Chicago, Illinois, in August 2019 and ended there in September 2019.

Universal Pictures put out Candyman in theatres in the United States on August 27, 2021. Concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic caused the release date to be pushed back three times from June 2020. Critics gave the movie mostly good reviews. They liked how DaCosta directed it, how it looked, and how it mixed social commentary with horror.

It has made $77 million around the world on a budget of $25 million.

4. The Boy Behind the Door

Best Horror Movies 2021

David Charbonier and Justin Powell are the directors and writers of the upcoming American horror film The Boy Behind the Door, which will be released in 2020. The plot of the movie centres on two boys who are attempting to flee from their abductor while being portrayed by Lonnie Chavis, Ezra Dewey, Kristin Bauer van Straten, and Scott Michael Foster, respectively.

Micah Hauptman also appears in the film. On September 27, 2020, it was presented for the first time at Fantastic Fest, and on July 29, 2021, it was made available on the streaming site Shudder.

3. Come True

Best Horror Movies 2021

Anthony Scott Burns is the man behind both the writing and directing of the Canadian science-fiction horror film Come True. Both Julia Sarah Stone and Landon Liboiron have roles in the movie.

The story of the movie follows a young woman who runs away from home and participates in a sleep study, which turns out to be a terrifying journey into the recesses of her mind as well as an investigation into the strength of one’s dreams.

2. The Empty Man

Best Horror Movies 2021

David Prior, making his debut as a feature film director, will write and direct the American supernatural horror film The Empty Man, which will be released in 2020. The film is based on the comic novel of the same name written by Cullen Bunn and Vanesa R. Del Rey and published by Boom! Studios.

James Badge Dale, Marin Ireland, Stephen Root, Ron Canada, Robert Aramayo, Joel Courtney, and Sasha Frolova are some of the actors that appear in the movie. An ex-cop leads the search for a missing girl and stumbles onto a mysterious cult in the course of his inquiry.

The movie was shot for the first time in August of 2017, but it garnered low ratings during test screenings, which caused the distributor of 20th Century Studios to lose faith in the film’s potential financial success. Prior believed that the finished video, which was scheduled to be shown in theatres in the United States on October 23, 2020, was still in the rough edit stage.

Upon its initial debut, the movie was met with largely poor reviews from reviewers and audiences alike; however, its response improved after it was made available on home media and streaming sites, and it has since garnered a cult following.

1. Sator

Best Horror Movies 2021

Michael Daniel, Rachel Johnson, Aurora Lowe, Gabriel Nicholson, and June Peterson star in the new supernatural horror movie Sator, which was written and directed by Jordan Graham and released in the United States in 2019. 1091 Pictures revealed that the movie would be made available digitally and via video on demand (VOD) on February 9, 2021.

The company listed the following platforms as potential distribution outlets: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes/AppleTV, and Microsoft. Nani, who has dementia, is under the impression that a supernatural being named Sator is communicating with her inside her head and compelling her to produce works of her own.

Her daughter has disappeared without a trace. Adam, the grandson of Nani, goes to a secluded cabin to conduct his search for Sator. He takes his dog and a hunting rifle with him as he explores the woods nearby, and he also watches the film from a deercam that was set up nearby the cottage.

Adam’s brother Pete has a mental breakdown while spending time with a friend named Evie, who, as a result of an injury, has trouble remembering the brothers. Meanwhile, Adam’s sister Deborah makes an effort to maintain order in the family.


The top horror films of 2021 demonstrated not only what was happening in the world at the time, but also the fact that even the most private and sinister aspects of a person’s psyche are shared by a large number of other people.