Horror enthusiasts, gather ’round as we unveil the best horror movies of 2023! This year, the genre has outdone itself, pushing boundaries and redefining the meaning of fear. From haunting ghost stories to relentless slashers, and psychological mind-benders to creature features, every film on our list has made waves in the horror community. So, if you’re looking to update your must-watch list with the latest films that have been dominating the box office and stirring up a buzz online, prepare to arm yourself with these top picks.
Whether you’re a fan of jumpscares or slow-burn terror, these movies promise to deliver the thrills that horror movie fans crave. Let’s dive into the abyss of 2023’s top horror movies!
Sliding into the number 10 spot is No One Will Save You, a film that blends the quiet unease of isolation with the heart-pounding tension of a home invasion. Commanding the screen with a nearly wordless performance, Kaitlyn Dever (Brynn) encapsulates a raw, almost feral intensity as she navigates a nightmare within her once home-sweet-home. Director Brian Duffield orchestrates a symphony of suspense, invoking 50s-style sci-fi horror with a modern twist. Monsters are revealed in gleaming detail, and the absence of dialogue accentuates a series of spine-tingling action sequences. No One Will Save You crafts an electrifying atmosphere with minimal verbal communication, ensuring that every shadow and silence is loaded with potential terror. The result is a cinematic experience that’s as gripping as it is unique – an impressive feat in today’s horror landscape.
Carving its way to number 9, Thanksgiving (2023) serves up a deadly slice of holiday horror with a side of slasher spectacle. Directed by genre maestro Eli Roth and written by Jeff Rendell, this film takes the mayhem of Black Friday to terrifying new extremes in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Starring Patrick Dempsey and Addison Rae, Thanksgiving turns the season of gratitude into a spree of vengeance as residents face off against a maniacal killer donning a John Carver mask. Roth, no stranger to the visceral, draws from his own faux trailer from Grindhouse (2007) to flesh out this feature-length nightmare. It’s a ‘hack-and-slash’ through and through, sprinkled with inventive, kitsch-packed kills that pay homage to holiday horror. Still fresh in theaters, Thanksgiving is the rare bird that avoids the pitfalls of sequels and reboots, offering up a main course that is both a fresh take on the genre and a perfect fit for horror fans looking to celebrate terror on Turkey Day.
Ghosting into the number 8 spot, The Haunted Mansion (2023) offers up a ghoul-laden giggle fest. This supernatural romp is directed by the imaginative Justin Simien with a script from Katie Dippold, and it gathers an eclectic crew led by LaKeith Stanfield, Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, and Danny DeVito to exorcise a home of its unwelcome spirits. Rosario Dawson, as Gabbie, and her on-screen son Travis (Chase W. Dillon) navigate the chaos of this haunted adventure. Overflowing with side-splitting moments and manic energy, Disney’s modern take at adapting its theme park lore embraces the zany and spirited essence of its source material. Sure, it’s a wild, plot-twisting ride, but with such memorable performances, especially from standouts like DeVito, Wilson, and Haddish, The Haunted Mansion is a spirited addition to this year’s family-friendly horror offerings.
At number 7, Sister Death (Spanish: Hermana Muerte) brews an enthralling mix of gothic atmosphere and supernatural chills. Directed by Paco Plaza and co-written with Jorge Guerricaechevarría, this Spanish supernatural horror film spins a dark yarn set in 1940s Spain. Aria Bedmar shines as a novice with eerie abilities, teaching at a girls’ school that was once a convent, where layers of secrets are as thick as the surrounding mist. A prequel to Plaza’s Verónica (2017), Sister Death impresses as it weaves its own standalone narrative, rich with ghostly encounters and gothic ambiance reminiscent of Guillermo del Toro’s earlier works, like The Devil’s Backbone. It’s the enticing type of prequel that not only unravels the mysteries behind previous hauntings but also stands firmly on its own as a compelling ghost story, justifying every specter that stalks its godly halls.
Landing at number 6, A Haunting in Venice (2023) masterfully intertwines the elegance of a bygone era with a twist of supernatural intrigue. Kenneth Branagh returns both behind and in front of the camera as the iconic detective Hercule Poirot, leading an ensemble cast that includes Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Dornan, and Tina Fey. Scripted by Michael Green and loosely inspired by Agatha Christie’s 1969 novel Hallowe’en Party, this mystery unravels as Poirot is pulled from his Venetian retirement into a treacherous séance turned murder scene in a dilapidated palazzo. A Halloween-set murder mystery is a tantalizing proposition indeed, and Branagh’s film does not disappoint, delivering a macabre masquerade that draws viewers deep into a web of shadows and deception. The theatrical release arrives just in time to cast an elegantly creepy spell over the Halloween season, with Michelle Yeoh’s portrayal of the psychic medium casting a particularly enchanting shadow. A Haunting in Venice becomes more than just a whodunit; it’s a ghoulishly grand experience that captures the spectral splendor of All Hallows’ Eve.