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The 10 Best Horror Movies of 2023, Ranked

infinity pool 2023
Elevation Pictures

5. Infinity Pool

Swimming into our top five is Infinity Pool (2023), a visually arresting dive into the dark side of desire directed by Brandon Cronenberg. Alexander Skarsgård stars as a struggling writer on vacation with his wife (Cleopatra Coleman), who encounters a seductive stranger (Mia Goth). This encounter lures them outside the glossy facade of their resort into a culture rife with depravity. Infinity Pool weaves a luxurious tapestry of science fiction and horror where the decadent locale offers a terrifying choice for its rich guests—escape the consequences of your actions through a morbid doppelgänger sacrifice or face death yourself. With Cronenberg’s sleek direction and the lustrous sleaze of high-society gone horrifyingly awry, the film is a tense, introspective plunge into the abyss that is both trippy and eerily grounded in its exploration of human nature’s darkest impulses.


Where to Watch:
renfield movie 2023
Universal

4. Renfield

Fourth on our terror tour is Renfield (2023), an action comedy with bite, serving up the escapades of Dracula’s downtrodden servant itching for independence. Directed by Chris McKay with a script by Ryan Ridley, the film playfully re-imagines Bram Stoker’s characters, featuring Nicholas Hoult as the eponymous henchman to Nicolas Cage’s gloriously maniacal DraculaRenfield shines as the best horror-action flick of the year, infused with an irreverent spirit and a dash of slapstick, set against a beautifully moody and vibrant color palette. Spectacular performances, led by Hoult and uplifted by the likes of Awkwafina and Ben Schwartz, turn this vampire tale into a raucous roller-coaster ride, alive with re-watchable antics and a deeply satisfying crack at the undead genre.


Where to Watch:
the outwaters movie 2022
Fathom Film Company

3. The Outwaters

Claiming the third spot with a relentless grip on reality is The Outwaters (2022), a found footage horror that warps the fabric of the Mojave Desert into a vehicle for cosmic terror. Robbie Banfitch pulls triple duty as writer, director, and star in this harrowing journey that begins innocuously with a music video shoot and deteriorates into mind-altering chaos. Eschewing the usual constraints of the genre, the film stretches the concept of what can be captured through the lens, delivering a fragmented and expansive narrative that feels as much interstellar as it is intimate. It’s a novel addition to found footage horror, playing with disjointed timelines and otherworldly phenomena that redefine the scope of what’s filmable, making The Outwaters a trippy, mind-bending affair that drags viewers through an unforgettable odyssey of dread.


Where to Watch:

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talk to me movie horror podcast 2023
A24

2. Talk to Me

Cementing itself at the runner-up position, Talk to Me (2022) latches onto the audience with its audacious plot and spine-chilling execution. This Australian supernatural horror, directed by the Philippou brothers and written by Danny Philippou and Bill Hinzman, throws a sharp curveball into the mix with its story of teens who discover a disembodied hand that unlocks the gateway to the dead. Led by Sophie Wilde, the film’s young talent delivers a standout performance — toggling between credible adolescent behavior and unnerving possessions with hair-raising precision. Notably, Talk to Me nails the Gen Z digital pulse, portraying an authentic snapshot of social media integration that resonates with the TikTok-savvy crowd. Unyielding in its storytelling, the film avoids coddling its characters, instead weaving a narrative that feels perilous and bold, setting a new bar for horror that’s as innovative as it is exhilarating.


Where to Watch:
The Pale Blue Eye
Cr. Scott Garfield/Netflix © 2022

1. The Pale Blue Eye

Echoing from the top spot of our list, The Pale Blue Eye (2022) casts a haunting shadow over this year’s horror offerings with its meticulously crafted gothic mystery. Envisioned by Scott Cooper and based on Louis Bayard’s novel, the film ensnares us in 1830 West Point, where Christian Bale’s world-weary detective and Harry Melling’s captivating turn as a young Edgar Allan Poe tackle cadet murders shrouded in secrecy. Its dark allure is magnified by an evocatively cool color palette and exquisite costume design, which, when coupled with Melling’s nuanced performance, reveals an unexplored facet of Poe—his profound darkness knotted with traces of youthful hope. The Pale Blue Eye stands out not only for its chilling narrative and visual poise but as a refined tapestry of historical thriller elements, forming a gothic tale that is as tight and intricate as it is atmospherically rich.


Where to Watch:

That’s a wrap on the most chilling horror films that 2023 had to offer. This year’s lineup was a diverse carnival of the macabre, offering everything from quiet, uncanny dread to raucous, blood-soaked spectacles. As we close the coffin on this list, it’s clear each film has etched its own eerie legacy in the horror hall of fame. Whether these movies prompted nightmares or simply made your heart race with adrenaline-fueled terror, they’ve all contributed to the ever-expanding universe of horror that we so love to explore. So keep your eyes wide in the dark, folks – the next scream you hear might just be a preview of the horrors to come. Until our next horror round-up, stay creepy!

What did you think were the best horror movies of the year? Share with us over in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord!

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