It’s been another tough year across the board, but horror cinema has continued to thrive, showcasing a veritable smorgasbord of incredible films. Here we polled our contributors to come up with our Top 10 of 2021…
10. Come True
Anthony Scott Burns’ film is a cracking combination of Carpenter and Craven, a nightmarish journey with an audacious climax that will split audiences down the middle. / RB
9. Halloween Kills
Evil never dies, America is not great again and – like the numerous characters who stare at their reflections in Michael’s bedroom window – David Gordan Green leaves us to reflect on what social role we play in this post-Trump satire. / TC
Read our spoiler-filled analysis.
If Chrisitne (1983) had been directed by David Cronenberg, then Julia Ducorneau’s Titane would be the product. Grotesque on a completely unexpected level, yet not without purpose. / YHC
7. Fear Street
Leigh Janiak’s Fear Street films are an exuberant love letter to teen horror, leaping in time through the history of a cursed town. An indictment of very real injustices, whilst still indulging in an abundance of horror references, needle drops and brutal kills. / MC
6. In The Earth
Ben Wheatley’s nightmare fuelled folk-eco-horror is a full on assault on all senses, terrifyingly intense and immersive. A film hasn’t made audiences this afraid of going into the woods since 99’s The Blair Witch Project. / YHC
5. The Night House
David Bruckner’s The Night House manages to be both romantic and sinister, bleak and hopeful. The tight, tense script, unique imagery and atmospheric score offers a dark, brooding mystery, whilst Rebecca Hall delivers a powerhouse performance as a woman straddling the tenuous line between grief, hope and misery. / JS
Exhilarating, terrifying and unbearable (in the best way) Caveat is an incredible calling-card for director Damian Mc Carthy, a future favourite for horror hounds which will burrow deep into your soul at night, refusing to let the sleep come easy. / TC
Read our full review here.
Nia DaCosta’s much anticipated sequel developed and revitalised the Candyman legend, making it strikingly relevant and forging connections to events past, present and future. / MC
Read our full review here.
Pulsating with an atmosphere that’s so oppressive it almost seeps through the screen, Prano Bailey-Bond’s Censor zips along thanks to a compulsive central mystery and Niamh Algar’s intricate performance. / AK
Read our review here.
The entertaining spirit of horror is alive and well in James Wan’s completely absurd but utterly transfixing latest. Annabelle Wallis invites instant identification with the audience, whilst satisfying, violent scenes equally engross and move to tears. / MW
- Son – Ivan Kavanagh’s occult horror follows the lengths of one mother’s love.
- Last Night In Soho – Edgar Wright returns with a giallo-inflected time-travel mystery.
- Vicious Fun – Cody Calahan delivers Fright Night-esque lols with this horror-comedy about a serial killer self-help group.
- Gaia – Jaco Bouwer’s eco-body horror will make the skin crawl.
- Violation – A gut-churning, subversive rape-revenger from Dusty Mancinelli & Madeleine Sims-Fewer.
- Hellbender – Directors John Adams, Zelda Adams & Toby Poser peel back the layers as a mother and daughter live alone in the woods.
- Nocturna: Side A – The Great Old Man’s Night – Superlative, soulful fare from Gonzalo Calzada.
Contributors: Rebecca McCallum; Ygraine Hackett-Cantabrana; Alex Kronenburg; Melissa Cox; Jerry Sampson; Russell Bailey; Mae Murray; Mary Wild; Tim Coleman.