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13 Best Horror Movies of 2021 (So Far)
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The Academy

We’re not lab scientists, but we did weigh several different factors when building our list of the 13 scariest movies of 2021 to date.

We considered things like Rotten Tomato fan scores, Shudder, critic insights and other factors from across the movie landscape, including box office numbers. You could always recommend these to a friend (if you want to scare the life out of them)—or even invite them over and console each other through the terror.

And FYI, although the original release dates might say otherwise, all of these were eventually released in 2021 (Covid-related confusion being the culprit).

Related: Stephen King’s Essential Horror Films

1
Bloodthirsty
2020
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After finally being released in 2021, this gore-filled tale about a singer-slash-werewolf has made its way onto the top horror film lists of several websites, including Thrillist and Dread Central.

2
Censor
2021
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Censor, about a woman whose job is to censor violent movies, has a strong Tomatoscore so far and one damn creepy trailer. The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

3
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
2021
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The third installment of this freaky series is currently eighth at the box office. That shouldn’t be surprising, given the unique type of historically slanted scare the first two provided.

4
Fear Street Part One: 1994
2021
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A teen and her friends take on an evil force that has plagued their notorious town for centuries. The trilogy continues with Fear Street Part Two: 1978 and Fear Street Part Three: 1666—which were both released in July.

5
Lucky
2020
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Noel Murray of the Los Angeles Times made us want to watch this story of a self-help author being stalked with his description of the film by director Natasha Kermani: “As the filmmakers dial in tighter on those keen observations, their movie gets more and more chilling.”

6
Psycho Goreman
2020
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This over-the-top and strange film has found its way onto most people’s lists of the top horror films of 2021 so far: siblings Mimi and Luke unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord from millions of years ago.

7
A Quiet Place Part II
2020
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This may be the first movie you’re forced to watch with one eye and one ear closed. Hopefully, the edge of your seat is comfortable. 

Related: 5 Films That Scare Us With Silence

8
Saint Maud
2019
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A hospice nurse becomes obsessed with her patient in Saint Maud, which has been around for critiquing since its debut in January and has held up—at a strong 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.

9
Slaxx
2020
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The logline for Slaxx kind of sells itself, huh? “A possessed pair of jeans terrorizes trapped workers at a trendy clothing store.”

10
The Stylist
2020
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This horror film about a murderous hairdresser has been praised for its uniqueness and strong characters.

Also: Amazon Prime Original Horror Movies

11
Till Death 
2021
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In this film directed by S.K. Dale, a wife (Megan Fox) wakes up … handcuffed to her dead husband.

12
Werewolves Within 
2021
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A forest ranger and a postal worker uncover the truth behind a mysterious creature that has begun terrorizing a community in this horror-comedy.

Next: Ari Aster’s Horror Watchlist

13
The Vigil  
2019
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A young man agrees to fulfill the duties of a “shomer,” the Jewish practice of looking after a dead body for a night … you can probably guess where that plot is going. 

© 2021 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences