The 16 Best Horror Movies Of The Past Decade

'The Descent' (2005)
'The Descent' (2005)
Extreme claustrophobia, the dark, and nightmare-inducing creatures out for blood. Neil Marshall's 'The Descent,' a film about a spelunking adventure gone terribly, horrifyingly wrong, taps into all those nerves and shatters them. When six friends find their way into a deep cave that's basically the gateway to hell, viewers spend 99 nail-biting minutes wondering if any of them will actually get out. Whether you're a fan of the original ending, or the U.S. version, both camps will still agree on o
Lions Gate Entertainment/TriMark
'28 Days Later' (2002)
'28 Days Later' (2002)
Zombie movies have been around for decades, but horror buffs had never seen one quite like this before. That's because the undead in Danny Boyle's intense zombie apocalypse feature '28 Days Later' reinvented the genre and turned the spooky slow-walking zombies into fast-moving enemies. What's scarier than a zombie going after your braaaaaains? A zombie that can run like the wind after you. After a worldwide pandemic turns the infected into zombies, a group of survivors (lead by Cillian Murphy) d
Fox Searchlight Pictures
'Saw' (2004)
'Saw' (2004)
First things first, get all of those crappy 'Saw' sequels out of your head. They're bad. The 2004 indie smash original, however, was anything but. A gut-wrenching cat-and-mouse game, James Wan's 'Saw' effortlessly merged a psychological thriller and shocking gore into a movie that launched a horror franchise and many a nightmare. When a serial killer under the guise of Jigsaw puts two of his captors through a series of mental and physical anguish, viewers imagined what it would be like in their
Lions Gate Entertainment/TriMark
'Let The Right One In' (2008)
'Let The Right One In' (2008)
It's rare to find a horror movie that you can describe as both lovely/touching and utterly terrifying, but the 2008 Swedish film 'Låt den rätte komma in,' which translates to 'Let The Right One In,' is the rare film that falls into those polar opposite categories. A story about a friendship between a vampire and a haunted mortal, the film is an unparalleled feat in cinematography, storytelling, and intense, deeply disturbing scares. It haunts you in more ways than one. 
Magnolia Home Entertainment
'Dawn of the Dead' (2004)
'Dawn of the Dead' (2004)
Not only does Zack Snyder's hip, jump-out-of-your-seat scary film rank as one of the scariest movies of the past ten years, but it has one of the best opening credit sequences of all-time, horror or otherwise. (Johnny Cash's 'When The Man Comes Around' will never sound the same again.) A remake of George A. Romero's classic, the blood-spattered zombie flick follows a group of survivors holed up in a mall while the undead try to get in. A fun, freaky ride. 
Universal Pictures
'Shaun of the Dead' (2004)
'Shaun of the Dead' (2004)
Not to be outdone, 'Dawn of the Dead's comedic counterpart 'Shaun of the Dead' can make you scream... with laughter and otherwise. Co-writer and co-stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's hilariously demented take on the zombie movie genre turns horror cliches on their head with both scares and laughs. 
Universal Pictures
'The Cabin in the Woods' (2012)
'The Cabin in the Woods' (2012)
Much like 'Shaun of the Dead,' Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's long-delayed horror comedy, 'The Cabin in the Woods,' had a big payoff. The hyper self-aware film not only paid tribute to the horror films that it's poking fun at, but it had a truly unpredictable and downright creepy third act that even the biggest horror fan couldn't have seen coming. When a group of sexy college students have their summer vacation go awry, there's horrific and hilarious results. While 'Cabin' might have bigger lau
Lions Gate Entertainment/TriMark
'Funny Games' (2007)
'Funny Games' (2007)
There's nothing even remotely funny about Michael Haneke's 'Funny Games.' A remake of the 1997 film of the same name, 'Funny Games' is a truly disturbing and unsettling exercise in stomaching pure terror. When two heartless, sociopathic murderers (Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet) hold a family hostage and force them to play a series of psychological games as they dangle their lives in front of them, the audience is overwhelmed by the impending doom of the innocent victims and the disgusting displa
Warner Bros.
'REC' (2007)
'REC' (2007)
Don't be turned off by the 2008 film that was inspired by it, the disappointing 'Quarantine.' The 2007 Spanish original, 'REC,' was a truly terrifying moviegoing experience. A mixture of horror fixtures like the haunted house (or, in this case, the haunted apartment building), found footage, and things that go bump in the night, 'REC' follows a television reporter who stumbles upon the scariest — and final — report of her career when an infected complex breeds some unexplainable and damn scary t
Fox Searchlight Pictures
'The Strangers' (2008)
'The Strangers' (2008)
If 'REC' made you wary of city life, Bryan Bertino's 2008 spine-tingler 'The Strangers' will keep you out of rural areas for good. When a couple (Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman) take a trip to a remote summer home, they are terrorized by a trio of menacing masked invaders. One of those horror movies you watch between trembling fingers, the truly unnerving flick combines easy scares and deeply psychological twists. A movie that taps into the most primal fear of utter helplessness, 'The Strangers' will
Universal Pictures
'Inside' (2007)
Not for the faint of heart, French horror film 'Inside' joins the ranks of 'Alien,' 'Rosemary's Baby,' and more recently, 'Prometheus' as having one of the worst, most terrifying birth scenes ever. When a pregnant widow is visited at her home by a strange, creepy woman, the two engage in a violent, chilling battle. 'Inside' may just be the most terrifying reminder ever to never talk to strangers. 
'Martyrs' (2008)
Another freaky French fright fest (say that 10 times fast), the extreme and shocking 'Martyrs' follows two women who endure mental and physical anguish at the hand of a secret society testing out a sick experiment. The kind of movie you'll only be able to sit through once, 'Martyrs' isn't a fun horror experience by any means, but it is one that crawls under your skin and stays there for some time. Seriously, French filmmakers, what is wrong with you?
'Paranormal Activity' (2009)
'Paranormal Activity' (2009)
Believe the hype: 'Paranormal Activity' is a damn scary movie. Like the film that paved the way for it, 'The Blair Witch Project,' the bare bones-budget chiller 'Paranormal Activity' depends more on what you don't see for frights. A spooky found footage movie tells the tale of a couple whose house is haunted by a presence that goes bump in the night. Loud noises and unexplainable happenings are the basis for all the scares here, but they get the job done: You'll sleep with the lights on for week
Paramount Pictures
'The Host' (2006)
Like Frankenstein, Godzilla, and the Mummy, Bong Joon-ho's 2006 critical horror hit 'The Host' joins the ranks as one of the all-time great movie monsters. When the American military dumps formaldehyde into the Han River, the result is a gigantic, horrifying sea creature that kills everything in its path. A good old-fashioned scarer, South Korea's 'The Host' is a reminder of the Hollywood classic horror films.
'The Ring' (2002)
'The Ring' (2002)
The second appearance by Naomi Watts on this list, her more mainstream (and arguably more entertaining) horror film of the past 10 years is the 2002 smash 'The Ring.' Bringing Japan's nail-biting 'Ringu' to the U.S., this remake about a cursed video tape that kills whoever comes across it will make you do everything a successful horror movie should: jump, scream, and make you close your eyes tight. Including one of the freakiest movie moments of the past decade (remember when they ghost girl cli
Dreamworks
'The Mist' (2007)
'The Mist' (2007)
From the mind of the master of horror, Frank Darabont's adaptation of Stephen King's 'The Mist' is a dark, unnerving sci-fi/horror film mixed with a monster flick. But the reason it's the last on the list is very much intentional: 'The Mist' has the most unsettling, upsetting horror movie ending in years. No sudden scares or sunny resolutions, the conclusion is a gut-churning result that is more horrifying than any creepy, lurking monster. 
Dimension Extreme
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