The Highest Rated Horror Film Each Year of the Past 10 Years, According to Metacritic

Horror has proven to be one of the most transformative genres in the history of cinema. Riding through classic sub-genres such as slashers and zombie movies, horror has also gone through more recent trends such as found-footage and “torture porn”. No matter the content, horror movies are united by their common goal to both scare and entertain the viewer, putting our darkest nightmares on the big screen.

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While horror has often been looked down upon by mainstream critics, especially in award season, some horror films prove to be so well-made that they break through the unfair bias surrounding the genre and become critical darlings. Focusing on just the past decade, the following ten films have all received rave reviews, standing as the best-reviewed horror film on Metacritic for their respective year.


Scarlett Johansson plays a mysterious woman traveling alone through Scotland, picking up random men. The woman’s appearance is merely a facade, however, and she is in fact an alien that feasts on the unsuspecting males.

To add a sense of realism to the film, Johansson is the only professional actor to feature, while most of her victims are simply men picked off the street and filmed with hidden cameras (with their consent). While a box office bomb, Under the Skin was well-received critically and praise was given to the score, direction, and Johansson, who gives one of her best performances. Under the Skin is available to stream on Showtime.

A small production from Australia that took the world by storm, The Babadook tells a story of grief through its chilling horror tale. Widow Amelia lives with her six-year-old son Samuel, who has begun exhibiting troubling behavior. He is convinced that the creature from one of his books is real and haunting their home.

while The Babadook offers the expected horror thrills, the film’s focus on deeper messaging surrounding the themes of grief and trauma set it separately. Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman sell the mother and son relationship, eliciting sympathy as they are tormented by future LGBT icon the Babadook.

The Babadook is available to stream on Shudder, AMC+, and Tubi.

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The most terrifying high-school sex-ed video ever produced, It Follows revolves around teenager Jay (Maika Monroe). After a sexual encounter with her new boyfriend, he reveals that he is inflicted with a deadly curse, only able to avoid it by passing it on to others through sexual intercourse. Revealing that Jay is the new target, he leaves her alone to deal with the threat.

It Follows is a different take on the supernatural horror genre, and it can be interpreted as a metaphor for the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Rather than a horrifying creature, Jay’s pursuer takes the form of slow-moving humans, walking toward her in a hypnotic state that creates a unique sense of tension. It Follows is available to stream on Netflix.

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Set in the 17th century, The Witch follows a New England family who have been banished over a religious dispute. Living alone on the edge of a forest, the family begins to experience haunting events as a dangerous evil appears to be lurking around them.

The Witch is the debut of director Robert Eggerswho would find further acclaim with The Lighthouse and The Northman, and caries his trademark commitment to historical accuracy. It’s also the first movie role for Anya Taylor Joywho stars as the family’s teenage daughter Thomasin, the protagonist of the story. The Witch is available to stream on Showtime.

when Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), an African-American man, travels with his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to meet her Caucasian family, he finds himself experiencing something more terrifying than just awkward conversation. Get Out is a smart and funny psychological horror film that tackles issues such as race and class.

The film was a massive success and has remained popular, recently being crowned the greatest screenplay of the 21st century by The Writer’s Guild of America. The debut movie from Jordan Peelethe writer-director has continued to explore social issues through his other horror films us and the hotly-anticipated nope.

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Another debut horror film, this time from Ari Aster. hereditary follows the Graham family, parents Annie (Toni Collette) and Steve (Gabriel Byrne), teenager Peter (Alex Wolff), and young daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro). After the death of Annie’s mother, the family begins to experience frightening supernatural happenings with deadly consequences.

As much a family drama as it is a horror movie, hereditary is similar to The Babadook in that it examines grief and family tragedy through a horror lens. The film was praised for its direction and Collette’s performance, who is unforgettable as the grieving matriarch. Aster would go on to explore similar themes in his follow-up movie Midsommar. hereditary is available to stream on Showtime.

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Robert Eggers‘ follow up to The Witch, The Lighthouse revolves around two lighthouse keepers, Winslow (Robert Pattinson) and wake (Willem Dafoe). The only two people on the island, the film portrays their strained relationship while also following Winslow’s slipping sanity.

Set in the 19th century, The Lighthouse is shown completely in black and white, adding a nostalgic feel to the movie that calls back to classic horror films of the best. Along with Eggers’ assured direction, The Lighthouse works so well because of the performances from Pattinson and Dafoe, with both actors completely committed to their roles. The Lighthouse is available to stream on Showtime.

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A stop motion animated film from Chile, The Wolf House tells the tale of a young woman named Maria, who is on the fun from a German religious cult. Finding a strange house in the woods, Maria hides inside, discovering that it is the home of two pigs. Soon enough, the house begins reacting to Maria’s feelings, with dark results.

The Wolf House is an animated nightmare, its stop-motion movements only adding to the haunting and disturbing atmosphere it provides. The film itself is presented as an indoctrination video by the cult Maria is fleeing from, taking the form of an animated fairytale in order to lure more followers. The Wolf House is available to stream on Shudder, AMC+, and Tubi.

Deeply affected by the loss of a patient, nurse Maud (Morfydd Clark) moves away from hospital work and becomes a personal carer instead. Moving to the English seaside, she becomes the private nurse for Amanda (Jennifer Ehlea) a former dancer.

Religion and faith play a big part in Saint Maud, as Maud is a recent convert to Roman Catholicism following her previous traumatic experience. As Maud’s mental state weakens, she begins to see visions from God and believes she has been forced to save Amanda’s soul, with chilling results. It all leads to an unforgettable climax.

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With 2022 just about halfway through, Bodies Bodies Bodies is currently the year’s highest-rated horror film on the website. Set at a party during a hurricane warning, a group of teenage friends plans to spend the night playing games and drinking. After a “murder in the dark” style game leads to an actual body being found, the night soon descends into murder.

Scheduled to be released on August 5th, Bodies Bodies Bodies had its premiere at South by Southwest in March. Early reviews have praised its direction, script, and performances, with the cast including Pete Davidson, Borat 2‘s Maria Bakalovaand Lee Pace.

NEXT: 10 Best Horror Movies That Are Actually Comfort Movies

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