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Top 20 Best Horror Movies of the 2000s

Updated on May 9, 2014
Horror Movies
Horror Movies

I have put together what I think is the greatest list of horror films since the year 2000 up until now. Be warned, this list is not for the faint of heart. Although, I think anyone who enjoys horror movies will thoroughly enjoy this list. So sit back, grab a bag of pop corn and get ready to be horrified.

1. The Cell (2000)

This movie is about a psychotherapist named Catherine (J-Lo) who has been experimenting with a new technology that allows her to enter the minds of her patients. Meanwhile, the FBI have just caught a notorious serial killer who abducts woman and hides them in secret places before he kills them. Coincidentally, the killer falls into a coma before he can reveal the whereabouts of his latest victim. Catherine agrees to enter the mind of the killer in order to find out where the girl is hidden. However, the killer's psychopathic and damaged mind cause dangerous problems for her as she finds herself struggling to escape.

Rating: R

Run time: 107 min.

Scare Rating: Very scary and bizarre. Be prepared to enter the mind of a maniac.

2. Ginger Snaps (2000)

In this film, we have two teenage sisters named Ginger and Brigitte who are into some pretty Gothic stuff. They enjoy posing as the dead and photographing their work. One night, on Ginger's first period, she is bitten by a werewolf. Within a few days, Ginger starts undergoing some serious bodily changes. Her temper becomes worst and her sexual appetite increases (resembling puberty somewhat). When her sister finds out, she races to find a cure before Halloween, which just so happens to be the next full moon. Needless to say, Ginger becomes the beast and Brigitte will finally have the chance to photograph some real dead bodies.

Rating: R

Run time: 108 min.

Scare Rating: Pretty scary and gory for its time. The film has a good message and relates a lot to feminism and teen struggle.

3. The Others (2001)

This movie is about a woman named Grace who lives in a mansion with her two children. The children have disease that makes them very vulnerable to sunlight. Because of this, Grace lays down very strict rules for her children. When she hires three strange servants to help around the house, secrets start be revealed about the previous family who lived in the home. At first, she doesn't believe that her children are seeing ghosts until she has a revelation and succumbs to the truth.

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 101 min.

Scare Rating: This movie does a great job of keeping you at the edge of your seat without all the blood and gore. Very frightening film.

4. Donnie Darko (2001)

This very underrated film is about a boy named Donnie Darko. Donnie is somewhat of an outcast. He doesn't get along very well with his classmates and has very few friends. After avoiding a fatal accident, Donnie begins to see strange things, one of which is a large and creepy bunny rabbit who tells him that the world will end in 28 days. As doomsday approaches, Donnie struggles to connect his visions with his own sanity and figure out why these strange things are happening to him.

Rating: R

Run time: 113 min.

Scare Rating: This is one of the most underrated movies out there and also one of the weirdest. It has a very dark vibe to it which makes it very creepy.

5. 28 Days Later (2002)

Our story begins with Jim waking up from a coma in an abandoned hospital. When he walks outside, he realizes that all of London has been deserted due to a deadly virus. He seeks sanctuary in a church where he finds himself running for his life from a bunch of zombified humans. While running, he bumps into Selena and Mark who help him escape and fill him in on everything that has happened. They eventually find protection in a small military organization where they find out that the deadly virus isn't the only thing threatening their lives.

Rating: R

Run time: 113 min.

Scare Rating: This isn't your average zombie movie. This movie has a good message about humankind's savage nature and how desperate people will do just about anything to stay alive.

6. The Ring (2002)

This movie is about a journalist who is investigating the mysterious deaths of four teenagers which she believes were caused by a mysterious videotape. Rumor has it that whoever watches the tape, dies exactly 7 days after. When she walks in on her son watching the tape, she races against time to uncover the mysteries of the tape. She travels in search of the tape's creator and a way to break the curse before its too late. During her travels, she learns the dark horrors behind the history of the tape.

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 115 min.

Scare rating: Although this movie is rated PG-13, it is not for the faint of heart. There are many disturbing scenes throughout the film that will have you holding your breath and flinching when you see them.

7. House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

If you hate movies about stupid teenagers who go into the woods looking for trouble and find it, then this movie is not for you. When two young couples decide to take a road trip out to the "booneys" in search of the legendary Dr. Satan, they find themselves being tricked and held captive by a sadistic family of hillbilly nut-jobs. This movie is about murder, satanic rituals, cannibalism and torture; and that's all peaches and cream compared to rest of the horrors that await you in this film.

Rating: R

Run time: 89 min.

Scare Rating: Be warned. This movie is psychotic, horrifying and disturbing in every way. Be prepared to cringe and even puke just for the fact that the director had the audacity to create a film as such.

8. Wrong Turn (2003)

Chris is on his way to an important job interview in another city when he runs into a car accident blocking the road. He decides to find another route through the mountains of West Virginia in order to make the interview. Not paying any attention, he wrecks his car and finds himself stranded. He later finds five friends who have decided to camp in the woods. When the group splits up to find help, they come across an old cabin which is home to three severely disfigured mountain-men who are the products of years of inbreeding (I know, eww). It turns out that the mountain-men are cannibals and the group finds themselves running for dear life. Unfortunately, the mountain-men know these woods much better than the group of friends and they will be lucky to make it out alive.

Rating: R

Run time: 84 min.

Scare Rating: This is a very disturbing film and is not an easy watch. However, if you enjoyed "The Hills Have Eyes", then you will love this movie. But then again, who enjoys those types of movies?

9. Secret Window (2004)

Johnny Depp stars as a famous mystery writer named Mort. Mort has secluded himself in his cabin after going through a nasty divorce. Later, a strange man called Shooter knocks at the door and accuses Mort of stealing his story. Mort denied the accusations and says he can prove that he didn't. While Mort searches his cabin for the proof, Shooter becomes violent. Mort notices his dog has been brutally murdered with a screwdriver, people begin to die, and he feels as if Shooter is haunting him. Mort begins to believe that his ex-wife's new fiance has hired Shooter to terrorize him but as the film unfolds, so does Shooter's true nature. As Mort starts to grasp whats happening, it seems as if he is losing his grasp on his own sanity.

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 96 min.

Scare Rating: This movie has a good story to it and Mort's constant struggle with his oppressor will keep you wondering whats going to happen next. Watch Mort go through a series of crazy events only to lead up to a very disturbing end.

10. Ginger Snaps 2 (2004)

In this grimy sequel, Brigitte is on the run from Baily Downs. On top of that, she is being followed be the werewolf that bit her sister in the first film. When she injects herself with too much monkshood (the only thing that can keep her transformation at bay) she passes out from an overdose. When the police find her, they mistake the monkshood for an illegal substance and incarcerate her in a drug rehabilitation center. Needless to say, she can't stay in rehab too long without the monkshood or she'll transform and kill everyone in her path. During her stay in rehab, she befriends a small girl called Ghost, who helps her cope with her new problems and eventually escape. Will she stop the transformation or will she have to transform in order to be strong enough to kill her sister's specter. You'll have to watch to find out.

Rating: R

Run time: 94 min.

Scare rating: Slightly better effects, more gore and a new story twist make this sequel a must watch, especially if you enjoyed the first. Lots of blood and violence and girl power.

11. Saw (2004)

Two men wake up on opposite sides of a dirty old bathroom with chains on their ankles. There is a dead man laying between them holding a tape player and a pistol. Each man finds a cassette tape in their back pockets. They play the tapes using the tape player found on the dead body. They are each ordered to kill the other by 6:00, or his wife and daughter will die. They each find hacksaws in the toilet. They try to cut the chains, but it won't work. They have become the two newest victims of the Jigsaw Killer. Jigsaw sets up games for his victims and is never actually there to kill them. Each victim is given a choice which usually involve some kind of sacrifice with death being the latter. Police are scouring the city looking for this so-called madman but have no leads since he commits all of his crime via cassette tape. If you ever wake up attached to some weird death contraption and you hear the words "it's time to play a game", just go ahead and kill yourself.

Rating: R

Run time: 103 min.

Scare rating: This film, along with the whole series is very gruesome, disturbing and violent. If you have a weak stomach, I wouldn't advise watching this movie.

12. Hostel (2005)

This is a horrifying story about three backpackers who decide to go to Amsterdam for vacation. When they get there, they get locked out of their hostel for coming in past curfew. Out on the streets, they are invited in by neighboring citizen who tells them about a hostel in eastern Europe that has the hottest woman and they all have a taste for American men. Of course, they go there and have the night of their lives but in the morning, they find that one of their friends has went missing. They immediately sober up and try to solve the problem but don't have any luck getting any answers. The two remaining friends head back to the hostel where they decide to have another night of fun. Big mistake! They soon realize that the hostel they are staying in is hiding a very dark secret, one they will never forget.

Rating: R

Run time: 94 min.

Scare Rating: This movie is packed full of those "I can't look" moments. Very gory and disturbing throughout the film. Do not watch if you can't handle lots of blood and guts. But why else would you be looking for horror movies, right?

13. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

When the Carters, a somewhat idyllic American family, decide to take a road trip through southwest America, they end up taking a detour into an area that used to be used for U.S nuclear testing. When their camper breaks down at the sight, they soon realize that it wasn't an accident, but a trap! They soon find themselves dealing with deformed, cannibalistic, mutants who have been disfigured by nuclear radiation. Be warned before watching this. I actually broke my television because of how angry this movie made me. Some scenes are just unbearable but I think you will find some satisfaction in the end.

Rating: R

Run time: 107 min.

Scare Rating: This is a very violent, gruesome and disturbing film. Just the fact that such creatures could strategically trap and pick apart a family will terrify you. The feeling of being helpless is scary to anyone.

14. Silent Hill (2006)

When Rose notices her daughter sleep walking at night and mentioning a place called Silent Hill, she decides that the only way to fix the problem is to go there. On her way there, Rose enters a high speed chase with a police officer where they both crash. When Rose awakens, she notices that her daughter is gone. She searches frantically for her daughter until she an alarming siren. Lets just say you don't want to be outside when the siren goes off. Rose soon finds herself unraveling the mysteries of Silent Hill and doing everything in her power to save her daughter.

Rating: R

Run time: 125 min.

Scare Rating: This is one of the most devilish and disturbing films I have ever seen. And that says a lot. There aren't a lot of films that pull you in and make you feel as if you are actually there. But Silent Hill definitely will. This is not a film you can forget easily. I lost many nights of sleep due to this horrifying film and I'm not exaggerating.

15. The Mist (2007)

Its just a normal day at the supermarket for most when an old man runs into the store screaming "there's something in the mist!" They thought it was just a harmless storm but when a strange purple mist enshrouds the supermarket, they realize not. The shoppers and storekeeper quickly barricade themselves in to avoid the horrendous creature coming from the mist. On top of that, conflicting ideas between shoppers start to cause problems. One man thought that abandoning the store and seeking rescue was the way to go. I dedicate this review in memory of him. Some even went as far as to think human sacrifice to the gods would do the trick. No comment. One things for sure, and that is nothing is more scary than the thought of no escape or survival.

Rating: R

Run time: 126 min.

Scare Rating: I know I know, this movie looks and sounds incredibly corny but I assure you that you will be in for a huge surprise. This movie did something that I have yet to see in any other film. It took a very unoriginal concept, flipped it on it's head and made it original. I won't tell you exactly how. That's for you to find out. Oh yeah, and it's pretty gory too.

16. Paranormal Activity (2007)

Katie and Micah have been living together for three years and all of a sudden Katie feels as if something is haunting her in her sleep. She admits to Micah that she was haunted as a little girl and she feels as if it might have came back. Micah, in disbelief, buys a video camera and sets it up to record them sleeping at night. Katie calls in an expert to get his opinion. The expert soon admits that he specializes in ghosts and what they have is a demon!

Rating: R

Run time: 86 min.

Scare Rating: Ill admit, when I first saw this movie, the marketing for it and the way it was filmed, I thought it was real! The whole movie is shot through a video camera, making it seem as if its really happening. There isn't too much gore but what you'll see while this couple sleeps will have you scared straight.

17. 1408 (2007)

Mike Enslin is a very skeptical writer who specializes in debunking paranormal phenomena. He's the type who has to see it to believe it. On his newest venture, he travels from Los Angeles to New York in order to debunk the stories about an evil hotel room. Room 1408. When he arrives to check in, the manager rejects his request, offers him a better room and explains that there have been over 50 deaths in that room. Mike then threatens to sue the hotel if he is not granted access to the room. The manager gives in. During the course of the night, Mike soon finds out that anyone can check into room 1408 whenever they like. But they can never checkout alive!

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 104 min.

Scare Rating: This was a very scary film. You really can't tell if its really happening or if Mike is going insane. This movie will definitely put a chill down your spine.

19. Inside (2007)

Four months after losing her husband in a fatal car accident, Sarah and her unborn child reside at home on Christmas eve. Sarah is due to deliver the next morning on Christmas day. Later that night, she hears a knock at the door. Its a strange old woman claiming she knows Sarah and tries to force her way in. Sarah calls the police who assure her that everything is alright (how cliche). Later while Sarah is sleeping, the deranged woman sneaks into the house and tries to cut Sarah open with a pair of scissors. She makes it clear that her intentions are to kill Sarah and claim the baby for herself and she won't leave until it's hers. Sarah is in for one hell of a night.

Rating: R

Run time: 82 min.

Scare Rating: Very bloody and gruesome. One of the worst things to watch is a pregnant woman being beaten and cut. But if your into that kind of thing, then this is the right movie for you.

18. Martyrs (2008)

15 years after escaping a torture chamber, Lucie decides to seek out revenge on the family that caused her so much pain. Lucie goes on a killing spree, killing every member of the Belfond family. When she calls her long-time friend, Anna to come help her, Anna is surprised to see what Lucie has done and little does Lucie know that she has put Anna in grave danger.

Rating: R

Run time: 99 min.

Scare Rating: One of the most gruesome film I've ever seen. Constant torture, murder and abuse. If you can watch this movie without cringing, you can watch just about anything. I actually found the story to a good one and the idea of creating martyrs is an original one, but what these tormentors put these girl through is beyond cruel and unbearable to watch at times.

20. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

This movie is about five friends who decide to vacate to a remote cabin in the woods. When they arrive, everything seems all fine and dandy (which it always does) until a trap door pops open and the curious kids decide to explore it. When they get down in the basement, they discover many different relics but when one of the girls reads from the diary of a deceased little girl, they awaken a family of killer zombies. As they fight off the zombies, they soon realize that there is way more than meets the eye and they are being recorded. The survivors find a secret elevator shaft that will open their eyes to a whole new world of terror.

Rating: R

Run time: 95 min.

Scare Rating: Watch this movie! This film is not a waste of time. In fact, I enjoyed it thoroughly. The directors of this film brought something to the table that has never been done and if you're a huge fan of horror movies, you'll have no choice but to respect this one. Just watch the movie. The unique twists in the plot will seem corny and unrealistic but you will be glued to it. It actually has a very good message. My top horror movie of the year.


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