These Are The Best Horror Movies of 2023 (So Far)

Ghostface in Screams VI
Philippe Bosse / © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Last year was a hallmark year for horror movies, with releases like Pearl, X, Prey, The Menu, and many more. A tough act to follow, maybe, but 2023 is looking to keep the momentum going, coming out the gate with highlight releases in January right through June. But which scary film this year was more frightening than the rest? This list will rank the top 10 best horror movies of 2023 so far.

As the year progresses, we will return to this list with an update. Movies such as The Nun 2, Insidious: Fear of Darkness, The Exorcist remake, and other films we anticipate this year have yet to come out.

Check out our list and tell us your favorite horror movies of 2023 in the comments below.

SKINAMARINK, poster, 2022. © IFC Midnight /Courtesy Everett Collection
IFC Midnight /Courtesy Everett Collection

10. Skinamarink

Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished. Despite some of its technical feats, Skinamarink is more content with providing a creepy atmosphere than any entertainment value. More of a film for aspiring horror movie directors and audiences that still appreciate guerilla filmmaking.

Russell Crowe in The Pope's Exorcist
Jonathan Hession / Screen Gems / Courtesy Everett Collection

9. The Pope's Exorcist

Inspired by the actual files of Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican, The Pope’s Exorcist follows Amorth (Russell Crowe) as he investigates a young boy’s terrifying possession and ends up uncovering a centuries-old conspiracy the Vatican has desperately tried to keep hidden. The Pope’s Exorcist embodies the familiar tropes of holy horror, yet it distinguishes itself through the exceptional performance of its leading actor, delivering a divinely captivating portrayal that may serve as a solace to otherwise damned audience members.

RENFIELD, from left: Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage as Dracula, 2023. ph: Michele K. Short / © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection
Michele K. Short / © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

8. Renfield

Renfield (Nicholas Hoult), the tortured aide to his narcissistic boss, Dracula (Nicolas Cage), is forced to procure his master’s prey and do his every bidding. However, after centuries of servitude, he’s ready to see if there’s a life outside the shadow of the Prince of Darkness. Despite being a funny take on Dracula and featuring Mortal Kombatesque levels of violence, it can come off as humorous in situations it’s not meant to be and a bit campy for some.

The Boogeyman - Sophie Thatcher, Vivien Lyra Blair
Patti Perrett / 20th Century Studios /Courtesy Everett Collection

7. The Boogeyman

High school student Sadie Harper (Sophie Thatcher) and her younger sister Sawyer are reeling from their mother’s recent death and aren’t getting much support from their father, Will (Chris Messina), a therapist who is dealing with his own pain. When a desperate patient unexpectedly shows up at their home seeking help, he leaves behind a terrifying supernatural entity that preys on families and feeds on the suffering of its victims. Despite being a 20th Century (read: Disney) flick, it’s still scary and deals with trauma creatively well.

Jane Adams in Sick
Peacock / Courtesy Everett Collection

6. Sick

As the pandemic steadily brings the world to a halt, Parker (Gideon Adlon) and her best friend Miri (Bethlehem Million) decide to quarantine at the family lake house alone–or so they think. Although it has a great premise and promising threat, the characters are remarkably dull as the premise begins to settle into generic cabin-in-the-woods tropes and silly revenge plots.

Abby Quinn, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Dave Bautista, Rupert Grint in Knock at the Cabin
Phobymo / © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

5. Knock at the Cabin

While vacationing at a remote cabin, a young girl and her parents are taken hostage by four armed strangers who demand that the family make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse. With limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe before all is lost. It has great performances from Dave Bautista, Rupert Grint, and Kristen Cui and fantastic direction, but like many M. Night joints, Knock at the Cabin falls apart in its third act when the plot twist is revealed and/or confirmed.

Alexander Skarsgard and Mia Goth in Infinity Pool
Neon /Courtesy Everett Collection

4. Infinity Pool

Guided by a seductive and mysterious woman, couple Em and James Foster (Cleopatra Coleman & Alexander Skarsgård) on vacation venture outside the resort grounds and find themselves in a culture filled with violence, hedonism, and untold horror. A tragic accident soon leaves them facing a zero-tolerance policy for crime: either you’ll be executed, or, if you’re rich enough to afford it, you can watch yourself die instead. With great cinematography and an always electric Mia Goth at the forefront, this scifi horror manages to deliver some solid social commentary amongst all the usual Neon psychedelic oddities.

SCREAM VI, (aka SCREAM 6), Ghostface, 2023. ph: Philippe Bosse /© Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection
Philippe Bosse /© Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

3. Scream VI

Four survivors of the Ghostface murders leave Woodsboro behind for a fresh start in New York City. However, they soon find themselves in a fight for their lives when a new killer embarks on a bloody rampage. Although franchise-lead Neve Campbell is missing, this installment still proves to be fun and intense, if not a bit less inventive than previous sequels. Also, its NYC setting could have been utilized more. Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera once again excel as the new leading ladies of the franchise.

Alyssa Sutherland in Evil Dead Rise
Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

2. Evil Dead Rise

In the fifth Evil Dead film, a road-weary Beth (Lily Sullivan) pays an overdue visit to her older sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), who is raising three kids on her own in a cramped Los Angeles apartment. The sisters’ reunion is cut short by the discovery of a mysterious book deep in the bowels of Ellie’s building, giving rise to flesh-possessing demons and thrusting Beth into a primal battle for survival as she is faced with the most nightmarish version of motherhood imaginable. There’s plenty to love about this installment, whether you come from the original film and its reboot or the Ash-centric installments with campy humor. Both sides of the franchise are honored, and we hope this is the first in many more sequels to come.

Jenna Davis as M3gan with Violet McGraw
Geoffrey Short / Universal Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

1. M3GAN

M3GAN is a marvel of artificial intelligence, a lifelike doll that’s programmed to be a child’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally. Designed by Gemma (Allison Williams), a brilliant roboticist, M3GAN can listen, watch and learn as it plays the role of friend and teacher, playmate, and protector. When Gemma becomes the unexpected caretaker of her 8-year-old niece (Violet McGraw), she decides to give the girl an M3GAN prototype, a decision that leads to unimaginable consequences. Its brilliant marketing, clever themes, and memorable villain cemented this January release as the best horror flick the year has offered so far.