Top eight horror movies of the 21st century

REVIEWED BY Ashwini Vethakan

The wind forces the curtained window open, candles snuff out in the dark and a shiver cascades down your spine. You’re startled by the appearance of a random shadow on the wall behind your favourite character; and instinctively, you want to throttle your pillow as the face in the bathroom mirror suddenly changes…

Let’s be honest, it’s the fear of the unknown that lures people to the horror genre in the movie world. And given the real life somewhat apocalyptic world we’ve been living in for the past 18 months, the horror genre has been identified as the most durable in the cinematic world – especially since people identify better with the turmoil and panic portrayed on the screen.

As we head into the month of Halloween and look for a dose of fear to entertain us, we’ve compiled what we feel are the eight best horror films of the 21st century – from ghost stories and retro-slasher flicks, to Hollywood franchise films that have spooked, shaken and scared us for more than two decades!

FINAL DESTINATION Who are we kidding? We still panic when we drive behind a truck filled with logs or sleep under the fan. The franchise gave ‘accidental killings’ a whole new meaning. Sure, teens on screen have been able to fight off a masked killer or even a brain eating zombie… but this franchise showed us what it is to truly cower in the face of the world’s most feared unknown killer – death.

THE RING We’re all familiar with the eerie looking child, her long black tresses hanging over her face as she steps out of the television in search of her next victim. The film has had countless parodies made but to this day, it is still one of the most iconic fear flicks of the 21st century. 

AMERICAN PSYCHO There’s something quite confusing about watching Christian Bale take on a dark and murderous role. This satirical slasher movie showcases a seemingly yuppie investment banker who lives a gruesome double life.

A QUIET PLACE This film and its sequel are a work of art as they demonstrate how successful a movie can be when you have a good story, talented actors and an amazing director. There is no need for dialogue because the film’s silence delivers every message.

IT A clown who preys on children? We don’t blame you for never looking at Ronald McDonald in the same way ever again. The 2000s remake of Stephen King’s horror masterpiece features Bill Skarsgård as the red nosed killer. But what’s most astonishing is the level of maturity among the young cast of children who play Pennywise’s victims – if anyone deserves a round of applause, it’s the Loser’s Club!

INSIDIOUS Director James Wan certainly has a knack for ensuring we find no sleep after watching his horror movies, and the Insidious franchise lives up to Wan’s reputation. If you love studying the ‘beyond’ and believe in ghosts, then this franchise is everything you want and more.

THE GRUDGE No, we’re not referring to the failed American attempt but the original 2002 Japanese release of the same title. Learn the true story behind the infamous ghost Kayako and her tale of woe. The film was praised by many movie buffs – and for good reason. We suggest you watch this with the lights on or during a sleepover – so you’re not alone!

GET OUT Jordan Peele’s directorial debut snagged him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and it was well deserved. Funny, scary and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its incisive social issues into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror thrill ride.

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