Unveiling the Best 2010s Horror Movies. A decade that gave us new horror masters, lots of genre hybrids, and even elevated horror which opened up the horror genre to much larger audiences, who discovered they loved horror movies. Let’s look at the 2010s horror movies – A Decade of Nightmares

The 2010s really was a golden age for horror movies. It excelled in blending classic scares with innovative storytelling, often including both jump scares and social commentary. This era saw the resurgence of the horror genre.

Not least thanks to new filmmakers pushing boundaries and redefining what it means to terrify an audience with a well-crafted horror movie.

From spine-chilling supernatural encounters to psychological thrillers that haunt your every waking moment long after the credits roll, the period between 2010-2019 really delivered. It offered several unforgettable horror masterpieces which have already gone on to become new classics.

With our list of the best 2010s horror movies, we’re looking into what captivated audiences and critics alike, showcasing the decade’s finest in fear and fright.

Whether you’re a die-hard horror aficionado or a casual viewer seeking a thrilling experience, our list promises to highlight the essential genre films that defined horror in the 2010s.

Some of the Best Horror Movie Directors of the 2010s

To get great horror movies, we also need amazing new filmmakers – writers and directors. The 2010s turned out to be a transformative decade for horror filmmaking. We saw visionary directors redefining the genre and pushing the boundaries of fear.

Often mixing horror with other genres to create hybrid genres, and even making horror accessible to win major awards. Again, I should say, as horror movies have won plenty of awards before. They simply haven’t been “fancy enough” these past few decades.

That changed with the best 2010s horror movies.

Among the standout figures are Jordan Peele, Ari Aster, Alex Garland, David F. Sandberg, and Mike Flanagan, each bringing a unique style and fresh perspective to horror filmmaking.

The Masters of Modern Fear

Jordan Peele burst onto the scene with his socially conscious thrillers. Ari Aster captivated viewers with his unsettling and emotionally charged narratives – something Alex Garland also did but with a sci-fi twist. Especially the two first have been accredited with creating “elevated horror” which I’ll get to soon.

David F. Sandberg became a viral hit on YouTube with a horror short, he made with his wife back home in Sweden, and Hollywood took notice. Finally, Mike Flanagan became renowned for his masterful blend of horror and heart. Something he also managed to fully explore in several series!


It also proved a good time for female genre directors like Jennifer Kent, Ana Lily Amirpour, Julia Ducournau, Karyn Kusama, and Coralie Fargeat. All of whom have gone on to direct more masterpieces!

Also, 2015 was when we saw M. Night Shyamalan find his way back to good filmmaking with The Visit. After a few less-than-stellar (to put it mildly) movies, M. Night Shyamalan went back to intrigue audiences with intelligent storytelling and his signature plot twists.

The 2010s Best Horror Movies introduced Elevated Horror

Several of the filmmakers mentioned are also accredited with having made “elevated horror”. To put it very bluntly, this is a term coined to make horror movies more palatable to the “horror is trash”-believing audience.

And, let’s be real, it also made it okay for film critics to give a good review to a horror movie.

Hey, I love “elevated horror” as much as the next movie lover. However, to me, they’re just good horror movies. Sure, they’re usually psychological horror movies or ones with social commentary, but they’ve always existed.

Whenever I hear someone saying they like “elevated horror movies” and not “regular horror movies”, I can hear Amy Poehler in Mean Girls going “I’m not a regular mom. I’m a cool mom”.

Good for you, my little closeted horror fiend. You like horror movies but want to slap a fancy label on it?! Be my guest. It still means we’ll get more horror movies, so we all win in the end.

The Best 2010s Horror Movies

Okay, having covered some of the stand-out directors of the Best 2010s Horror Movies and gone over the whole “elevated horror movie”-label, which is real and good, but also just a new name for something we’ve had all along, let’s get to it.

In the list below, you’ll notice the above names as these acclaimed directors all made movies that belong on a list of “The best horror movies of the 2010s”.

Join us as we celebrate the best horror movie directors of the 2010s and their unforgettable contributions to modern horror.

Here’s our list of the best horror movies of the 2010s

The chronological list below includes the director’s name.

The final half of the 2010s (2015-2019)

Midsommar (2019) – Ari Aster

Saint Maud (2019) – Rose Glass

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) – André Øvredal

Haunt (2019) – Scott Beck & Bryan Woods

The Hole in the Ground (2019) – Lee Cronin

Doctor Sleep (2019) – Mike Flanagan

Ready or Not (2019) – Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett

Escape Room (2019) – Adam Robitel

Brightburn (2019) – David Yarovesky

The Platform (2019) – Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Us (2019) – Jordan Peele

The Prodigy (2019) – Nicholas McCarthy

A Quiet Place (2018) – John Krasinski

Bird Box (2018) – Susanne Bier

What Keeps You Alive (2018) – Colin Minihan

Insidious: The Last Key (2018) – Adam Robitel

Hereditary (2018) – Ari Aster

The Perfection (2018) – Richard Shepard

Overlord (2018) – Julius Avery

Annihilation (2018) – Alex Garland

Thelma (2017) – Joachim Trier

Revenge (2017) – Coralie Fargeat

One Cut of the Dead (2017) – Shin’ichirô Ueda

Satan’s Slaves (2017) – Joko Anwar

The Babysitter (2017) – McG

Mother! (2017) – Darren Aronofsky

Creep 2 (2017) – Patrick Brice

Get Out (2017) – Jordan Peele

Veronica (2017) – Paco Plaza, Spanien

Happy Death Day (2017) – Christopher Landon

It (2017) – Andy Muschietti

Annabelle: Creation (2017) – David F. Sandberg

The Ritual (2017) – David Bruckner

The Endless (2017) – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

It Comes at Night (2017) – Trey Edward Shults

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) – André Øvredal

The Conjuring 2 (2016) – James Wan

The Void (2016) – Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski

Prevenge (2016) – Alice Lowe

Better Watch Out (2016) – Chris Peckover

Lights Out (2016) – David F. Sandberg

The Purge: Election Year (2016) – James DeMonaco

Hush (2016) – Mike Flanagan

The Shallows (2016) – Jaume Collet-Serra

Train to Busan (2016) – Yeon Sang-ho

Split (2016) – M. Night Shyamalan

Raw (2016) – Julia Ducournau

The Wailing (2016) – Na Hong-jin

Under the Shadow (2016) – Babak Anvari

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) – Mike Flanagan

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) – Dan Trachtenberg

The Girl with All the Gifts (2016) – Colm McCarthy

The Witch (2015) – Robert Eggers

Bone Tomahawk (2015) – S. Craig Zahler

The Visit (2015) – M. Night Shyamalan

The Invitation (2015) – Karyn Kusama

The first half of the 2010s (2010-2014)

What We Do in the Shadows (2014) – Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi

Housebound (2014) – Gerard Johnstone

Tusk (2014) – Kevin Smith

The Purge: Anarchy (2014) – James DeMonaco

Spring (2014) – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

Starry Eyes (2014) – Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer

Creep (2014) – Patrick Brice

The Voices (2014) – Marjane Satrapi

It Follows (2014) – David Robert Mitchell

The Babadook (2014) – Jennifer Kent

Goodnight Mommy (2014) – Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) – Ana Lily Amirpour

Mama (2013) – Andy Muschietti

The Sacrament (2013) – Ti West

World War Z (2013) – Marc Foster

The Conjuring (2013) – James Wan

Evil Dead (2013) – Fede Alvarez

Warm Bodies (2013) – Jonathan Levine

Sinister (2012) – Scott Derrickson

Kill List (2012) – Ben Wheatley

Cabin in the Woods (2011) – Drew Goddard

Red State (2011) – Kevin Smith

Final Destination 5 (2011) – Steven Quale

Grave Encounters (2011) – The Vicious Brothers (Colin Minihan & Stuart Ortiz)

You’re Next (2011) – Adam Wingard

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) – Lynne Ramsay

The Skin I Live In (2011) – Pedro Almodovar

Insidious (2010) – James Wan

Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010) – Eli Craig

Black Swan (2010) – Darren Aronofsky

The Crazies (2010) – Breck Eisner

Let Me In (2010) – Matt Reeves

Julia’s Eyes (2010) – Guillem Morales

The Loved Ones (2010) – Sean Byrne

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) – Jalmari Helander

Trollhunter (2010) – André Øvredal

Piranha (2010) – Alexandre Aja

I Saw the Devil (2010) – Kim Jee-woon

I usually keep up-to-date with all the horror news, and make sure Heaven of Horror share the best and latest trailers for upcoming horror movies. I love all kinds of horror. My love affair started when I watched 'Poltergeist' alone around the age of 10. I slept like a baby that night and I haven't stopped watching horror movies since. The crazy slasher stuff isn't really for me, but hey, to each their own. I guess I just like to be scared and get jump scares, more than being disgusted and laughing at the grotesque. Also, Korean and Spanish horror movies made within the past 10-15 years are among my absolute favorites.
Nadja "HorrorDiva" Houmoller
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