The 25 Best New Horror Films To Watch This Halloween
Fresh blood for your horror collection.
Do you feel like a zombie when it comes to your Halloween viewing options? There’s always room for the classics, but there’s been an incredible wave of new horror at the turn of the 21st century.
In the lead up to 31 October, sprinkle these films into your horror movie marathons to make them spooktacular. Each film was released post-2000 for maximum freshness, and we’ve put them into minimum-maximum fright categories, to tailor to your mood.
What We Do In The Shadows (2014)
A mockumentary that follows vampires who live in a share house in Wellington, New Zealand. While it’s light on scares it’s big on laughs. Written, directed and starring Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) it’s like This is Spinal Tap! with bloodsuckers and other supernatural beings.
There are so many Saw movies now and the timeline is very confusing, so why not go back to the room where it all began and rediscover the greatness of the original. You’ll never look at the tools in your garage the same way again.
Final Girls (2015)
A group of teenagers get trapped inside a slasher film and must use their knowledge of horror movies to survive. Witty and inventive, this take on slasher movies shares a lot in common with Scream and has a surprising amount of heart.
Get Out (2017)
A black photographer, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), goes away for the weekend to meet his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. The visit starts out awkward but flips to sinister. Darkly satirical and unnerving, the debut film from writer and director, Jordan Peele (Key and Peele) is a stunner, so much so that he bagged the Best Original Screenplay Oscar earlier this year.
If you read R. L. Stine’s books as a kid you have to see this film where Jack Black plays Stine whose novels come to life and unleash his horror creations on an unsuspecting town. Think of this one as Jumanji meets Monster Squad: light Halloween fun with lots of creatures.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The difficulty curve of blending horror and comedy is tough but writer and director, Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Baby Driver) did in grisly style with the help of his mates Simon Pegg and Nick Frost who must survive a zombie outbreak on the outskirts of London.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
If you’re a little worn down by repetitive stories about vampires this stunning black-and-white film will rekindle your love. The plot centres on a skateboarding vampire (Sheila Vand) who stalks men that disrespect women in a decrepit Iranian town.
The Witch (2015)
Forget ‘double, double toil and trouble’, witches are the real deal … or are they? Set in Ye Olde New England, a family encounters an evil presence living in a nearby forest and they begin to question their sanity as strange things begin happening.
A vegetarian student (Garance Marillier) discovers a taste for human flesh during her first week at veterinarian school. A cannibal coming-of-age story packed with dread and a raging hunger.
The Guest (2014)
If you like VHS slashers like The Hitcher then this film is perfect for you. Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens is at his creepy best as a soldier who visits a family grieving for a son they lost in the war in Afghanistan. Stevens shows up claiming to have known their son but there’s something not quite right about him. Gets bonus points for being set at Halloween, too.
Watch through your fingers
Cabin in the Woods (2011)
The horror film to end them all. No horror trope or cliché was safe when writers Drew Goddard (Bad Times at the El Royale) and Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) delivered an ingenious film with plenty of twists and scares. If you haven’t seen it yet, try to go in as cold as possible and have a wild time.
A Quiet Place (2018)
Noise is the enemy in this one. A family hides on a farm and tries to live a normal life while creatures stalk the woods killing anything that makes a sound.
The Others (2001)
Not only do you get one of the best performances of Nicole Kidman’s career but a legit great haunted house movie. The story focuses on a mother (Kidman) who moves her children to the British countryside during World War II. Shortly after their arrival, things begin to go bump in the night. Brace for lots of hallway investigation using candlelight, mu-ha-ha.
It Follows (2014)
The common horror movie rule is that if teenagers have sex, they die. Prepare to go to a whole new level with horror movie sex when a bunch of uni students discover there’s an evil entity following them around after they bump hips. Yep, supernatural STDs are now a thing.
Let the Right One In (2008)
A 12-year-old boy develops a friendship with a vampire child in Stockholm in the 1980s. A sweet tale of friendships spirals out of control when the fangs start to pop out.
Gerald’s Game (2017)
Adaptions of Stephen King stories are not always great but this is different because it’s … good. Wild, we know. A couple trying to keep their marriage alive goes to an isolated cabin and that’s where the handcuffs come out. A little kinky fun in the bedroom goes bad, which results in one of the goriest escapes ever seen in a horror film. Whatever you do: do not eat while watching this film. It’s been a year and we are still recovering.
Under the Skin (2013)
Scarlett Johansson plays an alien who eats people in Scotland -- that’s all you need to know.
The Host (2006)
If you love a creature feature look no further than this South Korean film about a family trying to rescue their youngest from a giant fish monster. Both thrilling and sweet, let the fish monster into your heart.
Set in 1905, a man (Dan Stevens, a horror regular) is sent to a mystery island to rescue his sister from a mysterious cult. Perfect if you like horror classics like The Wicker Man, but this one amps up the gore and supernatural elements. And knives, so many knives.
Sleep with all the lights on
Drag Me To Hell (2009)
Sam Rami, the brains behind the The Evil Dead movies, made a spectacular return to horror after making three Spider-Man movies. A loan officer gets cursed by an old woman after denying her an extension on her mortgage. If you thought the housing market in Australia was scary, wait until you see this!
The Descent (2005)
Just a little weekend cave exploration, what could go wrong? SO MANY THINGS. A group of friends explore a cave system only to discover they are not alone. Cross ‘caves’ off your list of things to do after this film.
The Babadook (2014)
The Australian horror film that made everyone terrified of kids' books. A widow (Essie Davis) suspects something is not right at home when her son becomes preoccupied with an imaginary monster called Mister Babadook, a tall pale-faced creature with a top who torments its victims. Notable, too, for establishing its director, Jennifer Kent, as one of Australia’s most exciting new filmmakers.
Be terrified by one of the biggest horror films of the year that may put Toni Collette in the hunt for an Oscar. The film focuses on a family dealing with the loss of their grandmother but it turns out that granny was up to no good. Yes, grandmas are scary now, add them to the list.
Trick r Treat (2007)
They don’t make anthology horror films like they used to; smaller stories wrapped up in one movie. They made a brief comeback with this one, which is set on Halloween and focuses on four stories that are linked by an odd child with a sack on its head. This film is seriously messed up and has a lot of great surprises.
28 Days Later (2002)
Zombie films get a solid jolt every few years and Danny Boyle scared the hell out of us at the start of a new millennium with this film about a virus that sends people into a zombie range. Cited by many is the best horror film of the 21st century so far.