From ‘Don’t Breathe’ to ‘Neon Demon’: Here’s 2016’s 10 Best Horror Films

2016 Has Been Jam Packed With Some Great Horror. Does Your Favorite Film Make This List?

Other than comic books, no other film genre did as well this year as horror did. Everything from big budget hits to indie surprises come together as the best of horror in 2016. It comes as a shock when films like ‘The Shallows‘ & ‘Ouija: Origin Of Evil‘ do far better on Rotten Tomatoes than Hollywood films released next to them. Rarely does horror get the appreciation it deserves but this year seems to be slight shift. Out of all the genre films released this year, which are the top 10 of 2016?

To make this list, I’ve taken into consideration the all aspects like critical reception and box-office. Sadly, we all know when it comes to scary movies, critics & viewers have never been too kind. Ultimately as a massive fan of horror films, I look at how each film on the list impacts or helps the genre.

So below are the top 10 horror films of the year!

Let me know in the comments below if you agree with my list.

Honorable Mentions:

10. ‘Hush


  • Most people know bout ‘Hush‘ from randomly scrolling past it on Netflix. That’s where some of the best horror is nowadays. This movie relies on an intriguing conceptual story about a deaf & mute woman living in the middle of the woods. She’s attacked but remains calm as she fights back. A classic home invasion movie done right. ‘Hush‘ kicks off my list and director Mike Flanagan’s great year.

9. ‘Don’t Breathe


  • In a sea of supernatural films, ‘Don’t Breathe‘ stands out as something so rare in the mainstream nowadays. Masterful director Fede Alvarez decided to go for something totally unexpected and bring out of the most interesting stories of the year. With just enough jump scares with the right amount of blood, I’m glad to see Alvarez follow up his ‘Evil Dead‘ remake with ease.

8. ‘Blair Witch


  • One of the times where my love of a film will trump the critical and fan reception for a list. I’m still flabbergasted on why ‘Blair Witch‘ wasn’t well received. It is another found-footage film but it’s insanely inventive with the sub-genre. Updating and expanding the Blair Witch mythos, I found to be one of the most satisfying sequels in years. Maybe this film will gain cult classic status later on…

7. ‘Green Room


  • Who knew Patrick Stewart would star in one of the best horror movies this year? Punk music and horror films seem like a great fit and ‘Green Room‘ proves it. I didn’t know what to expect from this but the end result is a brutal film about neo-Nazis attacking a punk band that witnesses a murder. It would place higher on the list but it just lacks real human connection that some of the others do.

6. ‘Under the Shadow


  • Under the Shadow‘ is an international co-production coming from the United Kingdom, Jordan, and Qatar. It tells the story of a mother and daughter dealing with a haunting during the Iran–Iraq War. If being in the middle of the “War of the Cities” wasn’t enough, the pairing also has to deal with an evil spirt tormenting them. ‘Under the Shadow‘ is not only scary as hell but deeply profound.

5. ‘The Neon Demon


  • Any film with a color palette more vibrant than ‘Suspiria‘ is a winner to me. What makes ‘The Neon Demon‘ so notable is the immense attention to detail. This piece shows the exploitation of women in such a realistic way but sets you in this surreal world. Nicolas Winding Refn knows how to visually tell a story and this is by far one of his best scripts. It did prove to be too arthouse for some critics.

4. ‘The Witch


  • The story of a Puritan family fighting against evil forces in the woods beyond their small farm is probably one of the most stripped back horror pieces in years. ‘The Witch‘ obviously deals with witchcraft but it’s the madness the family deals with that feels like the true horror. This kicked off the year of great horror and remained one of the best throughout 2016.

3. ‘Ouija: Origin Of Evil


  • I heard ‘Ouija: Origin Of Evil‘ was actually good but I had to see to believe. Following the horrible ‘Ouija‘ from 2014 was a challenge but the serious direction from Mike Flanagan allowed this to shine in a overused sub-genre. Appearing for the second time on this list, Flanagan made a major name for himself in 2016 with some great horror movies. Let’s hope we see more of him in 2017.

2. ‘10 Cloverfield Lane


  • This hit came out of no where. Literally, the promotion for this movie started less than 3 months before the actual release. ‘10 Cloverfield Lane‘ is the quasi-sequel to 2008’s ‘Cloverfield‘ but it takes the franchise in a whole new direction. Throwing away the found-footage style of the first film, it’s replaced by a cerebral story of survival and monsters. The real star is the stellar showing from John Goodman.

1. ‘The Handmaiden


  • Everyone knows the easiest way to a number one spot for me is mix to sexuality with prolonged torture scenes, as well as disturbed revenge. ‘The Handmaiden‘ feels like a fever dream of a foreign horror fan but it’s a real thing created by the genius Park Chan-wook! I expect to see ‘The Handmaiden‘ on the top of many list, not just horror, this year. What could have topped it?

Did your favorite horror film of 2016 make the list?

Comment below and don’t forget to share!

EJ Moreno
EJ Moreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at