The Best Horror Movies of 2021 and Where to Watch Them This Halloween

Halloween is a time where the whole family can gather around the TV and be totally scared out of their minds together, and this year is no exception. Among the things that horror directors have made us terrified of this year are mirrors (Candyman), chopstick-wielding serial killers (Titane), plus whatever the hell Malignant was about.

With 2021 swiftly coming to an end, Halloween is a great time to catch up with the year's best horror movies. Here are 10 of the best of the year, plus where you can watch them now.

2021's best horror movies

Candyman production still
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy in a production still from "Candyman." Universal

Candyman

Though it lacks some of the scares of the 1992 original, the new Candyman deepens and richens the world of Cabrini Green while still providing plenty of chilling moments. The subtext of the 2021 version is about the history of white violence on Black people, something far more horrifying than any supernatural being living in a mirror.

Where to watch it: Available to purchase at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and all major video on demand stores.

Censor

Anti-horror movie hysteria in the U.K. in the 1980s led to the release of a so-called "video nasties" list of banned horror movies, which included iconic titles such as Possession, The Evil Dead and Cannibal Holocaust. Director Prano Bailey-Bond's debut feature pays tribute to that time via the story of a film censor who becomes convinced that she sees her missing sister in a horror movie.

Where to watch it: Streaming now on Hulu.

Dashcam

Rob Savage's Host is perhaps the only decent piece of art made about the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, a terrifying look at a Zoom séance gone wrong. Riding high on the success of that movie, Savage ups the ante with Dashcam, a completely demented story of an anti-vaccine proponent having the worst night of her life, all told via a social media livestream.

Where to watch it: Currently touring film festivals around the United States. General release date TBA.

Fear Street

A still from Fear Street: 1994
A still from "Fear Street: 1994." One of the killers dresses in a skeleton outfit Netflix

Why wait decades to build a franchise when you can do it in three weeks? That was the question Netflix asked with the three Fear Street movies, released this year over three consecutive weeks. The content was not as radical as the release schedule, but all three were effective and affectionate horror tributes to the teen slashers of the 1990s (1994), the original slashers of the '70s (1978), and the folk horrors of the '70s (1666) respectively.

Where to watch it: Streaming now on Netflix.

In the Earth

Ben Wheatley quickly followed his underwhelming adaptation of Rebecca by returning to his roots: unsettling folk horror set in the British countryside. In the vein of Kill List and A Field in England, In the Earth sees scientists trying to communicate with a mysterious presence in the woods, with a lot of psychedelic spookiness thrown in for good measure.

Where to watch it: Streaming now on Hulu.

Malignant

Malignant is simultaneously the best and worst horror movie of the year. After an hour or so of what can only be described as the most generic studio Hollywood slog, the movie suddenly cracks to reveal one of the most unhinged horror movie endings of recent years. Love it or hate it, you will be unable to stop talking about it for months.

Where to watch it: Available to purchase on Spectrum on Demand. Returning to HBO Max in January 2022.

The Night House

Rebecca Hall instantly enters the pantheon of scream queens with her killer performance in this psychological horror in which she plays a woman who starts to believe she is being haunted by her dead husband after she starts to discover his secret life.

Where to watch it: Available to purchase at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and all major video on demand stores.

Old

Alex Wolff and Gael Garcia Bernal
Gael Garcia Bernal and Alex Wolff in "Old". Universal

What if there was a beach that makes you grow old very quickly? If that sounds like a dumb question to you, then M. Night Shyamalan's latest is not for you. If you're intrigued by the premise and can stand your horror movies a little on the goofy side, there is a lot to enjoy in Old.

Where to watch it: Available to purchase at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and all major video on demand stores.

A Quiet Place Part II

Plenty were skeptical about whether A Quiet Place needed a sequel, but Part II justified its existence and then some. Set either side of the first movie, it widened the world of the franchise, upped its stakes, and gave us plenty of terrifying moments to match the first one. Bring on Part III.

Where to watch it: Streaming now on Paramount+.

Titane

Julia Ducournau's second film made history when it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, making it the second film by a woman and the first horror film to win the prize. Titane might have the arthouse seal of approval, but it is still a deeply nasty horror movie with some of the most brutal body horror seen on screen since....well, since Ducournau's first film Raw.

Where to watch it: In theaters now. Available to purchase at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and all major video on demand stores.