2016: Year In Review Of The Best Horror Movies — It Was A Great Year For Fear

From stories that had us squirming in our chairs to films that had us laughing between scares, some of the best horror movies were released during 2016.

Through the decades, the best horror movies have made audiences laugh, stay awake all night questioning the shadows in their rooms, and provided a thrill-ride of entertainment, and 2016 was no different. 2016 started horror movies off with a bang when The Witch, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Hush, and Green Room were released at the beginning of the year. Each of those movies had critics and audiences raving, and they all made several Top 10 lists. Because of this, it could easily be argued that these were the best horror movies of 2016.

The Witch feels like you are watching something very real and very wrong. Like Se7en, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Exorcist, many describe The Witch as one of the most unnerving horror movies of all time. And like those other films from yesteryear, it will no doubt be discussed and revisited for decades to come.

best horror movies 2016
[Image by A24]

The late Anton Yelchin gave a powerful performance in Green Room, and it is one of the most realistic and brutal horror movies of 2016. It also showed audiences that Patrick Stewart can be absolutely terrifying. And fans found out the only thing scarier than the monster in Cloverfield is John Goodman in 10 Cloverfield Lane.

With its sheer popularity among fans and a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, Hush is considered to be one of the best horror movies of 2016 and of all time. Like Halloween showed audiences in 1976, Hush proved in 2016 that the simplicity of a killer is sometimes more terrifying than any monster or otherworldly creature could ever be. Hush penetrated the audiences’ protective core and struck deep into their psyche, tapping into a very real fear: being alone and stalked by a psychopath.


As 2016 steamed ahead, so did the horror movies. Summer 2016 provided fans with gems like The Conjuring 2, Viral, Don’t Breathe, Lights Out, and The Shallows. The Conjuring 2 showed audiences that nuns can be scary. Lights Out proved that you can still make a really good ghost story by using the same old tropes. Not since Jaws has a shark terrified audiences like in The Shallows. Viral reminded fans that viruses can still be scary. And Don’t Breathe answered the question of what John Rambo would be like if he were blind and if burglars broke into his house.

horror movies 2016
[Image by Warner Bros. Pictures]

And as winter and fall arrived this year, so did the final horror movies of 2016. Films like The Monster, Friend Request, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Beyond the Gates, and The Autopsy of Jane Doe showed fans that horror movies were still coming out strong. But perhaps no horror film was more impactful to the history of the genre than Phantasm: Ravager.

Celebrity deaths seemed to come in tragic abundance in 2016, and the horror movie industry was no different; the genre lost a legend with the passing of Angus Scrimm. For nearly 40 years, Scrimm portrayed horror icon the Tall Man in the Phantasm franchise. And in 2016, the final movie of the franchise was released, Phantasm: Ravager. It is not considered one of the strongest additions, but it was historic to see Scrimm’s final portrayal of the Tall Man. But horror fans have learned through the years that just because a movie is touted as being the final addition doesn’t mean it is (see any of the “final” Friday the 13th films).

horror movies 2016
[Image by Universal Pictures]


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Not every year is great for horror movies, but 2016 provided more high-quality titles than several other years combined. There is no doubt that with films like The Witch, Hush, The Shallows, Don’t Breathe, Viral, and numerous others, 2016 has been one of the best years for horror movies.

[Featured Image by A24 and Netflix]