The 14 Best Horror Movies of 2021 (So Far)

Jordan Peele is back, baby.

best horror movies 2021

After living through the actual horror show that was 2020, you might be thinking, "Hey, thanks universe, but I'm done feeling scared/terrified/even mildly horrified forever." And that would be a totally fair life stance to take. In the last year and change, we've all lived out a bunch of classic horror movie plots—a mysterious global pandemic à la Contagion, Purge-esque riots, it's been a lot! So, like we said, if the real world has fulfilled your fear quotient for the next decade or so, that's understandable. But if you're the kind of person who still wants to feel some occasional, controlled, and most importantly, fictional thrills and scares, that's totally valid, too, and 2021 is here to deliver.

We've done the research so you don't have to and pulled together a handy list of some of the scariest and most chilling and thrilling movies coming out in 2021. Of course, since we're not out of the woods when it comes to the pandemic, how firm these planned release dates are and just how these movies might be available to watch remains to be seen. And, PSA, even if movie theaters in your area are open and showing one or more of these movies in the coming months, remember to follow ongoing guidelines regarding quarantining and social distancing for the safety of yourself and others.

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'Wrong Turn'

Release date: January 26

Starring: Charlotte Vega, Adain Bradley, Emma Dumont, Dylan McTee, Daisy Head, Bill Sage and Matthew Modine

The scary story: This movie rebooted the Wrong Turn film franchise and focuses on a group of hikers who take a—you guessed it—wrong turn while hiking the Appalachian Trail and find themselves under attack by the mountain community who lives there.

'The Vigil'

Release date: February 26

Starring: Dave Davis, Menashe Lustig, Malky Goldman, Fred Melamed, and Lynn Cohen

The scary story: A young man spends a scary night fulfilling a ritualistic vigil over a dead body.

'Things Heard & Seen'

Release date: April 29

Starring: Amanda Seyfried and James Norton

The scary story: An art restorer (Seyfried) and her husband (Norton) and daughter move into a new house and begin to suspect that their neighbors are keeping some dark and twisty secrets.

'Spiral: From the Book of Saw'

Planned release date: May 14

Starring: Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson

The scary story: This is the ninth installment in the Saw franchise and focuses on police detectives investigating the gruesome murders—only to find themselves at the center of the killer's game.

'A Quiet Place Part II'

Planned release date: May 28

Starring: Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou, and John Krasinski

The scary story: The Abbott family continues their fight against the noise-sensitive aliens, and are forced to venture into the unknown beyond the safety of their farm.

'The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It'

Planned release date: June 4

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ruairi O'Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, and Julian Hilliard

The scary story: The third film in the Conjuring franchise focuses on a murder suspect who becomes the first person to claim demonic possession as their defense in court.

'The Forever Purge'

Planned release date: July 2

Starring: Ana de la Reguera, Josh Lucas, Tenoch Huerta, Leven Rambin, Will Patton, and Cassidy Freeman

The scary story: Following the abolition of the Purge in the last movie in the franchise, a couple finds themselves stranded in Texas and terrorized by a group of strangers determined to keep the Purge going.

'Escape Room 2'

Planned release date: July 16

Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Isabelle Fuhrman, Thomas Cocquerel, Holland Roden, Carlito Olivero, and Indya Moore

The scary story: One of those fun-but-difficult escape rooms that you can do with friends? That, but with seriously deadly consequences if the puzzles aren't solved in time.

'Don't Breathe 2'

Planned release date: August 13

Starring: Stephen Lang

The scary story: The Blind Man is back and now he's adopted an orphaned girl. Together, they're living in peace in his cabin—until a group of criminals abduct the girl, forcing him to leave his cabin and venture out to find her.


Planned release date: August 27

Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, and Colman Domingo

The scary story: A ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand haunts the housing projects of Chicago's Cabrini Green neighborhood. According to legend, the killer can be summoned by anyone who repeats his name five times into a mirror. This movie is a sequel to 1992's Candyman and Jordan Peele cowrote the screenplay.

'Halloween Kills'

Planned release date: October 15

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Anthony Michael Hall, Kyle Richards, Robert Longstreet, Nancy Stephens, and Charles Cyphers

The scary story: The movie takes place during Halloween 2018 and follows Laurie Strode and her family as they work with, well anyone who they can to rise up against Michael Myers.

'Last Night in Soho'

Planned release date: October 22

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, and Matt Smith

The scary story: A fashion-obsessed girl travels back to the '60s where she meets some of her idol, but realizes that things aren't what they seem (mwahaha...feels like a "mwahaha" moment, no?).

'Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City'

Planned release date: November 24

Starring: Kaya Scodelario, Robbie Amell, Hannah John-Kamen, Avan Jogia, Tom Hopper, Lily Gao, Neal McDonough, and Donal Logue

The scary story: Based on the long-running Resident Evil video game series, this movie will serve as a reboot to the film franchise of the same name. Not much else is known about the plot right now though.

'Terrifier 2'

Planned release date: TBD 2021

Starring: Lauren LaVera, Elliot Fullam, Sarah Voigt, Kailey Hyman, Casey Harnett, David Howard Thornton, and Samantha Scaffidi

The scary story: This nightmare-inducing clown horror movie is a sequel to 2016's Terrifier. It was supposed to come out in 2020, but like so many movies, was pushed to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. In this installment, Art the Clown is resurrected a year after he died by suicide after mutilating Victoria, the lone survivor of the first movie. What is a resurrected, evil clown to do? Hunt down two siblings on Halloween night, obvi.

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