Best New Horror Movies of 2023
2023 promises to be another exciting year for horror. This list is an ongoing ranking of the best horror movies released in 2023.
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2022 was a killer year for horror movies, but 2023 could be even better! In the first few months of the years we’ve already seen the likes of M3GAN, Infinity Pool, Scream VI, and Evil Dead Rise. And the best could still be yet to come!
What will be the greatest horror movie in 2023? Keep checking back right here as we catalog the very best horror flicks released this year. Movies will be added to the list as we see them, so the rankings will change many times throughout the year. Be sure to add all of these to you “must watch” list. Also, keep track of even more new and upcoming horror movies on our dedicated horror movie tracker page complete with links of where to stream every major horror release within the past twelve months or so.
The only requirement for inclusion in this list as a “new” movie is that it must have its first wide release in North America during 2023. So, some international movies and movies with limited releases prior to 2023 are on this list, but that’s because they weren’t released widely in North America until sometime in 2023.
The Best Horror Movies of 2023, Ranked
23. The Price We Pay
The Price We Pay is a fun horror flick with some gloriously cheesy gore effects. A robbery of a pawn shop goes wrong, leading to a trio of criminals (including Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff) to take a hostage as they go on the run. The criminals and their hostage Grace (Gigi Zumbado) lie low in a remote farmhouse, but there is something horrifying going on in and underneath the barn. Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura (The Midnight Meat Train, 2000’s Versus), The Price We Pay begins as a crime thriller, but by the end it’s more of a splatter film with a villain fit for a slasher movie.
22. Night of the Killer Bears
You will probably find yourself scratching your head often during the Thai slasher movie Night of the Killer Bears, but there is fun to be had for horror fans who aren’t too picky. The main story is about a group of friends who get together at a remote resort after a tragedy caused them to drift apart. Tensions flare, and armed killers wearing oversized teddy bear masks begin killing people. The story goes on weird, senseless tangents quite often, but the biggest reason to watch Night of The Killer Bears is for a few of its kills. The effects are low budget, but the kill scenes can be a lot of fun.
21. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey
In the 100 Acre Woods, Winnie the Pooh and his friends have gone feral. After Christopher Robin grew up and left them to go to college, the animal/human “abominations” had to fend for themselves. Now Christopher is back to visit his old friends, but he discovers Pooh and Piglet are holding an intense grudge against Christopher and the rest of humanity for the suffering they had to endure after being left alone. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is a micro-budget slasher with all the tropes that come with that type of movie. It looks and sounds great for its budget, and if all you really want out of the movie is to see a creepy version of Winnie the Pooh kill people, it absolutely delivers.
LandLocked is the most unique horror movie of 2023 so far. After the death of his father, Mason visits his old family home which is scheduled to be torn down. While there, Mason finds a VHS camera that can see into the past. As Mason records video in and around the house he grew up in, the images he puts on tape show himself, his brothers, and his parents at various times throughout their past. Unfortunately, with the joy of nostalgia comes the knowledge that those times are gone forever. Director Paul Owens used real home movies from his childhood as the video we see Mason (Paul Owens’ actual brother) recording, and that combined with the naturalistic tone give LandLocked a feeling of something that is close to real life, yet just beyond our grasp.
Jess (Michelle Monaghan), a mother, nurse and recovering addict, tries to keep her family together after her son Owen (Finlay Wojtak-Hissong) contracts an unusual illness from a dog bite. Owen and Jess discover that drinking blood is the only thing that keeps Owen’s health from immediately and completely deteriorating, so now Jess must make a choice: find a steady supply of blood for her son, or risk her son’s life by putting his health in the hands of doctors. Blood is an interesting take on vampire movies that gives vampirism something of a realistic spin while still suggesting that there may be supernatural elements involved.
18. Family Dinner
Family Dinner has a creeping, measured pace that won’t work for some viewers, but if you like slow-burn psychological horror, then Family Dinner provides a feast. Simi (Nina Katlein) is a young woman who wants to lose weight, so she decides to stay with her nutritionist aunt in her country home for a few days. Simi slowly discovers that there is something unusual about her aunt and her aunt’s family, but that realization may come too late. Though sometimes referred to as a mystery, one of the best things Family Dinner does is to tell the audience almost exactly what’s going to happen, and then forces them to watch as the characters make agonizing decisions.
17. Signal 100
Seemingly inspired by the “battle royale” subgenre, Signal 100 is a Japanese thriller that contains lots of blood, violence, and high-school drama. A group of students are hypnotized by their teacher so that whenever they or their classmates perform certain actions, they are compelled to immediately commit suicide. There are 100 “signals” that trigger the suicide conditioning, and those are what the students have to figure out if they want to survive through the night. Signal 100 is a bit campy and doesn’t always make absolute sense, but it’s still a whole lot of fun.
16. There’s Something Wrong with the Children
There’s Something Wrong with the Children is like The Bad Seed (1956) crossed with a sci-fi monster movie. The story follows two married couples vacationing in neighboring cabins in the woods. One couple has kids, a young girl and boy, and the other couple is childless. The kids begin acting oddly after they visit a strange pit in the woods, and the four adults are in for a day and night of terror as the children become increasingly dangerous. The movie throws in a bit of psychological horror as the plot unfolds, but in the end There’s Something Wrong with the Children turns out to be a good monster movie with a few really nice twists.
Originally released in Japan in 2021 and finally brought to North America in 2023 via Screambox, Cube (2021) starts off with a similar setup to the original. Six people wake up inside a giant cubic room with six doors, only to discover that each door leads to another room that is nearly identical. As they try to find a way out, they must contend with deadly traps while trying to work together despite clashing personalities. When compared to the original, this Japanese version heightens the emotional drama of its story while playing little more loose with the rules of the traps.
Unwelcome feels like a glorious throwback to the time in the 1980s when horror movies with tiny creatures were all the rage. Hannah John-Kaman stars as Maya, a pregnant woman who, with her husband Jamie (Douglas Booth), move from a small London apartment to a large house in a small village in Ireland. The move comes after a violent home invasion, so Maya and Jamie are hoping to start a new life free of fear. Unfortunately for them, they are now living next to woods where murderous goblins known as Redcaps are said to live. With good performances and a great mixture of practical and digital effects, Unwelcome is campy, bloody, and super fun.
13. You’re Killing Me
When Eden attends a party thrown at the house of her school’s resident rich-kid, she doesn’t know her night will turn into a fight for survival. In something akin to a reverse home invasion movie, Eden becomes trapped inside the house as three of her classmates try to get back a phone that contains a video incriminating them in a horrific crime. With tense action and surprising twists, You’re Killing Me is a great choice for fans of thrillers.
Released on Netflix, Re/Member is a Japanese horror movie that uses a time-loop structure like Happy Death Day (2017) and Groundhog Day (1993). Six high-school students are chosen and forced to relive the same day over and over. The only way to break the time loop is by finding and reassembling all of the dismembered body parts of a young girl killed years ago. A “red person,” the spirit of the young girl, stalks them during their scavenger hunt, murdering the students in horrible ways, only for them to wake up and repeat the process until they complete their goal. With just enough high-school drama, lots of blood, and a creepy monster, Re/Member is an entertaining teen horror movie.
11. Cocaine Bear
Directed by Elizabeth Banks, Cocaine Bear is a silly animal-attack movie about a bear high on copious amounts of cocaine. The movie’s goal is to feel like a bigger-budget B-movie, and it certainly achieves that goal. With brutal bear attacks filled with gore and a cast full of cartoonish characters, Cocaine Bear is a great movie when you want to turn your brain off and watch something dumb and violent.
Prior to this year, if fans of Universal’s classic Dracula (1931) were to think what a movie about Dracula’s servant Renfield might look like, Renfield probably isn’t what they would conjure in their mind. That’s not a bad thing though. Renfield is a fun movie that works well as a silly and light comedy. It is a cross between a horror comedy and a crime thriller, and it is held together by a strong cast. Nicholas Hoult and Awkwafina are a great leading pair, Ben Schwartz is entertainingly goofy as a crime boss’s son, and Nicolas Cage is the best as a maniacal version of Count Dracula. Renfield is mostly all about laughs and bloody action sequences, and it has a lot of fun delivering both.
9. Knock at the Cabin
M. Night Shyamalan‘s Knock at the Cabin poses an impossible question: would you willingly choose to sacrifice a member of your family to save the world? Relying heavily on themes of religion and the supernatural clashing with skepticism, Knock at the Cabin is more of a philosophical mystery than it is a horror movie, but there are some horrific things that happen in the film. The movie is filled with great performances, with Dave Bautista in particular standing out as a man who is endearing, frightening, chilling, and sad all at the same time. Knock at the Cabin is inspired by the novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay.
8. Unicorn Wars
Unicorn Wars is a beautiful and horrific movie. It is funny and disturbing. Cute and cruel. The usage of candy-colored animation to tell a story about fascism, religious fanaticism, deep-seated family trauma, and other related themes is a bold decision, and it works fantastically. There is a lot going on in Unicorn Wars, but the main thrust of the narrative follows two teddy bear brothers: Bluey (or Azulín) and Tubby (or Gordi). The brothers are recruits in a teddy bear army that is fighting a generations-long war against its hated enemy, the unicorns. The war, based on lies and religious doctrine, brings out the worst in Bluey who is driven to perform increasingly sadistic actions while the good natured Tubby watches in horror. With extreme violence and mature themes, Unicorn Wars will stand the test of time as one of the most unique and intriguing war/horror movies ever.
7. M3GAN: Unrated
M3GAN needs no introduction to horror fans. From her viral dancing to her cheerfully blunt attitude, the killer doll landed in theaters in January to high praise. M3GAN became the first horror hit of 2023, and the film’s success reaffirmed the value of PG-13 horror while also guaranteeing a sequel (coming in 2025). That said, the unrated version is even better. Is M3GAN the beginning of a franchise that will one day rival Chucky’s decades of killer-doll dominance? Time will tell, but for now, people can’t seem to get enough of M3GAN.
6. The Outwaters
The Outwaters is a mesmerizing found-footage movie that emphasizes visceral terror over plot. Four friends venture into the Mojave Desert to shoot a music video. While camping in the desolate area, they begin to encounter strange, inexplicable phenomena. Their trip then turns into a nightmare as they become separated and pursued by… something in the desert. The Outwaters won’t be for everyone, but for those interesting in a grueling experience of first-person horror that is intentionally disorienting, it’s one of the best of the year.
Timely horror can be a tricky thing to pull off. Released on Peacock in January of 2023, a movie about masks and self-quarantine could very easily turn people away if this highly-charged topic isn’t handled well. Thankfully, Sick gets just about everything right. Sick stars Gideon Adlon and Beth Million as Parker and Miri, two friends who are spending quarantine in Parker’s family lake house. Their first night in isolation turns deadly when a masked man with a knife arrives. Sick is a straightforward slasher movie with great chases, good kills, and just enough dark comedy to make it fun.
4. Project Wolf Hunting
Project Wolf Hunting is likely the goriest movie of the year. It is a sci-fi action horror splatter movie from South Korea, and it is fantastic. A group of dangerous criminals are transported by ship from the Philippines to South Korea, but a plot to break them out of police custody leads to mass murder. To make matters worse, a genetically altered monster of a man is also on board, and his only goal in life is to kill anything that moves. The plot of Project Wolf Hunting is surprisingly twisty, but the main appeal here is the action. The battles are extremely over-the top, with broken bodies flying and blood gushing and flowing in torrents. No one is safe aboard this ship of death.
3. Infinity Pool
What would you do if you could get away with murder (and any other crimes you can think of)? To oversimplify, that’s the basic question posed by Infinity Pool. The film is about a couple, James (Alexander Skarsgård) and Em (Cleopatra Coleman), who run into trouble with the law while vacationing in a foreign country. James is sentenced to death, but the local government offers a special incentive for wealthy tourists that allows them to walk away after certain payments and actions are completed. James then falls in with a group of fellow tourists, led by Gabi (Mia Goth), who take full advantage of their privileged status by going on binges of sex, drugs, and murder. Infinity Pool is uncomfortable and grotesque, and it’s the kind of movie that will stick with you days after watching.
2. Scream VI
Much like with Scream (2022), Scream VI gives the long-running franchise a fresh feel while delivering a familiar, but not too familiar, experience. Sisters Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega) are living in New York City with fellow survivors Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad (Mason Gooding) when the Ghostface killings begin again. The movie has enough twists to keep viewers guessing until the end, and there is plenty of gore for fans expecting an increase in violence in this sequel. Tense and bloody, Scream VI is a great time.
1. Evil Dead Rise
Evil Dead Rise, from writer/director Lee Cronin, is another incredible entry in what is possibly the most consistently awesome horror franchise in existence. For starters, transposing the “cabin in the woods” feel of most of the earlier Evil Dead movies into a rundown apartment building works perfectly. Also, the new story about a woman protecting her sister’s children from their Deadite mother works on multiple levels. Perhaps most importantly though, Evil Dead Rise builds its violence and gore to ridiculously fun heights.
Most Anticipated 2023 Horror Movies
Since it’s still early in the year, here is a brief list of our most-anticipated 2023 horror movies that are awaiting release. For a more comprehensive list of new movies, visit our constantly-updated New/Upcoming Horror Movies article.
- Kill Her Goats (releasing in March) – This low-budget, throwback slasher promises 100% practical gore effects as Kane Hodder murders various people as a hulking goat-man.
- The Boogeyman (in theaters June 2) – One of Stephen King’s creepiest short stories finally gets the feature-film treatment.
- Insidious: The Red Door (in theaters July 7) – Patrick Wilson takes the directing duties in this latest entry in the long-running series.
- Saw X (in theaters October 27) – How will this new Saw movie fit into the rather convoluted mythology of the franchise? We’re intrigued to find out.
- Subspecies V: Blood Rise (release TBD) – The underrated Subspecies vampire series returns after more than two decades.
Horror Movies 2023 Honorable Mentions
These are the best of the rest. They’re new horror and thriller movies that are worth watching, but don’t quite make the cut to be called the “best” of 2023.
- Sound of Silence – An old radio haunted by the past brings a curse (and malevolent spirits) into the present when a woman returns to her parent’s home after a family tragedy.
- The Unheard – Lachlan Watson stars as a hard-of-hearing young woman who, while recovering from an experimental procedure, begins to hear strange sounds in her family’s old home.