After living through the actual horror show that was 2020 and early 2021, 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, as 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.
6 Best Horror Movies of 2021
1: The Vigil
Premiered: February 26; watch on Amazon
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.
2: Things Heard & Seen
Release date: April 29; watch on Netflix
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.
3: A Quiet Place Part II
Premiered: May 28; watch in theaters or on Amazon
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.
4: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Premiered: June 4; watch in theaters or on HBO Max
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.
5: 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.
6: 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.