Every horror movie of 2020, ranked

Horror movies aren’t just for Halloween anymore. They’re year-round extravaganzas of bloody gore, crazy villains and high-concept stuff that’ll freak you out and make you think about the world around you.

There’s also some absolute dreck, but, hey, you take the good with the bad.

The world’s plenty scary with viral outbreaks and theaters closing all over the country due to coronavirus, but streaming services thankfully are maintaining a steady dose of the creepy stuff. On Friday, “Vivarium” arrives on video-on-demand platforms (including iTunes and Vudu) and stars Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg as a couple looking for the perfect home. After they’re taken to a mysterious neighborhood with labyrinthine streets and identical homes, the pair gets stuck in suburbia and their situation grows increasingly maddening.

This year, we’re taking on the task of definitively ranking every new horror movie, and here’s how “Vivarium” – as well as theatrical flicks “The Invisible Man” and “The Hunt,” which are available digitally now – stack up with what’s come out thus far:

‘The Invisible Man’:How the classic Universal monster still haunts us in modernized new take

‘The Hunt’:Controversial social thriller might tick you off; here’s why that’s a good thing

Mackenzie Davis plays a governess hired to take care of a young girl and finding weirdness all around her in "The Turning."

22. ‘The Turning’

The horrid adaptation of Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw” stars Mackenzie Davis as new governess Kate, who’s been hired to take care of a young girl (Brooklynn Prince) whose parents have died. The estate is huge but weird, the girl’s teenage brother (Finn Wolfhard) is a violent malcontent, and Kate feels like she’s going nuts seeing ghostly figures and hearing things that go bump in the night. Way more frustrating than freaky, the film also has one of the worst endings in recent memory.

The enigmatic Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña, center) welcomes guests (Austin Stowell and Lucy Hale) to a gorgeous locale where secret dreams become nightmares in "Blumhouse's Fantasy Island," horror guru Jason Blum's supernatural take on the old TV show.

21. ‘Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island’

Give the Blumhouse credit for casting Michael Peña in Ricardo Montalban’s old Mr. Roarke role and wanting to make the old TV concept fresh again. Yet so much else fails in this convoluted retread that features a variety of visitors (including Lucy Hale, Maggie Q and Ryan Hansen) being put through their own individual hells. There’s one forced huge plot twist after another – so much that it turns into a checklist of horror tropes by the end. 

Poor Faith (Lin Shaye, left) comes face to face with a vengeful spirit (Tara Westwood) in the newest redo of the Japanese horror movie "The Grudge."

20. ‘The Grudge’

In the latest (and forgettable) redo of the Japanese horror movie, a couple of cops (Andrea Riseborough and Demian Bichir), a realtor couple (John Cho and Betty Gilpin) and others come to face-to-face with a vengeful phantom that attaches itself to houses and people and haunts them until their unavoidable doom. The film offers nonlinear intertwining story lines, ghosts coming out of bathtubs, and little else.

Freya Tingley plays a gifted violinist who inherits her late composer father's Gothic castle and unpublished masterwork in "The Sonata."

19. ‘The Sonata’

Freya Tingley plays a gifted violinist whose composer father (the late Rutger Hauer), once thought of as a industry-changing genius before dropping off the classical-music map, dies extremely violently. She inherits a Gothic castle and an unpublished masterwork – filled with weird symbols courtesy of dad’s dark interests – in a movie with cool classical music but no real scares.

Katie Holmes stars as a mom who doesn't know what to make of an eerie porcelain doll in "Brahms: The Boy II."

18. ‘Brahms: The Boy II’

We don’t see Katie Holmes in too many movies anymore, and they should be better than this: The actress stars as a mom whose family moves to the English country after a violent break-in and Christopher Convery plays the young boy who finds and befriends the freaky doll Brahms. “The Boy II” digs into the toy’s seriously dark history, and Brahms is plenty unnerving, but the sequel frustratingly undermines what made the first film’s twist ending cool and instead falls back on boring horror tropes.  

April Billingsley stars as a psychiatric patient who insists her newborn baby was kidnapped by a secret cult in "The Dark Red."

17. ‘The Dark Red’

The indie psychological thriller offers a gripping premise with a psychiatric patient (April Billingsley) who’s diagnosed as bipolar – and has psychic visions – but insists her newborn baby has been kidnapped by a secret cult collecting folks of her rare blood type. While “Dark Red” is solid for much of its “Is she crazy or not?” narrative, it takes a goofy, out-of-nowhere third-act turn into an action-y revenge flick that’s better at showing off Billingsley’s pull-up prowess than doling out chills.

Kevin Janssens and Olga Kurylenko star as a European couple who buy a house with a secret wish-granting room in "The Room."

16. ‘The Room’

Olga Kurylenko and Kevin Janssens star as a European couple who buy an old house and in the midst of spiffing the place up discover a hidden room where whatever they wish for comes true. It’s pretty standard “Monkey’s Paw” material for much of it – asking for money and Van Gogh paintings transitions to things that go terribly awry – though the movie shows some depth when it finally gets personal with its main characters and their deepest desires.

Jeremy Gardner (with Brea Grant) writes, directs and stars in "After Midnight" as a small-town guy faced with a mysterious vicious creature that shows up nightly at his front door.

15. ‘After Midnight’

The down-home indie horror romance features Jeremy Gardner (who also writes and directs) as a small-town bar owner forced to deal with a vicious monster of unknown origin that attacks his front door nearly every night. The creature’s appearance coincides with the month-long disappearance of the dude’s girlfriend (Brea Grant). “Midnight” upends expectations while also deftly exploring relationship themes and the push-pull between expanding your horizons and remaining comfortably complacent.

Kristen Stewart takes on mysterious creatures seven miles below the ocean surface in the sci-fi thriller "Underwater."

14. ‘Underwater’

The “Alien” influence isn’t at all subtle in the action-packed thriller starring Kristen Stewart as a mechanical engineer on a doomed drilling team (featuring T.J. Miller and Jessica Henwick) seven miles below the ocean surface. There are lots of claustrophobic escapes, crushing deep-sea dangers and neato monsters, plus Stewart – with cropped hair and a bunch of derring-do – does a decent job rocking a modern Ripley vibe.

David Cronenberg (left) stars as a podcaster who helps a young woman (Tuppence Middleton) with a Niagara Falls mystery in "Disappearance at Clifton Hill."

13. ‘Disappearance at Clifton Hill’

David Cronenberg, director of classic horror fare like “Scanners” and “The Fly,” is the most recognizable name involved in this “Twin Peaks”-y mystery – and he’s actually in front of the camera. Cronenberg’s quirky podcaster is a scene-stealer in the film about a young woman (Tuppence Middleton) who returns to her Niagara Falls home still traumatized by a tragedy she witnessed as a girl. The immersive narrative is convoluted in its resolution yet offers a few well-crafted moments worth the watch. 

Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg are a house-hunting couple who check out a very weird neighborhood in the sci-fi thriller "Vivarium."

12. ‘Vivarium’

This one is all about the surreal estate: You’ll definitely rethink house shopping after watching this psychological thriller. Suburban madness is real for the main couple (Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots) when they’re trapped in an otherworldly identical neighborhood that seems to be toying with them, especially as a baby is plopped in front of them with the message “Raise him and be released.” There’s a creepy kid to be had as well as a larger metaphor about life and parenting.

Will Forte stars as a washed-up singer with satanic intentions and Maeve Higgins is a kindly Irish driving instructor in the horror comedy "Extra Ordinary."

11. ‘Extra Ordinary’

“Saturday Night Live” alum Will Forte is the only recognizable face in this small-town Irish charmer full of spooks and satanic pacts. Rose (Maeve Higgins) is a driving instructor and reluctant psychic who has to save a virgin from the devil-worshipping shenanigans of a pop-music has-been (Forte). The film intriguingly explores the loneliness of ghosts and has a fun but gross running gag involving ectoplasm.

Elijah Wood stars as a man who visits his long-estranged father and is thrown into crazy circumstances in "Come to Daddy."

10. ‘Come to Daddy’

There’s a little noir and quite a bit of comedy in this kooky outing that begins with quotes from two luminaries: Shakespeare and Beyoncé. Elijah Wood plays a privileged dude who travels to see the estranged father who left him behind when he was a child. Dad’s a complete jerk with some serious baggage, their reunion is a disaster, and the movie turns on a crazy reveal forcing our man-child hero to survive a series of bloody predicaments.

Haley Bennett stars as a housewife who develops a condition where she eats strange objects like marbles and pins in the psychological thriller "Swallow."

9. ‘Swallow’

Haley Bennett stars as happy-on-the-outside housewife Hunter, whose existence revolves around satisfying her husband (Austin Stowell). She becomes pregnant and develops pica, leading her to compulsively swallow marbles, pins, screwdrivers and other objects that’ll make you squirm. However, the “Oh, please don’t eat that” situations switch to more hopeful scenes as Hunter reclaims her identity and deals with a dark past.

Krista Kosonen plays a dominatrix who forms an emotional connection with a widowed heart surgeon in the Finnish film "Dogs Don't Wear Pants."

8. ‘Dogs Don’t Wear Pants’

The Finnish thriller, which played at last year’s Cannes and Toronto film festivals, is surprisingly as endearing as it is disturbing. Years after his wife’s drowning, a heart surgeon (Pekka Strang) is a cold fish with sexual hangups when he meets and forms a strong connection with a BDSM dominatrix (Krista Kosonen) whose strangulation methods prove addictive, freeing and oddly cathartic for him. It’s darkly comic and touching, plus features a weirdly fitting cover of the Beach Boys’ “Then I Kissed Her.”

Gabrielle Elyse (left) and Mary Nepi star as estranged childhood friends who reunite when one of them loses her virginity and becomes pregnant with an alien baby in "Snatchers."

7. ‘Snatchers’

“Booksmart” meets “Shaun of the Dead” with a dash of “Gremlins” in the teen horror comedy centered on popular high schooler Sara (Mary Nepi), who loses her virginity, becomes pregnant with an alien baby, and gives “birth” to a creature that tears up their town. Come for the gruesome shenanigans of a monstrous critter that attaches itself to people’s heads, stay for Sara and her estranged childhood pal Hayley (Gabrielle Elyse) reuniting to become creature-hunting BBFs.

Betty Gilpin stars as a Southern woman trying to survive being preyed upon for sport in "The Hunt."

6. ‘The Hunt’

Timely, often funny, completely lacking all subtlety and as sharp as a pit of spikes, “The Hunt” takes no partisan prisoners in imagining cold warfare between the left and right taken to ultra-violent ends. It mostly works, though its tone is all over the place as it tries to find a happy medium between clever metaphor and comedic splatter-fest, but you’ll have an absolute blast watching Gilpin in a star-making turn as a Bible Belt car-rental employee with a very particular set of hidden skills.

Netflix's horror satire "The Platform" imagines a jail where prisoners on lower levels are fed whatever those above them don't eat.

5. ‘The Platform’

The gory Spanish satire, which premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, imagines a tower-esque prison where the incarcerated are fed via a platform filled with high-end vittles, with the caveat being prisoners on lower levels have to eat the scraps from those above them. The class metaphor is fairly obvious, but as the allegory unfolds through a newcomer’s (Iván Massague) perspective, salient points are made about the haves and have-nots, and the extreme lengths people will go to hold their status over others.

A New England alpaca farmer (Nicolas Cage) has  a meteorite land in his yard in "Color Out of Space."

4. ‘Color Out of Space’

In this trippy, slow-burn gore-fest based on an H.P. Lovecraft short story, a New England alpaca farmer (Nicolas Cage), his workaholic wife (Joely Richardson) and his kids have ordinary, everyday problems that get exponentially weirder when a meteorite lands in their yard and they’re taken over by an alien presence. The invasion creates a sumptuous color palette for some stunning visuals, and Cage going absolutely bonkers never gets old.

"It" actress Sophia Lillis plays a teen girl whose brother wanders into the home of a witch in "Gretel & Hansel."

3. ‘Gretel & Hansel’ 

In this fairy-tale reimagining, Gretel (Sophia Lillis) and little brother Hansel (Samuel Leakey) leave home – and their insane mother – behind and set off into the forest. Hungry, they find a super-weird house and are enticed by an elaborate feast inside, where they meet the witch (Alice Krige) who runs the place. Suffice it to say, she’s not on the up-and-up. The film features wonderfully unnerving sights, a nuanced narrative and an intriguing empowerment story that also explores the consequences of having power.

Grace (Riley Keough) is stuck in a snowed-in house with her fiance's children when things go awry in "The Lodge."

2. ‘The Lodge’

Like your horror super-duper bleak? “The Lodge” is full of despair as Grace (Riley Keough), who’s still haunted by her childhood being the only survivor of a religious death cult, gets trapped with her fiancé’s kids (Jaeden Martell and Lia McHugh) in a remote house. She tries to be their friend, they can’t stand her, and just as they start breaking down the icy walls between them, Grace starts hearing voices and having bad dreams. But that’s just the start of the twisty terrors that grip the place in this beautifully shot, slow-burn chiller.

An unseen home invader follows Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) in "The Invisible Man."

1. ‘The Invisible Man’

An impressive combo of social consciousness and inspired scares, “Invisible Man” modernizes an old-school monster for the #MeToo era. Elisabeth Moss’ lead heroine finds no one believing her when she insists her sociopathic ex faked a suicide and haunts her as an unseen antagonist, and it’s satisfying to watch her turn the tables on her victimizer and fight back in a film that’s as much about domestic abuse and gaslighting as it is freaking you out. (And it’s pretty darn good at that, too.)

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