There were many popular, successful and/or entertaining horror films made in the 2000s. Audiences at the turn of the century had grown used to slashers and hauntings, so artists had to come up with new, creative spins on works while incorporating advancing camera and effects technologies. The horror films of the 00s were intimate and gritty, with an emphasis on authenticity in the emerging cinema verité style Found Footage, or expressionist styling and violence in Torture Porn. French and East Asian cinemas were particularly praiseworthy, offering up some of the most popular, best made and most challenging films of the decade, while in English speaking cinema the advances of digital filmmaking techniques offered creatives with low budgets the opportunities to leave their mark on an industry that at least momentarily seemed as accessible as it had ever been. While some would point to the 70s, the 90s or even the 2010s as the golden age of horror on film, the 2000s remains rich with classics, and it will be these classics we present to you in this article.
In this Movie List, we will be selecting the 10 Best Horror Movies of the 2000s. To qualify, each film must meet the following criteria: any film must be categorized as a horror somewhere online; each entry must have been released in some sense during the year it is listed; each year gets its own entry, meaning that only one film can be selected per year.
While IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes can prove to be deceiving when determining whether or not a film is worth your while, you can rest assured that each and every entry on this list will definitely be worth checking out.
Let us know which of our selection you like the most in the comments at the end of this article, and be sure to tweet us any suggestions you may have for future lists.
2000: The Cell
Easily the best of the selection available from the year 2000, this surreal work tells the story of a psychologist entering the mind of a serial killer to help the FBI save his latest victim.
Few serial killer films can reach these levels of brutality. Though it’s far from the most violent film on this list, the killer’s crimes are twisted compared to the quite reasonable Hannibal Lecter. The film’s design, inspired by the dark sexual fantasies within the killer’s mind, pushes the limits of audience comfort, and gives this work a unique edge over others like it.
The Cell is best enjoyed by those able to suspend disbelief in order to best enjoy the journey.
2001: Ichi the Killer
It’s difficult to nail down the genre of Ichi the Killer because it’s not a typical horror film. Adapted from the eponymous manga, it tells the story of two killers driven by sadomasochism, manipulation and sexual frustration as they inevitably collide in Tokyo’s yakuza underground. Ichi is incredibly violent and creates some truly terrifying images throughout its runtime.
Ichi beautifully combines elements of crime, action and horror, and is driven by its eccentric characters as much as the plot. The still camera presents every frame as if it’s a panel on a comic book page, but there are also wild edits made to footage that helps illustrate shifts in time or mindset. Most of the film’s stylization comes in characterization, outfits and performances that pop right out of the (mostly) static frames.