Rayzor’s Top 25 Horror Films of the 2000s

It’s been a spell, but we’ve been doing so much at the social media pages and our Youtube channel, I sometimes forget I started doing these lists.  There are only 2 more after this one, 2010s and 2020s so far.  Yeah, we could like do a Top 100 of the 2020s there has been so much Horror to offer.

First let me start by saying the 2000s seemed to be a decade of change and remakes.  Horror remakes have been around for decades and every decade had a few sprinkled in, Invasion of the Body Snatchers in the late 70s, the Thing (1982), The Fly (1986) and a few others.  But the 2000s went ape shit like Wooley in Dawn of the Dead.  Nearly every Horror film we held dear from the 1970s and 1980s got the remake treatment.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Amityville Horror (2005), The Hills Have Eyes (2006), Halloween (2007) and Friday the 13th (2009).

But, I can’t use many of these remakes in good conscience.  The 2000s did offer some really great horror films and I think I have some of the very best.  As you know, these lists are based off the films I’ve see.  So, there are probably a few things missing, relax, I’ll get to them one day.  But here are my Top 25 Horror films of the 2000s.

25. Wolf Creek (2005)

I cannot say I’m a fan of Wolf Creek.  But, I know there are many who do in fact love this movie.  I rate it here as kind of a place holder.  I think I will rewatch Wolf Creek and see what I really think.

24. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

This is an Incredible film.  There are some frightening moments and great performances. The scene in the barn is terrific. Courtroom drama meets Satanic panic.

23. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Everyone love Shaun of the Dead.  Well, I don’t as much.  It is mostly because I think it is a little overrated and I saw it so damn much after it was released.  It seemed that anyone who came over and wanted to watch a movie, they’d pick Shaun of the Dead.  It got old and less funny.  I get why people like it, but I don’t think it is that great, it’s good.

22. Martyrs (2008)

Holy fucking shit with this movie.  It is fucked beyond belief.  I get the premise and understand the praise.  It wasn’t for me, but it did stick with me.  Watch it if you don’t believe me.  I will warn you, Martyrs is not for everyone. So let that be a warning.

21. Let the Right One In (2008)

One of the most unique vampire movies of its kind.  Let the Right One In, not only tells a good story, it offers something most of us fear, creepy kids.  But that really isn’t it at all.  All I can tell you, it is a foreign film, but it is worth it.  If you cannot do foreign film.  I suggest the American remake, Let Me In, it is lesser, but its in English.

20. Saw (2004)

I sometimes thing decade identities in horror are simply, tossing shit against the wall to see what sticks.  Saw stuck and stuck hard.  We are getting close to ten films in two decades as Saw X is coming soon. But, there is nothing like the original, right?

19. The Descent (2005)

I am telling you, this decade has some simply frightening films.  The Descent uses something that doesn’t scare many, claustrophobia, but ok, how about pitch black caverns and monsters.  Fuck this movie can get to you on multiple levels.  It is fun and scary at the same time with many tense moments.

18.  REC (2007)

I can see why this movie comes highly (rec)ommended, get it.  Nathan Thomas Milliner and Seth Miller of THS Discourse love this movie and this is why it is high on my list.  I know how good the movie is, I just couldn’t hang with the subtitles and the shakiness of the camera.  Again, there is an American version, but I’ve been told to stay away, Quarantine of you prefer to see an inferior film with an English speaking cast.

17. The Strangers (2008)

Home invasion films really are not for me.  I don’t mean I don’t like them, they hit too close to home.  These are the type of film that is more terrifying than and slasher of monster movie. Why?  Because it could happen.  Why did they do this?  “Because you were home.”  Go fuck yourself.

17.  Hostel (2005)

Body horror really became a big thing in the 2000s.  It is not for everyone, but when Hostel came along, it felt like something different and Eli Roth delivered a gross ass movie for sure.  It is good, with a decent sequel and shit third movie.  But, what is really on full display in Hostel are the effects, top notch.

16. Bubba Ho-Tep (2005)

When a friend said to me, “Wanna see a movie where Bruce Campbell is Elvis in a retirement home and fights a mummy?”  I always say yes.  But, adding Ossie Davis as JFK and it is directed by Don Coscarelli, pure gold.

15. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

 

I was not hyped over this movie.  I am not sure why.  Over the years, I ‘ve come to love Drag Me to Hell.  The fight in the car, the bloody nose, the grave and the end…holy fuck what a fun horror film.  This is an older Sam Raimi at his best.  I would kill for Raimi to direct a new Evil Dead, this feels close.  Alison Lohman was fantastic in this film.

14. 28 Weeks Later (2007)

Not as good as 28 Days Later, but damn close.  28 Weeks Later start of with one of the more tense opens to a film from the 2000s and it really doesn’t relent.  The end of the film is heartbreaking and leaves you kind of…sad.

13. Slither (2006)

Slither could be the silliest and most fun film of the decade, I am sure others would say Shaun of the Dead, but I think Slither is insane.  Michael Rooker plays a dude named Grant Grant for god’s sake.  We also get some silly moments, good practical effects and a fun cast.  It does remind me of Night of the Creeps, but that’s cool,  both are super fun.

12. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

The Hill Have Eyes is a rare occasion of a remake that is far better and I mean far better than the original.  I don’t mean to show disrespect to Wes Craven, he had a good idea, but it was executed way better in the 2006 remake.  Awesome film.

11. Behind the Mask Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

Under the fucking radar.  Behind the Mask is an Office style mockumentary that follows a crew who is learning about being a slasher killer from Leslie Vernon.  It is such and odd movie that a film crew if following a stalker and a killer around.  But, it works and damn it, if there were a horror film that absolutely needed a sequel…This is it!

10. House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

This was most of our introduction to Rob Zombie the director.  Wow, what a fantastically bizarre and wonderfully weird film.  I have always been a fan of Rob Zombie’s music, I should have known he would make some good movies.  While Halloween was a misstep in my opinion, this and its sequel were two different, yet amazing movies.  I love them both.  My intial reaction to House of 1000 Corpses, why doesn’t Rob Zombie make a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, of course he got Halloween a few years later.

9. The Ring (2002)

Ah the Ring.  The movie that made all of my friends want to tell ghost stories and drive around on the back roads.  This movie was a very scary idea, that came from Japan.  Yes, but this is a better remake than the Grudge or Let Me In.  Naomi Watts is wonderful as the mystery unfolds and we get a shocking twist ending.

8. The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

This movie is so fucking quotable.  Bill Moseley is at his best, possibly since 1986’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2.  But these three together, the “Three from Hell” are awesome and Rob Zombie got us rooting for the bad guys in this one.  I wanted more Otis, Baby and Captain Spaulding, it would take another 14 years and it just wasn’t as good.

7. The Mist (2007)

The Mist is a terrifying movie and not because of what may lurk in the thick mist that surrounds the store.  Humanity begins to crumble and religion plays a big role, not to mention…that fucking ending.

6. Trick r Treat (2007)

Horror anthologies have been around a long time and there are so many that revolve around that special time of year, Halloween.  Trick r Treat does everything right.  We also have the avatar or the spirit of Halloween that everyone loves, Sam.  Every single segment is wonderful and every October, my kids and I carve our jack o lanterns while watching this awesome Halloween horror anthology.

5. High Tension (2003)

I can’t speak for anyone esle, but High Tension is the proper name for this film.  Everything from the home invasion sequence to the very end of the film is intense.  I never saw the twist coming, but it was welcome.  I hate the fact that I know its coming now.  It does take away from viewings and keeps me from watching High Tension more often, but I do love this and it was close to being number one, but re-watchablity is big  for me.

4. 28 Days Later (2002)

Honestly, whether you called them zombies or infected, 28 Days Later is responsible for the zombie boom that is just now, 21 years later beginning to fade.  The opening is amazing, what if you wake up and the world has stopped an the streets are empty?  The Walking Dead comic opens the same way and it works well in both instances.  28 Days Later is damn near a masterpiece.

3. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

The decade of remakes.  That is what the 2000s could be known for.  So many remakes from the 1970s and 1980s.  Dawn of the Dead came along in 2004 at the right time.  It was sandwiched in between The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror when it came to horror remakes.  But, Dawn of the Dead does something right, it separates itself from the original movie and only really has three things in common with the original 1978 Romero masterpiece, Zombies, a mall and the title.  That is it.  IF this were not called Dawn of the Dead, it would likely be one of the greatest zombie movies of all-time.  Fuck it, it is one of the greatest zombie movies of all-time.

2. The House of the Devil (2009)

What a way to close out a decade.  Ti West knows all about atmosphere and cinematography.  The House of the Devil just happened to be on Netflix in 2010 for me to see and it blew my mind.  It is slow, you feel safe and uneasy at the same time and then there are moments that kick you right in the nuts.  I adore this film and honestly, The House of the Devil is 100% responsible for my renewal of my love affair with horror that laid dormant for most of the 1990s and 2000s.  Thank you Ti West for this, The Sacrament, The Innkeepers, X and Pearl. Can’t wait for Maxxxine.

1.American Psycho (2000)

I tried.  I tried really hard and for some reason I didn’t want to look at American Psycho as a horror film.  I am not sure why.  It is 100% a horror film.  This is the movie that made me fall in love with Christian Bale as an actor, still think he was wrong for Batman).  He plays Patrick Bateman to near perfection.  I read Bret Easton Ellis’ book, American Psycho before ever seeing the film.  A friend read it while we were in High School and passed it along to me.  The book is grotesque and there are things unfilmable, but the film is a great representation of the book and Mary Harron did a great job directing.  American Psycho is one of my favorite films of the entire decade, not only horror.  I love it.

What’s missing?  How did we do on ranking the Top 25 of the 2000s?  Really this is my personal list, I am 100% sure if it were a team effort, this list would be completely different.  Maybe one of these days we will get around to making these THS team lists or figure out a way to do this objectively.  But, whatever, this is how I rank them.

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About Ray Marek III 697 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)