We love slow-burn horror movies who take their time to build tension and to develop their characters before getting crazy, but sometimes we just want to have a good time and we like our horror movies to grasp us from the get-go and keep us entertained until the very end.
On this list, we’ve selected the 10 horror movies of the 21st century which we thought to be the most entertaining. As you will see, the majority of the films we’ve chosen are mixing horror with comedy. It seems that when they don’t take themselves too seriously horror movies can get very fun. However, it is very hard to find the right balance between being creepy and being entertaining and horror comedies can turn into a mess if not done right. But don’t worry, the films on this list have done a great job at mixing fun with scares.
Let us know in the comments what are your choices for the most entertaining horror movies of the 21st century.
10. Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil (2011)
When we first saw this movie, we judged by its title and assumed it to be an “Evil Dead” rehash, but to our delight, it turned out to be something different and great in its own way.
“Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” centers around two innocent hillbillies who are minding their own business, fishing in the remote lake near their dilapidated holiday cabin in the woods when they stumble across a group of college students who are out on a camping trip. After a misunderstanding, the students mistake them for dangerous killers and soon things get out of hand and are totally blown out of proportion.
This film is such fun. It has every slasher film trope you would expect: dilapidated cabin deep in the woods, a noisy electric saw, two greasy backwoods men, a group of teenagers and lots of blood. On paper, it sounds like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, but screenwriters Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson have turned the film into something totally fresh by adding the small twist of making the villains innocent and totally unaware of what is happening to them.
“Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” is hilarious and the kind of film you would want to watch with your friends once in a while if you need a good laugh or want to see some gruesome deaths. We loved its ingenious script and we were constantly wanting to see what’s going to happen next. If you are a fan of horror comedies, this is a must-see.
9. Slither (2006)
This film is the directorial debut from James Gunn, who you might know for his “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, and stars Michael Rourke as Grant, a man who gets infected by an alien creature that arrived on Earth inside a meteorite. Grant stars to act strangely and soon the people start to link him with all the killings that have started to take place in their small American town.
If you are a fan of EC Comics and old alien invasion B-movies from the ‘50s, you will really like this film. It is the perfect campy horror film and its over-the-top gross scenes, amazing practical effects, witty one-liners, and overall funny yet creepy tone make it one of the most entertaining horror movies of the century.
8. Creep (2014)
When we thought that there is nothing new to be made out of the found-footage movie genre, there came “Creep”.
This movie was directed by Patrick Brice and stars Mark Duplass as Josef, a man who has cancer and hires a cameraman to record a movie for his to be born son “Buddy”.
Aaron (played by director Patrick Brice) arrives at Josef’s secluded house thinking that this cameraman job is a job like any other, but he soon starts to regret his decision. Josef acts strange and seems to be very keen on scaring people and doing inappropriate stuff. But Aaron is the kind of person who sees something good in everyone and he just can’t imagine that there could really be something wrong with his employer. However, things get creepier and creepier and it becomes clear that Josef is not to be trusted.
This is one of the most unsettling and inventive films we’ve seen in this decade and it works as another proof that you just need a good script in order to make a great movie. “Creep” mostly takes place inside a house and features only two characters, but it is more entertaining than many high-budget mainstream horror films and its mix of campy-fun and thrills makes it a very entertaining watch.
7. The Conjuring (2013)
Australian director James Wan revitalized the horror genre with “The Conjuring”, a film which was both scary and well-made, while it also paid tribute to horror classics such as “The Amityville Horror,” “The Exorcist” or “The Changeling” and adapted the haunted house/possession film genre to the demands of the 21st century audiences.
People are less likely to get scared nowadays than they were in the 1970s. The abundance of graphic images, violence, and jump scares is commonplace in today’s horror films, and not only. However, “The Conjuring” knew how to create its scares and is invested in what most of today’s horror movies overlook: character development, atmosphere, and cinematography.
The film is gripping from the very start. The Perrons, a family with five daughters, move to an isolated farm. Soon, strange things start to occur and they ask for the help of a couple of paranormal investigators. The atmosphere keeps building up until the terrifying final act, where the horror is full-blown. “The Conjuring” will entertain you no matter how many times you watch it.
6. Paranormal Activity (2009)
Israeli American filmmaker Oren Peli directed this film with a budget of only 15,000$, yet managed to create one of the most frightening and engaging horror films of the 21st century and also a box-office hit – the film earned no less than 194 million dollars and spawned a successful franchise.
After “The Blair Witch Project”, this is probably the film which did the best with its found-footage style and managed to once again reinvent the horror genre. Its captivating plot follows a couple of young adults, Katie and Micah, who start noticing some very strange occurrences in their new home. The two decide two install a small video camera in their bedroom in order to record everything that happens in the room while they are asleep. While at first they don’t notice anything unusual on their videotapes, after a few nights things get really disturbing.
“Paranormal Activity” is a very entertaining and suspenseful ride, but also one of the scariest films of this century and that is due to its totally unknown cast and home-made video format which make the film feel much more real than many other horror movies.