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Mr. Disgusting Picks the Best Horror Films of 2016!

Top 10 Horror Films of 2016

Three witch movies in the top 10? I didn’t even realize it was a trending subgenre until I went through all of the films released this year. But when you really think about it, there aren’t that many movies centered on witches, not to mention done in uniquely different ways… at least until now.  There’s three in this list, three! I love that all of them are vastly different not only in story but in tone, aesthetics and in how it approaches scares. With the found-footage subgenre seemingly buried for good, will we see a rise in witch-themed horror stories in 2017?

James Wan also make a dent, again, proving why he’s one of the best in the genre, while there were quite a few surprises that include Train to Busan and the Cronenberg meets Lovecraft tale, Evolution.

While 2016 is considered one of the worst years in recent memory, us genre fans will remember it as being one of the best for horror. Whether it was an independent foreign film about the birth of a serial killer, or a studio-backed colorful haunter that breathes new life into the slasher genre, there was a bit of magic all over the horror spectrum. 2016 was pure fireworks.

10. LIGHTS OUT (D. David F. Sandberg)

lights out diana

Let’s give a hand to James Wan for taking a chance on David F. Sandberg, who took a short film with no story and turned it into one of the best new horror franchises. While the movie is exceedingly melodramatic, it’s also fucking scary. Stamped with the Wan-produced seal of quality, this spookfest is jam-packed with jump scares that aren’t just cheap shots but are well-developed jolts that pay off. It’s a fun gimmick that never takes itself too seriously, which is why the introduction of the new horror icon, Diane, works so well. Speaking of, Diane is the best new horror villain since Saw‘s Jigsaw, easily comparable to Freddy Krueger, that sets the stage for multiple sequels. This is one franchise where I expect the follow up to be even better than its predecessor.

9. TRAIN TO BUSAN (D. Sang-ho Yeon)


South Korea delivered the goods this year with their social issues really connecting to the zombie subgenre. While The Wailing was more about aesthetics, Train to Busan went full Tom Cruise. Sang-ho Yeon’s film channeled Brad Pitt’s World War Z by delivering non-stop zombie action on a massive scale. In fact, Train to Busan may just be one of the best zombie films of all-time. By placing much of the action on a train it creates off-the-charts tension that runs between avoiding the hordes of the undead, but also coexisting with other survivors that are more concerned with avoiding their own extinction. George A. Romero would probably laud Train to Busan, which takes all of its cues from his Night of the Living Dead.

8. EVOLUTION (D. Lucile Hadzihalilovic)


Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s French-language Evolution romanticizes David Cronenberg in a horrific fairytale of a boy investigating his bizarre life that becomes increasingly suspect. Evolution is the kind of film that gets under your skin with its horrific imagery and ideology that mixes in with Lovecraftian lore. It’s a terrifying folktale come to life, a sea version of The Witch, one that’s just as striking as it is unnerving.

7. THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE (D. André Øvredal)


I’m not quite sure I’ve ever seen anything like The Autopsy of Jane Doe, which is a horror film that quite literally peels back like a nesting doll. Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox star as son and father, respectively, who conduct an autopsy on a Jane Doe. The scares amplify as they continue to crack Jane Doe open, building up to a third act shocker that delivers one of the biggest sucker punches of the year. Claustrophobic and brooding, Øvredal never gives the audience a moment to breathe, suffocating them with skin-crawling sounds and images that should leave the audience shaken to their core.

6. GREEN ROOM (D. Jeremy Saulnier)


Jeremy Saulnier continues to grow as a filmmaker, upping the ante with each and every film he delivers. Green Room is just about as perfect as this taught thriller can be, boasting a frightening performance by Patrick Stewart (who’s weirdly omitted from the front page of IMDb’s credits). Green Room follows the simple premise of a group of teens who witness a murder and become the targets of a madman. Green Room reminds me of the 90’s classic Judgment Night only as vicious and brutal as a hardcore horror slasher. Saulnier pulls no punches, hitting audiences with a visceral and traumatic cinematic experience that’s ironically beautiful to watch. The secret is out on Saulnier who is going to propel up the Hollywood ladder.

5.THE CONJURING 2 (D. James Wan)

CONJURING 2 Crooked Man

It’s hard to argue against James Wan being the modern king of horror. The filmmakers is behind more than a handful of monstrous franchises from Saw to Insidious, Conjuring, Anabelle and even Lights Out (with The Nun forthcoming). He’s a master of horror that delivers punch after punch of scares that connect with not just genre fans, but general audiences. The Conjuring 2 was his first attempt at a fish out of water tale, pulling audiences to London to watch a family tortured by a poltergeist. Having not watched the first film in quite some time, my gut tells me that I liked this follow up even more than its predecessor. The tear-jerker subplot between Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) is the heart of Conjuring 2, which boasts more scares per minute than any other horror film this year. Wan has so many tricks up his sleeve as he sets up potent payoffs and mixes them with intense visuals (from the Nun to the Crooked Man). Conjuring 2 is an instant classic that comes from a director determined to deliver high quality horror to theaters everywhere.

4.DON’T BREATHE (D. Fede Alvarez)

Stephen Lang and Dylan Minnette star in Screen Gems' horror-thriller DON'T BREATHE.

The director of Evil Dead reteams with Jane Levy in this fun house of horror thriller that traps a trio of thieves in a house with a blind veteran who is more deadly that they could have ever imagined. While there’s some issues with character development (the kids are sort of the worst and hard to both sympathize and empathize with), Don’t Breathe is still one of the most tense films in years (Trace called it “Hitchcock on crack,” and he couldn’t be more right). The house acts as its own character, setting the stage for so many twists and turns that continually left my jaw agape. The turkey baster sequence is one those moments that will live in horror infamy, while Stephen Lang’s vicious and punishing performance as the blind man makes him a genre icon for the ages. The only real caveat is that it lacks replay value and loses most of its power on second viewing.

3.THE EYES OF MY MOTHER (D. Nicolas Pesce)

The Eyes of My Mother

Any other year Nicolas Pesce’s The Eyes of My Mother could have took the honors of the best horror film of the year. Shit, it bumped Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe down a slot, a film I was convinced would take top honors in this year’s list (I’ve softened on it a bit). The Eyes of My Mother is a riveting, poignant, grim and realistic look at the birth of a serial killer (Kika Magalhaes). It’s a fresh perspective from a up and coming filmmaker that delivers one punch after another. The film’s power comes from the sympathetic framing of the killer that presents her in a way that makes it both brutal and tragic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like Eyes of My Mother and can’t recommend it enough. Pesce is a force to be reckoned with that’s delivered a genre classic that will be revered for years to come.

2.BLAIR WITCH (D. Adam Wingard)

Blair Witch Review

I’m still perplexed by the backlash this found-footage sequel took. Was it “over hyped”? Were viewers expecting something else? Are viewers sick of found footage? Or maybe the movie just sucks? Whatever the reason, I still loved it, and think it’s a game-changer (in the sense that this is what VR horror movies could look like in the next few years). While the hate is strong for the third film in the franchise, I did see a fair share of horror fans who agreed with my take. I thought Blair Witch was a sledgehammer of a horror film that punished audiences with abusive sound design and a third act that pulls the rug out from under those expecting a straight up remake. Yes, the first hour is a rehash of Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick’s The Blair Witch Project, but, from my perspective, this was to set up the final sequence that comes out of left field. Even many of those who don’t agree with my passion for the film have come out to acknowledge the power of the fun house rollercoaster ride finale that’s straight-up chaos. Maybe time will heal Blair Witch and it will eventually be embraced by horror fans, but for now its legacy is as twisted as any Shyamalan finale.

1.THE WITCH (D. Robert Eggers)

February Horror Releases

Blair Witch and The Witch couldn’t be more different from one another. While the former is more of a fun house theatrical experience, Eggers’ period horror is pure witchcraft. Anya Taylor-Joy breaks out in this gorgeous film that follows a family in 1630s New England that is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession. From the performances to the sound design, score and cinematography, The Witch is a cinematic revelation that comes from the same soul as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The authentic aesthetics give a tremendous amount of weight to the suspense, creating tension that never lets up. While The Witch won’t connect with every viewer, those who found themselves immersed in Eggers’ world will find joy in repeat viewings as this film will be remembered as an all-time great.

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  • Frank Lloyd Jr

    Still hyping the Blair Witch?
    Coming soon to DVD and Blu-ray !!!!

    • pablitonizer

      Saw it yesterday and it was pretty bad actually…not even one jump scare and it felt like a redo of the original Blair Witch project…such a waste of time…Stop promoting it guys, it’s not gonna happen!

      • Not even one jump scare? Did we watch the same film? The hand-slap in the tree????

        • pablitonizer

          like I said, not even 1 jump scare…it was all predictible and non scary at all…specially since most of what happens throughout the movie had already been seen in Blair witch project so what was the surprise factor?

          • There was no hand scare in the first Blair Witch. Consider me surprised! XD

        • Creepshow

          Don’t forget about… all the characters running into each other multiple times. XD

  • Ignoring Blair Witch, which I know a lot of you don’t like, what other films do you agree or disagree with?

    • JeffCStevenson

      I just didn’t think it was a very good film and way too silly for the most part, what with the woman climbing the tree to get the drone, etc. And the end is simply screaming and lights flashing. I wonder what the real backstory was to this film since they (director/writer) make it sound like it was such a high priority, super secret project yet I really wonder if anyone took the time to review the script or treatment to see if there was any “there” there? When broken down, I think it was simply a remake. Clearly you were over the moon in love with THE WOODS and kept praising the sound design which I have to admit, was simply not that impressive since it was so noisy. So I don’t think we can ignore BLAIR since you felt so strongly about it and I’d love for you to do a column on films you believe you overpraised, regardless of what the box office is. That would be sort of fascinating.

      • The_Gentleman

        He didn’t overpraise it. He liked it genuinely as much as he said he did. Your opinion –nor his, nor mine– is the one true opinion. Just stop it already. It’s a fucking movie list. There’s a Nazi entering the White House. get enraged about important things.

      • The_Gentleman

        Asking him to do an article saying he “overpraised” Blair Witch is basically asking him to lie. He doesn’t believe he overpraised. He dug the fucking thing. Get over it.

    • ChowYunPhat

      I don’t get how any horror fan can get behind Light’s Out. It was the epitome of stale, safe studio horror films. Nothing but repetitive jump scares, a story that was beyond uninspired and maybe the dumbest origin story for what they’re hoping will be a forced on us horror “icon” that I’ve ever witnessed. I don’t understand the studio politics that allow crap like this to be dumped on the mall crowds, while The Autopsy of Jane Doe gets passed over, which probably would have done big business.

    • Red Right Return

      I liked Blair Witch. Also feel like The Witch was great. I don’t care for torture porn movies so you won’t see any Rob Zombie flicks on any of my lists. I prefer supernatural and creepy stuff. The Autopsy of Jane Doe and The Witch were both movies that stuck with me. I want to see more movies with Lovecraftian tones, like the upcoming The Void. I haven’t watched Baskin yet.

  • Jammerz

    It’s cool to see that Don’t Breathe, The Conjuring 2 and Lights Out are on the list as I thought they were good horror films, however I still think The Witch was terrible and shouldn’t be a part of the top 10 but that’s just my opinion.

  • Biscoito18

    Although I would probably put The Wailing, Hush and The Invitation in the top 10, most of this are great choices to represent this amazing year for horror. The only one I disagree is Blair Witch. I really don’t liked it. In fact, I’ll probably put it on my list of most disappointing movies of the year.
    But 100% agree with “The Witch” in first place. A instant classic!

    • The_Gentleman

      I haven’t seen The Wailing yet but it’s on Netflix so this week sometimes. I agree in The Invitation. Hush…I liked it but I think it’s kinda pedestrian. Not top 10 material for me. But a lot of people do love that thing.

      • Biscoito18

        I’m one of them, I love Hush. Maybe it’s because I like to write little horror stories like the main character and imagine different outcomes. That and a lot of her choices made me identify with her. And the attention to details like the lost of blood, her lack of physical strengh, sold me on it. Simple premise but very well done.

      • Brett

        I feel like Hush would have been stronger if the stalker hadn’t taken his mask off. The air went out of the balloon a bit at that point, but I still enjoyed the execution of the story.

  • The_Gentleman

    You’re right on The Witch. It’s an amazing film. I semi-agree on Blair Witch. it would make my horror top 10 but not my overall top 10. The Invitation should be higher. I’d like to like the Conjuring 2 more than I do but the specter of the scummy real-life Warrens, and how how Wan romanticizes them so much, turns my stomach. Evolution, I just could not connect with. Might need a rewatch. Anyway, you’ll get attacked by the plebian Witch/Blair Witch haters but fuck ’em. I’m glad you stuck to your guns. The Witch is my choice for best film of the year overall.

    • Elizabeth

      I have the same problem with the Conjuring movies. They’re really good, but I have to pretend it’s about some other couple named Warren to actually enjoy them. I guess it’s similar to a lot of “based on a true story” films where Hollywood turns awful people into heroes to make it bankable.

    • turk

      Totally agree. I don’t think most viewers realize how utterly repulsive and inhuman the Warrens are. They are irredeemable, despicable bastards.

  • Biscoito18

    For me “The Monster” deserves at least a honorable mention.

    • DJV1985

      Haven’t seen The Monster yet is it really that good? I’m planning on watching it after Christmas and New Year is over as it’s almost a law that we watch nothing but Christmas related things lol so without spoiling it, is there any good to it?

      • Biscoito18

        Yes, its a good horror/drama movie. But its not just slow burn, it gets more explicit and graphic towards the end. And they use more practical effects instead of CGI.

      • J Jett

        i very much liked THE MONSTER on my first viewing but i ended up loving it on my second viewing. just a heads up the mother/daughter relationship is the main focus of the film (it’s about 60% of the film while the actual monster is about 40% of it).

      • Red Right Return

        The Monster was a good creature feature for sure. Well worth a watch.

  • The_Gentleman

    Oh, and I might be in the minority here but I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House is in my top ten. I know it’s slooooow but it worked for me and I wa genuinely unnerved by the end.

    • I did like it a lot but it didn’t really leave a lasting impression on me. His February/Blackcoat’s Daughter is better IMO.

      • The_Gentleman

        Yea, I like February more but Pretty Thing worked one me quite nicely.

    • Matt Miller

      I also loved that movie! I think is very underrated, it was creepy and the performances were fantastic.

    • Brett

      I thought it was interesting. Great use of sound, I’ll say that. I just wish there was more THERE there.

  • The_Gentleman

    I don’t do a top 10 horror usually but I can. But for FWIW here is my top 15 overall, still with may films to watch:

    1. The Witch
    2. Green Room
    3. Hunt For The Wilderpeople
    4. Arrival
    5. The Invitation
    6. Elle (France)
    7. I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House
    8. Hell or High Water
    9. The Lobster
    10. Midnight Special
    12.Swiss Army Man
    13.The Nice Guys
    14.10 Cloverfield Lane
    15.The Eyes of My Mother

    • Matt Miller

      Great list, those are almost exactly my favorite movies of the year just that I have the lobster as no. 1. And I also thought the witch and the invitation were the best horror movies of the year

    • Sasha Kozak

      Nice list, I LOVED Elle! Want to see Arrival and Hunt for Wilderpeople to

  • Matt

    Pretty solid list, though I’d probably have ‘The Monster’ on it. I could quibble about the order they’re placed in, but that’s a matter of personal taste. There is a few on there I haven’t seen yet, but they are definitely on my “to do” list. Also, I’m one of the people that thought ‘Blair Witch’ was a pretty good movie.

    • Angela M Campany

      I enjoyed Blair Witch too ……i thought it was very effective as a whole !

      • Redsam6

        Blair Witch was cool.

  • J Jett

    THE BOY (until the reveal which was meh…)

    are all really good movies! i only just last night watched GREEN ROOM and i thought it was pretty good! very tense movie. i’m going to watch THE INVITATION today/tonight since i’ve heard/read such good things about it.

    for me it’s…(in no particular order)…


    • Let me know what you think of The Invitation! I’m very intrigued. I showed it to my whole family on Christmas morning thinking most of them would hate it (it’s a bit too slow for most of them) and all of them except for my grandmother loved it. XD

      • J Jett

        Trace, i just finished THE INVITATION and it was definitely very good! i was a bit on edge for most of the film (until the reveal) trying to figure out what the party hosts were up to or not up to. the very final reveal (of what’s happening….i’m trying not to spoil it for anyone….the VERY final reveal/shot was very haunting).

        • Happy to hear! I’ve seen it 3 times and a second viewing puts everything in a new light since you know FOR SURE what’s going on.

    • Cure4Humanity

      I like your list…but The Monster? That one I don’t understand.

    • Red Right Return

      Good shark movies are hard to find and I liked both The Shallows and In The Deep. I rate them about the same, but neither of them are as good as The Reef. That movie is edge of the seat.

  • SpacemanSpliffz

    i too loved blair witch and am sitting down to watch the witch right now! good list!

  • pablitonizer

    Cloverfield Lane under horror category…? Didn’t see that one coming!

    • The_Gentleman

      I’ve had this discussion with people about Green Room. I think it’s horrific enough to rank as a horror film but a lot of people just see it as a thriller. 10 Cloverfield Lane is similar. I’m fine with him calling it horror.

      • pablitonizer

        Haven’t see Green Room yet so I can’t talk about but please would u tell me which horror element is present in Cloverfield lane? I find it hard to put it under horror

        • Jimmy Cthulhuhan

          I’m usually an annoying nitpicker on the subject, but I find it hard to call 10CL anything but horror. “Thriller/suspense” (“psychological horror”) I guess… but I despise using those labels.

        • Porst

          Being trapped against your will by a broken man who wants you to replace his daughter. The same man killing another prisoner and dissolving his body. Mutant zombie virus people. Giant monsters.

          • pablitonizer

            Pretty much like “Kiss the girls” and it’s not horror… regarding the mutant virus people and giant monsters, yeah, I felt that movie had 2 different unrelated stories going on…I was watching at 2 different movies at once…suspense & suddenly sci-fy. Sorry, I still don’t see the horror 🙁

        • Red Right Return

          I find torture porn hard to classify as horror, but it still is. Horror is a broad category these days, much like fantasy.

  • Braker


    Glad you stuck to your guns on that one.

  • Richter Belmont

    1. Train To Busan
    2. The Wailing
    3. The Shallows
    4. 10 Cloverfield Lane
    5. The Autopsy Of Jane Doe
    6. The Monster
    7. The Blackcoat’s Daughter
    8. Shin Godzilla
    9. In The Deep/47 Meters Down
    10. tied: Lights Out & Purge: Election Year

    1. Train To Busan
    2. Kubo And The Two Strings
    3. The Accountant
    4. The Magnificent Seven
    5. Your Name
    6. Warcraft
    7. Ip Man 3
    8. Eddie The Eagle
    9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
    10. tied: The Nice Guys & Zootopia

    • J Jett

      Richter you have great taste in movies!

    • Kubo was MAGNIFICENT

  • Cappy Tally

    Wait…what’s the third witch movie on the list? The top two are witch films, sure, but unless “Jane Doe” takes a hell of a turn or Evolution is more than meets the eye (haven’t seen them yet) I only count two.

    • disqus_1O3aEKQpld

      It’s a spoiler.

      • Cappy Tally

        Ahhh. Well then, guess I have to catch up.

  • disqus_1O3aEKQpld

    1.) Green Room
    2.) 10 Cloverfield Lane
    3.) The Neon Demon
    4.) Don’t Breathe
    5.) Eyes of My Mother
    6.) Train To Busan
    7.) Safe Neighborhood
    8.) The Conjuring 2
    9.) The Autopsy of Jane Doe
    10.) Hush

  • J Jett

    just finished watching THE INVITATION and it’s definitely very good! it had me feeling uneasy all throughout it trying to figure out what the party hosts were up to (but isn’t this movie from 2015?).

    • Biscoito18

      Amazing movie. Logan Marshall-Green should win a Oscar nomination for this.
      In my lists, I use the Rotten Tomatoes’ date to classify the movie’s year.

      • J Jett

        thanx Biscoito! 🙂

    • Matt

      Per IMDB –

      Release Date: 8 April 2016 (USA)

      • J Jett

        thanx Matt! 🙂

    • It had a festival release in 2015, but it didn’t get an actual release until this year. I left it off my “Best Of” lists last year because only festival-goers had a chance to see it. Since it saw a release this year I FINALLY get to include it.

  • Jimmy Cthulhuhan

    1 of these would be on my Worsts list (Conjuring 2)… I think that’s a step up from other years though! Blair Witch was just generic as hell and deserved no attention whatsoever, good or bad.

    But I admit I’d have a hard time rating this year… lots of 3/5 type of movies. I’d say 10 Cloverfield Lane was the only thing close to standing out (if only barely).

  • sailor monsoon

    The void.
    Either everyone missed it or forgot it but it’s extremely fun

    • Can´t wait to see that one. The trailer looks amazing. Could be the better hell vision movie as BASKIN was (from which i expected a whole lot more…)

  • Vincent Kane

    I’m sorry but The Witch was utterly horrible. Anya Taylor Joy’s performance was the only saving grace it had.

    Some of my favs:
    Don’t Breathe
    Lights Out
    The Invitation
    Green Room
    The Shallows
    The Wailing

    Star Trek Beyond
    Rogue One
    Central Intelligence
    The Secret Life of Pets
    10 Cloverfield Lane
    CA:Civil War
    Batman vs Superman
    The Magnificent Seven

    • PsychoMantis18

      This comment is utterly stupid. And i’m not sorry.

      • Vincent Kane

        Oh I’m sorry I should be on my knees licking The Witch’s balls like you and all the other hip people?

        • PsychoMantis18

          Didn’t say anything about licking its balls. Do you only see things in moronic-extremes?

          • Rejiik Sulonhade

            say the guys who just said
            “This comment is utterly stupid. And i’m not sorry.”

          • PsychoMantis18


    • Bradley J. Timm

      You can always tell a student of film from a casual viewer when they insult a wonderful film like “The Witch”.

      • Vincent Kane

        Not at all. I can appreciate the authenticity of the movie and the performances but doesn’t make it good or any less boring. Also your opinion isn’t smarter than mine Mr. Student of film.

      • Red Right Return

        The thing about snobs – oops, I mean film students, is that they don’t realize their opinion is no different or more valid than anyone else. I took three people to see The Witch. All three were extremely disappointed and I was the only one that liked the movie. I don’t discount the opinions of the people that went with me thinking my opinion is more valid or important. In the grand scheme of things, every viewer’s opinion is valid – and important.

        That being said, I thought the movie was brilliant, although a little slow in places. The final scene was amazing and is burned into my memory forever.

  • PsychoMantis18

    It is not hard to argue that Wan isn’t the modern king of horror; it’s very easy. He’s made a mass of shitty horror films – think Uwe Boll has him beat.

  • Maxime C

    I’m glad 47 meters down is on the list, it was a really nice little movie! Better than The Shallows imo, more…inventive. Yet, this year was pretty good for shark movies, and it had been a while !
    I rewatched Blair Witch the other night. To be sure. Yep, still…got me dizzy and kind of bored by the middle. And the ending was not as bad as I had it in mind. So… I’m gonna stop hating on it as much as I did ( but I’m sure a rewatch of Book Of Shadows would be more fun ).
    10 Cloverfield Lane was awesome.
    Conjuring 2 was way better than the first one imo and I surprisingly loved it ( Vera Farmiga is the best ), when I’m not a fan of this…whole…James Wan thing.

    Anyway… yeah this year was pretty…descent I’d say.

  • Evi

    Nice to see some love for Evolution. Some really strong, atmospheric filmmaking.

    • ChowYunPhat

      It’s on my Amazon watch list and I forgot about it. I need to rectify that this weekend.

  • hell_razor

    I don’t know why people liked the shallows.. I thought it was garbage

    • Rejiik Sulonhade

      yep, nothing happened that you haven’t seen before in open waters or the reef, which was way better !

  • Redsam6

    The Boy is a terrible film.

    • Gonz GoreTease

      Indeed! I mean, cool if Mr. Disgusting enjoyed it, but there was nothing original nor surprising about that “twist”. I actually thought it was extremely predictable and cliched. Not a horrible movie but far from the best. And Tales from the Crypt esque twist??? Come on now…

  • Porst

    “It’s hard to argue against James Wan being the modern king of horror.” Haha, NOPE. The guy who hates using actual shadows in favor of slightly darker color, and relies constantly on the same exact haunted house/creepy doll/old people tropes in every film? If that’s the king, horror is in trouble. Wan is a hack.

    • Rejiik Sulonhade

      FINALLY THANK YOU ! I thought I was the only one who thought that insidious 1-2, dead silence,, the conjuring especially the second, were ALL playing on the same trick…. I think it is time to find new ideas Mr Wan, maybe king a day, but long time gone now !

  • Sasha Kozak

    Pretty good list! Only one I really disliked on your list is Blair Witch, it was atrocious imo.

    1. The Witch
    2. The Eyes Of My Mother
    3. The Autopsy Of Jane Doe
    4. Green Room
    5. Don’t Breathe
    6. The Invitation
    7. The Neon Demon
    8. Under The Shadow
    9. Hush
    10. 31 or Conjuring 2

    Those would be my top 10 personally. I have not seen The Wailing or Train to Busan though, really want to see them.

    • Scott

      Kinda lost me with the 31 nomination. It’s a terrible movie. You can still enjoy it, but to suggest Conjuring 2 was in anyway as bad as 31 is kind of silly.

  • G.A. McGillivray

    In The Deep. They definitely used the Less Is More to great effect….

    The Monster. Great use of – not using music. Almost had a It Follows/Absentia vibe.

    Train To Busan. Best cliche characters zombie movie I’ve see in a while.

    The first 30 seconds of Alien Covenant trailer 😉


    I still need to see a few films off this list but overall it looks good

  • Cure4Humanity

    I just watched the Autopsy of Jane Doe and that jumped into my top 3 this year. The last part of the movie could have been a tad better imo but other wise the other 90% of it was excellent.

  • K-Dogg

    One of my faves of the year was The Girl with all The Gifts, saw it at a festival in September, phenomenal flick.

  • Saifuddin

    My favorites : The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Green Room, Don’t Breathe.

  • joewaters

    my favs this year:
    The Forest
    The Darkness
    I’m Not A Serial Killer
    Don’t Breathe
    Lights Out
    Blair Witch
    The Autopsy of Jane Doe
    The Conjuring 2
    and Train To Busan was my #1 horror film of the year

  • Matt Friezo

    BEST OF 2016

    15.Dont Breathe
    14.The Good Neighbor
    12.The Hallow
    11.The Shallows
    10.Before I wake
    8.The Boy
    7.Lights Out
    6.The Invitation
    5.The Purge :Election Year
    4.The Conjuring 2
    3.Green Room
    2.The Final Girls
    1.Train to Busan

    WORST OF 2016

    9.The Monster
    7.Knock Knock
    6.10 Cloverfield Lane
    5.Goodnight Mommy
    4.The Green Inferno
    3.The Girl in the Photographs
    2.Blair Witch
    1.The Galows

    Honorable Mention for Worst (Shut off mid film)
    31 & Southbound

  • Elizabeth Asulakh
  • Best of 2016 in my opinion

    1- Don’t Breathe
    2- The Conjuring 2
    3- Hush
    4- 10 Cloverfield Lane
    5- The Boy

    The worst of 2016:

    1- Blair Witch
    2- Pride, Prejudice and Zombies
    3- Green Room
    4- The Witch
    5- Friend Request
    6- Most Likely to Die
    7- Siren
    8- The Forest
    9- Morgan
    10- Shut In

  • It has been the best year for horror in the 21th Century, Indies delivered as always, and mainstream Hollywood flicks were overall really good. I would take away Blair Witch and Conjuring 2 though, and put The Wailing and The Invitation or Baskin.

  • Jake

    Could you possibly only talk about horror films that have seen public distribution, and have not only been screened for horror film nerds at geographically restrictive film festivals? It’s wonderful that more than half of the films on your list have only been screened for a handful of people. You’re very cool and exclusive.

  • Matteo X

    I love Wingard s movie but whats the difference between this blair witch and the first? Its the same film ! A little bit better in terms of direction and a more developed finale.

    • GarthD

      Better direction? Right. Go home.

  • Andrew Thayer

    If Blair Witch is a game-changer, horror is doomed. Worst movie of 2016 for me and it isn’t even close.

    • gabriel

      The Darkness with Kevin Bacon? Now that was a sess pool horror film.

      • LYNSEY

        agreed. the darkness was bad

  • Loretta Phy

    How did Witch make it to the top spot? How? Not possible. I’ve watched it twice now and not either time got me me interested. The goat was more entertaining than the people. Should have spent my time going to the petting zoo instead of watching this trash.

    • Bradley J. Timm

      No accounting for taste. Also, why watch a movie you disliked more than once? So you could complain about it with a little more oomph?

      • Jesse Bickers

        Well, I’d say watching a movie you disliked the first time around, for a second time, is to see whether or not your opinion of the film still holds ground and remains the same.

        Go ahead, tell me you haven’t ever liked a movie more the second time you watched it compared to the first, and I’ll easily, but delicately, touch my finger to the ‘BULLSHIT!‘ button. ☺


    glad to see a mention of in the deep, saw it around the same time of The Shallows and have to say i thought it was better, probably more than anything for its gut punch last 10 min. I have to say i liked Blair Witch, seem to be alone in this but it creeped me out at bits. Liked most of this list but was disappointed with Lights out, Dont Breathe was great apart from the twist in the middle IMO, and again The Witch? I just dont get it. Wasnt for me atall

  • Scott

    If we are truly ignoring the Blair Witch pick, also disregarding The Eyes of My Mother because I am waiting to watch it with my girlfriend who is a total loaf, but I love her anyway (I assume Eyes of My Mother will easily get into my Top 4 or 5). I also haven’t seen Train to Busan, might adjust my list accordingly later. Safe Neighborhood also sounds like it will be more than worth the watch.

    I also don’t know why any of you are listing your favorite overall movies. I didn’t come to this thread to find out that you liked Deadpool, nothing ground-breaking there.

    Here’s my top 9 list (Saving a spot for Eyes of My Mother):

    1. The Green Room (For Tension/Creative Brutality/Originality)
    2. The Witch (For Tension/Atmosphere/Dread)
    3. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (Originality/Emile Hirsch is fantastic)
    4. Hush (Short flick, fresh take on great concept, great lead, finds new ways to build suspense)
    5. Don’t Breathe (Once again, Fresh concept, WAY darker and unexpected finale)
    6. The Conjuring 2 (Not fresh, not original, but incredibly well done for a sequel, Nun/Valak painting easily the scariest scene in the movie)
    7. Lights Out (Fresh take on an overused theme, using said theme for creative plot, fun)
    8. The Invitation (Tired of writing reasons)
    9. The Neighbor (Just because I couldn’t get over the fact that Bill Engvall actually managed to be hella creepy)

    Worst (In No Particular Order):

    Blair Witch
    Green Inferno
    All the movies I didn’t bother to see, because of their RT rating, that other people say are also terrible.

  • The Wolf

    A thousand times yes to The Witch! A (non) modern day masterpiece!

  • hate machine

    “Best of 2016”. Won’t be released til next year…

  • Agree with everything except Green Room, which I thought was one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a long time.

    • Jesse Bickers

      How is that even possible?

      I don’t see how disliking Green Room is, by any means, acceptable as a fan of horror/suspense. Saulnier’s masterpiece is beautiful, chilling and downright enthralling.

      I believe I’m one of the most understanding of people when it comes to taste and opinions towards films but, as it seems, this is NOT one of those moments… It’s truly unfathomable.

    • Texas Horror

      I agree with Jesse. I don’t see how any horror fan can dislike Green Room. I can see it not being a “favorite”, but if Green Room is one of the worst movies you’ve seen in a long time, you don’t watch many movies. The acting was great (Stewart, Blair, Poots, and Yelchin were all great, while the rest of the entire cast was at least good in their roles).

      Green Room is not about the supernatural, nor is it a slasher or monster flick. It’s a gritty, suspenseful film that is horrific in it’s realistic take on being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I grew up in the east coast punk scene, and every character in this film was realistically visioned by Saulnier, and well played by the cast. It was one of the few horror films that I watched without constantly thinking “that’s not what would happen?” or “why would these idiots split up?”, etc. The guns and dogs may not be the traditional weapons of horror films, but they were effective and realistic here.

      • Evan3

        Just jumping in to say that seeing the name “Poots” in the midst of a sentence is hilarious! Stick with Imogeen!

    • zombie84_41

      green room was cool but IDK if it is really horror.

  • Four Fingered Fred

    can’t for the life of me understand what is so good about the conjuring 2, even ignoring the fact that it is peddling lies of known swindlers as based on a real story. Gimme a break.

    Top 3 in no particular order :

    Green Room
    Don’t breathe
    The witch

  • Chad Langen

    This list is terrible – really beyond terrible. There are some decent films on the list, but The Witch was so fucking boring and Blair Witch was absolutely atrocious.

    • zombie84_41

      the witch was horrible and anyone who thought it was scary shouldn’t be watching horror movies. If you think that shit was scary there is some serious problems with you LOL unless you never ever seen a horror movie, or hate horror and saw it and were scared thats different but if your a horror genre fan and think that shit was scary best better leave the genre now. Its like how brad said lights out was scary. LOL that was the most chilidish movie ever, me and my friends can do something like that and get made fun. It should of stayed as a short film. You know what scared me, Fire In The Sky.

      • Chad Langen

        For real…I did not get the hype or praise for Lights Out either. I tried watching it four different times and have yet to make it all the way through. OMG Fire in the Sky scared the shit out of me when I was a kid.

        • zombie84_41

          It scared the shit out of me as a kid and a adult. IDK theres something about alien films like that and alien films in general that just freak me out. The fourth kind was really creepy too. I don’t wanta bash anybody who liked the witch but it just makes me mad when everyone has to say what a really scary movie it is. and try to force it on you by saying it’s scary. That makes me mad.

  • Brianna Spieldenner

    Just so you know the honorable mention movie “project avalanche” is actually named “operation avalanche”.

  • Jerry Marygrace

    This website lost all credibility after I watched ‘Blair witch’ on the strength of this reviewer’s vociferous endorsement.
    I came back only to see if he was still gonna be loyal to his ‘sponsors’… Obviously he is!

    • Evan3

      Good riddance!

  • Bradley J. Timm

    Yes. The Witch leaped on to my favorite horror films of all time list. Truly exceptional .

  • Vasilis Zikos

    When you have 3 movies in your top 5 that I found over-hyped and very disappointing (maybe even terrible) like “The Conjuring 2”, “Don’t Breathe” and especially “Blair Witch” (this coming from a big admirer of the original Blair Witch Project) that can only mean that the bar has fallen really low in the quality of horror movies nowadays…

    • Porkins

      Ummm, not everybody shares your supposedly immaculate taste in horror movies.

      Maybe you just think too highly of yourself?

      • Vasilis Zikos

        How dare I speak my opinion, thank Lucifer, the opinion police came to criticize me and put me in my place… Spare us please…

        • Yeuthanize

          you spoke your opinion but you’re saying “the bar has fallen really low in the quality” which is merely subjective when it comes off as a universal fact

        • zombie84_41

          bad man. You know opinions are bad. HAIL SATAN!

    • Quinton Ridley

      Horrible year for horror

      • zombie84_41

        ya 2016 sucked horror has been slacking

    • fede01_8

      Haven’t seen Don’t Breath yet (the only critically acclaimed from those 3) but The Conjuring 2 was just ok and BW was terrible.

  • Evan3

    Brad, thanks for these lists and of course, thanks for the site. I’ve been a BD commenter for what seems like a decade. Of course, I may not agree with your tastes, but you truly have created the best horror website on the internet! Happy New Year!

  • zombie84_41

    I hated lights out thought it was so cliche, wasn’t even close to being scary. Evolution I wasn’t expecting much but it was so damn boring and did nothing at all, had pretty shots of water thats it. The witch was a huge drag too, was expecting it to be scary but turned out to be another snoozefest. Don’t breathe was stupid too, I just couldn’t get pass the fact that a blind man was able to do most of the shit he did. But I have to see the others you mention on this list dude.

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