Infinity Pool, Scream 6 and the best horror movies of 2023 (so far)

Infinity Pool
Infinity Pool /
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According to Rotten Tomatoes, there have been more than 80 horror movies released so far in the year 2023. While some received technical praise and others were social media sensations, there were also some major failures, like Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey, which has a 3% rating on the site. But let’s focus on the best of the best.

Many fans love so-called ‘bad horror movies’ best, citing their more ridiculous moments. However, they don’t have the power to chill fans to their bones in the way that top-tier horror does. The best films know when to show brutality and when not to, finding the best ways for their disturbing concepts to stay in viewers’ minds long after watching.

Those who want to see the best the genre has to offer this year need look no further, as this ranking will include discussions of concept and execution, as well as weighing critical appeal, audience response, and box office success.

The best horror movies of 2023 (so far)

The Pope’s Exorcist

Inspired by records at the Vatican, The Pope’s Exorcist is one of the newest demonic possession films, following a case of Father Gabriele Amorth’s from 1987. The film, starring Russell Crowe, mixes classic exorcism tropes with questions about religion and how evil presents itself in the real world. Reviews tend to rely on how accurate the film may or may not be, with the fact that the International Association of Exorcists denounced it intriguing many horror lovers.

Stream on Netflix.

Evil Dead Rise movie soundtrack
Evil Dead Rise, Warner Bros. Production released April 21, 2023 /

Evil Dead Rise

As the fifth installment in the Evil Dead franchiseEvil Dead Rise had a lot to live up to. Rather than following prior characters, the film follows sisters Ellie and Beth as they navigate the complex and terrifying world established in the previous films. Full of the kind of gore that Evil Dead fans expect, Evil Dead Rise is a surprisingly successful continuation of a franchise that many expected to die out a long time ago.

Stream on Max.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter

Dracula is one of the most iconic figures in the horror movies genre, but can modern filmmakers capture his danger and allure? The Last Voyage of the Demeter attempts the task by adapting one chapter of Bram Stoker’s original novel, which discussed the devastation wrought on a merchant ship Dracula traveled on. There have been some criticisms when it comes to execution, but the story is captivating, and it is one of only ten movies so far this year to sell more than a million tickets.

Currently in theaters.

Haunting in Venice streaming
Michelle Yeoh as Joyce Reynolds in 20th Century Studios’ A HAUNTING IN VENICE. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved. /

A Haunting in Venice

Between Agatha Christie, Kenneth Branaugh, and A Haunting in Venice‘s star-studded cast, this film was set up for success. Although technically being considered a mystery film, A Haunting in Venice turns up the horror vibes with a seance, a Halloween setting, and some eerie set pieces. Themes revolve around grief and confusion, which makes for a morbid yet thought-provoking watch for those who don’t like the gorier side of horror.

Currently in theaters.

The Blackening

Described by Rafael Motamayor of Indiewire as “the first great horror parody of the post-‘Get Out’ era,”The Blackening plays with the idea of a group of Black friends who are targeted by a killer who forces them to debate and quantify their “Black-ness.” The satire has plenty of thrills and chills while also prompting audiences to think about their own racial assumptions, particularly when it comes to the horror field.

Currently in theaters.

Infinity Pool

Infinity Pool  is Brandon Cronenberg’s newest horror film, starring Alexander Skarsgård and Mia Goth. James Foster and his wife go on vacation in a foreign country, where they learn that crimes are punishable by death—or by the death of a clone. The film explores themes of morality and humanity, and while it has mixed reviews, it is in the top fifteen highest-grossing horror movies of 2023, earning $5,078,401.

Stream on Hulu.

Talk to Me
Talk to Me movie /

Talk to Me

Talk to Me has the rare distinction of being a box-office hit as well as having positive critical and audience responses, proving that it is far more than just the standard tale of teenagers playing with forces they don’t understand. The movie plays with themes of grief and addiction as Mia repeatedly breaks the safeguards of the spirit world to get closure on her mother’s death.

Currently in theaters.

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster, starring Laya DeLeon Hayes, is a modern take on Frankenstein that explores how 17-year-old Vicaria tries to cope with the deaths of family members through science. Her efforts at restorative justice become complicated when her resurrected brother prefers the idea of strict vengeance. While the film is less of a strict horror than others from this year, it does a great job exploring grief and blame, which earned it an 84% critical and 90% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Streaming on AMC+ and Shudder.

Scream VI

As the second Scream story following the Carpenter sisters, Scream VI stands out from the movies that came out before by moving away from the story of Sidney Prescott. When Sam and Tara (and Chad and Mindy) move to New York City, Ghostface follows, prompting more questions about what it means to be a survivor. This is currently the highest-grossing of all horror movies of 2023, with a gross sum of $108,161,389. Though there have been debates about whether Scream VI is the best or worst Scream sequel, its Rotten Tomatoes audience rating of 91% is very impressive.
Stream on Paramount+. 

MEGAN 2
M3gan, Photo credit: Geoffrey Short/Universal Pictures /

M3gan

Gaining attention for its TikTok-worthy dancing, M3gan is currently the second highest-grossing horror film of 2023. The film explores what happens when an AI-driven companion doll gains sentience and a fiercely possessive nature. Despite audience scores being mixed, M3gan has a 93% critical score on Rotten Tomatoes thanks to its horror-comedy balance, boasting that it “delivers chuckles as effortlessly as chills”

Stream on Prime Video.

Which of these movies will you be watching this Spooky Season? Did we miss any great horror movies you feel deserve to be on the list?  

Next. Halloween movies in order (and where to watch). dark