Ranking the top FIVE horror films from the 2000s

Written by on 29th May 2024

By Chloe Short

Horror films have been around for decades now. Starting off with the black and white classics, moving to the dark slashers of the 70s, then the zany B-movies of the 80s. But what about the 2000s? This decade seems to be making a comeback aesthetically, so why not in terms of films too…

Jigsaw from the Saw franchise. Photo credit: Alamy

5) Final Destination 3 (2006)

The third instalment of the Final Destination franchise has to be one of the finest; the iconic opening scene sticks in the minds of many when even the title is uttered. Directed by James Wong, another group of friends manage to cheat death and must try and survive as it begins to catch up with them. The bright lights of the theme park lull you into a false sense of fun and adventure, before shocking audiences with the horrific rollercoaster crash. Death is the most essential part of this franchise, and this film is full of them; one of the highlights being the tanning bed scene, where two girls are burnt to a crisp due to being trapped inside. The scene is completed with a perfect display of editing, due to a match cut, going from the tanning beds to the matching coffins- the scene is both horrific and hilarious.

4) House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

This Rob Zombie classic just had to make the list- it’s his debut film, and while it does feel more like a music video at times due to the cinematography, you cannot deny the impact it had on the genre. Speaking of the cinematography, Zombie’s genius is very evident throughout- showcasing a maddening collection of the macabre through each scene, as we are introduced to a quirky cast of characters portrayed excellently by actors such as Sid Haig and Bill Moseley. The story follows a friend group on a road trip, first finding themselves in a museum of horrors- and then in a house of sociopaths in hopes of finding the elusive ‘Doctor Satan’! Their lives are left in the hands of people who kill and dismember anyone who crosses their path- making the odds of survival slim.

3) Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

More of a niche film, Repo! The Genetic Opera serves as both a gruesome horror but also owner of an incredible soundtrack, containing a blend of both opera and goth rock. This cinematic masterpiece is truly a testament to the time; it almost feels like a time capsule of the 2000s. The story outlines a future of worldwide organ failure, where one company, GeneCo, reigns supreme. This has dire consequences, as they can easily take back any donated organs if payments aren’t made on time… Our protagonist is a young, sick girl, Shilo Wallace, trying to navigate her way through the world after being trapped in her room, infected, for so long. Will she join GeneCo in order to find a cure- or is it already too late for her? And who ever thought that organ repossession could be so catchy?

2) House of Wax (2005)

Ah, House of Wax. A truly underrated gem of horror. While technically a remake of the Vincent Price classic, this film truly surpasses the dreaded ‘bad remake’ status that many films fall victim to. With an iconic soundtrack to back it, this film delves into the small town of Ambrose, home to a ‘House of Wax’ with a sinister secret. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, it features a cast of young adults making their way to a sports game… but when their car is vandalised in the middle of the night, how will they get back home- and if they do, will it be in one piece?

1) Saw (2004)

Do you want to play a game? It would be a crime if I did not mention a single Saw film in this list; while all of them (excluding the dreaded Spiral and Jigsaw) are amazing, nothing beats the original. Despite taking place primarily in a grimy bathroom, James Wan’s Saw is not only one of the best 2000s horror films but also one of the best horror films of all time. With an incredible score by Charlie Clouser that perfectly encapsulates the dingy, enclosed feel of the film, we are introduced to our two protagonists who have been forced into a death trap due to their own issues in taking life for granted. Saw has many twists and turns throughout, and for first-time viewers, it may not end how you predict…

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