Sharai Bohannon’s Top 10 Horror Movies Of 2023

Sharai Bohannon top 10 horror 2023

I managed to stay more current on new releases than I have in my entire life this year. So, I can honestly say that I’ve loved a surprising amount of genre movies in 2023. This is the first time in forever that my honorable mentions could have been as long as my top 10 list. I gave so many movies four stars that I started to get dizzy. Needless to say, making this list has not gotten easier with all of these great titles. However, I believe I finally chose the correct combination that will allow me to sleep with a clear conscience. 

10. Rotting In The Sun

A struggling artist decides to collaborate with an influencer he meets at a nudist beach. However, death interrupts those plans, in what has become one of my new favorite comedic mysteries. Many movies in this subgenre immediately give away who the culprit is in the beginning and expect us to hang out because it has a charming cast of characters. Rotting In The Sun does something completely different. Every time you think you know where it’s going, it swerves. This movie understands the mystery genre and gives us a front-row seat to watch this puzzle unfold in the most gloriously fun way possible. 

9. The Blackening

Seven friends go to a cabin in the woods to celebrate Juneteenth and find themselves hunted by a killer. Because this idea has been done to death, it was so damn refreshing to see it get a complete overhaul. Yes, it turns harmful tropes on their heads. Yeah, it’s a meta-slasher in a world filled with them. However, it’s also funny in a way that most movies could never be. We also finally have a group of characters that make smart choices. I’m so tired of films that rely on people not making sense to get us through a plot, y’all. I’m really excited to see what Tracy Oliver and Dewayne Perkins do with the recently announced sequel. 

8. Huesera: The Bone Woman

A pregnant woman discovers this is not the magical time of her life she has been told it would be. I don’t usually enjoy horror centered on pregnancy because it typically pretends that wanting/having a baby is all the character development needed for their women characters. However, this one seemed different, and I’m so happy it was! I want more scary movies that allow people with ovaries to question if they actually want children. I think that is an important step in beginning the deprogramming that most people still struggle with regarding why they feel obligated to start a family.

7. In My Mother’s Skin

A young girl tries to protect her dying mother in the Philippines during World War II with the help of a deceitful and deadly fairy. This movie is equal parts gorgeous and sad. It was such an unexpected surprise. There were a couple of moments that actually made me gasp out loud. I’m not usually a fan of wartime films, but this one has just enough glitter and gore to hold my interest. In My Mother’s Skin is a nightmarish fairytale with a commentary that is sadly always timely. 

6. M3GAN

An engineer builds a life-like doll that soon turns on her and those around her. It is hard to make a top 10 list without an Akela Cooper movie, and I am living for this moment. We knew this killer doll would be fun from the second she danced into our hearts on social media. However, no one could have predicted just what a bad bitch she would be in a PG-13 movie. While this title is a lot of fun, it’s also a nice lead into conversations about parenting, giving impressionable minds information without guidance, and many other interesting topics. There were confusing takes on how Gemma (played by Allison Williams) should “properly” grieve. Many people also thought that women should magically become maternal if a kid turns up on our doorstep. The more I watched people expose themselves, the more I realized many people do not actually talk to the women in their lives. 

5. Evil Dead Rise

A family must face off against flesh-possessing demons in their apartment. I respect the Evil Dead franchise and even like some of the movies and the TV series well enough. However, this is my favorite entry so far. Filmmaker Lee Cronin has a very keen eye for the grotesque and disturbing. It was such a pleasure to watch this mayhem unfold. This movie is dark, funny, and unafraid to gleefully scream “fuck those kids” as it wields a cheesegrater as a weapon. From the title card to us making sure mommy really does sleep with the maggots, this movie is sick, mean, and dirty. I lived my best life. May we see more final women head to battle with a chainsaw in the years to come!

4. Saltburn

An Oxford student finds himself drawn into the world of a rich classmate who invites him to spend the summer with his family at their estate. This film has a whole vibe that I was not expecting. Where many thrillers repeat the same commentary on class and privilege, this one goes about it quite differently and with a ton of flair. I wanted to throw so many awards at the cast and designers while watching the credits roll. Specifically, Barry Keoghan should be walking away with some serious hardware this season if awards shows finally do the right thing.

3. Scream VI

The Core Four’s attempt to start a new life in New York City is cut to pieces when their past catches up to them. Radio Silence and the crew gave us something special with this one. I was torn between celebrating all of our favorites surviving the film and knowing someone has to die soon to avoid falling into the same trap as the original trio. That problem seems so small now as we look at an uncertain future for a franchise that was on track for at least one more movie. If this is the surprise ending of Scream, I’m grateful that Melissa Barrera was the final girl I waited my whole life to see. Ending with a Core Four of fierce POC characters in a franchise that refused to give us anything for so long is a huge victory. 

2. When Evil Lurks

Two brothers try to dispose of a demon-infected man who is about to give birth to evil. However, they accidentally release a hellish nightmare on their village in the process. This movie was possibly the most unexpected, chaotic, and meanest movie of the year. At several moments, I found myself internally screaming while trying to process what I had just seen. This is also another movie that happily fits into the “fuck those kids” camp. When Evil Lurks is my favorite Shudder original of the year. It also made me rearrange my end-of-year list, and that’s kinda rude. 

1. Talk To Me

A group of friends unwittingly unleashes evil forces when they use an embalmed hand to commune with spirits. This movie is so much damn fun! It is surprisingly dark and, at times, brutal. I was so absorbed in this world that I kept forgetting to breathe the first time I watched it. This indie Australian horror movie was the cultural reset we needed. I am also a little obsessed with the lead character, Mia (played by Sophie Wilde), who is the most sympathetically messy character I’ve ever seen. I would have killed to have had characters like her in mainstream media when I was growing up.

Honorable Mentions:

You’re Killing Me
Late Night With The Devil
Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor

Let me know if any of my favorite movies of the year made it into your top 10 list @misssharai.



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