Tyler Doupe’s Top 10 Horror Movies of 2023

The fascinating thing about the horror genre is that it continues to evolve (and often improve) over time. I frequently find myself saying that each new year outdoes the previous one. And this year was a case of exactly that. I thought 2022 was a phenomenal year for horror but I think 2023 may have been even better. 

Established creators and newcomers alike have made this year another dynamite trip around the sun for genre film. Some truly exceptional pictures saw release over the past 12 months. And that has me especially hopeful for what’s to come in 2024. But before I get ahead of myself, allow me to present you with my top ten genre pictures from 2023. 

She Came From The Woods 

She Came From The Woods

I am a big Bloomquist Brothers fan. The siblings create cinema that pays homage to beloved offerings from yesteryear while subverting expectations early and often. She Came from the Woods is a brilliant example of their collective talent. The film takes the tired summer camp slasher formula and gives it new life. In my review, I called the film a better, smarter version of Friday the 13th and I stand by that assessment. 

The flick sees a group of teenage camp counselors halfheartedly summoning Nurse Agatha, a local campfire legend. But when Agatha actually appears, the youngsters find themselves in a blood-soaked battle for survival. 

Scream VI

Scream VI

I think some fans were put off by the ending of Scream VI. But I am in the opposite camp. The film’s conclusion is among my favorite aspects of the picture. The denouement reminds me of the scenery-chewing chaos that transpires in the final moments of Urban Legend. Sure, it’s over the top and requires some suspension of disbelief. But I think that’s what makes it enjoyable. 

I count this sixth outing as one of my favorite sequels in the Scream canon. I think the flick serves as a great amalgamation of legacy characters and fresh faces. In short, this sequel stands as yet another noteworthy offering from the talented filmmaking collaborative, Radio Silence.  

Organ Trail

Organ Trail

I am normally not big on period pieces. But Organ Trail is anything but a typical period piece. This visceral offering from Michael Patrick Jann strikes the perfect balance between campy and straight-laced. The comedic asides are hilarious; the gore is gratuitous; and screenwriter Meg Turner crafts characters that I genuinely enjoyed spending time with. 

Organ Trail follows a young woman trekking the Oregon Trail with her family. Their peaceful existence is rudely interrupted when a gang of outlaws appears and kills the young woman’s kin. The sole surviving family member proves to be a thorn in the side of the merciless thieves and gives them an unforgettable run for their money.  


Sick Kevin Williamson

Many screenwriters have one or two great scripts in their filmography and a series of less effective offerings. That is not the case for Kevin Williamson. Williamson has been churning out bangers since the ‘90s and shows no signs of slowing down. His screenplay for Sick is brought to life with aplomb by John Hyams. The finished product is a smart sendup of the harrowing impact that COVID had on our collective consciousness.  

Sick follows two friends who make the fateful decision to quarantine together at a rural vacation home, only to be stalked by a ruthless group of masked killers. 

Talk to Me 

I don’t know what I can say about Talk to Me that hasn’t already been said. Danny and Michael Philippou quite simply blew me away with this supernatural chiller. The film, which revolves around a severed hand that serves as a supernatural conduit, takes a back-to-basics approach that leans into sheer terror without being stuffy or pretentious. The core cast turn in stellar performances that are helped along by superb editing and sound design. This is easily my favorite horror film of 2023. It might be my favorite horror picture of the past five years. I can’t wait to see what the Philippou brothers have in store for us next. 

Dark Harvest 

Dark Harvest

I am so stoked that David Slade has successfully managed to deliver atmospheric Halloween vibes and a standout horror picture in one delightful package. One would think the two would make for an easy pairing. But aside from the Halloween franchise and Trick ‘r Treat, there aren’t many films that effectively execute both conceits. I look forward to revisiting Dark Harvest many times over the coming years. It’s poised to become a seasonal staple in my household. 

Dark Harvest is set in a sleepy Midwestern hamlet with a frightening annual tradition. Every October, a monster called Sawtooth Jack is released from the cornfields and allowed to roam the city. His sole quest is to make his way to the church intact. The teenage boys of the town are tasked with stopping Jack from reaching the church by any means necessary. No matter the outcome, the ritual always ends in bloodshed. 

Dangerous Waters

Dangerous Waters

This psychological thriller kept me engaged with a series of twists and turns that had me guessing right up until the very end. The flick is certainly far-fetched. But anyone willing to suspend disbelief for the duration will find that Dangerous Waters is a welcome escape from reality that features a dynamite leading lady in Odeya Rush. 

Dangerous Waters follows a young woman and her mother as they set off on a sailing trip with a mysterious gentleman. The outing goes from tranquil to nightmarish on a dime, forcing the young woman to rely on an impressive set of hidden talents to survive the ordeal.  


The trailer for Saltburn hooked me. But it couldn’t possibly prepare me for what was in store. Writer/director Emerald Fennell delivers a depraved outing that is reminiscent of what Cruel Intentions might have looked like if it were directed by John Waters and had a lot more penis in it. 

The flick is darkly comedic and frequently visceral. If Saltburn had been filmed five years ago and submitted to the MPAA for classification, there is no way it would have slid by with an R-rating. I’m surprised it managed that feat in 2023. But I’m sure glad it did. 

The picture follows a young man of boundless means as he brings a college friend to his castle for the summer. The experience forever changes the lives of both young men. 

When Evil Lurks

When Evil Lurks hurls the viewer directly into the story with nearly no context. We know precious little about the central evil at the core of the narrative, save for the fact that it can’t be killed by conventional means and can take on different shapes. When the expository dialogue eventually rolls around, it’s introduced smartly and still leaves plenty of unanswered questions. 

The various ways in which the supernatural horrors within manifest make for an exceptionally uncomfortable viewing experience. Some of the depictions are beyond grotesque. There are too many jaw-dropping moments to recount here in short form. But trust me when I say that this flick will take you on a wild ride you won’t soon forget. 

This horror picture follows two brothers as they attempt to outwit a malevolent presence that has taken hold of their small town.  


When I finished my inaugural viewing of Wingwomen, all I could think to say was: Wow. Co-writer, director, and star Mélanie Laurent serves up a brilliant action thriller with dynamite characters, a biting sense of humor, harrowing chase sequences, and interpersonal relationships that feel unusually authentic for this type of film. I loved every minute of it and I am so pleased to see an action picture that puts dynamic female characters in the heart of the narrative. 

Wingwomen sees two mercenaries contemplating leaving their life of crime behind for a fresh start. But parting ways with their past is easier said than done. Their final outing proves to be far more dangerous than either of them could possibly have anticipated. 

If you’d like to chat more about the genre output of 2023, feel free to hit me up with your thoughts on TwitterThreads, or Instagram



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