This time of year awakens our desire to scare ourselves, and horror movies are the perfect method. Horror has grown into a massive industry, and emerging streaming services have changed the game, giving smaller production houses and actors the chance to create original films that stand to reach a huge audience. As we approach another nontraditional Halloween where many of us stand to be stuck at home, here are a few of the top horror films in 2021 to scratch the itch.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw

Source: Roger Ebert

The Saw franchise is perhaps one of the most famous horror series of all time, right up there with Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th. Spiral stars Chris Rock as Zeke, a detective who is tasked with investigating a serial killer, a Jigsaw copycat. When the people around Zeke are targeted, it becomes clear that these killings are personal. Spiral, the ninth installment of the series, features many twists and some of the best traps we’ve seen yet.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

Source: Polygon

For anyone who has ever participated in an escape room, it’s not hard to imagine how this uneasy scenario can be turned into a horrifying one. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is the sequel to the original Escape Room (2019). It centers on the survivors of previous escape rooms being thrust into a new game against their will. Think you know where this one is going? Wait for the twist —the last fifteen minutes are wild.

Candyman (2021)

Source: Flicks

Candyman, set in present-day, follows artist Anthony McCoy as he begins to explore the urban legend ‘the Candyman.’ As he uncovers more of the dark history behind the legend, Anthony’s own sanity begins to unravel. Nia DaCosta’s take on the classic received excellent reviews, earning an 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 72% audience score. Fans may feel that the 2021 Candyman isn’t as viscerally terrifying as they remember the original, but DaCosta’s version expands on the original story in a way that turns the original’s racial undertones into overtones.

Halloween Kills

Source: Detroit News

Possibly the most eagerly awaited horror movie of the year, Halloween Kills is the next installment of the Halloween series. Jamie Lee Curtis is back, reprising her role as Laurie, who rouses up an angry mob to put an end to Michael Meyers once and for all after he escapes from her trap. Halloween Kills pays homage to previous films in the series with multiple references to established plot lines from earlier movies, but it’s still easy to follow if you haven’t seen them. But when it comes to the Halloween franchise, we know what ‘once and for all’ means — David Gordon Green has already confirmed there will be one more film (supposedly the last) after this one. Halloween Kills was released on October 15th, 2021, and topped the box office on its opening weekend with a whopping $50.4 million debut.

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