Home > Special Post: Top 10 Horror Movies of 2011 > Special Post: Top 10 Horror Movies of 2011

Special Post: Top 10 Horror Movies of 2011

Every year we are given great horror films to enjoy.  Some come to us in theaters and others we have to search for, but nonetheless the films on this list prove the genre is very much alive in this modern day.  The movies listed will be ranked according to their level of horror first, then everything else (direction, writing, etc.)  will be considered.  Now I give you the top 10 horror movies of 2011 and 5 honorable mentions.

10. The Shrine

– Jon Knautz broke onto the scene with one of the best flicks of 2008, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, and he scared the hell out of us with The Shrine. Heavy in atmosphere and slow-burning spooks, this experience builds and builds until it erupts in demon-fueled fashion. Read my full review for this film here: The Shrine

9. The Woman

– Lucky McKee (May) adapts horror novelist Jack Ketchum’s story about a family bringing in a literal “wild” woman in a foolish attempt to civilize her…and with disastrous results. The Woman is one of the most brutal and emotionally draining films of the year.  Read my full review for this film here: The Woman

8. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Tucker and Dale give us an awesome horror comedy that comes with tons of laughs, great gore, and enough creativity to make this simple film an very original one.  Read my full review for this film here: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

7.  The Innkeepers

– After busting into the horror scene with The House of the Devil two years prior, Ti West gave us my favorite film of his, The Innkeepers. A slow-burning gem heavy in atmosphere and ghostly terror, West excels on every level – from his cinematography to the amazing comic relief, this atmospheric ghost story is a shoe in for this year’s top 10.  Read my full review for this film here:  The Innkeepers

6. Grave Encounters

– Boy is this a film that took the genre by storm. Delivered by the then-unknown Vicious Brothers, they took on the popular found-footage sub-genre and gave us one of the best horror experiences of the year. With plenty of scares, thrills, and chills, Grave Encounters is a low-budget film that exceeded expectations.  Read my full review for this film here:  Grave Encounters

5. Trollhunter

– One of the best “found-footage” films of all time, Trollhunter is fantastic horror film that gives us a great story involving an element seldom used in the genre these days: trolls. Along with the captivating story comes great filming from writer/director Andre Ovredal that gives us a very frontal view of troll horror unlike any I have seen in the genre.  Read my full review for this film here: Trollhunter

4. Attack the Block

– One of the best horror films I have seen this decade, Attack the Block is a highly enjoyable, adventurous film in the vein of Shaun of the Dead.  Pitting and urban misfit gang vs. an ape-like aliens with glowing jaws, Joe Cornish gives us the “coolest” film of the year and one I can watch again and again.  Read my full review for this film here: Attack the Block

3. Stake Land

Stake Land is not just one of the best films of the year but one of my favorite horror films of this millennium. I am not the biggest fan of vampire films, but this one is unlike the others and gives us an apocalyptic tale where vampires have decimated the world and a group of survivors must face unparalleled odds in hopes of surviving their new world. Heavy in both horror and drama, Stake Land is a joy that deserves more appreciation.  Read my full review for this film here: Stake Land

2. Insidious

– One of the best horror films of all time, James Wan and Leigh Whannel’s Insidious gave us old school horror in a modern day package and on the big screen. Shot on a very low budget and relying on low-budget tricks and gimmicks to seal the deal, we are given a superbly well-executed experience heavy in atmospheric horror. I fully believe that it was Insidious that opened the door for Wan’s The Conjuring, which is also one of the best films to hit the horror scene.  Read my full review for this film here:  Insidious

1. I Saw the Devil

– The horror takes a backseat to the extreme revenge element and I did not mind one bit as we watch the hero become the villain and the villain become the prey. I could talk about this film for days, but simply put – I Saw the Devil gives us almost 2.5 hours of the most brutal, downright horrific film experience of 2011.  Read my full review for this film here: I Saw the Devil

Best Short Film

An Evening with My Comatose Mother

– This film marks the first time that a short film makes one of my top 10 lists, and rightfully so. At only 30 minutes in length An Evening with My Comatose Mother not only delivers a solid horror experience but also delivers more horror than most full-length horror flicks these days. With a killer doll/clown and a demon possessed granny, this Evil Dead-esque piece is one that I just had to include.  Read my full review for this film here: An Evening with My Comatose Mother

Honorable Mentions

(Close But Not Close Enough)

Super 8

– While not as horror as I had wanted, Super 8 offers a solid creature film that despite a Goonies-esque feel still delivers good horror carnage.  Read my full review for this film here: Super 8

Final Destination 5

– 3 was mediocre and 4 was downright bad, but Final Destination 5 brought the series back to positive light.  Read my full review for this film here: Final Destination 5

Red State

– Kevin Smith’s “horror” film about a group of religious fanatics killing frolickers and then battling the John Goodman-led ATF makes this list even though it loses its horror focus.  Read my full review for this film here:  Red State

The Tunnel 

– What’s not to love about an amateur film crew searching a tunnel for a mysterious killer and finding what they are looking for?  Read my full review for this film here: The Tunnel

Battle: Los Angeles

Battle: Los Angeles may be the least devout horror film on this top 10, but it is most definitely worthy of its inclusion. Half alien invasion flick and half military thriller, this experience gives us lots of non-stop action that pits the US Marine Corps against an alien race of superior technology and firepower, but lacking the resolve of their enemy. Fast paced and early to deliver the goods, Battle: Los Angeles is a surprisingly good 2011 horror flick.  Read my full review for this film here: Battle Los Angeles

Check Out My Other Top 10 Horror Lists

Top 10 Horror Movies of 1980

Top 10 Horror Movies of 1981

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2005

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2006

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2007

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2008

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2009

– Top 10 Horror Movies of 2010

Thank you for reading.

  1. November 10, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I was right with your top 10 list until you got to the top three. Wasn’t a big fan of any of those. I could practically turn your top 10 list upside down, but that’s part of the fun of course. If people aren’t able to argue as to what order your top 10 list should go in, then you haven’t got a good enough selection. But yeah, “Troll Hunter”, “The Innkeepers”, “Tucker and Dale” and “The Woman” .. these are absolutely fantastic choices.

    Will have to see “The Shine” (and “Jack Brooks: Monster Hunter” for that matter).

    A little surprised to see you recommending “Battle: Los Angeles”, though the bad publicity meant I never saw it myself. Will have to check out your review.

    • November 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      You are very right about people debating top 10 lists. That is one of my favorite things about them – they bring on more discussion than just a typical review of a movie. We are all going to have different top 10s but another thing I like is they give people ideas on what movies to watch, especially when they want to weed out the countless terrible horror films out there. I really suggest The Shrine and Jack Brooks, both films from Jon Knautz who is definitely a solid horror director. Battle: Los Angeles will be debatable to a lot of people. I feel that if you like war movies and enjoy alien invasion films then you may enjoy the mashup it provides.

      Thanks a lot for reading and for your future input.

  2. November 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Great list, John! I’m glad to see Tucker and Dale, as I greatly enjoyed the film. But I believe almost everything Alan Tudek does (Firefly, Dodgeball) is golden. One of my favorite spooky quotes comes from the film: “Oh hidy ho officer, we’ve had a doozy of a day. There we were minding our own business, just doing chores around the house, when kids started killing themselves all over my property.” -Tucker.

    • November 13, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Hahaha. Alan Tudek is great. He’s pretty diverse too. When I first compiled my list I had totally forgotten about Tucker and Dale technically debuting in 2011 so I had to do a last minute edit to include the movie.

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