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  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

The Best Horror Films of 2023

We at the Lunatics Project are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2023 Lunatics Horror Awards. The Lunatics Project embraces examining the history of horror, the context of films as a reflection of society and how films impact the lives of audiences. As such, it’s a particular honor to be able to give the power to viewers and let real people vote on films across categories. As always, tune in to the Lunatics Radio Hour Podcast as we explore the history of horror.

2023 was an incredible year in horror, science fiction and films that defy genres. You nominated, you voted and here are the best horror films of 2023, as chosen by you. 

Best Makeup or Costumes Horror fans know how important believable costumes and makeup are in order to really sell the premise of any movie. But makeup and costumes that transport us to another world can take a great film and turn it into an extraordinary one.

Brooklyn 45

Finalists: Poor Things, Black Mold, Evil Dead Rise, Infinity Pool, Last Voyage of The Demeter, Talk to Me

Best Special Effects Arguably even more important to horror than makeup, is special effects. All of the finalists had their moments, but there was one film that won by a landslide.

No One Will Save You

Finalists: HERD, Evil Dead Rise, Saw X, A Haunting In Venice

Best Slasher Film Slasher films have a very prominent place in my heart. And I am eager to watch any new slasher film that can breathe new life into the sub-genre.


Finalists: Scream 6, Totally Killer, Fear The Night, Killer Book Club

Best Twist or Ending Horror films continue to push the envelope, historically they've been an incredible reflection of society. Now more than ever, horror surprises us and inspired deep thought.

Infinity Pool

Finalists: HERD, Dark Harvest, Scream 6, Talk to Me, Black Mold, Poor Things, Five Nights at Freddy’s

Best Campy Horror Campy Horror is such an important and embedded element of the genre. Horror is about fun, self expression and a bizarre version of our world.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

Finalists: Big Shark, Slotherhouse, Meg 2: The Trench, Thanksgiving

Most Thought Provoking Horror Film The horror genre is so much more than jump scares and graphic kill scenes. More and more, horror has evolved as a genre that can shape how audiences view the world around them.


Finalists: Talk to Me, Leave The World Behind, The Passenger, Dark Harvest, When Evil Lurks, Knock at The Cabin, Brooklyn 45

Best Jump Scare As we grow more and more desensitized to terrifying things, it's truly honorable when a film still makes us jump.

Talk to Me

Finalists: 65, Talk to Me, Thanksgiving, Evil Dead Rise, When Evil Lurks, Fear The Night

Best Final Girl What is horror without the possibility of a survivor?

The Sacrifice Game

Finalists: HERD, Evil Dead Rise, Totally Killer, When Evil Lurks, Talk to Me, Fear The Night, Black Mold

Best Horror Score Everyone knows that horror films can live and die by their scores. I was surprised at the lack of nominations here. All centered around three films:

Infinity Pool

Finalists: Beau is Afraid, Talk to Me, Insidious: The Red Door, Evil Dead Rise, Godzilla Minus One, HERD

Best Horror Comedy The combination of horror and comedy, when done well, is such a genre-bending win. I live for films that are both truly laugh out loud funny, and truly terrifying without feeling silly or gimmicky.


Finalists: Beau is Afraid, El Conde, It’s A Wonderful Knife, Renfield, Totally Killer, M3GAN

Best Indie Horror Film Long live independent horror films. Stories that need to be told.


Finalists: Talk to Me, The Passenger, Black Mold, Suitable Flesh, The Sacrifice Game, Fear The Night, Brooklyn 45

Best Science Fiction Film A sister genre to our beloved horror, and certainly one with a lot of overlap. We wanted to separately honor the best science fiction films of 2022.

Godzilla Minus One

Finalists: Poor Things, Infinity Pool, Spider Man: Across The Spider-Verse, No One Will Save You, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Best Thriller The bones of so many adjacent genres, thriller and mystery films dig at the very core of human nature.

A Haunting in Venice

Finalists: Anatomy of a Fall, Knock at The Cabin, The Passenger, The Killer, The Sacrifice Game, Fear The Night

Overall Best Horror Film The moment is here! Our highest honor. The Luny for Best Horror Film of 2023 goes to….

Talk to Me

Finalists: Dream Scenario, Evil Dead Rise, HERD

Best Horror TV Show To round us out we wanted to honor the best horror TV series. Especially because so much of our watching behavior (as a society) centers around streaming.

The Last of Us

Finalists: Fall of The House of Usher, Los Espookys

Check out the 2022 winners here.

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