The Best Paranormal Movies Since 2000

Looking for a spooky thrill? Watch these 21st century horror movies. (Image source:

Blogger and horror movie fanatic Sandra Larson discusses her top paranormal movie picks from the 21st century in her first guest post for The Paranormal Scholar.

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Living your daily life might not bring you the excitement you’re looking for – and that’s acceptable. Your daily routine, from home to work or from home to school and back, is a normal lifestyle. But some of us are looking for something a little more thrilling and maybe even some jump scares. If you’re a horror-movie-maniac, then there are very few things that get you going like the thrill of a good scare. Some people say that Hollywood doesn’t make horror movies like it used to. Cult classics like “The Exorcist”, “Ring” (1998, of course!) or “The Evil Dead” set the bar pretty high as some of the best paranormal movies. Yet, in my not-so-humble-horror-movie-fanatic opinion, the 21st century has brought some good productions to the table so far. Let’s give them justice and talk about the best paranormal films since 2000.

1 – IT (2017)

I know that I’m starting my list with a remake of a classic, but it is worth it. The effects in the 2017 movie “IT” are up to date with the 21st century’s technology. The acting is fantastic, especially when you think about the young age of the protagonists. If you’re into jump scares, this movie is definitely for you.

2 – The Unborn (2009)

One of my all-time favorites is “The Unborn”. Bringing together science experiments done by the Nazis, occult demons and exorcisms, it checks all the boxes for me. Made in 2009, this movie has a little bit of everything from the horror genre. Garry Oldman plays the role of Rabbi Sendak, with a badass attitude. There’s an old Jewish lady trying to help the protagonist. Casey Beldon, the main character, should stay away from mirrors. In my opinion, this movie has it all.

Casey Beldon The Unborn
Casey Beldon, played by Odette Annable, is tormented by a dybbuk in “The Unborn”. (Image credit: Platinum Dunes / IMdB)

3 – Insidious (2011)

The “Insidious” franchise became really popular in the past years. A family moves into a new home and is hunted by mysterious forces. If you ask me, everything is scarier if there are children in a horror movie, maybe because kids are so innocent and no one sees evil coming from them. A big mistake sometimes! But, you know that things are getting serious when the “paranormal investigators” are called. Earning close to 100 million dollars worldwide, the first movie was a great success, paving the way for two sequels and one prequel.

4 – Lights Out (2016)

This one hit me hard. “Lights Out”, released in 2016 by New Line Cinema, is that movie that made me walk with a flashlight in my pocket at night. The movie is packed with suspense and has a really good plot. The story is well-written and the actors do it justice. Another highlight of one of the best paranormal movies in recent years is the soundtrack. The horror atmosphere relies a lot on the music. And, let’s not forget the creepy ghost from the psychiatric hospital! “Lights Out” made me lose some sleep, not gonna lie. After watching a movie like this one, you might not feel like your best self.

Billy Burke and Alicia Vela-Bailey star in this 2016 American supernatural horror film. (Image credit: New Line Cinema/ IMdB)

5 – Midsommar (2019)

The scariest thing about “Midsommar” is that the whole action is happening during the day! When you’re talking about a horror movie, you expect a dark scene, with monsters creeping around. This is not the case in “Midsommar”. In this movie, a group of students travel to Sweden where they meet the followers of a cult. From there the action gets crazy and hectic, making you scared – even with the lights on.

6 – The Babadook (2014)

“The Babadook” was a movie made to my taste. Scary children’s stories come to life, eviler than you would expect. And the ending of this movie… well, it still gives me the chills!


Watch the groundbreaking new documentary, "In Search of the Dead"

Classic paranormal films like “Dracula” or “Frankenstein” have a certain old school feel to them. This is one of the reasons why people are still crazy about them, but this doesn’t mean that recent films are in any way lowering the standards of the genre. Since 2000, productions have had larger budgets and better effects. That contributes to the quality of productions. My list brings together some of the best productions in recent years and justifies modern paranormal movies.


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About Sandra Larson 1 Article
Sandra is a blogger and academic writer with an interest in the paranormal.