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The Best Horror Movies of 2012

Updated September 21, 2019 4.7k votes 591 voters 27.7k views39 items

List RulesHorror films released between January and December, 2012

The best horror movies of 2012 managed to scare the daylights out of movie goers and keep them enthralled with tales of terror and mayhem. The 2012 horror films listed here each provided a unique and often disturbing angle on frightful stories. Some are straight up ghost stories ('The Woman in Black') and others are sequels to already successful horror franchises ('Paranormal Activity 4'). Which 2012 horror movie scared you the most, and which left you completely flat? Vote for your favorites, and feel free to add any great horror films from 2012 that are missing.

Some of the best 2012 horror movies weren't sequels at all: The horror thriller 'Sinister,' starring Ethan Hawke, drew fright fans to theaters in droves, and the Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard penned 'The Cabin in the Woods' got rave reviews from critics and movie goers alike. Is 'Cabin' the best horror film of the year? The voting will be the final determiner, but it's hard to argue that it wasn't a super clever horror movie.

Looking for more great "best of" movie lists? Check out these lists for the best action movies of 2012, the best comedy movies of 2012, the creepiest kids in horror movies and of course, some of the best old horror movies ever made.

And yes, some of the horror movies on this list might also wind up on the worst movies of 2012 list, too. It all depends: What scares some people to death might not phase someone else. Horror fans: It's up to you to decide!
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  • 1
    Sinister
    143
    42

    Sinister

    Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio

    Released2012

    Directed byScott Derrickson

    Sinister is a 2012 supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and written by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 2
    The Cabin in the Woods
    181
    69

    The Cabin in the Woods

    Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver

    Released2012

    Directed byDrew Goddard

    The Cabin in the Woods is a 2012 American horror comedy film directed by Drew Goddard in his... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 3
    Silent Hill: Revelation
    140
    50

    Silent Hill: Revelation

    Sean Bean, Carrie-Anne Moss

    Released2012

    Directed byMichael J. Bassett

    Silent Hill: Revelation is a 2012 Canadian-French 3D horror film directed and written by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4
    Resident Evil: Retribution
    142
    54

    Resident Evil: Retribution

    Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter

    Released2012

    Directed byPaul W. S. Anderson

    Resident Evil: Retribution is a 2012 American-Canadian-German science fiction action horror... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 5
    Dark Shadows
    116
    49

    Dark Shadows

    Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer

    Released2012

    Directed byTim Burton

    Dark Shadows is a 2012 American horror comedy film loosely based on the gothic television soap... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 6
    The Woman in Black
    116
    52

    The Woman in Black

    Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds

    Released2012

    Directed byJames Watkins

    The Woman in Black is a 2012 British horror film directed by James Watkins and written by Jane... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 7
    The Raven
    85
    31

    The Raven

    Alice Eve, John Cusack

    Released2012

    Directed byJames McTeigue

    The Raven is a 2012 American mystery thriller film directed by James McTeigue and based on a... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 8
    Paranormal Activity 4
    126
    67

    Paranormal Activity 4

    Sprague Grayden, Kathryn Newton

    Released2012

    Directed byAriel Schulman, Henry Joost

    Paranormal Activity 4 is a 2012 American supernatural horror film, directed by Ariel Schulman... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 9
    The Apparition
    67
    35

    The Apparition

    Ashley Greene, Tom Felton

    Released2012

    Directed byTodd Lincoln

    The Apparition is a supernatural thriller film directed and written by Todd Lincoln, and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 10
    V/H/S
    75
    48

    V/H/S

    Joe Swanberg, Adam Wingard

    Released2012

    Directed byJoe Swanberg, Adam Wingard, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez

    V/H/S is a 2012 American anthology horror film. It features a series of found-footage shorts... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 11
    The Possession
    68
    45

    The Possession

    Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

    Released2012

    Directed byOle Bornedal

    The Possession is a 2012 supernatural horror film directed by Ole Bornedal and produced by Sam... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 12
    Prometheus
    80
    66

    Prometheus

    Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender

    Released2012

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Prometheus is a 2012 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, written by Jon Spaihts and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 13
    The Collection
    45
    29

    The Collection

    Navi Rawat, Christopher McDonald

    Released2012

    Directed byMarcus Dunstan

    The Collection is a 2012 American action horror-thriller film, a sequel to the 2009 film, The... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 14
    Piranha 3DD
    67
    58

    Piranha 3DD

    Katrina Bowden, David Hasselhoff

    Released2012

    Directed byJohn Gulager

    Piranha 3DD is a 2012 American 3D comedy horror film and sequel to the 2010 film Piranha 3D.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 15
    Underworld: Awakening
    124
    131

    Underworld: Awakening

    Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman

    Released2012

    Directed byMåns Mårlind, Björn Stein

    Underworld: Awakening is a 2012 American 3D action horror film directed by Måns Mårlind and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 16
    Chernobyl Diaries
    50
    46

    Chernobyl Diaries

    Jesse McCartney, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal

    Released2012

    Directed byBradley Parker

    Chernobyl Diaries is a 2012 American disaster horror film directed by Brad Parker and produced... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 17
    The Pact
    27
    19

    The Pact

    Jewel Staite, Samuel Ball

    Released2011

    Directed byNicholas McCarthy

    The Pact is a 2011 horror drama short film written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy.Amazon buy button

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  • 18
    Silent House
    50
    47

    Silent House

    Elizabeth Olsen, Eric Sheffer Stevens

    Released2011

    Directed byChris Kentis, Laura Lau

    Silent House is a 2011 American independent horror film directed by Chris Kentis and Laura... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 19
    The Innkeepers
    47
    44

    The Innkeepers

    Lena Dunham, Sara Paxton

    Released2011

    Directed byTi West

    The Innkeepers is a 2011 horror film written, directed and edited by Ti West, starring Sara... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 20
    House at the End of the Street
    37
    38

    House at the End of the Street

    Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue

    Released2012

    Directed byMark Tonderai

    House at the End of the Street is a 2012 horror film directed by Mark Tonderai and written by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 21
    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
    43
    49

    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Alan Tudyk

    Released2012

    Directed byTimur Bekmambetov

    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a 2012 American dark fantasy action horror film directed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 22
    The Devil Inside
    34
    40

    The Devil Inside

    Lelia Goldoni, John Prosky

    Released2012

    Directed byWilliam Brent Bell

    The Devil Inside is a 2012 American supernatural horror film directed by William Brent Bell,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 23
    The Divide
    64
    83

    The Divide

    Rosanna Arquette, Milo Ventimiglia

    Released2011

    Directed byXavier Gens

    The Divide is a post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Xavier Gens and written by Karl... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 24
    The Tall Man
    33
    41

    The Tall Man

    Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland

    Released2012

    Directed byPascal Laugier

    The Tall Man is a 2012 Canadian and French mystery-thriller film written and directed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 25
    Absentia
    16
    18

    Absentia

    Doug Jones, Ian Gregory

    Released2011

    Directed byMike Flanagan

    Absentia is a 2011 horror film written and directed by Mike Flanagan and produced by FallBack... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button