The 10 Most Gory Horror Movies Of The 21st Century

Unfortunately, there’s a slew of movies that have been produced with the sole purpose of pushing its representations of gore to its utmost extreme, casting aside plot and narrative to create an experience as unpleasant as possible. Fortunately, those are not the films this list is looking at.

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Instead, these horror movies use boundless amounts of gore to further their themes or exaggerate the fear-inducing component of their plots. When a field such as gore has been around as long as it has, filmmakers have to push to do it refreshingly. The reality is, blood is stylish, and these films knew how to make it shine.


Green Room (2016) – Stream On Fubo

What makes Green Rooms gore so unique, is its reservedness. Gore is used sparingly and authentically, maintaining this slasher in a field of its own where gore is a genuine marker of pain for a character, as opposed to a mere inconvenience. In Green Room, where a band is entrapped by a group of Neo-Nazis, people just aren’t easy to kill.

That doesn’t mean that the film is at all PG, however. Green Room does indeed implement its moments of gore at frequent instances, cleaning off characters with surprising ruthlessness. The change in behavior of the characters, their immaturity, and discovered resolve is what makes the horror of this film palpable, causing the gore to feel truly immersive.

Bone Tomahawk (2015) – Stream On Hoopla

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

This film has largely been included as one of the goriest of an entire century solely because of one scene. This now notorious scene of such extremity took place in Bone Tomahawk, a modern western that followed a small posse’s pursuit of a cannibalistic clan of Native Americans.

The portrayal of violence in the film is immediately noticeable as exceptionally explicit for a western, unique even in its depiction of gunshot and arrow wounds. But it is of course the scalping and bisecting of a still-alive man which takes the cookie for being one of the most affecting gore sequences in a movie of this century.

Hobo With A Shotgun (2011) – Stream On HBO Max

An unapologetic exploitation film, Hobo with a Shotgun began as a fake trailer featuring in the grindhouse series of films from Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Fortunately for audiences, director Jason Eisener secured funding to produce a feature-length version of the concept.

Framing Rutger Hauer as a vigilante ‘hobo’, he is at war with the vicious crime bosses of his exaggerated, tormented city. The film is bright and outrageous, with both the saturation and violence turned up to max. Deaths are conducted in oddly creative ways, with ice skates, harpoon guns, and drainage holes used as tools. The film is an intentional, unapologetic, indulgence of all things gore, and it’s surprisingly entertaining too.

The Descent (2005) – Stream On Peacock

Sarah escapes the cave in The Descent

Critically regarded, The Descent was a unique subversion of the typical tropes of a ‘slasher’ horror. Largely altering audiences’ expectations to do with victims, rather than villains, The Descent dragged the complex dynamics of a female friendship into the fervor of bloodshed.

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With the backdrop of an old mine crawling with mutants, the brutalities observed in this film were shocking, using its gore as a way to further amp up the tension induced by the increasing problems the characters faced. Piles of dead bodies, boundless murder, and lakes of blood, whichever version of The Descent is playing, it’s a guaranteed gore-fest.

Saw VI (2009) – Stream On Starz

William Easton, the protagonist of Saw VI.

Since a Saw film had to be featured on the list, it had to come down to which film had the most creative use of gore, since every entry in the series has so much of it. Saw VI, fortunately, excelled in this department thanks to its opening sequence, in which two prisoners are forced to fill a scale with as much of their flesh as possible, the loser having bolts drilled into their cranium.

It’s an eye-catching kick-off to a film, even by Saw’s standards, and though the subsequent traps of this film never returned to the violence of its initial shock, they still matched up with the usual standards of Saw’s indecencies. The film is also one of the better entries into the series for its plot, which held some genuinely surprising twists.

House Of 1000 Corpses (2003) – Stream On AMC+

House of 1000 Corpses 2003 Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding

House of 1000 Corpses is in many ways, a black comedy, which the ridiculous title subtly alludes to. The comedy comes from its caricatures, ridiculous villains making up an iconic ensemble cast that bled into the ‘Firefly trilogy’ that fans recognize today.

With echoes of both The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes, this slasher brought to life the ultimate ‘house of horrors’, filled with mutants, botched experiments, mutilated bodies, and ultimate gross-out horror. The film revels in its absurdism but still serves as a loving tribute to the 70s horrors it is based upon.

Hostel (2006) – Stream On Netflix

Paxton Bound And Gagged

For a large part, Hostel put the now-legendary horror director and producer Eli Roth on the map. Initially recognized as another one of the directors to contribute towards the ‘Grindhouse’ films, his second feature, Hostel, was instrumental in the creation of an entire ‘torture-porn’ genre.

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The first Hostel has the most stripped-back plot, yet also the most involving. Following a group of backpackers abducted to have wealthy buyers torture and murder them, the film had gore as the very impetus of its plot. But it was the level to which the camera lingered upon gore in this film that was enough to make even horror veterans’ stomachs churn.

The Green Inferno (2014) – Stream On Netflix

Cannibal Holocaust became one of the most infamous flicks of all time, causing vast controversy as well as kickstarting the found-footage sub-genre of horror films. Aiming to recreate this success was Eli Roth’s 2014 movie The Green Inferno, which followed a similar story of curious westerners discovering a cannibalistic tribe.

The film naturally did not manage to recreate the originality of the film it drew inspiration from, however, it did succeed in recreating the gore. With a mixture of modern-day special effects and practical, The Green Inferno brought cannibalism to life in a way certainly impossible back in 1980.

I Saw The Devil (2010) Stream On Prime Video

I Saw the Devil 2010

There are a hundred different parables about how the pursuit of revenge can drive one to madness, or how revenge can be unsatisfactory, but none of these hammer home the message quite as prophetically as this South Korean film.

The crime prompting revenge in this film is a horrific dismemberment of a pregnant woman, carried out by a brutal serial killer. But that’s not the gory part of this film, nor arguably the cruelest part. Such is the inordinate amount of torture inflicted upon the murderer and the characters around him by intelligence agent Kim Soo-hyun.

Evil Dead (2013) – Stream On Starz

Mia (Jane Levy) in Evil Dead (2013).

Evil Dead as a franchise has been deposed to gore since its inception in 1983, The Evil Dead, and presently it is seen as a principal feature of the films (and TV shows) that reside in the Evil Dead universe. The first film pushed the boundaries of violence on screen, and filmmaker Fede Alvarez aimed to recreate that once again in 2013 with his remake Evil Dead.

Gore in an Evil Dead film is often brought to such an extremity that the horror begins to border on humor. However, what the 2013 version does differently is gradually developing its gore in increasing strides, maintaining it within the realms of reason. That is until the sky itself quite literally begins raining blood, which believe it or not, is a toned-down version of Alvarez’s original Evil Dead ending.

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