From sick serial-killer thrillers to tales of supernatural dread, 'The Love Witch' to 'The Witch' – our picks for the top 10 horror movies of 2016.

In terms of sheer, unmitigated terror, it was hard to beat the shriek-inducing fright that folks woke up to on November 9th, as they realized that the nightmare they now faced wasn't make-believe. But that doesn't mean that horror films didn't give the bloodcurdling reality we now face some more-than-decent competition. From surprising mainstream releases to a solid "mumblegore" anthology, serial-killer character studies to shark v. starlet showdowns, Gothic ghost stories to uncut Puritan dread, the cinema du scare had a great showing in 2016. We've stitched together our top 10 choices for the best the genre had to offer over the last 12 months – movies that still manage to send shivers down our spines and cause our stomachs to turn.

(Note: Green Room borrows horror-film elements but isn't a horror film per se, so much as the greatest siege thriller to ever feature skinheads, shotguns and box-cutters. That's the only reason it's not on this list.)