You could argue that we didn’t necessarily need horror movies this year — there was an abundance of real-life terror to contend with, from a pandemic with no immediate end in sight to the waking nightmare that was our presidential election. What’s scarier than a day in the life of Trump’s America circa 2020? What so many of needed, really, was something cathartic, and gave us a space to project our fears rather than, say, endlessly doomscrolling through Twitter feeds or Covid statistics. None of the exemplary scary movies on this list were directly about what was happening outside our stuck-in-lockdown doors. But more importantly, none of them ignored the real world, either, and even the most escapist film in this lineup somehow managed to add its voice to much bigger conversation about gender and genre. Here are our picks for the best horror flicks of the year — from ghost stories to gross-out slasher flicks, indigenous zombies to invisible men.