15 most popular horror movies of 2023 ranked worst to best

A long list of highly-anticipated horror movies were released in 2023, but unfortunately, not all of them were great.

Ghostface in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream VI."
Ghostface in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream VI." /
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2023 has been another fantastic year for movies, and fortunately for us horror lovers, we got a long list of exciting releases in the genre, too. From major franchises like Saw and Scream returning, along with original titles like Infinity Pool and Talk to Me, I think I've seen more horror movies in theaters this year than I have in a very, very long time.

And of course, we got some good straight-to-streaming flicks to enjoy from the comfort of our own home as well. It's a great time to be a horror fan! And while we don't know exactly what 2024 will bring, especially with the now-concluded writers' and actors' strikes pushing back production and release dates for many projects, at least we have 2023 to look back on with fondness.

That being said, not every big horror movie this year was a winner. At least not to me. So let's break down the 15 most popular titles in the genre in 2023 and rank them from worst to best. I thoroughly enjoyed most of these, but not all!

15. The Exorcist: Believer

The Exorcist Believer key art
The Exorcist: Believer - Courtesy Universal Pictures /

You had to know this would be last on the list, right? The Exorcist: Believer was certainly popular this year... but for all the wrong reasons. Fans of the beloved franchise were very nervous for David Gordon Green to take over as director after doing a less-than-stellar job with his Halloween series, and they were right to be. This is an absolute mess.

I actually held off on watching this movie until this past weekend when I realized I wanted to write this ranking, simply because I heard so many bad things about it and didn't want to subject myself to it. Now, after watching, I will say I hardly think it's the worst move ever made. But it is the worst movie I watched all year. Yikes.

The Exorcist: Believer serves as a direct sequel to the original film from 1973, following a single parent whose daughter and her friend go missing and come back possessed. The movie brings back Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair, but while it's a joy to see them, it doesn't make up for the poor storytelling.

The movie has weak dialogue, pacing issues, and unnecessary scenes that don't serve any purpose. Some of it is unintentionally laughable and other parts are terribly boring. Unfortunately, there are supposed to be two more of these on the way! Here's hoping The Exorcist: Deceiver, which is scheduled for an April 2025 release, is an improvement on this one.

WHERE TO WATCH: Stream on Peacock