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25 scariest '00s horror movies

The Others (2001)

The Film: A good old-fashioned ghost story with one heck of a head-spinning twist. In the wake of World War II, Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) and her children who are unable to go outside because of their sensitivity to sunlight live in a countryside manor house. But when they start hearing strange noises around the manor, they begin to suspect it's haunted.

Hide Behind A Cushion When: Any time Grace wanders into a room and discovers something creepy including the moment she comes across an old lady speaks with her daughter's voice.

The Orphanage (2007)

The Film: A disarmingly subdued horror entry from the genre overlord that is Guillermo del Toro (who produces), The Orphanage follows Laura (Beln Rueda), who moves back to the orphanage that was her childhood home intent on transforming it into a house for disabled children. But then her son Simon starts seeing a little ghost boy...

Hide Behind A Cushion When: The first time the little sack-headed boy turns up.

The House Of The Devil (2009)

The Film: Ti West's chiller may have been made in 2009, but its aesthetic is pure 1980s, from its retro title card to its characters' timeless style. The scares are contemporary cool, though, as a woman (Jocelin Donahue) is hired to babysit the elderly mother of a creepy couple. But is she really alone in the house? West's film is grim, old-school and haunting.

Hide Behind A Cushion When: We get a peek behind the locked door, which lets us know that things are probably going to take a turn for the worse for our heroine.

Lake Mungo (2009)

The Film: A fantastic example of just how scary a low-budget mockumentary can be. Investigating the death of 16-year-old girl Alice (Talia Zucker), the film tries to find out just how Alice ended up drowned in Lake Mungo.

Hide Behind A Cushion When: We discover what Alice saw via footage from her mobile phone a horrifically bloated doppelgnger emerging from the lake.

Them (2006)

The Film: Devoid of jump scares and cheap gags this hoody horror may be, but that's exactly why David Moreau and Xavier Palud's film works so well it's more interested in getting under your skin than delivering a transient thrill. The premise is pure Funny Games as a couple's country home is invaded by ne'er-do-wells. You can guess the rest.

Hide Behind A Cushion When: The action moves to the sewers...

Wrong Turn (2003)

The Film: Schlockier and, alright, less intelligent than most of its neighbours on this list, that doesn't stop Wrong Turn from being an enjoyably nail-biting ode to the early films of Wes Craven. With its wood-set plot in which Jessie (Eliza Dushku) and friends are hunted by loony cannibals and grisly gore, it's part slasher, part action movie, all fun.

Hide Behind A Cushion When: Jessie and pals discover a cabin in the woods (oh dear), and when the cannibals return home, are forced to watch their friend being hacked up.