Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Top 15 Horror Movies of the Decade

To cut this short, here is my Top 15 Horror Movies of the Decade. Not really happy with this list but it’s as close to what I can find.

1. The Mist – This is my all time favorite movie of the decade because it was one of the best adapted Stephen King books since Shawshank Redemption or It. Darabont creates an extremely tenses atmosphere and keeps you on the edge of you seat as to what will happen next. The amazing performances by the cast fuels the story and it makes you feel for the characters when something happens. Marcia Gay Harden did a fantastic job of portraying the crazy Mrs. Carmody and the scenes when the Army guy gets hauled off and thrown outside had to have been one of the most powerful scenes in the whole movie and perhaps the entire decade. There is lots of gore, lost of creature effects and the ending of this movie will make you stunned long after the movie is over.

2. Trick ‘r Treat – I am obsessed with this movie. I didn’t really take that much into the praise but when I saw the trailer it blew my mind away and when I finally saw it all I could do was walk out of the theater stunned! The movie owes a lot to Creepshow and Halloween and it owes even more to the traditions of Halloween. It has great scares, great stories and everything ties in beautifully. There is new age horror and old school horror. The atmosphere was very cartoony but also very dark, which is something that a lot of horror movies this decade lacked… a tone and atmosphere to go with the scares. It was an overall great achievement in originality and pure horror fun.

3. The Descent – I have never felt so claustrophobic in my life as I was watching The Descent. This was a great and truly horrifying horror movie that takes place in a cave, the one place that you cannot escape mutants. Now this movie has the definition of tenseness, anticipation and true horror and almost at every turn you are just waiting for something to happen and waiting for something to jump out. This movie fucks with your head and the doesn’t offer any kind of sympathy for it’s audience. Technically, it was beautifully shot for being inside a cave most of the time, the lighting was very critical to the movie and the makeup was astonishing. It just goes to show you that there are still good stories out there.

4. Cloverfield – This makes my list because it was the first movie that I followed the viral marketing from the preview on Transformers, to the fake Alpha site, to Slusho, to Taragato, to the oilrig incident all the way up to the actual movie. It was a fun ride and never in my life have I been so excited and thrilled over a movie then when I saw Cloverfield. This movie does something that avoids all the cliché monster gimmicks and tells the story from the civilian point of view. This avoids being like Godzilla and passes all those cliché plot devices. It was all done on handheld camera and it was America’s response to 9/11 much like how Godzilla was Japan’s response to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

5. Drag Me To Hell – A triumphant return of classic, funny, balls out horror for Sam and Ted Raimi. This movie combined witty humor to gross and over the top humor with classic horror and jump-out scares. It was fun, original and it kept me enthralled in its story. You can easily tell that this somewhat like the Evil Dead series considering all the references it makes towards the films.

6. Dawn of the Dead – Out of all the remakes that came out this decade I think this one has to be one of the best because it’s made with the greatest respects to Romero’s original movie. It stays within the mall, it keeps the consumerism theme and it really plays on character development. It’s beautifully shot; the gore is great the zombies are wild. This is the only time that I would be able to except fast-pace zombies! I think we can learn a lot on how to make better remakes by studying this film and it’s well worth a watch for any zombie lover.

7. Land of the Dead – Romero has finally come back to what he knows best and that is making a great zombie movie and I think Land of the Dead is the next evolutionary step in that direction. This movie goes back to the basics of zombies for the first half and then slaps us with something we never expected… zombies that can actually think and have some kind of brain activity. If you know Romero’s stance on zombies and his ‘gospel’ then you’ll know this is something that he had planed. It has some great zombie effects and it has some funny and original zombie quarks. A great movie to go with Night, Day and Dawn.

8. Saw – Never since, possibly Ghostface, have we had a truly iconic and memorable horror villain till we got Jigsaw. His tactics, his brilliance and that infamous line “I want to play a game.” I think that Jigsaw has gone down in horror history and ranking up there with Jason, Freddy, Michael or Bates. Even more so, the score of Saw has become a staple in horror culture and has been used countless times. As for the movie, it’s original; it’s scary and brings something new to the horror genre. Like other horror icons, they made pointless sequels to it but that just shows you the magnitude this movie had.

9. Slither – James Gunn has shown us that he can take a ton of money and turn it into a studio made film that still retains it’s Troma-like qualities. This movie was fun to watch and I had a blast from start to finish. It had great humor, some witty dialogue and some outstanding creature effects and body distortions. I loved the gore and I loved how the movie progressed.

10. Paranormal Activity – This movie was made in respects to Blair Witch and it owes a lot to the ‘found footage’ genre. Even though it is receiving a slew of bad reviews now, it’s still a great original horror movie. It kept me on attentive and the sound design was great! It had some pretty scary moment and it really showed how the Internet has helped indie filmmakers.

11. The Hills Have Eyes – This is also another example of a remake done right. Aja takes the messy, grittiness of the original movie and adds in emotion, character studies and tense secluded atmosphere to make a truly horrifying film. The performances were top notch and I think what makes this movie stand out is the brutality of it and how it pays a lot to the survivor films of the 70s. This was a truly memorable film.

12. 28 Days Later – A wonderful take on the infection horror subgenre. It was fast paced, brilliantly edited and it really showed the scenery and devastation that the infection had on the city of London. It’s also a great study in personality and character. It also sparked a lot of controversy on whether or not the infected people were considered zombies or just infected people.

13. The Ring – Of all the Americanized versions of Japanese horror movies out there this one is the best because Verbinski keeps that surreal, gloomy, cold tone and the atmosphere t hat the original one had. There were some great moments and some great scares. The Ring was very disturbing and I think the score just accents the whole story. It is a must of any fan of the original.

14. Kairo – Out of all the good Japanese horror movies out there, and there are a lot to choose from, it was so hard narrowing it down to just one because all of them are so good!! I choose Kairo (Pulse) because it had to have been one of the saddest, compelling, atmospheric horror movie I had seen. There is so much subtext and meaning behind it that I was blown away. I loved this movie and the only thing that comes close to it would be The Eye.

15. Jeepers Creepers – I have this one on here because it’s probably one of the B-list horror superstars and although I am not a fan of Slava’s work, I think he did a great job with this movie. I loved The Creeper and I loved how this movie is almost like a horror western and just the general idea. It’s a great, gory movie that has so many “what the fuck” moments and I think it’s one of the best original horror movies of this decade. I loved the character of The Creeper and there is so much yet to be told, but it was also one of the first horror movies that I saw in a theater.


the jaded viewer said...

Solid list 1-15 except for Cloverfield (yes I am a Cloverhater).

The Mist had one of the best WTF moments in the last 10 years.

The Descent seems to be showing up #1 on many Top 10 decade lists.

sleestakk said...

This is a solid list... altho I'm sure I would include Let The Right One In and Martyrs on my list. ;-)

wetOREO said...

Good list, Bra!

Alex said...

The film on your list that I was most surprised by was Slither. It was an enjoyable movie that even impressed this old jaded gorehound.

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