Friday, December 31, 2010

Best Horror Movies of the Decade

To be honest, this wasn't a great decade for horror.  We saw lots of trends - J-Horror, Zombie mania, Torture Porn, 3D, and endless, mindless remakes, but not many memorable installments into the horror movie hall of fame.

Here are the lone standouts:



Let the Right One In - the vampire tale finally told from a personal perspective.  Quiet, reflective and chilling to the bone.


The Ring - the best of J-Horror transferred to the states. A compelling ghost riddle with a great ending.


 The Devil's Backbone - Del Torro's haunting ghost story.


The Orphanage - another foreign language pitch-perfect ghost story.


The Host - the best monster movie in a long time.  Great characters - a fun ride.  What Cloverfield and Monsters wanted to be.


The Mist - best Stephen King adaptation since Shawshank.  Builds up gradual tension and then crashes you with a brutal Lovecraftian ending.



Drag Me to Hell - Raimi returns to his manic Evil Dead roots, but with a more toned-down approach.  Fun, funny, scary and always entertaining.



28 Days Later - Danny Boyle's brilliant zombie reboot for the 21st century.



Saw - yes, it launched a torrent of horrible torture porn, but as a standalone low-budget horror movie Saw remains as a great example of what you can do with minimal sets, a couple actors and one nasty idea.



Paranormal Activity - lots of haters with this one, but I loved the setup and bought most of it - except for the flaming Ouija board - ok, that was kinda silly.



Let's see, a top ten list where 5 out of the 10 are foreign made (remember, 28 Days Later is British), another one (The Ring) is a remake of a Japanese film and two of the American-made movies were indie films, far from the mainstream studio system.  Really, a pitiful showing from Hollywood, where dollar signs led them to blindly rehash old favorites in a desperate attempt to generate revenue - instead of developing great new horror talents.

It's obvious the foreign and indie markets will continue to drive this genre.

The best of the rest:

The Mothman Prophecies
REC
Hostel
Trick 'r Treat
1408
The Last Exorcism

4 comments:

  1. I've seen almost all of these and I have to say the scariest film I've seen this decade was 28 Weeks Later. The subtle nihilism in that film is haunting on an existential level. 28 Days later I found really boring and more cerebral than visceral. There's something about Danny Boyle's filmmaking that I find just lifeless.

    Let the Right One In is possibly best film in general from what I've seen here. The scary monster in that film is actually the unknown facts of life, hiding right around the corner.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great list. Some similarities to the Chiller Channel's recent choice of the 13 top films of the last decade. Thanks for including The Mist, an often neglected but significant horror film.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like this list. I think 28 Days Later is a far better film than 28 Weeks. Where 28 Days focused on character and building tension, 28 Weeks strived to kill more and more zombies with more blood and hammer you with political messages. That scene where everyone is crammed into the basement is genius though...And The Host I would have to agree is the best monster movie I have seen in a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good list, man. I'd add Lucky McKee's "May" as well.

    ReplyDelete