Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Top Ten Horror Films of the 2000s

A Decade of the Dead

This list is (hopefully) likely to change, but here are my revised picks for the best horror pictures of this decade. I say revised picks, because I've already made one such list, less than a year ago as a matter fact, but it has changed significantly. Check out my old list here and see the difference!

10. Slither (2006) - From the mind of former Tromaville resident James Gunn comes a wickedly funny B-movie in the tradition of Night of the Creeps. Slither stars Henry himself, Michael Rooker, as Grant Grant, the guy that eventually becomes the host for some strange alien creature that really like to eat. If you're a fan of campy, fun-filled horror romps through icky muck and goo, if you liked Slime City or Street Trash, you'll enjoy this little homage to all things gross-out. Check it out, some great laughs, and a pretty enjoyable little story!

9. Inside (2007) - One of the most brutal films in recent memory, Inside is the story of a young pregnant woman that is mercilessly accosted by a madwoman. Yes, you read that right. This violent-ass flick features a female antagonist (and protagonist, too!). See it for the visceral experience, see it for the gore, whatever reason you've got, just see it. Especially before the requisite American remake (it's bound to happen) comes out, so you can act smarmy to all of your friends about it (I do!). (SPOILERS AHEAD) Did anyone else notice it takes a turn for the weird at the end when one of the dead cops gets up at the end and begins to assault the main character? Wtf?

8. Grindhouse (Deathproof/Planet Terror) (2007) - Yeah, we are putting both films together. Tarantino and Rodriguez came together with a very solid one-two punch with Grindhouse. Of course, the entire thing is a throwback, not just the films themselves, but the way that's it is crafted together, including the little trailers in between the pictures, the missing second reels, and all of that. Tarantino and Rodriguez put together a theater-going experience that you just can't get anymore, for themselves, but also for the fans of genre pictures like these. Now, if that's not worth getting a nod on this list, I don't know what is. And, luckily, this homage is crafted by two expert film-makers, with a penchant for sensational film-making. The movies themseleves were actually quite good. Certainly this was a daunting project for Rodriguez and Tarrantino, and a lot of work, but it pays off.

7. Haute Tension (High Tension) (2003) - The French are really starting to make a name for themselves in the horror community with stuff like Inside, but it seems like it can all be traced back to Alexander Aja and his crimson-soaked (almost) masterpiece Haute Tension. I'll be the first to admit it, I don't like the ending either. I found it pretty trite, and a bit of a cop-out. Maybe that's because I had just seen so many flicks with similar endings around the same time period, but maybe it was just overdone. Regardless of its flaws, High Tension lives up to its title, keeping you on the edge of your seat. And my goodness, does Aja ever keep the red stuff coming. And The Warfreak likey.

6. Shaun of the Dead (2004) - Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Another film that is conceptually an homage (in case you are extremely uninformed, the name is a riff on Dawn of the Dead), and is gut-bustingly funny in execution. Shaun of the Dead keeps the gore at a hard R, but still manages to be bitingly funny, and even sometimes romantic! Writer/Director Edgar Wright is definitely going to continue to be a comedic force to be reckoned with over his career, and I look forward to more forays into the horror genre from him.

5. [REC] (2007) - This little Spanish film (remade in America as Quarantine) clocks in at just over and hour, but the experience will last much longer than that. [rec] is yet another found footage film (Cloverfield, Blair Witch, Home Movie, etc.), but is more effectively scary than the rest. I mean it when I say that, this film is scary. Unfortunately, the trailers for the American remake probably ruined most of the scares (from what I understand it's basically shot-for-shot), but I still suggest you watch it.

4. American Psycho (2000) - You say what you will, but American Psycho is a straight up exploitation film in the mold of all my favorites. It's the story of Patrick Batemen, a well-manacured psychotic killer in the 1980s. It's like Wall Street meets Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Forget the ambiguity of the ending, and focus on the whacked out, twistedness of the film. It's definitely one of the most quotable movies on the list ("I have to return some video tapes"), and that's always a plus. Look, I'm not suggesting Patrcik Bateman is a role model, but you could do worse.

3. Martyrs (2008) - The final French film to make our list, Martyrs in an excercise sadism. What makes the movie so chilling is not the explicit, horrific violence shown on the screen (which there is plenty of), but the bleak worldview that film exudes. The whole thing will leave you cold and numb and asking for your mommy. Maybe that's a bit much, but if you don't feel something after you watch this one you may already be dead. Not for the weak of stomach, Martyrs delivers on every level, it's both cerebral and visceral, disgusting and beautiful.

2. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) - Don Coscarelli makes weird movies (almost exclusively Phantasms and Beastmasters), and Bubba Ho-Tep is no exception. This hilarious B-movie pits Bruce "Don't Call Me Ash" Campbell's old-ass Elvis Presley and the late Ossie Davis' JFK (yep) against an ancient mummy in a showdown at a retirement home. Yeah, that's the plot. As ridiculous as that sounds, the laughs keep rolling, especially thanks to Campbell and Davis' great turns as the deceased historical figures. Great campy fun.

1. Let the Right One In (2008) - Absolutely the single best vampire movie I've ever seen, LTROI is a wonderful little Swedish masterpiece, full of all the things horror movies never contain. The movie is rather sweet, has endearing characters, features young romance, and all of the things you never knew you wanted in a horror movie. Luckily, the craftsmanship behind this cold beauty carries everything, it's an absolutely breathtaking film, the cinematography is spectacular, and the direction is sometimes inspired, and always good.

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Anonymous said...


B-Movie Becky said...

Nice list. Definitely some of the best. It's nice to see Slither recognized, as well as Planet Terror, which is one of my personal favorites. Although, it almost seems like Inside, Martyrs, and Let the Right One In keep making it on top lists in the horror community by default, rather than merit.

The Warfreak said...

I could see how you could come to that conclusion, but I assure you that the inclusion of all of the films on my list were based on personal affinity. On viewing all three of those films mentioned, I was astonished, especially the latter two. Those three films really helped restore my faith in the modern horror community, the films are beacons of hope, as legitimate and serious genre pictures.

Carl (ILHM) said...

YES, thank you for including Bubba Hotep on there, when I saw the link I assumed it wouldnt have made it but that makes me a happy panda. LTRON deserves the #1 spot, but I have a soft spot for Devils Rejects as well.

Megan said...

If you loved LTROI, I strongly suggest reading the book. It's amazing. And the guy who wrote it also wrote the screenplay for the movie.

drslobulus said...

I see your list (and love it) and raise you this one: http://www.examiner.com/x-5064-Portland-Horror-Movies-Examiner~y2009m8d16-The-20-Greatest-Underseen-Horror-Films-of-the-2000s

Anonymous said...

Nice list. Haven't seen all of these yet.

I've also started working on a top 10 horror movies list. I decided to do it by year and include worst movies as well...



Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading/following your page.Please keep it coming. Cheers!

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