Horror 2008, a Retrospective: Part 4, October to December

Posted by Peter Hall - December 30th 2008 @ 9:11 pm

Not much to say other than enjoy Part Four of Horror’s Not Dead’s 2008 Retrospective.  Wasn’t a bad year, but now that all the major titles are in it, it wasn’t, as I like to say, good sex.

Part 1: January to March.
Part 2: April to June.
Part 3: July to September.
Part 4: October to December.
Part 5: Events.
Part 6: Awards. (coming)


April:

DANCE OF THE DEAD

Who Made it: Dir. Gregg Bishop, Scr. Joe Ballarini, Starring: Jared Kusnitz, Greyson Chadwick, Chandler Darby, Carissa Capobianco, Randy McDowell

Links: HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

Hopefully as Gregg Bishop’s big break whether he continues with the genre or not.  We’ve all seen more than our share of horror-comedy hybrids, but few strike the delicate balance DANCE OF THE DEAD does.  While the budget may show in the casting department, it never limits Bishop’s winning ambitious style.  It’s not silly, but it’s not super serious.  It’s just right all around.


“DEAD SET”

Who Made it: Created by Charlie Brooker, Starring: Andy Nyman, Jaime Winstone,

Links: HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

I gather the impression “DEAD SET” was a success in the UK in so much as it wasn’t a failure, likely condemning it to no loud trumpeting whenever it crosses the pond, leaving behind its cultural relevance.  Very few horror sites buzzed about it, but for my gambling money this is the one project most over looked by the AICN/TWITCH/BD/AITH/CHUD consortium.

Oh well, all that means is “DEAD SET” will remain a gory, brutal oddity that could never and will never exist outside of British Television.  It tales the birth of a zombie apocalypse as it orbits the cast and crew of Brit hit show “BIG BROTHER”.  The usage of the set and stars gives the whole production an otherwise unachievable sense of tangibility.  Plus the whole thing is brain craving coolness.

As far as zombies go, “DEAD SET” is 2008’s best.


DEAD SPACE

Who Made it: Electronic Arts

Links: HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers,

How it will be remembered:

As the reboot of a gaming niche grown lethargic.  DEAD SPACE, released on PC, 360 and Ps3, was a swift kick of innovation to the action/survival horror arena.  More important than how clever and fun the game is, is the fact that Electronic Arts, factory of sequels, went out on a limb and created DEAD SPACE as an all new property.

In addition to the game, Anchor Bay released an animated DEAD SPACE movie in addition to a comic series.  That’s a lot of content for a hopeful tent pole.


EDEN LAKE

Who Made it: Dir. James Watkins, Scr. James Watkins, Starring: Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender, Tara Ellis

Links: No HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

Due to its very limited release I haven’t seen EDEN LAKE despite it being recommened on multiple fronts.  All the same, I’ve heard good things, which I cannot say for the unrelated WICKED LAKE.  Also not to be confused with EDEN LOG.


MY NAME IS BRUCE

Who Made it: Dir. Bruce Campbell, Scr. Mark Verheiden, Starring: Bruce Campbell, Grace Thorsen, Taylor Sharpe

Links: No HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

Overdue and underwhelming.  Then again, does Bruce Campbell dissapoint even when he is dissapointing?  The Chin is kind of like a wizard, arriving how and when he intends to, not how other people expect him to.  He has slid into this crack where he is shielded from greatness, but immune from failure.


QUARANTINE

Who Made it: Dir. John Erick Dowdle, Scr. John Erick Dowdle & Drew Dowdle, Starring: Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, Johnathon Schaech

Links: HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

With wrath by anyone who has seen [REC].  History will remember QUARANTINE as one of the most unnecessary remakes ever.  Not because [REC] didn’t need a remake (though, for the record, it didn’t), but because the American stab at Spain’s huge hit is a pathetic, creatively bankrupt, decision free frivolity.  The thing is a shot-for-shot remake.

I refuse to say that it is a bad movie as I can admit there is no way in which I can be objective regarding it, but it is a fruitless one.  There is no reason to recommend it over [REC].


SAW V

Who Made it: Dir. David Hackl, Scr. Patrick MeltonMarcus Dunstan, Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Julie Benz, Meagan Good

Links: HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

As a number in a growing series of number.  Fans may remember it as, chronologically, the first in the series in which Tobin Bell’s Jigsaw was dead throughout (though, of course, not absent), but those who have gotten over clamoring for SAW sequels will find no motive to think any different of the once potent franchise.  SAW V is a mess.  The messiest of all the SAW messes, by all eyes.


SPLINTER

Who Made it: Dir. Toby Wilkins, Scr. Kai Barry, Ian Shorr, Starring: Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo, Jill Wagner

Links: No HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

Don’t know, haven’t seen it.  Buzz was mixed, so at most SPLINTER will be a footnote.  Given that it is the end of ’08 and Top 10 lists are blossoming, its truancy from almost all lists I’ve seen is a good indicator of what that footnote will indicate.


THE HAUNTING OF MOLLY HARTLEY

Who Made it: Dir. Mickey Liddell, Scr. John Travis, Rebecca Sonnenshine, Starring: Haley Bennett, Jake Weber, Chace Crawford, Shannon Marie Woodward

Links: No HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

As a PG-13 MTV horror movie whether MTV films had anything to do with the movie or not.  I made a promise that, barring obstacles, I would see every horror movie that came my way from now on.  There was no obstacle holding me back from THE HAUNTING OF MOLLY HARTLEY, I just refused to see it.


FEAST II: SLOPPY SECONDS

Who Made it: Dir. John Gulager, Scr.  Patrick MeltonMarcus Dunstan, Starring: Jenny Wade, Clu Gulager, Diane Goldner, Martin Klebba

Links: HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

FEAST II is a piece of shit as sloppy as the name implies.


NO MAN’S LAND: RISE OF THE REEKER

Who Made it: Dir. Dave Payne, Scr. Dave Payne, Starring: Michael Muhney, Desmond Askew, Stephen Martines, Mircea Monroe

Links: No HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

Dave Payne’s REEKER series is an unsung hero in the Straight to DVD world.  It is an original property with an interesting after-life antagonist.  The premise is predictable (after nearly avoiding an accident a crowd are stalked in the desert by an unknown force), but the casting department keeps things fresh and Payne throws in plenty of pleasing moments.  I liked the first REEKER well enough and NO MAN’S LAND is just as good if not better.


LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

Who Made it: Dir. Tomas Alfredson, Scr. John Ajvide Lindqvist, Starring: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson

Links: HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

With ease LET THE RIGHT ONE IN will be remembered as the best horror film of 2008.  I’ve gushed about the film in the above linked review and I’m sure everyone has read equal praise around the tubes, so I don’t need to sing it here as well.


LEFT 4 DEAD

Who Made It: Valve Corporation

Links: HND Review, Trailers,

How it will be remembered:

The most fun anyone can have playing a horror themed game in 2008.  If Valve maintains their proven track record of releasing new content, LEFT 4 DEAD may will carry on as the most fun anyone can have playing a horror themed game in 2009.  I’ve poured several hours a week into this game since its release, even if that slows down slightly, it’ll perk right back up when Valve opens up new levels.


REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA

Who Made it: Dir. Darren Lynn Bousman, Scr. Darren Smith & Terrance Zdunich, Starring: Paul Sorvino, Anthony Head, Sarah Brightman, Bill Moseley, Paris Hilton

Links: No HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

As a reminder why pet projects are called pet projects.  No one loves a pet the same way their owner does.


TWILIGHT

Who Made It: Dir. Catherine Hardwicke, Scr. Melissa Rosenberg, Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli

Links: No HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

TWILIGHT is not a horror movie, but because of the vampires it was intrinsically intertwined with our neighborhood and thus would have looked strange were it not remembered in a year long look back.  I suppose that isn’t a bad thing, considering Catherine Hardwicke set a world record for highest box office take by a female director.  If at this point you don’t know what TWILIGHT is, who it and the young-adult book series it was based on are intended for, well, you need to crawl forth from your pop culture cave.


THE GIRLS REBEL FORCE OF COMPETITIVE SWIMMERS

Who Made It: Dir. Kôji Kawano, Scr. Satoshi Ôwada, Starring: Mizuka Arai, Sasa Handa

Links: HND Review, Rotten Tomatoes, Trailers, Netflix

How it will be remembered:

I cannot remember a more missed opportunity with an amazing title than THE GIRLS REBEL FORCE OF COMPETITIVE SWIMMERS.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


rss 4 comments
  1. Matt
    December 31st, 2008 | 12:41 pm | #1

    I’ve seen Trick r Treat on several best of 08 lists around the net…where is this movie? I’ve seen the teasers for it here and there but nothing else. Any info?

  2. December 31st, 2008 | 1:14 pm | #2

    Matt, TRICK ‘R TREAT is still lingering in release hell. It had very few public screenings this year (only two that I know of), one of which R.J. Sayer attended and wrote a frothing ‘review’ of: http://horrorsnotdead.com/wpress/2008/guest-review-trick-r-treat/

    Warner Brothers still hold the distribution rights to it and, despite everyone going crazy for it, still refuse to release it for some stupid reason.

  3. Joel
    January 3rd, 2009 | 5:05 am | #3

    Splinter was effing awesome! Probably one of my favourite horrors this year.

  4. R.J. Sayer
    January 5th, 2009 | 10:21 am | #4

    ugh. i’m sick of this mass delusion.

    SPLINTER is a piece of shit.

    i DO NOT understand all this love its getting. WTF.

comment on this article


Recent Comments