The Best Horror Movies of 2010 [The Top 10 Released and Top 10 Unreleased]

Posted by Peter Hall - December 31st 2010 @ 7:55 pm

The hardest part of making a Best-of-the-Year list is establishing the parameter of the year, so I’m just going to make this simple and do two horror lists.  The first is exclusively films that had either a theatrical, DVD or VOD release  in the US of A.  The second will simply be the unreleased films I saw in 2010, be they via film festival, import disc or screener, that did not receive Stateside distribution.

The Best Horror Movies of 2010

10. RED, WHITE & BLUE (Review, Interview with Simon Rumley)

A barebones-but-bold and upsetting film that falls under horror by sheer virtue that it doesn’t really fit anywhere else.  It also contains the only seen of the year that found me grinding my teeth.

9. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 (Review)

The familiar scares and sight gags aren’t what make PA2 worthy of a Top 10 list, it’s the fact that it does what any good sequel should; advancing the spirit and story of the original.

8. THE CRAZIES (Review, Interview with Breck Eisner)

Simply put, Breck Eisner’s THE CRAZIES is one the best Hollywood remakes of vintage horror around.  It’s lean, it’s got some great character work and a handful of memorable scenes.

7. FROZEN

The best film Adam Green has ever made.

6. TELL-TALE (Review)

TELL-TALE proves that not all horror movies need to be pulse pounding.  Sometimes a good mystery and some memorable killers are really all you need.

5. DEVIL (Review)

If you’ve prematurely dismissed DEVIL because of M. Night Shyamalan’s name in the trailer, you need to give up that blind hate right now.  This is a thoroughly entertaining, devils-gonna-get-ya’ thriller that doesn’t deserve the cursory dismissal it received.

4. RARE EXPORTS

If TELL-TALE is a reminder that horror doesn’t need to be pulse pounding, RARE EXPORTS is a reminder that it doesn’t even need to be scary.  Playing with conventions and subverting expectations can go a long, long way and there simply aren’t very many genre movies these days that are this fun.

3. LET ME IN (Review, Interview with Matt Reeves Part 1, Part 2)

You’re either willing to accept that LET ME IN is a great remake of an already great film or you’re not.  No argument of mine will convince you otherwise.  If you’re too stubborn to approach Matt Reeves’ film with an open mind, however, then you’re a cad.

2. BLACK SWAN

Everything you’ve heard about BLACK SWAN is dead on.  Sexy, creepy and unforgettable.

1. THE LAST EXORCISM (Interview with Eli Roth and Daniel Stamm)

I’ve seen THE LAST EXORCISM five times – yes, five times – and it only gets better with every viewing.  It’s smart, it’s got an infectiously charismatic lead in the form of Patrick Fabian, and it feels like a fresh and original entry in an increasingly tired found footage genre.

Honorable Mention: BURIED (Review)– I wasn’t blown away by BURIED in theaters, but once 127 HOURS got its moment in the spotlight, I can’t help but feel like Rodrigo Cortes’ film had been shafted by poor marketing and an even poorer release.  It’s easily the better man-trapped-in-one-place film thanks to highly innovative camera work and the best performance of Ryan Reynolds’ career.


The Best Unreleased Horror Movies of 2010

10. A SERBIAN FILM (Review)

As much as I may not like the overall film, there’s no denying how evocative A SERBIAN FILM is.

9. STAKE LAND

I have a few major hang ups with the movie – it’s influences are too transparent and the acting a little too uneven – but it’s still a post-apocalyptic vampire road movie; kinda hard to not have fun with it.

8. MEAT GRINDER (Review)

Thailand has been producing some shockingly gory horror lately, but none are as gross, yet still engaging, as MEAT GRINDER.

7. BITTER FEAST (My interview with director Joe Maggio)

A solid bit of character-driven horror about a chef that kidnaps his harshest critic and forces him to attempt to cook the meals he’s so eager to critique.

6. A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE (My interview with the filmmakers)

Indie mumblecore doesn’t always work for me, but A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE just reeled me in.

5. THE TROLL HUNTER

It’s like a Norwegian BIG MAN JAPAN, only not boring.

4. TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL (Review)

How in the hell this didn’t manage to grab a US release – even a VOD one – is beyond me.  It’s hilarious, has a perfect cinematic duo at its core and it’s the rare kind of horror comedy that celebrates the genre without being goofy about it.

3. I SAW THE DEVIL

A gripping, highly original and often bizarre serial killer flick that takes Korea’s revenge-obsessed cinema to task on a grand scale.

2. UNDOCUMENTED

When I saw UNDOCUMENTED – a film about a group of college kids who are making a film about undocumented workers illegally crossing the border – at Fantastic Fest, it was like a kick in the gut.  Watching it is an intense, grinding experience that is surprisingly hard to shake.  At the time I just gave it my applause and moved on, but since then I’ve seen a number of films that have attempted similar subject matter without generating anything near the intensity of Chris Peckover’s film.

1. THE LOVED ONES (Review)

No theater experience this year topped that of THE LOVED ONES.  Nothing I saw this year managed to work an entire theater into a fine lather of excitement the way Sean Byrne’s film did.  It felt like watching a breath of fresh air escape the genre’s mouth in real time.

Honorable Mention: THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM — I’d murder homeless people and sacrifice them to some kind of horror god if it meant Jerome Sable could turn his pitch perfect short film into a feature.

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


rss 48 comments
  1. January 17th, 2011 | 1:46 am | #1

    Love the site- I’d be willing to share your link on mine if you return the favor. I am starting up a creative Horror story writing forum. I hope to gather a lot of people so one day I can start having contests and giving out cash prizes.http://tomhblogofhorror.freeforums.org/index.php

  2. January 30th, 2011 | 8:42 am | #2

    Welcome to “FRIGHT CLUB”
    You have been selected to be a member.
    Share this with anyone you feel worthy.
    Frights begin soon…
    WELCOME…

    http://frightclub.blogspot.com/

    I am not here…
    TDFC99

  3. Hans van den Berg
    February 2nd, 2011 | 6:46 am | #3

    Sorry but most of the horror movies you mention are from 2009, not from 2010

  4. R.J. Sayer
    February 5th, 2011 | 3:56 pm | #4

    i’m going to assume that the only reason BEDEVILLED isn’t on that second list is because you haven’t seen it yet.

    otherwise, we’re not friends.

  5. February 7th, 2011 | 6:09 pm | #5

    Hans van den Berg: Thanks for stopping by with a worthless and incorrect comment.

    RJ, I’m the one who told you to go see BEDEVILLED, foo. The only reason I didn’t include it is because I don’t truly consider it a horror movie.

  6. Don
    March 2nd, 2011 | 8:00 am | #6

    Sorry… but The Last Exorcism was a tired boring movie to watch. The actual horror in it was trying to stay awake.

  7. sdaveak47
    March 5th, 2011 | 6:10 am | #7

    How about Dream Home ?? that was a good one

  8. Jlynn
    March 6th, 2011 | 2:18 am | #8

    THANK YOU for recommending The Loved Ones! You were right on – one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen! I sure hope it’s released on dvd soon so I can own it!

  9. amy
    March 11th, 2011 | 11:31 pm | #9

    Awesone movies!!! I’ve seen almost all of them except Last Excorsism….. I’ve got to check it out myself!1

  10. meroving
    April 2nd, 2011 | 7:24 pm | #10

    “Don
    March 2nd, 2011 | 8:00 am | #6
    Sorry… but The Last Exorcism was a tired boring movie to watch. The actual horror in it was trying to stay awake.”

    Don-asshole, maybe for you it was like that. But you are not the only person in this planet, did you know that? you fucken asshole-idiot. you fucken sect-bastard.

  11. josh stipes
    April 5th, 2011 | 6:56 pm | #11

    I agree Last Excorcism was very boring

  12. your mom
    May 5th, 2011 | 3:07 am | #12

    that frozen movie is soo fucking stupid

  13. Ragnarok
    May 7th, 2011 | 6:37 am | #13

    Pretty good list, but still 2010 wasn’t good year for horrors.. and personally i don’t consider Black Swan a horror, and ofc Paranormal Activity is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen (and believe me I’ve seen almost every horror from the past 20 years :) ). It’s my opinion don’t hate me for it :)

  14. Akhnaten
    May 13th, 2011 | 7:15 pm | #14

    I agree with Don, The Last Exorcism really disappointed me, especially the ending. It seemed rushed and contrite. I would rather you have put ‘Let Me In’ as #1 but great list none the less.

  15. Izuhsaurous
    May 15th, 2011 | 4:28 pm | #15

    Totally agree with Ragnarok about Black Swan. Black Swan was grotesque and creepy, but it was a psychological thriller, not a horror movie.

    With regards to the last exorcism, I loved that movie all up to the stupid ending. It’s been a while since I have seen it, but I remember thinking wtf alien satan baby, huh? It’s like they didn’t want to make a decision about what was really happening–are there demons or aren’t there? The movie centers around an exorcist getting out of the business because it’s all a scam–there are no demons. So wtf is the ending about? You don’t know, they didn’t make a decision, and yes I understand that ambiguity can make a powerful statement, but the way that it was orchestrated in the last exorcism is weak cop-out.

  16. ripmyflesh
    May 27th, 2011 | 1:08 am | #16

    lzuhsaurous:
    Nice spoiler, asswipe!

    Peter:
    Thanks for the reviews!

  17. May 27th, 2011 | 2:25 pm | #17

    Five of the sickest, most horrifying serial killers that you should be aware of – but probably aren’t. Be forewarned: they may make your skin crawl…

    http://www.fearnet.com/news/b22655_five_horrifying_serial_killers_youve.html

  18. droid
    June 7th, 2011 | 10:08 pm | #18

    ive been pretty inpressed with all the movies above tht ive seen so far but…serbian life was horrifying in a descusting perverted,kinda way,if i hadda known i would have stopped from the start…put it this way the words “newborn porn” wasnt just a statement in this movie…i feel very disturbed and violated..my opinion thats all,the only reason why i finished the movie is i wanted to see some sort of justice, i couldnt believ what i was waatching…its “one of those you cant stp watching because its unbelievaably disturbing! in a bd way,and im a horror fantic,and one more thing if i were into porn,i woulda rented oned, and it woulda been nice for the heads up, therefore i feel its my responsability for the warning…cant believe it was pblished let alone 7.5 outta 10,ya mabey for shock value!!

  19. megan
    June 10th, 2011 | 12:58 pm | #19

    What ever happened to the films that made us scream or actually made you climb up your sofa screaming run bitch run!!!!

    I think we have lost the meaning of horror ……..THEY NEED TO ASK US what scares you in a horror film?

    LOVED ONES IS ABSOLUTLEY AMAZINE AND LOLA SHOULD BE UP THERE WITH THE GREAT SCREEN KILLERS SHE IS FUCKING CRAZY LOVE THE OZZY’S THEY GET IT!!! OH BY THE WAY IF WRITERS AND DIRECTORS HAD MORE FREEDOM LIKE THE DIRECTOR DID FOR LOVED ONES WE WOULD GET DINAMITE HORROR FILMS AND NOT DILUTED ONES THE STUDIOS WANT TO RELEASE!!!!

    where’s the creativity gone!!!!????

  20. cynical
    June 11th, 2011 | 3:42 pm | #20

    WTH!! devil?the last exorcism? paranormal activity 2? black swan?? they are in the top ten of 2010? boy must have been a slow year…non of them are scary or even adequate and the last exorcism was the lamest excuse for a exorcism film iv ever seen! sorry bro its a good website but poor judgement on the above 4, however i do agree that the crazies was brilliant! :P

  21. cynical
    June 11th, 2011 | 5:04 pm | #21

    Don my man i agree wholeheartedly with your comment!
    as for meroving
    April 2nd, 2011 | 7:24 pm | #10 the only way anyone would find the last exorcism scary is if they were a completely gutless wimp who enjoys watching some cheesy american BS insult to all horrors such as wolf man(remake) or unborn…i suggest you go watch the village or maybe jaws 4…you know just so the real horror movies dont give you nightmares!!!

  22. Colin
    July 3rd, 2011 | 8:24 pm | #22

    What’s with all the hate for the Last Exorcism? It was full of great personalities, and I found the ending to be well done. The dark lord can corrupt ANYONE.

    It also wins majorly when compared with the original exorcist film. It seems so surreal to me that seemingly millions of people hail it as one of the greatest horror films ever. It’s just disgusting, really, and it makes the demon who’s possessing her seem like an immature brat who stumbled across supernatural powers. These are thousands year old creatures, they shouldn’t portray ANY of them as childish.

  23. Bub
    July 7th, 2011 | 11:19 am | #23

    Colin,

    Demons are fallen creatures, their glory was stripped from them and they became degenerate creatures, their only purpose before their execution is to mock God. They are perverted by their very nature. The Last Exorcism was very boring, almost impossible to watch all of the way through.

    Dead Snow and PontyPool are probably the two best films to come out in a very long time, check them out.

  24. kasueckah
    July 17th, 2011 | 10:16 pm | #24

    I really don’t see any good horror movies this year! I think these writers need some help!

  25. Suecydoll
    July 18th, 2011 | 11:55 pm | #25

    I guess I am a cad because I can’t understand why a remake that stripped away all the character-driven and subtle moments that made the original transcendent and replaced it with the obvious and the trite would ever be considered anything but a sad commentary on how redundant and homogenized American film makers can be. There are great remakes out there, this just isn’t one of them. Deal with that guy.

  26. Strawberry
    July 31st, 2011 | 10:07 am | #26

    Where are Sutter Island and The Sixth Sens???

    The lists are rubbish.

  27. Jodestar
    August 2nd, 2011 | 9:33 pm | #27

    Holy hell!! THE LOVED ONES – how did I ever miss this movie?
    Old news now but THE LOVED ONES is brilliant, an absolutely brilliant HORROR.
    It’s simple, (not boring) uncomplicated plot was bang on and the cast are amazing. That Robin McLeavy is incredible here!
    I stopped part way in it was unbearable – in the best way. Then couldn’t not watch.
    I hope the director got/gets really rich – lol

  28. August 3rd, 2011 | 11:13 pm | #28

    Very good comments, thanxs we learn a lot about the movie before downloading it, thanxs again!!!

  29. August 10th, 2011 | 2:06 pm | #29

    verry danger

  30. jojoma
    August 10th, 2011 | 4:23 pm | #30

    #10 you are inappropriate. you need to take a pill and your anger somewhere else!

  31. blueladyuk
    August 17th, 2011 | 11:31 am | #31

    OMFG. the loved ones. BRILLIANT. thanks for putting it up I have just seen it and will be watching again when the BF gets home screaming WATCH THIS BIT ITS AWESOME pretty much all the way through.
    p.s everyone simmer down ok. opinions are opinions no need to get nasty. we are talking about films here guys. save the drama for your mama. peace. xxxx

  32. codeg2005
    August 18th, 2011 | 6:46 am | #32

    By the most part agree with you list, the loved one was awesome. But like most of the people The Last exorcism was poor, the ending sucked balls.

    One I’d recommend is from 2003/4 a French movie, I’ve seen a few names for it but it’s know as “High tension”. There a dubbed English version that not bad.

    Let me know what you think.

  33. codeg2005
    August 18th, 2011 | 6:54 am | #33

    French file also know as Switchblade Romance, turn your head away shit

  34. MaiDee
    August 27th, 2011 | 3:02 pm | #34

    Posted by Peter Hall:

    “It’s been a good while since I’ve seen SERBIAN FILM and I still can’t scrap its images and ideas out of my mind’s eye. I’m honestly not sure I ever will be able to”.

    Such impression for 10th place.

  35. August 28th, 2011 | 2:44 pm | #35

    Love this list of horror movies

  36. August 28th, 2011 | 2:45 pm | #36

    The Crazies probably the best zombie movie of that year

    Oakland Foreclosure

  37. August 29th, 2011 | 12:36 am | #37

    nakakatakot namn 2..

  38. Jayden
    August 31st, 2011 | 7:56 pm | #38

    I guess someone didn’t see Hobo With A Shotgun..

  39. Triixx
    September 7th, 2011 | 11:47 am | #39

    anyone who wants to own The Loved Ones I have link here and i’ll promise it works, all u need is to download Utorrent if u don’t have it, and then download it from this link.

    http://bitsnoop.com/the-loved-ones-2009-bdrip-xvid-avcd-q17689682.html

  40. tc
    October 13th, 2011 | 4:46 pm | #40

    tucker and dale vs. Evil is one the funniest stupid movies ever…by the way…love the list

  41. Carlo
    October 26th, 2011 | 10:51 am | #41

    Insidious,a great supernatural horror movie

  42. October 27th, 2011 | 7:09 am | #42

    Loved the remake of Let Me In. And Crazies as well. And now I must check out Meat Grinder. And I was fond of The Last Exorcism. One of the better exorcism films since The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

  43. Hell ya
    October 29th, 2011 | 1:14 pm | #43

    Fucker’s stop giving suggestion and Start giving advise which is the “BEST” out of all?????? you guys suck’s.tuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

  44. TOTI
    November 3rd, 2011 | 3:31 am | #44

    kahadlok pud ui

  45. Travis Trapane
    February 5th, 2012 | 3:30 am | #45

    I sole-heartily agree with everyone on the last exorcist. It was the lamest POS I’ve ever seen…..As a matter of fact with the exception of Loved ones non of them were at all any good and mostly made me sick that anyone would even dare put anything like them on the big screen.

    A HUGE 2 thumbs down on this judgment call for these top 10 Maybe if these screen play writers went into making porn they might get a little better recognition. In my book worse writers ever….(Coming from a writer himself) Absolutely repulsive and vulgar in every aspect and that is saying a lot since I love good horror, Blood and guts, killer movies.

    Also Meroving (#10) Do you take riddlin? If not you really should….Just saying….Opinions are the reason they give you the opportunity to comment…they want to hear what people are saying about the choice in the top ten….

  46. Linda Nicolo
    March 3rd, 2012 | 4:41 pm | #46

    Loved the Devil. Watched it five times. The end was so awesome. Actually made me cry. The entire cast was amazing…

  47. cyrus muthui
    May 8th, 2012 | 2:31 am | #47

    What’s up with all these korean horror movies? are they that good?

  48. June 15th, 2013 | 4:09 am | #48

    A nice list of horror movies. But I am searching something really scarry and horrible.

comment on this article


Recent Comments