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.
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.
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.
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.
The best film Adam Green has ever made.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Everything you’ve heard about BLACK SWAN is dead on. Sexy, creepy and unforgettable.
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.
As much as I may not like the overall film, there’s no denying how evocative A SERBIAN FILM is.
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.
Thailand has been producing some shockingly gory horror lately, but none are as gross, yet still engaging, as MEAT GRINDER.
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.
Indie mumblecore doesn’t always work for me, but A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE just reeled me in.
It’s like a Norwegian BIG MAN JAPAN, only not boring.
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.
A gripping, highly original and often bizarre serial killer flick that takes Korea’s revenge-obsessed cinema to task on a grand scale.
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.
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: A Horrible Way to Die, Best Horror Movies of 2010, Bitter Feast, BLACK SWAN, Buried, Devil, FROZEN, HOW TO BE A SERIAL KILLER, I Saw the Devil, Let Me In, MEAT GRINDER, Paranormal Activity 2, RARE EXPORTS, Red White and Blue, Stake Land, Tell-Tale, THE CRAZIES, The Last Exorcism, The Legend of Beaver Dam, THE LOVED ONES, The Troll Hunter, Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil, Undocumented