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

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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.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 Review [One of 2010’s Best Horror Movie Surprises]

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Directed by Tod Williams, 2010
Written by Michael R. Perry

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 may just be one of the best  horror movie surprises of the year.  Obviously it is destined to be a hit after the massive success of the first film, which is the kind of movie that even if you hated, you had to admire it.  But who was really expecting it to be a smart, progressive approach to the presentation?  After all, what made the first movie so great was that it wasn’t by a master director of the genre, it was made by a dude for $15,000 in his own house with amateur actors.  It was the entire homemade aspect of it that made its haunted house story so damned effective with audiences the world over, surely a studio’s attempt to franchise the concept would dull the effect, no?

It doesn’t.  It doesn’t dull it one bit.  PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 is not only as creepy and effective as Oren Peli’s original film, but it bests the film in almost every regard.  As well a sequel should.

That’s why it’s such a surprise how rock solid the film actually is.  Visually, it’s not very hard to emulate what made the original film such a scary experience, but it is a difficult task to not merely raise the bar in the fright department.  A good sequel needs to both explore and elevate the material the first film introduced, and that is exactly what Tod Williams’ film does.  I won’t say how it does so for risk of spoilers, but I will say that the transition between the two films is inspired and graceful and that if you’ve somehow escaped seeing Peli’s experiment thus far, you’re going to want to see it before you see this one.

Last Week in Horror News: January 17th to the 24th

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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION – After Dark rolls out a new trailer for their Horrorfest titles.
  • HIDDEN – One of the ADF Horrorfest titles I’ve seen.  Not bad, kinda slow.
  • THE REEDS – Chalk up another ADF title.
  • THE FINAL – One more ADF Horrorfest trailer.
  • BURIED – I believe I read earlier today that Lionsgate just bought the Ryan Reynolds trapped-in-a-coffin flick.

Studio News and Attachments

  • PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 – Kevin Greutert, who made the surprisingly solid SAW 6, is directing PA2.
  • SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL – Sam Jackson and Josh Duhamel may be stuck battling heaven and hell in Boaz Yankin’s Louisiana-set supernatural thriller.
  • Spielberg’s new Alien TV show – No title yet, but Spielberg will be throwing down for another Taken-esque miniseries; this time for TNT.
  • DREAM HOUSE – Naomi Watts joins Jim Sheridan’s “city folk shouldn’t move to creepy houses in the country” flick alongside Daniel Craig.
  • BURKE AND HARE – Casting for John Landis’ graverobbing comedy gets more awesome.  Joining Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis are Tom Wilkinson and Isla Fisher.
  • THE FURTHER – James Wan’s next film to be produced by Oren Peli.
  • THE WALKING DEAD – Frank Darabont’s TV-series adaptation of Kirkman’s comic got the greenlight at AMC.
  • DRACULA: YEAR ZERO – Alex Proyas is budgeting and scheduling his take on the origin of Dracula.


  • THE WOLFMAN – Danny Elfman’s score has been re-instated for Joe Johnston’s WOLFMAN.
  • PLANET OF THE APES – Despite recent news to the contrary, Fox does indeed still plan on rebooting PLANET OF THE APES.  Again.
  • CONAN – Marcus Nispel’s CONAN THE BARBARIAN remake gets its hunk.  It’s that guy from that STARGATE show you never watched.
  • FRANKENSTEIN – Not so much a remake as another adaptation, but Danny Boyle will be directing a stage play of the classic tale in London.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • BLACK SUNSET – The Butcher Brothers, AKA the guys who made THE HAMILTONS and THE VIOLENT KIND, have pegged their next project about a “betrayal-filled nightmare” that plays out during a surfing trip to Mexico.
  • BLACK DEATH – Christopher Smith’s movie about the bubonic plague slips a little on its UK release.
  • MY NAME IS BRUCE 2 – Bruce will be fighting Frankenstein.  I’d be interested if MY NAME IS BRUCE was anything less than a clunking piece of shit.
  • ENTER THE VOID – IFC picks up Gasper Noe’s latest film for US distribution.

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • EATERS – Italian zombie flick produced by Uwe Boll.

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