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.

The Trailer for THE LOVED ONES Shows Way Too Much. Do NOT Watch It.

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The Loved Ones Father

Hey, guys.  Remember me?  I used to run a site called, but then I got paid to write about movies elsewhere on the Internet and totally abandoned my baby to the wilds.  Yeah, I suck.

The only benefit of me rarely updating HND is that everything that’s on the main page currently happens to be about movies I really liked.  One of them I even love.  It’s a little Australian flick called THE LOVED ONES that, for whatever God forsaken reason, cannot seem to find distribution anywhere outside of its homeland.  It’s about to come out down under, though, so a trailer for the film has finally been released.  Trouble is this trailer shows way too much of the movie.

Wayyyyy toooooo much.  To the point where it makes me want to elbow whoever cut the trailer together in the face.  So, my plea to you is that you do not watch this trailer.  It’s currently being hosted on every horror blog under the sun, which means they either A) haven’t seen the film and thus don’t know how many great gags are revealed in the trailer or B) have no respect for their readers and don’t give a shit if they lessen someone’s viewing experience when they don’t have to.  I can only assume that Bloody-Disgusting falls under category B, seeing as they’re quoted in the trailer and yet still gleefully shared the spoiler-packed thing earlier today without so much as a “Personally, I really think this trailer gives away too much”.

But since I’m breaking my month long radio silence just so I can tell you to NOT watch something, I think it’s only right that I also add some other new content to HND.  So, as soon as I hit publish on this bad boy, I’ll be starting up two reviews that I’ve been sitting on for far too long: A SERBIAN FILM and THE LAST EXORCISM.  My laziness shall eventually pay off.

UPDATE: I actually did what I said I was going to!  A SERBIAN FILM Review!

THE LOVED ONES Review [SXSW 2010’s Midnight Surprise]

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Written and Directed by Sean Byrne, 2009

I’ve been running Horror’s Not Dead for a little over four years now.  If you’ve been reading the site for any decent length of time, you can probably trace how my tastes have cultivated over the years and how from time to time I’ll stumble upon an indie or foreign gem that I love to stamp the HND seal of approval all over.  Well, it’s time to break out the letterhead here at HND; I’m calling that dusty old stamp (which I feel like I haven’t really broken out since J. T. Petty’s THE BURROWERS) back into action for THE LOVED ONES.  I know that most readers out there are not going to be able to rush out and see this criminally good time from Australia, but you’d do well to bump Sean Byrne’s dark and brutal horror comedy to the top of your mental list of titles to keep an eye out for.

It’s about an already-spoken-for senior, Brent, who turns down Lola, a cute and clearly shy girl, when she asks him to be her prom date.  Brent, who is clearly not a popular kid in school, in fact he’s recently become kind of a loner and a pothead after his father died in car accident, is quite kind when turning down the meek lass, but such kindness is lost on little Lola.  Her father then proceeds to kidnap Brent and force him to be Lola’s date to a lovely prom that happens to take place in their kitchen.

That’s basically it, plot-wise, actually.  Indeed it is this lean, uncomplicated plot that is one of first time writer/director Sean Byrne’s greatest strengths.  It’s not bogged down by unnecessary side stories (though we do get periodic glimpses of how Brent’s best friend’s date at the actual prom is going) or weighty exposition surrounding why Brent has become such a loner. No, THE LOVED ONES is a blazing 84 minutes of constant one-upmanship.  Every time you begin to think Byrne couldn’t possibly top how outrageous poor Brent’s night is becoming, he savagely shoves adrenaline needles into the heart of the film scene after scene until it transforms into a ravaged, bold, and bloody as hell beast that will have you laughing and cringing with alarming regularity.

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