Horror Flicks of the Decade

As we race towards the end of the 2000's, it time to reflect on the decade of horror movies.

The early part of the decade we saw the rush of J-Horror and the eventually over saturation that followed. We witnessed as elements of horror brushed out into other genres with much acceptance by general audiences. The middle had slashers ruling the screens which brought the term torture-porn to us all, a phrase which I loathe, and the inevitable rip offs that followed. As we close the decade, the Hollywood system is determined to remake or revision or reimage or redux every horror movie or franchise ever made from earlier decades and from other countries (and do a piss poor job of remaking these films) and turn the genre into all horror-romance tales for the tweens (thank you Twilight).

Looking towards the future, it seems like a tough road for true fans of horror. But all is not lost. We still have several gems coming from the independent scenes. Combine those with the force of great horror movies being made in other countries and a glimmer of hope remains for the 2010's.

So with that rant, let's look back my favorite horror themed cinema treats of the 2000's.

Slither (2006, US) - James Gunn brought his Troma background to a big budget and pulled it off wonderfully in the gross out horror-comedy.

Kairo aka Pulse (2001, Japan) - This atmospheric horror set it self apart from the usual ghost stories from Japan at the time. Watch out for the ghosts in the machine. They want revenge.

The Devil's Rejects (2005, US) - Rarely does a movie make me feel uncomfortable. The hotel scene in this movie did exactly that. This is far gritty and more realistic than any other Zombie flick and in my opinion, by far his best effort to date.

Cloverfield (2008, US) - The movie didn't reinvent the wheel, but it made for a fun ride.

The Descent (2005, UK) - Tough chicks being stalked in a cave by creatures. I'm hooked right there.

Let The Right One In (2008, Sweden) - Possibly the best horror film of the decade. This instant classic sucked you in from the beginning with strong characters and explored the dramatic side of horror.

Jeepers Creepers (2001, US) - Reminds me the old style creature features of yesteryear. It's much better than the usual creature stalking kids movie.

Martyrs (20008, France) - This movie may have sparked on of the largest debates in horror this decade. Complete brutality followed by relentless torture leads to a suicide that asks the question "what did she tell the old lady?".

Versus (2001, Japan) - Zombie, Yakuza, and samurais make a very bloody mess.

Old Boy
(2003, Korea) - Revenge, gore, and twists galore. This flick still blows my mind to this day. Not straight forward horror, but there's enough.

[rec] (2007, Spain) - If you're looking for style and atmosphere combined with genuine frights, then look no further than this pseudo-zombie tale.

Feast (2005, US) - This movie is so over the top that it never takes itself seriously. And that's a good thing. A band of people are held down in a bar while creatures try to get them.

Deadgirl (2008, US) - Another one of the movies that simply made me uncomfortable at times. As with a lot of horror movies, explore the depth of what humans are capable of.

Visitor Q (2001, Japan) - Takashi Miike had to make the list as he constantly puts out intriguing films. This one borders horror with a messed up family. His blunt over the top style keeps this disturbing film in check.

Dawn of the Dead (2004, US) - One of the few remakes of the lat decade that holds it's own and bring something unique to the table.

Haute Tension (2003, France) - This film could be the mind fuck of the decade when it comes to horror. Nothing is as it seems in this serial killer story.

Jack Brooks, Monster Slayer (2007, US) - Nothing but good, campy fun in this gem which reminded me a lot of early Sam Raimi.

The Isle (2001, Korea) - A disturbing movie about a guy who killed the woman he loved and a prostitute who wants him. Introduced me to director Kim K-Duk

Mulberry Street (2006, US) - There's not many mutant rat movies out there. This is one of the best.

Sweeney Todd (2007, US) - Tim Burton combines this old legend with the stage play and delivers a tasty treat.

Teeth (2006, US) - A young woman discovers she has teeth in her vagina. A horrific metaphor in this coming of age tale.

The Burrowers (2008, US) - I love westerns and I love horror even more. Here the two two genres cross over seemlessly.

Ils aka Them (2007, France) - There's something I find absolutely chilling about children who rise up and attack the adults.

Shaun of the Dead (2004, UK) - The perfect blend of horror homage and comedy.

Session 9 (2001, US) - One of the most unknown movies in horror. This is true gem of psychological madness.

30 Days of Night (2007, US) - Not a perfect film but in an era where vampires became glossy fun, this brought them back to pure evil.

Devil's Backbone (2001, Mexico) - A tremendous ghost story from the master Guillermo Del Toro.

The Girl Next Door (2007, US) - One of the hardest movie ever to watch which instilled queasiness and rage in me upon viewing. Those emotions more than made up for its short comings.

Dog Soldiers (2002, UK) - A family of werewolves battle soldiers in the Scottish wilderness. Bloody great fun that reminds us of why werewolves are so bad ass.

The Cottage (2008, Australia) - It's nice to see Andy Serkis have a meaty starring role. He shines in this one about two brothers who's plans for a robbery run foul due to a killer.

The Orphanage (2007, Spain) - A creepy ghost tale that sent shivers down my back.

28 Days Later (2002, UK) - This movie changed on the rules on zombies (even though they are really just infected humans). An epic tale of human survival.

Saw (2004, US) - This is the movie that started a fresh horror franchise, created a horror icon in Jigsaw, and helped to coin the much hated term "torture porn". On top of all that, this is one fine movie as well.

Battle Royale (2001, Japan) - Survivor meets Lord of the Flies, only with much bloodier results. I love this film.

Inside (2007, France) - This is one of the most intense films I've ever seen as a pregnant woman fights for her survival against another woman who wants her unborn child.

Dark Water (2002, Japan) - An above average ghost story.

The Signal (2006, US) - The end of the world as told in three uniquely separate but cohesive stories.

May (2002, US) - A lonely girl doesn't want to be lonely any longer. The final scene will stay with you for days.

Bubba Ho-Tep (2003, US) - An elderly Elvis battles a mummy with Bruce Campbell. Does it get any better.

Wolf Creek (2005, Australia) - This movie has one of the best serial killers to ever grace the screen.

The Mist (2007, US) - This movie does justice to my favorite Stephen King short story and even one up it with the ending. Shocking.

Frailty (2001, US) - Another little talked about gem about a family who's father thinks he can see demons and is told by God to destroy them.

Ju-On: The Grudge (2002, Japan) - The eeriest of all the long, hair ghost movies from Japan.

Hatchet (2006, US) - A fun throwback to 80's slasher films with a good amount of gore and just enough comedy to keep things lite.

Splinter (2008, US) - I really dug this creature mutation movie. Great special effects.

Ginger Snaps (2000, Canada) - A teenage girl finds out she's a werewolf and her sister tries to help her. There's a lot more deeper things going on in this tale.

The Eye (2002, Thailand) - A super creepy movie that introduced me to the Pang brothers. Follow it up with the similar, yet complete different Eye 2 for a double treat.

Antibodies (2007, Germany) - This one has a the best psycho villain playing head games with the cop who busted him movies around.

Final Destination (2000, US) - Started the franchise about the supernatural serial killer who will get you no matter what when your time is up. I love this movie for the great kills.

The Stranger (2008, US) - A group terrorize a couple. Very intense. The biggest scare comes in one sentence: "Because you were home".

The Ring (2002, US) - One of the only US remakes to due justice to the Japanese original. In fact in some ways, this even out does the original. The creep factor is ramped up to eleven.

The Hills Have Eyes (2006, US) - It's another remake but again proves with a little heart and smarts it can be entertaining.

Repo: A Genetic Opera (2008, US) - A horror opera? Why not. Catchy tunes, gore, a good story.

Grace (2009, US) - This movie about a mother who's newborn isn't quite as it seems, had to walk a fine line between being serious and turning campy. It does so with amazing results.

There's my list. I'm sure I've forgotton a few. And have yet to see a couple releases from this year yet, such as Trick R Treat, Zombieland, Paranormal Activity. The Children, Orphane. These seem to have been getting a lot of good reviews.

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1 comment:

Will Errickson said...

Good list. I've seen most of these and would also put them on a top of the '00s list. I really liked Behind the Mask: Rise of Leslie Vernon and Severance as well.