Thursday, December 31, 2009
Important Horror Films of the Decade
I was asked by several people if I was ever going to work on a "Top 10 of the Decade" list or what have you since it is so popular. To be honest I was never considering the idea because I have a terrible memory and deciding an order would be extremely difficult. However, I finally decided I could just craft a general "Important" list that just spits out my favorites of the decade in no special order.
Grindhouse (2007; Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez)
While not fully horror, it was indeed a tremendously profound release bringing the trashy styles of old back into the mainstream fold. Endlessly entertaining (more so Tarantino's) and inspiring, these must not go unwatched (as well as the trailers).
The Descent (2005; Neil Marshall)
Marshall's important follow up to is surprisingly popular Dog Soldiers. It implemented both a fantastic visual style (only the natural lights they carried on them) and atmosphere that pretty much could creep anybody out.
A Tale of Two Sisters (2003; Kim Ji-woon)
It has been stated before how much I admire this piece as well as Kim Ji-woon, so not much more needs to be said. This film is structured perfectly down to the last detail. Every shot has both a purpose and a meaning. It doesn't come much better.
Battle Royale (2000; Kinji Fukasaku)
While I'm not 100% convinced this is actually a horror (more of a drama) I didn't want anybody getting the idea I was neglecting it. A reflection of some of the finest political satire there is. Watch it.
The House of the Devil (2009; Ti West)
This nod goes both to the film itself, as it is a wonderful reimagining of what Roman Polanski would have done if he was West's age and to Glass Eye Pix who have really come into their own this decade. I look forward to watching many of their upcoming releases and hope they continue to polish their retro style.
I could go on to list a paragraph for several of the great mockumentaries of the decade, but I want to emphasize that this is the decade that followed Blair Witch Projects fantastic release. That led the way for this decade to explore the boundries of the idea and craft some of the most wonderful stories with them. Ex. Cloverfield, Quarantine, [REC], Paranormal Activity, etc.
Hostel (2005; Eli Roth)
Eli Roth's second huge venture into horror and what a venture it was. I would love to put all of Roth's films onto the list, but I feel Hostel is the most structurely tight and polished of them so I'll let it speak for all three.
Session 9 (2001; Brad Anderson)
Session 9 came as a bit of a surprise as it sort of snuck up on me and signified an important time in psychological horror in the United States. Thoroughly atmospheric and powerful, it is definitely one that has seen many plays on my television.
American Psycho (2000; Mary Harron)
Wonderful opus into the world of the high class yuppie. Specifically one who has completely snapped and uses the materialistic shell as his only cover. Absolutely wonderful.
Trick 'R Treat (2008; Michael Dougherty)
Fantastically structured horror anthology celebrating everyones favorite horror holiday. This film should become a staple for everyone's Halloween nights for now on. Also, can't forget our new mascot as well ;) .
Gozu (2003; Takashi Miike)
This selection is once again for a broader idea. Takashi Miike. He played an important role in both this decade and the last, and this pick was merely a reflection of one of his shining moments. Critics say he churns out too many films not to have great ones, but I don't think anyone can deny that when he has great ones, they truely are great.
Suicide Club (2001; Shion Sono)
Again, this is merely a symbol for the start of a very important career in the director that is Shion Sono. While not his first piece, it can be heavily agreed upon that this was his most important. Both creepy and compelling, Suicide Club was the underdog film of the decade. Not to mention a nod to the mindfuckery that are Sono's works.
Uzumaki (2000; Higuchinsky)
Another gem that has faded away from memories recently. This film showed that given the eye for it, mangas can be adapted onto the big screen with great success.
Shaun of the Dead (2004; Edgar Wright)
This piece proved the inspiration for a huge mishmash of other splatter comedies. The beauty of it all is that it is still the strongest one of the decade. Not that I won't give a nod to Slither.
Let the Right One In/Thirst (Various)
These two important pieces proved that vampire films can involve romance and not also be scraps off of a 12 year old girls journal. Solidly structured and nodding to the vampire films before them, these two prove that the moral ambiguity of vampires has never been explored and it really should have been.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006; Scott Glosserman)
No need, there is already a review up ;).
Bubba Ho-tep (2002; Don Coscarelli)
One of my favorite horror comedies in existence. Shows off what Bruce Campbell can do with a "serious" role to play. Wonderfully creative and hilarious to top it off.
I'm sure I forgot several and any input would be helpful. If I think of more I'll make edits and tack them on in the end. Hope everyone has a wonderful 2010.