How do you pick 9 movies and call them the best of the last 5 years when probably hundreds came out including hundreds you didn’t even see? Easy! It involves heavy use of the word “arbitrary” and a lot of not giving a shit. Sometimes you just have to assume you know best and go from there. And really, I do know good horror. I’ve seen so many terrible horror movies that when a good one pops up, I make note of it. So these are all excellent horror films. If you don’t like some of them, then that’s a personal defect you can work on in your spare time. On to the list!
James Wan’s “The Conjuring” is coming soon but his big hit, aside from 2002’s Saw, was Insidious. I’ll admit some of this movie was pretty corny, that chick in the gas mask was just wonky as shit. I had no idea where that came from, but it didn’t stop the movie from being creepy and that’s the important thing. The movie gives you the creeps when you watch it.
I’ve heard people criticize the movie for that bit with the gas mask, or for the demon that looks a bit like a weird Mardi Gras reveler in bad face paint, but the atmosphere is so creeptastic you have to forgive any faults. That old lady? The little weirdo dancing to Tiny Tim? The ending? Come on, that shit is off putting in any number of ways. This movie is far and away one of the best horror flicks of the last decade.
I love Evil Dead and I was stoked for the remake. It shrugged off any sense of humor that the original series had, minus a few rare bits, and went right for visceral grossness and an abundance of blood. It rains blood in this movie for God’s sake. That’s impressive.
I would have preferred a better ending, or at least some different ideas about how the ending should have gone down, but overall it was an excellent film and included all the uncomfortable self mutilation you need in a movie.
Normally I despise found footage movies because they’re lazy and overdone. Remember Blair Witch? That movie sucked. The innovator of found footage sucked at it, so it’s not easy to make a good movie using this technique. That said, Grave Encounters is a creepy little found footage gem that owes much of its success to a really great setting. Film your movie in an unused mental hospital and you got yourself some awesomeness going on.
The effects with the facial contortion ghosty shit are a little overused, but in general the atmosphere of the movie was pretty badass. Crazy houses are where it’s at. Also it’s worth noting that you don’t really need to bother watching the sequel since it’s mostly a handjob for the first movie.
This was a decently creepy film thanks to the use of kids as everyone is a little creeped out by kids. Toss in kids who are raised in the woods by an awful ghost lady and you got yourself a recipe for disconcerting good times.
I recall watching this and thinking the doctor character was kind of idiotic and poorly written but it’s a rare thing to find a movie in which no characters are idiotic and poorly written these days, especially in the horror genre. The story is moved along by bad decisions more often than not. Maybe one day we can move beyond that.
Jessica Chastain is also awesome in this, plus hot. Hawesome.
This is an anthology flick that has some cool parts worth checking out. Oddly enough the story that gets the most critical praise is the one I thought sucked the most, but that’s just me. Actually no, it sucked the second most. There was one other pretty shittastic one. However the rest of the movie makes up for the shortcomings of those two and makes the whole movie worthwhile. Plus it includes a really weird succubus which you never see in films. Underused monster, that is.
Cabin in the Woods
Everyone loved this movie, even critics, which is a rarity. It’s a clever movie made by someone who loves the genre and packed to the gills with everything you want in a horror movie from zombies to demons to unicorns, serial killers, nerds, hot chicks and a fish man. There’s something for everyone here, plus an ending that indicates we’re all screwed. Happy endings are for suckers.
John Dies at the End
Yeah, I may be biased since I know the author of the book, but it doesn’t matter. The movie is low budget but Don Coscarelli is one hell of a director and what he does with this movie is pretty awesome. If for no other reason it’s worth seeing this movie to see the meat monster. That thing was pretty dope.
I was on the fence about this movie for a while but in the end I have to give it credit for having creep factor. Very important. The pay off at the end was a little lame ass for my tastes, but the build up, while kind of slow, also makes you very aware that you’re in a scary place and someone is trying to make you feel unsettled. And it works. Bonus points for casting Kelly McGillis who is creepy for entirely different reasons than the film itself is creepy. Remember when she was the hot chick in Top Gun? Man do times change.
This was a pretty spectacularly ambitious film and it works so well. The fact it’s not in English probably limited some of its appeal but you should check it out if you haven’t yet. It features trolls, including giant trolls that are awesome in scope and really fun to watch. Plus the last time anyone made a movie exclusively about trolls was in the 1980s and it gave us the shit sandwich movie called Troll that embarrasses us all.