I found a “Best Horror Films” list I almost completely agree with: http://www.horror-movies.ca/horror_18308.html
The 21 Best Horror Films of the 21st Century. Props to Meh. He or She really knows their Horror. I admit I’m taking the easy way out this week, choosing to review someone else’s list as opposed to making my own or writing a probing essay. Truth is Saucy Josh got a jobby-job. I’m hoping that the effect on my writing will not be drastic. It sucks not having the time to contribute to Film Sponge as often as I like and, even though I get way more hits over there, it’s kind of more important I keep the promise I made to you (and me) to post here once a week: Every Friday at Midnight. Hopefully, I’ll be back in the swang of thangs by with an original kicker when I’m done with this dish. Until then, sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
SEE YOU NEXT FRIDAY!
Zombieland: I applaud the list-maker for picking such a recent hit, and I appreciate the fact that s/he picked a Horror Comedy to kick it off. And while I admit that, objectively, Zombieland is a most successful Horror Comedy, it’s certainly not the best. Just blogged about Hor-Com on the Sponge, so it’s all fresh in my noggin. Slither is, in my opinion, the greatest of the super-modern Hor-Com—and perhaps the greatest of all time. The only real problem with Hor-Con is that Americans just don’t seem to dig ‘em. And who’s fault is that? Not mine, that’s for damn sure.
Shaun of the Dead: And while we’re on the topic of Hor-Con, we gotta give SOTD props for its trans-Atlantic success. It’s my opinion that it was this movie’s success that made the Zombieland possible. Even previous American greats of the Hor-Con sub-genre have been box office duds. The fact the SOTD cashed in with such an intensely genuine mix of genres no doubt gave Big Hollywood enough courage to re-enter the arena. Comedy aside, SOTD is a quintessential Zombie movie. Watch how the characters are chased into smaller and smaller spaces as the flesh hungry hoards multiply. Classic.
Dawn Of the Dead (2004): Time for this greatest of all Horror remakes to get its accolades. While I wouldn’t say that the remake is “better” than the original, objectively speaking, it is a far superior movie. The original is top-tier for hard core Horror fans, but it was too long and nihilistic for the moderates. The obvious argument is whether or not the remake broke all the rules by making the Zombies fast and rabid (as opposed to shambling and groaning). Whatever your opinion, this remake has non-stop action with some really great twists. The best thing about DOTD-2004: Zombie Baby. Oh yes!
Splinter: This is a really good Horror movie that never really got its due credit. I guess you’d call it a sleeper. The creature in Splinter is a hideous, one-of-a-kind, very original mix of monster and virus, essentially inhabiting the bodies of its victims like a parasite. Imagine an invasive graphite sea-urchin that stabs you to pieces from the inside out as it grows. The protagonists are holed up at a gas station where they find themselves making a ferocious last-stand. While not a Hor-Com, Splinter is a fun Horror movie. Great for a group-watch.
Martyrs: Apparently only for those with strong stomachs, Saucy Josh has yet to see this one—but he wants to. What makes me most interested is that the writer wrote a script for the Hellraiser remake that Clive Barker himself endorsed. (Too bad The Weinstein Company rejected the script and opted to hire the fools who remade My Bloody Valentine. Boo.) Anyway, Barker’s praise is all the assurance I need that Martyrs must be some good shit. Another export from France that proves the French have figured out how to make some seriously awesome Horror. Could it be possibly be better than my favorite French concoction: Frontier(s)? I’m titillated, but doubtful.
Deadgirl: List-maker, you got balls and guts for including Deadgirl. Not that it isn’t a great movie, because it is. Actually it really REALLY is. I can hardly think, however, of a more controversial exploration of adolescent male sexuality. A couple of kids play hooky and decide to rummage around in an abandoned hospital. In the basement they find a file cabinet blocking a locked door. Behind the locked door they find the dead girl. Only she isn’t really, nor can she die. If you can get past your utter disappointment with the actions of the so-called protagonists, Deadgirl is a unique vision in the otherwise saturated and stale Zombie sub-genre. And while I would also recommend this movie to a true Horror aficionado, I must be clear: This is NOT a date movie. If you watch it with your girlfriend, do not expect to get any sex that night.
Dead Snow: Another movie that proves Europe has mastered the Hor-Com sub-genre. Dead Snow is an absolute hoot, extremely entertaining and action packed. Sharp editing, top notch special effects, and an attractive cast make Dead Snow a must-see. Oh yeah, and did I mention the Zombie Nazis? Without a doubt, the best Norwegian Horror film ever made (although I’m hard pressed to think of another).
See you next week for Part II when I’ll riff on The Strangers, Rec., Paranormal Activity, Slither, American Psycho, The Decent, and Trick ‘r Treat.