We have seen a freight train of great horror films come through this decade compared to the ’90s. Classics that will be remembered up there with Night of the Living Dead and Miss Congeniality. One thing in particular we saw a lot of this decade was great horror made on foreign soil, reminding us that Hollywood is not the only king of screams in the world. (Even if they just steal the same scripts and change the names…)
Without further ado, i’d like to share my top 20 horror films of the 2000s with you all. Though, a brief warning: I have a unique taste for horror. A lot of it you may not like and most of it you may not agree with. To be frank, it’s a great time to be a horror fan. And I can only wish that the next ten years will be just as good as the last. Because I really don’t want the ’90s again. Flashbacks of horror film posters starring all the pretty teens and not the actual killer still haunt me….
20) Donkey Punch (July 18, 2008)
I was going to go into what a donkey punch is but i’m sure most of you know, and if not feel free to look it up. Haven’t heard of the film about the sex move? Not many have. The story follows a few British teens partying on a boat in Spain. After some drinks, flirting, and drugs, a risky sex act is involved and it leaves one of the passengers dead. Now all the passengers are freaking and they have to fight to stay alive from one another. The way the intensity is built up in Donkey Punch is done wonderfully. A horrible problem that could have been dealt with right away ends up escalating way too quickly. As each passenger turns on the other, they all end up having to fight for their lives on a boat in the middle of nowhere. Donkey Punch is one those movies that really puts you into the seat of the main character and makes you think “What would I do?” Intense till the very end.
19) Paranormal Activity (September 25, 2009)
When I went to the Paranormal Activity screening with Fandomania’s own Jason Dorough, we had no clue what we were in for. There was no hype for the film yet and it was just reaching out to major cities around the U.S. Little did we know we were attending a breakthrough film in horror history, almost like sitting down at the Enzian Theater here in Orlando and watching one of the first screenings for The Blair Witch Project. Paranormal Activity centers around a young couple who are being haunted in their home by a unknown supernatural presence. The film shows found footage that the couple filmed in their home during the hauntings.
Paranormal Activity went on to be known as the most profitable film ever made, earning over $100 million at the U.S. box office alone, while the film was made for just under $15,000. But numbers are just numbers. This film is loaded with tons of scares and creeps. Never had I ever seen people leap over the railings and down to the theater hallway to leave a film so fast from fright. That, and my left hand is STILL crippled from the tight grip left on it from my girlfriend.
18) Rob Zombie’s Halloween & Halloween II (Aug 31, 2007 & Aug 28, 2009)
(I’m doing both these films together because they both are really the same fiasco)
I think these movies get me the most crap for liking. I have a been a huge Rob Zombie fan for years now, and when he took the leap to horror films I was ecstatic. Loved House of 1000 Corpses, loved The Devil’s Rejects, but when I heard Rob was taking over the Halloween franchise I was a little hesitant to jump on board. After viewing the first film I’ll agree it had its problems. But Rob totally breathed new life into the Halloween franchise. I think if I had to see another rap artist in a Halloween film I was going to shoot myself. Rob brought his gritty redneck storytelling into Haddonfield. And for the most part, it worked. Horror fans dug the film. It was, up until the second half of the film when we meet adult Myers and feel like we’re watching Carpenter’s classic over again, almost a shot for shot remake. If Rob would have stuck to his guns and made a young Myers movie through and through I think it would have been a way bigger hit.
Moving on to Halloween II we get a completely new film, continuing the story of Laurie Strode’s new dysfunctional life (and we all know how Rob loves the dysfunctional lifestyle). Rob’s storytelling in this film was ten times better and I think he had a lot more fun with this one. Sure, there were a lot of questions I had (White Horse? Really?) but it was tough and brutal. The new young Myers bugged me a bit. Not a perfect film in the least but a lot of fun. I’m pretty sure Rob is done with Haddonfield for now but it was a fun and interesting ride. I still think it beat the snot out of another slasher remake that came out in mid-2009.
17) Cloverfield (January 18, 2008)
In 2007 Internet buzz got around about JJ Abrams’s (of LOST and Alias fame) Bad Robot Productions getting behind a great big epic monster movie. What was it about? What did the monster look like? Would it finally sum up LOST for all of us?! Well, it didn’t do that, but it did wow audiences around the world. A great big Godzilla-like disaster film shot from the perspective of a local suburban man and a few followers. Think live footage from the 9/11 disaster, if only it were done by an alien who crashed in the ocean near Coney Island.
One of the coolest things about Cloverfield wasn’t even the film, but the viral marketing it had. (Any Slusho fans out there?) The web sites, the trailers, the number to call to get information. All of it was done so well and got so many of us nerds hyped up for this flick. Viral marketing struck it big this year! I think Cloverfield was one of the best giant monster films done in a long time, though a lot of people don’t agree. Most complain about the shaky-cam scenes. But whether you love it or you hate it, there will be a sequel. And I say bring it on!
16) Drag Me To Hell (May 29, 2009)
After the release of the Spider-Man films, I felt as if Hollywood went to Sam Raimi’s web head. I mean, there were hints of Evil Dead in Spider-Man 2 during Doc Ock’s surgery sequence, but for the most part I did not see Sam coming back to the low budget world of horror filmmaking anytime soon. Soon after Spider-Man 3 was released I got smacked in the face by a trailer for Sam’s next film, titled Drag Me To Hell, which knocked me on my ass. This is possibly one of Sam’s best films yet. It had to have been the most grotesque film I saw in the last ten years. Any type of fluid I never wanted to enter my mouth, I think entered actress Alison Lohman’s. From disgusting to hilarious to frightening, Sam really jam-packed this movie with what horror fans really wanted to see. (That séance scene, by the way, made the movie for me.) Possibly the closest thing we will ever get to another Evil Dead film. And you know what? I say leave the Deadites where they are. I would love to see Sam make more original horror as good as Drag Me To Hell, rather than ruin one of the best trilogies of our time.