Wednesday, November 18, 2009

YMD's Super Sweet Sixteen: HORROR EDITION

So it's the end of the year, and that means lists. And if you haven't noticed, we're also moving into a new decade which means even more lists. And we're not gonna do some bullshit "TOP THOUSAND MOVIES EVER MADE" bullshit, because in addition to that being beyond retarded, we also don't like those squeaky clean numbers. Oh, you're going to do a Top 100 Movies of the Noughties (cute) London Times Online? Well fuck you, you included Crash. Our answer to that nonsense? Many lists of 16. The 16 Best Reality TV Characters of the Decade, 16 Documentaries, 16 Action Movies, 16 Albums, and the like. We're kicking this list BONANZA off with the Top 16 Horror Films of the Decade. There were a lot to choose from and sadly, I had to leave some of my favorites out. Sorry House of Wax, you may have impaled Paris in her lacy underpants, but you didn't make the cut.

16. House of the Devil - dir. Ti West, 2009
This teeny tiny sleeper (does it count as a sleeper if it's still sleeping) that came out a few weeks ago absolutely deserves a spot on this list. Babysitting, Satanic Cults, filmed on Super 8, 80s music. In the way that Far From Heaven perfectly replicated the 1950s melodrama genre, House of the Devil is so over the top copycat of movies like Prom Night and Stepfather that it puts those two films' remakes to shame. I really hope someone else besides me and Maciej would see this movie (and soon) so we could have someone else to talk to about it with.

15. Frailty - dir. Bill Paxton, 2001
File under: movies whose twists have actually shocked me and weren't preposterous. Also might be filed under: movies involving Matthew McConaughey that don't make me want to pick up an axe and recreate some of the scenes in Frailty

14. Slither - dir. James Gunn, 2006

13. Session 9 - dir. Brad Anderson, 2001
Pre-CSI David Caruso as asbestos remover in abandoned Massachusetts insane asylum. I think this movie was probably made for under $10 (again, eat shit and die Parashitty Actsuckity) but very possibly frightened me more than any other movie on this list. Driector Brad Anderson went on to later make The Machinist and Transsiberian which blurred the lines between drama, thriller and horror pretty well in my book. Do yourself a favor and Netflix this movie you've never heard of, and then give me credit when you can't sleep.

12. Vacancy - dir. Nimród Antal, 2007
This movie (which I initially thought I was going to hate) had me so terrified of the black stain on my motel room ceiling in central Pennsylvania last month that I was almost certain the nice Indian family running the place was going to make me into a snuff film.

Before you judge me, this was from like 6:30 in the morning, OK? Wasn't looking my best.

11. The Host - dir. Joon-ho Bong, 2006
Monsters in the sewer+Korean social commentary on pandemics=#11 on this list.

10. Cabin Fever - dir. Eli Roth, 2002
Another in the horror-com genre on this list, although Maciej so astutely points out that this one includes director Eli Roth's precious social "sub"-text. Also it includes the grossest sex scene ever filmed. Or thought of. God, Eli. Ew.

9. House of 1000 Corpses - dir. Rob Zombie, 2003
Here's what Rob Zombie is good at: making a horror movie that is yes, very very campy, but also so startlingly gruesome and gritty that it makes you feel bad for ever thinking that violence is fun to watch. He's also good at writing and recording the song "Dragula."

8. The Devil's Backbone - dir. Guillermo del Toro, 2001
There's del Toro, and there's Almodovar. Aaaand then they make a movie together. Done.

7. Inland Empire - dir. David Lynch, 2006
Maybe this is stretching the limits of what one might call a horror movie but have you seen this movie? HAVE YOU? The sounds in this movie are more horrifying than anything the Saw franchise could even dream up. And they thought up someone getting steamed to death people, think about THAT. Also, there's this:

6. The Descent - dir. Neil Marshall, 2005
I have never been so scarred by a second viewing of a movie. Word to the wise, the DVD ending is so hopeless it may leave you clutching yourself and rocking back and forth.

5. Let the Right One In - dir. Tomas Alfredson, 2008
There are two movies in which dubbing the voice of a little girl have worked and the other one is The Exorcist (Mercedes McCambridge ftw). Also, I could talk about the lighting in this movie for hours. I have. In a lighting class.

4. Three...Extremes - dirs. Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike & Chan-wook Park, 2004
This documentary about how Bai Ling stays young on the flesh of aborted fetuses really gets to you. She's fucked up.

3. Martyrs - dir. Pascal Laugier, 2008
As an avid fan of this blog, I read about a lot of movies that sound awesome...and then never come out in the US (STILL waiting for that Kerri Russell cannibal movie). This film and the following one I waited for for almost a year to be released on Region 1 DVD. This was the ultimate payoff. A confusing, if not frustrating explanation of the plot in the final 15 minutes? Yes. But the buildup is so impressively creative and terrifying it negates the curious ending.

2. Inside - dirs. Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury, 2007
A woman gets chased around for two hours while a maniacal woman in a black gown tries to give her a C-section with various kitchen appliances. You'd want to see that movie right? You should.

1. The Hills Have Eyes - dir. Alexandre Aja, 2006
I was sick on my 22nd birthday. Like tonsillitis, fucked up on steroids, at home in Connecticut and miserable sick. So my mom, in her infinite kindness, suggested I leave my couch and go to the movies with her. "We can go see anything you want," said Donna. "OK, take me to see a horror movie," I replied. Then we spent a couple of hours in a theater watching the most unpleasant movie either of us had ever seen. By the time that dude who played Jame Gumb in Silence of the Lambs got burned alive on a stake while his family watched, we had realized this. I made my mother sit through mutant rape. I still feel kinda bad about that. But this was by far, the best horror movie of the last decade.

1 comment:

Marty said...

Matt, I like your style.