Anonymous April 6 5:20 PM asks:
What I would love would be a list of your Favorite Horror Films of the 21st Century (Thus Far). I'm curious to know which films you make the cut, and which don't.
Let it never be said that I am not a man of the people.
At first, this request gave me a good chortle. Do I even have any favorites released in this century? I am, you see, a hateful curmudgeon with a vocal, hair-trigger disdain for much of the offal that Hollywood thinks we’re indiscriminate enough to cough nine bucks for. And in all fairness to myself, much of that offal is, well, truly awful.
Not that my heightened awareness of the genre impresses many. If any. God as my witness, I once had a “debate” with a young lady that threw up her arms in frustration when she was unable to convince me that the remake of THIRTEEN GHOSTS (2001) was a superior horror film to William Friedkin’s THE EXORCIST. Because “the effects were totally way better.” Totally way, mind you.
That was in 2003. My desire to pry out her larynx with a claw hammer has lost none of its original luster.
But as I researched, I soon realized that my cynicism here is misplaced and that this young century has indeed squirted out some fine horror. Damn fine. In some cases, fodder for classicism. Here’s a rundown of my favorites by year.
2001 – AUDITION
Honorable Mention – THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, JEEPERS CREEPERS
Worst – THIRTEEN GHOSTS
2002 –28 DAYS LATER
Honorable Mention – MAY, BELOW, THE RING
Worst - FEARDOTCOM
2003 – CABIN FEVER
Honorable Mention – HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES, FREDDY VS. JASON
Worst – WRONG TURN
2004 – SHAUN OF THE DEAD
Honorable Mention – Zack Snyder’s DAWN OF THE DEAD, CREEP, SAW, SEED OF CHUCKY
Worst - DARKNESS
2005 –THE DEVIL’S REJECTS
Honorable Mention – THE DESCENT, WOLF CREEK, FEAST
Worst – DOOM, ALONE IN THE DARK., HIGH TENSION, THE FOG remake, THE CAVE, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR remake…sweet buttery baby jeebus, what a torrential turdfest ’05 was!
2006 – tie: SLITHER, HARD CANDY
Honorable Mention – ALTERED
Worst – DARK RIDE
2007 – 28 WEEKS LATER
Honorable Mention – SWEENEY TODD, THE MIST, BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON, THE ORPHANAGE, FIDO, DEAD SILENCE
Worst – HOSTEL II
I want to be clear. These are my favorites. Some, like DEAD SILENCE, are guilty pleasures, but all are films I recommend the most often, enjoy the most, watch repeatedly and/or rewarded by dropping some coin to own the DVD. They may or may not be the best. HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES, for example, is a fairly awful film – but the characters are amazing, the production design is fantastic, and it leads in to my favorite movie of 2005. AUDITION and 28 DAYS LATER, on the other hand, both made me lose hold of my fluids at least once and might be among the scariest films of all time. Don’t bother requesting that list. It’s coming.