Tuesday, May 7, 2013

25 Greatest Horror Movies of the Decade (So Far) - Part Two

And so the list continues...

10. Beyond the Black Rainbow (2012). Why aren't more people seeing this movie? It's on Netflix. That's the only requirement people have to watch movies, right? Anyway, Beyond the Black Rainbow is a psychadelic, retro acid trip of a subversive horror film. It's what you'd get if Stanley Kubrick and Dario Argento were still making movies. It's a very psychological, non-linear horror that is pretty rare for today. And the score is motherfucking phenomenal.

09. Stake Land (2011). I've got a full review somewhere on the blog, but Stake Land is a great, well-acted post-apocalyptic thriller that injects a breath of fresh air into the vampire genre. In addition to making the monsters monstrous once again, there's an underlying theme of the definition (or re-definition) of family after the world has ended.

08. Attack the Block (2011). What is Joe Cornish doing right now? Because the answer should be everything. The brilliance of this movie (produced by God among Brit directors, Edgar Wright) cannot be understated. So there are these British thugs, and we see them rob a woman in the first scene so that we know they're thugs and it's not just the way they dress. But then, BAM, aliens. Aliens all over the damn place, and now the thugs have to defend their neighborhood, people who don't trust them and people they don't particularly trust. And the fuzzy blacklight aliens look awesome.

07. John Dies at the End (2012). Don Coscarelli only seems to direct a movie about once every ten years but when he does, it's truly something to behold. His last movie before John Dies was, for the record, Bubba Ho-Tep, a winner in every sense of the word. In this case, a lot of credit also goes to David Wong's brilliant novel on which this is based. As a film, it is unlike anything you will probably experience this decade. Basically, there's this drug called soy-sauce that is no simple hallucinogen. It doesn't alter your perception of reality, it alters reality itself. The movie is side-splittingly funny, the characters are believable despite themselves, and it raises some actually thought-provoking questions between dick jokes.

06. I Saw the Devil (2011). Hard-hitting, insane Korean film and that should be enough for you to see it. It's insanely violent, for the record, and there's an action element too that is actually pretty easy to go along with. It makes you enjoy watching a film you really don't want to enjoy watching. It's a pretty unique experience as only Korea can offer and the cinematography provided herein is absolute perfection.

05. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2011). Of all the movies on this list, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil might be the most absolute fun. Like the best horror comedies, this is great fun and brilliant satire at the same time. Tucker and Dale are two good ol' boys on their way up to the family cabin, and through a wacky series of misunderstandings, teenagers end up suffering horrific deaths and the backwoods rednecks have a doosy of a day dodging the psychotic preppy college student who blames them for the deaths of his friends (but is actually just SO horny to kill something.)

04. A Horrible Way to Die (2011). Talked about Adam Wingard a little bit down the list as he worked on V/H/S, but that didn't showcase his incredible talent as a director nearly as much as this movie, which is haunting. A woman is trying to move on and pull her life together after the discovery that her boyfriend was a serial killer and the subsequent arrest left her a broken, sheltered alcoholic. As she puts the pieces together one by one, she meets someone in AA who gives her something she hasn't felt in a long time: hope. But the old boyfriend has just broken out of prison, and there's only one place he wants to be.

03. Let Me In (2010). Well, look at this. A list of 25 movies over the past three years, and only one remake. But a fantastic remake it is. This American adaptation of Let the Right One In followed closely on the other's heels, but it stands on its own and the two films compliment each other nicely. The American version can't play up the gender questions as well as the Swedish version, but it does focus a little more on the relationship between two children, one who is a monster and one who has great potential to become a monster, and never makes excuses for the actions of its young protagonists, or villifies them. The film constantly walks a line and the two young stars, Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee deliver more genuine, heartfelt and adult performances than most actors out there right now.

02. The Woman (2011). The Woman is the collaborative effort of writer Jack Ketchum (The Girl Next Door, The Lost) and director Lucky McKee (May). It therefore should be expected that the resulting film would be both extremely impactful and extremely, extremely disturbing. And yet no one was expecting this. The Woman plays on the traditional American family, the structure of such, and the very ideas of nature/nuture, male power, and violence in general. The woman is the last survivor of a cannibalistic clan of savages living in secret in the Maine wilderness. She is discovered by a man while out hunting, a man who is well-respected and adored in his community, who then takes her home to chain in his basement in attempt to "civilize" her, despite her never having so much as set foot in a house in her life. While the woman is a cannibal, the clean-cut American family becomes the monster as father and son bond over raping and torturing her, and the poor mother keeps quiet over the whole thing, while the daughter--who hides a secret of her own--hopes to somehow save this situation, but fears for her life in doing so.

01. The Cabin in the Woods (2012). Joss Whedon and longtime writing partner Drew Goddard (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cloverfield) team-up to write a deconstruction of the horror genre told through a horror movie that is, in a way, every horror movie all at once, and what a surprise, the results are something insanely genius that will be written about for a long time to come. The Cabin in the Woods is not merely a game changer, it has cleared the table and laid down a whole new game. It's hard to reveal absolutely anything about the film because to reveal anything is to begin to reveal everything. Within the (hilarious) text of the movie, there is biting social commentary, societal commentary, commentary on the people who make the movies as well as the people who watch them. Whether you've seen a single horror movie or a thousand, you will be able to see the brilliance in the entirely new form of genre-filmmaking that is presented herein. If you stayed away from the film because of it's title, in that it sounds like every horror movie ever, that's exactly why you need to see it. It isn't. And it isn't because it kind of is.

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