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Monday, January 3, 2011

The Vault of Horror's Top 10 of 2010

The previous 12 months were interesting ones for the horror genre. I won't say outstanding, but I also won't say terrible. There certainly was a bunch of entertaining and engaging films released last year, but not as many as in some previous years. I can't say I'm totally thrilled with this top 10 list, but I can at least honestly say that the top 7 were films I genuinely found to be terrific. The rest may very well have been bumped if I had had the pleasure of seeing movies like The Crazies and Daybreakers, for example.

But alas, I was invited by the incomparable Scott Weinberg of Cinematical and FEARNet (by way of the delightful Britt Hayes of Brutal as Hell and CHUD) to take part in a vast Ultimate Horror Top 10 of 2010, and so here is the list I came up with, when pressed. My list, along with those of many others across the horror blogosphere, have been tabulated to create a soon-to-be-published master list of the best horror flicks of 2010. I'm thrilled to be a part of it, and here's the list I sent in!

10. Afterlife
The inclusion of this one is definitely proof that I needed to see more new horror films in 2010. Ah well, what can I say, life got pretty busy. Still, there are worse ways to kill a couple of hours.

9. A Nightmare on Elm Street
Sorry, people, I actually enjoyed it, OK? Sue me. No, not as good as the original, but I thought it was a decent little horror movie, and the "Dream, Dream, Dream" drugstore scene is pretty classic.

8. The Wolfman
A flawed film, but one I enjoyed nonetheless. I've long been waiting for a remake of this Universal classic, and I can't say I was disappointed.

7. [REC] 2
Alright, now we're getting into the really good ones. I am a huge fan of the original [REC], and though I found it far scarier than this, I will go on the record as saying this was the better film.

6. Piranha 3-D
Just a ton of fun, and when it comes to horror, that's really what I've been gravitating more and more toward in recent years. Great gore, and a balls-to-the-wall attitude you don't see too often anymore.

5. Shutter Island
Not really horror in the truest sense, but a very well-made psychological thriller from Martin Scorsese.

4. The Human Centipede
I enjoyed this far more than I ever imagined I would. I also was amazed that it really wasn't the gross-out flick I was expecting, but actually a very cerebral horror film. And Dieter Laser definitely plays the best villain of the year, not to mention having the coolest name ever.

3. Survival of the Dead
I championed this flick like nobody's business, and I stand by that. As a lifelong Romero fan, I found this to be the maestro's greatest zombie flick since Dawn of the Dead. And I fully realize I'm of the minority opinion.

2. I Spit on Your Grave
Another pleasant surprise, although nothing about this movie could really be described as pleasant. In the end, I found it much better than the original, even if it was surprisingly even more brutal.

1. Black Swan
Another psychological thriller, but one that has Oscar written all over it, especially in the case of the always-excellent (when she's not being directed by George Lucas) Natalie Portman. I just had the pleasure of seeing it, and can honestly say it was my favorite horror film of 2010. Expect a review of this amazing film a little later this week...

There you have it, Vault dwellers. So, what do you think of my choices? What would yours be? Let me know!


Monster Scholar said...

I might finally throw caution to the wind and watch the Human Centipede on Netflix. That PLAY NOW button keeps calling my name. I also cannot wait to hear your thoughts on Black Swan. I might be obsessed as evidenced by my White Swan/Natalie Portman dream. There was a trapeze act in there too. I can't wait to hear what my therapist makes of all this too.

Elliot Ibáñez said...

Amazing list, I also enjoyed all those films (with the exception of Afterlife, I need to check that one). And I love that you state it in almost every description, films are to be enjoyed!!!

Anonymous said...

I just finished watching "The Human Centipede." I've had it in my Netflix queue for a while, but your words here pushed me to watch it. Wow, how disturbing. Very good movie. Not sure I'm willing to go "great"...but very good.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I did not make it far into Human Centipede. I need to let it be campy; I just was not expecting it to be so campy.

Black Swan was definitely cool. Everytime I saw the mother I thought, "they're all going to laugh at you!" even though it is not really like that. :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, your taste in movies is pretty bad.

HorrO said...

First, I am glad to see someone else who was brave enough to include NOES in their top movies list. I know it wasn't a great movie, but I liked it. Afterlife was ok, but nothing special. I liked how you described Piranha. It was just a fun movie that you couldn't take seriously. Black Swan was good, but not really my type of movie. Shutter Island was better than I thought it would be. While I support you with NOES, I can't support Survival of the Dead. The movie didn't do anything for me. I don't know if you saw it, but I really enjoyed Let Me In.

Unknown said...

Hmmm. With Wolfman and After.Life on that list, I'm left to wonder about your ranking of Paranormal Activity 2--assuming you saw it.

And I guess I really do need to see Black Swan. Love the trailer, but my cynical side keeps gnawing at me when I see it.


A good list. I still need to see all the films on it but what I've seen I agree with.

And I think if my name had been Deiter Laser my life would have been very different.

Greg said...

Just wrote my review for Black Swan. Definitely one of my favorite recent films.


I was actually quite disappointed with Shutter Island, thought it wasn't bad. The best parts were definitely the parts with Michelle Williams.

John Bligh said...

Ugh... It was a rough year for horror films, wasn't it?

Can't agree with you more about SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD... I loved it also and would probably make it my #1 film of the year.

SHUTTER ISLAND could have been so much better if it hadn't fallen apart in the second half.

As for NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, I refuse to watch any more remakes, even if on some of them actually are passably OK (Think DOTD or CRAZIES) as that would just be encouraging the creative bankruptcy of modern Hollywood.

I Like Horror Movies said...

Many unexpected picks, but now you really have me interested in seeing BLACK SWAN and the I SPIT remake B! I'll leave the new NIGHTMARE to you though. Happy New Year!

B-Sol said...

Rabid--no, unfortunately, PA2 is among the flicks I have NOT seen yet...need to remedy that.

Amie said...

i cant believe you liked human centipede!! i was fully bored!! me n my friends discovered it way in its prelimary stages accidently at school and got excited, n then when it started getting banned we were sooo hyped up to see it that we couldnt wait to see it in good quality we downloaded it. biggest let down.

im with you on the rest tho, especially nightmare on elm ( <3 )

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