Best Horrors 2010 to 2012

2010

Frozen – Middle of the night, middle of the forest, middle of winter, and you’re trapped on  a chairlift….A what-would-you-do three hander that is as chilling as it’s title.

Insidious – Some great actors add weight to film that could have come across as ‘silly’ but is instead effectively nightmare-worthy.

Altitude – And at the opposite side of the spectrum: some atrocious acting in a film that somehow manages to overcome it with a truly original screenplay that I found cool, memorable and a little sad.

Let me in – Remake of Let The Right One In that does not alter very much but that i thought was just as good and also much more accessible than the original.

The Loved Ones – Aussies give good horror and this is no exception; gritty, nasty, bloody business about a girl determined to live her prom fantasy at any cost. No holds barred.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (remake) – Disliked by many but I Loved this. Starring two Oscar nominees who elevate the material beyond what it has any right to be and with the technical advances Freddy looks far more menacing and less pizza-like. Says what the earlier film only hinted at and with the addition of micro-sleeps to the proceedings, ups the peril stakes.

Paranormal Activity 2 – A worthy prequel that has a reason to exist and adds bit more story to flesh out this continuing tale of a family cursed…

The Wolfman – Not in any way scry but I am a sucker for werewolf films and they are so rare it’s good to at least applaud this effort that is notable for the effects and the acting if not the screenplay…

Tucker and Dale Vs Evil – Good, fun horror comedy of errors about two backswoodsmen mistaken for inbred freaks by teens who’ve watched too many horrors – funny stuff!

The Tortured – As I’ve said before I’m a sucker for a good ending and the twist in this nasty little films tale is a corker, the content is not for the feint of heart however.

2011

Final Destination 5 – More of the same but if you liked the last 4 why stop there? My favourite death? the gym, a whole audience winces together – ouch!

Fright Night (remake) – I loved the original for 80’s good fun but this remake is an actual horror and that’s nearly all thanks to Colin Farrell’s performance, so menacing and repellant is he as the new neighbour that I felt like pushing away from the screen. Solid support from a very well cast group of actors.

Grave Encounters – Found footage horrors are, for me, the most frightening of all the sub-genres and that’s mainly due to their immediacy. This is not one of the best but some ideas in this are so clever and compelling they made up for the lesser parts. A story about a group of ghost hunters who actually encounter the real thing. Frightening.

Paranormal Activity 3 – Almost better than the first, set in the 80’s with all is techno limitations that only enhance the tension, a scream-worthy climax and some absolutely  terrifying imagery.

Red State – Truly scary? Right wing Christians, as three horny young men find out. Written and directed by Kevin Smith, not exactly a horror but some great dialogue and the possibility of this actually happening increases the fear.

The Awakening – A gothic ghost tale with a sordid twist that featured some solid performances and good jumps – I particularly enjoyed the dollshouse…

Scream 4 – Not as good as the first two but nowhere near as bad as the abominable third. Just a pity it didn’t have the balls to kill off the character everyone wanted it to. I enjoyed the blog cam element and Culkins are always good value.

The Thing (remake) – Grimly atmospheric retelling (and almost reimagining) of the classic horror tale done first in the 50’s (mediocre results) and masterfully by John Carpenter in the 80’s. Can never better the Carpenter effort but if watched apart from that it’s a solid well-made horror with a strong female character that doesn’t just exist to sleep with the males or be a victim.

TrollHunter – My love affair with found footage continues with this Norwegian effort of college students who stumble upon the fact that trolls exist. The trolls differ greatly in both their appearance and effectiveness and no, this didn’t scare me. I just thought it was, you know, kinda cool…

2012

The Cabin in the Woods – Not as scary as it thinks it is nor as funny but definitely a movie that you will have fun with and a killer ending that made me want to applaud in the theatre.

The Pact – After the death of her mother and the disapearance of her sister a woman moves into her childhood home and then things go awry.. that’s a vague description of a film I found truly unsettling and creepy and was not at all what I thought it was going to be.

Paranormal Activity 4 – The fun continues, not as good as 3 but had a lot to live up to there. Always has something new to say. Not stale yet and I am awaiting part 5…

Silent House – A film in real time and in seamless ten-minute takes this is technically clever though it does mean that some scenes seem to go on and ON AND ON. However, I willingly overlooked this because of the unique and psychologically intriguing twist that changed my impression of all that went before it. Must watch again with my new perspective.

V/H/S – Grueling 5 part horror anthology (made by 5 different directors) held together by another story that I didn’t entirely understand but found creepy nonetheless. Some of these are very successful and some not so much but all build suspense to fever pitch and have elements that work well. A unique experiment that almost works.

Woman in Black – Yes it was PG and yes that dumbed some of the horror but for a scary movie catering to anyone over 13 it was pretty damn effective! Some sequences and shots were incredibly tense and creepy, I enjoyed it right up until the ‘happily ever after’ ending.

Kill list – Very violent, Very disturbing, Very slow and confusing in parts but the ending is so shocking and horrible that it worth it just to get there. This is one of those movies that people have analysed long and well online – look up the theories regarding the victims and the plot online as soon as you’ve seen this – it enhances the whole thing.

The Innkeepers – A slow burning atmosphere with amiable characters and some sure-footed direction that builds to a truly frightening denouement.

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