[Original post can be found on horror-movies.ca]
Yes, it was a slow year. None taking themselves TOO seriously — a few new additions to existing franchises… that said, I think it’s still safe to say that I enjoyed the horror offerings of 2011.
Also, I enjoyed the very quiet transcending of drama into the horror genre that produced movies that somehow just got into my head. Here’s my list of the top 10 of the year:
10. The Thing I mostly just feel like for this movie. First “ugh” moment came when I realized it was a prequel. Second “ugh” moment came when I realized that Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character “Kate” was supposed to replace Kurt Russell’s character “R.J.” [from Carpenter’s 1982 remake] in my head. Nope. Not a thing.
As much as I love Mary Elizabeth Winstead, that just wasn’t going to happen. Kurt Russell is the Kurt Russell of Kurt Russell. Otherwise, this is a totally entertaining film. I mean, it is what it is: secluded area, shape-shifting monster, everybody dies.
9. Attack the Block It took 1/10th of the budget used for the failed Battle: Los Angeles to make this almost flawless alien attack movie the EXACT SAME YEAR. And you most likely didn’t hear about it because I’m pretty sure its marketing budget was used to buy a broom that would later be used as a ‘weapon’ in the film.
It’s quick witted and chock full of British urban slang that at times is hard to decipher. That’s OK – I knew what was going on the entire time: punks killing aliens… the end. Attack the Block was masterminded by the same machines behind Hot Fuzz and the cinematography suggests that Edgar Wright was standing right behind the guy behind the guy behind the camera guy the entire time.
8. Inkubus Yet again, Robert Englund convinces me that nobody will ever be able to deliver bone-chilling dialogue and outlive any span of time the way he can. This is a psychological thriller [with some laughable moments thanks to Englund being Englund] involving demons and the like. The kill scenes are memorable, and Joey Fattone is in this movie and surprisingly good! I enjoyed the nostalgia of his past and surprise of his present, in this top notch B-horror.
Was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this during its quite limited release – it should be appearing via DVD soon.
7. Red State Curiosity drove me right into the arms of this film. Kevin Smith doing horror? No way! Well, first of all, the only part of this movie that felt even remotely like “Kevin Smith” was the language and long dialogue. I appreciated that and noted his obvious growth as a filmmaker. I’m hesitant to call this a ‘horror’ film, but expect it to rate in my list because of the emotional reaction it brought out of me: frustration. I also left with that ‘unfinished’ feeling, and an appetite to want more from it. Is that the formula for getting a movie into a person’s head these days – make them figure out what they think the ending should have been?
See? Still rambling about it.
6. Final Destination 5: Everyone gets skewered, nobody survives, and I could have seriously cared less – this is what I love about the Final Destination films. This and the absolutely gratuitous death scenes that part 5 offered up [nudging you about the gymnast scene right now].
Nix the 3D… I didn’t see a need for it. Oh, and I wish you all could have seen the s**t-grin stretching across my face as I watched the twist unravel at the end – absolute genius! On that note though, I will not be impressed if the fine filmmaking folks of this franchise try to resurrect it.
5. Scream 4: Two things: 1) Wes Craven came back to the franchise, and 2) I’m so glad because this was SO MUCH FUN. I know I know… the critics winced. But, remember that other time Wes Craven came back another really popular series [*cough, cough* A Nightmare on Elm Street] and everyone hated it? I bet if you ask any NOES fan now about their faves, A New Nightmare will always be in the top 3.
And how much did I love the opening scene?! The movie within a movie – within a movie – within a movie thing was definitely Craven’s “I still got it, bitch” moment. And yes, Wes Craven, you do.
4. Fright Night: Surprised to see this one so high on the list? Be more surprised if you didn’t – Collin Farrell is one hot, mean, glitter-free vampire that will most likely kill you, but certainly not make you marry him before a good f**k. I can stand behind that.
I found this remake to be witty, fun, and for lack of a better word – relevant. Abandoned, foreclosed homes in the hedonistic suburbs of Las Vegas being turned into vampire layers? It’s plausible. Just saying….
3. Chillerama: Oh my god, this was a riot. And kudos to the trio of amazing directors behind it – this anthology goes straight to the top of the list with the likes of Creepshow, The Twilight Zone, and Trick ‘r’ Treat. THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANKENSTEIN [Adam Green] is my personal fave — I love that I thought Joel David Moore [as Hitler] was actually speaking German until I heard one too many “Fahrvergnügens” in there.
2. I Saw the Devil: Don’t hate me, but I thought ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’’ was an absolute bore. That said I was hesitant to give another Kim Jee-Woon movie a try. I hid in the corner watching the chatter for months before finally forcing myself to watch this.
Bravo, Jee-Woon. Bravo. Ahhhh – this movie is crazy, and gory, and just AAAAHH! New York Post reviewer V.A. Musetto said it best: “When it comes to bloody revenge movies, it’s difficult to beat the South Koreans.”
1. The Troll Hunter Let’s see… A government employee who hates the bureaucracy behind his job – has to fill out a form every time he kills a troll? A TROLL? YES PLEASE.