As I reviewed The Strangers, I mentioned that there really aren’t many horror movies that set themselves apart from the pack. I see a lot of horror movies, and only enjoy a select few of them, but when they are good they can be something very great. I’ve restricted my time period to the past 10 years (199
89-2008). This list is based on the films that I have seen, so I may have missed your favorites…
This is a movie that succeeds on many different levels. First of all, it was a huge financial success that let Lionsgate make some different and great movies soon after. Also, it was genuinely suspenseful with a great twist and some very good scares. We, the viewer, were much like the characters, in that we were thrust into a situation that we didn’t understand and figured out things as they unfolded. It is a shame that they abandoned the template of the first film and instead decided to make haunted house ride kinda movies where it became just one room of gore to the next. If you haven’t had the chance, make sure you check out the one that started it all.
Slither was one of two movies on this list that successfully blended horror and comedy. It was a great sort of alien movie that didn’t take itself too seriously, but instead had fun with the things that were going on. Some good action and suspense coupled with some laughs make this a film that any horror fan should check out.
|8||The Sixth Sense (1999)
I was tentative in putting this movie on the list because of the fact that it is more suspense than anything else (plus it was PG-13, which in my mind is a big no-no). None of this can take away from the fact that it is a fantastic movie with a great twist and some nice scares. I personally believe this movie is somewhat of a blessing and a curse considering the hordes of PG-13 horror movies it spawned after its success. This is still a movie that no one will really forget (unless you got the ending spoiled like most people did).
Zodiac was another that was tough to categorize but given the suspense, the true life aspect and the fact that this is one of the best mystery movies I have ever seen, I consider it in some ways horror. It completely covers all of the investigations of the Zodiac murders along with showing them. Twists and turns throughout, along with some really original action sequences make this a movie everyone should see if they have three hours to kill. Read our review.
|6||28 Weeks Later (2007)
This was a film that I really wanted to hate. I thought of it as a bad idea because Danny Boyle would not be directing again, and that there was no need for a sequel to the almost perfect 28 Days Later. I was quite surprised that this was almost as good while being completely different than the first. It goes for big action sequences and a large cast of characters rather than the very small feel the first film had. Nonetheless, it is a creepy film that should be commended. Read our review.
|5||Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Some may disagree with this being on the list given that it is a remake of one of the most revered horror movies of all time. It does stay faithful to the original – only giving zombies some well-needed updates on their abilities. Zach Snyder shows a lot of talent with this movie, which is a lot of fun along with being scary and suspenseful. He needs to be applauded for reinvigorating the genre.
|4||Shaun of the Dead (2004)
This is the 2nd movie that successfully blends comedy and horror, and is the favorite movie of all time for many. It is somewhat of a spoof movie on the zombie genre, but not in the horrific ways that those rogue scary movie writers have been passing off. It has a great amount of affection for what it is spoofing along with some good action and gore thrown in.
While in theaters, this one was sadly a large disappointment financially which made them cut the fantastic 3 hour experience into 2 separate DVDs (Death Proof and Planet Terror), but I still consider it to be a singular experience. It is two great films rolled into one by two of the better action directors of this generation (Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino). If you haven’t seen this one check it out for sure – I don’t think you’ll be dissapointed.
|2||The Descent (2005)
This is one of the scariest movies that I have ever seen. It combines darkness and claustrophobia with carnivorous cave dwelling creatures. It scares the hell out of me time after time and really shows what darkness mixed with a desperate situation can do to a person’s decisions. Plenty of gore and scares put this one firmly near the top of the list.
|1||28 Days Later… (2002)
This is number 1 on this list for several reasons. First, great character development. With so few characters throughout most of the film, it makes the people involved seem very real and interesting. Secondly, it has plenty of action and gore, but also intelligently examines what the apocalypse may indeed be like. Third, great direction and chilling shots of an empty London coupled with superb acting and story compel this one high above all the others.
Now you may disagree with many of these choices for whatever reason, but keep in mind these are the films I have seen. If you like, write a comment with a few movies I may have missed. I will check them out and possibly adjust the list if necessary.
June 14, 2008 @ 6:33 am Desmond
You’ve got a few good ones on the list but The Sixth Sense wasn’t a horror movie. I’d have to disagree with 28 Weeks Later being listed as well.
The Ring, Session 9 and The Blair Witch Project belong somewhere on here. See them if you haven’t yet.
June 14, 2008 @ 3:45 pm Phntmbanana
Yeah I gotcha on sixth sense but I defend 28 weeks based on the fact that it had one of my favorite scenes ever in a horror movie.
Blair was sort of a disappointment for me it was alright for a bit but never really scared me too much. The ring as a good one as well but I sort of forgot about it. I’ll check out Session 9 soon thanks for the comment
June 14, 2008 @ 10:39 pm General Disdain
Ju-on, the original The Grudge, is one the scarier movies I’ve seen meeting your criteria.
June 16, 2008 @ 11:16 am Fletch
Yeah, sorry – I don’t consider about half that list horror, either, though I’m bothered more by the fact that 1998-2008 = 11 years.
June 16, 2008 @ 1:14 pm sasori
The earliest movie was released 1999, so technically it is a 10-year span. Editor musta been drinking when publishing :D
June 20, 2008 @ 10:24 pm Don
Frailty is a good horror/thriller flick involving ax-wielding religious fanatics.
If you’re going to add the original Japanese horror flicks like Ju-on, you’ve got to add Gin gwai (original The Eye) too.
June 20, 2008 @ 11:04 pm Phntmbanana
I didn’t happen to catch Frailty but I’m looking forward to seeing it… again on the Japanese movies I haven’t seen them so cannot put them on the list
June 25, 2008 @ 6:54 pm Jennifer
If you love great scary movies, you have to see the movie, REC. It’s a spanish cam-style (Cloverfield, but done right) horror movie. It is great, Hollywood is doing a remake that will come out this year.
June 27, 2008 @ 7:58 am Mircea
Looks like I missed some of these, I’m off to recover the time lost now!:) Great list!
June 28, 2008 @ 12:21 pm vamp
30 days of night was a good movie.
June 30, 2008 @ 8:29 am Melbz
I really have to disagree about 28 Days Later. The first half of the movie is great, but later it just rans out crazy with the marines and stuff. It’s a real disappointment because the beginning is really good.
July 17, 2008 @ 3:33 pm trent
Saw is torture porn…nothing scary about that. Zodiac was a police procedural, well done…but nothing scary about that. Shaun of the Dead was a black comedy for God’s sake…..nothing scary about that. Grindhouse scary??? when? what scene?? Half the list does not even qualify for a horror film, the creators of this list have no understanding of the genre at all!!
August 8, 2008 @ 1:25 pm cha0smage24
I think that your list was great. Deff would not have included the sixth sense. Not horror but whatever. oh and by the way Blair witch suked beyond belief and my god 30 days of night was almost as bad. What are these people thinking! lol……not in your time frame but the wizard of gore and suspiria are the greatest horror movies ever!!!!!!
August 18, 2008 @ 2:14 am Rob
This is a great list of some of the top horror films in the past decade. I specifically agree with your top three of Grindhouse, The Descent, and 28 Days Later. Whenever I discuss the best recent horror films, those are the three that instantly come to mind. As for the rest of the list, it’s still solid but I have some criticisms. First, I don’t know if Zodiac should be considered a horror film. Sure, it was about a serial killer and had some horror aspects, but it was a film more about the police procedure film and Gyllenhaal’s obsession. 28 Weeks Later, in my opinion, was an OKAY sequel to the almighty original. The gore was amped up, but the storyline was too generic and predictable and the political involvement seemed forced. But overall this is a GREAT list.
August 30, 2008 @ 4:17 pm imhaya.blogspot.com
First Zodiac isn’t a horror movie, it’s more likely a thriller movie. Second 28 Days Later is sucks. I only like it on the first part, when the town is empty. Third if Shaun of the Dead is a horror movie, then Scary Movie too.
My version; 28 Days Later, Zodiac, and Shaun of The Dead shouldn’t be listed there. The Descent should be #1, followed by Dawn of the dead. :)
September 6, 2008 @ 12:27 am Krypto
I agree with most of what’s on this list, just not the order of it. In my opinion, The Descent should be #1 and 28 Days Later Should be #2. 28 Days Later and it’s sequel were really great films. had that foreign horror feel, great story lines and acting. both had brilliant opening and ending scenes, especially 28 Weeks Later. Wow, that’s was an intense setup for a sequel no less! But seriously, The Descent is truly scary. Made me feel clausterphobic, and i’m not at all… As for the rest of the list, well Zodiac is good, but not really horror. And Grindhouse, in particular Death proof, was terrible. And yes, I do agree Shaun of the Dead is one of the best movies ever made!!!
October 24, 2008 @ 3:53 pm Kira
The decent? I’ve seen it on top ten lists so many times. In my opinion its one of the worst movies ever made. It sucks! The plot makes no sence, it relies on pure shock value, and just isen’t remotly scary (maybe i jumped like once or twice but that dont make it a scary movie) Maybe because I didn’t see it in theaters or something i dunno. Shaun of the dead is one of my personal favorite movies of all time but why is it on here, really? And I didn’t know grindhouse was supposed to be scary.
October 25, 2008 @ 11:33 am losfrijoles
I’m sorry but 1998-2008 is not 11 years.
October 26, 2008 @ 1:18 pm tcld
“I’m sorry but 1998-2008 is not 11 years.”
Of course it is!! Don’t post comments until you learn how to count!!
October 30, 2008 @ 12:02 am hemper
I wanna ask trent about his comments on his favourite horror movies
November 9, 2008 @ 1:34 pm M2
What about the remake of Texas Chainsaw?? The prequel was also awesome. BTW I love the 6th Sense, but I would not qualify it as a horror?
November 17, 2008 @ 6:19 pm rosie
none of these films are actually scarey
you need to get out more mate lol
November 21, 2008 @ 6:10 pm gege
are you kiding thise movies suck
November 26, 2008 @ 2:52 pm millinero
hey! Hemper and Sasori u both are jack ass’s and dumb ones too….so 98 to 08 doesnt mnakes it 10 but 11 years….great fools….how much is 10+10=20….8+8+16….98+10+108…which makes it 08 DUH!….which grade are u guys in by the way …i guess u guys never did learnt to count did u….or i rekon u never did go to a school….suckers.
November 26, 2008 @ 5:03 pm General Disdain
Okay, 10+10=20 and 98+10=108. The point of 8+8+16 is what, that it equals 32? Before throwing barbs at people, you should make sure your own post is free of mistakes.
November 30, 2008 @ 3:28 pm Horror fiend
Um 1998 to 2008 is 11 years it may take only 10 years to get there, but its still 11 years worth of Horror movies: 98,99,00,01,02,03,04,05,06,07,08
I cant believe some people dont get it,lol Anyway, good job on the list although its a Hollywood list and there are much better Horror movies out there. 28 days later is a future classic and 28 weeks later was very good, but hardly in the best category. 6th sense is not even a Horror movie.. The Ring was terrible and Japanese/Chinese Horror is shit. They only are able to put out these same long blackhaired, little girl ghosts sories. The Ring may have been a good movie if 30000 directors in Japan/China/[insert Asian country here] didnt all copy the plots into every thing imaginable. Haunted phones,cars,houses,jails etc funny thing is theyre all haunted by the same little girl ghost.
December 3, 2008 @ 10:23 pm ezrawyer
the only ones I can agree with is dawn of the dead and 28 weeks later. 28 days later on top of your list makes me think you have no taste in horror. the best movie on you list is planet terror death proof was ok. the rest of your list is crap. sorry but most of these films are not horror. this is how your list should read!
04. grindhouse deathproof.
03. 28 weeks later much better than days!
02. 04 dawn of the dead! great movie!
01. grindhouse planet terror.
people can throw away the rest of your list.
December 14, 2008 @ 1:19 am millie
“They only are able to put out these same long blackhaired, little girl ghosts sories.”
That’s because that is the traditional ghost of of Japan. The Chinese don’t do that.
December 20, 2008 @ 11:00 pm missa
Okay people who can’t count. Count the years separately, like this. 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. How many numbers is that? ELEVEN!! Wow.
December 21, 2008 @ 9:56 am General Disdain
Seeing as most visitors couldn’t get past our counting mistake, I’ve adjusted the title of the post to reflect ten years instead of eleven.
Hopefully, people will comment on Phntmbanana’s choices now . . .
December 24, 2008 @ 9:35 am Donald
Good list, though I am highly disappointed with some of the comments concerning 28 Days Later, which is a great film. I do agree with comments on The Sixth Sense and Saun Of The dead(which was a comedy unlike The Return Of The Living Dead that blends comedy and horror well, regardless the year it was released), Zodiac and Grindhouse was not horrors as well!
What is most disappointing is that Bair Witch Project did not make the list and most important one of the greatest horror films CABIN FEVER!!!!!!!. Where is it; CABIN FEVER should at least be in the top 3!!!!!!!!!
December 31, 2008 @ 6:13 pm Maeve
Well, some of them I’d have to disagree with but I think the WOLF CREEK should definitly be on that list and maybe IT and umm THE GRUDGE and yeaaah
January 6, 2009 @ 9:00 am Donald
another 1 that I think should had been on the list is HOUSE OF WAX!!!!!
January 9, 2009 @ 5:28 am Claire
Some people really don’t know how to count! Back to Elementary School. Here it goes:
Considering the movies are from 1998-2008 (before the editor changed it), 1998-1999 (all the movies made from Jan. 1998 to Dec 1998), 1999-2000 (again all the movies from Jan 1998 to Dec 1998), 2000- 2001, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 04-05, 05-06, 06-07, 07-08. Now let’s go back and count. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10! MAGIC!!!
January 10, 2009 @ 8:35 am Horror Movies
What about Ravenous? This is a great horror flick!
Decent list; everyone should check out this site:
Not only does it have all the best horror movies around, but its got countless rare, cult, workprints, etc. Really is great!
January 12, 2009 @ 8:51 pm Kayla
i dnt think that the descent,28 weeks later,or shaun of the dead was scary. i think the scariest movie i have seen is the strangers and bloody murder.
January 14, 2009 @ 12:15 pm fangproxy
Japanese/Asian movies r way much better than western crap nowadays coz they r not makin a single box office hit on their own.They copied every Japanese/Asian single film.The only good western horror movies are
Ravenous(beats other shitty movies like Dawn of the dead),Blair witch project,Thirteen ghost’s,They,Exorcist,Dead silence,high tension
n sum others.
And for my friend …Horror fiend
U dnt know shit bout horror movies…..coz ring(Ringu),grudge(Ju-on),the eye,arang,phone,one missed call,audition,sword of doom,A tale of two sisters, are all Japanese/Asian horror movies.n for the long blackhaired japanese girl…..well she can scare you
more than cock eating zombies from dawn of the dead,Sum psychotic bitches
from grindhouse who raped a stunt man,six sense….helping fellow ghost to die happily ever after.
January 14, 2009 @ 11:33 pm Kittysafe
This list is horrible.
First of all this movie is missing such a huge range of brilliant horror, such as A Tale of Two Sisters, in fact this list makes me sad. It’s banal.
February 7, 2009 @ 5:47 pm Jojo
You have to be joking. Little Chucky, Saw IV are sooo scary. how could they not be on this list!
February 12, 2009 @ 10:53 pm demon x
there are some great movies missing from this list….THE SIGNAL for one…SHROOMS is another…High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes(the remake of course) HOUSE OF 1000 Corpses…i mean come on…if youre gonna write a list like this, do some research first,,,also it would be good if they were actually horror movies as well(Sixth Sense???Zodiac??)
February 12, 2009 @ 10:57 pm nick
How about funny games. Gotta see that remake.
February 12, 2009 @ 11:28 pm Kupotek
While I agree this list is amateur and misinformed on the genre of horror, House of 1000 Corpses, The Signal and THHE wouldn’t be an improvement.
February 13, 2009 @ 10:38 pm Ryan Hines
Man, this has got to be one of the worst lists I’ve seen since Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists of All Time.
28 Days Later was the best horror film of the past ten years? Hardly, and many zombie purists will tell you it’s one of the worst. You also put 28 Weeks Later on the list? How long have you been watching horror films? Only the past ten years?
Grindhouse? Death Proof wasn’t horror, and it was utter crap.
Shaun of the Dead is a comedy with zombies, doesn’t quite count.
The Descent was horrible by any horror standard.
Zodiac? Man, that was a pathetic attempt at telling a true story-not horror.
What about Cabin Fever or showing the newest promising horror director-Eli Roth.
The Sixth Sense isn’t a horror movie and Shyamalan is a hack.
Dawn of the Dead remake wasn’t terrible, but deserves no spot on this list.
What about Imprint from Takashi Miike?
Undead-that fuses comedy and horror, yet remains a horror film
What about Shutter, the Thai version? That was horrifying.
What about nearly any Pang Bros film on top of these?
We could list nearly twenty movies that are better choices than the entirety of this list.
Man, have you ever been a horror fan?
March 10, 2009 @ 3:57 pm Dashing Boy
well, all these movies must be better ones, but in my view, “Darkness Falls” has been the scariest and Best horror movie up till now….. It realy lose our heartbeats and brain concetration..ohhh, its Sound is Horrible, and graphics are excellent…. Its realy realy Amazzzzzzzzing movie,, Do watch,, and again post ur comment on that…
Some more movies i like to mention are “Grudge” and “Dead Silence”, these are also my favorite ones…
The Ring, Amity Ville, and Last Day of Sun are another good examples of Better Horror movies….
May 1, 2009 @ 3:25 am enn ardi
I have to agree with a lot of people on this when saying the list is kinda amateur but then again so are some of the people commenting on here.
First off: 28 days later is a BRILLIANT zombie movie and definitely deserves a spot on the top 10 of the decade. Perhaps people here who are self proclaimed “purists” are thinking a bit too one dimensional. The idea of 28 days later is, like some of the best zombie flicks (or any horror movie for that matter), about the psychology of the victims and the idea of group and social hysteria. While everyone is all about the first part of the movie, they ignore the second part because of the lack of zombies when in essence the second part is vital in analyzing how frail the human mentality is and how cruel and selfish man’s nature can be when put in a position of self preservation. The Descent also touches on this the theme of analyzing how terrible humans are at coping with intense situations and how easily we break bonds with others in order to save our own asses.
To throw a few more names into the pool that I havent caught in this forum would be swedish movie LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, TEETH, SPLINTER, and Takashi Miike’s AUDITION.
May 9, 2009 @ 1:40 pm sugarbiscuit
While any list of favorite films is subjective, I do have to take issue with this list of “horror” movies.
First, with Shaun of the Dead, Planet Terror/Death Proof, and Slither, you have four campy/kitsch horror homage/parodies. WTF? These are not horrifying movies, they’re just really good movies from an altogether different genre.
Second, the 6th Sense is horror? Do you understand what “horror” connotes? Horror, according to Websters: “the strong feeling caused by something frightful or shocking.” How the hell does the 6th Sense fit into that definition, seriously? Not to mention the four parody films? The 6th Sense is, again, a good movie (not by any stretch, great) that is a compelling psychological thriller, not horror.
Thirdly, Zodiac is a marvelous film – top five in a great year for film. But, horror? It’s effectively creepy and mesmerizing as a primer on criminal investigation, but horrifying?
I’ll give you the 28 Days Later movies and Descent. Saw is just too stupid to ever be truly horrifying – it’s all style and no substance.
Movies that need to be on this list: Blair Witch Project; Wolf Creek; the Strangers; Let the Right One In; Session 9; Audition; and REC.
These are freaking horrifying movies in the spirit of the classics like Night of the Living Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the Shining.
I wouldn’t normally care enough to offer such a harsh criticism except this tripe was posted on a film criticism web site, not a personal blog. Seriously, is the person who compiled this list 14?
May 10, 2009 @ 11:08 am General Disdain
11. And so what? Horror itself is subjective to the viewer; sure, several of the films, in the classic sense, may not be wholly characterized as horror but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some element of fright to them.
Also recall, the writer was looking for different aspects of horror and not necessarily the truest sense of it (i.e., Websters definition of it).
May 13, 2009 @ 9:14 pm sugarbiscuit
“And so what? Horror itself is subjective to the viewer; sure, several of the films, in the classic sense, may not be wholly characterized as horror but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some element of fright to them”
– General Disdain
Yes, I understand that horror is subjective, that’s why I opened my comment with that exact same observation. Nevertheless, this list is so comically devoid of truly horrifying movies that I felt compelled to share my “subjective” viewpoint. “Some element of horror” does not equal horror any more than H2O equals oxygen. A film is judged on the merits of the sum of its elements. This is why the four horror-homages are a ridiculous inclusion on their face because their elements are predominately comedy and parody, not true horror. I’m sorry, but myself and about 95% of the rest of the commentators on this posting are not simply disagreeing with the author’s subjective opinion as to what is the scariest film, we are attacking the very premise that even one-third of the films listed can even be considered of that genre. The equivalent of this malapropism is to list my top 10 comedies of the last couple of decades and include American Psycho, Lord of the Rings and In the Bedroom because there were brief moments of genuine comedy in each.
“Also recall, the writer was looking for different aspects of horror and not necessarily the truest sense of it (i.e., Websters definition of it).”
– General Disdain
Why should I “recall” this? In his intro, the author simply states his opinion that there are few truly great horror movies made these days and that this is his list from the last 10 years. What “different aspects of horror” was he going for?
May 13, 2009 @ 10:48 pm General Disdain
That’s one helluva stretch. I’ll agree The Sixth Sense isn’t horror but at least the entire film was suspenseful and carried with it a sense of dread that some would classify as being scary.
From his first sentence he mentions he was looking for films that set themselves apart from the pack by offering something different.
Saw started the “torture porn” resurgence; Shaun of the Dead mixed horror and comedy; Grindhouse was two great action/gore films rolled into one; Dawn of the Dead gave new life to the zombie flick . . .
May 16, 2009 @ 2:57 pm Jeff
One movie that I’d really recommend that I haven’t seen mentioned here is Creep, starring Franka Potente. Simple film, but great.
Girl gets stuck in the London tube overnight and gets stalked by a deranged mutant thing. Of the movies on the list, it’s probably most similar to The Descent, but it reminds me more of Slither in that it’s a low budget film, that is really well done. Except that unlike Slither, Creep takes itself completely seriously.
Another really good one is Rogue, by Greg McLean who also did Wolf Creek (which is also pretty good). I’d say Rogue is the best crocodile movie I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen about 100 of them. Like all of McLean’s films it is set in the Australian outback and has some really stunning cinematography. Rogue is actually a bit similar to Saw, in that it’s fairly intellectual – the characters are stuck going against this crocodile and a lot of the movie is about them trying to reason and figure out how to best it.
The thing that gives me truly great joy is finding a low-budget, not-widely released film that still manages to be excellent. Slither, Creep, Cabin Fever, and Rogue all fit this mold. Do you guys have any other recommendations along these lines?
June 16, 2009 @ 2:19 pm pants
28 weeks later was terrible after the first 10 minutes. The rest is nonsense survival horror and touches on almost none of the things that make for a good zombie movie. Awful.
June 17, 2009 @ 2:18 pm queenbqty
This list is really not that good, the only scary movie on the list is The Descent. I think you don’t understand the horror genre. I recommend you watch, The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Shutter(the original),Session 9 or High Tension. I don’t scare easily and these are some of the few movies I found truly frightening. The Asians do horror better than just about anyone else, their horror is atmospheric and deep and they don’t just do long-black-haired ghosts.
Check out Pulse (Kairo) and Audition.
June 17, 2009 @ 4:59 pm sugarbiscuit
“That’s one helluva stretch. I’ll agree The Sixth Sense isn’t horror but at least the entire film was suspenseful and carried with it a sense of dread that some would classify as being scary.”
– General Disdain
See, but this is what everyone is complaining about – you (and the author of this post) are redefining “horror” and including movies that are fine on their own and as representatives of their particular genres, at the expense of truly great examples of horror genre that have been made within the last decade – i.e., The Strangers, Audition, Wolf Creek, etc.
The bottom line is this list is fine for some person’s individual blog or facebook page, but to post something so clearly ignorant of the history and purpose of the subject matter on a site purporting to be home to “the most poignant movie reviews ever written, penned by the most acclaimed film critics the world has yet to discover”, is ridiculous (hence, all the ridicule).
“What ‘different aspects of horror’ was he going for?
From his first sentence he mentions he was looking for films that set themselves apart from the pack by offering something different.
Saw started the ‘torture porn’ resurgence; Shaun of the Dead mixed horror and comedy; Grindhouse was two great action/gore films rolled into one; Dawn of the Dead gave new life to the zombie flick . . .”
– General Disdain
Okay, Saw did not start “torture porn”. Noted modern-day predecessors would be Funny Games or Ichi the Killer. Saw is “smart” horror for stupid people. Grindhouse, again, is homage to the great splatter horror flicks of yesteryear and therefore in no way advanced the genre or took a step “outside the pack”, by sheer definition. Grindhouse, Shaun of the Dead and Slither all deserve kudos, but not on any straight horror list. 28 Days Later breathed new life into the zombie horror sub-genre and is the clear heir to the mantle of Romero’s Dead films. Dawn of the Dead is just another of the useless remakes being rolled out every six months, none of which “set themselves apart from the pack” since they are paltry remakes.
June 18, 2009 @ 7:02 am General Disdain
I’m not redefining anything. I agreed with you: I don’t necessarily define The Sixth Sense as horror but I made the point it at least had some suspense and scares in it (as I was countering the comedy = Lord of the Rings).
You’ll note “most poignant movie reviews ever written, penned by the most acclaimed film critics the world has yet to discoverâ€, doesn’t mention anything about Top 10 lists . . . :)
I also didn’t claim Saw started torture porn, I said it was responsible for its resurgence.
We can go tit for tat all day long but I believe it’ll amount to nothing more than spinning our wheels in the mud.
By the way, what are your top horror films?
July 15, 2009 @ 3:37 pm amna asghar
As i love to watch horror n scariest movies so i love the ideas of making these horror movies.
July 21, 2009 @ 11:19 pm Juan
Whoever it says that 28weeks later is better than 28 days later is probably a little insane or his brain is malfunctioning. 28 Days Later was directed by Danny Boyle and the Script from Alex Garland. They’re the best. I think you only miss Sunshine. Even when its more suspense than terror, still a great movie.
Fuck all other zombie movies, 28 days later ces’t unique!
July 22, 2009 @ 4:45 am Jonathan
Fuck all other zombie movies? 28 Days Later is okay, but you’re kidding yourself and all of us here if you really are telling us fuck all other zombie movies.
Let me recommend some truly fantastic and refreshing zombie movies:
City of the Living Dead by Lucio Fulci
Dawn of the Dead by George Romero
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie by Jorge Grau
Night of the Creeps by Fred Dekker
Zombi 2 by Lucio Fulci
Don’t just be content with 28 Days Later, there’s a lot out there beyond Hollywood ;)
July 22, 2009 @ 8:34 am General Disdain
Submit your top 10 zombie list for publication . . . based on some of those movies you sound like an aficionado.
July 22, 2009 @ 12:07 pm Juan
Sorry… my bad. I was speccially talking about all other zombie movies listed above. I thought the whole thing was related to Horror Movies of the Past 10 years. Obviosuly I was kind of wrong saying that. I retract.
July 22, 2009 @ 12:10 pm Jonathan
@Juan: No harm no foul
@General Disdain: Sounds like an interesting idea :)
July 31, 2009 @ 3:56 am sugarbiscuit
General Disdain said:
“I’m not redefining anything. I agreed with you: I don’t necessarily define The Sixth Sense as horror but I made the point it at least had some suspense and scares in it (as I was countering the comedy = Lord of the Rings).”
Okay, then why do you continue to defend this ridiculous top 10 “Horror” post? If you agree with me, then call it what it is: uninformed and therefore misguided.
The Sixth Sense is a fine thriller, but it’s not horror. You agree. Therefore this list has no credibility, so quit defending it. I’m not attacking the author personally, I’m sure he or she is a fine person and means well, but this list is crap, pure and simple.
And, again, if this were someone’s personal blog posting or a comment on a forum, I wouldn’t bother to comment on it at all – to each his/her own. But this is posted on a Film Criticism site and it’s so obtusely cocksure of its own definitiveness that it’s absurd. This post hasn’t any sense of its own topic or objective and should be rejected by anyone with sense or taste.
“I also didn’t claim Saw started torture porn, I said it was responsible for its resurgence.”
I understood clearly what you said, which is why I pointed out far better examples of films that slightly pre-date Saw that could be cited for the dubious credit of resurrecting “torture porn” (Funny Games and Audition, for example). Saw and its progeny are bad films. They’re cheap, stupid, and ugly, with all the “horror” of any of the other cheap, stupid, and ugly franchise slasher movies. It’s fine to enjoy these pre-fab slasher films for what they are (and I do), but they’re not anything that should be classified in the top ten of anything.
“By the way, what are your top horror films?”
Well, to be loyal to the original theme, I’ll restrict myself to the last decade:
The Blair Witch Project
28 Days Later
Let the Right One In
Everyone of these films is unsparing in their depiction of the truly horrifying. Not one of these films has to be qualified in order to fit someone’s top ten list. They’re horror, plain and simple.
July 31, 2009 @ 9:50 am Juan
This is not a place for “Let the Right One In” The movie is poetry for our souls. You shouldn’t have mentioned it here. Period.
July 31, 2009 @ 10:01 am jeff
You’re an idiot for making the claim that you wouldn’t waste your time and literary talents on a personal blog; no, it takes something important, like an internet top 10 list from june 2008, to draw your valuable attention.
I also disagree with your classification of Saw as a cheap, ugly, stupid franchise slasher movie. The sequels, sure, but the original movie, I think, is smart, original, entertaining, just all-around great. That movie had, what, 4 sets, and 85% of it is two people sitting in an empty room (well, actually, 3 people :) ) so you know it’s dialogue-driven.
HOWEVER thanks for actually supplying a list of movies. I think your top 10 is too full of foreign films, so here are some of my favorite horror films from the last few years, none of which require subtitles.
My Bloody Valentine 3-D
The Hills Have Eyes 1&2
Wrong Turn 1&2
And yesterday I watched the newest Friday the 13th, which certainly wasn’t great but for me was surprisingly entertaining.
July 31, 2009 @ 12:42 pm sugarbiscuit
That’s a fine perspective, but it doesn’t change the fact that at its foundation Let the Right One In is a horror film dealing with classic horrific themes. Therefore, it’s easily classifiable as a horror film, as the vast majority of film critics do.
Just because a film transcends its genre doesn’t mean it breaks the tether to that genre altogether.
For example, The Shining is a deeply symbolic film, particularly as a socio-political metaphor for the base depravity of white male tyranny as exemplified by the genocide of the American Indian. Just because Stanley Kubrick was a true artist and a very astute observer of the human condition (as well as American history), doesn’t alter the fact that The Shining is stunningly horrifying.
Finally, Juan, I’m curious if you are implying that classifying Let the Right One In as a horror film is somehow degrading?
July 31, 2009 @ 5:39 pm sugarbiscuit
Firstly, thanks for beginning your post by insulting my intelligence. That’s always an excellent way to convince someone to take your point of view.
Secondly, I never said that I “wouldn’t waste [my] time and literary talents on a personal blog”; nor did I say, “it takes something important, like an internet top 10 list from june 2008, to draw your valuable attention.”
What I did say was this: If this is someone’s personal blog or a comment on a thread or whatever, I wouldn’t be as annoyed by its presence, because I respect people having different opinions on subjectively analytical issues like the quality of movies. But when a film criticism site posts something as laughably unsound as this list of “horror” movies, I feel compelled to speak out, because there is an aura of authority to the latter that’s not remotely attached to the former. If you can’t grasp that difference, perhaps you might want to peek into a mirror the next time you decide to exclaim the word “idiot”.
Third, as to Saw, let’s agree to disagree. I think all of them are completely awful and even the original installment lacks an ounce of the intelligence or honest scares of any of the films I listed. But that’s my opinion. And as I also said above, I do enjoy dumb slasher horror films, I just have enough sense to recognize that I’m enjoying them not for their inherent horrifying qualities as much as for the visceral “how will the top themselves this time?” gore factor, etc.
I’m curious, what do you think is so smart or original about Saw? In my single viewing of the original, the acting was terrible, the script was one-dimensional, and the situation utterly ridiculous. Not that most horror movies don’t usually revolve around pretty ridiculous situations, but the successful ones at least make an attempt to draw on a tiny quality of plausibility. Saw to me is stupid for the same reasons that any of the franchise slasher films are: it turns the killer into some sort of supervillain that belies the underlying comic book level thoughtfulness that went into their conception.
I mean (to offer one test of the efficacy of a horror film), did you actually have trouble sleeping after watching Saw? Where you genuinely creeped out by anything in that movie? The truly horrifying films should get into your subconscious and root around. There’s nothing in my subconscious fears that’s triggered by the anxiety that some super villain is going to kidnap me and put me in some stupid trap that requires me to gouge my eye out in order to escape; and all because I’ve forgotten how to truly appreciate life. WTF?? That’s so colossally implausible to me that I can’t feel any visceral fear of it. But if it works for you, to each his own.
Fourth, I don’t know how to respond to your jingoistic pride in the fact that your favorite horror movies don’t require subtitles. That’s really not something to be proud of. But I will give you credit for compiling a list of actual horror movies. Most all of them (obviously) aren’t on my list, but that returns us to my original point: I don’t take issue with anyone’s subjective taste in horror movies. What I do take issue with (and I think you would agree with me here Jeff) is the mis-categorization of objectively non-horror movies as “horror.” If you have to qualify why your favorite movie is “horror”, it’s probably not horror.
July 31, 2009 @ 5:55 pm jeff
@sugarbiscuit – I take back my snarky remark from earlier. I’m the idiot for writing it. It’s time I stopped burning bridges – (dramatic pause) – and started building them. This message thread has become an important facet of my life, and your thoughtful comments and rich metaphors are two of its driving forces. Thank you.
I do feel compelled to complain about the grammatical error that you made here: “Therefore, it’s easily classifiable as a horror film, as the vast majority of film critics do.” I’m sure you recognize that your ‘do’ points to an adverb, ‘classifiable’, mussying up the sentence’s verb structure. I assume you just took a shortcut but it mars the otherwise pristine sheen of your prose. If you would be so kind as to indulge me, could you offer an amended sentence?
@everyone, “horror” is not a degrading classification, it’s a neutral classification; what matters is whether it is “good” or “not good”.
“foreign” and “indie” would be examples of degrading classifications. I rest my case firmly and simply on that spinning reel of dog vomit known as “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, which ironically by sugarbiscuit’s definition is a horror movie, in that it “is unsparing in [its] depiction of the truly horrifying”
August 1, 2009 @ 7:59 am Juan
Yeah my bad. I just thought it shouldn’t be mentioned here. Same with 28 days later. I didnt even feel them like an horror movie. They were much more deeper and much more elavorate.
August 2, 2009 @ 10:04 am General Disdain
From my vantage point, a movie doesn’t have to be a splatterfest. It just has to elicit the emotions of fear and dread from viewers.
Based on that basic definition, The Sixth Sense could be made to fit, although, I agree with you that it is not a horror flick in the classical sense nor would I have included it in my top 10 could I think one up.
Great debate. Too bad Phntmbanana has decided to abandon it.
August 16, 2009 @ 12:42 am Daniel
I am very susprised nobody here has mentioned “The Others”. One of my favorites horror movies
September 1, 2009 @ 1:16 pm rahul
the desent is a bullshit plz don’t ever watch dat if u really wanna watch horror den go and search for”The Blair Witch Project” and “Living hell” and pant i wanna ask u dat have u seen that movie 28 weeks later dat d shit one.
September 13, 2009 @ 11:32 am Ashleigh
Man your list doesn’t completely suck but 6th sense wasn’t even scary, and Zodiac, is a documentary basically… Not classified…
The Strangers should definitely be in there..
That was a damn scary movie…
I was running from light switch to light switch for about a week!
Stephen Kings IT should definitely be on here, that darn movie has made me petrified of clowns…
Also the shining, the orphanage, and Amityville horror..
September 18, 2009 @ 9:36 pm Hugh Jass
Please read the title. Unless there is some remake of IT or The Shining that we are unaware of, why the hell would those movies be in a list from 199-2008?
I’ll agree with you that The Orphanage is decent. So was Midnight Meat Train.
September 28, 2009 @ 9:35 am messias
you guys suck sixth sente doen’t even scared my cat fuck off guys thats not a horror movie
October 6, 2009 @ 10:08 pm funk you
What a shity list, slither?one of the worst horror movie i’ve ever seen, shity list shity author, go learn to apreciate movies man….
November 10, 2009 @ 2:54 pm BART
You people are stupid.
Some things scare people more than others..
The movies in this list obviously scare the author and the other people who seem to like them as horror movies as well.
A horror movies intention is on scaring people and obviously there are people here who got scared by the movies on the list.
So, To all those people telling the author that his/her list sucks, and that he should go watch “real scary movies”, get over yourself. Obviously you don’t find this scary but the movies that you find scary might not scare other people.
November 10, 2009 @ 3:42 pm jeff
Thanks for the multitude of useful movie recommendations
November 13, 2009 @ 2:46 pm Pete
The number 1 deserves the spot!
The Saw Series is scary too, but I chose not to watch it because of its disgusting scenes..but anyhow, it was nice.
Thanks for posting this list of movies..
November 27, 2009 @ 7:55 am Daniel
The Descent is the one thing up there that I’ve watched that I KNOW belongs there. I never knew I could be that big of a wuss when I watched it. I absolutely LOVED the extended edition’s ending. When the last girl realized her escape was just a dream and she was still soaking in a pool of blood and then it zooms out to show how vast the cave was. It was just saying “No, you will die here, every inch of you”
The Strangers also needs to be up there. The way they teased you when she was making coffee and the bag headed man was just standing in the corner… that was terrifying.
I’m sorry if you don’t agree with these two and I wish I had more to offer but I would also very much appreciate any suggestions for horror movies to see. I know it’s kinda lame but I do usually prefer some good production value. Also I really like stuff like the strangers when they don’t just make stuff jump out at you. I honestly see that kind of as cheating. I mean, you could show me a puppy really quickly and raise the music and I’d still jump. What I really love is when they tease you with what is going to be attacking before you really know what it is or what it wants.
January 20, 2010 @ 1:17 am ranadve
In My List of Favorite Horror,
#1 An American Haunting
#2 Haunting In Connecticut
#3 The Ring
#4 The Echo
#5 The Orphanage
February 24, 2010 @ 8:19 am HrorrBuff666
“grindhouse” is not a movie, they made horror flicks back in the 70s. tarantino just happened to be a fan, so he worked with them.
if you guys wanna see “truly” scary, then watch
(in no particular order)
1. Henry : Portrait of a Serial Killer
4. Cannibal Holocaust
5. Funny Games
6. Man Bites Dog
February 24, 2010 @ 8:40 am HrorrBuff666
by the way, the flicks i mentioned arent from any particular time frame either. just really really disturbing movies. oh and the original “Last House On The Left” was great. Waaaay better than the new one.
February 24, 2010 @ 11:20 am jeff
Disagree re:Last House on the Left. I saw the remake first, then was really excited to see the original, but was really disappointed- just came off like a weird exploitation film.
But speaking of original Wes Craven 70s horror pictures, i did really enjoy the original The Hills Have Eyes
February 24, 2010 @ 9:11 pm HrorrBuff666
it is indeed a very strange film, the new one just came off as too much of a toned down version for me to enjoy. the original was intended to be ridiculously malicious, and i think thats what gave it a certain appeal. the new one just seemed like any other horror film, while the old one had some really disturbing subject matter. ex: the scene in which the more “sexually advanced girl” is trying to make her forced upon intercourse with the other victim (a virgin) a more tolerable experience by whispering things like “its o.k… its just me and you.” is very hard to watch, while most the scenes in the newer film are very “easy” to watch. Wes Craven told film critics that he “wanted to go places no one would dare go”. Upon completion of the film he later stated that he would “never go to those places again”. so i guess in a way they are two pretty different movies. good to see a guy who like his 70s horror though, its awesome isnt it?! If you like the remake of Last House, you would LOVE High Tension, but only watch it in French. They released a dubbed version in english, and its like a completely different film it is so bad.
February 25, 2010 @ 3:12 am HrorrBuff666
reply to sugar biscuits list: Session 9!! wow great film, suprised to see it mentioned on this thread. A true blue psychological horror movie
March 1, 2010 @ 5:27 pm conor
IT the clown was one of the scariest things in my life i watched at 8 years old and never look at a plug hole or drain the same way!!!!
March 3, 2010 @ 4:13 am HrorrBuff666
i was around 6 or 7 when my father came home with the exorcist on vhs. he must have been loaded or something to think i could handle that film at such a young age. But after that i can say very few things have scared me since. I guess you could say it made me the horror junkie i am today. Cheers Dad!!
April 29, 2010 @ 8:16 pm blah blah
WHERES “JEEPERS CREEPERS”????? AND “IT” SOME OF THESE ARENT EVEN SCARY THERE JUST NASTY AND GORY!!!!!WHAT ABOUT “CHILDREN OF THE CORN” AND “AMMITYVILLE HORROR” THOSE ARE THE BEST EVEN THOUGH I DID REALLY LIKE DAWN OF THE DEAD
April 30, 2010 @ 6:30 am Kittysafe
Jeepers Creepers was bubble gum, are you kidding me?
I agree this list is flawed, but all lists are subjective and a waste of time.
May 8, 2010 @ 7:20 am Rubadubadoobag
Disagree completely on the person who complained about long-haired Asian girl ghosts. Given that 70% of girls in Japan have long black hair, it stands to reason that when they die and become ghosts they will have no opportunity for a haircut or dye job just to suit your American sensibilities. Besides, girl ghosts are often scarier than boy ghosts as it reinforces the fact that they are ghosts and you can’t just bash them. Besides, they are far scarier than anything American – even Shutter (Thai), a complete unoriginal ripoff, was very effective. This is evidenced by the fact that Hollywood needs to copy all these Asian horror films and tone (read: dumb) them down for their domestic audience (having seen so many epic fail remakes, Ive come to the conclusion that American audiences don’t like being scared – it is the only reasonable explanation for why the remakes are always so bad and sometimes even have happier endings inserted)
May 8, 2010 @ 7:29 am Rubadubadoobag
For Daniel: recently-seen good horror movies
* Eden Lake (English) (not for the self-righteous)
* The Orphanage (Spanish)
* Shutter (Thai)
* Martyrs (French) (not to everyone’s taste)
* Inside (French) (not for the weak-stomached)
* A Tale of Two Sisters (Korean)
some that were less impressive but still OK
* Imprint, Cigarette Burns (Masters of Horror series)
* Session 9 (features the orange from CSI Miami)
* The Eye (bit poor actually)
* The Pulse
Of course Ringu and Ju-On are classics that will scare the pants off you, so if you havent seen them you’re really missing out.
On topic: the reviews on this list (except for The Descent) were movies that I found entertaining but not in the slightest bit scary. Each to their own I guess.
September 1, 2010 @ 10:13 am cobra
Hey Guys … did u all forget about Jeepers Creepers!!! Its the Creepiest movie ever… If u havent seen it.. o see jeepers creepers 1…
September 10, 2010 @ 7:45 am Tanya
For heavens sake please post some good horror movies which are really eerie.dats real supernatural or ghostly, from which side did u qualify saw and grindhouse? blood nd gore doesnt mean scare..its torture nd pain..nd attacks on ur appetite..!! the grudge, the ring these can be called scary movies..even the blairwitch project..and i wud request to see shutter…u hav made a slasher movie list to some extent..not a scary one..
July 17, 2011 @ 6:10 am sameer
horror movies are the best genre of movies to me.
my list is
3.THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE
4.DRAG ME TO HELL
September 11, 2011 @ 11:07 am jack
Why do people bother complaining about the list? What you need to understand is that the list is comprised of the 10 films the author finds scary. There are so many films and so many types/genres of horror films that it is obvious the author won’t please everyone. People say “Do you have any taste in horror?”, when really they should say “Do you not share my taste in horror?”. My point is proven by the other comments. One guy says The Descent is shit, an other says it is a masterpiece. Personally, i will defend The Descent in the fact that not only is it a horror in the traditional sense, but also because it is psychological too, and i quote Variety magazine when i say it is about “The ethics of survival”, and how the human characters have to make impossible choices to save themselves. An example already in mind was The Descent Part 2, where Sarah, the main character, was in a cave with a creature and to other humans. she has a choice to let the nearer one die and risk her own survival, or shut her up and make the creature follow the further person. this, along with the dark atmosphere of Alien, the descent into madness (no pun intended) of The Shining and the adventure gone wrong of Deliverance makes The Descent Part 1 & 2 the true contemporary horrors.
October 27, 2011 @ 4:09 am Zephrah
I love the Descent!! It’s like my fave movie of all time. the descent two wasn’t as good but I still love it just because it’s related to the movie… hope they make a third!!!!
January 4, 2012 @ 7:23 am Keez
Time for an upgrade of the list – there’s been alot of good stuff in recent years..