Most Important Horror Films of the Past Decade?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by david g, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. Silent_Bob

    Silent_Bob Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 15, 2001
    The only film that sprang to mind was 28 Days Later, that along with Shaun of the Dead reanimated the Zombie genre. Everything else seems to be bad remakes or torture porn at the moment. Stuff like Hostel in particular i wouldnt even classify as horror. It takes more than disgusting imagery to make something a horror film.

    28 Days Later stands out as true horror, because it doesnt rely on shoving gore and tits at the audience. It actually has more depth - like the fact that its not the Infected that are the real monsters, its Christopher Ecclestons gang of thugs in Tatton Hall.
  2. NileQT87

    NileQT87 Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 5, 2009
    San Diego, CA, USA
    If you want a horror film with a brain and something that actually makes you think... Watch Freaks. And like The Bride of Frankenstein, it isn't much of a horror film at all (in fact, it's been described as a bit of a soap opera). Mostly you just sort of fall in love with or empathize with the oddball cast. They come across more "normal" than the so-called "normal" villains of the piece and there probably isn't a person who isn't 100% behind them when they take their revenge, even if it's the monsters actually becoming monsters as they crawl 'inhumanly' in the mud on a rainy night and chase through the woods after the villain that they literally turn into one of them.

    "We'll make her one of us! A loving cup! A loving cup!" "We accept her. One of us. We accept her. One of us." "Gooble, gobble. Gooble, gobble."

    Some of the most haunting scenes ever put on film. It's a movie you will not be able to forget. It's that unique.

    The film reminds me of a play on the famous Frankenstein mentality of the angry, righteous mob chasing after the monster, but the cliché is turned on its head with the righteous monsters chasing the normal people who have humiliated them and tried to kill one of them. Edward Scissorhands has a similar play on this motif, except it has the suburbanites, who have been nothing but cruel to poor, sweet, innocent Edward, be the ones chasing the good monster. Who is the monster? The ones who look like monsters or the ones who act like it? It's one of my favorite horror motifs. It's the story of the outsider. People are afraid of or shun what is different. Freaks is the ultimate example of it. So much so, that even 77 years later, there are people who can't bear to look at it long enough to realize that these people are just like us with the same wants, desires and feelings that we have. Your reaction to the film says more about you than about the actual film. 77 years later it can still cause very strong reactions.

    There's a reason that it is *the* cult film. It's the thinking man's horror film that doesn't even deserve to be classified as "horror". It's a drama.

    House of Wax, of course, is a showcase for the amazing Vincent Price. It, too, is largely drama with a touch of a horror element.

    A lot of the best horror films are actually more drama than horror.

    Night of the Living Dead is one of the few knock-off-the-main-characters-one-by-one type films that really stands up past being mindless fun. Of course, who can forget the legendary "They're coming to get you, Barbara." One of the most memorable lines in film history. And I love the no-budget look of it. It actually makes it much more frightening than if it had anything even close to a polished look. It's still one of the most effective horror films. I remember when I was 9 having nightmares of arms coming through the windows... And yet, I couldn't stop watching it or showing it to my friends (with a blanket to hide under!).
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
  3. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Feb 19, 2009
    Yeah, I think this was the point of "The Elephant Man" too. Thanks for the recommendations. I will definitely check them out. I had been planning to watch "Freaks" anyway and am anxious to see a movie that really showcases Vincent Price.

    I've seen him be entertaining on the old Batman TV show, but want to see him with a really juicy role in a horror movie. I saw him in the 50s version of "The Fly" and while I enjoyed the movie, I didn't think it gave him much to do. He was pretty much playing it straight there, in a role that didn't require him to be very expressive or show off his oddly unique charisma.
  4. Mike Farley

    Mike Farley Commodore Commodore

    Mar 25, 2005
    Lost Vegas
    One of the biggest problems with recent horror movies--indeed with most genre fiction these days--is that they are being made with idea of "franchise" foremost in mind. This is at the core of the recent spat of remakes that have been plaguing our theaters. Hollywood doesn't want a good scary movie...they want a brand name. They want a Freddie or a Jason or a Michael Myers. Sure most of the classic great horror flicks spawned sequels...but they were more of the "Hey that did well, let's make another one" variety rather than the planned as a series from the beginning variety.

    I've seen some good horror movies over the last decade (glancing at my DVD shelf I can pick out Dead End with Ray Wise and May with Angela Bettis) but they don't end up getting any real studio support...they get a tiny theatrical release (if they're lucky) and get thrown onto video where their audience consists mainly of people who are already inclined to seek out those kind of movies. The general public never even gets to see them and so they never get a chance to become "important".
  5. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Dec 7, 1999
    SAW has been a huge cash-cow and I think a very well written series that is a lot more than just torture-porn. 28 DAYS LATER basically recreated the zombie genre. I'd include SCREAM but that's over a decade old.
  6. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2003
    The Fifth Dimension
    I know this isn't a popular opinion--at least, not around here--but I thought Hostel had a lot more going for it than people seem to think.

    In fact, I suspect that a lot of people who brush it off as "torture porn" haven't even seen it.

    Unlike a lot of horror movies, Hostel had a brain, and something interesting to say about a wide range of issues, ranging from traditional Gothic themes like the return of the repressed, to more modern concerns like sex tourism. And in the process, it re-worked the traditional Gothic imagery of the crumbling castle into the crumbling post-Soviet factory--an interesting comment on our place in history, at present.

    I also found Hostel's tale of confinement, objectification, and sadistic torture just as timely in 2005, in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, as Night of the Living Dead was back in 1968. And it's worth noting that Romero's film was subjected to much the same criticism forty years ago as Roth's is today.

    Now, that said--the sequel was pretty weak. And like George Romero's vision of a zombie apocalypse, Roth's post-modern 120 Days of Sodom seems to have inspired a rash of less-thoughtful imitators. But an artist can hardly be blamed for other people's cheap knock-offs.
  7. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Kaled bunker, Skaro
    I am in full agreement
  8. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

    Feb 21, 2005
    Funny Games
  9. barnaclelapse

    barnaclelapse Commodore Commodore

    May 10, 2009
    Waverly, VA.
    Carnival of Souls is another good one from that era that went about its business in much the same way as Night did.
  10. david g

    david g Commodore Commodore

    May 6, 2000
    cambridge, ma, usa
    Too Much Fun wrote:
    "I just saw Night of the Living Dead for the first time recently and was surprised by how good it was. I actually think despite its low-budget look and more limited scope, it's superior to its "Dawn of the Dead" sequel and even the just has so much more effective suspense, excellent use of location (I got really sick of the people running around the mall), and more interesting characters.[/QUOTE]"

    Too Much Fun, here we differ! While I love the original Night of the Living Dead, I think that Romero's sequel Dawn of the Dead is the greatest of all horror movies. I think the first 40 min of the Zach Synder remake are masterly and it totally falls flat afterward.
  11. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Caped Trek Mod Admiral

    Feb 11, 2002
    Transporter buffer
    I find High School Musical to be pretty frightening.
  12. Mike Farley

    Mike Farley Commodore Commodore

    Mar 25, 2005
    Lost Vegas
    I don't know if I'd say greatest but the original DAWN is certainly up there. Definitely top 5.

    The problem with the remake is that while it got all the jumps and survival horror aspects right it missed most of the social commentary and dark satire that was at the core of Romero's version. DAWN 78 is a great movie regardless of genre.

    Plus Ken Foree is just pure coolness dressed in a SWAT uniform.
  13. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2003
    The Fifth Dimension
    Yeah--but not in a good way.
  14. Barbados Slim

    Barbados Slim Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 31, 2003
    The L.A.
    Most important? The Ring, which introduced J-horror to the west, followed by Saw which created a subgenre.

    Best? I'd go with The Descent, The Ring, The Others, Cloverfield, The Orphanage and maybe Vacancy. Oh, and Quarantine.

    Sixth Sense was more of a supernatural thriller than a horror film.
  15. NileQT87

    NileQT87 Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 5, 2009
    San Diego, CA, USA
    I guess I'll list as many horror films as I can remember having seen:

    (I have a few I confess to having seen--for some reason, I haven't yet seen Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, Psycho or practically anything past NotLD with the exception of Carrie... Yes, that includes Jaws--I admit I'm not itching to see this one as I'm afraid of Discovery Channel specials on sharks!!!--and all of the Freddy Krueger/Michael Myers/Jason Vorhees stuff... Just haven't seen it.)

    Anyway, ones I recall having seen (admittedly, some are absolutely horrendous film-making and are examples of being up at 2-3 in the morning during October or getting together with friends to watch truly horrible films like Eegah!):

    I used this list to figure these out:

    1920 - Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
    1922 - Nosferatu
    1923 - The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
    1925 - The Phantom Of The Opera
    1931 - Frankenstein
    1932 - Freaks
    1932 - The Mummy
    1935 - The Bride Of Frankenstein
    1935 - The Raven
    1939 - Tower Of London
    1940 - The Devil Bat
    1940 - The Invisible Man Returns
    1940 - The Mummy's Hand
    1942 - The Mummy's Tomb
    1943 - Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man
    1946 - House Of Horrors
    1953 - House Of Wax
    1954 - Creature From the Black Lagoon
    1954 - Them!
    1955 - Revenge Of The Creature
    1960 - The Little Shop Of Horrors
    1960 - Village Of The Damned
    1962 - Eegah!
    1963 - The Birds
    1963 - The Terror
    1968 - Night Of The Living Dead
    1968 - Rosemary's Baby
    1970 - House Of Dark Shadows
    1976 - Carrie
    1977 - Exorcist II: The Heretic
    1986 - Vamp
    1987 - The Lost Boys
    1990 - Child's Play 2
    1990 - Stephen King's It
    1991 - Silence Of The Lambs
    1992 - Bram Stoker's Dracula
    1993 - Leprechaun
    1994 - Interview With The Vampire
    1994 - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
    1995 - Village Of The Damned
    1997 - I Know What You Did Last Summer
    1998 - The Faculty
    1999 - The Astronaut's Wife
    1999 - Deep Blue Sea
    1999 - The Haunting
    1999 - Sleepy Hollow
    1999 - The Rage: Carrie 2
    2002 - Queen Of The Damned
    2003 - Wrong Turn
    2007 - Sweeney Tood: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (not straight horror, but it is based on a horror story--kind of a quirky horror musical)

    As I said, some are quite abysmal and some are legendary classics. I've also seen significant amounts of the Night of the Living Dead remake (thanks YouTube), The Exorcist (countless clips), Jaws (countless clips), Firestarter, The Funhouse (saw a few of Elizabeth Berridge's scenes), Plan 9 From Outer Space (thanks YouTube), etc... I think I did see part of one of the A Nightmare On Elm Street films (and of course, I've seen the famous Johnny-Depp-gets-turned-into-a-bloody-geyser-in-bed scene).

    Movies I have interest in seeing next are probably Dracula and The Unholy Three (might as well see some more of those Tod Browning flicks). I've seen extensive clips of Dracula, but not the whole thing.

    And yeah, for horror/retro campy cheese fans, you've got to see Tim Burton's Ed Wood. Great film.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  16. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

    Jun 21, 2001
    Oh man, you've got to get some Hammer stuff in there.
  17. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

    Mar 16, 2006
    Jewell Marceau does "torture porn" now ?:vulcan:
  18. Michael Chris

    Michael Chris Admiral Admiral

    May 11, 2001
    The 'Querq, NM
    Nevermind, googled, ew.
  19. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Feb 19, 2009
    Wow, as a classic horror fan, you have got to see the 1978 "Halloween". It probably won't seem that original to you now, but keep in mind that it pretty much invented the whole 'slasher' genre, and even after being ripped off endlessly over the past 30 years, it's still got some of the most beautifully chilling opening scenes of any movie and remains masterful in its pacing in order to achieve maximum suspense.

    I love the way it teases you by waiting so long to reveal what the big threat of the movie looks like (a lesson learned well by Alien the following year) to make you anxious to see it and more intrigued when you do. I've seen it more times than any other horror movie and it's still my favourite. In addition to amazing atmosphere, music, and direction, it also has a riveting (and occasionally funny) performance from Donald Pleasance. His dialogue about Michael Myers is unforgettably eloquent and intense.

    And Ed Wood isn't just a nice tribute to retro/cheesy/campy horor's marvelously touching in its reverence for movies in general. One of the reasons it's one of my favourite movies is because of how it celebrates Ed Wood through his passion for movies and how much he loves talking about them and making them, even if he's bad at it. By lavishing so much reverence on Ed Wood, it's able to be a poignant tribute to all people who are passionate about movies too.

    Are you talking about the 1931 Dracula? I found that movie disappointing. I love Bela Lugosi's performance and visually it's really interesting with its use of location and the way Dracula's interactions with his victims are lighted, shot, etc., but the ending is really anti-climactic. I guess it had to be the way it was due to limits of the time about how much violence could be shown in a movie, but I think it could have been done better.
  20. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Caped Trek Mod Admiral

    Feb 11, 2002
    Transporter buffer
    I love the Hammer Dracula series (the Christopher Lee ones, anyway). Those movies led me to believe that in women, the jugular vein extends into the boobies. :)