Friend of FMWL Marvin the Macabre of the always excellent site The Montana Mancave Massacre has sent out a call for help, and The Mike darn sure wasn't gonna let it go unanswered (BTW, y'all should click the logo below and answer the call too). Especially when it involved...y'know, a list. Lists are to Mike as canned hams are to Oprah. (Also, jokes about Oprah and canned hams are to Mike as canned hams are to Oprah.)
Enough talky talky, let's roll. From 2002-2011, these are The Mike's ten favorite horror films. Oh, and here's too many honorable mentions. Do you have any idea how hard it was to narrow this down to 10???? (HINT: It was REALLY hard.)
Absentia, Bug, Dawning, The Descent, Drag Me to Hell, Feast, Frailty, Lake Mungo, Let The Right One In/Let Me In, Pontypool, Red White & Blue, Rogue, Shaun of the Dead, Slither, 28 Days Later..., Zombieland
#10 - Incident On and Off a Mountain Road
(2005, Dir. by Don Coscarelli.)
Yeah, I'm cheating a bit. But Don Coscarelli's inaugural episode of the up-and-down Masters of Horror series won me over quickly. Truthfully, a large part of the charm came from the fact that its theme closely resembles the final paper I wrote for a a creative writing class in college.
|I wrote an alien werewolf, they wrote a moon-faced dude. Potatoes, Potatos.|
#9 - Paranormal Activity
(2007, Dir. by Oren Peli.)
I know it's not cool to like Paranormal Activity, and I suppose I'll lose some horror cred listing this as high as I am. (In fact, I'm listing it ahead of the likes of Let The Right One In and Shaun of the Dead, just so we're clear.)
|Even though Micah's the world's biggest d-hole.|
#8 - Martyrs
(2008, Dir. by Pascal Laugier.)
If Paranormal Activity is the film that sent the most chills up my spine, then Martyrs is one of two films that twisted the most knots in my stomach. (More on the other film later.)
|No barfing in an open wound, please.|
#7 - The Mist
(2007, Dir. by Frank Darabont.)
It had been a long time since teenage Mike cast his own film adaptation of The Mist in his mind. He put Kurt Russell in the lead, a blonde Ashley Judd as his wife (Remember when she was blonde? Rowwr.), John Goodman as the cranky neighbor, Oliver Platt as the store manager, and Neve Campbell as the young, store-bound love interest. I'll be honest: I kind of love young The Mike's brain casting. HOWEVER, Frank Darabont's take on The Mist worked out OK too.
|Thomas Jane is the evolution of Kurt Russell. In other words, he rocks it.|
#6 - [REC]
(2007, Dir. by Jaume Baleguero & Paco Plaza.)
Found Footage horror isn't specific to this decade, but it's certainly come into its own in the hands of independent filmmakers. Paranormal Activity, The Last Exorcism and others have brought the idea of horror filmed by characters to us - but the best example of the genre since The Blair Witch Project hit screens is most likely the Spanish import [REC].
|The 2000s were a big decade for overweight old woman "zombies".|
#5 - Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
(2006, Dir. by Scott Glosserman.)
Honestly, this might be my second favorite slasher film of....well, ever. A decade after Scream hit screens, Behind the Mask took us just there, putting cameras on a likeable young man named Leslie Vernon - who dreams of following in the footsteps of great killers like Michael, Jason, and Freddy.
|Unfortunately, Leslie didn't want to be the first slasher without disheveled hair.|
#4 - Inside
(2007, Dir. by Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury)
Pregnancy has had a place in horror since Rosemary's Baby, but I'm pretty sure no film has ever attacked an expecting mother quite like this French shocker did. To say this is one of the most brutal films I've ever seen is an understatement, as I think only Martyrs can top its brand of artistic arterial spray.
|I can't even make a joke about scissors and unborn children. That just ain't cool.|
#3 - Dog Soldiers
(2002, Dir. by Neil Marshall.)
If it's action horror that you crave, I'm not sure there are many films since Predator that do it better than Dog Soldiers. Neil Marshall's debut is a fresh take on the werewolf, and offers some of the most a$$-kickingest heroes the decade saw on screen.
|Man, this guy really let himself go to the dogs.|
#2 - Bubba Ho-Tep
(2002, Dir. by Don Coscarelli.)
It's Coscarelli and Lansdale, back again, now in the Top 2 of the list. While Incident On and Off a Mountain Road was about a young woman who must survive, Bubba Ho-Tep brings us an old man - who just happens to be Elvis - who fights to survive in a much different way.
|The rumors are true - Cleopatra does the nasty.|
#1 - The House of the Devil
(2009, Dir. by Ti West.)
I occasionally find myself craving this film as I would a pizza. It might not be the scariest, tensest, funniest, touchingest, action-packedest, or any other "est" horror film of these 10 years, but it most definitely has the best conjunction of all the factors that I think make a horror movie great.
|Man, old people get frisky when there's an eclipse. Gross.|