Saturday 31 May 2014

Mad Mike's Top 10 Horror Movies of the Past 10 Years

After having done my TOP 10 Horror Movies earlier this year, it got me thinking about more recent films. In turn that got me thinking about the last ten years and what I've seen that has left a mark on me for various reasons. After much deliberation, this is what I came up with...

Number 10 - Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Arguably one of, it not, the best remakes ever to hit our screens, Dawn of the Dead '04 saw Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch) stepping into the director's chair for his feature debut.

Paying tribute to George A. Romero's original, the remake spends most of it's time in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.

The film stars Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer and Ty Burrell.

It also boast some damn impressive make up FX and a scene that still creeps me the hell out every time I watch it. That damn kid in the "wake up" scene scares me!

Here's a video I found featuring the very scene with Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around playing...

Number 9 - The Loved Ones (2009)

One of the best movies to come out of Australia, the states didn't get a general release of The Loved Ones till late 2012. However, being in the UK I managed to watch it in the summer of 2011.

Robin McLeavy plays Lola, or "Princess" as she's affectionately called by her father. She is possibly one of the meanest and most memorable female villains I've seen from the genre in years!

The story follows Brent (Xavier Samuel) who turns down his classmate Lola's invitation to the prom, so she concocts a wildly violent plan for revenge.

Check out the trailer/clip below...

Number 8 - Trick 'r Treat (2007)

I like to call this one the "Pulp Fiction" of horror. This Halloween horror anthology features stories that all have one thing in common, little Sam.

Brian Cox, Anna Paquin, Leslie Bibb and Dylan Baker star in the film that has five interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband; and an old man that has a dark past.

Here's the "Halloween school bus massacre" scene...

 Number 7 - The Devil's Rejects (2005)

Still considered Rob Zombie's best film to date, The Devil's Rejects has a big fan base and cult following.

The film features some of horror's finest including Bill Moseley, Sid Haig, Ken Foree, Michael Berryman and Danny Trejo.

The story carries on from House of 1000 Corpses (2003) with the murderous backwoods Firefly family taking to the road to escape a vengeful police force which isn't afraid of being as ruthless as their target.

The film is brutal and sinister throughout with what I would call a perfect ending headlining Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird.

Here's one of my favourite scenes...

Number  6 - Kiss of the Damned (2012)

This movie went straight into my favourite vampire film list. Kiss of the Damned is simply uber cool, sexy, seductive and fierce, paying homage to all those British/Euro trashy vamp flicks of the 60s/70s.

The vampire Djuna (Joséphine de La Baume) resists the advances of Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia), but soon gives in to their passion. When her trouble-making sister, Mimi (Roxane Mesquida), unexpectedly comes to visit, Djuna's love is threatened, and the whole vampire community becomes endangered.

You can read my full review HERE.

Check out the trailer below...

Number 5 - Paranormal Activity (2007)

Next a found footage flick that divided audiences. I not ashamed to admit that this film was the first film to scare the shit out of me and freak me out since watching Poltergeist as a kid!

The only thing that gets to me in the genre is the supernatural, along with unseen forces. I guess it comes down to that primal fear of the unknown and the fact that I believe in this kind of content.

Katie (Katie Featherston) is haunted by a sinister force so her boyfriend Micah (Micah Sloat) decides to document any and all events on a video camera. Simple, but very effective, the film had a production budget of $15000 and pulled in a massive worldwide box office figure of $193,355,800 which spawned another 6 films (including Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Night) with PA 5 hitting the theatres this October.
Here's the trailer...

Number 4 - Martyrs (2008)

No list would be complete without a foreign language film. This French horror is the first one to make my list.

Directed by Pascal Laugier, Martyrs stars Morjana Alaoui as Anna and Mylène Jampanoï as Lucie.

Years after she escaped from an icy torture chamber in an abandoned slaughterhouse, Lucie enlists the help of her closest friend, Anna, to track down the family who tormented her and exact her revenge, only to discover that they've only scratched the surface of an unspeakably vile secret organisation.

With graphic imagery and a thought provoking story, this will stand the test of time as one of the greatest foreign horror films of all time.

Here's the disturbing bathroom scene which still freaks me the fuck out!

Number 3 - [REC] (2007)

Another foreign horror, this time by way of Spain. While I'm not a massive fan of the Zombie sub-genre, even though Dawn of Dead made it on my list, people would argue that [REC] is a "zombie not zombie" movie. Never the less, I love this film.

The sheer frantic style of the piece is reason alone to get you on the edge of your seat. This found footage movie follows a television reporter, Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco), and her cameraman as they follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.

The frenzied Spanish language along with some real frights is why this movie is high on my list.

Here's the trailer...

Number 2 - Lovely Molly (2011)

Eduardo Sánchez (The Blair Witch Project) returns to form by way of Lovely Molly.

This unsettling and disturbing film tells the story of newlywed Molly (Gretchen Lodge), whom moves into her deceased father's house in the countryside, where painful memories soon begin to haunt her.

Gretchen Lodge gives an incredibly outstanding performance, of which won her a Fright Meter Award for "Best Actress in a Leading Roll" in 2012.

With haunting scenes and a foreboding score throughout, it has a real mind rape of an ending.

You can read my full review HERE.

Here's a clip to watch...

Number 1 - American Mary (2012)

The Twisted Twins, Jen & Sylvia Soska, with their second feature film American Mary made them rising stars in the genre. Their body modification movie is the most original film I've seen in the past ten years and with a fantastic performance from the beautiful Ginger Snaps star Katharine Isabelle, this is the reason it's top of my list.

The allure of easy money sends Mary Mason (Isabelle), a medical student, into the world of underground surgeries which ends up leaving more marks on her than her so called 'freakish' clients. The film also covers the struggle of Mary recovering  from an experience that turns her from sweet to sinister and shows the depth of resolve a strong woman can go to to gain retribution.

You can read my full review HERE and also read my interview with Jen & Sylvia HERE.

Not only did Katharine Isabelle win "Best Actress in a Leading Roll" for the part of Mary in the 2013 Fright Meter Awards, the Soska sisters also received "Best Screenplay."

Check out the trailer...

There you have it, my TOP 10 from the the past 10 years. Do you agree/disagree, or do you have your own? Let me know. Other films that didn't quite make it in are worth a mention too.

In no particular order:

The Borderlands (2013)
We are the Night (2011)
Silent Hill (2006)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
Dead Silence (2007)
Sinister (2012)
The Conjuring (2013)
Let the Right One In (2008)
The Lords of Salem (2012)

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