Saturday, January 15

Monte's Best Horror Films of 2010

“The view in the end, is the best view of all.”

Confused? Yes, confusion is one way of explaining my attitude when looking back at the world of “The Horror” film this year. At times I was really excited about some of the films I watched, at other times I was ready to throw in the towel. All in all, it was an up and down year for me. I contemplated shortening the list to five selections this year, however, after further exploration; I did have more than five films that I admired this year. So, after days of looking through all the horror films that I watched this year, I have made my decision. Cheers.

Best Remake Not In The Top Ten
The Crazies
Though the original George Romero film was very representative of the times, it seems more legitimate during our current state that our government would make the kinds of decisions made in this film. Never watch a remake without first watching the original kids. Promise me that.

Best Horror Documentary
Never Sleep Again
Save yourself the unbearable 90 plus minutes of watching the
Elm Street
remake, and take the 8 hours to watch the documentary of the films that made
Elm Street
a legacy.

Best Genre Educational Feature
American Grindhouse
This documentary is a wonderful abbreviated introduction to the weird and the wonderful films of grindhouse cinema.

Best Everything-But-The-Ending Horror Film
The Last Exorcism
It had me until the final five minutes. The whole setup was intriguing and established a good mystery. The execution of the setup leads to some thrilling visuals, and more questions towards the mystery. Then, with ten minutes left, the film fell to pieces and the great setup and execution were dismissed with a terrible payoff.

Best Real Creature Feature
Burning Bright
Two siblings are left to themselves in a house at the onset of a hurricane. They board the house up in preparation of the storm and go to bed. During the night the storm arrives, along with an unexpected guest…a hungry Bengal tiger.

Worst Horror Movie
A Nightmare on

Elm Street
I usually don’t make it a point to make an example of the worst. And I’m not going to waste valuable lines trying to explain why this remake is simply terrible. Greater care needs to taken with a classic films source material.

Film I Haven’t Watched, But Am Scared To Watch
A Serbian Film
Everyone that has watched this film has told me it’s absolutely disturbing, disgusting, and many other words used to describe horrifying imagery. Many have told me NOT to watch this film, and from the synopsis, I’m not sure if I want too. Time will tell.

10. Frozen
This is Adam Green’s most complete film, and it might also be his best. He has great grasp of film concepts, and I would love to see him do more films that deal with greater things than just gore. He excels in this film by making the terror seem legitimately real, though their decisions might seem baffling, the atmosphere was thrilling.

9. The Human Centipede
Disturbing content in films can be used in many regards during the storytelling of a film. In the Human Centipede, the disturbing content is the film. It’s not always what you see, because not much is really seen in this film, but the mind can do a great job at filling in the blanks. That’s where this film really excels; it makes the audience ask difficult questions, and truly embeds the horror of the situation in the mind of the watcher.

8. Babysitter’s Wanted
Throwback films are really getting good. Last year’s The House of the Devil was a great example, and this year’s Babysitter’s Wanted is yet another example of taking a simple concept and making the most of it.

7. Piranha 3-D
I love to laugh during horror films, though it might scare some people during more serious horror films, I assure you that Piranha 3-D is laughable, manic fun. This film is a perfect example of how 3-D should be used, as a gimmick Mr. Avatar.

6. Suck
With the explosion of Twi-hard maniacs, vampire films are everywhere. Brooding, pale teens painfully gazing into the glitter painted faces of each other, while piano music swoons in the background have seriously harmed the rep of the vampire. Though Suck might not be as deliberately lame, it is a great example of a mumblecore-esque, music focused vampire comedy.

5. REC 2
I went to this film with very little expectation, and left with the biggest smile on my face. This might be one of the best horror sequels I have seen in a long time, and time might crown it even higher on the list. Watching REC and REC 2 back to back would be the best way to experience this amazing sequel. I would explain more, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

4. All The Boy’s Love Mandy Lane
I have waited nearly two years to add this film to my list. I’ve been waiting for it to actually get a release date, but time has not been kind to independent features, and I’m not sure if this film will ever see the light of day in America. So, do yourself a favor and buy the region free disc on, and watch the overwhelming potential of Amber Heard. Who knows what films we would have seen her in if this film were released?

3. I Saw The Devil
Korea is making some great strides in the genre market. This film is part Silence of the Lambs, part Death Wish. Kim Ji-Woon is the genre crossing director behind this remarkable film. With every film he has done, he seems to worry less about complexity of the story and more about challenging himself at making a simple film into an exceptional film. It might be hard to find this film for awhile, but while you’re waiting, check out some of the director’s previous works.

2. Monsters
Monsters could have been a straight forward invasion/creature film, but it aimed to be something greater. It’s a relationship drama first, with the monsters playing the back drop for the relationship of the two main characters to grow around. It’s interesting to me when a genre film spends additional time on character development, you invest yourself and become more committed to the characters relationship and the love they have for each other. This is high art horror.

1. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
I watched this film with my brother two days before Christmas. When the world is celebrating the holiday with heartwarming holiday staples, playing nearly round the clock on television, I choose to find the horror themed Christmas tale. Did you know that Santa was actually a demon monster sent to punish children who misbehaved? Well, neither did I. Rare Exports is a film that might not be taken too seriously, but it takes itself extremely serious. Building the tension and mystery behind it all, it pays off on nearly all aspects. I will be watching this film at Christmas time followed by Black Christmas and Silent Night, Deadly Night for years to come.  

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