2011 has been a great year for horror and I have enjoyed everything from the big screen to some real independent gems. Here are my top ten.
The Woman One of the most talked about horror films of the year left a major impression on me. With an original script that produced an intensity I hadn’t experienced in a film for a long time, I felt like I was having a heart attack, and that was on my second viewing! A great performance by everyone involved, this is Lucky McKee’s finest work yet.
Final Destination 5 Final Destination films are super fun, you know what to expect from them and although the last instalment was just terrible, number five brought it back to the crazy, ride we love. This one impressed me mainly due to the small twists it had in store and how it brought back the tongue in cheek elements the previous sequels captured. The great thing about the series is the anticipation, it’s never what you see that gets you, it’s how it teases you along the way.
Some Guy Who Kills People As the title suggests this is a pretty daft little comedy, but it doesn’t just provide brilliant humour, it has a well thought-out script with charming characters. There are some superb performances, mainly from Barry Bostwick who kills with every line he utters, and has real comic book feel to it all that pops out of the screen to the audience. Though it is mainly a comedy, there are of course horror elements to keep the gore fans interested, producing great mix of genres that will please everyone.
Scream 4 As a big fan of the Scream franchise this was a real big moment for me this year. It was heavily anticipated and I just wanted it to not suck. That’s all I wanted. If it was alright, that was a bonus. Luckily I really enjoyed this film, and have since gone back to it since and enjoyed it with the same enthusiasm. It is a great return to form. What a relief!
Red State Though this wasn’t a perfect horror film, I really got wrapped up in the story and am so glad Kevin Smith chose this rather different path for his next feature after Cop Out. It is fresh, entertaining and really quite horrific proving Smith has more to offer than stoner comedies. Though stoner humour is rife throughout this movie, there is still a real sense of “Kevin Smith” to it; it’s just a lot darker.
Dylan Dog Dead of Night I can just see you all right now, rolling your eyes and screaming “What??” at your computer screens. Well, I don’t care. I really enjoyed Dylan Dog, despite all the bad/poor reviews it got, for me this was damn good fun. Mainly due to Dylan’s sidekick Marcus (Sam Huntington) it did not take itself seriously and had a great load of monsters and gore in the mix. Just my cup of tea.
Stake Land This film was the surprise little hit of the year for me. I went in expecting nothing and got a hell of a lot in return. From the beautiful scenery following two vampire hunters journey up north to Canada, to its insanely grizzly fight scenes, this film pleased in every possible way.
Harold’s Going Stiff This is a real gem that is worth checking out if you ever get a chance. A little independent film from Yorkshire with an exciting new direction for the zombie genre! The greatest thing about this particular film was the genuine emotion it evoked and the absolutely stellar performances from unknown actors. I really was blown away.
127 Hours Some people may not regard this as “horror”, but what could be more horrific than watching something you know one person went through? The short moment where Aron cuts off his own arm to survive is some of the most excruciating cinema I have ever experienced, due to the amazing sound Boyle uses and the performance of the year by Franco, this is more grizzly than any Saw film ever hoped it could be. One of Boyle’s finest.
Juan of the Dead I caught this one at the Leeds International Film Festival and had so much fun watching it. I feared it would be a poor imitation of the Brit hit Shaun of the Dead, but instead it turned out to be a real rival to it. It manages to carry the humour throughout and keeps a real sense of genuine emotion as well. A promising effort from Cuban director Alejandro Brugues, I genuinely hope for a sequel.