42nd Street Cinema

10 Horror Movies of 2010

The year that everyone got 3D fever. Here, in no particular order are my picks of last year's the good, the bad and the outright atrocious. Enjoy.

10. Saw 3D
So this year we finally got the final installment of the Saw series. What began as an interesting crime thriller, similar to Fincher's Se7en (1995), quickly became the highest grossing horror film franchise, complete with 2 video games, a comic book in tow, as well as being at the forefront of the critically-coined 'Torture Porn' sub-sub-genre.
However, the film itself was in my opinion, 'just another' Saw movie. It felt like every other Saw movie, the only saving grace was the inventiveness of the various traps and the 3D - albeit scarce.

2 Stars

9. Frozen
Adam Green's latest flick and he's filmmaking talent has certainly matured. Beginning with Hatchet (2006), a throwback to the slasher films of the 1980s, which in turn felt more like a parody of the sub-genre, than a respectful homage. Then in 2007, Green brought Spiral to the scene, a psychological horror film that didn't rely on cheap humor, over the top violence to be an entertaining and thought provoking flick. Finally, in 2010 Green brings us Frozen. An amalgamation of survival and psychological horror films. Filled with likable characters, buddy humor and chilling sequences, Frozen was a real treat and definitely one film that's left a lasting impression on me.

8. A Nightmare on Elm Street
Now, I know I've already posted a full length review for this, but I felt it was imperative to mention it on this list. The film is nothing more than a diabolical master class in how not to remake a widely beloved cult classic. Jackie Earle Haley is essentially reprising his role as Rorschach from Watchmen (2009), only under the guise of Freddy Krueger. The film relies purely upon cheap scares through the use of loud noises, it's only saving grace is the cinematography, which does look truly stunning.

2 Stars

7. The Crazies
When I first heard that there was a remake of The Crazies in the pipeline, I was excited. I was excited because as much as I love Romero's original, I feel that in the right hands it could be given the update it deserves. The initial 40 minutes are great, everything is set up nicely and the cinematography looks beautiful. Then, out of nowhere things start to slip up and the film loses momentum, direction and sadly the last half of the film becomes overly predictable and most of all disappointing. But at least Timothy Olyphant is in it...right?

6. Paranormal Activity 2
I'll admit, I liked the first Paranormal Activity. It didn't blow me away completely, but I thought it was a well put together flick, considering the shoestring budget and ultimately the film was a huge success, à la The Blair Witch Project (1999). Now, the sequel unfortunately was a huge disappointment, re-using gags from the first film and eventually building up to what are absolutely laughable sequences I feel Paranormal Activity 2 fails at being a good genuine horror film on every level.

1 Star

5. Cherry Tree Lane
I picked this up on a complete blind buy, little did I know about the surprise that I was in for. Running on a similar 'Hoody' culture/middle class terrorization theme as Eden Lake (2008) or the french film Ils/Them (2006), Cherry Tree Lane is essentially an in depth study into the human psyche and how people behave in certain situations. Both the protagonist's and antagonist's actions are explored and overall it works very well. However, the only downside to the film in my opinion is that it ends rather abruptly, or perhaps that's because I was enjoying watching each character so much.

4. Piranha 3D
Unfortunately I missed the theatrical run of this, I ended up watching it on DVD. So because of that I can't give a decent enough commentary on how the 3D was. That out of the way, I can begin my critique of Piranha. Which is a great 3 star movie, it excels in being a sleazily entertaining little picture chock-full of gore, babes and cameos from a host of well known to the not so well known/genre favourites. The underwater photography is gorgeous, as is the piranha's conceptual design. Those babies look vicious. Oooh spoilers.

3. [Rec] 2
This is, the film that Aliens was to Alien. The actioned-up sequel to a suspenseful horror that works. [Rec] 2 was such a joy to watch, the inventive 'picture-within-a-picture' sequences added to the claustrophobic atmosphere of the quarantined tenement. My only real critcism of this is that, some of the first person POV shots felt a little like watching someone play the 'Zombies' mode from Call of Duty: Black Ops. However, that said. Go watch [Rec] and [Rec] 2 back to back.

2. The Last Exorcism
Finally, another film that left a lasting impression on me, considerably the last chilling 10 minutes. The pseudo-documentary approach works wonders, especially with the narrative structure.
I honestly didn't think this film would live up to much, but to simplify how I feel about The Last Exorcism is that, it's this generation's Rosemary's Baby.

1. Machete
Okay, it's not a horror movie, but it belongs here. Robert Rodriguez's balls to the wall action-exploitation and what is essentially the 3rd film of 'Grindhouse'. Rodriguez also pokes a satirical finger at immigration while Danny Trejo is finally cast in a lead role that perfectly suits his physique and appearance. Machete is lovable, with all the plot holes and needless cameo roles included. It is what it is, a self-aware, over-the-top action flick.


Fred [The Wolf] said...

Awesome list! I agree - ANOES remake was absolute garbage. I really hope they don't do a sequel to that. FROZEN, MACHETE, PIRANHA 3D, and THE CRAZIES were pretty awesome though. Still need to catch up on the others.

R. Sterling Gray said...

I guess I just dont like 3d, cause that was really my only complaint about the last Saw. Other than that, I thought it was a nice end.

But, thanks to this write-up, I plan on seeing Piranha now!

The Man-Cave said...

Have not seen Cherry, but I agree with Exorcism, Piranha, and REC 2. Nice list!

watch movies online for free said...

I love 3d. There is different entertainment of watching movie is 3 d cinema. In fact, My children are big fan 3D cinema.

xlpharmacy said...

I was looking at the name of the 10 Horror Movies of 2010 and I do not know why you included Machete on that list, it is kind of violent, but definitely not a horror movie in my opinion!!

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pay per head online said...

be honest with u but Paranormal Activity 2 have to be removed from this list the movie its worst ¨horror¨ movie that I saw :p

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