Wednesday, October 31, 2018

13 More Great Horror Films of the 21st Century

Happy Halloween all!

So last year, I made a list. A Halloween special list. I like it a lot, but I am bias. You can read my list here, its my 31 best horror movies of the 21st Century. There are some that think the genre is dead. Well, that really depends on where you look. Just looking at the top 31 there, you have a huge host of different styles, focusing on different phobias and from different countries. You could marathon those 31 films and feel overwhelmed by all the fear.

Here's the thing, there were a few films that I felt bad leaving off the list. There are still lots of great horror films being made still. Movies I think that will be recognized as classics when I am old and grey. I have come up with thirteen more movies from the 21st Century that I think need their spotlight. Have fun with these if you've never seen them.

13. IT (2017)
I'm gonna be honest real quick, I don't think we've seen the scariest adaption of this classic novel by Stephen King. But I will say that Bill Skarsgaard delivers a memorable performance and the masterful work done by every kid in the Loser's Club is absolutely spot-on. That human connection is important, especially in a King story, because once the shit really starts to hit the fan, you care for the characters more than normal. There is some genuinely creepy atmosphere here that has forced this one to linger quite a bit.

12. The Nightmare (2015)
Who knew? A documentary about sleep paralysis harming eight people would not only be scary but absolutely horrifying. What this documentary (yes, documentary) does so well is really put you in the position of these people suffering day and night. I don't know how they do it because if I had this condition, I'd probably want to die.

11. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Between 2003 and 2009, there were about five hundred thousand remakes of older horror films from yesteryear. I had seen most of the originals by that time, and I wasn't all for remaking old films just to cash in. As far as the remakes go, I have to admit, some were pretty good. One showed up on my list last year. The remake of "The Hills Have Eyes" is horrifically unsettling. Everything about the attack on the trailer is just disturbing, disgusting and makes me fear for myself. My days of road tripping across the country are over, that's for sure.

10. Don't Breathe (2016)
A bunch of thieves break into a blind man's house and he ends up being more dangerous than expected. Seems like a real tough gimmick to set an entire movie on. So paint me surprised when I found out just how much it actually worked. It brings terror, it brings tension and scares. With a twist so startlingly disturbing that I nearly lost my lunch. It maybe gimmicky, but its the real deal.

9. A Quiet Place (2018)
I saw this a few months ago, and I am still reeling from it! Fantastic work by John Krasinski. The bathtub scene is still one of the year's best movie moments. This is going to be a film that lingers until the very end of the year, I bet.

8. Goodnight Mommy (2014)
America isn't the only country making quality horror films. This one from Austria not only builds some serious tension across its running time, but there is a big hook the movie rests on. I am not sure how much fun you'll have if you figure the movie out before its presented to you, but there is plenty of memorable scenes that will keep you satisfied.

7. The Last Exorcism (2010)
I've had to defend myself on this one ever since its release. But I still say its a spooky good time. I think exorcism films are tricky. I don't think anybody has touched what William Friedkin pulled off in 1973. However, I think "The Last Exorcism" comes pretty close. Some people get caught up on the film's ending twist. Some say its a cop-out and it makes no sense. I'd urge you to rewatch the film, and pay close attention to every detail from start to finish. Pay close attention to what the locals say as Father Cotton makes his way to the Sweetzer farm. Pay close attention to the pictures Nell has in her room from the moment you meet her until the end of the movie. Pay close attention to what the Sweetzer family's old pastor says to Father Cotton. There are clues for the twist ending laid down all over the movie, only adding to the fun of the entire thing!

6. Hush (2016)
Yes, I've got a movie on this list about thieves breaking into a blind man's house and I've got a movie about a killer breaking into a deaf woman's house. Here's why "Hush" works though. They dared to make the characters intelligent. Too many times in horror, we see gruesome deaths happen to dumb characters. What makes this movie extra scary is that characters actually make smart decisions, which actually puts us on edge.

5. Silent House (2011)
Before Scarlet Witch got her powers, she was being haunted in an old house. I love how this movie feels like one long continuous take. It feels disorienting and quite frankly, real. You feel like you are walking around this spooky house with her, trying desperately to stay away from the invaders. This is a fun little game of a movie.

4. The Ritual (2018)
I never got around to reviewing this for the site. So let me tell you this, "The Ritual" is one of the very best Netflix Originals so far. Feels very original for a horror movie in general. Lots of great mood, and some shocking imagery!

3. Requiem For A Dream (2000)
All I know is when my daughter is the appropriate age, I am going to sit her down and have her watch this movie. She'll never have any sort of curiosity about drugs. Parents, that is a guarantee. If you are worried about your children doing drugs, have them watch this movie, you'll scare them straight. How do I know? Because I saw this in high school and ever since I have been way too freaked out to even touch a hard drug. This movie takes a cold, unflinching stare at the world of drugs and addiction. So effective that by the end of the film, you'll want to crawl out of your skin.

2. Mulholland Drive (2001)
This...really isn't a horror movie. But hey, how do you even begin to categorize anything David Lynch makes? His movies exist in their own reality. I have to single this film out though, because it has the single best boo scare ever. I remember having a bunch of people over who had never seen it in high school, and when the scene happened, the whole room in voice gasped and everyone's head jolted back. A girl I had a crush on at the time grabbed my hand and didn't let go until the end. It is the definition of boo scare and it lingers forever afterward.

1. Irreversible (2003)
Here is a movie so powerful, that I've seen it once and I promise I will never see again. Not just because of how horrifying it is, but how horrifyingly brutal and powerful the imagery is. If you are really wondering what I'm talking about, simply Google the movie's title. The scene that has made this film so notorious is readily available on sites like YouTube or Vimeo. It's the most realistic scene of sexual violence I have ever seen on film, so much so that it leaves scars. What makes the movie even more painful is how it's a movie that moves backwards. So we see everyone's world before the shocking act of violence, and how happy this woman was and everyone in her orbit was. It's a painful reminder that we are powerless to stop all the events that lay before us the next day. Its so unnervingly awful that...yes...never again.

Happy Halloween everyone, have a fun time celebrating!

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