Top 10 Scariest Movies Of The Last 10 Years28.10.11 # Top Ten # 25 Comments
Halloween is almost upon us, a time when the streets fill with costumed kids angling for candy, and the multiplexes clog with scary tales angling for a sequel. And with all things spooky clawing at the collective consciousness, what better time to post Movie-Moron’s top 10 scariest movies of the last 10 years?
The found footage film might now be so utterly played out as to resemble nothing other than the last refuge of the talentless (ooh, hello Apollo 18), but it has yielded a handful of gems over the course of the last decade. Like this Spanish exercise in quarantine craziness, in which a TV crew go looking for a story in a sealed-off building, only to bite off more than they can chew… actually, it’s what they find in the building that does most of the biting.
Dark Water (2002)
A child is seeking redress in this well-crafted offering from J-horror kingpin Hideo Nakata (The Ring movies, natch). Is said redress sought for the kid’s premature, watery demise? Or ahead of time for the tepid Dark Water remake, starring Jennifer Connolly? Answers on a postcard, please.
Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
Unfairly maligned on account of being saddled with the direct-to-DVD stigma, Michael Dougherty’s seasonal anthology flick is actually far better than such an ignominious fate indicates. Fairer to judge it on its sterling cast – Dylan Baker, Brian Cox and Anna Paquin amongst them – on the big name producer who lent his backing to the project – Bryan Singer – and oh, on the fact it’s a tightly-woven little chiller too.
Controversial, to say the least, upon release in its native France, Martyrs begins like torture porn – albeit stylishly done – before heading in a very different direction indeed. An arresting meditation on pain and the purpose of suffering, it remains a source of regret that director Pascal Laugier was unable to bring his revisiting of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser to the screen.
The Orphanage (2007)
The most recent production to emerge from the Guillermo del Toro production stable, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, actually turned out to be only as scary as its trailer, and certainly less scary than this earlier del Toro-produced spookfest, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona. A Hollywood remake has since beckoned, yet stubbornly refused to materialise, despite the efforts of first Larry Fessenden and then Mark Pellington.
The Descent (2005)
Confirming the promise director Neil Marshall had displayed with Dog Soldiers, this subterranean shocker was both a genuinely creepy Brit-flick and a confirmed hit. Marshall has had access to bigger budgets since on Doomsday and Centurion, without delivering as effective results.
Let the Right One In (2008)
Blood in the snow is the most obvious example of director Tomas Alfredson’s eye for an image here, his sense of visual style being trailed in this chilly Swedish vampire tale, before having been confirmed by his recent Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. A story of friendship between two young misfits, Alfredson brings a crafted artfulness to the creepy atmospherics.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Following in the footsteps of Halloween by John Carpenter and The Blair Witch Project by… er, those two guys who have never made anything worthy of note since, Oren Peli’s spin on the haunted house story is the most recent cost-to-profit horror blockbuster. Two sequels have already followed, with the newest of those currently sitting atop the US box office.
Speaking of sequels, this franchise spits ‘em out almost as fast as a telly show spits out its next episode. But while the Saw series overall is hard to take seriously, after seven instalments in as many years, it should not be overlooked that this opening salvo delivered some confirmed nastiness, as ingenious killer Jigsaw visits suffering upon the selfish and ungrateful in society.
28 Days Later (2002)
If a tree falls down in a forest when no one is around, then does it make a sound? Or here’s another one: can a running zombie ever truly be considered a zombie? Dunno, but zombies or not, ‘the infected’ of Danny Boyle’s grimy gorefest were not to be taken lightly. Entirely contemporary, but infused with a sense of genre history (the soon-to-be-a-star Cillian Murphy awakening in an abandoned London, akin to John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids), 28 Days Later also confirmed that Boyle was well and truly back following the disaster of The Beach.
What do you think are the scariest movies of the last decade?
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