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Top 10 British Horror Films Of The Last 10 Years

Top 10 Best British Horror FilmsBritish horror films. The Brits love a good fright. Especially in the queue for a taxi after 10 pints… hang on… that should’ve said fight. But we do like scary movies too, honest. A pity then that British horror films are too often pumped out like cowpies on the green fields of England, the objects of cynical speculators seeking an easy path into the film biz. Still, where there’s dung, there’s also a smattering of flowers to pick – and that’s just what this list represents, as we look back over the top 10 best British horror films of the last decade.


10: Severance (2006)
Best British Horror Films

He may stand redeemed in the eyes of Eastenders viewers, but for those of us who don’t remove our brains and safely stow them in a shoebox at 7.30 on a Tuesday and Thursday, Danny Dyer stands as one of the crown chumps of UK cinema – the trigger for an avalanche of guffaws at the very mention of box office stinkers like Pimp (total gross: £205) and Run For Your Wife (£602).

Yet not every Dyer outing is, well, dire. Take Severance, scripted by hardcore horror fan James Moran and directed by Christopher Smith: it’s a tale of corporate team-building exercise-turned-bloodbath – although so spirit-violating are such outings that a spike jammed in your gut would come as a blessed relief so long as it happened prior to the group sing along of Mr. Brightside.


9: Attack the Block (2011)
Best British Horror Movies

Would Attack the Block seem to reek so heavily of white guilt if we Brits hadn’t been exposed to its lovably lanky, frightfully middle-class funnyman of a director, Joe Cornish, for so many years previously, via his various TV and radio outings with comedy partner Adam Buxton?

Maybe not, though it’s hard to escape the feeling that Moses (John Boyega) and his gang are treated with an unquestioning reverence, while Luke Treadaway’s slacktivist is somehow demanding of our scorn. Then again, if it’s hard to find an audience identification point, there’s no denying Cornish delivers an effective transposition of Predator to a south London housing estate.


8: Triangle (2009)
Top British Horror Films

“And the Auld Triangle went jingle-jangle,” sang those Aran sweater-sporting berks from Inside Llewyn Davis – but the only jangling that goes on in Triangle, the post-Severance offering from Christopher Smith, is the jangling of nerves. And the jingling? Yeah, there’s none of that. Not very f**king scary is it, jingling?

Melissa George plays the luckless protagonist at the eye of the twisting, terrifying storm, a nightmare that could only have been worse had her character, Jess, found herself trapped in the early ’80s ferry-set soap opera also called Triangle. Go on, Google it – it’s well bobbins.


7: 28 Weeks Later (2007)
Good British Horror Films UK

Yes, okay, so compared to its forebear, 28 Weeks Later lacks a certain degree of bite. Having said that, the saga of ravenous running zombies set in motion by Danny Boyle proved surprisingly simple to revive for a second helping, with Intacto director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo at the helm this time round.

Aided by a solid if unspectacular cast, including Rose Byrne and a pre-Avengers Jeremy Renner, Fresnadillo does a decent job of first calming the stormy seas bequeathed him by Boyle, before duly whipping up a nail-biting whirlpool all of his own. And like every decent FA Cup run, there’s only one place it can all end – Wembley!


6: Eden Lake (2008)
Best English Horror Movies

A first of two entries on this list for director James Watkins, who converted the promise he demonstrated with this white-knuckle debut into the higher profile gig of The Woman in Black.

Admittedly, the point Watkins is trying to make with Eden Lake is muddy as your average British waterway, with him seeming to pitch the viewer against both Michael Fassbender and Kelly Reilly’s YP couple AND the working class kids who torment them. But there’s no arguing with the execution; tight as a garotte round the gullet and perfectly balanced on a razor’s edge of tension.


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6 Comments »

  • No One said

    I saw Eden Lake…a piece of ****. What a turd. Absolutely nothing happens. There is no conflict. No resolution. I kept waiting for the woman to get pissed and beat the crap out of those little $#WQ#ers. Don’t anyone waste your time on this drivel.

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  • MJ Simpson said

    Hard to argue with Shaun of the Dead, The Descent, Eden Lake, Severance and Triangle. But The Woman in Black was pompous nonsense with a badly written script and a reliance on cheap cat-scares to hide the lack of any genuine gothic ambience. Attack the Block was a cynical, morally repugnant piece of crap whose main message was that teenage muggers are good kids who just enjoy assault and battery. And I’d rather claw my eyes out than sit through the emperor’s new clothes that was Kill List: pretentious, meaningless b*llocks that people are afraid to criticise.

    Haven’t seen Byzantium. And strictly speaking 28 Weeks Later was a US-Spanish co-production.

    Are these really the best of the 400 British horror films that have been released in the past ten years? The above five could be better replaced with any selection from The Living and the Dead, Mum and Dad, Resurrecting ‘The Street Walker’, The Dead, Before Dawn, The Seasoning House and Stalled, each of them an absolutely superlative British horror feature.

    Not to mention The Zombie Diaries, Vampire Diary, The Devil’s Chair, Wishbaby, F, Monsters, The Devil’s Music, Unhappy Birthday, Little Deaths, Bordello Death Tales, The Harsh Light of Day, Inbred, Gangsters Gun and Zombies, Community, The Fallow Field, Art of Darkness, Low, Red Kingdom Rising and many others.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      The message of Attack the Block was that teenage muggers from council estates are often real human beings.

      28 Weeks Later was set in Britain, about a British family, filmed in Britain, had funds from the UK Film Council, was co-produced by Andrew Macdonald’s UK production company DNA, was a sequel to a British film, was co-written by a Brit, and exec produced by Danny Boyle and Alex Garland. I think it counts!

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      • gd smith said

        I don’t get the moral indignation dumped on attack the block either. There are loads of films where violent criminals are the heroes and no one says anything. One failed mugging, a few stoned kids, a bit of slang and Attack the Block is evil!
        I think it’s just a bunch of wing nuts with an inability to distinguish fact from mouthing off.

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    • Paul Martin said

      I make basically the same point about Attack the Block, but for me, that didn’t scupper the movie – I know others felt differently.

      28 Weeks Later probably does enough to justify a British movie tag – most of the actors, setting, producers (DNA Films).

      I haven’t seen all the other movies you mention – I’ll have to check the ones I’ve missed out. Of some of the ones I have seen, The Seasoning House started pretty well before descending into a po-faced version of Mousehunt.

      I thought Monsters was fantastic but it’s not a horror movie. It’s a drama built on the outskirts of some sci-fi blockbuster.

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  • Kramer said

    I rewatched Shaun of the Dead recently, remembering not liking it upon release. I figured after a decade I might see it differently. Still don’t find it all that funny. Just not my humor I guess.

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