This year managed to give us some true gems amongst the flood of crap, and some of them were quite extraordinary. As with the worst of list, once you get past the top 2 films (which are the top 2 horror flicks of the year), the order can totally be argued over. As always, I'll do my best!
The list goes like this: The best/the movies that came close/and the movies that were more good than bad. The movies not listed here were stuck somewhere between good and bad.
*Every movie on this list was reviewed here on the blog save for Martyrs; so if you want more detailed info on any of them, go check the links on the side panel out.**Inside (A L'interieur), and [REC] were movies I saw in 2007, hence their not being on the best of 2008 list. They're both definitely top 10 movies though.1- Let the Right One In- Hauntingly beautiful, dark, creepy, sentimental, and oddly sweet, this is by far the best horror movie I've seen this year. LTROI is a movie that Hollywood doesn't have the balls to make, which is why I guess they're remaking it already. I want to say so much about this movie, but I'm afraid that I'd ruin too much... Let's just say that you really owe it to yourself to check this one out, as I think that you have to see it... no, experience it, to truly get just how great it is. The book is pretty damn good too.
2- Martyrs- The French have done it again, and if it weren't for those pesky Swedes, they would have had the best horror flick of the year. Martyrs is extreme, and an entirely uncomfortable film to sit through, but there is also a flip side; it's an almost transcendent experience of sorts... again, you have to see it to get what I mean. I stand by my ranking of #2, but this could easily be the best horror movie of the year. FYI, the DVD hits the U.S. on April 28th...
3- My Name is Bruce- I may be placing this unfairly high on the list seeing as I got to meet Bruce Campbell when I saw this, but still, it's a great film that makes fun of it's star and itself, and is just a ton of fun. It's definitely a horror/comedy, and if you love Bruce, and think he is one of the genre's all time best, then you will love this movie. I just found it really refreshing.
4- Frontiere(s)- I absolutely love this mean spirited little French flick; Inbred Nazi's on a mission to impregnate an innocent girl and start a new master race... absolutely love it. This is a brutal film, visually and atmospherically... I think the table saw scene may be my favorite scene of the year (maybe.) It does borrow liberally from American horror such as TCM, and The Hills Have Eyes in some places, but to great effect. (This movie had its U.S. premiere in 2008.)
5- Midnight Meat Train- Stick it in your poopers Lionsgate, because guess what? Midnight Meat Train was awesome, and though you tried to bury it, it will have a long life on DVD as a cult classic. Vinnie Jones was awesome as Mahogany, giving us one of the coolest killers we've seen on screen in a long time. Clive Barker just never seems to go wrong, does he? Check this out on Fearnet if you haven't yet, or grab it on DVD early in 2009. In your poopers I say!
6- All the Boys Love Mandy Lane- I too love Mandy Lane, both the movie and the woman... Amber Heard is smoking hot, and the movie is a cool little piece of teen slasher goodness. It's not a typical teen horror flick, that's for sure, and maybe that's why Hollywood has balked on releasing it since 2006, but it's effective and a nice change of pace from the usual Iknowwhatyoudidlasttimeyouscremed type of dreck. I'm hoping that we get this on DVD sometime in 2009.
7- Mother of Tears- I just got done watching this for the second time the other day, and I liked it even more than the first time I saw it. MOT marks a great return to form for master of horror Dario Argento; it's bloody, gory, disturbing, fun, pretty creepy, and a fitting end to his Three Mothers Trilogy. We need more good horror flicks about witches! If you are a fan of Argento, I don't see how you wont like this. If you aren't, then I still say you'll like this one. It's just damn good.
8- The Ruins- This is totally the movie I expect every one to poo-poo, but it was pretty damn good! Hooray for Hollywood for actually making a cool horror flick, and one that was based off of a book too boot... and it did it justice. This was nastier than I thought it would have been too; bloody and graphic and painful to watch in a few parts. I thought the premise was pretty cool, and I actually liked the ending. This is how killer plants should behave, M. Night Shayamalan!
9- The Strangers- Other than one thing that drove me nuts towards the middle of the movie, this one was aces in my book. And for the record, it's not a remake of Them (Ils). This is one of those flicks that just makes you feel uneasy throughout, and really doesnt let up until the end. I really liked the subtle touch at the end, and I'm hoping they will make a sequel sometime soon. I prefer the Unrated cut on DVD; it's only 2 minutes longer, but a key sequence was reinserted towards the end which I loved. Go buy this.
10- Teeth- How in the world can a movie about a killer vagina not make a Best Of list? Is there any more terrifying a concept for a man then the dreaded killer clam? This was a pretty cool movie, that almost played as a teen angst film, only with some really messed up violence and gore... all I'll say is that the Rottweiler scene still gives me chills. It's nice to see a little indie pic turn out so well.
The Honorable Mentions:
11- Splinter-One I saw late, but that rocked my world!
12-Mirrors- A good movie, I was hoping for more from Aja, but I still enjoyed it.
13-Surveillance- I couldn't help but love it. Bill Pullman was awesome in this, and I love movies about serial/spree killers.
14-Vikaren (The Substitute)- A fun little Dutch flick, it's basically kids vs. evil alien teacher... quite a nice surprise, really.
15-Eden Lake- I was driven nuts by some of the stupid things that the main characters did in Eden Lake, but I thought it worked as a film overall.
Rovdyr- A nasty little piece of horror goodness.
The Cottage- This is a fun movie. A bit slow in parts, but I walked away feeling pretty entertained after seeing it, which is a rare thing indeed.Sick Nurses- I love the blood and gore of Sick Nurses, and of course the hot Asian chicks.
Outpost- A small story about Nazi ghosts, I thought that it was pretty interesting and creepy. Plus, the new Punisher is the main star, and I always like his work.
Dance of the Dead- This movie is like Slither, Night of the Creeps, Feast, and Tremors... it's just a fun little horror flick.
Almost Awesome:Donkey Punch- I liked this one, but something was missing for me, keeping it from being great.
Quarantine- I suspect that I would have liked this more had I not seen [Rec] first. I do love Jennifer Carpenter though.
Waz- Some nice moments here and there, but overall it was just shy of being a really good movie. Wicked torture scene towards the end.
Scar 3d- A bloody and nasty little flick, it's definitely worth a watch, just don't expect too much.
Otis- UGH. I LOVED the first half of this movie, and then it took a nosedive into crap land that killed its chance of being one of the years best.