December 23, 2009
The 10 Best Movies of 2009- 6-10
As many films as there were this year that could be, or deserve to be in our top 10, we had to pick just 10, so here they are... #6- Acolytes- Something about this Aussie thriller just stuck with us, and me in particular. Visually the movie is stunning, the characters are believable and likable (though sometimes absent minded), and the concept is interesting and keeps you guessing. Oh, and it's pretty creepy too. Some have said that the beginning half of this movie dragged a little, but I beg to differ; the first half of the movie seemed to me a meditation of sorts on teenagers, in which sexual angst and troubled pasts are set up to play an important role in what comes later. Good stuff. Ever since Wolf Creek, I've been impressed with the horror/thriller scene coming from down under, and Acolytes only serves to strengthen my resolve. #7- Dead Snow (a.k.a. Dod Sno)- I love this f'ing movie. I can't remember having this much fun watching a horror flick in a long time. Its tongue in cheek nature is reminiscent of Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, or Shaun of the Dead in a way, because it mixes humor and horror so well. I liked the over the top action too. From the foot stomping at the edge of the cliff, to the zombie wake up call scene, it's almost melodramatic in its mechanics, but it works. A machine gun mounted on a snowmobile? Count me in! How can you not love a bunch of Nazi zombies terrorizing innocent Norwegian people? #8- The Last House on the Left- Wow, a remake that was really, really good for a change... what a nice change of pace. I'll admit that there's one scen at the very end of the movie that felt a bit out of place to me, but aside from that small thing, LHOTL is a nasty little piece of remake bliss. Dennis Iliadis directed the hell out of this movie, and he has a bright future ahead of him. He created a dark and foreboding atmosphere, and made the story believable. Most American-made horror films fail to reach this level or craft and realism anymore. Kudos my good sir. #9- Orphan- I went in to Orphan thinking that it would be just another in a long line of cookie cutter, PG-13-ish, typical Hollywood messes, that didn't get the point of being a horror movie and wouldn't go for it, but I was wrong. Orphan didn't play it safe at all, and in fact, pushed the limits of disturbing quite often. To say that I was surprised with some of the places that this film went would be putting it mildly. This is also a gorgeous film too look at; the camerawork capturing the mood through sparse winter landscapes which always make for a gorgeous setting. I'm a sucker for a snowy setting, what can I say? #10- (It's a tie!)- Sure, something about claiming a tie cries cop out to me, but we have more than enough love to go around. Come on, it's Christmas time! Antichrist- This is a film that I will have to meditate over for some time to come. Was she evil? What happened to her in the forest with her son? Is this movie a misogynistic bash on all of woman kid? I have no answers, but I will be thinking on it for quite some time. This film is unbelievably gorgeous, and ridiculously so. Each of the chapters has its own look from monochrome to black and white, and is just something special to behold. With Antichrist, Von Trier captivates visually even if he manages to lose some of his audience thematically. Is this his masterpiece? I don't know, but it sure feels to me like it may be. Killer Movie- This was a pretty damn good slasher flick; it's typical, and doesn't even come close to breaking any new ground, but it's smart, witty, and a good old fashioned fun time in your DVD player. I love how the smart script had just the right mix of humor and horror to make it seem fresher than most movies of its kind, especially those of late. Slashers can be fun and still work, and this movie reminds us of that.