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Morbid’s Top 25 Horror Movies Of The Decade!

December 24, 2009 at 2:40 am by  

Seeing as we are moving into the 2010′s I figured I might as well take advantage of some “best of the decade” type lists as they may be the only ones this site may ever have, starting with my personal list of best horror films from the last 10 years. And holy crap did this take a lot longer to put together than I initially thought. Most know that my tastes in film usually lean towards the twisted. So when it comes to horror, that is no exception. Admittedly I am a gorehound, but only in regards to the technical aspects. I love special effects, but gore does not make a horror movie for me and my favorite horror films are normally ones that deviate from tried-and-true formulas and get under your skin. Aside from the trailer for each entry, I have also added my thoughts. So let’s get going by starting with number 25 and working our way up to my top pick. 

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#25 THE GIFT (2000)

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This is easily one of my favorite Raimi movies. I even prefer it over DRAG ME TO HELL. The reasons for that are simply because I love the Southern Gothic and films that deal with flawed families. Especially when you put both of those together in a psychological thriller involving murder and ghosts. On top of that, Raimi abandons his trademark humor and goes serious with this one with an absolutely stellar cast. Cate Blanchett delivers one of her best roles as a single-mom psychic, Giovanni Ribisi plays, well, Giovanni Ribisi…but with a very strong dislike of post ’75 Lucky Charms, Keanu Reeves is convincing as a redneck wife-beater, Hilary Swank as his battered wife, Greg Kinnear as a school principal whose fiancee has gone missing, and Katie Holmes as the missing fiancee who shows off her nice rack a couple times in the movie. Sure it’s a by-the-numbers type of whodunnit – but the talent attached to the film are more than enough to take an otherwise ho-hum story into higher caliber territory.

#24 CLOVERFIELD (2008)

Number 24 was a toss-up between THE HOST and CLOVERFIELD. I like them both almost equally, but CLOVERFIELD just delivered almost everything I want to see when I sit down to watch a giant monster movie. While I understand why a lot of critics hated the shaky cam and were turned off by the admittedly cornball love-story that held it all together,  I felt the parts that did work overshadowed those that didn’t by a country mile. My complaints with the movie had less to do with the iffy acting and the MIRACLE MILE style plot and more to do with it being watered down for the PG-13 rating. Certain scenes would have definitely packed more of a punch with an R-rating (especially Marlena’s death) and like one viewer noted, I would have been saying a lot more “FUCK!” had I been in any of those people’s predicament. Either way, as far as giant-ass-monsters-destroying-a-major-city movies go, you really cannot beat CLOVERFIELD.

#23 THE OTHERS (2001)

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I don’t like Nicole Kidman much. Out of her entire career, I only really like her in three movies. DEAD CALM, TO DIE FOR and this superb haunted house story. THE OTHERS is a very genuinely effective ghost thriller that surprised me not with just how well it was directed, but also with how much I liked Alakina Mann and James Bentley in the roles of the two bickering siblings. With bits of THE SHINING and even THE SIXTH SENSE, I still like to watch this innovative film on occasion. It’s one of those movies that’s still entertaining to watch and even upon multiple viewings, the atmosphere and scares still do their job. Here’s a bit of useless trivia. THE OTHERS was directed by Alejandro Amenábar who also directed OPEN YOUR EYES. The remake of that film, VANILLA SKY, was released a few months after THE OTHERS and starred Kidman’s then-estranged husband Tom Cruise. What does that have to do with anything? Nothing.

#22 WOLF CREEK (2005)

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It really should come as no surprise that this film would end up on this list as I do have a tendency to favor films that deal with killer kids, isolation and “real” killers. By real I mean human and not supernatural stuff like Jason or Michael Myers. Running this site for the last six years has shown me that man is far more scarier than any made up mask-wearer Wes Craven or John Carpenter could ever think of. Very, very loosely based on the Australian Backpacker Murders, WOLF CREEK quickly became one of my favorite horror films in the way it handled the material. But others were not as happy. Ebert gave it “0″ stars and Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald walked out of the movie. The reasons they gave for disliking he film are the reasons I loved it. It was one of the rare films that spent time with the characters in a way that when their deaths occurred – you felt the senselessness of it. The horror. The fact that while they played loose with the actual events, the way some of them died in the film echoed the fates of real people. Greg Mclean did not wuss out and let the viewer forget that by simply removing any and all trace of sugar-coating. I also hear horror fans whining at how long it took for anything to happen…wanting a film that delved right into the killing. As you will see with some of my other choices, I prefer the slow burn. But then again I also enjoy studying the blueprints of a house before it’s set on fire as I like knowing exactly what was destroyed.

#21 FRONTIER(S) – FRONTIÈRE(S) (2007)

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I know a few on my list that will raise an eyebrow, and I suppose this will be one of them. But how in the hell can you not like a horror film about a group of robbers becoming fodder for a group of cannibal Neo-Nazi’s hell-bent on creating a new Aryan brotherhood who also run an isolated inn?! Come on, this film had EVERYTHING. Haters call it relentless, derivative slop. I call it great horror that borrowed from some greats – specifically THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE – and still made it work. But while Xavier Gens may have taken some ideas from other notable horror films, he had no issues painting outside the numbers a bit. His take on survival horror sported some disturbing scenes, nasty protagonists with a clear cut family hierarchy, some disturbing kills and a final girl I was actually rooting for. This film was originally part of the 8 Films to Die For and was to debut at Horrorfest 2007. But the MPAA thought the film was too hardcore for some of you pussies and gave the film the dreaded NC-17. Because of that, the film got a limited theater run in the US for one weekend before being released on DVD the following week. Lame.

#20 THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006)

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Here’s more news that may have some calling for me handing over my Horror Movie Fan Membership Card. I do not like Wes Craven’s THE HILLS HAVE EYES. I found the setup great, but the execution terrible. A rarely effective rip-off of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE that bores you to tears before getting to the big payoff. Alexandre Aja’s remake, however…well that’s another story all together. I liked the ratcheted violence and the much better cast. Critics lament on the sleazy nature of this version, calling it “lurid grindhouse trash” but when you are dealing with a group of mutated, cannibal killers preying on a family stranded in the desert…what in the hell did you expect? Family fun? This is horror the way I like it with or without the blood. I can enjoy safe horror as much as the next horror fan, but to make a Best of the Decade list I want to see some lines crossed. And if you are planning on remaking a ’70s classic revered by horror fans and amplify the violence, I don’t want pulled punches…I want broken jaws. In that regard, I feel this was a great re-telling of the original.

Continue on to picks 19-11 >>

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Comments


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  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Jaded

    It’s about damn time, Morbid. I’ve been waiting for this list for the past 24 48 32 56 hours!!! Worth the wait, though – great list.

    Please allow me to present you with a big gold star, you’ve earned it, champ!

  • Jury

    Morbid, your list stops at 8. Maybe your still loading. I liked most of them, I hope Hostel is in the top 5.

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    I gotta run and grab a present, but I’ll get the last three up after lunch. Stupid ass short code issue is keeping them from showing. Sorry, Jury. “Hostel” is not one of them. I may have been in my top 50, though.

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    Holy Jesus that was a pain in the ass. Sorry about that. I learned the hard way that I have an issue with my template. I had to replace the excellent trailers from traileraddict.com with the sub-par ones from Youtube. I’ll fix it later because as of right now, I’m sick of messing with it. :P Give me some feedback! I wanna know how if you agree or disagree with the list.

  • unscarred61

    I finally got a subscription to netflix and this list will be a great starter to my que. Thanks Morbid!

  • msolsen05

    This is aside from the movie trailers. Just wanted to wish everyone here them and their families a very Merry Christmas and hopefully a very Happy New Year!!!

  • adorkable

    Fantastic list, Morbid.

    Funny thing about Session 9….the first time I watched it I remember being freaked out. i recently sat down with my wife to watch it again and found it too slow and boring. I dont know what happened to my tastes since then!

  • NateInferis

    I was pleased to see Frontieres ( I was one of the few lucky enough to catch it in the theater…along with the Premier of Poultrygeist on the same night )and Martyrs on this list, but no Inside? …And sorry, but I hate The Others. I found it dull and saw the “twist” coming a mile away. Other than that, ace list.

  • Surreal

    An almost perfect list. I would have liked to see Shaun of the Dead a little closer to #1, as it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. I was also disappointed to not see Zombieland anywhere on the list. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me go, “Ew, gross.” Basically, it moved me. Another recent film that I found stellar was Pontypool. For a movie where 90% of the action takes place offscreen, just hearing it made the movie incredibly creepy. Otherwise, a great list. And thanks for bringing Slither to the public’s attention. This well-done for an intentionally B-movie film was terribly overlooked.

  • HotReadingMama

    Very, very nice…. I may have ranked Frailty a little higher as it is one of my favorite freaking movies EVER….but I am actually surprised you put it here at all. So yea, kudos!

  • HotReadingMama

    Wow Surreal, I didnt mean to totally copy what you were just posting lol

  • HotReadingMama

    Oh. And. I would have put High Tension on here somewhere. Ok last comment, I swear.

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    Ranking your top 10 horror films of the last decade is hard as hell. I knew what the bottom half would be, and I knew the top and the number one. But when ranking them individually, it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be.

    As for “Zombieland”…well, it didn’t make the cut for a couple reasons. First, I cannot stand Jesse Eisenberg. I also felt that the film wait to long to try and start character development at the end of the 20 minute long “Ghostbusters” commercial. :P

    “Inside” would have made it had I went to 30 or 35.

  • Jury

    Looks like I have a lot of movies to watch.

  • mammasweets

    Oh hell. Admit it, you love me. Even if you did just call me a big ass whore. Fucker.

    Shaun of the Dead is in my top 5. Love it.

  • kaosmayhem

    Damn fine list Morbid, I have my work cut out for me, although I have to say Hostel might have made my list, but maybe only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I can only guess how difficult it is to make a list of my top horror’s, Merry Christmas everyone.

  • http://albruno3.blogspot.com Al Bruno III

    A good list and good writing to go along with it. Consider your article linked.

    :)

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    Thanks, Al. As for “Hostel”…I’m not a fan of Eli Roth, but that doesn’t have anything to do with “Hostel” not being listed. I actually enjoy it on some levels (mostly the fish-out-of-water, stranger-in-a-strange-land angle). But a handful of good horror films dropped out of my initial list of films as I put it all together,”Hostel” being one of them.

  • theladyshadowheart

    Hi Morbid! Great list, I also purchased ‘black devil doll’ for a friend based on your review and he absolutely loved, loved, loved it! You’re the best! I’ll have to send you a topless pic sometime, lol……..

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    “Black Devil Doll” is the shit!

    I’ll have to send you a topless pic sometime, lol……..

    Less typie and more pic sendie…

  • BeixirT

    I couldn’t agree more with your top pick. Let The Right One In was absolutely brilliant!

  • http://kindertrauma.com aunt john

    Fan-fucking-tastic list! Let The Right One In should be #1 on every list!

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    Thanks, aunt john. I understand people’s different opinion’s and tastes, but for anyone who doesn’t feel “Let the Right One In” should not be number one, I would love to know what horror film they think should be.

  • http://www.aspect-ratios.com mohair.sam

    Great, great list! I especially liked your reasoning behind each choice. I heartily concur on the “slow burn”/”killer kiddie”/misanthropic ending devices, too. I even agree with you on the Zombi vs. Dawn of the Dead issue–Italian edit is superior, no question. As always, great stuff!

  • tinaxoxo

    I am not worthy. Fantastic list, I appreciated the addition of psychological horrors (like Session 9, scared the bejezus out of me because it could happen to anyone, even YOU) and pseudo-artistic horror films like the Devil’s Backbone, Orphanage and Let the Right Ones…which I particularly like because they remind me of an early 1900′s artist, who’s name I can’t remember, who used lighting, shadows and isolation to depict sinisterism(?). I love your taste in horror films it runs parallel to mine. BTW, Shaun of the Dead= thumbs up!

  • Dirk

    Agree that “The Descent” was awesome. For J-Horror though I personally would have put “Suicide Club” (2001). Squeaky clean girl group somehow complicit with a group of whacked out rapist-murderers. What’s not to love?

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    What’s not to love?

    Some glaring plotholes, failed attempt at some kind of social commentary and and just an overall incoherent movie. I liked the premise, but overall I am not a fan of the movie – no matter how many people tell me I should be because there is some kind of deep message about violence in the media or whatever. I don’t hate the film, but I have seen it once, and never felt the need to see it again.

  • Dirk

    Whoa – it’s cool that you know multiple people who have seen it. True about the incoherence, that was a plus to me in this case although it usually wouldn’t be. Great list, thanks. Tempted to ask your opinion of “Audition.”

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    I love “Audition”. The only reason why it is not on the list is because the IMDB release date (the date I based the films on) was 1999 and I was only choosing from 2o00-2009. Other than that, it is one of my favorite movies.

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Lizard

    I just want to know if your wife ever washed her hair and WHICH of your mother’s dresses you were wearing…

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    I just want to know if your wife ever washed her hair

    Like I paid attention to anything my wife did.

    WHICH of your mother’s dresses you were wearing…

    The one we buried her in.

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Lizard

    The one we buried her in.

    As always, you don’t disappoint, Morbid. I’m so proud of you.

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Lizard

    Yo, I just PMed you my mother’s address. Look her up if you’re ever in that area. I couldn’t believe they buried her in that pastel piece of shit with the BIG SILK BOW on the front. She was more of the garish stretch polyester type.

  • http://www.twitter.com/johnnyhorror30 JohnnyHorror

    Just about every movie in there is ones I would have picked! let The Right One In, is just a magical film with perfect cinematography and a well developed story. Glad to see The Children UK make the list, so many people hated on it but I thought it was solid.

  • http://www.scribblemuse.com ScribbleMuse

    Nice. I ought to read the review areas of this site more often to get the scoop since I gave up on the horror genre in general after getting suckered in with too much crap like Saw. Have added many of these to my Netflix queue to view after reading the reviews and comments. Thanks!

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com swivel

    Next time, put a bit of effort into these roundups. Looks like something you threw together in a single night.

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    Next time, put a bit of effort into these roundups. Looks like something you threw together in a single night.

    Don’t you got an 8th book to write this year or something? :P

  • Anna B.

    I watched “Let The Right One In” because it was linked to something else I was watching at the time. Lemme tell you, that was a -damn- good vampire movie. Damn good!

  • studemobile

    No Toolbox Murders????? I would put that in my top 5 of the decade for sure. I also would have added “inside”, “high tension”, and “Wrong turn”. Good list though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Maloney/100001143933138 Mike Maloney

    I’m looking for something that can currently top ‘A Serbian Film’ .. or Salo.. Once you take the step, it is never enough.. any ideas?