Looking back over the year suddenly seems like slim pickings indeed: a bunch of remakes (nothing new there), shoddy english horror (Donkey Punch anyone?) and some foreign contributions which seem like fun, but then aren’t (Dead Snow, Martyrs). Plus the ones that had promise but didn’t deliver, I’m looking at you The Haunting in Connecticut and A Perfect Getaway (it just didn’t make sense!).
So, here goes – the team’s opinions on what they felt were the high and low-lights of the year:
Madwoman in the Attic
Best – Drag Me to Hell
Raimi back to what he does best, which you simply can’t argue with. Alison Lohman is fantastic, along with some great support from the likes of Justin Long and star turn from Lorna Raver as the hag (Raimi does seem to have a thing about hags doesn’t he?).
It’s disgusting, creepy and hilarious, the kind of film that plays back to you in your head when you think about it (particularly the first fight in the parking lot – amazing).
Honorable mentions to Zombieland (funny and you’ve got to love Woody Harrelson, but the Woody Allen-esque angst gags got a bit much for me), The Burrowers (good effort, lots of atmosphere) and Trick R Treat (awesome Halloween movie with some amazing cast members and beautiful set pieces).
Also, I can resist an acknowledgement of one of my favourite discoveries of the year: Christmas Evil. Amazing.
Worst – The Last House on the Left
Unfortunately its a real toughie to pick out the worst as there are so many contenders, but I think, for me anyway, this one is elevated to top spot by its pointlessness – another remake – and its deep moral repugnance. This movie left a bad taste in the mouth, with sadistic violence not earnt, indeed, its glorying in said violence. pah. Honourable mentions go to Friday the 13th (just insulting overall), and My Bloody Valentine (Surely no one involved in this really had their heart in it?).
Best – Zombieland
Okay so Drag me to Hell was the scariest film I saw this year and Paranormal Activity was the most disturbing and Trick r Treat was the most Halloweeney but the best film of the year was definitely Zombieland.
Reanimating the lifeless corpse of the zombie genre and giving it a new set of legs and teeth, this hilarious horror oozing originality had it all – from action to scares, from laughs to tragedy and best of all it was chock full of zombies.
Great action, a great cast and most importantly a great script it also contained hands down the best cameo of the year in any film.
If you didn’t see it go and see it as soon as you can. Now roll on 2010 and let’s see what it has to offer.
Worst – Staunton Hill
Cameron Romero’s failure of a film is the number one worst movie of 2009 and what more can I say about this stinking waste of celluloid that I haven’t already said? Quite a lot actually.
With a plot that is an insult to an imbeciles intelligence, acting so awful livestock could have done better, and less originality than a photocopy of a photocopier, not only should Cameron Romero be ashamed, but so should his father for even having the same dna as the director of this dreadful dirge.
This film is everything that is wrong with modern horror rolled into one painful, pointless, pound shop piece of poo. Not scary or funny or frightening or anything other than a total waste of 90 minutes of your life.
Jonesy the Cat
Best – Trick ‘r Treat
Technically released last year but screw it. We in Blighty were denied a theatrical release and so a 2009 dvd edition validates it’s candidacy. The wonderful thing about this film is how it both panders to the horror aficionados by adhering to genre conventions whilst treading enough new ground to make it a fresh and engaging experience.
It’s all together crass, smart, funny and stupid. It has also given us a new horror icon in Sam. A near perfect experience, see it.
Worst – Bundy
Again, a dvd release validated for the same reason. I have little more to say about this film I haven’t already said in my previous review. Like Bundy himself, this movie is disturbing for all the wrong reasons. This is film is a walking abortion, a complete abomination.
Best – Dead Snow (Død snø)
Most of the time, I like them simple. And if you’re going to have to make a zombie film which breaks some important conventions (they can run etc) then you need to compensate, by making them Nazi’s for instance.
Dead Snow is very enjoyable, creepy, funny, and gory – all in generous portions. Guns, knives, chainsaws, explosions, isolation, cursed treasure, and good looking teens. Everything a ‘fun’ horror needs, but with enough original touches to hike this movie right up there in the ‘best ever zombie film’ rankings.
I also whole-heatedly agree with Mad Woman and Jonesy about Drag Me To Hell and Trick r Treat.
Worst – Walled In
Although it didn’t really get my worst rating of 2009, the more I think about it, the more I think Walled In sucked.
It had money, and visually it was pretty good, but the script was crap, the acting was poor and the whole general idea was just stupid.
The only thing remotely nasty about it was the idea of being buried alive in concrete. Other than that, there was nothing.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Let’s hope that 2010 brings us yet more excellent horror.