I was originally just going to do a “Top 10 Horror Films of the Past Decade” list. However, once I started getting into it, I changed my mind. Instead of a list that would have focused on only a couple of strong years, I decided to pick the best horror movie from EACH year. Then I realized that there were way more BAD movies, so I figured I should list the best AND the worst from each year.
Although I stand behind this list 100%, I have to preface it with a disclaimer: I haven’t seen every horror film from the past decade. Sorry. This list will obviously include only those movies which I’ve seen. If you think this list is missing some important films (or if you just disagree with the picks) please let me know.
Other notes: These movies were categorized by the U.S. release date, and if the movie was labeled as “Horror” by IMDB, then it was included for consideration. If the movie was released straight to video, it was considered and reminisced about, but was not allowed to take a top spot.
A fun movie, set in the 80s, starring Christian Bale as a yuppie investment-banker-serial-killer. Other people involved whom you may or may not care about: Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Chloe Sevigny, and Reese Witherspoon.
It’s been a while since I actually saw American Psycho, so I won’t try and write any sort of review. However, I think a handful of the other Noising Machine authors watched it not too long ago. Maybe one of them will comment?
Very close runner ups were Wild Zero (Guitar Wolf vs. Zombies) and Shadow of the Vampire (What “really” went on during the filming of Nosferatu).
There were some really weak horror films from this year, but I think it’s fair to say that none were worse than…
DRACULA 2000!! (aka Dracula 2001 in the UK)
From what I remember, this was your classic “bad actors portraying unlikeable characters within a plot that doesn’t work and doing it for far too long” type of movie. Gerard Butler plays Dracula, and it’s directed by the guy who did My Bloody Valentine 3-D.
Here is something that I wrote on June 3rd, 2005, directly after watching. It could almost pass for a review…
“Dracula 2000: with a name like that, how can it be bad?!!? i remember attempting to watch this back in milford. well, not milford, but the upstairs of milford, otherwise known as “austin’s parents’ house”. i fell asleep during the first 20 minutes. luckily, i made it farther this time! barely. so far it seems i do hate dracula. all the movies have been rather boring. i think vampires are cool, and you could do alot with them, but these movies never seem to see it that way. so… it’s the year 2000, and dracula was never destroyed. his corpse was being held prisoner in an indiana jones type tomb inside van helsing’s vault. some theives break into it, hoping it holds treasure. OOPS!! they die. dracula escapes, grabs a trenchcoat (like a true goth), and attempts to reak havok on new orleans, while searching for van helsing’s daughter. they also gave dracula a new origin. turns out he’s judas. doesn’t work for me, sorry.”
And here’s a much better review by my pal Adam:
best part of the movie is when dracula is in new york and looks up to a big screen that has monster magnet playing on it and says: “brilliant”
proof (about the 3:45 mark):
Other movies from 2000 that were considered:
Final Destination: Stupid movie. But fun. Who cares.
The Gift: I honestly don’t remember much about this, but I’d like to watch it again.
Hollow Man: Runner up for worst film, but WAAAY more entertaining than Dracula 2000.
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2: not good, but not bad enough. read a review of it here… Blair Witch 2 Review.
THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE (or el espinazo del diablo)
A Spanish movie about an orphanage in the late 1930s. There’s a ghost too! It’s directed by Guillermo del Torro and produced by Pedro Almodovar, so it’s classy. However, if you’re looking for a movie with lots of gore and loud things jumping out at you, you’ll be disappointed.
Alright… so Jason Voorhees, that indestructibly cute guy from the Friday the 13th movies, is cryogenically frozen by the government or something. Then it’s the future and these people discover a body and decide to take it to space and re-animate it. Oops. Now Jason becomes “Jason Voorhees 2099” and pretends to be the alien from Alien and kills everyone.
Honestly, I don’t know if this is the worst movie of 2001. For instance, Jeepers Creepers came out this same year. And in the non-major studio category, you’ve got Session 9, Beneath Loch Ness (read my review here), and Children of the Corn: Revelations (although this was direct to video).
With all this in mind, I chose Jason X because really, everyone should have known better.
Other movies from 2001 that were considered:
Frailty: I don’t remember this too well. So…
Bones: You know… Snoop Dogg… acting… (here’s my review)
The Bunker: German soldiers trapped in a bunker going crazy? (here’s my review)
The Forsaken: “The sexiest vampire film since lost boys,” says the quote on the box…
Hannibal: Oh look. Hannibal Lecter doing things.
Dagon: Based on a Lovecraft story. Cool creatures and environment. Thumbs up.
The Others: Pretty good haunted house film.
From Hell: Jack the Ripper story. Just read the Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell graphic novel that it’s based on.
28 DAYS LATER
This is the best zombie movie that is not a zombie movie. Very easy pick, because this film can hold its own against all the horror movies from the decade. That being said, I also enjoyed Darkness (more haunted houses) and Spider (Cronenberg film about a crazy guy) quite a bit.
FEAR DOT COM
Yikes. Here’s a review from June 6th, 2005:
“Fear Dot Com: even better title than ‘dracula 2000’!! and the actual website address in the movie is FEARDOTCOM.COM!! movies about the internet are always good. good like a blowjob from a meat grinder. remember how health department employees usually go around investigating murders? remember how hemophiliac children like to play in rusted old steel mills? remember how the internet only reaches as far as the edge of town? yeah. someone should make an internet that can go across the whole world!! and someone shoulda read the script before giving the okay to make this film. call me old fashioned, but i feel that when you write a mystery story, you should make it make sense… and be mysterious. and oh my god!! this film is horrible! everything about it!! worse than all of those independent, no budget, shot on video, straight to dvd releases!! oh man… quite possibly worse than jeepers creepers… no. it IS worse than jeepers creepers. alot worse. fuck. time to kill myself.”
Other movies from 2001 that were considered:
Cabin Fever: Ugh. This movie! Ugh.
Ju-on: Not good. Why did Sam Raimi love it?
Queen of the Damned: Any horror film with a soundtrack done by Jonathan Davis from Korn is… worth… seeing?
Deathwatch: British soldiers going crazy? Pretty good.
Red Dragon: Oh?! Hannibal Lecter is back again? Sort of? Dumb.
Cube 2: Hypercube: Pretty much the same as the first, so if you liked the first, you’ll probably like this one.
Dog Soldiers: Soldiers and werewolves, but not as bad as that sounds.
The Ring: I remember this film to be pretty creepy?
Signs: I also enjoyed this film. The effects were DUMB, though, right?
Resident Evil: Another film I remember liking back when I saw it.
Ghost Ship: Some cool deaths. Not bad if you want to waste a couple hours.
There weren’t a lot of GOOD movies to pick from this year. So, although I liked this movie, it basically won best movie by default. Here’s my 2005 review:
“Dreamcatcher: yet another stevie king story. god, i’m getting sick of him. it’s like half the horror section is comprised of his stories. the screenplay was written by guys who worked on return of the jedi, empire strikes back, raiders of the lost ark, butch cassidy and the sundance kid, and the princess bride. so you can imagine it’s gonna be a bit extravagant. this movie was actually pretty good. ever since first seeing the previews a few years ago, i thought it was gonna be dumb. but i was wrong. it was fun. it’s a survival horror/aliens attack film. if only it had will smith in it, i would give it 2 thumbs up.”
HOUSE OF THE DEAD
I’m kind of sad that this movie was actually released in the theater. There were sooo many other bad movies from this year, and they’ll all get ignored because of Uwe Boll’s shitty video game adaptation.
Here are a couple of movies that should have won worst film:
Jeepers Creepers 2: Like the first, but somehow much worse.
House of 1000 Corpses: “The acting is shit, the plot is a mix of a played out idea, and a fucking stupid idea, and the characters are just plain annoying.”
Detour: “a small group of ravers are coming back from some big rave, when they decide to take a detour to find a large field of pot that is supposedly hidden out in the desert. then some tcm rejects attack them.”
Bloodthirst: Legend of Chupacabras: Awful. But obviously home-made, so somewhat forgivable. Review HERE
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Remakes are always good…
The Bone Snatcher: just your basic “monster chasing a couple people around in a secluded area” film. Read the review HERE.
Final Destination 2: about as much fun as the first one. You know.
Freddy Vs Jason: well… you’ve got Freddy… and you’ve got Jason. TOGETHER!!
Beyond Re-Animator: Pretty fun movie. Good gore, etc. Review right HERE.
Identity: From what I can remember, it’s fine, but I’ll never feel the need to re-watch it.
Flesh for the Beast: “pretty much your basic soft core film with murder and gut eating.”
Final Examination: “another shitty shit shit slasher film.”
SHAUN OF THE DEAD
Yes, it is a comedy. However, it’s also a great zombie film. It can stand along side Romero’s “Dead” family, playing the role of the crazy uncle. Or something.
I was going to pick Van Helsing, but at least that movie kind of worked within itself. The Forgotten never worked at any point. Jullianne Moore’s child is missing. Or did she ever have a child? What about McNulty? Did he have a child? WHO CARES.
Other movies that could have topped the lists, if they had tried a little harder:
Saw: When this first came out, I was hoping for a delightful maniac serial killer film. Then I watched it. Yuck.
Blood Gnome: Another direct to video, low budget trash bag. HERE’S a quick review.
Curse of the Komodo: Giant komodo dragons and zombie like creatures. Yes, it SOUNDS good. It doesn’t feel good.
Dark Harvest: Oh! A Killer Scarecrow!? How novel.
Dr. Moreau’s House of Pain: People in shitty masks being shitty. Direct to video.
Creature Unknown: “Like an x-files episode written by a 5 year old and stretched to fit into a feature length format.”
Dawn of the Dead: This is one of the few horror movie remakes that turned out alright. Not as good as the original, obviously, but fine.
The Village: I thought this was fun for what it was.
Exorcist: The Beginning: It was fine. Not great. Awful CGI, from what I remember. You only need to watch it if you’re trying to watch the entire franchise.
CHECK OUT PART 2 (2005-2009)!
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