The final installment in our five part series contains some of the best horror films of the last ten years. You will notice that 4 out of these 10 films are not made in the United States. Japanese horror in particular has been increasingly popular in the United States (and with good reason!). We hope everyone has enjoyed the lists and please comment, share, like, print and put them all over town. And next time you’re wondering what to watch, refer back here! Did we miss one of your favorite movies? Be sure to comment below.
41. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
A lot of people I know make fun of The Blair Witch Project. And we get it, we do. The snot running down that girl’s face is probably the scariest part of the movie. At the time though, it was an incredible feat. Here was a super low budget independent horror film that made millions on its opening weekend. And while it didn’t invent the “lost footage” horror film (they were doing that way back at Cannibal Holocaust) it did popularize it. We wouldn’t have films like Paranormal Activity (2007) if it weren’t for The Blair Witch Project.
42. Audition (1999)
Audition is a film your reviewer has seen at least five times. And if he said he understood it he would be lying. So much of the film relies on dream sequences that it becomes difficult to follow. But that’s also what makes it scary and unnerving. You’re never quite sure what is dream and what is real. Eli Roth and Rob Zombie have both described this film as upsetting and disturbing (and that’s saying something right?). This is a very slow paced movie so have a little patience and let it build up.
43. Battle Royale (2000)
Battle Royale is probably one of our favorite films on this list. This movie (and the book it is based on) is the The Hunger Games (2008) of horror. Children battle to the death for survival on a deserted island. We really enjoy some of the twists (adding old winners, distributing weapons at random, moving locations). Your reviewer wrote a paper in his undergraduate “Japanese Culture” class about Battle Royale and its representation of the Japanese education system. And that is one of the most pervasive themes in the film. There is also an added creepy/disturbing element of pedophilia and we’d love to hear some comments about that.
44. Ju-On (2000)
Ju-On is one of the only haunted house/ghost stories on the list. This film has many aspects of traditional Kubuki ghost stories. For anyone that has expertise on that we would love to hear what you have to say about this film. It is told from multiple perspectives and it can be difficult to follow at times but it is definitely worth seeing the original. For those of you afraid of subtitles the American version of this film is The Grudge (2004) and we believe it follows the original pretty well.
45. 28 Days Later (2002)
Almost all the conversations we see from horror fans about 28 Days Later revolve around the conversation of whether or not the monsters in this film are zombies. We honestly don’t have an opinion on the matter. Either way this is an incredibly terrifying film. We love the image of an empty post-apocalyptic London (seriously, who DOESN’T?). And following our reluctant hero as he tries to survive and understand this new horror-filled world. We also really enjoyed the sequel 28 Weeks Later (2007).
46. Saw I (2004)
We loved Saw 1. It is what we would consider to be the beginning of “torture porn” horror films. There have always been exploitation films but none were as mainstream as the Saw franchise. And there is something truly terrifying about murder by proxy. Jigsaw isn’t going to kill you. Your failure to solve his puzzle or your own inaction is what is going to kill you. And being responsible for your own life or death is doubly terrifying.
47. Hostel (2005)
This was the first horror movie your reviewer ever saw in the theater. See, once upon a time this reviewer hated horror films. He was too scared and he certainly didn’t like being scared. Well one sleepy night he was out with his friends and they asked if he wanted to see Hostel. In his sleepiness he agreed. And he never looked back. Hostel isn’t the birth of “torture porn” but it certainly takes it to the next level. We remember squirming and closing our eyes while at the same time loving it. We’re also sure Hostel has turned off any desire any of us ever had to travel to Eastern Europe. We love its messages about the value of bodies and how Eli Roth flips the script on 1970s gore by focusing the violence on men instead of the traditional exploitation of women. There are moments in this film that are difficult to shake and the transition between sexually charged scenes and violence can be unnerving. We haven’t had a chance to see the sequels so we’d love to hear some comments about whether those remain true to the original.
48. Let the Right One In (2008)
Imagine that you’re a middle school boy (it helps to also imagine you’re living in 1980s Sweden, although we’re not really sure what that looked like). You’re bullied in school and your parents are divorced. You’re angry and you want vengeance but you’re just not powerful enough to fight your bullies. At the same time this really pretty girl who is just about your age moves into your apartment complex. You develop a crush on her. But as soon as she moves in with her dad (is that man her dad?) they begin finding bodies around town. It kinda turns out that your middle school girlfriend is a vampire. This is the basic plot of what we would consider one of the best vampire films of all time. Oskar and Eli’s relationship is incredibly sweet and genuine, as far as middle school relationships, while at the same time being incredibly tragic. The American remake of this film follows the same plot line while not having the feel of the Swedish original. We recommend overcoming your fear of subtitles and sticking to the original.
49. The Human Centipede (2009)
I think at this point we’re supposed to say something insightful and interesting about The Human Centipede. But we don’t think there are words to really describe this film. Besides that it is, of course, 100% medically accurate. And the two women in this film are so annoying that we’re almost glad they can’t speak for most of it. This film has a very graphic premise without being terribly graphic. The disgusting parts are all psychological. You should probably see it, not because it is great but because it is an experience.
50. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
We’re so happy to get to the end of our list of 50 with Cabin in the Woods. This is one of the most original horror movies we have ever seen. It is very Meta in its analysis of horror and its deconstruction of slasher film stereotypes. Even within the last twenty minutes of the film we weren;t sure how it was going to end. And that’s what made it so incredible. We almost wish there could be a sequel because we’d love to see the Merman make another appearance.