The 21 Best Horror Movies of the Past 20 Years
We're sick of seeing the same 50 movies on every best horror list. We all know that The Exorcist is an incredible movie, I don't need anymore magazines or websites to tell us about it. There is a lot of good stuff that has come out of the past two decades that doesn't get the kind of recognition it deserves. So, open up your Netflix queue, put on your Freddy Krueger sweater and feel free to post your own list in the comments. Or just tear ours apart like you're the Cloverfield monster and we're the island of Manhattan.
21. The Devil's Rejects
This might actually have been a little higher on the list if we weren't still a little ticked off with Rob for what he did to Halloween. This is one of the most stylish horror movies ever made and you have to appreciate how mad it made some people by making the bad guys into the heroes and rewarding them for all of their torture and murder. It's just a movie, people. And a pretty good one at that.
They advertise it as "old school American horror" and that seems pretty accurate. It upholds the grand tradition of attractive young people being hacked to bits and impaled with garden tools while running through the woods in the dark. The day we stop appreciating art like that is the day the terrorists have won.
If the shaky camera didn't make you heave into your huge tub of popcorn, then you probably walked away from this flick feeling pretty satisfied. They didn't obscure the monster too much, like we all feared they would and the crappy footage really does add to the scare-factor. The NYC subways system can be a shady enough place as it is without a bunch of gnarly monsters chasing you through it.
18. Land of the Dead
We would love to be able include Romero's latest, Diary of the Dead on this list, but, unfortunately, it totally sucked, especially when Cloverfield took a similar concept and executed it much better. Land of the Deadh, however, captured the true zombie movie spirit. The effects were cheesy and the acting wasn't great, but it's just good to see real zombies up on the big screen.
17. The Signal
This indie flick got some attention at Sundance because of the interesting way in which it was shot, but it appeals to horror fans for its sheer brutality. The story revolves a broadcast signal that's turning people completely insane. It's kind of like if The Happening had been about a thousand times more interesting and had nothing to do with SPOILER ALERT killer plants.
16. The Host
One thing to love about this movie is that the first time the monster shows up, it does so in the middle of the day in plain sight. There's no screwing around with ultra-dark scenery and tricky shadows. The monster just comes out of the water and starts raising hell. That's the way it should be. You can probably look for an American remake in the next couple of years. That's the way it works, right?
Eli Roth didn't do anything terribly innovative with this movie, but that doesn't mean it isn't really fun to watch. Nothing spruces up a camping trip like a little flesh eating virus. Plus, it poses the ultimate questions of "would you have sex with a really hot chick, even if her skin was falling off?"
14. Army of Darkness
Evil Dead 2 missed the cut-off by just one year, but Army of Darkness is a damn fine way to make up for it. It's a horror comedy that's definitley more comedy than horror, but any list like this needs to include Bruce Campbell. It's part of a contract you sign when you become a list-writer. Oh, and you should know that there's a fourth Evil Dead movie in the works. We're not quite sure whether we should be excited about that or not. We'll let you know when we decide.
Some peopele love it and some people hate it, but this low-budget production is enough to drive you completely insane. I get freaked out if I don't recognize the aisle I'm in at the super market, so I can't imagine what it's like to be trapped inside of a huge maze-like cube filled with traps waiting to cut my head off. And, like with The Descent, you might want to skip this one if you're at all claustrophobic.
12. Funny Games
This one walks the line between psychological thriller and horror movie, but any movie that leaves you as mentally exhausted as this one deserves a little credit. In fact, it's so good that they decided to remake it just 11 years after the original was released. Be warned, though. There's nothing actually funny about this movie, unless you get a kick out of murder. Actually, since you're reading this list, you probably do. Carry on, then.
11. Event Horizon
Part horror and part sci-fi, this is the story of the little spaceship that could...go to hell. The story does get kind of over the top at times, and the special effects are a little spotty, there is something undeniably creepy about being stuck in outer space with demons from hell. I remember, when I was younger, having this on tape and replaying that part where the crew pull all of their guts our over and over again. Maybe I should've done more after shool activities.
See? Something decent did come out of HBO's reality contest, Project Greenlight. Feast proves that there's nothing like a straight-up monster movie with plenty of gore to satisfy the sick urges we've been having since we were kids. (You guys have those, too. Right?) Plus, the monsters vomit goo, which is something that demands respect.
Every horror list needs a good ol' gross out flick and that's exactly what Slither is. This movie managed to capture the feel of a B movie, without having to, you know, suck. In other words, it did something like what Grindhouse wanted to do, only it didn't fail miserably. And if you do watch it, try to do so without comparing it to Night of the Creeps. We all know it's similar. Just enjoy it for what it is.
8. Shaun of the Dead
Horor comedies are still horror movies, and as far as we're concerned, this film is the best the genre has to offer. Sure, it gets a little British at times, but its hilarious dialog and loads of allusions to classic horror flicks make it worth watching a bunch of times. And if you can't get at least a little joy out of watching a zombie get beaten with pool sticks to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now," then I don't think we can be friends anymore.
We almost hesitate to put this one on the list, only because it opened the floodgates for crappy American remakes of good Japanese horror, but we shouldn't hold that against Ringu. Whil the American version is kind of silly, the Japanese version is ultra-creepy. Even the killer video is creepier in the original, probably because the American version just looked like a Nine Inch Nails video.
Takashi Miike's twisted brain has churned out a lot of material that might fit this list, but in the interest of fairness, we're picking one. Audition is moody and actually kind of slow at times, but if you can get through the subtitles, the payoff is incredible. Just don't watch it before going out on a blind date. Those are tough enough without the fear that you'll end up living in a sack with no feet, eating only your captor's puke.
5. High Tension
I'm still not convinced that the ending makes total sense, but the rest of the movie is killer. Things go from quiet and creepy to absolute panic at the drop of a beret. It also doesn't hurt that Cécile De France is super hot, especially when she's all covered in blood and running through a field weilding a chainsaw. And don't get me started on the masturbation scene...
4. Session 9
One of two things is going to happen when you're hanging out at an abandoned mental hospital. You'll either find a lot of cool looking stuff to take pictures of for your Facebook page, or you'll become part of some horrifying ordeal that results in your messy and violent death. This flick wasn't a big commercial success, but thanks to its creepiness and a refreshingly unpredictable ending, it's definitely worth adding to your collection.
Say what you will about the sequals (and since this is the Internet, feel free to do it with a lot of curse words and in caps lock), but the first movie in this series is awesome. It brought torture back into the hearts of movie goers a full year before Eli Roth dropped Hostel on us, and did it with more style. Plus, the fact that it was made on such a shoestring budget only adds to its appeal. Danny Glover's acting, however, does not.
2. The Descent
Some people think the scariest monsters are the ones you can't see, and those people must have pissed themselves during this thing. From the moment the girls enter the cave it starts feeling incredibly claustrophobic. It's like being stuffed in a Volkswagen full of clowns, only it's really dark and all of the clowns have razer sharp teeth. There are talks of a sequal, which we can only hope involves a special-ops team going in to kick some CHUD ass.
1. 28 Days Later
Since its release, people have been arguing about whether or not you can call this a zombie movie (it's not, FYI), but one thing most people can agree on is that it's just a really good flick. There's enough violence and suspence for Fangoria crowd, but its slick look and straight forward storyline give it tons of mass appeal. I have never been to England, but the shots of the cities empty and burning are still one of the coolest and most disturbing things ever shot.