Though it wasn’t a stellar year for horror films, the 5 best killers movies of 2010 are genuinely good films. From the smokey noir of Australia’s “Daybreakers” to the sweltering jungles of “Predators” and the dry, dusty heat of “Machete,” the films on this list are suspenseful, violent and highlight the nefarious talents of some blood-thirsty killers. Warning: spoilers.

  1. “Daybreakers”—“Daybreakers” is a brilliant Australian vampire film. Though it was made in 2009, it didn’t appear in the United States until early 2010. In the film, vampires have taken control of human society and are living as people formerly did: going to work, living in houses, driving cars—all by night. The plot involves a vampire scientist attempting to synthesize a blood substitute as the human supply, which is harvested like human energy in “The Matrix,” is running out. The killers of the film are vampires who have gone without human blood for an extended period and have morphed from humanoid figures to gothic creatures of considerable strength. One of the five best killer movies on 2010, “Daybreakers” has an extremely violent, operatic ending sure to satiate genre fans.

  2. “Piranha 3D”—French horror auteur Alexandre Aja has made some of the most frightening, brutal, grotesque exercises in cinematic nihilism of the last ten years, including “High Tension” and "The Hills Have Eyes” remake. In 2010, he further exercised his ability to tell a swiftly moving yarn filled with blood and guts, perfect camera placement, movement and beautifully saturated colors in “Piranha 3D.” Aja also brought gratuitous nudity and laugh out loud tongue-in-cheek humor to the mix, making the film one of the five best killer movies of 2010.

  3. “Predators”—In the first two installments of this venerable series, the titular aliens came to earth to hunt and kill human beings who were armed to the teeth and trained to kill. The 2010 series reboot, produced and directed by sleezy mastermind Robert Rodriguez, has a brilliant conceit: the aliens don’t come to their prey, they bring the prey to them. Adrien Brody gives a terse, gruff performance as a mercenary, while Laurence Fishburne gets hella weird in a Colonel Kurtz-inspired turn as a madman hiding out on the predator planet. One of the five best killer movies of 2010, “Predators” features a plethora of killer alien creatures, future weapons and a brilliant homage to Kurosawa’s iconic samurai pictures.

  4. “Machete”—“Machete” isn’t a killer movie in the sense that the other films on this list are: it’s not a horror movie and the killer is the hero, not the villain. But Rodriguez, who directed “Machete” and produced and wrote “Predators,” had a hell of a year. One of the five best killer movies of 2010, “Machete” is absurdly gory. There are multiple beheadings, bloody gun battles, dismembering and a scene in which someone gets cut plumb in half. There’s also Robert De Niro, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba and a good deal of female nudity.

  5. “The Crazies”—This remake of a 1973 George Romero film is billed as “28 Days Later” is a small southern town. In the film, a plane carrying a mysterious biological agent crashes, unleashing its cargo and turning all of the town’s inhabitants, save as select few, insane. All they wanna do is have some fun by killing people. And kill they do. Yet despite the considerable gore of the film, “The Crazies” manages to do something quite rare in 2010: create actual suspense and give the audience a reason to care about its characters.