Oct 25, 2011

The 25 Best Horror Films of the Aughts

If you haven't peeked at it already, now is a good time to head over to Slant for our recently published list of the last decade's scariest, or best, horror films. I voted for the list based on the former quality, although there would be only minor changes had I shifted my qualitative focus to the latter. I managed to hold on to a few blind spots on the final roster, and of course there are a few I'm sad to not see represented (see below). That said, it's still an admirable collection to these eyes (the only perfect lists are our own), not just because I like about 90% of what's on it, but more essentially because it makes me ask questions.

A good example would be that I didn't at all experience #20 as a horror film, but I've now been sufficiently convinced that I probably could. It also helps that I voted for another of that director's films, and really chewing on the matter, I sorta doubt he could ever make a film that was entirely without horror aspects. His latest will serve as a test that theory. (I'm talking, of course, about David Cronenberg.) Then there are some other great flicks that I would have liked to have seen considered, such as Red Eye and especially There Will Be Blood, which strikes a certain Gothic chord not unlike Dryer's Vampyr. But I'm rambling. It's a good list. Click the linked picture above.

My write-ups come in at numbers 19, 15 and 6, and on the point of the last one, I'm fully prepared to dig my heels in and fight to the death on its excellence. You shouldn't be surprised to know it came in at my top spot. Here's my top ten.

1. Halloween II (2009, Rob Zombie)
2. War of the Worlds (2005, Steven Spielberg)
3. Inland Empire (2006, David Lynch)
4. American Psycho (2000, Mary Harron)
5. Wolf Creek (2004, Greg McLean)
6. 28 Weeks Later (2007, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo)
7. Audition (1999/2000, Takashi Miike)
8. The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009, Tom Six)
9. Pulse (2001, Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
10. 28 Days Later… (2002, Danny Boyle)


  1. Rob-

    I'd love to see a full length review of "Halloween II." I have thought of writing one myself, given that I despised the theatrical version, but think the director's cut is amazing. Any chance you might crank one out?


  2. I think props for either version of H2 are richly deserved and, yeah, you should definitely consider a full-length review of the film. It's great to see Pulse and Wolf Creek getting some credit, too.

    My own top ten would have been:

    1. Halloween 2
    2. Wolf Creek
    3. Fear(s) of the Dark
    4. Sleepless
    5. Pulse
    6. The Devil's Rejects
    7. Pan's Labyrinth
    8. The Strangers
    9. Ginger Snaps
    10. A Tale of Two Sisters

  3. I was surprised you didn't mention ORPHAN. Great picks all around, Rob. As usual

  4. Lee and Tom, I've been meaning to do one for some time now, at least since I was blown away by the new cut on DVD. Once I've repooled my energy a little bit, I'll consider it. It's a devastating film to watch, and it's a very precise mood I need to be in to experience it.

    Tobias, Orphan was one of the closest cut-offs for my HM list (which, for interested parties, I'll post below). Had I voted for the "best" horror movies, it would have made the cut, but "scariest" jiggled things around a little.

    For example, "The Descent" and "The Mist" scare the living hell out of me, although they're both flawed. "Orphan" and "Pontypool" are less visceral, but I consider them much stronger films.

    Honorable Mentions: Bug, The Descent, The Devil's Rejects, Drag Me to Hell, House of the Devil, Let Me In, Let the Right One In, The Mist, Signs, Twentynine Palms