This was a very difficult list to put together since there is so much to choose from and so much that will get left out. With the end of the year rapidly approaching — here is my list of the Top 10 Horror Films from the last ten years. Please save your hate mail, this is my opinion and nothing concrete. These are the films that stood out from a slew of terrible remakes and Japanese adaptations and cemented themselves into film history.
10.) The Host (2006 / Dir. Joon-ho Bong)
We start with the Korean monster movie masterpiece, The Host. A squid like monster emerges from Ran River and runs amok, in the chaos a young woman is taken by the creature and being saved for a meal. The story follows the young woman and her father trying to locate her and kill the creature. With terrific visual effects and a gritty tone, this movie is worth a few watches to truly take it what Joon-ho Bong has crafted.
9.) May (2002 / Dir. Lucky McKee)
A true masterpiece of independent horror, May is a unique and terrifying experience. We follow the title character, a disturbed and troubled woman who wants nothing more than to be loved. But her quirks and are too much and results in a series of rejections, her only friend is a doll and when that is destroyed she goes crazy(er). She decides to build herself a friend from different body parts from numerous people, she takes the best from each person and sews them together. The ending is macabre and brilliant, a great film if not a little uncomfortable to watch. A twisted psychological human study that deserves a second glance.
8.) The Hills Have Eyes (2006 / Dir. Alexandre Aja)
The original was a groundbreaking classic and ranks as one of the greats, but the remake takes us to another level of terror. A family veers off course on a vacation and into a deserted quarry where cannibalistic inbred group hunts. Aja delivers us a gritty and realistic take on the story, featuring grisly death scenes and a haunting tone that illuminates the dread.
7.) Planet Terror (2007 / Dir. Robert Rodriguez)
A new cult classic from Rodriguez, Planet Terror is one of the best zombie movies of all time. With over the top action, phenomenal make-up effects, tons of blood and Rose McGowan with a machine gun leg. The plot is a simple story of survival from the dead, but the story doesn’t matter when you have melting bodies and Bruce Willis. A perfect midnight movie that will entertain for ages.
6.) Dog Soldiers (2002 / Dir. Neil Marshall)
A British Squad is sent into the hills of Scotland for a training mission, stories of evil in that area are ignored as they come upon a Squad brutally murdered. Armed with fake training guns, they must survive against a slew of werewolves that populate the area. This movie blends the elements of realism and shock terrifically, this is exactly what it would be like in this situation. Terrifically directed and acted as well as nice helping of blood, this movie is vastly underrated and deserves the praise that horror hounds give it.
5.) 28 Days Later (2002 / Dir. Danny Boyle)
A true independent zombie film, Danny Boyle gives a realistic and haunting approach to the end of the world. Inside the outbreak we follows characters struggling to survive which makes for an incredibly deep and emotional experience. After a group of activists accidentally release a monkey ridden with the “Rage Virus”, we awaken with the main character who has been in a coma for months only to find the world destroyed and everything else abandoned. Shot digitally and featuring trademark camera work, Boyle knows how to deliver the goods.
4.) Dawn Of The Dead (2004 / Dir. Zack Snyder)
Yes, I choose the remake over the original anytime. Based on the 1978 Romero film of the same name, we follow a group of survivors taking refuge from a zombie apocalypse inside a local mall. The characters a brilliantly written and performed nicely, given that acting is never a strong suit in horror films. Snyder builds the tension perfectly and delivers the gore — at the same time envisioning a bleak and frantic event. The dread is amplified and the outlook is dim, making for one of the most satisfying horror experiences in recent memory.
3.) The Mist (2007 / Dir. Frank Darabont)
From the director of The Shawshank Redemption comes the most shocking and entertaining monster movie of all time. When a mysterious wall of mist engulfs a small town, people being dying and creatures emerge to kill everything in their sights. This movie also features a terrific human study of faith and belief — shrouded with spiders that spin acidic webs. This truly is a masterpiece of the horror genre and ranks as one of the best of all time. The ending is daring and you will talk about the ending days after it ends.
2.) The Descent (2005 / Dir. Neil Marshall)
A claustrophobic nightmare brought to us by Neil Marshall. Plot revolves around a group of women who go cave diving off the beaten path only to find a race of humanoid creatures dwelling below. The monsters have adapted to the darkness and they begin to hunt the women down one by one. The women have their own story of betrayal and revenge which gives it a nice twist and becomes a drama as well as a horror film. The scenes of close quarter crawling through the tunnels are excruciatingly well done which will have you gasping for air.
1.) Resident Evil (2002 / Dir. Paul W.S. Anderson)
My favorite of the decade is a zombie infested masterpiece that oozes style and substance. Based on the popular video game of the same name, RE tells the story of a virus unleashed in an underground research facility called The Hive which is located underneath a mansion above — guarded by agents. Milla Jovovich is one such agents who awakens after the mansion’s defenses knock her out, she slowly regains her memory of what actually happened and who she really is. The story is well crafted and unravels nicely, drawing the audience in. More is revealed about the Umbrella Corporation and the intent of their action. Great zombies, monsters and some really good scares fill the movie which plays out with remnants of a William Castle film (ala House On Haunted Hill). Not only did this movie jump start the zombie genre for the next generation but ushered in a saga of sequels, this is not only one of the best horror films of all time but the best video game to film adaptations ever.