A Decade of Horror: 2008

The Strangers

What starts out as a look into the lives of a couple whose relationship falling apart, The Strangers quickly becomes a chilling nightmare as a group of masked assailants begin terrorizing the couple in their home. The Strangers works on several levels, the most obvious being the fear of the one place we are supposed to feel safest (our own home) being invaded by murderous psychopaths, but on the more subtle level, The Strangers digs at the idea life is truly a game of chance, and as the murderous trio explains later in the film when asked why they are chose this couple, their response is horrifying in it’s simplicity, “Because you were home”.

Repo! The Genetic Opera

An industrial/gothic opera unceremoniously dumped into select theaters then directly on to DVD by Lionsgate, Repo! tells the tale of a world where designer surgery has become the norm, and should you need a new organ because one is failing, you simply have to purchase one from Geneco, but beneath this glittering surface of seeming immortality is the grim reality of organ repossession’s by “The Repo Men”, government sanctioned murderers who will take back Geneco’s property with no regard for the well-being of the organs current owner. Featuring Anthony Stewart Head, Paul Sorvino, Sarah Brightman, Bill Moseley and Paris Hilton, Repo! has already gained cult status on DVD and balances gore, humor and fantastic music together into a modern-day classic.

The Midnight Meat Train

I love Clive Barker’s writing, and his Books of Blood series contain some of my favorite short stories. The Midnight Meat Train is a glorious adaptation of one such story, telling the tale of a photographer who gets caught up in a nightmare that lives under the streets of New York. Vinnie Jones plays Mahogany, the butcher of the Midnight Meat Train with little to no dialogue, but he exudes pure terror from his body language and facial expressions. This film is one of the few times where CGI blood is used and it doesn’t look like utter shit the way it typically does. Dark, gritty and unflinching in its portrayal of violence, Midnight Meat Train is one, if not the best adaptation of one of Barker’s works ever committed to film.

Snuff: A Documentary about Killing on Camera

Technically not a “Horror” film, Snuff is a powerful and disturbing look at the history of the “Snuff Film”. This is not a film for the weak of heart, as there are some very disturbing bits of footage shown, as well as a graphic description of a real snuff film from one of the interviewees. Deeply disturbing but fascinating, Snuff is a documentary worth checking out if you have any interest in the subject.

Martyrs

Not a film to be taken lightly, Martyrs is yet another of the “New Wave of French Horror” and while it is comparable in gore to High Tension, Martyrs pulls no punches as it systematically claws its way to your core. One of the most profoundly disturbing and depressing films I’ve ever seen, and not one I could sit down and watch on a regular basis, Martyrs is a work of extreme art that backs up its vicious streak with a philosophical edge that left me speechless and thinking about the film for days after I saw it.

Resident Evil: Degeneration

A direct to DVD CG animated film, Degeneration is the Resident Evil movie that fans of the game series were waiting for. Following Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield (both from Resident Evil 2 the game) as they attempt to stop the spread of the Umbrella corporation’s T-Virus, this is a film that works as a stand alone feature for those who have never played the video game series, but fans of the games will get the most out of this film, as there are references to characters and events from the game series. This film also sets up the story of the fifth Resident Evil game toward the end. Top notch CG and fantastic zombie action prove that an R rated animated film can work.

Otis

Don’t be fooled by the “The Juno for the horror crowd” tag on the box cover, Otis is nothing like the god awful “Comedy” that critics slavered all over. Otis is the tale of a deeply disturbed pizza delivery boy who kidnaps young women to live out his twisted high school fantasy. A revenge-horror-comedy, Otis is at times deeply disturbing while also managing to be incredibly funny. A black comedy like Murder Party, Otis is a film that surprised the hell out of me when I saw it, as I nearly didn’t watch it because of the Juno comment on the cover (and if you hadn’t figure out, I fucking hated Juno with a passion). A rare example of how to blend black comedy and horror, Otis pulls no punches and will get under your skin.

Let The Right One In

One of the most critically acclaimed horror films the last decade, Let the Right One In is a moody, art-house horror film about the relationship between a boy and a vampire trapped in the body of a child. Visually stunning, and genuinely moving, LTROI is not a film that will appeal to every horror fan, and for those that didn’t like the original Swedish film, it was remade in the US as Let Me In in 2010.

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