The Too Scary To Watch "Best Horror Movies of the 2000's" Awards
Well, the first decade of the 2000's has come to an end, and it's time to talk about what the best horror movies of the decade were! We here at Too Scary To Watch have watched a lot of horror movies, examined a ton of horror scenes, have taken notes, and after a lot of hard work and some careful consideration, our results are in.
Remakes, Torture Porn, Ghosts, Zombies, Vampires and Werewolves
The 2000's had a lot of great horror movies (way more than what was included in this list). Slashers, Breakdown movies, supernatural thrillers, zombie movies and more. But our goal was to go through the horror sub-genres and present a list of what we feel are the best of each category. I guess you can say that this list is a bit of a work in progress, and may continue to be changed or updated as we continued to think of more sub-genres.
There were many great horror movies of the first decade of the 2000's that weren't able to be included in this list. It's important to remember that, this is a list consisting of the opinions of those here at Too Scary To Watch. Though we may not all agree on every aspect of every movie, we can agree to disagree respectfully.
Just remember that an opinion is an opinion and we welcome anyone's opinion, as long as it's provided tastefully and respectfully.
Thanks and enjoy!
I thought it would be fitting to start things off by handing out my "Most Disappointing Horror Movie of the 2000's" award, which goes to the 2007 remake of Halloween. Just to be clear, I mean no disrespect to those of you out there who love Rob Zombie's take on John Carpenters 1978 classic. If you've read any of my posts before, than you've probably heard me say at least a dozen times, to each his own. Your opinion is your opinion, but for me, the 2007 remake of Halloween just wasn't my cup of tea. I had high hopes going into this one, because I thought the remakes of Dawn of the Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes were so well done.
What I didn't like most about Rob Zombie's retelling of Halloween, was his portrayal of Michael Myers, though I will admit that his portrayal may be the more realistic one. In my opinion, he humanized him in a rather cliche manner ... the bullied and abused, troubled kid, with a rough upbringing (and a nag for killing animals), finally goes too far. This eventually leads to him losing the one thing most precious to him (his mother), which, due to feelings of betrayal and abandonment, causes him to withdraw and disconnect from the world around him. This of course, results in him (over time) losing his grasp on reality ... his life hidden behind a mask. He starts slipping away mentally, he falls deeper into the abyss of anger and rage (one can even say insanity). Now, having pretty much lost himself completely, with a scarred conscience that can no longer distinguish right from wrong, good from bad, he succumbs to the evil within, which overpowers him, taking him down the path that inevitably leads to the Michael Myers we all know as the deranged psychopathic serial killer that stalks and kills babysitters and teens, one who may not be mentally responsible for his own actions ... if you ask me, this sounds like the sad and tragic story to most killers in prison today!
What I loved about John Carpenter's portrayal of Michael Myers was that there really wasn't a reason for the evil that exist within Michael. He appeared to have a nice suburban upbringing, good loving parents ... for all intents and purposes, everything appeared to be normal, outside of the fact that deep down (when you stared into Michael's eyes), you knew that a darkness, an unspeakable evil exist within, waiting to be unleashed. Michael was apparently off (lacking a conscience) for reasons unknown. There was a vile and untamable evil that exist without logic or reason, and that's one of the very things to me that made the original Halloween disturbing. When we saw Michael Myer's (a mere man) get shot and stabbed, and still get back up, a part of us could buy it because we knew there was something evil at work in him, something we didn't have an answer for, a presence "like" demonic possession. In my opinion, Rob Zombie took that away, and for me, doing so (coupled with over the top, unnecessary sex and vulgarity) ruined the movie.
So I've had a few negative things to say about the remake of Halloween, but on a positive note, what I didn't mind about it was the sheer size of the actor chosen to play Michael Myers. Just in case you found yourself watching the original Halloween saying, he's not that big, maybe I can take him ... they made sure to put an end to those kind of thoughts by choosing a man so big that only guys like Bill Goldberg or Hulk Hogan could challenge him. I hope you have a good pair of running shoes, because beating him up appears to be out of the question.
Since we are only allowed to choose one winner per each category, there were obviously many great horror movies from the first decade of the 2000's not included on this list.
American mainstream films, indie films, foreign films, gave us a huge selection to choose from ... But if I had to choose one film as the honorable mention, my choice for "Best Horror Movie of the 2000's that I didn't have a spot for on this list" would be the 2007 movie, The Orphanage, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona. Without saying too much, this movie, in my opinion was fantastic, and is worth checking out, if you haven't seen it and don't mind subtitles (unless of course you know Spanish). I also loved Dead Silence (2007), from the creators of Saw.
Perhaps this award should have gone to a film that's a bit more of a rare commodity (an Indie film or a movie nobody's really heard of), but for me, one of the most underrated, under appreciated and under talked about films of the 2000's (decade 1) is and was The Mothman Prophecies.
Just to be clear, there were several other very worthy films, that I could have chosen here. Every decade has its share of films that don't get much love, and fly under the radar, sort of speak. But for me, The Mothman Prophecies had atmosphere, mystery, suspense, great acting, and a creature (based on actual sightings from the 60's) that disturbed me more than most usual do. I thought it was a very good movie, definitely worthy of being appointed "My Most Underrated Horror/Thriller Movie of the 2000's".
The first decade of the 2000's saw its fair share of video game to film adaptations (Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Alone in the Dark, Silent Hill), but for me, especially if we're talking horror, Silent Hill (2006) edges out the other ones. However, I must admit that since I'm a huge fan of the Silent Hill video game series, I may be a little biased.
Rogue is a well made, suspenseful, killer animal movie, and it goes without question that it's the best and most realistic crocodile film I've personally ever seen.
So what movie wins the Best Killer Animal Movie of the 2000's (decade 1) award? Though I heavily considered going with the 2006 horror comedy, Black Sheep (what a fun movie), I decided to give my vote to the 2007 giant crocodile movie Rogue.
My vote for the "Best Werewolf Movie of the first decade of the 2000's" goes to the 2002 film Dog Soldiers, directed by Neil Marshall (director of The Descent).
Dog Soldiers is an intense movie, with a nice blend of action and gore, which is why it gets crowned, the best Werewolf movie of the 2000's and the best werewolf movie I've seen in quite some time (I should probably note that my wife's vote goes to the teen scream cult film, Ginger Snaps).
I'm just not as big on vampire movies as I once was. However, my award for "Best Vampire Movie of the first decade of the 2000's" goes to Thomas Alfredson's 2008 film, Let The Right One In, which swept in taking the horror world by surprise.
Some will argue against this film being considered a genuine horror movie, but I consider it to be one of the most original and unique Vampire films to hit the market in quite some time (true horror or not). Let The Right One In, gets my vote, but I also enjoyed 30 Days of Night and Shadow of the Vampire.
The Dawn of the Dead remake had, gore, action, and humor, and it did it all very well! It pretty much doubles as my best remake of the 2000's and my best zombie movie of the 2000's.
The first decade of the 2000's had a lot of good zombie/zombie-like movies (Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later and REC/Quarantine, just to name some of the more popular ones). In many ways, I consider it a draw between Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later, but since there's only room for one winner, the film that gets the honors for me, is Zack Synder's 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead.
For the "Best Monster Horror Movie of the First Decade of the 2000's" award, The Descent, hands down, get's my vote (though I also enjoyed, Cloverfield 2008, Jeepers Creepers 2001, Feast 2005, and Splinter 2008)!
My definition of a monster movie (or creature feature) is; any scary movie involving a creature of some sort (that's not a human, animal, zombie, vampire or werewolf) ... and there are always gray areas and exceptions. In the case of The Descent, "use to be human once upon a time" still counts as a monster.
What's an action horror movie? Action horror movies are films that combine action with elements of horror (monsters, werewolves, vampires ... etc). Most action horror movies belong in the action movie genre, but may be deemed too scary for some people, especially kids.
Underworld (2003) for me, edges out Blade 2 (2002) for the "Best Action Horror Movie of the first decade of the 2000's."
Orphan, a 2009 film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, wins the award for "Best Killer Kid Movie of the First Decade of the 2000's", and it does so rather comfortably.
Orphan is a pretty well made, well done movie, with an unforgettable ending, definitely worth checking out, if you haven't done so already.
In my opinion, most of these types of movies (at least the better ones) died out at the end of the 90's. But in many ways, I consider the "first" Saw to be just as much of a Se7en style crime thriller, as it is a straight torture porn style horror flick. Yes, there is torture, but there's also a smart clever serial killer (identity not revealed until the end of the movie) being pursued by detectives, which is why it gets my vote for "Best Crime Thriller Movie of the First Decade of the 2000's".
I'm choosing to define Serial Killer/Crime Thriller movies as being; Drama style movies, typically involving detectives (or FBI agents), in a race against time to catch a notorious serial killer (a calculating and evasion individual who's always one step ahead), often in the gloom and rain of a major city (think Seven).
If ties were permitted (and they're not), then we'd have one here between Identity and Phone Booth. I really really loved both of these psychological thrillers, but since I'm only able to pick one, Identity gets my vote for the Best Psychological Thriller of the First Decade of the 2000's.
Great story, great acting, great ending, great movie. Identity is definitely one of the best psychological thriller's I've seen in years.
... if I had to pick one religious horror movie that I thought was the most frightening from the first decade of the 2000's, my choice would be The Exorcism of Emily Rose which hit theaters in 2005.
I think it's safe to say that in the eyes of many, The Exorcist will forever be the best of the best, when it comes to religious horror films. No argument from me. But jumping forward three decades ...
A Tale of Two Sisters (released in 2003), did eventually spawn an American remake (The Uninvited in 2009). Thailand's Shutter (2004) was also a great candidate!
The 2000's (decade 1) had plenty of great Asian horror movies ... some in which, went on to get American remakes (Ju-on, The Eye, Dark Water, Shutter, just to name a few), but the one that wins the Too Scary To Watch "Best Asian Horror Movie of the 2000's" award is South Korea's A Tale of Two Sisters.
We saw the 90's end with supernatural movies such as Ringu, The Whispering Corridor, The Sixth Sense and the Blair Witch Project, and we saw the first decade of the 2000's pick up exactly where the 90's left off.
In this supernatural/ghost frenzy, we've definitely seen our share of good (and bad) supernatural horror movies -- from The Final Destination franchise, to The Grudge movies, to Dead Silence, to movies like What Lies Beneath, but for me (and everyones different), the "Best Supernatural Horror Movie of the 2000's" award still goes to The Ring (2002 American version).
The first decade of the 2000's had a few horror comedies that I really enjoyed, but the one that takes home the gold and stands out above the rest for me, is director Edgar Wright's, Shaun of the Dead (2004).
This movie (in my humble opinion) had it all, and will go down in my books, as one of the best and more hilarious horror comedies ever made.
Unlike most horror fans out there, I actually liked The Strangers (2008) as well, which made this a bit of a tough decision to make. But in the end, I believe the better of the two won out. A lot of people would have given their vote to Funny Games (2007), but I (for some odd reason) didn't like it as much as most other folks did.
High Tension wins my award for "Best Home Invasion Horror Movie of the 2000's" (decade 1). This movie was terrifying and it was also intense. It definitely makes you think twice before answering the door at night ... more accurately, it encourages you to do a better job choosing your friends (perhaps the movie should have been titled, Let the Right One In).
Some horror enthusiast may consider breakdown and backwoods horror movies to be separate sub-genres, but I've decided to lump the two together. We all know the formula, city folks passing through and breaking down (or being stranded) in rural secluded areas.
With quite a few 2000's horror flicks to choose from (Wrong Turn, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wolf Creek, to name a few), Vacancy gets the nod in my books. Vacancy was successful in getting its terrifying point across without having to rely heavily on torture and gore, like some of the other runner ups.
With Hatchet, you either get it, or you don't ... you either love it or you hate it, and for some strange reason, I really enjoyed it. A good backstory (I loved the 80's style tale of Victor Crowley), great kill scenes, and a nice blend of humor -- Hatchet truly resembled some of the classic slashers of the past (they should have completed it by having Victor Crowley wear a mask). I thought David Moore and Deon Richmond were great in this one. Hey Bud, what did your brother have to say about Victor Crowley? Fans of The Cosby Show will get that one!
Perhaps the 2003 French film, High Tension (Haute Tension) was a bit more deserving of the "Best Original (original meaning, not a remake or sequel to a classic) Slasher Movie of the 2000's" Award ... and I'm not here to debate that. I however, chose to go with the 2006 movie Hatchet.
But my "Best Stephen King Film Adaptation of the 2000's (Decade 1)" Award goes to the 2007 movie 1408, director by Mikael Håfström, based on Stephen King's novella 1408 (released in 1999 - as one of the three short stories of the Blood and Smoke Audio Book). It was fun, it was exciting, and it was enjoyed which is why it gets my vote.
This list just wouldn't be complete if I didn't find a way to make room for Stephen King. Over the years, I've developed a love for Stephen King Film Adaptations (Carrie 70's, The Shining 80's Misery 90's).
Cloverfield had action, mystery, suspense, oh ... and a big ass monster! I thought a lot of the special effects were pretty well done, for a found footage film -- but like most other movies on this list, not everyone will agree with this selection. In general, not everyone will dig the found footage movie format (some people start get nausea when trying to watch these types of movies).
After the success of the Blair Witch Project in 1999, we had to assume that more movies "using the found footage format" would be soon to follow. I enjoyed REC/Quarantine, Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield, but my vote goes to Cloverfield.
My favorite 2000's movie fitting this bill is Victor Salva's Jeepers Creepers (2001)! I liked Jeepers Creepers and I liked it a lot (and that's not to say that I thought it was on par with The Exorcist or anything)!
Defining exactly what it means for a movie to be considered a cult film, is something that can be a bit tricky and is often debated. I however, will define it as being a film (typically lacking fame and generally being considered average or bad by the rest of the world) that has acquired a devoted cult following from a specific group of fans.
A Sequel being better than the original, is a phenomena that rarely occurs in my opinion. A sequel being as good as the original also rarely happens. Saw II (2005) may not be as good as the first Saw (which is obviously debatable), but it definitely gets my vote for the "Best Horror Sequel of the 2000's".
Just to throw a few more titles out there, I also enjoyed Final Destination 2, REC 2, Cold Prey 2 and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.
I think of the late 90's as being the golden age (sort of speak) of teen screams, but every decade, as we all know, has its share of teen horror flicks. In my opinion, the Final Destination movie (2000) goes down as the most memorable and influential teen horror film of the first decade of the 2000's.
The Dawn of the Dead remake had, gore, action, and humor, and it did it all well! It pretty much doubles as my best remake of the 2000's and my best zombie movie of the 2000's.
This ended up being a close one? The first decade of the 2000's had a few remakes that I really liked (Dawn of the Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, just to name a few) ... but I really really enjoyed the Dawn of the Dead remake.
Easily grossing over 10,000 times the amount it cost to make the film ($15,000), Paranormal Activity gets my vote for the "Best Independent Horror Movie of the First Decade of the 2000's" (though the first Saw, or Shaun of the Dead could have easily won as well). PA1 was successful at the box office, and it was also successful in freaking me out.
The first decade of the 2000's had a handful of very good (and highly successful) independent horror films, which made having to nominate one as the "Best Independent Horror Movie of the 2000's" an extremely difficult task.
I could have almost flipped a coin on this one, but the movie I've chosen to nominate for "The Most Brutal Horror movie of the 2000's" award is Hostel Part II. Every once in a while, I watch a horror movie that's so bad of a situation, that all I can say is, "That's messed up"!
Do I have to just pick one? Very few people will debate the fact that the 2000's spawned some of the most brutal films even seen. The first decade of the 2000's had many brutal horror movies ... with quite a few of them being deemed too gross for the average movie watcher to endure (Saw, The Hills Have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Matyrs, Hostel and many many more).
Although I absolutely loved the first two Saws (and have seen them all), I started to tune them out after around the third movie because some of the torture scenes became a bit too difficult for me to stomach!
When I think of some of the more successful horror franchises of the first decade of the 2000's, what immediately comes to mind is the Saw and Final Destination movies. But if I had to go with one, I'll give the nod to Saw, which went on to spawn 6 sequels (7 movies total).
Despite its claims, the movie is not based on a true story. Nonetheless, the "fabricated" archive footage shown in the film is disturbing to say the least ... and the movie, fictional or not, doesn't ease the thought that people, somewhere, may be experiencing these types of things FOR REAL!
Different things scare different people ... that much is obvious. For my wife, Paranormal Activity takes the cake, but for me (although no film has really scared me since I was a young boy), my "scariest movie of the 2000's" award goes to The Fourth Kind.
The first decade of the 2000's spawned plenty of good horror movies, generating nearly a dozen flicks that are worthy of being considered number one. Yes, we all know just how subjective a task it is to crown a single movie "The Best Horror Movie of the 2000's", different people like different things. Nonetheless, for me, The Ring (2002 American version) takes home the prize.
I'm a fan of atmosphere, mystery and suspense, and The Ring (along with a great ending) had it all. It kept me interested, and it creeped me out. Although it worked for me, I will admit that it may be too slow (lacking blood, sex or gore) for most true horror fans.