The Top Ten Horror Films of 2011
2011 was host to some fun and scary films. Listed below are only ten of the top movies that brought shocks and frights to us all.
1. ATTACK THE BLOCK – When you have a neighborhood under attack by aliens, you have an under the radar hit with classic leanings. This film is especially successful at employing subtle hints or small glimpses of the aliens themselves, along with spine chilling moments. The cast of characters is rich, and carries the film with depth and the occasional hilarity. The energy carries, building to a climactic end. The aliens have a unique and terrifying design, which lends itself to the overall beauty of the film.
2. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN – This film may be debated about making it to this list because it is classified as a thriller/drama, but in my opinion it is filled with horror elements. I had a hard time deciding if it should have been number one, and eventually settled on giving it second place if only because of the previously mentioned issue. In reality it tied with the number one spot. This movie chronicles the life of a psychopathic child from his earlier years and the effects on the family, to the horrifying conclusion. It is a gripping and visually satisfying movie that instills inevitable emotions in the viewer. The cast is spectacular, and the director did a phenomenal job of bringing his vision to the screen. This is not one to be taken lightly.
3. STAKE LAND – In a world ravaged by a virus that turns people into vampires, this film shows us that it really isn’t the vampires that are the worst thing out there – it’s the humans. Here we have an apocalyptic vision that is not as much about the creatures of the night as it is about the misguided and damaged survivors. The films’ all around high quality is what makes it surpass others of its nature.
4. MIDNIGHT SON – Finally we have a vampire flick, which is more along the “classic” lines. This indie film delivers on many fronts – writing, directing and acting. After letting us in close to the main character, the vampire, we are later introduced to his love interest. Their journey becomes one that the viewer is invested in; we want to see them together.
5. THE SKIN I LIVE IN – A sad, grieving yet amazing plastic surgeon is perfecting a synthetic skin that could be used to help people with deformities. As he works on this discovery, he also keeps a woman locked away in his spacious home, a woman who has a facial disfigurement that he can experiment on. Far from a twisted, mad doctor flick, this film is beautiful, touching and filled with deep, terror filled moments.
6. THE INNKEEPERS – Here is a delightful movie touching on ghost stories and peppered with creepy moments. The two main characters work very well together, and their chemistry is apparent as they carry each scene forward. As the movie continues, we feel more on edge wondering what is going to happen next. The directors’ unique style works with the storyline and stellar acting to bring a horror film unlike any other.
7. BLACK DEATH – During the Bubonic plague, in fourteenth century England, one village seems to be untouched by the disease and its deadly consequences. Add in the premise of something otherworldly happening in this village, and you have a wonderful motivator to venture and check it out. The raw, visceral atmosphere during the plague scenes is very effective, and the quiet wait after we see the village both serve to set the tone. There are many fascinating themes explored rounding out the overall feel of the film.
8. TROLL HUNTER – A group of university students decide to document what they think is a bear poacher on film. Once they find out that its not bears the hunter is after, but giant trolls, this is where the film becomes a fun ride. The scenery is beautiful, and the effects used to make the trolls are more than acceptable – a quirky, energetic film, indeed.
9. SUPER 8 – A small mid-western town is in for the fight of its life when an alien is unwittingly let loose, and a group of filmmaking kids just happen to be witness. One of the more mainstream films on the list, this movie is a shout out to the 80s and to Spielberg himself, who happens to have been a producer. A particularly spectacular opening train wreck sequence was a pleasing start, and the dynamic between the kids, along with their solid performances, combine to make it an enjoyable experience.
10. INSIDIOUS – A family searches for help for their young child who has fallen ill with no real medical explanation. Their desperation leads them to more unconventional methods. The realization that the child is in a dark and scary place called “The Further” serves to pull the viewer in deeper and allows for a trip to this frightening dimension. The father must journey there himself in order to save the child, and the shocks do not falter.
It was an interesting year for scary movies, and I hope to see more fresh, innovative indie flicks come our way in 2012.
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Tags: 2011, attack the block, insidious, midnight son, stake land, super 8, the black death, the innkeepers, the skin i live in, top 10, troll hunter, we need to talk about kevin