Great Horror Flicks of the Last 15 Years. Whatcha Got?

Last year in the month of October I watched a horror movie each day to help get me into the spooky Halloween state of mind. Tom and I even wrote about them on the front page. I really enjoyed it.

Hopefully a few of you all did too.

Involving the Qt3 forum community in things last year sort of almost happened accidentally. I wasn’t originally planning it to be on the QT3 front page, so I sort of worked up my own core list, and then asked for suggestions to fill in cracks. You all helped a lot with that, but the list still pretty much felt a lot like my list and not so much an organic list from folks here.

This year I think we’re going to try something similar, and I definitely have a thesis in mind (which we’ll get to when we actually start writing, but only mild spoilers ahead for now.) Since I’m planning on this for being a QT3 thing from the inception, though, I’m hoping to lean on you all a lot more this time.

So, check it out: Once again, looking for a movie a day, so let’s say 30 movies.

This year, though, instead of tracing a line of olde timey movies from the 1950s into the 1980s, we’re instead going to go all-modern.

Thus, I’d love to hear your picks for the best horror movies of the last 15 years or so. In fact, let’s say we set August of 1999 as our start date. Whatcha got? I’m looking for good and great movies. If they’re scary, that’s obviously a plus for making a horror movie good to great, so scary should be a primary factor, too.

I’m also looking for a diverse mix. Movies from other countries. Hollywood studio system movies. Indie movies. Movies from a variety of horror subgenres.

More notes? Sure.

My likely partner in writing crime for this venture tends to write about a lot of modern horror movies from the last 15 years on films as they come out, for the front page. I don’t see any way of avoiding not doing films that have been reviewed on the front page or even talked about in a Qt3 Movie Podcast. In these cases, though, I guess I’m looking for something with…heft to it. If it’s a movie that fits those descriptions, I’m especially looking for movies that invite more discussion, that perhaps invite commiseration, or even better, invite dissenting views.

Finally: I think if we’re doing our homework, we’re going to come up with WAY more than 30 movies. Way more. There’s definitely going to be some curation of the final list. Maybe some voting or perhaps just continued input from you all. We’re not going to watch sparkly vampires. There are already two different movie franchises where I think I’m going to con us into watching two movies the same day, so that we’re actually going to squeeze 32 movies into this.

I’d like to know what the final list will be by mid-September, which is why I’m posting this up a bit early. Last year I found myself watching a few movies in the morning and writing about them right up until a few minutes before we posted on the front page. I’d like to get a bit out in front of that for my own sanity this year, so I apologize for asking you to think about autumn in the summer…but here I am, the forum equivalent of a pumpkin craft beer on store shelves in August.

Horror movies. Really good ones. Since August of 1999. Go!

Reserved for listing the movies y’all tell me about, adding and editing as we go…

The wall, against which I’m simply going to throw every movie mentioned against. Will be culled and distilled.

(I think it’s pretty obvious that 28 Days/weeks will make the final cut. That’s one of the franchises I’m hoping to group up on a single day.)

28 Days/Weeks Later
Let The Right One In (original)
Shaun Of The Dead
Cabin In The Woods
Blair Witch Project
Paranormal Activity 1/2
The Ring (US version)
House Of The Devil
Session 9
The Descent
You’re Next
Lake Mungo
Dark Water
Ju On
Call Of Cthulhu
Berberian Sound Studio
Last Will & Testament of Rosalind Leigh
Devil’s Backbone
The Orphanage
The Eye
A Tale Of Two Sisters
The Pact
The Host
The Others
Jeepers Creepers
Wolf Creek
Banshee Chapter
The Woman In Black
I Saw The Devil
Trick R Treat
Last Exorcism
Ginger Snaps
Kill List
The Signal
Human Centipede
Scary Movie
I Am Legend
The Thing
Dawn Of The Dead
Black Death
House Of Wax
Big Ass Spider
30 Days Of Night
The Bay
The Ruins
Wild Zero
John Dies At The End
Black Water
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Conjuring
The Mist
Rare Exports
Close Your Eyes
Dog Soldiers
Drag Me To Hell
High Tension
Tucker & Dale
One Missed Call
Final Destination
Magic Magic
Cold Prey
No One Lives
Dead Snow
Beyond The Black Rainbow
Grave Encounters
Devil’s Rock
Jug Face
The Ceremony
Open Water

I may have other recommendations later but one that comes right to mind is Chan-Wook Park’s ‘Thirst’ (2009). I know Tom mentioned it on one of the year-end podcasts but I don’t think it was reviewed in full.

Wow – I was going to say that Let The Right One In was another obvious choice but that it had been covered by the podcast but, reviewing the podcast master list, it hasn’t been so I would nominate that as well!

Do you want notes on why we’re nominating them? [Edit - I’ve added brief notes]
I’ll just name them for now, but happy to provide commentary if needed.

1999: Audition
Possibly my favourite horror movie ever, mainly because of the masterful way it handles the tonal shift midway through the film.
2000: Versus
Batshit insane Japanese movie about yakuza fighting zombies in the woods. Plus wizards, I think. It’s nuts.
2001: [I’m stumped]
2002: 28 Days Later (tough year this - lots of good candidates, especially from Asia - see also The Eye, The Ring remake and Dark Water)
The best (and one of the first) of the fast zombie moves. Also one of the best examples of waking up to an apocalypse in movies.
2003: Oldboy (not strictly horror, I suppose, but its power is in the mounting sense of dread)
2004: Shaun of the Dead
Hardly needs explanation. The best comedy horror film of all time. It’s Spaced with zombies. launched the movie careers of Pegg/Frost/Wright.
Also: Night Watch More style than substance, but merits a nod by virtue of having the best subtitles in all of cinema.
2005: The Descent
One of the few “straight” horror movies on my list, it just keeps it simple and executes well.
2006: Slither
An old school comedy horror, more Critters than Rabid. But well written and of course it has Nathan Fillion.
2007: 28 Weeks Later
I always like recovery-from-the-apocalypse fiction, whether it’s the latter half of WWZ, Riddley Walker, or the middle bit of Cloud Atlas.
2008: Let The Right One In
2009: Drag Me To Hell
2010: Tucker & Dale vs Evil
2011: I hear good things about Kill List, but I still haven’t got round to watching it.
2012 (that’s what IMDB says anyway): Cabin in the Woods
This is how self-aware horror should be done. Take note, Wes Craven.
2013: You’re Next

As you can probably tell, I’m more of a comedy horror guy than a torture porn or gore guy. But I do like a simple psychological horror movie from time to time.

Ah, this will be fun, has it been a year already? I need to go check out what we suggested last year so I don’t just hit the same beats again.

A couple of more…

‘The Blair Witch Project’ – Just misses the cut? July 1999. Still, maybe worth stretching for as it really started the whole found footage craze. I know there was some backlash to all of the hype but, though it may have been the circumstances under which I saw it, I certainly found it effective.

‘[Rec]’ – Speaking of found footage…

‘Dead Snow’ – A little obscure but one of my all time favorite zombie movies. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

Keep 'em coming!

It doesn’t have to be broken down by year the way Ginger did it, either, but I appreciate that level of effort! If there are a bunch in one year and not so many in another, it’s not like we’re gonna ignore other stuff from that year.

And Rightbug, don’t make me spoil my thesis just yet. ;) Let’s just say that I had an idea and found that the actual facts that I sort of hazily remembered lined up so perfectly that I could barely believe it.

[Edit] You don’t have to say why you’re nominating a particular film, either, but I’d really love to read why if there are films you feel really strongly about!

I really liked it but I seem to be in the minority.

Is ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ (2001) considered a horror movie? If so, I nominate that as well.

Sure! It had plenty of scenes that gave me the willies.

The Signal from (2007). It includes front page favorite AJ Bowen and was filmed entirely in the city to busy to hate (Atlanta, Ga). It’s a curious one as it’s technically a zombie - but not zombies, at all - apocolypse told in 3 separate short stories that happen to have players that can overlap from one to another.

No One Lives (2012), starring Tom favorite Luke Evans (aka the best Musketeer in the better than you thought Musketeers movie with Percy Jackson). It turns out Luke Evans is the best at more things than being a Musketeer. For example: he’s the best Greek God in The Immortals.

Splinter (2008) - underrated movie featuring Shea Wigham and the brainy stoner dude from Road Trip.

V/H/S (2012)

Ringu misses the cut due to timeline; the American remake (The Ring) came out in 2002, and is worth putting on the list (discussions for seeing can come when it’s time for that).

Baby, I’ll try to come up with more.

Oh, one thing: you simply cannot exclude Cabin In The Woods (which has already been mentioned a bunch). The Thing prequel came out in 2011. Under no circumstances should you watch it unless you want to do a special feature on all 3 movies (going back to 54). Sort of like how once reviewed all 4 Jaws movies both to talk about how amazing the first was and where things went wrong in sequels (especially 4, which rated bad movie worth reviewing).

The Orphanage - creepy kid movie (subtitled)
Trick R Treat - homage to Creepshow/Tales from the Darkside
Lake Mungo - wonderful atmospheric “documentary”

I’m sure there are more I’ll think of later, but these are the best that come to mind.

Awesome, adding these.

I think Cabin In The Woods is probably a shoo-in. I think that the argument against The Thing is going to be that we did the 1980s John Carpenter version pretty heavily last year.

Thank you for mentioning the American version of The Ring. I think it has to be in strong consideration for the final list, for a handful of reasons. It’s a fairly major studio release, it got seen by a gajillion folks, and it really brought mainstream attention here in the States to the cool stuff going on in Japanese and (hint) Southeast Asian horror cinema.

You know, the black and white, 45-minute, silent Call of Cthulhu came out in 2005. I heard good things about it but never saw it. It belongs on the list, dunno how hard it would be to get a copy.

You complete me.

Great, great suggestions.

I bought a copy when it came out, and I think it’s available on VOD from the usual suspects. For a while it was on Netflix Instant, but isn’t anymore.

Absolutely on the list.

Confession time: back in June I started reading all the front page reviews and over the last two weeks while I was working 16-18 hour days, I listened to every old Qt3 movie podcast, mostly thanks to marquac tagging all them and cataloguing them (Thanks marquac!)

From that and my own experience, I sketched together my own list of about 30-35 movies that I’d hope might be worthy of consideration…but I’m holding that list because I’m more interested in seeing what everyone else comes up with first.

What I love, though, is that so far most of the movies mentioned were films I put on my list…

…but there are also about 5-10 that aren’t! Which is even better.

I would stop you from including it even if you hadn’t done Carpenter in the last list. It subtracts everything good about the Carpenter version and replaces it with nothing interesting or even well done. But it should go on the bigger list just because. As I said, it’s worth watching if you ever wanted to sit down and write about the three movies (or even the two; Thing from Another World is so very different from Carpenter, they basically just share a basic premise, not quite at the “super hero comics are about people with powers!” level). It is not a good movie, and because of it’s legacy it’s a bit tragic.

Thank you for mentioning the American version of The Ring. I think it has to be in strong consideration for the final list, for a handful of reasons. It’s a fairly major studio release, it got seen by a gajillion folks, and it really brought mainstream attention here in the States to the cool stuff going on in Japanese and (hint) Southeast Asian horror cinema.

Yep, it did exactly that. I thought it was pretty good to boot. Speaking of SE Asian horror, The Host (2006); I must stress that this is the Korean monster movie and no the really bad YA movie starting Hannah. It belongs on the larger list, for sho.

Ooooh, Trollhunter (2011). And Monsters (2010).

Wolf Creek
Dark Water (the original version)
Murder Party (Actually not a horror movie, but definitely a Halloween movie, and might be a fun change of pace)

Deadgirl (2008), though this got front page coverage didn’t it? Put it on the big list.

Don’t bother with The Killing Room (2009 - but another Shea Wigham vehicle; also Peter Stormare had too little to do). From what I’ve heard, skip Would You Rather(2012 I think), but I cannot personally vouch.

High Tension (2003) was a front page sensation. I have it on my DVR, I’m going to try to watch this weekend.

Nice, thanks for the notes!