Bloody-Disgusting editor/reporter/reviewer BC has some choice words for horror fans, but he also has his list for his favorite and least favorite horror films of 2007. Inside you’ll find his list and you can respond by leaving a comment below. Do you agree? Even if you don’t be respectful in your opinion and feel free to post your top/bottom list. Watch this spot for Mr. Disgusting’s list this weekend.
Looking back on 2007, only one thing comes to mind. Horror fans are dopes. As I compile my best/worst list, I can’t help but notice that many of great films were financial disappointments, while a few of the worst were greeted with “boffo box office!” (in the non-words of Variety). How does one explain that the receipts for The Mist and Grindhouse COMBINED were less than Halloween? Oh well, at least everyone was smart enough to avoid Captivity. Silver lining.
On the plus side, this year was far better than last year, with some of even the bottom 10 movies offering at least SOME worth. There was less reliance on remakes and sequels, and more newcomers (or talent from outside the US) to look forward to in the coming years. Let’s just hope that 2008 sees better security to prevent so-called fans from downloading everything instead of forking over a few bucks to ensure more films come their way…
Anyway, let’s count down.
10. Behind The Mask – This clever mockumentary/homage to slasher movies sadly doesn’t hold up to repeat viewings, but the first time around it’s a gem. Nathan Baesel is brilliant as Leslie Vernon, and the little nods and in-jokes to slasher lore (Red Rabbit Inn!) were a nice little gift from the filmmakers. The DVD commentary is the worst ever recorded, but the film itself is definitely worth at least one viewing. And thanks to Anchor Bay, some of us got to see it in theaters, which paved the way for Hatchet’s theatrical release.
9. 1408 – A PG-13 Dimension movie based on a Stephen King short story, directed by the guy who made one of the worst thrillers of all time (Derailed) wasn’t exactly the recipe for success. The fact that it was even watchable was a miracle. The fact that it was pretty damn good earned it a spot on the list. Cusack is pretty much the only guy in the film for 90% of the runtime, and he pulls it off quite well (he even manages to make talking to himself sound natural). 1408 is a terrific, low-key haunted house movie with a big finale that improves on the short story’s. And yes, Sam Jackson says “Fuck”.
8. Vacancy – Two A-list stars in a horror-thriller about snuff films? Why was it out of theaters in like an hour? The ending had a bit of a cop-out, but I loved every minute of it until then. No bullshit, no padding, just a relentless pace and some top-notch suspense. Nimrod Antal is definitely one to watch.
7. Sweeney Todd – A big budget gory musical? Hey, it worked. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp turn out their best joint film since Ed Wood, redeeming them for all of their recent sins (well, maybe not Planet of the Apes). If this one doesn’t get a few Oscar nods for costumes, sets, cinematography, etc, then there is no justice in the world. Or at least, in the voting process.
6. Grindhouse – Why the hell didn’t anyone go see this? Don’t give me the length excuse – last time I checked, the two highest grossing movies of all time clock in at over 3 hrs. Even if the slow parts of Death Proof and overly digital friendly (I thought Grindhouse movies were supposed to look/be cheap?) Planet Terror turned people off, there’s no reason why it didn’t at least have a huge turnout in its opening weekend, before any possible word of mouth could hurt. This is some of the most fun I have ever had at a theater. Shame you didn’t join me.
5. Wrong Turn 2 – When I first heard about this one, I was skeptical at best. A DTV sequel to a decent but hardly great movie, by a first time director with Troma association (I’m not a Troma fan) ? But I was wrong, no pun intended. Tops the first in pretty much every way, and is a boatload of fun to boot. The 3rd act could use a little tightening, but otherwise this tops most big-budget fare in the areas that matter (gore, fun, likable characters). The fact that Fox put their money behind the abysmal Hills Have Eyes 2 and not this just proves how out of touch they are. Here’s hoping Joe Lynch lines up another film in time for next year’s list (the Shocker remake, perhaps?)
4. Zodiac – Another undeserving box office dud. The kill scene by the river is probably the most gut-wrenching, terrifying scene in serial killer movie history, and the acting across the board was award-worthy (particularly Robert Downey, Jr.). While the horror elements are more or less confined to the first 40 minutes or so, the rest of the film is just as compelling and great. The film that finally made me a bona fide fan of David Fincher.
3. 28 Weeks Later – Wasn’t a big fan of the original, but this one floored me. Top notch set-pieces like the sniper scene are among the best in recent zombie movie history, and they totally topped Grindhouse’s helicopter splatter scene. The Jaws: The Revenge version of the zombie dad was a bit dumb, yes, but the rest of the movie was so good, it was easy to forgive. Also the year’s best score by far.
2. Hatchet – This independent gem got a brief theatrical run, and now it’s on DVD for everyone to enjoy. Funny as hell and even gorier, this is the film everyone can point to when naysayers claim that it’s impossible to make a good modern slasher. And now, whenever someone tries to claim that some piece of shit like Dark Ride is worth your time because it’s “like an 80’s slasher”, you can show them Hatchet and let them see how Adam Green did just that, only he did it right.
1. The Mist – You chose not to see it. Your loss. The smart ones among us can go to their graves knowing we got to see one of the best monster movies ever made on the big screen. You’ll live with your regret, not us.
Honorable mentions: Joshua, Sunshine, Boy Eats Girl, Severance, Alone With Her, Flight of the Living Dead, Hostel Part II, The Orphanage
10. AVP 2 – The first film already gave us the sight of a Predator fighting an Alien. The sequel’s task was to simply do that again, but this time make a good movie around that concept. Sadly, they seemingly didn’t even TRY to accomplish this, settling for moronic characters straight of out a Sci-Fi original or a slasher sequel (complete with high school kids!) and what seems like even LESS fighting between the title characters. So what was the point??? Shane Salerno is given credit for the script, but if it was really a template script from a 3rd rate screenwriting application, I wouldn’t be surprised.
9. Dead Man’s Hand – Not that a Full Moon movie has much promise to begin with, but even by their standards, this one was terrible. To simply say it was slow, pointless, and cheap is being nice. The effects make those in Escape from LA look good, and the ending is the epitome of “half-assed”. When your movie only runs about 70 minutes and it feels too long, maybe you should write another draft of the script, or just abandon it entirely.
8. The Invasion – Once upon a time, Oliver Hirschbeigel made a thought provoking, if a bit slow, update of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And once upon a time, the Wachowskis and their buddy James McTeigue made (2/3s of) a ridiculous, non-stop action version that had no social commentary whatsoever. And then Joel Silver threw both versions in a blender and released it for everyone to hate. The result is a movie that pretty much defines “Post Production Tinkering”. I can’t WAIT to hear the commentary on this thing (if there even is one).
7. Final Cut – A killer clown movie with less than a minute of killer clown. A movie about a writer who fails to write anything. A horror movie without kills, suspense, gore, tension. What is the point? You got me.
6. Halloween 2007 – For all its faults, Halloween managed to get a few things right. The middle section of the film, with Loomis and Michael in the sanitarium, is almost great at times, and Sherri Moon is surprisingly quite good in these scenes as well. But the reliance on copying scenes from the original, lack of character development for Laurie, nonsensical actions on Michael’s part (made even more idiotic in the new “Unrated” cut), and non-stop barrage of horror convention staples like Bill Moseley in throwaway cameos destroys what could have been, if nothing else, the best entry in the series since Dimension got their greedy paws on it. I like 1000 Corpses, I loved Rejects… but Rob missed the mark here.
5. Resident Evil: Extinction – No one expects greatness from an RE movie, but this couldn’t even achieve the dumb fun of the previous two. Milla looked bored, the Jill-becomes-Claire rewrite is painfully obvious, the action is sub-par, and the ending is left wide open despite it being billed as a finale. When you walk out of a Resident Evil movie saying “Not as good as the others” then you have major problems.
4. Curse of the Zodiac – Well, come on, no “Worst” list is complete without an Ulli Lommell flick. Not getting a single detail right about the Zodiac (other than the setting) is the least of its problems. It took effort to even get through the entire film, which consisted mainly of 3 scenes repeated over and over (killer taunts the cop, killer taunts the girl, killer kills some hippies we have never seen before).
3. Drive-Thru – Few films, direct to video or not, have had less respect for an audience than this mind-numbingly stupid film. Ripping off countless (better) slasher movies without a single shred of originality to make up for it, this manages to make other “funny” slasher movies like Dr. Giggles look like the original Halloween in comparison.
2. Broken – Just as bad as Captivity, but at least it went direct to video in the States, sparing us from spending more than a rental fee in order to watch this pointless drivel. Critics slam Hostel and Saw for being torture porn? This should be their real target. At least those movies have some semblance of class, not to mention a point. This is LITERALLY torture for torture’s sake, with a repulsive ending that is supposed to shock but merely just annoys.
1. Captivity – This isn’t just the worst horror movie of the year, or even the worst movie of the year… it’s one of the worst films EVER MADE. And I mean ANY film, not just horror. That thing you shot with a camcorder in your backyard with your brother and friends when you were 12? I haven’t seen it, but I guarantee that it has more creativity, wit, and relevance than this loathsome piece of shit. Seeing the original cut, which was still terrible but sans most of the torture scenes, just made the theatrical look even worse. After Dark should be tried and committed for even releasing the goddamn thing. I boycotted all of their “Horrorfest” titles, all of which are surely better, as punishment for not showing this to press and “forcing” me to pay for it.
Dishonorable Mentions: Rise: Blood Hunter, Shadow Walkers, Prey, The Dead One, Blood Trails, Buried Alive, Welcome To The Jungle