3: Tucker and Dale vs Evil (Dir: Eli Craig)
Tucker and Dale are two backwoods West Virginia natives who invested the last of their funds into their dream vacation home. When sprucing up the dire “fixer upper” a group of college students accidentally think that they are two insane serial killers and hijinks ensue. You know, now that I write out the synopsis, it doesn’t sound like the greatest film in the world, but I assure you that it is definitely worth your time. Tucker and Dale are both lovable and gullible enough to be believable in a situation where they begin to think a bunch of college students are committing ritual suicide on their property. It’s a colorful and fun deconstruction of all the horror conventions that we are all tired of seeing, and it totally works.
2: The Innkeepers (Dir: Ti West)
Ti West is probably best known for his work on the “slow burn” critically acclaimed House of the Devil and the troubled production associated with Cabin Fever2. The Innkeepers is a sort of back to basics horror film about two young people who work at a small hotel during its sparsely populated closing weekend. They are interested in finding actual evidence of the ghostly resident of the hotel before it closes for good and let’s just go ahead and say that they find it. The movie is creepy, atmospheric, and reminded me of a time in my youth when a job wasn’t a career, it was a way to pass the time and put some money in my pocket. It’s a better paced film than The House of the Devil which just shows us that Ti West is perfecting his horror style, and I wouldn’t hesitate to say that the next great horror film that comes out may very well be from this fellow.
1: Attack the Block (Dir: Joe Cornish)
Attack the Block is the clear winner of 2011 and by my estimation, if wasn’t even close. Aliens invade a South London Block (For my fellow Americans, they mean a “project” i.e. low income housing) and quickly target a group of youths as they fight for their home and their lives. Having nothing to do with 80s horror films, Attack the Block was more nostalgic, original, and clever than this year’s bigger studio release of Super 8 (by the way, you’ll notice that isn’t on the list. Just sayin’) and I’m going to make this a must see title not only of the year, but possibly the entire decade. It really is that good. Check it out immediately if for some reason you haven’t yet.