10 Most Influential Horror Films of the Last 10 years Part 1


Time for a look back at the 10 most influential films of the last 10 years. I recently checked out this article over at newsinfilm.com and it really got me thinking.  Of course my mind defaults to horror in almost every thought and conversation, so I immediately started thinking about influential horror movies in the last ten years.  At first thought, I took the road most of you probably traveled down when you first read the heading of said article.  I remembered a few good horror flicks recently, but nothing really groundbreaking or potentially influential.  So I starting digging and I honestly couldn’t have been more wrong. 

The list started at 35 and had to be painfully whittled down to the 10 Most Influential which I want to stress is not necessarily the 10 “best” Horror movies of the last 10 years.  You may not love this list, or even like it for that matter but just keep in mind that these are what I feel will be the most influential to other filmmakers and audiences perceptions.  This means that I personally feel that these 10 movies of the last decade with have more of an impact on the future of the horror genre than any of their genre counterparts.  I wanted to make this one large article, but let’s not kid ourselves here.  You are busy and don’t have the time to waste reading a 2500 word article in one shot.  Either way enough of my yammering, I now present to you The Ten Most Influential Horror Movies of the Last 10 Years Part 1.

10. May (Dir: Lucky McKee – 2002) Why was it influential?:   This psychological horror story about a girl who snaps after everyone in her life turns their back on her is an extremely underrated film in every respect.  It’s a complex and engaging story with interesting and deep characters that exist to supplement the main character May (Angela Bettis).  No characters are thrown into the story just to be killed and no one has a single line designed to pad the running time.  It reminds the audience that we don’t’ have to have high body counts, naked coeds, and excessive amounts of gore to make a great horror movie.  Just make us care about the characters and the rest falls into place.  Made for next to nothing, we can only pray that talent like this lies dormant somewhere else in Lucky McKee’s head (and after seeing The Woods, I feel that his masterpiece is just around the corner, but that’s another article).

9. The Hills Have Eyes (Dir: Alexandre Aja – 2006) Why was it influential?:   At first I found it a little but hard to swallow that a man from France was lecturing me heavily on American foreign policy and global aggression.  But after a year or two, it made sense that someone who doesn’t live in the country would have a totally unaltered view of world politics.  Did you ever realize that this is what the movie is about? That hidden agenda under a genuinely frightening and violent film set a new precedent for horror after it.  Not only was there a message to be given to the audience, but it was done excellently around an extremely gory and entertaining movie.  To stay in the minds of the critics after years have passed, just make your film say something (it really doesn’t matter what) and do it cleverly.

8. The Host (Dir: Joon-ho Bong – 2006) Why was it influential?:   That terrible version of Godzilla with Matthew Broderick almost completely turned me off to monster movies all together.  Then I saw the good (but not amazing) Cloverfield and the extremely underrated Host.  Again, looking back on what made May a success was the well placed cast of characters with strong motivations, feelings, and backgrounds.  The Host is mainly about a family coming together to save their daughter (also niece or granddaughter) in any way with whatever skills they could possibly contribute.  By the end of the film, one of the family members has fallen and I honestly started to tear up a bit.  I cared about these characters so much that I became emotionally attached to their plight.  The plight of saving a little girl from some kind of river dwelling monster… to illicit those feelings from a completely ridiculous premise solely shows why this movie was successful.   Pretty much every horror movie can learn a thing or two about characters here.

7. 28 Days Later (Dir: Danny Boyle – 2002) Why was it influential?:   Oscar winning director Danny Boyle is a chameleon when it comes to picking out projects.  28 Days Later was his second stab at horror that was not only great at establishing characters (I know, broken record here) but was also an astounding technological achievement.  Shot almost entirely on digital video, the film was able to stay under their paltry 8 million dollar budget while conveying digital and practical effects of a completely empty London.  It’s important because it goes to show that even with next to no money available, filmmaking talent, storytelling, and performances can outweigh explosions and car chases. 

6. Ginger Snaps (Dir:  John Fawcett – 2000) Why was it influential?:   Ginger Snaps is one of those movies that not even the casual horror fan may know much about.   It all started as a small budget Canadian werewolf flick that went on to set a new standard of horror.  A lot of people will focus on the idea that the transformation into being a werewolf is used as a metaphor for puberty which is clearly the main agenda of the film (and is handled fantastically).  But what I want to accent is the subtly of the actor’s performances.  Nothing is over the top, ridiculous, or falsely delivered.  This is a shock because all of the leads are children with limited acting experience.  That my friends is just fantastic directing.  It remains influential because its sets the example that with a small budget you can create anything, as long as the talent is there.

So there you have it, that’s part one of the list.  What do you think so far?  Do you agree with my selections?  Am I a moron?  Let me hear about it!

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