9: My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009): I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed this at the cinema. It worked as a gimmick film, it was a good enough remake (if not brilliant), and most of all it was a fun audience movie. I haven’t revisited the film on DVD as it’s unlikely to have the same effect, yet as a commercial horror event-movie it worked. Much negative criticism focused on the naive or tacky use of the 3D gimmick, but at it’s heart it was not only a remake of an 80s slasher but also a revisit to the gimmicky nature of 80s 3D.
8: Mimic 3, Sentinel (2003): I love the Mimic movies.., I love their aesthetic, i love the monster, and I love their urban bleakness. Mimic 3 may have been received poorly and its Rear Window template lambasted, but I think it works. Spending most of the movie looking out onto the world of horror rather than being submerged in it was an approach I enjoyed. Watched together the Mimic films are a fine modern creature feature trilogy, which is indeed a rare thing.
7: P2 (2007):
This was a pleasant surprise. I must have a liking for the sensibilities of Frenchman Alexandre Aja
(here producer and writer) as I highly rate his 2006 The Hills Have Eyes
Remake and found P2
to be a nice intimate movie that felt almost like an old fashioned taught thriller with a couple of brutal murders thrown in to tip it ever so slightly into the realm of horror. The film has two great leads in Rachel Nichols and Wes Bentley, Nichols especially is very suited to the genre. The Christmas Eve and Manhattan settings compliment the film well and make for pleasant nighttime viewing.
6: Dead End (2003): Not to be confused with Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007). More French filmmakers and more Christmas Eve. This is a truly spooky little ‘off the beaten track’ tale made with European sensibilities and good old American horror traditions. The film successfully builds a plot, suspense, dread, and depth using nothing but a stretch of road and a couple of station wagons. Yes the twist is obvious but getting there is so much fun that you’ll whole heatedly forgive it. A great example of a brilliant sleeper.
5: Rogue (2007): I love monster movies and creature features. The down side to this is the old adage ‘they don’t make’em like they used to’ can scarcely be said to apply better to any other genre. Contemporary CGI monster films are often mean spirited, lacking that sense of mystique, adventure and fun, and on the whole cheap and nasty. See any of the Asylum movies for proof. But Rogue is a great little ‘Animals Attack’ movie. The monstrous crocodile is kept under wraps for most of the film and the characters are nicely isolated in the beautifully photographed Northern territories of Australia.
4: They (2002): Sometimes I think I’m the only person who’s ever seen this one. I class this as a kind of ‘sick day movie’. When your laid up on your back from work or school and you need some horror that’s just kind of harmless yet not insultingly bland or lifeless. It also comes with some great movie heritage in the form of The Hitcher (1986) director Robert Harmon. Harmon photographs the film lovingly and uses light and dark tremendously well to bring the nocturnal ‘night terrors’ to life. It also works as a nice modern fable of the age-old monster under the bed theme.
3: Anacondas, The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004): A massive guilty pleasure and no mistake. But I truly love this as a monster adventure movie, that until the finale, manges to hold it’s head up high and punch above its low brow weight. Again there is some beautiful photography of the Fijian woodland (doubling for the Amazon Rain Forest) and some sweeping shots that stop the film slipping, like so many, into that turgid Sci-Fi Channel Movie territory. Some of the under the surface of the water Anaconda shots even border on realistic at times as Director Little manages to hold back on the CG until the final third. However stop here, parts 3 and 4 and beyond awful.
2: Identity (2003): Love it, love it, love it. What a great little set-piece movie this is. A revision of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians, this is an effective horror thriller set in that beloved of all horror movie settings, the roadside motel (one of my personal favourite locations for horror films). The fantastic set is reminiscent of the old Hitchcock sets; you knew you were looking at sets but you were engrossed by the richness of them nonetheless. There’s also a sound cast that you rarely find in such genre movies, including John Cusack and Ray Liotta. A ‘whodunit’ with a twist that probably makes it or breaks it for most viewers, but for me I lapped it up.
1: Freddy vs Jason (2003): Yes I unashamedly admit it, I friggin love the slasher genre’s biggest ever commercial crossover FVJ. It’s staggeringly fantastic. Who didn’t enjoy seeing these two come face to face for the first time, and that WWE style blood bath wrestling match at the end is to die for. Who cares that the end is a cop-out? Who cares that there is too much teen back story and that the teens are irritating? It’s just such a bloody fun movie. Robert Englund oozes enthusiasm in this, his final bow as Freddy Kruger, eating up the scenes and chewing on the scenery. Some people saw it as a missed opportunity.., maybe it is, but it’s the only one we’ve got and may ever have (especially with Englund). So sit back and let this fantastic bit of pulp fiction wash over you.
What do you think? What are your favourite Guilty Pleasures of the 2000’s?