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Added by NightShadowX

on 3 May 2012 10:49

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Best Horror Movies of 2008

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Wide Release

2008 was a year of tremendous highs and tremendous lows in the horror movie genre. We'll save the lows for another time and focus instead on the best wide theatrical releases for the year. (For the purposes of this list, "wide" is defined as more than 100 theaters.)
People who added this item 165  Average listal rating (94 ratings) 5.8  IMDB Rating 6.1 
1. The Signal (2007)


A triumph of small-time, independent filmmaking, The Signal manages to craft a chaotic apocalypse with limited means, reveling in the emotional impact of the situation -- sometimes harrowing, sometimes quirky. It's unique three-act, three-director storytelling format delivers an offbeat indie vibe little seen in horror movies, touching seemingly every genre -- horror, action, sci fi, drama, romance, comedy -- with equal agility and aplomb.

People who added this item 848  Average listal rating (553 ratings) 5.9  IMDB Rating 6.2 
2. The Strangers (2008)


With little on-screen violence, The Strangers still manages to be the most brutal theatrical horror experience of the year. It's emotionally bruising, dragging you through waves of terror, panic and heartache that punctuate the persistent sense of dread permeating the film. The simplicity of the movie is what makes it so real and so very terrifying.

People who added this item 2186  Average listal rating (1479 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 7.1 
3. Cloverfield (2008)


This involving monster movie delivers blockbuster entertainment on a modest budget, thanks in part to stunningly realistic direction that achieves the pinncacle of POV filmmaking to date. As close to a literal roller coaster ride as a movie can get, Cloverfield packs in action, emotion and a dark streak that's uncommon in PG-13 horror.

People who added this item 446  Average listal rating (292 ratings) 6  IMDB Rating 6.2 
4. The Midnight Meat Train (2008)


The stepchild of Lionsgate Entertainment, Midnight Meat Train received a barely 100-theater release, despite its strong cast and production value. Unlike most films that receive such treatment, though, this Clive Barker adaptation is a strong product that received good buzz from fans and critics alike. Kinetic visuals, good special effects and an unpredictable plot make the film a unique experience that, thanks ironically to Lionsgate's submarining efforts, could very well achieve cult status.

People who added this item 396  Average listal rating (262 ratings) 6  IMDB Rating 6.2 
5. Lakeview Terrace (2008)


This bit of guilty pleasure is the top thriller of the year, delivering an inteligent, provocative work of suspense that does the unthinkable: it makes you think. Lakeview Terrace might neglect scares in favor of controversial talking points, but that doesn't mean it's without its popcorn thrills. It's well-paced, well-written and well-balanced between the uncompromising aesthetic of Neil LaBute and the accessible nature of your standard potboiler.

People who added this item 526  Average listal rating (350 ratings) 5.6  IMDB Rating 6.1 
6. Quarantine (2008)


Strong performances and first-person camerawork sell the realism of this POV zombie(-ish) movie, which doesn't reach its terrifying potential but still manages to provide some unnerving moments that will have you yelling at the screen.

People who added this item 566  Average listal rating (355 ratings) 5.2  IMDB Rating 5.4 
7. The Eye (2008)


Being a Jessica Alba-led American remake of an Asian horror movie, The Eye is better than it has any right being. Some of the credit has to go to French directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud (Them), while some goes to the strong source material, to which Moreau and Palud stick closely. The rest of the credit goes to Jessica Alba's tank top.

People who added this item 514  Average listal rating (351 ratings) 5.5  IMDB Rating 5.9 
8. The Ruins (2008)


Unusual depth and character development characterize this well-made creature feature that ends up so focused on character interaction that it neglects thrills and a good deal of common sense. That said, The Ruins contains one of the gore highlights of the year in a grisly case of campsite surgery. Shudder.

People who added this item 992  Average listal rating (606 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating 6.4 
9. Funny Games (2007)


A shot-for-shot remake can only be so bad, but it can also only be so good. Funny Games, a solid yet slavish reworking of the 1997 Austrian original, embodies both the strength of the original material and the limitations of sticking so closely to it. It succeeds in its aim to shock and disturb -- if not entertain -- just as the first movie did.

People who added this item 987  Average listal rating (593 ratings) 5.6  IMDB Rating 5.8 
10. Saw V (2008)


Saw V delivers what fans of the series have come to expect: gore, complex traps, backstabbing group dynamics and a convoluted plot that may or may not make sense when factoring in the space-time continuum. It's not in the neighborhood of the original classic, but the fifth Saw film is as good as any of the other middling sequels and beats out the mediocrity of films like Shutter and The Happening for #10 on the list. Congratulations, you don't stink!


Limited-Release/Direct-to-Video

2008 was a bountiful year for quality limited-release and direct-to-video horror movies, led by a strong batch of horror-comedies and foreign films. (For the purposes of this list, limited release is defined as less than 100 theaters.)
Honorable Mentions: 13: Game of Death, American Zombie, Boogeyman 2, Hell's Ground, Inside, The Killing Gene, Storm Warning, Teeth, Wrestlemaniac, Zombie Strippers.
People who added this item 262  Average listal rating (150 ratings) 6  IMDB Rating 6.3 
11. Frontier(s)


A tour-de-force of brutality that exemplifies the modern wave of French horror movies, Frontier(s) balances the absurd notion of a Nazi cannibal-run hotel with harrowing action and gruesome effects that anchor the film without making it as arduous a viewing experience as most so-called "torture porn."

People who added this item 257  Average listal rating (164 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 6.5 
12. Them (2006)


Unusually restrained for modern French horror, Them still manages to be a terrifying jolt to the senses -- sight, sound and depending on how involved you get while watching it, smell and a bit of taste -- as it tells the simple, The Strangers-like tale of a young married couple who find their new rural home surrounded by a group of unknown assailants late one night.

People who added this item 282  Average listal rating (164 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating 7.2 
13. Timecrimes (2007)


This trippy Spanish thriller delivers the mind-scrambling goods that only time-travel flicks can, as a man jumps into a time machine to escape a masked killer he encounters in the woods near his home. Then the troubles really start...

People who added this item 71  Average listal rating (47 ratings) 6.1  IMDB Rating 5.8 
14. Botched (2007)


The best horror-comedy of the year is a wacky misadventure about a "botched" robbery in Russia that strands the robbers (led by Stephen Dorff) and their assortment of zany hostages on a seemingly abandoned floor in an office building. Unfortunately for them, the floor isn't abandoned; it's home to a barbarian-like killer with a penchant for booby traps who would seem more at home in The Hills Have Eyes.

People who added this item 14  Average listal rating (8 ratings) 5.4  IMDB Rating 6.5 
15. Black House (2007)


This Korean remake of the 1999 Japanese film The Black House improves on the original by crafting a more serious-minded thriller about an insurance investigator who suspects that a customer killed his son and made it look like a suicide in order to collect an insurance payout. The investigator uncovers more than he bargained for when he pushes too close to the truth and incurs the suspect's warped wrath.

People who added this item 133  Average listal rating (83 ratings) 6  IMDB Rating 6.2 
16. The Cottage (2008)


Wry British humor marks this kidnap caper-meets-backwoods horror film about hapless kidnappers who take their hostage to a cottage inhabited by a crazed killer.

People who added this item 132  Average listal rating (79 ratings) 5.9  IMDB Rating 5.9 
17. Dance of the Dead (2008)


This fun film injects zombie thrills into a teen comedy -- or is it teen laughs in a zombie movie? -- occasionally capturing the rom-zom-com (romantic zombie comedy) magic of Shaun of the Dead, just with more acne.

People who added this item 230  Average listal rating (134 ratings) 6.2  IMDB Rating 6.1 
18. Splinter (2008)


Splinter takes a simple, vintage monster movie mold -- unknown creature, helpless victims trapped in a remote gas station -- and infuses it with a grisly modern edge and an engaging sense of humor.

People who added this item 1984  Average listal rating (1236 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating
19. Let the Right One In (2008)


Alternately sweet and vicious -- yet always hypnotic -- this anti-Twilight adolescent vampire tale about the friendship between a human boy and a vampire girl deservedly won the top prize at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.

People who added this item 258  Average listal rating (144 ratings) 6.2  IMDB Rating
20. The Machine Girl (2008)


Twisted, insane, gory action marks this oddball entry from Japan that feels like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers meets the tea house scene from Kill Bill. It follows the adventures of a schoolgirl who seeks bloody revenge -- with the aid of a machine gun affixed to her amputated arm -- on a gangster whose son killed her brother. Ninjas, chainsaws, flying guillotines, drill bras and death by tempura mark this instant cult classic.

People who added this item 27  Average listal rating (12 ratings) 4.1  IMDB Rating 4.9 
21. The Devil's Chair (2007)


Perhaps the best micro-budget horror movie of the year ("micro-budget" being a relative term), this violent British effort about a chair that serves as a gateway to a Hellish realm defies conventions with its twisty plot, dark humor and self-aware voiceovers.

People who added this item 100  Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.1 
22. Red (2008)


Superb performances propel this powerhouse thriller about a lonely man's quest for vengeance in the death of his dog. Although it peters out at the end, it remains an engrossing cinematic treat.

People who added this item 33  Average listal rating (17 ratings) 6  IMDB Rating 5.9 
23. Baby Blues (2008)


What begins as a dramatic rendering of a serious topic -- postpartum depression -- turns into all-out, slasher-styled horror in this well-made shocker. The premise -- a 10-year-old farm boy defending his three younger siblings from his mother when she suffers a violent postpartum mental breakdown -- is terrifyingly original, and while the final product is imperfect and of questionable taste, its strong cast and direction ensure its lasting impact.

People who added this item 104  Average listal rating (76 ratings) 5.3  IMDB Rating 5.8 
24. White Noise 2: The Light (2007)


This is how sequels should be done: keeping the same thematic elements of the first, but exploring different avenues so as not to become a mere retread (Are you listening, Final Destination series?). In the case of White Noise 2, it takes the original and adds elements of The Eye and Final Destination in the story of a despondent man who attempts suicide in the wake of his family's murder but is brought back from "the light" with the ability to see people's deaths before they happen.

People who added this item 34  Average listal rating (9 ratings) 6  IMDB Rating 4.7 
25. Cthulhu (2007)


Stunning visuals highlight this tense, labyrinthine thriller that captures the creepy, surreal essence of its H.P. Lovecraft inspiration, even if you're not sure what the heck is going on.

People who added this item 7  Average listal rating (5 ratings) 5.8  IMDB Rating 6.1 
26. Brutal Massacre: A Comedy (2007)


Like This Is Spinal Tap by way of Friday the 13th, this occasionally hilarious mockumentary about an inept horror movie production is a treat for both horror fans and fans of the independent film process.

People who added this item 33  Average listal rating (13 ratings) 4.1  IMDB Rating 5.3 
27. Sick Nurses (2007)


This quirky, gory supernatural slasher from Thailand mixes odd sexual humor, campy melodrama and an over-the-top flair (including deaths by cell phone, handbag, hair and fetus) in a blend of Asian ghost story -- think The Ring or The Grudge -- with dreamlike visuals, a la A Nightmare on Elm Street.

People who added this item 4  Average listal rating (3 ratings) 6.3  IMDB Rating 4.9 
28. Conjurer (2008)
Strong writing and acting shine through low production values to craft a tense, involving ghost story with characters you actually care about.

People who added this item 53  Average listal rating (35 ratings) 5.8  IMDB Rating 6.1 
29. Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (2007)


One of several quality horror-comedies to come out in 2008, Jack Brooks is a romp with an old school '80s flair that feels like it could be the pilot for a syndicated TV show (and I mean that in the best way possible).

People who added this item 16  Average listal rating (8 ratings) 3.3  IMDB Rating 3.4 
30. The Vanguard (2008)
Does a somber, introspective British film sound interesting to you? How about one set in a mutant-spawning plague-ravaged future? The Vanguard is a smart and socially relevant take on standard zombie apocalypse fare with atmospheric music and exhilarating visuals.


 

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Comments

Posted: 2 years, 2 months ago at May 19 7:15
The Strangers easily claimed the top for me for 2008, so I guess I need to check out The Signal. Nice to see some love for The Machine Girl and Them as well.
Posted: 2 years, 1 month ago at Jun 22 12:36
of those I saw - Let the Right One Inn is best - vampire myth deconstruction meets tale of bullying with one of the most inventive scenes ever (the swimming pool scene is already a classic) then Funny Games then The Signal

Biggest disappointments - Ils (Them) and The Strangers...basically the same film and neither worked for me

Cloverfield I expected to be crap...and it was though the scene with the head of the statue of liberty rolling down the street IS iconic

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