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Added by NightShadowX on 6 May 2012 09:12
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Best Horror Movies Of 2009

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Theatrical

The year 2009 witnessed a full slate of major horror and suspense releases, ranging from remakes to originals to "based on a true story adaptations," with ghosts, zombies, vampires, aliens, demons and serial killers making us scream and squeal in delight. Here are my selections for the best wide-release horror/suspense movies of the year. (For the purposes of this list, I'm defining "wide" as 500-plus screens.)
People who added this item 3131 Average listal rating (2105 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7
Zombieland (2009)


An escapist romp with nary a dull or serious moment, Zombieland soars in every area, from the vivid direction to the hilarious acting to the self-aware script and the top-notch special effects.
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People who added this item 1383 Average listal rating (850 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7
Orphan (2009)


This campy treat earns a spot in the killer child film pantheon, with the unbalanced yet prim and proper Esther becoming one of the best movie villains of the year -- regardless of genre.
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People who added this item 616 Average listal rating (396 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.5


A freewheeling, gory throwback to the golden age of slasher movies, arguably outperforming the 1981 original with the added appeal of 3-D technology, a perfect compliment to the inherently lowbrow fun of this sort of film.
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People who added this item 1937 Average listal rating (1261 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.3


Overhyped? Sure. Overrated? A bit. Unoriginal? Yup. But Paranormal Activity is still an engrossing ride with some genuinely unnerving moments -- more than can be said about most horror movies today. It's able to scare without being explicit, although the ending (changed by the studio) takes all subtlety out of the equation.
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People who added this item 525 Average listal rating (353 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.5


A smart, self-conscious whodunit that gleefully toys with genre expectations while delivering thrilling twists and turns.
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People who added this item 1570 Average listal rating (1048 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.6


A fun, albeit overly restrained and straightforward, return to the madcap horror-comedy that put director Sam Raimi (the Evil Dead films) on the map.
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People who added this item 773 Average listal rating (490 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6



One of the rare remakes that actually improves on certain elements of the original -- notably the Dukes of Hazzard goofball cops. It's not a better movie, of course, but it at least justifies its existence, unlike so many other remakes.
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People who added this item 835 Average listal rating (537 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.6
The Box (2009)


This ambitious and perplexing conversation starter may not fully succeed in its storytelling capacity, but it remains an engaging mind trip until the end.
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People who added this item 737 Average listal rating (462 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
The Uninvited (2009)


A safe but proficient and well-acted reworking of the Korean film A Tale of Two Sisters that displays more class, purpose and brains than recent PG-13 teen-skewed fare like Prom Night and The Haunting of Molly Hartley.
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People who added this item 1461 Average listal rating (925 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.1


Breezy fun that succeeds more as a lighthearted character study fueled by charismatic performances from stars Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried than as a horror movie (or as the libido-fueled sex romp the marketers wanted you to believe it was).
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Limited-Release/Direct-to-Video

People who complain about the state of horror probably haven't delved into the limited releases and direct-to-video fare, a treasure trove of quality films that often outperform flicks on the big screen. Here are my choices for the top limited-release horror/suspense movies of the year. (For the purposes of this list, "limited" means less than 500 screens.)
People who added this item 669 Average listal rating (435 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8


At last, the movie that sat in development (or rather, distribution) hell for a couple of years was released in 2009 -- albeit on video and not in the theatrical setting it deserved. Early buzz might've raised readers' anticipation of the movie's quality to unattainable proportions, but that shouldn't hinder your appreciation of its refreshing creativity, pitch-perfect humor, sharply written plot, captivating cast and an overall charm that personifies the creepy fun of Halloween.
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People who added this item 269 Average listal rating (174 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
Pontypool (2008)


Pontypool's setup verges on brilliance: a radio DJ (Stephen McHattie, in a star-making performance), who makes his living with his words, must contend with a deadly virus that's somehow spread through the speech. Furthering the irony is the fact that the only way he can find out what's going on outside is through audio reports by the station's roving reporter. It's a lyrical, intelligent, admirably restrained film that turns viewers' imaginations upon themselves as they picture the mayhem that surrounds the studio.
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People who added this item 57 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 5.7
Home Movie (2008)


This scrumptiously dark POV movie mines terror within the home, delivering a simple, straightforward story that deconstructs the nuclear family, religion and modern therapy with a slight camp edge inherent in killer kid films.
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People who added this item 647 Average listal rating (409 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.3
Dead Snow (2009)


After a slow start, it unleashes a flurry of the sort of gore-to-the-floor mayhem, well-placed humor and nicely designed action set pieces that make zombie fans swoon.
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People who added this item 233 Average listal rating (136 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.7
Deadgirl (2008)


Controversial, uncompromising and strikingly original, the superbly acted Deadgirl exposes the raw, ugly underbelly of humanity -- a zombie movie that's less about zombies than it is about humans.
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People who added this item 101 Average listal rating (55 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 6.1
Dorothy (2008)


This unpredictable, multi-layered Irish mystery tells the tale of a skeptical child psychologist fighting against small-town superstition when she treats a troubled girl whom the townsfolk believe can channel spirits. Not terribly scary, but profoundly affecting, blessed with wonderful storytelling and soul-stirring performances.
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People who added this item 90 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 5.7
From Within (2008)


The best of After Dark Horrorfest '09 is similar in plot to The Broken but is better paced with more interesting characters and an atmosphere drenched in creepy paranoia. A powerful climax and twisted closing credits form the cherry on this yummy Horrorfest sundae.
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People who added this item 65 Average listal rating (43 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 5.3
Laid to Rest (2009)


Everything that's fun about the slasher genre, wrapped up in one deliciously gory funfest. The only thing it's missing is a decent story. However the sequel provides us with that.
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People who added this item 45 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6
From writer/director Maurice Devereaux, who gave us the enjoyable killer game show flick Slashers a few years ago, comes another overlooked gem -- this one featuring the refreshingly original storyline of a group of passengers trapped on an immobile subway train with a religious cult whose members believe that they can save souls by killing people. What it lacks in production value it makes up for in gory action, apocalyptic atmosphere and a nuanced script that doesn't go the easy route of painting all of the cult members as unsympathetic psychos.
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People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.1


Also known as Tres Dias, this Spanish thriller positions a fairly simple tale about an escaped serial killer seeking revenge on the family who helped capture him within the backdrop of an impending apocalypse, as the Earth is about to be hit by a meteor. Chilling and heartbreaking with surprising moments of humor, Before the Fall raises questions of morality, love, loyalty and the value of life when all life as we know it is about to end.
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People who added this item 757 Average listal rating (376 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.1
Thirst (2009)


This quirky Korean film is the sort of striking addition to vampire lore that the "Twilight weary" among us should relish -- full of bold visuals, award-worthy performances and meaty plot twists, with a dose of surrealism and oddball humor that doesn't hinder its mainstream accessibility.
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People who added this item 70 Average listal rating (54 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.9
Infestation (2009)


Calling this the best SyFy channel movie to date is a dubious compliment at best, but that doesn't detract from the high entertainment value of this horror-comedy about a giant big invasion, which is more smartly written, funnier and has better comedic performances than many so-called comedies released in theaters. You have to wonder why they didn't go with a more campy title, though, like Bug Off! or Get the Bug Out of Here!
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People who added this item 1653 Average listal rating (1025 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
The Road (2009)


This grim adaptation might not carry the full impact of the award-wining book, but it's still emotional, visually imposing and well acted.
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I was initially skeptical of the Butterfly Effect sci fi series turning towards horror, but this third film turns out to be a smartly plotted, emotional sequel that packs in the intriguing twists of the original with a darker edge.
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People who added this item 213 Average listal rating (129 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.3
Sauna (2008)


"Artsy fartsy" Finnish film that delivers stark, haunting visuals, outstanding performances, an overriding sense of dread and a powerful climax.
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People who added this item 349 Average listal rating (226 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6
Carriers (2009)


Mining ground similar to The Road, Carriers captures the sobering desperation of humankind in the midst of a highly contagious global pandemic. Dark, emotional and deliberately paced, it's as much drama as it is horror, avoiding played-out Hollywood theatrics, over-the-top gore and any semblance of a happy ending -- thus, it was too hard of a sell for a wide release.
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People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 5
Red Mist (2008)


This underrated film adds a refreshing supernatural angle to the slasher formula, with a creative body-switching twist that ratchets up the paranoia and the possibilities.
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People who added this item 104 Average listal rating (66 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.2
The Thaw (2009)


Tense and unnerving, this is Cabin Fever meets The Thing, with a sobering, clever commentary on global warming.
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People who added this item 175 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
Cold Prey (2006)


This Norwegian hit (which has already spawned two sequels) is a straightforward yet genuinely creepy slasher executed with precision and love for the sub-genre's '80s heyday.
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People who added this item 65 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 5.7
Night Train (2009)


Tight storytelling and strong performances from an A-list cast (Danny Glover, Steve Zahn, Leelee Sobieski) propel this Hitchcockian thriller with a supernatural twist.
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Comments

Posted: 5 years, 2 months ago at May 19 7:11
Some nice choices here, and a few I haven't heard of. I'll have to look into those. :)
Posted: 5 years, 1 month ago at Jun 22 12:45
wow I didnt see many of those

The Box was a mess - it posed a few moral dilemmas but the 80's Twilight Zone episode of the story "Button Button" which this film is based on - is much better

Pontypool - good choice - possibly the only true dada-ist zombie movie out there - a love it or hate it reason for the zombies existance kicks in about 2/3 way through which makes or breaks the movie - very good perfomance from Stephen McHattie who carries the film

Trick R Treat was good catoon-y fun and a good embodiment of Halloween
Posted: 4 years, 10 months ago at Sep 24 16:30
awesome list, i didnt see some of these movies, but already marked them, thx man :D

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