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2007 saw a lot of horror movies come and go, but which ones were actually worth slapping down your $11.50 ($16.25 with Jujubes)?
The Orphanage (2007)
While not as terrifying as you might've heard, this is a great old-fashioned ghost story with tons of atmosphere and emotion. And subtitles. So please learn how to read.
30 Days of Night (2007)
Cinematic vampirism gets a fresh coat of paint...and blood...and a little bit of brain matter, too, in one of the most successful comic book translations in recent years.
You can't take your eyes off of John Cusack in this mind-bending haunted house -- er, room -- tale that makes the hotel in Vacancy seem like a five-star resort.
Mr. Brooks (2007)
This deliciously pulpy (and a wee bit gory) thriller delivers the most campy fun available at the theater all year. Plus, it accomplishes what so many of us have dreamed of doing: bludgeoning Dane Cook to death with a shovel.
28 Weeks Later (2007) (2007)
A rare sequel that's comparable in quality to the first, it delivers the scares, the gore and the apocalyptic nihilism you demand from a zombie movie. The opening scene is one of the most harrowing, heart-pounding spectacles of the past few years.
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
It'll never be confused with high art, but it's miles ahead of the dreck that was Resident Evil: Apocalypse. It's amazing what a competent director (Russell Mulcahy of Highlander fame) and hot pants with leather stockings will do for you.
Hostel: Part II (2007)
It's interesting to see things from the torturer's point of view; sort of like looking through the eyes of an MTV programmer.
The Reaping (2007)
I'll take a stand for this one. It didn't get a lot of respect critically or commercially, but I applaud it for being a big-budget horror movie that's neither a remake nor a sequel. Plus, with cinematic direction and a plot that pays off at the end (though it might not make total sense), it actually doesn't stink.
Surprisingly lacking in edge for a movie about candid camera snuff filmmaking (especially given director Nimrod Antal's previous stylish effort, Kontroll), Vacancy starts out great but loses steam thanks to the most inept criminals this side of Enron. Still, not bad overall, although frankly I'm adding it just to get the list to 10.
Was I the only one rolling on the floor with laughter during the final five minutes of this film? I doubt that's what director William Friedkin had in mind, but I thank him for it.
2007 saw a lot of horror movies hit DVD, but which ones were actually worth trudging to the video store?
A sort of German Silence of the Lambs, Antibodies follows a small-town cop as he travels to the big city to interview an incarcerated serial killer in hopes that he'll confess to a murder in his town. What he discovers, though, might hit him too close to home. Beautifully acted and directed with soul-stirring emotional depth and a twisted streak to keep you pervs happy, Antibodies is one of the best films of 2007.
A satiric comedy with a zombie touch, Fido blends horror and humor in a manner similar to Shaun of the Dead, and does it almost as well.
Clever, laugh-out-loud dialogue and splatter-ific gore make this a successful, campy return to traditional slasher values. But what's with that ending?
Murder Party (2007)
A quirky indie film with a mean streak, Murder Party finds a likeable loser being suckered into a killer ambush at the hands of a bunch of bumbling art snobs. Funny, gory, cool.
This sly "mockumentary" about a fictional slasher villain (as opposed to a real slasher villain?) ingeniously blurs the line between film and reality while poking fun of the genre's clichés. It would rate higher if it didn't lose the documentary format and ironically degrade into a typical slasher by the end.
Flight Of The Living Dead (2008)
The best zombie action of the year can be found 30,000 feet in the air. FOTLD surges at a breakneck pace, utilizing the enclosed airplane setting to perfection while maintaining a lighthearted tone. This is the silly, bloody good time that Snakes on a Plane should've been.
If you think that Irish horror has to include Warwick Davis running around in a Leprechaun suit, try Isolation on for size. Genetic experimentation on a dairy farm leads to the creation of a parasitic creature in this taut thriller that will teach you more than you ever wanted to know about birthing a calf.
The Host (2006)
It's a bit overrated, but this South Korean flick delivers genuine thrills and one of the best movie monsters in recent memory.
Live out your fantasies of dismembering your coworkers in this wry British mix of The Office and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The Tripper (2006)
Those of us who grew up in the '80s know that even without an axe, Ronald Reagan is scary, so seeing him toting around a big ol' hippy-killer in a forest full of tree huggers is the stuff of nightmares.
Black Sheep (2006) (2007)
Who can resist zombie sheep? This New Zealand entry might've benefited from taking a page from fellow Kiwi Peter Jackson's splatter-fest Dead Alive, but even though it holds back a bit, Black Sheep still shines when it counts.
Although it couldn't afford the fancy werewolf makeup and effects of Skinwalkers and Blood and Chocolate, Big Bad Wolf turns out to be the best lycanthrope film of the year.
This supernatural slasher from the Netherlands is pretty standard but manages to achieve something that so many similar films have failed at recently: competency. Bravo!
In this horror/comedy, a man builds a car with an alternative fuel source: human blood! And the human-er, the better. Although the humor doesn't always work, if all low-budget horror films were this imaginative and well-written, a lot fewer broken DVDs would be returned to Blockbuster.
The Other Side (2006)
Given its low, LOW budget, this story of bounty hunters from Hell (literally) features amazing action set pieces.
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