Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Editorial : 2011's Top Ten

Well, another year is over and we're all a little closer to the cold embrace of the crypt, but it ain't all bad. Despite the whiners, naysayers and proud owners of eternal virginity's.....Horror has had a great year. Sure, the mainstream scene has left a lot to be desired, but since when has the situation been any different? Those of us who done our homework were rewarded with a plethora of brilliant fright flicks, and a few bona-fide timeless classics to boot. This 'top-ten' was actually really hard to compile, such has been the amount of downright impressive Horror on release in the fine year of 2011. I haven't put these in any particular order, as its too damn difficult. All these films stand proudly as their own entity, and shouldn't be compared. I have my own personal best, if I HAD to choose, but I'll keep that to myself. Anyway, here's the list...I've went by the year of release, but if theres any mistakes in here, be sure to let me know, and I'll sort it out. Oh, and if you've missed any of these little numbers, do yourself a favour and give them a look. Chances are, you wont be disappointed....

Mothers Day

Bousman's hardcore reworking of the 80's cheese-fest is as violent, intense and perverted as you could wish for. MOTHERS DAY has great performances, non-stop violence and just enough character and situational nuance to make for a damned fun time. (Review here...)

Black Death

One of the years smartest, and darkest films. BLACK DEATH delves into theology, and takes a painful look at the animosity between Atheists and Christians. As a microcosm of the current mental illness that grips the world, its flawless, and as a WICKER MAN inspired sword 'n' sandals, bad-ass Horror movie, its no slouch either. Oh, and Sean Bean is cooler that Jesus. (Review coming soon...)

A Lonely Place to Die

For my money, the very best thriller of the year. Pitch perfect direction and believable performances help lend to a film that brings the intensity back to cinema. The foreboding Scottish setting only adds to the sense of terror. As exciting a film as you'll see all year, and not a pair of CG Robot Balls in sight. Scotland for the win. (Review coming soon...)
I Saw The Devil

A Nietzchian nightmare writ large, and easily the best revenge thriller/horror crossover since OLDBOY, (and starring the same, demi-god of an actor, in Min Sik-Choi). Remember the jokers line from THE DARK KNIGHT about an immovable object meeting an unstoppable force? Well, I SAW THE DEVIL is the result. Insanely violent, absolutely fearless and starkly beautiful. After this bad-boy stares into your soul, you may well require a little spiritual guidance. I recommend whiskey....lots and lots of whiskey. (Review here...)


Anyone who knows James Gunn and his work on SLITHER, (and with Kaufman) will be in alternate reality heaven with this one. SUPER is a comic book movie with as much heart as it has bloodshed, and as much pathos as it has hilarity. Comparisons to KICK-ASS will endure, but SUPER remains a unique and touching look at loneliness, decency and the desire to live a life worth living. oh, and its much better, and much deeper, than KICK-ASS. In fact, its a TOXIC AVENGER for a more cerebral audience. Wonderful (Review coming soon...)

The Woman

Lucky McKee's hugely controversial masterpiece left an indelible mark on my psyche after the first watch, and its only grown in stature, in my mind, since. Disturbing, passionate and compassionate, THE WOMAN is the ultimate treatise on the war of the sex's.  (Review here...)

Tucker 'n' Dale VS Evil

Hands down the most charming film of the year, and the funniest damn Horror Comedy I've shared a beer with since SHAUN OF THE DEAD. TUCKER N DALE is a love letter to those of us who know the history of the 'backwoods slasher' like we know our own hands, and yet its characters are so universally recognised that it never fails to win over anyone who's lucky enough to view it. I still grin like a fool just thinking about the scene with the bee's and the chainsaw. (Review here...)
Hobo With A Shotgun

Now this is how you do Grindhouse Cinema. Rutger Hauer turns the cool up to 11, and gallons of gore, sleaze and laughter follow him for the ride. HOBO is an unapologetic rock-n-roller, dropping Grade-A acid and snorting cocaine off a prostitutes tits. Now...who wouldn't wanna do that, huh? (Review here...)


A cold, painful look at the result of a widespread vampire-like infection, STAKELAND is the perfect antidote to Hollywood's so-called 'epic' movies. As dark and despairing as any movie released this year, this is a vampire film filtered through the tear-blind eyes of THE ROAD. Its a hard watch, but a very worthwhile one. (Review here...)

Kill List

This low-budget British gem is the scariest film I've seen in years, perhaps since THE DESCENT. a slow, almost unbearable build up takes us on a hellish ride from working-class drama, to gritty gangster film, and all the way into outright Horror. The fact that, when the whole exhausting experience is over, almost nothing is explained, only adds to the feeling that the messed up shit going down is too vast to fathom. This is the stuff nightmares are made of. Dark, unrelenting and, in its last act, absolutely fucking terrifying; KILL LIST is the years most welcome surprise. Review coming soon...

Honourable mentions :

The Walking Dead

Its not a movie, or it would be perched easily in the top ten. The debate rages on as to whether Season 2 of this brilliant adaptation has focused too much on character and not enough on zombies. Well, the debate is bullshit, folks. Anyone who has read the graphic novels understands that the 'walking dead' are the survivors and that this is their story. For many of us, the show just keeps growing and growing in strength, and the mid-season finale was a jaw-dropper. The best thing to hit the television since my hammer.

American Horror Story

Again, a contender for years best Horror, and its television! (What a year we've had). Season 1 of AMERICAN HORROR STORY was the strangest, most perverted, and often scariest show to hit the airwaves since TWIN PEAKS. Gimp-rape, columbine-style killing, sexy-as-hell withered maids, penis chewing, the Anti-Christ and even the 'Black Dahlia' herself, were among the shows many, many sick wonders. Simply fucking brilliant.

Fright Night

The much dreaded FRIGHT NIGHT remake earns its utterly surprising place on the list due to being a remake that is NOT a remake. I see it more as an adaptation of a classic work. It's a drunken rebellious teen, that really has little in common with its Dad. As such, it stand on its own, and is the best mainstream Horror of the year by a long long way. (Review here...)

Final Destination 5

The definition of unlikely. After a slow downward spiral into bullshit-ville, the FINAL DESTINATION franchise hits what could possibly be its high water mark, with a film that's just as cheesy, cruel and vicious as you could hope for in mainstream cinema. Its funny, gruesome and, alongside last years PIRANHA 3D, the best use of 3D a Horror fan can slap their eyeballs on. Good times. (Review here...)


Politically savvy, very realistic and downright worrying....CONTAGION was a quiet, controlled look at at very plausible 'end-world' scenario. The cast was fantastic, the scenes of viral devastation were chilling, and Gwyneth Paltrow died horribly within the first ten minutes. Genius.

Next up, the 'Worst of 2011' . Should be fun....


  1. I need to watch A lonely place to die and kill list.Even more now since they made the list

  2. Just added some of these to my list of things to watch! Thank you for posting these!

  3. @Stiles...botb great films. Im sure you'll dig em.

    @Lulu....Hope you enjoy. Lemme know via love-mail or hate-mail :D x