December 29th 2008 04:01
Apologies to my loyal readers for the lack of posts over this period, but I’ll be gettin’ back in the horror swing in the new year.
It is time to post my list of favourite horror movies of the past year, and a few more than last year’s top five bloody best. The criteria this time round includes movies that were "released" in Sydney during the last year, whether it be a screening or two at the Sydney Film Festival or ended up released straight-to-DVD.
So without further adieu, here they are, and there was some quality Darkness this year, although a little difficult putting them in order of favourites, apart from the first few.
Directed by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Along with 30 Days of Night this Swedish troubled romance is the best vampire movie in many, many moons. Top notch in every department, and an instant cult classic. I’ll be making sure I own a copy on Blu-Ray.
Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona.
Produced by Guillermo del Toro, this good old-fashioned ghost story had some of the best atmospheric scares and creepy suspense seen in a supernatural yarn for a long time. Like the Swedish vampire movie, this Mexican-Spanish co-pro had all the right boxes ticked. A beautifully poignant end too.
Directed by John Erick Dowdle
A very rare case of a Hollywood remake equaling, and in many ways actually bettering, the original (the Spanish [Rec], which was very good). Pure palpable chaos and genuine horror with solid acting to boot.
Directed by Xavier Gens
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in France. Derivative, but sensationally made, and fantastically over-the-top. Better than Eli Roth’s brand of “torture porn”, and infinitely better than the turgid Saw series.
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo
If you liked the brilliant sf headfuck Primer, but wanted something darker and more visceral, then this Spanish entry into causality and the paradox of reverse time-travel will be your cup of bittersweet tea.
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
More consistent in tone and more imaginative (if that’s possible!) than the original, the sequel pushes the boundaries of dark-edged science-fantasy into a whole new realm of grotesquerie beauty like only Guillermo can.
Directed by Michael Haneke
I loathed Haneke’s original, but inexplicably found myself utterly engrossed in his American shot-for-shot remake. A case study of the de-sensitization of on-screen violence packs a thoroughly polarising punch to the solar plexus of your sensibilities.
Directed by Matt Reeves
I love a good monster movie, and despite the immense Hollywood hype surrounding this old-fashioned “Godzilla”-style re-envisioning I was along for the shaky-cam ride with much gusto. The unexpected ending was a small treat too.
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Watching this on the giant IMAX (with footage actually shot with the 65mm IMAX cameras) was a mesmerizing experience. Amazing production design and awesome visual style, and Heath Ledger probably does deserve a Supporting Actor Oscar, he worked The Joker something wicked.
Directed by Takashi Miike
I’m a huge fan of maverick director Miike. This mutant samurai cowboy fantasy fable is rammed to the hilt with pure unbridled stylistics; blood and snow abound. The anglicized accents are impenetrable, but the cinema experience is all-embracing.