by Ian Rogers.
"Ten Movies from the ‘00s That Give Me Nightmares"
When Randall asked me to do a guest entry listing my top horror movies of the decade, I jumped at the chance. Those who know me best are well aware that I’m not the biggest horror movie fan (and some might even remember the time I confused George Romero and Robert Rodriguez), but I was determined to share with the Mojo’s readership those films that sent me reeling from the theater in fright. So, without further ado, I present ten of the most frightening, knuckle-clenching, nightmare-inducing movies of the ‘00s:
#10: Hulk (2003)
Though the massive green CGI Hulk is, in itself, more comical than frightening, the film’s over-reliance on cheap gags like having the title character jump through the desert for forty-five minutes was more than enough to keep me up all night.
#9: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
The original trilogy gave us Darth Vader: a two meter-tall caped Sith Lord with that unforgettably raspy breathing who crushed men’s necks using the Force. This movie gave us Hayden Christianson’s horrific acting and a not-so-subtle anti-drug reference in the form of Death Sticks. I’ll leave you to judge which is scarier.
#8: Ghost Rider (2007)
This gem brings several frightening elements together for a new take on the genre: eye-poppingly predictable plot twists, Nicholas Cage’s acting, and CGI usage so excessive that it will give you goosebumps.
#7: The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Consider how many people ran out to see this flick on opening weekend and tell me that isn’t scarier than global warming.
#6: Mission Impossible II (2000)
Director John Woo’s first attempt at the horror genre doesn’t disappoint. I jumped in my seat when Tom Cruise disregards any semblance of stealth by burning through the science lab with guns blazing, and was terrified that the final action sequence would never end.
#5: The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Fuck this movie.
#4: Pearl Harbor (2001)
Aside from having enough factual errors to make your hair stand on end, this movie proves the horrifying truth that one terrible mistake can ruin the career of an otherwise promising actor (well, making Gigli, didn’t help his chances), in addition to having a run-time that is truly shocking.
#3 Bring it On (2000)
An army of mindless undead beings wanders mindlessly across the screen, stopping at nothing until they’ve consumed the brains they need to feed their unholy appetites (in this case, the brains of the viewers). At least that zombie in Day of the Dead was smart enough to fire a handgun.
#2: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
As I watched this sequel to one of my favorite movies of all time brutally rape the themes of its predecessor, I became increasingly aware of the menacing feeling that I’d wasted the three dollars I’d spent to see this movie at the drive-in. A movie so disturbing that not even Claire Danes can save it.
#1: Virgin Territory (2008)
The only thing more terrifying that Hayden Christiansen’s acting (see entry #9) is watching him read horrendously-scripted sex jokes alongside the Bride of Frankenstein herself, Mischa Barton. I honestly cannot describe those 97 dreadful minutes that have since slipped away into a bottomless void of suck. This movie does for the teen sex-comedy genre what Friday the 13th Part VIII did for the horror genre: absolutely nothing.
Ian Rogers is a writer currently teaching English in the Yamanashi Prefecture of Japan. He chronicles his adventures there on his blog, “A Wave of the Hand,” along with numerous other pieces of fiction, non-fiction, and semi-fiction. He held the distinction at Bennington College of both living with and driving Randall around. In all confidence, he’ll be a literary reference someday.