by Audrey Quaranta.
My name is Audrey, and I am a gore hound.
My Top 10 Horror Movies of the Decade are really 10 of the movies I had the most fun watching. My formula, in case you’re wondering, is FUN = (GORE + OFFENSIVENESS) x DECENT STORY + VIOLENT CHARACTERS / π.
A secondary requirement is that the film be memorable. At this point in my life, I watch at least two horror movies a week. That’s…a lot…in a decade. If a film is really good, it will stay with me.
There are many, many movies I loved over the last ten years, but I had to narrow it down somehow.
Oh, and I didn’t feel the need to mention Shaun of the Dead – that’s way too obvious.
10) Zombie Strippers (2008) – Start with Jenna Jameson as a stripper. Awesome. Then turn her into a zombie and have her and her stripper friends wreak bloody havoc on the club they work in. Really fucking awesome.
9) Gutterballs (2008) – Ryan Nicholson is a director I admire and can relate to, since we are both, apparently, freaks. He mixes sex and exploitative gore with unapologetic cinematic eloquence. It’s the kind of thrill you don’t want anyone to catch you getting.
8) Freddy vs. Jason (2003) – Okay, this is obviously not really a good movie. Nor is all that bloody. But Freddy and Jason are two of my childhood heroes. And now they’re gonna fight? Yes, please.
7) Feast (2005) – John Gulager was selected to make Feast on that Project Greenlight reality show, and boy, am I glad he was. What he spawned is a trilogy of monster gore movies that are kill after ridiculous kill. Pure violent bliss. Oh, and the monsters get giant erections and screw. And the first film’s got Henry Rollins. Need I say more?
6) Cabin Fever (2002) – Eli Roth might be best known and as The Bear Jew in Inglorious Basterds, or maybe even for the Hostel movies, if anyone remembers those. But he broke into my world by dealing with one of my favorite subjects – flesh-eating disease! Love it.
5) The Hills Have Eyes (2006) – This is the only – ONLY – situation in which I will say I like the remake better. I love you, Wes Craven, but Alexandre Aja did it harder and better. Honorable mention goes to his French-language film, Haute Tension.
4) The Descent (2005) – The main reason I loved this movie so much is that it’s all about women. Well, so is Zombie Strippers, I guess…but the absence of men lets the women fill all the roles of a horror movie. It shouldn’t take an all-female cast for this to finally happen, but it does, and The Descent makes it real and scary.
3) Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) – This movie is shameless in its wit. This is a world in which Freddy and Jason and Michael are real, and Leslie is another killer who has invited a film crew to document his latest spree and his search for a fitting survivor girl. I would consider Nathan Baesel’s portrayal of Leslie one of the best horror performances of the decade as well.
2) Saw (2004) – Alright, I know this series has gone to shit. But when Saw first started it picked up 2000’s horror by its ankles and took its lunch money. Jigsaw is a new iconic killer, and he’s damn sexy too. The plot was great, the twist ending was an actual surprise (for me at least) and what’s more fun than all those nasty tests? Watching people fail them, of course.
1) The Devil’s Rejects (2005) –House of 1,000 Corpses is exquisite is it’s own right, but Rob Zombie took his lovable (really) family of killers and removed the fantastical camp. The Devil’s Rejects is gritty, even filthy. The horror is in the stark realism of the physical and emotional violence that is strong enough to emanate from the screen. It maintains humor from within its characters and from some ‘70s throwbacks, but it is the film’s everyday darkness that hurts, in a good way. People are capable of being this ugly and yet Zombie maintains so much of the killers’ humanity that I found myself rooting for the bad guys. I love to be appalled, and Baby, Otis, and Spaulding definitely deliver. Plus, I’ve never seen a better use of Free Bird.
Honorable mentions: 1408, American Psycho, Black Sheep, Grindhouse, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Hatchet, I Sell the Dead, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, Jennifer’s Body, Land of the Dead, Midnight Meat Train, Murder Party, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Silent Hill, Slither, Teeth, Trailer Park of Terror, Wrong Turn, Wendigo, Zodiac, Zombie Honeymoon, Zombieland.
Audrey Quaranta is a freelance writer from Staten Island, New York, and a New School Alumnus. Though she and Randall have never met in person, he considers a kindred spirit, which he also hopes she takes as a compliment. You can read more of Audrey’s writings on Horror films at horror.about.com.