4. Paranormal Activity 2 – Anyone who has ever complained about the first PARANORMAL ACTIVITY will likely not find the sequel too endearing. I waited years for the first to finally get released and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2’s release kind of snuck up on me. When I left the theater after watching it I for sure felt like the film was scarier than the first and also enhanced it. The first ended up being my favorite horror film from last year, and while I still love the sequel it loses a few points for being a little slower than its predecessor.
3. Frozen – I feel like Adam Green is a director that is going to take the world by storm should he ever get a huge budget and a fitting release to the films he makes. Sure his HATCHET films are over-the-top cheesy and tastelessly violent, but that’s why I like them (even though I haven’t seen HATCHET II). FROZEN is an extremely intense character piece with some very top notch performances especially from Emma Bell. The decisions made by characters are a contention amongst haters to the film, but I happen to be fascinated by how realistic Green portrays emotions in a time of panic and desperations.
2. Buried – I got to finally check BURIED out a few weeks ago, and the experience stuck with me for a long time after I finished watching it. I really believe that this is a movie that can be enjoyed over and over despite its minimalist setting and central premise. Ryan Reynold’s performance is extremely captivating and for a film that takes place entirely in a box just big enough to fit a human body, is very exciting to watch; kudos to Lionsgate for picking the film up for distribution, but shame on them for keeping the release so limited. Most might say this doesn’t belong on a horror list, but I’d argue that the horrific nature of what is happening to Reynold’s character is stuff that populates my worst nightmares.
1. Shutter Island – I had almost forgotten that this was released this year before I went back through everything I’ve had a chance to check out. This was released back in February and I remember being somewhat conflicted with how I felt upon viewing it the first time. I definitely knew that I liked it, and as it sat with me for a few days it grew and grew on me. Finally, when it was released on DVD and Blu Ray I picked it up immediately and rewatched it several times and it just got better after each viewing. Each subsequent viewing after knowing how it ends up makes DiCaprio’s performance fascinating to watch. Really hope he gets recognized for this come Oscar season.
For some related reading be sure to read Michael’s Top 10 Horror Films of the Last Decade