Nerd Reactor’s Top 10 Horror films of the last decade!
Happy Halloween, Reactorites! Yes, it’s that time of the year where mini ghosts, goblins and ghouls roam the earth, filled with a deep thirst to search for the one thing that mankind has prided themselves in inventing: candy! But not everyone enjoys the door to door scavenging, such as myself. One thing I love about this time of year are the movies. The films that have stood the test of time, and continue to make the hairs on the back of my neck raise in fear. Iconic films such as The Exorcist, Child’s Play, Nightmare on Elm Street, and of course, Halloween, have filled my TV screen as much as possible during the month of October, not wanting to miss out on great thrills, chills, and blood spills. The films of the past, however, are now no longer the only ones who are making a mark in the Horror genre, as we’ve recently seen a spike in the last 10 to 15 years, creating a generation of moviegoers that have a desire to be scared senseless in theaters. We’ve compiled a list of the best Horror films that we could think of that were created in the last 10 years, going back to films such as The Descent from 2005, to It Follows, that was released earlier this year. It wasn’t easy creating the list, and I had to really consider what films should make the list, and which ones would be redundant to add, so if you don’t agree with the picks, sorry bud.
So, without further ado, here are Nerd Reactor’s Top 10 Horror films of the last decade!
10. REC (2007) Spain
Starting off our top ten list is a film that I feel was far superior in the field of “found footage” horror than that of Paranormal Activity, although they both came out the same year. REC takes place in an apartment building in Spain, where a news reporter and her cameraman are filming a story on the local fire department. Everything is going well until an outbreak of sorts thrusts them into the action as they try to escape the quarantined zone. The film definitely takes no shame in the shaky camera scenes, but instead of it taking away from the film, it adds chilling tension that make your nerves feel like you’re going through a roller coaster ride. It also makes good use of the night vision shots, giving you the feeling of dread that even in the dark, evil can loom right behind you…
9. Trick ’r Treat (2009) USA
Trick r’ Treat takes the Creepshow/Tales from the Crypt approach, creating four tales and masterfully weaves them together in what I consider the Halloween version of the film Crash. The film paints a beautiful picture by the creepy minds of Bryan Singer and Michael Dougherty, as you are introduced to a small sleepy town in the midst of their Halloween festivities. The thing is, there is more than just what’s on the surface that should keep you up at night. From a high school principal who moonlights as a serial killer, werewolves, zombies, and a reckoning that’s been long overdue, the film crafts a spooky Halloween favorite that is sure to have folks return to it, year after year.
8. Martyrs (2008) France
Plain and simple: probably the most brutal movie on this list. The film, however, is not a film that should be categorized as torture porn, as the film carries more substance to the plot than just the blood. Dealing with child abuse in high society French families, this film showcases the young girl, Lucie, as she, paired with her best friend from the orphanage they grew up in, Anna, track down and take revenge on the people who abused Lucie when she was younger. The film carries with it the shock value of plot twists, and an ending that will have you scratching your head until next Halloween.
7. Drag Me to Hell (2009) USA
The movie deals with a loan officer who refuses to give out a loan to a gypsy woman and then gets cursed by her. This curse is designed to torment her for three days and on the third day she is destined to be dragged down to Hell. Oh yeah, and there’s going to be a couple of chuckles here and there. Wait…what?? Yup, you heard right: this film carries a smooth balance of comedy and horror that keeps the audience glued to the screen, unsure if they’re going to laugh or scream in the next scene. If you loved the Evil Dead series, then this is definitely a film for you, mainly because their both from the same guy: Sam Raimi.
6. The Descent (2013) USA
The Descent deals with six friends who go cave diving after a traumatic event that happens with one of them, but end up finding more than just the bottom. If that wasn’t enough terror, you’re also taken onto this ride filled with complete darkness and enclosed walls that could give anyone claustrophobia. This film seriously brings out the best of what makes the horror genre, as it explores some of the true natures of horror: those that are possible. The idea of being stuck underneath a ton of rock, in the darkness, and in tight spaces can definitely make you want to stay home and never visit a state park again.
5. Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) (2008) Sweden
Let The Right One In is such a unique film, that it had to be put on the list. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Why didn’t you put the American remake on this list??” Well, the answer is simple: the remake sucked. I didn’t care for it and the original was so much better than its remake. I just pretend that the remake was never made. The film deals with vampires in a way that they really haven’t been dealt with before in film. In the film, we meet Oskar, a boy who is really lost in the world, and one day, meets a friend named Eli. What happens next can only be described as a beautiful Gothic tale of horror and love, as Oskar discovers that Eli may be more than what she seems. The film sincerely plays on the ideas of acceptance and friendship, but not without its horror elements that are more subtle than most other films on this list. Nevertheless, this is a film that one can appreciate for how incredibly well done it is.
4. V/H/S 1 & 2 (2012 & 2013) Various
The film that took the “found footage” horror subgenre, and just said, “screw it.” V/H/S, both the first one and the sequel (I didn’t care for the third one, at all), took the idea and just decided to up the ante. Each anthological film follows the exploits of someone deplorable invading someone’s private home and finding a stack of V/H/S tapes laying around. They decide that they have nothing better to do than to watch a video they think is of aunt Susie’s 45th birthday party at Chili’s. What they end up seeing are some of the most outlandish and scary videos ever made, made by great directors like Adam Wingard, Ti West, Timo Tjahjanto, Eduardo Sánchez, and so many more. The result of seeing these videos, however, have deadly repercussions, and none of them have any clue what’s in store for them, lurking in the shadows.
3. Goodnight Mommy (2015) Austria
Holy crap. This film. Will. Mess. You. Up. A film that will definitely have you wondering if having twins is such a good idea. Goodnight Mommy is a true to the slow burn style of horror, as the tension builds throughout the film, making you wondering what will happen next – white knuckled and all. The film centers on twin boys, Lukas and Elias, residing at their home in the Austrian countryside. Their mother, who has returned from the hospital from unknown circumstances, is bandaged all over her face, different than how the boys remembered her. Is she their real mom? Could she be an imposter? The film brings a feeling a dread and anticipation like no other, bringing fans right to the edge of their seat, guessing and wondering how it will end. The ending of the film is one that will have your mouth wide open in awe and wonder.
2. It Follows (2015) USA
The last two films on this list were so difficult to place, seeing as both of them are so outstanding and haunting, but there has to be a victor. It Follows is an incredible homage to classic Italian horror films, but still holding its on as a unique story, altogether. Its contrasting colors amidst a bleak background give the each scene a type of imagery for innocence, as the film as a whole is technically a metaphor for unsafe sex. The film tells the tale of a supernatural force that latches on to one person and follows them without ceasing. The force is passed from person to person by, basically, sexually transmission, and if it catches up to you, will kill its victim in an unspeakable manner. The film follows the latest “infected” victim, Jay, as she tries to outrun the entity, but as the film progresses it seems more and more impossible to escape. This film sincerely epitomizes the feeling of dread and panic, as we never really understand what it is that is following them, experiencing how helpless the characters must feel throughout. Viewing this film will not only have you searching for the iconic films it emulates, but also making sure that… umm… you are… protected.
1. The Babadook (2014) Australia
And to round out the top spot on this list, we have the film that had every parent looking in bookstores for a copy of the storybook for their kids: The Babadook. The film is a remarkably constructed movie that contains what I feel are the two greatest attributes to any worthwhile horror film: great characters and minimal jump scares. Banking on its ability to create a tense and frightenly slow buildup to each scene, The Babadook sits above the rest as a film that truly epitomizes what it means to be a horror classic. The film tells the story of a woman who, after losing her husband in an accident right before her son was born, is dealing with raising her child alone, struggling to cope with her depression. One night she reads her son a mysterious pop-up storybook called Mr. Babadook, a book that is sure to give every child (and adult) nightmares. After reading the book, however, an evil entity awakens, and its eyes are set on them. One of the things I love about this film is its ability to create such strong characters, such an emotional story, and the right balance of horror elements that make it just over the top. The fact that this film doesn’t skip out on building a strong cinematic experience and skips out on cheap jump scares and overdone cliches makes this film prime for the number one spot on this list.
Well folks, that’s our top 10 horror films of the last decade! Now, I know I missed some, so here’s out honorable mentions list:
25. Thirst (Bakjwi) (2009) South Korea
24. Frontier(s) (Frontière(s)) (2007) France
I know that we’ll get some comments that we missed some key ones, so if there’s a film that you feel should be on this list, let us know by leaving a comment down below!