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Top 10 Horror Movies of 2010


2010 delivered more good horror to us in the form of awesome sequels, positive remakes, original films, as well as several of the film industries greatest directors making their impact on the horror genre.  Remember, this a list of the top 10 HORROR movies of 2010, which means they will be ranked by their horror first, then everything else will taken into consideration.  I now give you the top 10 horror movies of 2010, as well as 5 honorable mentions.

10. The Crazies (remake)

– The obvious remake of George A. Romero’s 1973 classic, this film delivers a slightly different take on the same storyline Romero gave us except this time focusing more on the infected people than on the military.  We do not get the same hard-hitting social commentary that Romero delivered, but the tension is high and we get some good infected action, as well as a great performance from lead protagonist Timothy Olyphant.  Read my full review for this film here: The Crazies

9. Dream Home

Dream Home is most likely the least-known film on this list, and in the horror genre that is never truly a bad sign.  This film gives us something we hardly EVER get in the horror genre…a female slasher film.  Coupled with a unique storyline that intercepts a thoughtful and relatable back-story about a woman’s who has worked her life to give her grandfather the comfortable life that he deserves with current gory events, this flick was a fresh breath in the Asian horror scene not only because it did not involve any ghosts with long black hair…but did not run longer than it should like most Asian films do.  Read my full review for  this film here: Dream Home

8. Black Death

– Christopher Smith’s 4th straight positive film since his initial entry, 2004’s Creep, Black Death gives us horror fans an element that I personally had not seen used previously in the horror genre…the bubonic plague.  Set in 14th century England, we watch a group of the Catholicism’s finest soldiers and a young monk travel to a secluded village believed to be using pagan acts to successfully escape the plague, and they encounter a horror similar to the pagan horror we are given in The Wicker Man, one of my favorite films.  Aided by a great screenplay from Dario Paroni(Wilderness), Christopher Smith once again delivers a very well executed horror film that I believe has solidified himself as one of horror’s premier directors.  Read my full review for this film here: Black Death

7. Piranha 3D

Piranha 3D was not a film that I was looking forward to this year, and that came as a surprise to me due to my love for writer/director Alexandre Aja(High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes remake, Mirrors).  Why was I not excited?  Because the film’s level of CGI looked very high, and I am not a fan of 3D films.  Well, I was wrong to think that I would not enjoy this film, and I found Piranha 3D to be one of the most fun horror films of the year.  It bears close resemblance to the original, but carries enough of its own weight to still give us a unique horror experience.  Alexandre Aja did a great job executing this film, and he included lots of fun gore and zany kill sequences that left me not just forgetting, but APPRECIATING the CGI usage in the film.  Read my full review for this film here: Piranha 3D

6. Predators

– It has been a long while since we were last given a standalone non-AVP Predator film, so I was pretty stoked when this film debuted, and thanks to producer Robert Rodriguez(From Dusk Till Dawn, Planet Terror, The Faculty) and director Nimrod Antal(Vacancy) we were given another solid entry into the Predator series of films.  We are given a unique plot that opens the door for lots of Predator vs. Human action, and I loved every second of watching mankind’s most vicious killers battle a superior alien race merely using us for their own entertainment.  Filled with lots of non-stop gun battles and ass-kicking elements, Predators is respectful to the Arnold Shwarzenegger-starring Predator, and gives us fans what we want to see.  Read my full review for this film here: Predators

5. Hatchet II

– This was the film that I was looking forward to the most for 2010, and it gave me exactly what I wanted to see…more HatchetHatchet 2 takes off right where the first concluded, and delivered more gore(241% more gallons of blood), more insanely awesome deaths, and more laughs than the first delivered.  Adam Green obviously went for utter cheese in this one, and he delivered.  As if he hadn’t already, Victor Crowley has solidified himself as one of horror’s greatest killers/slashers ever, and I must give him extra props for the hilarious kills he has delivered.  With acting roles from Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Tom Holland, and Danielle Harris, Hatchet 2 is a delight for fans of good ole American horror.  Read my full review for this film here: Hatchet II

4. Paranormal Activity 2

– I honestly expected this film to suck when I read that a no-name writer and director were attached to this sequel to the very successful Paranormal Activity, which is a big reason why I enjoyed this film so much.  Once again, lesser-filmmakers delivered a creepy watch that surpasses 90% of what big-budget studios put out.  More of a “companion” film than a sequel or prequel, Paranormal Activity 2 delivered heavily on the scares, and included possibly the absolute greatest “jump” scare that I have ever seen.  No other film on this list made me jump and receive goosebumps like this one did, and that says a lot nowadays in a day and age where horror films do not SCARE me anymore.  Read my full review for this film here: Paranormal Activity 2

3. Shutter Island

– After many decades delivering fantastic films, famed director Martin Scorsese has finally made his mark on the horror genre with Shutter Island.  Some may argue that Shutter Island is not a devout horror flick, and I respect that, but I believe the film harbors enough elements of fear and horror to warrant inclusion in this list.  From the get-go Scorsese sets up the film’s gloomy and creepy atmosphere, and from then on out he expertly delivers the film in fantastic fashion.  Great performances, awesome camerawork and sets, and Scorsese’s ability to make the viewer do and feel what he wants them to do make this film a memorable watch and one of the year’s best films overall.  The horror involved is of psychological nature, and this well crafted story from Dennis Lehane’s novel by the same name manages to keep us in the dark and in the same paranoid mindset as the film’s protagonist.  Shutter Island might be the “least” horrific film on this list, but this fantastic effort has earned its no. 3 spot.  Read my full review for this film here: Shutter Island

2. Black Swan

– Darren Aronofsky joined Martin Scorsese as another film giant who has finally decided to enter the horror realm.  Black Swan debuted to the masses just in time to make this list, and left me with the task of having to revamp this list to include it.  Focusing heavily on the element of psychological horror, we witness the deterioration of a young dancer’s mind as she strives for perfection in the claustrophobic world she lives in.  Reminiscent of Roman Polanski’s early psychosexual films Repulsion and The Tenant, Black Swan lives to tell the terror we put ourselves through to attain the feelings we seek in life, and comes with some nice horror as well.  Much like Shutter Island, Black Swan’s horror is not outright horror, but psychological and visceral, leaving you to put yourself in the protagonist’s shoes and experience what they are experiencing, which is truly horrific in nature when you consider what is going on around them.  As a film this is the best entry on the list, but this is not a list of the best films of 2010, but the best horror films of 2010, which left Black Swan with only the no. 2 spot.  Read my full review for this film here: Black Swan

1. Let Me In

Let Me In was possibly the most surprising horror film of this year due to the immense amount of backlash over this “remake” of Sweden’s Let The Right One In.  Many expected Let Me In to fall flat, but thanks to writer/director Matt Reeves(Cloverfield) the film not only silenced its numerous critics…but stands on it’s own, not as a remake.  Because Let The Right One In was sourced from John Alvid Lindqvist’s novel of the same name, it is an adapted story, which is the same case for Let Me In, meaning that Let Me In is NOT a remake, but an adaptation just like the incredible Swedish film.  Let Me In perfectly blends the art-house feel of the first entry with a level of horror not touched in the previous adaptation, resulting in a much more horrific watch than expected.  Reeves’ execution of the film is nearly flawless, with high levels of tension, despair, and some great horror as well.  Some have referred to Let The Right One In as the artsy entry and Let Me In as the “monster” film, and I believe that comparison to be true.  Great performances from all those involved sell the film to the viewer, and although the love element is not as strong in this film in comparison to the Swedish masterpiece, it is worthwhile and aided the film’s horror in achieving this no. 1 ranking.  This is not my favorite horror film of the year, but in my honest opinion Let Me In is the best horror film of 2010.  Now who would have thought that?  Read my full review for this film here: Let Me In

Honorable Mentions

(Close But Not Good Enough)

Devil

– M. Night Shyamalan(Signs, The Sixth Sense, Lady In The Water) had fallen from grace as both a writer and direction after the mediocre The Happening and the horrendous Avatar: The Last Airbender, but Devil, the initial entry into his The Night Chronicles, has shown that he still has some good writing in him.  If you know me then you know that I LOVE nowhere-to-run scenarios, and I really cannot think of few situations more desperate than being stuck in an elevator with an unknown and unseen killer.  Director John Erick Dowdle(The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Quarantine) does a great job keeping the tension high and doing what he could with what little the film had to offer(given most of it takes place in the elevator) and in the end Devil delivered the positive horror experience that I expected from M. Night and Mr. Dowdle.  Read my full review for this film here: Devil

Monsters

– Nearly every year we get a low-budget surprise flick that gains attention and delivers to the fans, and that is the case with Monsters.  Debuting at this year’s film festivals and still lacking a DVD release, Monsters may be hard to get to for many, and only time will tell when this film will achieve the time of day.  I have always been a fan of alien-oriented films, and this flick gives us a unique story involving a NASA probe that discovered alien life on another planet and upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere crash-landed somewhere in Mexico.  Great FX and awesome looking Lovecraftian-creatures made this an engaging watch for me despite a high level of character drama between our two protagonists, but Monsters managed to deliver the horror nonetheless and is one of the best low-budget horror flicks for 2010.  Read my full review for this film here: Monsters

Saw 3D

– The Saw franchise has been one of horror’s most successful in recent history, and has become the only series in horror history to deliver 7 films in 7 years.  Well, Saw 3D(aka Saw 7) is said to be the last installment of the franchise, and while the film was not as good or epic as it should have been for a series closer, it delivered some good horror.  We get the usual unique yet grotesque traps that Jigsaw’s victims are thrown into, and the tension remains fairly high throughout most of the film’s runtime.  I really wished that this closer would have hit harder, especially when considering it did not a shocking climax like the other entries, but nonetheless Saw 3D gave fans of the series what they went to see…and hopefully put an end to the saga.  Read my full review for this film here: Saw 3D

The Wolfman

– A re-imaging of the 1941 classic The Wolf Man, The Wolfman surprised me as a cheezy yet enjoyable watch adorned with some sweet kills and enjoyable action.  Hugh Jackman does well as the man tormented by his inner beast, and we get solid performances all around from Anthony Hopkins, the under-used Hugo Weaving, and Emily Blunt.  The film would have  been improved with more live-action gore and less CGI, but for a big-budget Hollywood watch The Wolfman gave me enough of what I wanted to see.  Read my full review for this film here: The Wolfman

Frozen

– Preceded by the ever-awesome Hatchet and followed by the insane Hatchet II, Adam Green’s Frozen seems to have suffered the raw end of Hollywood politics.  Green fought hard to get this film the very limited release that it was given, and while Frozen is not a moneymaker by Hollywood standards(the reason it was given no love), it is still a darn good showing of how something very simple can be truly horrifying if you execute it properly.  Focusing on a group of friends who take a late joyride on a ski-lift and are left stranded aboard the lift overnight, we watch them suffer extreme conditions which force them to make extreme decisions that never end well.  I have always been a fan of “what you don’t see is scary” horror, and Frozen delivers much of that.  Read my full review for this film here: Frozen

My Other Top 10 Horror Lists

Top 10 Horror Movies of 1980

Top 10 Horror Movies of 1981

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2005

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2006

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2007

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2008

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2009

Thank you for reading.

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  1. ekr1984
    March 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I totally agree with your number 1. LOVED that movie. And I’ve thankfully seen most of the ones on your list. Did love Devil too. Made me afraid to be in an elevator with other people for a good few weeks. :).

    • March 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Oh yeah I really enjoyed Devil as I love horror films where people are confined to a small/tight space. Good stuff.

  2. terry
    September 24, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Frozen is AWESOME!!! Shutter Island did nothing for me. Have seen Let the Right one In and plan to watch the remake as most people are saying its actually good, not AS good as the original but good anyway 🙂

    • October 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Yes the American version, Let Me In, is great. I used to consider it a remake but since they are both adapted from the novel I consider them each to be their own film…and it shows. Let the Right One In is the art-house epic while Let Me In is the monster movie.

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