Year in Review: Ten Best Horror Films of 2009

I’m going to be straight with you right from the start: this list sucks.  I had an easier time coming up with just 15 films of the past 10 years to praise than finding 10 in the year 2009.  There are many reasons for this.  Like, horror movies released in 2009 sucked.  Or studios totally blew releasing schedules.  If I wanted to put Paranormal Activity on the list, do I put on this list, even though it first screened in 2007?  Could I put Splinter on the list again, even though I saw it in 2008 but it only just came to DVD in 2009?  Does Dead Girl count as a 2009 film when it was on screens in 2008?  How about films that I saw because of my press access, but the average horror fan couldn’t see because of how it was released?  What about excellent foreign horror films that haven’t come to the US yet?

Horror is a mess right now.  From the quality of the films to the release dates to schedule handling to even putting out enough discs for people to find.  Movies get lost right to DVD, or right to Netflix, or just plain lost.  I had a hard time picking ten movies to put on this list and I’m not happy with them at all.  I will tell you this, as well: I’m not following the standard horror line.  You won’t see Paranormal Activity on this list.  You won’t see Jennifer’s Body or that comedy Drag Me to Hell. So while these might not be the movies you’re expecting, these are at least 10 movies I can safely say you should see.  The only reason that I’m calling this a best of list though, is because I have to.  Goodbye 2009, I’m glad to see you go.

10.  Sorority Row

This must clearly show you how much I despised 2009 in terms of horror movies – I open with a remake, and not even a particularly great one.  What Sorority Row did right was have hot girls getting kid.  I don’t think there was an ugly girl in this – ok, well, Rumer Willis.  But all of the other girls are totally boner inducing and they wear their night clothes alot.  Add in some pretty decent kills and I’m not too ashamed to have this on the list.

9.  The Hills Run Red

This movie was something of a disappointment.  I had heard wonderful things about how brutal it was, but it’s nothing we can’t handle.  The film finds the win column by showing off some delicious breasts, spilling lots of blood, and introducing a pretty awesome killer who delivers one hell of an awesome line at the end.

8.  Zombieland

A little horror comedy always finds its way onto the list and what is a best of without zombies?  Not everyone was a fan of the set-piece like construction of the film, but it featured plenty of violence, lots of laughs, and great looking zombies.

7.  The Collector

The good (bad) Dr. Cole Abaius loved this flick, so it makes the list from Feast and Saw sequel veteran Marcus Dunstan, a cool dude.  What I like best about the film is the simple, yet cool idea of a thief breaking into the wrong damn house on the wrong damn night.  Pack in a solid feeling of dread and you get a film you should have watched.

6.  Coraline

The only people who don’t think this qualifies as a horror movie are those who havent’ seen it.  An interesting 3D experience no matter what, towards the last 30 minutes of the film the visuals go absolutely batshit insane, enough to force your 12 year old niece into crying convulsions on the floor.  While not scary-per-se, this spectacularly visual film has some horrific and memorable imagery.


Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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