Monday, October 19, 2015

The Best Horror Movies of 2001-2010

The Descent (2006)
Six women go cave exploring and find their journey beneath stalled when a cave-in traps them. The trouble worsens when they learn that not only are they in an unexplored cave but there may something else to fear.  Neil Marshall wrote and directed this intense and tension-filled thriller that terrified its audience with its claustrophobic setting and dynamic mostly female cast.

REC (2007)
A Spanish news crew follows a team of firefighters on a routine call only to discover that the apartment building they enter is soon quarantined, and they are now trapped.  One of many films that use found footage style, this one stands apart with its terrifying plot and efficient use of confusion and fear brought about by the reactions caught on camera. Followed by many sequels and, an American remake titled Quarantine that had its follow-up sequels.

Let the Right One In (2008)
A young preteen boy who is bullied by his classmates befriends a young girl who has a secret she shares when they bond as friends. This new friendship gives him the confidence to face his bullies and to learn what love can mean despite her secret. Based on a novel, the film would be remade in the US and is one of the few remakes that stands on its own.

Zombieland (2009)
Columbus is a young man trying to survive a zombie apocalypse as he details his rules for making it through and thriving when faced by an army of the walking dead. Along the way, he teams up with a group of survivors who have to work together as they try to find a rumored safe zone. The great ensemble cast and buddy comedy theme set this film apart from other zombie movies while still retaining some terrifying zombie moments.

Saw (2004)
A troubled physician wakes up in an abandoned restroom not knowing how or why he is there. As he finds clues around him, he is confronted by his demons as well as well his captor who seems to be adept at creating dangerous puzzles and challenges.  James Wan would direct the first film of this intense series and like many horror franchises the first film is usually the best. Saw would be one of many films in the modern torture porn genre of horror lore to be released in the 2000s.

28 Days Later (2002)
A coma patient wakes up to find that the city has been overrun by a virus that results in crazed behavior. After being chased by infected groups, he then finds some survivors as they try to make their way toward a sanctuary. Danny Boyle directed this film, and its success helped reinvigorate the zombie movie.

28 Weeks Later (2007)
As the zombie outbreak is being handled with assistance from the US military, a group of survivors try to make it to a safe zone before they get overwhelmed by an ever-increasing number of crazed newly infected zombies. Robert Carlyle would star in this sequel that complemented the original with Danny Boyle serving as Executive Producer.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
A remake of the George Romeo’s 1978 horror classic, a group of strangers seeks refuge in a shopping mall when they are faced with swarms of athletic zombies.  Director Zack Snyder would win praise for this worthy remake that followed the original premise yet set itself apart in its way.

Ring (2002)
A journalist looks into a mysterious videotape after the death of her niece and some of her friends. She discovers that watching the tape will result in your imminent death after receiving a mysterious phone call. A remake of a 1998 Japanese film, The Ring would help usher the way for some Japanese inspired remakes such as The Grudge, Pulse, and Dark Water.

Dog Soldiers (2002)
A group of British army reservists find themselves trapped in a small farmhouse and attacked by werewolves while they are on a weekend training retreat. Despite their training and firepower, they find themselves stalked one at a time by the pack of wolves. Written and directed by Neil Marshall, this film while set in Scottland was filmed in Luxembourg.

Girl Next Door (2007)
A pair of young girls is sent to stay with an aunt after their parents are killed in a car crash. The eldest daughter soon faces abuse from her aunt and her relatives while neighborhood kids are encouraged to participate in humiliating her. What happens next is too disturbing to speak of or witness. Based on actual events Director Gregory Wilson took Jack Ketchum’s disturbing novel and put together a film that will stand out as one of the most disturbing films of the past decade.

Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Christine has a great life, wonderful boyfriend and a career she enjoys, all that comes crashing down when she insults an old woman after denying her assistance on a home loan. A curse is cast on her, and her soul is doomed for eternity. Nothing good can come when you insult an old lady, and Sam Raimi’s unique blend of horror and comedy make for an original and memorable tale.

Let Me In (2010)
A remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In follows the story of the original movie fairly close and is an excellent film in its right. This film is set in New Mexico and directed by Cloverfield's Matt Reeves.

Wolf Creek (2005)
A group of backpackers traveling in the Australian outback is stalked and captured by a psychotic killer who preys on travelers. This intense thriller inspired by real-life murders used the remote setting to add an element of helplessness to go along with the fear experienced by the hapless victims.

Cloverfield (2010)
A monster attack on New York City is seen through the shaky video camera of a group of friends who flee the city and face threats from the creature as it tears through the city. Matt Reeves directs this found footage film that made excellent use of viral marketing to play up the fear as we see the events unfold before seeing the creature entirely.

Session 9 (2001)
A hazmat team is charged with cleaning an abandoned sanitarium. During the week-long job, one of the crew finds a collection of audio tapes that reveal some truly disturbing events. Directed by Brad Anderson, Session 9 was shot in a portion of an abandoned State Asylum adding to the genuine atmosphere.

Martyrs (2008)
After being imprisoned by an unknown group, a young woman and her friend seek out clues to the mysterious family who tortured and abused her. Martyrs was part of the New French Extremity movement that featured extreme violence, sex, and psychological issues.

House of the Devil (2009)
A college student eager for extra cash takes a babysitting job in a remote house only to learn her employers are not honest about why she is there.  Director Ti West combined the haunted house and slasher genres popular in the late seventies in this film and directed it so that it resembled a movie from that era. House of the Devil is one of the unique horror films of the decade with its retro style that pays homage to films like Halloween and When a Stranger Calls.

Dead Snow (2009)
A group of students on holiday encounter an army of Nazi zombies in the mountains of Norway and fight to escape. Combine zombies and Nazi’s may not be original, but this film mixes bloody terror with a fair amount of campy humor to deliver an exciting and unique play on the zombie theme. Followed by a sequel that would amp up the camp along with the gore.

High Tension (2003)
A trip home for a young woman and her friend turns into a horrific journey for survival as they are stalked by a deranged serial killer who leaves a trail of bloody corpses in the French countryside. Directed by Alexandre Aja, High Tension would stand out for its extreme violence and be one of many French films featuring such intense direction.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Best Horror Movies of the 1980's

American Werewolf in London (1981)
John Landis directs a frightening and occasionally funny werewolf movie. With its mix of classic horror, award-winning special effects by Rick Baker, humor and some freaky dream sequences we have fun and entertaining play on the classic werewolf movie.

Bad Taste (1987)
Aliens invade the Earth and look to turn us into the latest happy meal. Director Peter Jackson's film debut is one of the most disgustingly funny movies ever to released on video.  The low-budget look and excellently cheesy gore make this film the tastiest debut film since The Evil Dead and the original Night of The Living Dead.

Beetlejuice (1988)
Michael Keaton is the comical ghost with the most called upon to exercise a home of its human occupants. Tim Burton uses his incredible imagination and Danny Elfman's music genius to create a funny and sometimes frightening movie that packs a little more fright than Ghostbusters but still does not fall completely into all-out slapstick.

Blob, The (1988)
Kevin Dillon plays the rebellious teen who has to battle the mega goo before its makes his town into nothing. The effects are what make this movie better than the original.

Changeling (1980)
George C Scott is a composer who becomes the caretaker of a mansion after the death of his wife and daughter in an auto accident. He then discovers that the house may be haunted by an angry spirit that wants to communicate. There are many terrifying moments to keep up the suspense as we learn the real truth behind the ghost.

Child’s Play (1988)
Dynamic character villain Brad Dourif plays a voodoo worshipping serial killer who returns to life as a cute Good Guy Doll named Chucky. A big hit with horror fans, this film, used clever FX and a good cast to overcome its blatant swipes from Trilogy of Terror and a couple of classic Twilight Zone episodes.

Creepshow (1982)
An excellent cast of actors and Romero's stylish direction give us a funny and terrifying tale that recreates the magic of those scary little comics of the fifties. This movie may have brought about the return of the horror anthology on both televisions and in the movies.

Cujo (1983)
Stephen King presents a harrowing tale of a woman and her child trapped in a car with a rabid dog. Great use of camera angles and claustrophobic setting add to the realism of Dee Wallace and Danny Pintauro predicament with the crazed St. Bernard.

Dead Zone (1983)
In what I feel is one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King novel, Christopher Walken stars as Johnny Smith. Portraying a man who wakes from a long coma to the horror that he can view the death of those he meets. A great movie that seems to be hidden away by Kings more flashy and more crappy gore movies.

The Evil Dead (1983)
Got to love Sam Raimi! With a very low budget and a group of unknown Detroit actors Sam Raimi was able to create this great and scary horror classic that just kept coming and did not fail to deliver in the gore department. The real star was Bruce Campbell as the intrepid Ash, who would later appear in the subsequent Evil Dead sequels.

Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Not quite a sequel, more of a remake with better FX and way funnier gags. The story is the same, a group of students visit a cabin and discover an ancient Sumerian Book of the Dead. When all else seems to fail, we leave it to the dynamic and very funny Bruce Campbell as Ash, the Demon Killer! Ash takes charge and with a nifty chainsaw hand and a trusty sawed-off shotgun, he tackles the Zombie menace tooth and nail.

Fly (1986)
Jeff Goldblum plays Seth Bundle, an eccentric scientist who invents a device that can teleport matter. During a routine test, he realizes that his DNA is being altered to that of the fly that rode with him. Cronenberg delivers a great film with incredible FX and a show stopping metamorphosis that will never be forgotten.

Fright Night (1985)
Fright Night was a welcome change from the usual gore flicks, great actors and some great FX turn this simple vampire movie into an exciting show with a great climax.

Hellraiser (1987)
Hellraiser is a very frightening movie that creates a mood of fear and lust in the world of the Cenobites where the pain is an aphrodisiac and suffering is eternal. Clive Barker's first directed movie is a major triumph in Horror and his evil creatures called Cenobites are very much the true stars of this film.

Howling (1981)
Dee Wallace Stone plays a TV reporter who is taking a leave after an encounter with a stalker. Along with her husband, the couple travels to a North California retreat hosted by psychologist Patrick Macnee. What they don't realize is that this club is full of really nutso werewolves.Joe Dante went for homage and humor in this FX ridden horror classic.

Humanoids From the Deep (1980)
Roger Corman presents a terrifying film that combines The Creature from the Black Lagoon with Jaws. As silly as it is sounds this is a terrifying film that boasts some cheap but well used special makeup effects.

The Hunger (1983)
Catherine Deneuve plays the ageless vampiress who longs for a new mate when her latest companion dies of old age. This adaptation of a Whitley Strieber novel places Deneuve in a posh and stylish mansion in New York's Sutton Place, the elegance adding to the bizarre atmosphere of this film. Unlike those standard vampire films of recent sparkly years.

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A disfigured boogeyman haunts and murders the children of the people who had stalked and murdered him a generation before. Robert Englund would shine in the stripped shirt, fedora hat, and trademark finger knives. This movie was well made and boasted some great special effects, the story was top notch. Wes Craven put his full energy into this classic and helped create a horror legend.

Poltergeist (1982)
Steven Spielberg created what had to one of the best Ghost Stories of the 80's. Making use of state of the art special effects and the acting talents of Craig T Nelson and JoBeth Williams we are presented one of the most frightening PG movies ever made. Surprisingly there is not blood or gore, an ironic note to Director Tobe Hooper, best known for directing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Phenomena (1984)
Dario Argento presents yet another of his unique and stylish horror movies. Jennifer Connelly plays an American, who is attending a prestigious Swiss boarding school and discovers that a vicious killer is preying on her classmates. We discover that she has a unique gift, a psychic link to insects that she uses to help track the killer down.

Re-Animator (1985)
In what is considered his most benign series of stories, Gordon delivers what may be the best-made movie based on any Lovecraft story. Herbert West (played so well by Jeffrey Combs) arrives at Miskatonic University with a weird green fluid and an attitude that would put fighter jocks to shame.

The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick is one of the best directors and when you team him with an outstanding novel by horror writer Stephen King you have a film that will set a place in cinema history. Jack Nicholson is a school teacher turned writer who takes a job as a caretaker of a Colorado resort. He takes his wife and 5-year-old boy along looking forward to the peace and solitude the resort will offer. The solitude drives him into madness, and his family are on edge as they fear for their lives.

The Thing (1982)
Many recall the classic movie The Thing From Another World, a great Sci-Fi film of the cold war era. John Carpenter does it better this time, following the original story of William Campbell, Who Goes There more closely. We have what may be the goriest and most FX ridden film of the 1980's.

25 Great Horror Movies to see on Netflix.

Since it’s October it is a perfect time to watch some scary movies on Netflix. Here is a mix of recent and classic movies you can stream online. I will follow up with a list of movies that are not streaming at the moment in my next post. 

VHS 1 (2012) 
VHS 2 (2013)   
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
The Babadook (2014)    
Oculus (2013) 
Let the Right One In (2008) 
Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010) 
Teeth (2007) 
Zombeavers (2014)
House of the Devil (2009) 
The Hole (2009)
Troll Hunter (2010)
Monsters (2010)  
The Host (2006) South Korea
Dead Snow (2009) 
Dead Snow 2 (2014)
The Omen (1976) 
The Prophecy (1995) 
Black Death (2009)
You’re Next (2011) 
Children of the Corn (1984) 
Funny Games (1998)
Stake Land (2010)
Pontypool (2008)
The Awakening (2011)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Losman Emerges...Again

Since it is October it is the right time to bring back the website I created in the early days of the internet. It was a site dedicated to Horror Movies, Suspense and Disturbing Cinema. In its heyday it was quite a popular page and I received some great reviews for the unique content. Alas I grew bored with the site and let it lapse into internet purgatory. After many years and a few failed attempts I plan on bringing back my site. I plan on adding new content as well as posting classic content with updates, better editing and proper citations. So lets see what lurks in the Losman's Lair....