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In Retrospect: The Top 5 Horror Films of 2009

Drag Me To Hell
Drag Me To Hell
Universal Pictures

2009 t'was a good year for horror. Everything from groundbreaking new talent both here and abroad to the return of Sam Raimi behind the camera filled last year with thrills and chills. After careful consideration, I have comprised a list of five must see movies for last year. And away we go...

Top 5 Horror films:

Number 5:  Let the Right One In        Tomas Alfredson's stunning grim fantasy piece of true love will memorize you the way Bill Compton "glamored" Sookie. In one of the most original vampire films to date, Oskar  - a twelve year old bullied kid falls for a peculiar girl named Eli --who is actually a 200 year old vampire. 

Number 4:  Trick r' Treat       In vein of the 80's Creepshow-type pulp movies, Mike Dougherty's film is finally released to DVD after Warner Brothers shelved it for over three years. Set on Hallows Eve, four stories, perfectly intertwined and displayed. A top notch cast delivers in this unpublicized gem, and I am still amazed this never made it to the big screen.

Number 3: Paranormal Activity       Often said, films are about interpretation -- your interpretation. If you believe in spirits and demons,then rent this immediately and let the power of suggestion take over. It's scary as hell and will invoke different thoughts the next time you hear a bump in the night. To put it simply, it's the Blair Witch Project on steroids.

Number 2:  Martyrs  ***Rental Warning (ultra-disturbing material contained in this film)***   Like Hannibal Lectar getting inside your head, Martyrs will not leave anytime soon. Hat's off to the French and Pascal Laugier to take a film where no American film maker will ever.  Most will not be able to get through this super-intellectual, original horror tale. The rawness of Martyrs will fool you into thinking it's 'torture porn'  yet the payoff is well worth the unsettling acts of violence. This film makes Saw look like a Disney movie. It's been a year since I've seen it and flashes of this movie still haunt me.

Number 1:  Drag Me To Hell       Alas, the master returns to his roots. Director Sam Raimi hops from the Spiderman series back to what put him on the map. Raimi reminds us  that a movie is an experience, and Hell is the perfect example that. You get laughs, screams, and one helluva story that is sure to fulfill your expectations. Predictable, yet fun, the low budget masterpiece serves as a template for future talent. The film is a winner and Raimi does something that most cannot and it needs to be mentioned: he made a GREAT horror film and kept it at a PG13 rating.

Pick any of these up at your local Blockbuster or pop them in your Netflix queue, scout's honor,  you will not be disappointed. All are a " must see" for the true, adventurous horror fan.


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