Thursday, January 07, 2010

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2009 (#1-10)

Well here it is. My Top Horror Movies of 2009! Sorry for taking so long to get this posted but I had to catch up on some of the movies I missed this year. I usually look at other people's lists and watch the movies that others claimed were the best. If I didn't, I would have missed a few sleepers and some hidden gems.

So this year's edition is a "fat as Texas" edition. I'm not just posting a top 10 list but adding #11-20 as well. If you missed #11-20 click here. This list from #11-20 you'll be surprised to find has many of the movies that can be found on the horrorsphere's Top 10 lists. I had a different take on what was considered "the best" this year and my picks are totally abnormal from everybody else. I'm just quirky that way.

First some fun facts and sidenotes!
  • Though some of these movies came out in 2008, I label any movie that got wide releases or DVD releases in 2009 as coming out in 2009.
  • It's a mix of STV, indie horror and box office elephants.
  • Here are the movies I didn't see yet: Anti Christ, Cold Prey, Infestation, 36 Pasos, Jennifer's Body, The Last House on the Left, Rec 2, The Descent 2 and countless others
  • 3 films that almost made the list that now get the Honorable Mentions tag: The Burrowers (2 spinkicks), Carriers (2 and half spinkicks), Bad Biology (2 and half spinkicks)
  • The 20 films broken down by country: USA = 13, UK=1, France =1, Korea =1, Canada=2, Norway=1, Sweden=1
  • The 20 films broken down by spinkick rating: 4 spinkicks=3, 3 and a 1/2 spinkicks= 2, 3 spinkicks=10, 2 spinkicks and a half=1, 2 spinkicks=4
  • To read the entire review of the film click on the title.
  • 4 spinkicks didn't necessarily guarantee you a higher place on the list.
So what did 2009 offer us in the world of horror?
  • Shaky cam/POV horror makes a comeback that nobody saw coming
  • All of Hollywood's remakes sucked and all were big giant turds
  • The whispering killer kid movies stormed into the mainstream and excelled
  • Zombie movies still packed a punch but vampire movies ruled the horror universe
  • Long awaited movies made their much awaited DVD premieres
  • My #1 movie is again not from the USA
Let's get to the list! Here is #10 to #1.

10.) Zombieland (3 spinkicks)

Zombieland is the only big blockbuster box office elephant in the top 10 and its one of the best zombie comedy movies to come out since Shaun of the Dead.

The "rules", Woody, the Bill Murray cameo and the zombie kill carnage are all top notch and so much fun.

To think this could have been a TV series is unbelievable as it works so perfectly as a movie. My favorite rules were "Double Tap" and "Enjoy the Little Things"

And there were a ton of little things in Zombieland that I highly enjoyed.

Read the full review here.

9.) Header (3 spinkicks and half)

Header was released by Synapse on DVD in 2009 which is why it qualifies as 2009. But why is a movie you've never heard of ranked #9 on my list?

Because of the title. What the hell is a header?

I can't tell you or it would ruin the entire movie. Let's just say Header is filled with a redneck Hatfields and McCoys war, moonshine and some of the most fucked up shit I've ever seen.

Header is the best underground horror movie of the 21st century. If you decide to cowboy up and watch Header, you are a fuckin sicko. A disturbed, fucked up individual.

And in doing so, you will be initiated into the elite club of having seen one of the most fucked up films ever made. Welcome to the club.

Read the full review here.

8.) Laid to Rest (3 spinkicks)

Our new slasher on the block Chromeskull will be remembered for his style, his knife and his damn sicko looking mask.

Laid to Rest is the best techno slasher movie of the 21st century. If Hatchet was old school American horror, Laid to Rest is new school American horror.

What Robert Hall has created here is purely an homage to all the slashers films that have come before. It's also a pure millennium based slasher film that is so sly and witty and full of top notch splatter and gore we all need to give him a standing O.

Laid to Rest should be seen if you call yourself a horror fan. It's easily one of the best horror movies of 2009.

Read the full review here

7.) Pontypool (3 spinkicks)

Pontypool has been making many Top 10 lists and I'm adding it to mine.

Pontypool was a totally different type of pretzel I've never seen before.

It's an actually intelligent virus turning the masses into a bunch of crazies type movie that can be perceived in many ways. Is it a satire of censorship? A commentary on geopoliticalisms? Or is it just a suspense driven horror film to scare the crap out of you.

Well, it's all 3 and so much more.

You'll dread you speak the English language.

Read the full review here.

6.) Let the Right One In (3 spinkicks)

I had said I wanted to put this on my Top 10 Horror Movies of 2008, but I kinda watched it too late. As technically we all saw this on DVD in 2009, it cements itself here at #6.

Dump more praise on the Let the Right One In bandwagon.

A movie about a 12 year old girl engulfed in vampire lore is so full of innocence and dramatic despair that it's more emotional and more touching then seeing some vampire teens whining about their iPods.

More importantly, this movie is about loneliness and the connections we have in our lives.Plus seeing a 12 year old vamp suck blood seems kinda sick and awesome at the same time.

Read the full review here.

5.) Trick R Treat (4 spinkicks)

A top 10 list is not complete without having Trick R Treat on it right?

One of the best anthologies to come out in a while, this creative and unique Halloween themed campfire tales was the perfect movie to see on October 31st.

Trick 'R Treat is the best Halloween movie since Halloween. For an anthology collection, it ranks right up there with Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt.

You wonder why nobody makes movies like these anymore. I'm going all Nostradamus here but I think TRT will spawn more anthology horror movies and either that's a good thing or a poisoned candy apple.

And who can forget our new "what the hell is he?" rookie slasher of the year: Sam. One of the most scariest WTF killers to come on the horrorverse in quite a long time.

Trick R Treat was hyped and lived it up. BOO!

Read the full review here.

4.) Black Devil Doll (4 spinkicks)

The moment after I saw Black Devil Doll, it was guaranteed a spot on my Top 10 list. Think blaxsploitation, slasher flick, Skinemax and comedy all thrown into a blender and your waxing your carrot while waiting.

That's Black Devil Doll.

Black Devil Doll is the apex of all modern day blaxploitation movies, filled with sleazy humor, tons of nudity and splatter happy gore. Harking back to the old grimy and sticky Times Square grindhouse days, Black Devil Doll is a tour de force of debauchery, insanity and nudity.

And it has a Muthafuckin Puppet!

Read the full review here

3.) Deadgirl (3 and a half spinkicks)

Deadgirl is like a depraved, warped up horror version of Stand by Me. Think an indie film with a horror element Romero-ed into it. Such is the beauty and the chill sicko-ness of Deadgirl, definitely one of the top 10 horror movies of 2009.

I've seen films where as I'm watching I feel really ashamed to be seeing this. Deadgirl so disturbing yet highly provocative that at the end you feel dirty, kinda ugh and your definitely not Jersey Shore fist pumping in the air. But when a movie like this comes along, you have to give it a standing O.

Read the full review here.

2.) Thirst (4 spinkicks)

I watched Thirst at the end of the year. It was one of those "its on a lot of Best of lists" so before I lock down my list, I needed to see this. And what did it do?

It knocked some good movies out of the Top 10 and flew up to #2. Now that says a lot doesn't it?

Chan-wook Park's Thirst is more than a vampire movie it's a morality tale of how absolute power can corrupt absolutely. It has so many layers, that each of the 3 separate acts could have been turned into their own movie.

Chan-wook Park established himself with his Vengeance Trilogy. Those movies revolutionized the action genre. With Thirst he's done it again. The horror genre will never be the same.

Read the full review here.

1.) Martyrs (3 spinkicks)

Yup. Another French movie is #1 on my list for the 2nd year in a row. Lo and behold the fuckedupness that is Martyrs. It's the most controversial, I loved it-I hated it, film of 2009. From every voice in the horror world, nobody can stop talking about this film.

I came down on the "I absolutely LOVED it" side. Why?
Martyrs has sort of created a new subgenre of horror. Uber-surreal torture-core.

It's a twisblended hybrid of the Argentoism, pure unrelenting grindy torture-core and horror taken to a transcendent level.

That's not to say I didn't have my gripes. It's almost pointless at times until you get to the end and figure what the whole thing is about. For 100 minutes, if you take the visceral challenge, you may have been a martyr yourself.

The ending is an absolute marathon to watch but when you see the finish line and finally realize what the whole thing was about, you begin to think back on everything you just witnessed. Some have said it's absolutely pointless, I beg to differ.

The definition of Martyr is "to witness". And after seeing this movie, you feel like Anna in the movie. It's a transcendent horror movie, one that makes us endure the most horrific scenes I've ever seen and than drops a bombshell and says it's all for the better good.

To witness Martyrs is to challenge yourself and to think about the endless possibilities of existence. And for that experience, it's my #1 horror movie of 2009.

the jaded viewer related linkage:


OK, I know you horror minions have your 2 cents. So go ahead and let me have it. Throw that smelly poop at me or if on the off chance you partially agreed on some of my picks, send me that love. Chime in and let me know what you think.

This list of the Top 20 Horror Movies of 2009 also is an opportunity to see the movies you may have missed that made many of the best of 2009 within the horror community. We all missed a few flicks here and there. I hope you all give all of these movies a chance and then come back and let me know what's the what.

Next up: The Best Horror Movies of 2009 (A compilation from the horrorsphere)

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  1. A nice varied list of titles in your top ten. I've only seen three of them listed here: MARTYRS, TRICK R TREAT and LAID TO REST. The latter had some great effects work, but I thought it was otherwise forgettable. Definitely understand the other two being on there, though.

  2. Oh no, I haven't seen any of these! I am going to have to head to the video store.

  3. Martyrs.. the most overrated horror film in the last few years. Why I think it is pointless? Because the ending can go one of two ways, and neither of them makes any sense without more information. Damn you, Jeff. Damn you.

  4. Sadly, I have only seen 2 out of the 10 films listed (Trick r' Treat and Laid to Rest). I have been meaning to check some of these films out since I first heard of them, but sometimes it just does not happen. =/

  5. I thought Laid to Rest was terribly overrated. Extremely derivative and ultimately, it had no point. I'm a huge slasher film fan and I thought it added absolutely nothing except for a cool looking main character. I do think the mounted camera could have made for a more interesting plot device, if used more.

    Overall, can't knock your other choices. All solid good sir. Have you seen the original, VHS shot, 8 bit soundtrack Black Devil Doll from Hell? Fucking stellar.

    BTW, you received awards. Check our site.

  6. Oh and William, your smoking crack ;) Overrated? Hardly. What other way did you interpret the ending? I'm curious.

  7. You and your BLACK DEVIL DOLL lol.. Still waiting to see it thanks to you, but it wont drop in price online. I couldnt stand LAID TO REST, it felt like garbage Horror to me with the exception of Hall's awesome FX work.

  8. I thought there would be more controversy over Martyrs (Rene its an awesome flick , just admit it)then Laid to Rest. I can see why people things LTR is crappy I just dug Chromeskull.

    Carl - Yeah I LOLed throughout Black Devil Doll. I don't care if people think its a vile turd. Its awesome in my book. Good ole sleazy yumminess.

    Well a list is designed to be ridiculed and everybody shouting excluded flicks and bashing ones on the list. I can say its done its job.

  9. Oh man, I think I totally agree with Martyrs as #1.

    You included a few that I couldn't technically include for 2009, like Let the Right One In. I saw that at the tail end of 08. Certainly one of the best and most respected horror films of the decade (or forever).

    Very interested in Header. You're right, I haven't even heard of it and that makes me even more excited.

    Black Devil Doll has been high on my to watch list for a while. I hope I get around to it soon. Maybe I'll bump it up.

    This is a really good list, man! I give it 47 spinkicks (TM)!

  10. Great list, I have 5 of them on mine, have yet to see let the right one in and pontypool, and the other 3 were definitely up there but got beat out. Thanks again, for leaving a comment on my blog, glad to see you dug it.

  11. Thanks for such a great review of Deadgirl! You clearly know what you're talking about so your inclusion means a ton...

  12. Yes, "MARTYRS" is (perhaps) the Best Horror Film of 2009.
    I've still got a couple of other titles to watch.
    Yes, the French are taking over...was it INSIDE that won last year?
    It was awesome!
    "Martyrs" is so friggin' weird...kinda reminded me of "SALO".
    I'm not too big on "Torture Porn", but this film managed to rise above that level.
    Whoever hasn't seen it...RENT IT NOW!
    And forget the munchies...

  13. Thanks for this list. A few I haven't seen. Can't wait to rent them now. The way you discribed Dead Girl hit the nail on the head. I felt sleezy after I watched it. It was not scary to me just wrong and gross. I thought Laid To Rest was a nice surprise. It did give me the creeps. The acting sucked but sorta used to that since I love watching horror flicks. Thanks so much for taking the time to make this list.

  14. I'm glad I can suggest a few titles people haven't seen before. My list is not the usual list but you can check out other best of from the list I compiled.


  15. amına kodularım bu fil lerin neresi korkkunç sie amua gorum :D

  16. zombieland is a shit it is a comedy no horor this is not true PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is a best horor i word

  17. Spot on regarding Martyrs, however I totally disagree with your review off it. It's a brilliant film, and at no point are you left wondering whats going on, nor is it a dull ride. The film is full of shock value, and if you've got any sense, you'd realise exactly who the two girls are and why lucy did what she did. There is a air of mystery, but nothing compared to the way you've put the film as in your own words.

  18. I am still trying to figure out why people think Chromeskull from Laid to Rest is cool. Are we that easily assumed by shiny objects? He looks like something you could buy at Hot Topic next to the Nightmare Before Christmas dolls. He is silly at best. And weapon of choice, Chainsaw no! Ax not he's style, wow some jazzy looking knife, Boring. The whole feel of that movie just screams mall metal. It is just a damn shame that some seriously bad ass kills were wasted on such a lame character. And while I am at it, did anyone seriously actually find Paranormal Activity scary. Maybe i would have if i wasn't concentrating on how awful the movie was. Maybe I wasn't scared cause i was too busy laughing. Worst ending I have seen in a horror movie in a long time. Might actually hate it more than Saw!!!

  19. Anonymous - To each his own...well list I guess. Feel free to leave your list. Laid To Rest was sorta my Leslie Vernon/Hatchet entry. Pure slasher film that worked.

    Yes I like shiny masks.

  20. All films are useless..Guys..what are you doing???

  21. Great list. Loved "Let the right one in" and "Trick r' Treat." "Dead girl" was a bit too much for me. I understand your feeling of shame while watching it, not a very comfortable experience.

  22. I have only seen Trick r' Treat out of all of those and I really loved it, it was soo awesome how there were a bunch of story lines colliding and every time u watch it u notice new things... My little sister who is like 6, actually watched it when I wasn't home and she really loved it too.....

  23. i dont know what the hell you where thinking with #'s 10-2 but youre spot on with picking MARTYRS as your #1
    easily the best horror movie ive seen since INSIDE
    up there with the stuart gordon films of the 80's like FROM BEYOND & RE-ANIMATOR
    i just think the typical american audience will be to ignorant and impatient to appreciate this masterpiece

  24. An OK list. Martyrs deserves to be #1 for sure. these arethe best horror films of all time though. No doubt.

  25. How can you put Trick R' Treat on any list except a 'Worst Movie Ever' list, it was terrible...

    the story was bad, the acting was just as bad as the story, the cinematography was about the best thing in this movie and that wasn't brilliant...

    the rest of the list is pretty good though...

  26. Great list of horror movies. My favorites can also be found at that I keep checking off once I see them.

  27. There are some very great sources here and thank you for being so kind to post them here. So we can read them and give our opinion on subject.

  28. I agree that those movies are included in ten best movies in 2009. I have ever watched these movies except Dead Girl. I want to watch it soon.

  29. Awesome list. You are listing some of my favorites. Most of these made it into The Best Horror Movie List and those guys only add top horror.