10. Paranormal Activity 2 (October 21; Paramount Pictures)

The first Paranormal Activity was huge success in theaters, it was no surprise a second installment would get green lit. People all over demanded this film just as much, if not more than the first. The film promised more scares then the first and it delivered. What I really liked about this film is that it takes place during and after the first film, so you get to see certain scenarios intertwine with scenes from the first film. It also really delves into Katie’s family history a bit more but doesn’t give too much away. This installment also plays with the audience. Knowing when the sun goes down the scares come out. Or when someone’s talking a scare cannot happen. Paranormal 2 really learns what worked and what didn’t in the first film and plays off that. Paranormal 1, to some people, is the scariest film they have ever seen. It’s great to see a second installment in a series keep the scares cracked up to eleven and then go beyond that.

9. The Dead Matter (July 30; Precinct 13 Entertainment)

This is a film done by Edward Douglas the composer of Midnight Syndicate. His music has been playing in haunted attractions for years now and he finally gets to take a dip in the vast directing pool. The Dead Matter is just as haunting and creepy as the gothic soundtracks Ed puts together every year.

The film tells the story of a woman who wants to contact her deceased brother and stumbles upon a relic that can control the dead. She ends up getting mixed up with two warring vampire lords who want to control the power of the relic, where as one vampire hunter wants nothing more than to just destroy it. The Dead Matter feels like a story right out of the popular role playing game ‘World of Darkness’ bringing different fictional creatures together into the same world. I hope to see more installments in the Midnight Syndicate series in the near future just as good as this one.

8. The Wolfman (February 12; Universal Pictures)

The Wolf Man had a slew of problems getting a solid release date. Pretty much pushing the film back almost two years later. I wouldn’t say the outcome was the best but, I certainly enjoyed what I watched. Just as long as The Wolfman did not turn out to be another CG adventure romp like Universal’s last take on the classic monster series with Van Helsing, I would be ok with it. This Wolfman’s story is quite different from the original 1941 classic. It had a strong Victorian/gothic feel to it which I really enjoyed. Throwing Talbot’s father into the mix was really something new and enjoyable for the story as well. Rick Baker’s make-up FX on the Wolfman was nothing short of amazing. Even the gore was amped up way more than I ever thought Universal would allow. A lot of problems dealt with the score which Danny Elfman composed. But the end result was flat out magnificent and is now my favorite score of 2010. As I said before, I know this film wasn’t perfect but I enjoyed the hell out of this in the theaters. And if anything just watch this for the medical scene. You won’t regret it.

7. Shutter Island (February 19; DreamWorks Studios)

When I heard Martin Scorsese was doing a supernatural thriller I about shat myself! Though, once I watched the trailer I was a bit concerned. Could I already know the twist before even seeing the film? It looks that way at first but this is really a smart film that takes you one way and turns you another. I’m not a huge Leonardo DiCaprio fan but he was really captivating in this film and made me a fan. Also starring in the film is Jackie Earle Haley who stars in the film for just a short moment but really does a wonderful job portraying a psycho patient in the asylum and really became the face of Shutter Island for me. Scorsese does a great job with the writing material he was given and really came along way in executing the film beautifully. The outcome may not be what you expect but you are still floored by the journey. A real work of art in my opinion.

6. Dread (January 29; After Dark Films)

Now I watch a lot of the ‘8 Films to Die For’ movies and they all end up being pretty low key. Nothing memorable, and nothing to rant and rave about. Which is why I was amazed by this film. Dread was directed by up and coming director Anthony DiBlasi. DiBlasi works closely with Clive Barker on a lot of his short story adaptations, such as The Midnight Meat Train, Book of Blood and even the up and coming Hellraiser remake. Dread is a story about three college students who set out to document what other people dread most. What sets Dread apart from a lot of Clive’s other stories is that it takes place in the real world, which really creeps the crap out of me. The story expands more than just what scares people and really starts to mess with the students conducting the studies. Making certain characters go off the hinge and start doing some really horrible and disgusting things to each other. You can’t expect anything less from a horror master like Clive Barker with DiBlasi by his side.

5. Let Me In (October 01; Hammer Films)

I, like most horror fans was very skeptical about the remake to Tomas Alfredson 2008 instant classic Let the Right One In. It was a beautiful story already and I felt it had no reason to be remade in the first place. But I have to remember we live in America and Hollywood doesn’t have any original ideas anymore so they have to go and steal other great films from around the world and remake them. I felt the same way about [Rec] and the soon to be remade, Martyrs. But Let Me In does something most other foreign remakes don’t. It improved on the story and added certain elements from the book written by John Ajvide Lindqvist that the Swedish film adaptation skipped over. Now I’m not saying that the remake is better than the original. But both have their own great qualities. By all means don’t limit yourself to just the remake. Go out and watch the original. Both child stars in the remake do a remarkable job at making the relationship between Oskar (Owen) and Eli (Abby) believable. Even the violence is more on par to the book then in the Swedish version. All in all, I’m just happy to see that Cloverfeild director Matt Reeves did not butcher such a beautiful story. It’s also nice knowing more people have a chance to see one of the best vampire stories of all time.

4. Frozen (February 05; Anchor Bay)

After the success of Adam Green’s 2006 slasher flick Hatchet, Green went scouting to the snowy mountains of Utah looking to film his next big thriller Frozen. The story is very simple. Three twenty something’s go skiing and con a ski lift operator to let them ride the slopes up for free. Once on the lift the operator switches out with someone else and a bit of confusion is set in that ends with one of the operators shutting down the lift for the weekend, leaving the three kids stuck high in the freezing cold.

Think Open Water but a lot less boring. Green does a great job of investing time in getting to know the three characters and helping you relate to them. So when certain horrifying obstacles come their way you really fear for these kids. The whole time I was watching the film I would ask myself “What would I do if I were in that situation?” And pretty much all the outcomes are played out magnificently! I definitely think Frozen is the best ìstrandedî type film I have ever seen. I personally cannot stand the cold (hence why I live in Florida) so this flick was painful for me to watch. And I don’t see myself ever going snowboarding again. Thanks Adam Green.

3. Coffin Rock (October 12; IFC Films)

A lot of Australian horror films have been coming out in the last year. They really have been putting out some Grade-A horror over there. Now I wouldn’t call Coffin Rock a horror as much as I would call it a suspense thriller. But if the scenario that played out in the film happened to me then hell yeah I’d call it horror! The film follows a married couple who are trying to have a baby with no luck. The young woman goes out drinking one night stressed about her situation when she runs into a young stranger and makes the mistake of sleeping with him. Little does she know that the young man is bat shit crazy and is going to pull the Fatal Attraction card on her. Coffin Rock is a really intense film till the very end and never gets dull. It also has few real disturbing scenes involving animals as well. Coffin Rock really makes you think twice about sleeping around with just anyone. Who knows what kind of skeletons they may hide in there closet.

2. The Loved Ones (N/A; Madman Films)

Remember that girl who asked you out to prom and you politely turned her down because you were already going with someone else? Well what if she wasn’t going to take no for an answer? That’s the case in this intense Australian horror film. Though, there is much more to this film than that. It really has everything from pristine and painful to watch gore to beautify set up shots. I would really love to say more about this film but I may give too much away. You really should just see it for yourselves when it releases state side early next year.

1. Piranha 3D (August 20; Dimension Films)

Director Alex Aja has been very hit or miss as of late. The Hills Have Eyes remake was far better than the original, delivering amazingly brutal scenes and intense gore. Whereas Mirrors lacked in storytelling, it had one of the most brutal death scenes I had seen in theaters last year. I wasn’t really sure what to think when going into see the remake to Roger Corman’s 1978 classic? I mean the original as fun as it was lacked quite a bitÖeven if it was film about killer Piranha’s. Well this remake really knocked me on my ass. Piranha 3D was MADE for fans of gore. I mean people’s faces get ripped off; they get torn in half, upside down, inside out. The list just goes on and on. You can’t really look to much into the plot seeing as how it’s a film about god damn prehistoric man-eating fish killing people, so that is already out the window. Not to mention we get to see great actors like Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Lloyd come back to the big screen just to have fun. But the movie centers on the kills and it does it splendidly. The make up team killed it on this film! If you missed the 3D version of the film, it’s really ok. The 3D is just as good as the 3D in Clash of the Titans which was horrible. But the great thing about Piranha is that it doesn’t even need the 3D to be good. It’s already a fantastic blood soaked film all on its own!


Honorable Mentions:
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (May 4; CAV and 1428 Films)

This was possibly the best documentary on a film series I have ever seen. It blows away docs like His Name Was Jason and the Halloween 25 years of Fear documentaries. Never Sleep Again really gets down into the nitty-gritty reality of making the nightmare movies from how certain shots were really done, who hated who on set, what certain underlining messages really meant in the films and so on. Not to mention pretty much everyone involved in these movies (besides Johnny Depp who couldn’t make the recording) is in this thing. I’m talking everyone from Gaffer #2 to Wes Craven. And you get your monies worth. This 2 disk set is LONG and enjoyable till the very end.

The Walking Dead (October 1; AMC TV)

Have been a huge fan of Robert Kirkman’s comic series since issue one and I am still current to this day. I was very excited to see “The Walking Dead” get picked up by AMC. Not only do I get a fantastically original zombie episode every week on cable tv, but it’s done by non other the Frank Darabont who worked on The Mist film adaptation along with a slew of other amazing films. The series has really taken shape so far this season since it aired on Halloween night and is growing by each episode. The great thing about “The Walking Dead” is that sometimes you may not even see a zombie one whole episode, but that the undead are almost an afterthought with the characters holding amazing performances. In a zombie apocalypse if you take everything away from someone, how do they cope with that? We get to see these people go off their rocker and have to deal with life. And to me that is the most frightening thing next to zombies. “The Walking Dead” is currently airing on AMC, Sunday nights and is already in preproduction on season 2 after all the positive feedback it has gotten this last season.

Parasomnia (July 13; Rising Storm Productions)

This film is pretty much everything I expected out of the Nightmare on Elm Street remake. Amazingly creepy dream sequences! When you have Hollywood backing a million dollar franchise and the CGI we have today, you would think Platinum Dunes could whip up some awesome and frightful scenes. Nope, we get some kids turning into dust and a few of the same shots from the original movie redone. Parasomnia really goes that distance in the dream world and is visually pretty freaky.