Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Top Five Horror/Thriller Films of 2011!

In no particular order, these are the stand out films that are worth adding to any video library. The set of criteria is simple: a standout performance by one or more of the first billed actors that can be re-watched time and time again. Their complexity is what defines the film. Also important is the type of chills or thrills the movie offers, and the story being told.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Dir.: Eli Craig.

Cast: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk and Katrina Bowden.

Although this film is technically a 2010 product, it did not reach distribution until the following year. This one, like how some of the victims died in film, skips under the gun by being exceptionally funny with an adorable, luggable, teddy bear performance by Tyler Labine. This product is a better answer to a theatrical version of the Beverly Hillbillies. The clash of cultures is perfectly played up for laughs.

I Saw the Devil

Dir.: Jee-Woon Kim.

Cast: Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi and Gook-hwan Jeon.

This South Korean film did not reach Stateside until 2011. It’s a dark look at where lines are crossed when a loved one is offed for no reason at all. When the wife of Squad Chief Jang (Jeon Kuk-hwan) gets viciously killed, her body parts are scattered and that’s only the beginning. Jang is intent on tracking down the killer, and in finding him he strikes up a very unusual relationship.

But when he is ready to eke his revenge, the violence he dishes out could make Jigsaw blush. Unlike Saw, this one product gets truly medieval.

Paranormal Activity 3

Dir.: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman.

Cast: Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown and Christopher Nicholas Smith.

Out of all the found footage type products that arrived in the span of a year, only one stands out as re-watchable. Everything else are throwaways. This film at least tries to offer something new to the formula and has one of those endings that can put a chill to the bone. When children are involved, that is not too hard to do. Everyone wants to save them. Well maybe except for the mysterious Toby.


Dir.: Joe Wright.

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana.

This revenge thriller has all the makings of the classic fairy-tale but spun with a touch of espionage. Cate Blanchett was just intoxicatingly evil in this movie. As a CIA operative, she is more than hell bent on capturing a seemingly innocent girl, Hanna, trained to be a skilled assassin. Her performance deserves some kind of recognition when awards season arrives.

Attack the Block

Dir.: Joe Cornish.

Cast: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker and Alex Esmail.

This film from the UK certainly has plenty of action and reaction that will certainly aim to satisfy plot hounds. But the aliens that are chasing after a gang of youths is not what sold this film to the masses. Instead, it is the sympathetic performance by John Boyega that clinched the sale. He plays Moses, the charismatic leader of a group of youths who thinks they rule the neighborhood block. The trouble they land in proved to be more than they could handle until Moses makes the ultimate sacrifice.

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