The Horror Effect's 2010 Awards

Well, 2010 was an interesting year. I'm not usually one to formulate a top ten list anyway, but looking back on the year, I think this would be a tough compilation. There certainly were some interesting horror films, but not too many standouts in a year of sequels, remakes, and independent efforts.

Instead of arbitrarily generating a ranked list, I'm going to give out awards!!! Yay for awards....well not all of them are good. Cheer 'em on or boo 'em off the stage. Your call.

The Best:
The Last Exorcism

I saved the best for first. How's that for being anti-climatic. This movie was really, really great. It was the only film I considered for this esteemed award. The writing, acting, and technical details all worked together in a beautiful marriage that created the most intriguing film of the year. Check out my review here.

The Most Fun:
Hatchet 2

Just like the original film, the sequel was all about sleeze, cheese, and gore (I wish there was another word that rhymed). Adam Green delivered on the silly fun once again, making Hatchet 2 a joyous watch. Check out my review here.

The Most Underrated:
My Soul to Take

Hey, I really enjoyed this movie. Wes Craven provided a light-hearted, teenage slasher movie that had me thoroughly entertained. While it's no classic, it's definitely worth a watch. Check out my review here.

The Biggest Disappointment:
Paranormal Activity 2

Why bother to remake a film and offer nothing new? Slow, repetitious, and ineffective. As a big supporter of the original film, I found myself awake at night thinking about this sequel - not out of fear, but out of frustration.

The Most Uncomfortable:

I was expecting a cool science-fiction film about the creation of a new species - perhaps something along the lines of Alien. Wishful thinking, I know. I've seen Species, so I really didn't need to see a more disturbing visual display of inter-species fornication. No thanks. Check out my review here.

The Most Half-Assed:

Come on now Robert Rodriguez, don't play me like that. Planet Terror is one of my favorite movies, so I dig the whole over-the-top grindhouse thing and all. What I don't like is how an epically trashy trailer was transformed into a convoluted piece of weak social commentary. Fail. Check out my review here.

The Best Remake:
The Crazies

Not bad, I found myself thinking after walking out of the theater. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of George Romero's original film, so I was pretty interested in this remake. It had action, good actors, and a pretty generic script, but overall, I liked it. Check out my review here.

The Best Extended Scene of Carnage:
Piranha 3D

While the whole movie wasn't fantastic by any means, there is a scene in this film that blows everything else out of the water! The pun is most definitely intended here. After piranhas attack a group of spring break partiers enjoying a wet t-shirt contest, a scene of gore ensues that is absolutely glorious. The real point of this film is revealed: to watch drunk douche bags die grotesque, yet hilarious deaths. Check out my review here.

The Best Adrien Brody Film:

While I haven't seen Giallo cause of the whole payment fiasco, I have a feeling that Predators is still better. This reboot of a badass series could have been disastrous, but instead, it was a fun, slick presentation with lots of stereotypical action characters that we all like to see. This movie tried new things, without trampling upon the original lore and I definitely appreciate that. Check out my review here.

The Best Technical Achievement:

Congratulations to Adam Green for making my list twice and both awards are good ones. This movie was gripping, intense, and moving. A large reason for this success was the fact that the move was shot practically and entirely on location. No green screens. No backdrops. No CGI wolves. Real cold, real heights, and real filmmaking. Kudos to the Ariescope team for an outstanding film. Check out my review here.

The Best Surprise:

While I don't personally have a problem with M. Night Shyamalan, I can see why lots of people were concerned when his name was attached to this project. However, Devil turned out to be really good. With an intriguing premise and tight execution, the movie was suspenseful, engaging, and highly effective. I look forward to sharing this little surprise of a movie with others.

The Least Surprising Surprise:
Shutter Island

Aside from falling into the inevitable Scorcese trap of being too long, Shutter Island failed to be effective because so much of the film operates on a surprise that couldn't possibly be a surprise to anyone that's ever seen a movie before. Yes, the film had some terrific moments and a great performance from Leo, but I was bored less than 30 minutes in. Check out my review here.

The Most Blah:
The Wolfman

There's really not much to say about this one. It's an okay remake that didn't take advantage of the fact that it had great actors and great potential. The first mistake they made was promising all practical effects and the second mistake was not delivering on that promise. It's enjoyable enough, but not all that good either. Check out my review here.

The Most Unnecessarily Dramatic:

Okay. After I saw the trailer for Legion, I was like "Sweet. A movie that doesn't take itself seriously about angelic battles of biblical proportions." Yeah, how about a movie that does take itself way too seriously and can't help but give every single character a monologue to explain their sad life story. Snore. Check out my review here.

The Worst:
A Nightmare on Elm Street

Good lord, this movie sucks. Even though I thought the trailers kind of looked cool, I half-expected the train wreck that happened. So uninteresting and so pathetic it hurts, this remake will go down in history as one of the worst. Check out my review here.


  1. I like the way you went about your list. Different yet effective. Some quick comments on some of the movies you mentioned. I didn't care for The Last Exorcism. The previews made you think it was going to be scary, and it just wasn't. I had problems with PA1, but liked PA2. I like your choice for most uncomfortable. Runner up could be Human Centipede. I really liked Machete, and that was a crazy scene in Piranha. Devil was also a good surprise for me, and I am one of the few people that liked NOES.

  2. The Crazies was the most solid horror film this year, yeah it was a remake, but damn, it was an excelent one.

    Piranha was the most fun for me, and I did not watch it in 3-D!

    The one I defer with you the most is Shutter Island, I love that one, especially the way it was shot, the way it looks, the music is so old school. I loved that abou it, that Scorcese still knows how effective good music is in a horror movie. Plus, I loved the constantly dreadful atmosphere. It was a classy horror picture in my book.

    I thought the same of THE WOLFMAN, it could certainly have been more, but it wasnt bad at all. To me it was a really classy horror flick, with loads of atmosphere.

    Havent checked out DEVIL because of Shyamalan's involvement, lately he spells doom for any movie he is involved in.

    Great list!

  3. Fantastic set of awards....
    Much better thought out than my own.

    I especially agree with you on Splice and Werewolf.

  4. If personal issues didn't get in the way, I would have done a list like this as well. But I really like yours, even if I can't really go into much depth about it due to the fact that I didn't see all of these movies. I do agree about ANOES remake - that was such a waste of time and a big disappointment. They should have just done another FREDDY VS. JASON. Not sure if THE LAST EXORCISM would be my best though. Wasn't too impressed by it to be honest. FROZEN would have been my number one. I really need to see HATCHET 2.

  5. Thanks for all the comments guys! I love hearing what everyone else has to say. Everybody's got a different set of favorites this year.

  6. And then BOOM, Nightmare takes the win for the biggest loser! Whole heartedly agree there Becks, I only wish I had seen Last Exorcism in theaters..

  7. Great list,I for one agree with the Last Exorcism being the best,the film really surprised me,everything about it I thought was stellar,even the ending.
    By Far NOES was the worst,one of the worst films and remakes in a long time if not ever

  8. Carl, Yeah I wish I HADN'T seen Nightmare in theatres, but I am so glad I got a chance to see The Last Exorcism on the big screen.

    Erik, We're in agreement with the best and worst, yay. It may quite possibly be the worst remake ever made...I'll have to ponder that one some more. Prom Night was pretty bad, but then again, the original wasn't brilliant either. There's something to be said for taking a wonderful premise, as in NOES, and completely dropping the ball.

  9. Great list! I agree with the worst. I watched 20 minutes of the Nightmare remake and had to turn it off. The Last Exorcism rocks, and I'm jealous to got to see it in theaters. And finally, I have been on the fence about whether My Soul To Take is worth a watch or not, so thanks for giving me hope!

    (P.S. Break review coming soon!)