The top nine in horror for 2010 and the bottom five

If you actually ventured past your multiplex and watched horror films other then the uninspired A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, the strictly putting it in 3D for the money "My Soul to Take", the pointless remake of Let The Right One In entitled "Let Me In", the lifeless remake of The Crazies and other mostly bland mainstream horror releases that made up 2010, you would discover a wonderful world of indie horror films that stood out. George A. Romero showed that he's still got it with Survival of the Dead. Comedy and horror were brought together seamlessly (for once!) in President's Day & All About Evil. And plenty of other terrific independent films stood out. However, it wasn't all rosy for the independent horror films of 2010, as they also produced some highly publicized stinkers or films that finally came off the shelf after gathering dust for years. Still, for once, 2010 had enough films that were worthy of being in the top nine, that I actually had a hard time limiting the list to just nine! So here it is, the top nine and the bottom five (in no order).

Top 9:

Survival of the Dead - George A. Romero's most ambitious film since Dawn of the Dead. Stays true to what has made Romero's films distinctly him, while developing new layers, nuances and innovations for its zombies to engage in.

President's Day - No budget slasher comedy that just knows how to entertain. The film's play on the annoying antics that involve high school elections juxtaposed against the players of the election meeting grisly deaths results in deliberately mean spirited fun. Couple that with the fact that President's Day takes chances and doesn't play it safe (a black final guy, anyone?) and you have a cult classic in the making.

Dead Hooker In A Trunk - A stunning debut for the Soska sisters (Jen and Sylvia) who have created a film with one memorable vignette after another. Guaranteed to become a cult classic!

The Maze - One of the most stylishly realized low budget efforts to come out in years, highlighted by one of the most effective portrayals of a serial killer in recent memory courtesy of Luke Drake.

All About Evil - A successful, not to mention damn entertaining combination of horror and comedy with a cast that couldn't have been better. The best horror comedy the genre has seen since the original "The Return of the Living Dead".

Frozen - What makes Frozen so chilling? The film's overall scenario remains convincing throughout. However, what takes this to the next level, where films like Open Water stumbled after the initial concept is established, is the fact that viewers actually can relate to the characters and cares about what happens to them.

Piranha - Piranha is pure and utter garbage. The thing is, that the makers behind the film know that too. Piranha delivers on fast pacing, techno music, drunken debauchery, boobs and lots of gore. What else would you expect of Spring Break partying?

Ninjas vs. Vampires - While Ninjas vs. Zombies was watchable, it was instantly forgettable. Ninjas vs. Vampires comes alive with energy, movement, plenty of sword wielding, fist to fist combat, Gen X slacker type humor courtesy of funny man Daniel Ross. It just one damn entertaining film with one fun, amusing scene right after another

Last Breath - A slick, visually stunning take on Saw with a heightened morality angel. Highlighted by squirm inducing horror set pieces and an extraordinarily chilling performance by Aaron Laue.


Bottom 5:

The Last Exorcism - Really bland attempt at bringing to life a difficult sub-genre. Suffers in comparesion to other films of its kind and in the fact that the film's overall scenario remains unconvincing throughout.

Chain Letter - An underdeveloped script self contradicts over wrought production values. Features a fine cast of horror talent, that Chain Letter manages to completely waste!

I Spit On Your Grave - Not just offensive with its scenes of violence and rape, but offensive in its regard for audience intelligence and a condescending tone. Even worse then the original!

The Devil Within - Going back to the days of the 80's slasher, The Devil Within forgets to incorporate fundamentals that made those films work to begin with. You especially know the film is in trouble, when the best thing you can say about it is that, it had a catchy soundtrack song.

The Graves - After Dark Films had a strong lineup of Horrorfest films in 2010, yet with the one film they stumbled with, they stumbled hard. So much talent; including Tony Todd, Bill Moseley and Amanda Wyss, has never produced so little or something so miserably awful. Not even good for a few unintentional chuckles.