As we continue to slash through horror, the year 2008 is up on the chopping block. There were a lot of great things this year offered, like the Britney Spears meltdown, Harrison Ford’s return to the Indiana Jones franchise and WALL-E is released. Thankfully great horror happens to be part of that year too!
Many complained of the slow burn effect of Bryan Bertino’s The Strangers, but to me that was the best use of suspense that horror films had seen. When James (Scott Speedman) and Kristen (Liv Tyler) are staying in an isolated cabin, they unknowingly become victims of a sadistic group of strangers. Still heralded as a great horror film even today, The Strangers combined fear, suspense and courage into one riveting film.
The Midnight Meat Train
Based off a short story by the mystro of horror, Clive Barker, The Midnight Meat Train stars, Bradley Cooper as Leon, a photographer who gets caught up in a woman’s death, which leads him to Mahogany (Vinnie Jones) and his brutal task he must commit on the subway. What’s to say other than it comes from the demented mind of Barker, which means you are in for a blood soaked ride.
Eden Lake marked Michael Fassbender (X-Men films) foray into the land of horror, with his turn as Michael, who with his girlfriend Jenny (Kelly Reilly) must survive against a group of ruthless teens. Part of the Dimension Extreme line of horror, Eden Lake was a tense cat and mouse game that even after all these years is still a must see horror film.
Even though the Saw franchise had gone to the well more than needed in terms of creativity, Saw V was an exception to the rule. This installment picks up where master, Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and apprentice, Amanda (Shawnee Smith) are both dead. With Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) on a career high with this takedown of Jigsaw, Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) believes there’s more to the story. The one element that has really sold the series is the deaths and Saw V leveled them up with the Pendulum swing trap, the collars, the ceiling jars and more. Saw V helped to continue to make horror worth living for in 2008.
Led by veteran actor, Kiefer Sutherland, Mirrors marked his fourth appearance in the land of horror. Sutherland, plays Ben Carson an ex-cop trying to save his family from evil that uses mirrors to travel into our world. Most noted for its jaw ripping scene, Mirrors was still a noteworthy film for 2008.
Repo: The Genetic Opera
As one who is not much for opera or Paris Hilton, Darren Lynn Bousman’s Repo: The Genetic Opera, sounded like a strange recipe for disaster, but what you got was a music saturated horror trip into the Largo family and their genetic recall business. A glorious visually stunning film, it still remains a standout film of it’s time.
Loved by many a fan, taking place in New York and produced by uber producer JJ Abrams, Cloverfield centers around a group searching for their friends when monsters have attacked the city. Having helped spawn 10 Cloverfield Lane, which I thoroughly enjoyed, Cloverfield helped to add to the shaky camera films that ruled the decade.
Although technically not a film, rather a tv mini-series, which spanned over 5 episodes, I would be amiss if I didn’t mention it as one of the best horror offerings of 2008. Set during a taping of Big Brother, contestants are closed off from the world and also to the knowledge that they are in the midst of a zombie outbreak. Well crafted and spot on with all things involved in a zombie outbreak, Dead Set was one to watch in 2008.
What horror did I miss of 2008? Let me know @horrorevilqueen