As we slaughter on through the years, 2003 is up on the chopping block. This year, like most others gave us a wide range and variety of horror from foreign films such as Tale of Two Sisters, Haute Tension (High Tension) and Ju-On (The Grudge 2) along with sequel fare for films like Jeepers Creepers, Final Destination, Mimic and Anatomy. Wading through the horror titles, there were a few stand out horror films that helped us get through 2003.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (remake) – Sure, we all did a collective groan, when the news that Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic was going to be put through the remake grinder and an even bigger groan when Michael “Explosions” Bay was producing. But, thankfully it wasn’t as big of a mess as I thought it would be. It was actually a well crafted remake, with some memorable performances from R. Lee Ermey as Sheriff Hoyt.
Wrong Turn – Directed by Robert Schmidt, Wrong Turn was about a group of friends terrorized by cannibalistic in-bred hillbillies. I was hoping this film would be more of a springboard to make Eliza Dushku, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame a certified Scream Queen. Although it didn’t really achieve that goal, it was still a bloody gore fix that spawned its own franchise with 6 films.
House of 1000 Corpses – I’ll be the first to admit on my initial viewing I really didn’t enjoy this film. It was after another viewing that I started to see Rob Zombie’s vision and the framework of horror he would be using in his future films. House of 1000 Corpses, Zombie takes viewers on a trippy, chaotic bloodbath ride with the Firefly clan. This was a great entry film for him, which would later development into the beloved sequel, The Devil’s Rejects.
Underworld – Kate Beckinsale stars as Selene, a vampire, who is caught up in the long running feud of Vampire and Lycan. But, when she falls for a human named Michael (Scott Speedman), both she and Michael become highly sought after Lycan targets. I have no shame in saying that I love this franchise. Yes, I’ve heard all the naysaying, but I’m not looking for the quest of life in it. I want something that’s Vampire and Lycan entertainment, with a good storyline and an abundance amount of fight scenes, which Underworld and its continuing films still do.
Identity – As a horror blogger I get horror film recommendation requests and James Mangold’s Identity is usually always on the list. Written by Michael Cooney, Identity is the story of a random group of people shut in an old motel during a storm, but they all have something in common, they are being killed off one by one. As the concept of this film played out it was a great out of the box thinking for horror films, which was a refreshing and entertaining change.
Freddy vs Jason – This collaboration of pitting two horror icons, Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger and Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees together in one film had been discussed for awhile and was hinted at in the ending of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. What fans finally got was Freddy vs. Jason, although it was a lackluster attempt and one of the few horror films that could use a remake, it still has a place in horror and in an ever expanding franchise.
Did I miss your favorite horror film of 2003? Let me know @horrorevilqueen