Dread Central's Best & Worst of 2009
1. Paranormal Activity – While my theater watching experience was more detrimental to my enjoyment than not, the movie itself left me with a genuine feeling of dread and uneasiness, and my husband and best friend and I spent the rest of the night telling each other ghost stories. This is one we’ll definitely own and rewatch a number of times.
2. Ink – My darling husband found this twisted fairytale on Netflix and had to convince me to watch it. I’m glad he did. Though its small budget was sometimes evident, the story was powerful and the imagery was very cool.
3. Watchmen – What can I say? I loved pretty much every minute of it. Even the giant blue CGI penis.
4. Orphan – While the idea was intellectually kind of comical, and I guessed the “twist” fairly early on, I thought it was immensely entertaining. It had actual atmosphere and felt like one of very few horror movies that was actually intended for grown-ups lately.
5. Grace – It had some flaws, but I am especially affected by any horror movie having to do with dead/deformed babies. And Jordan Ladd was both beautiful and brilliant in the main role. Without her, the film would have been just passable … but with her, it becomes powerful and memorable.
Honorable Mentions: Horror on TV - Dexter, Fringe, and Bones (while the latter two aren’t technically solely horror, they’re great places to see gross dead bodies and interesting freaky stories), District 9, Last House on the Left (except for that end scene), I Sell the Dead, My Bloody Valentine 3D, The Burrowers
1. Friday the 13th – This movie is so cookie-cutter it needed sprinkles. Or icing… a glass of milk… something, anything to make it more palatable. I can’t remember much about it now except that there were some nice boobs and… Well, no and. I actually can’t remember anything else about it. And the boobs weren’t even THAT nice.
2. The Final Destination – This should have at least been FUN. But the death scenes were so needlessly elaborate that I was bored by the time the character actually bit it … and those characters were so bland I couldn’t remember their names from scene to scene. And the end was completely ridiculous. I rolled my eyes so hard I think I strained them.
3. Halloween II – I don’t think I can say anything about this movie that every single one of you don’t already know. It was like the things you see spinning through your head right before you projectile vomit after a night of drinking cheap tequila. Only less pleasant.
4. Whiteout – This ridiculous pseudo-whodunit wasn’t even as compelling as TV procedurals. There have been episodes of Law & Order with more tension and mystery. There was the tiniest bit of build-up and then 99 minutes of anti-climax.
5. The Unborn – Not even Gary Oldman could make this movie anything but utterly full of fail. The story was muddled and full of plot holes big enough to drive double-decker buses through. The acting, even the aforementioned Mr. Oldman, was terrible. And there was just nothing redeemable about it … not even in the "so bad it was funny" way. My friend Joe now uses this as a yardstick of movies. He says, “Well, it wasn’t as bad as The Unborn” or “Was it better than The Unborn?” I keep trying to tell him, it’s not hard at all to be better than this piece of garbage.
Dishonorable Mentions: The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Uninvited, Terminator: Salvation