|Hot because: 28 Weeks Later surprised because it was nearly as cool as the original. 30 Days of Night looked absolutely beautiful despite all its flaws. And even the really bad horror movies (see our scathing reviews of Rob Zombie's Halloween and Saw IV) made a ton of money this year. But what really excited me in 2007 was the resurgence of horror movies that are actually -- gasp! -- scary. Watching a woman tied to a chair and fed blended up organs makes me feel many things (disgust, depression, anger, boredom), but fear is not one of them. A few horror movies this year did scare me because they remembered some key ingredients: relatable characters who don't exist just to get stabbed, suspense, atmosphere, and quality storytelling. 1408 did big business and got under viewers' skin with little more than a spooky hotel room, sound effects, and a terrific turn by John Cusack. Better still was Frank Darabont's The Mist, not only 2007's best horror film, but one of the best overall films of the year. The Mist is exhilarating, scary as hell (how about that pharmacy sequence?) and a more effective political film than Rendition or Lions for Lambs.
How to stay hot: Naturally,1408 and The Mist were both based on Stephen King stories. The guy gets horror. When you're sitting down to write a horror film, read The King every chance you get. Also, horror films used to be about important issues -- take a cue from The Mist and start giving audiences something to think about after the credits roll. And audiences, quit spending your money on garbage! When you get a gift of a horror film like The Mist ... go see it! Then they'll make more!
|Next up: If they're good enough for Spielberg ...|