I've already done an "official" top ten list and all that year-end movie-critic jazz, but since today's my birthday I figured I'd spend an hour or two on a piece I'll simply enjoy writing. Most of the solid horror sites have done their own top / bottom lists, so I thought it would make sense to try a different approach. So let's start waaaay back in January and just tiptoe through the year in horror together. And then at the end we'll figure out how the horror geeks were treated in 2007. (All links lead to my review of that particular film, be it from FEARnet, eFilmCritic, DVDTalk, DVD Clinic, or right here at good ol' Cinematical.)
01/02 -- Snakes on a Plane arrives on DVD. "The internet" still refuses to make it a hit. (0)
01/12 -- Giant croc flick Primeval advertised as a serial killer film. Doesn't help the box office. (-1)
01/16 -- Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning arrives on DVD. Thousands give it a second shot and realize it still sucks. (-1)
01/19 -- A predictably horrible remake of The Hitcher arrives in theaters. Nobody cares. (-1)
01/23 -- Saw 3 hits DVD and sells a whole bunch of copies, despite the fact that all the horror fans know a double-dip is arriving in 11 months. Weird. (0)
01/26 -- Blood and Chocolate. Ew, no thanks. (-1)
01/30 -- Forgotten Ricci flick The Gathering (finally) arrives on DVD. Turns out it was shelved for good reason. (-1)
January Total: -5 horror points!
02/02 -- J-horror knock-off latecomer The Messengers hits theaters. With a PG-13. (-1)
02/06 -- The Grudge 2 hits DVD. Thousands realize oh yeah, there was a sequel. (-1)
02/09 -- A well-shot but horribly unnecessary prequel arrives in the form of Hannibal Rising. Collective yawn. (-1)
02/13 -- The "so good it's gotta be remade because it's foreign" 13 (Tzameti) arrives on DVD. (+1)
02/16 -- The comics nerds get a little (very little) horror infusion with the very silly Ghost Rider. (-1)
02/20 -- Lionsgate slaps the words "Open Water 2" onto a movie called "Adrift." (-1)
02/23 -- After Dark (brilliantly) chooses their dullest flick (The Abandoned) for a solo theatrical release. (-1)
02/23 -- Jim Carrey tries to get grim (and ends up goofy) in The Number 23. (-1)
02/27 -- The Return arrives on DVD. Hundreds remember that the movie exists. (-1)
February Total: -7 horror points!!
03/02 -- David Fincher's Zodiac arrives. Not a true horror film, but a damn good movie, and the fans are desperate for anything at this point. (+1)
03/06 -- Two cult faves arrive on DVD in the form of The Manitou and Night of the Comet. Heh. (+1)
03/09 -- The fantastic Korean monster movie The Host makes just enough of a splash to kick-start some sequel / remake discussions. (+1)
03/16 -- The really clever Behind the Mask pops up in limited release ... and dies just as quickly. (+1)
03/16 -- The old Universal terror tales get a throwback in the underrated Dead Silence. (+1)
03/16 -- Sandra Bullock sleepwalks through the terrible Premonition. (-1)
03/20 -- The classic Re-Animator gets another DVD release, alongside a solid slasher doco called Going to Pieces. (+1)
03/23 -- Fox tries to ruin a surprisingly good remake with a predictably awful sequel: Hills Have Eyes 2. (-1)
03/27 -- After Dark releases seven of the "films to die for" on DVD, despite the fact that only one of 'em (The Gravedancers) is even remotely watchable. Also today: Pumpkinhead 3 and Turistas. Ouch. (-1)
March Total: +4 horror points (finally!)
04/03 -- Another week, another limp remake: Black Christmas arrives on DVD, just in time for St. Patrick's Day. (-1)
04/05 -- Dark Castle keeps churning out more yawns. This time, The Reaping. (-1)
04/06 -- Grindhouse, baby! (+2 because it's two good movies in one!)
04/10 -- Coscarelli's classic Phantasm earns a swanky new DVD release. (+1)
04/13 -- Thousands of teens unwittingly adore Hitchcock while watching Disturbia. (-1)
04/17 -- Kraken: Tentactles of the Deep hits DVD, as does "Alien Invasion Arizona." Great titles, rotten movies. (-1)
04/20 -- The powerfully amateurish slasher flick The Tripper makes its "420" release date. Hilarious. (-1)
04/20 -- It died at the box office, but Vacancy is a damn solid little chiller. (+1)
04/27 -- Not as good as the original, but I can't be the only one who kinda liked The Invisible. (+1)
April Total: Even Steven!
05/11 -- 28 Weeks Later impresses the fans; kinda dies at the box office. (+1)
05/15 -- The unquestionably awesome Pan's Labyrinth arrives on DVD. Thousands are irked that it's in a foreign language. (+1)
05/15 -- Creepshow 3 arrives on DVD. Yep, part 3. Never see it. (-1)
05/18 -- Brit import Severance arrives ... finally. (+1)
05/25 -- Friedkin delivers Bug, easily his best movie in a long time. (+1)
05/29 -- The coolest Lovecraft film I've ever seen (The Call of Cthulhu) hits DVD today. See it! (+1)
05/29 -- The stupidest slasher throwback I've even seen (Drive-Thru) hits DVD today. Ignore it! (-1)
May Total: +3 horror points!
06/01 -- Kevin Costner goes psycho (with some help from William Hurt) in Mr. Brooks. (+1)
06/01 -- Imagine Blade, starring Lucy Liu. Only stupider. That's Rise: Blood Hunter. (-1)
06/08 -- Eli Roth's gross yet chilling Hostel: Part 2 arrives -- about a week after the pirate version hits the net. (+1)
06/15 -- The year's best Canadian zombie comedy arrives: Fido! (+1)
06/22 -- John Cusack does some great work in the unexpectedly solid King flick 1408. (+1)
06/22 -- The Black Sheep invade! Although most folks will have to wait for the DVD. (+1)
06/26 -- Icky Irish import Isolation hits DVD. (Check it out!) (+1)
06/26 -- Behind the Mask does a lot better on DVD than it did theatrically. (+1)
June total: +6 horror points! And in June, no less!
07/06 -- Festival fave Joshua hits limited release. (+1)
07/13 -- The underbelly of the current horror trend arrives in the form of the abysmal Captivity. (-1)
07/20 -- Danny Boyle tosses sci-fi, disaster and horror into a blender and delivers the tasty Sunshine. (+1)
07/24 -- The Monster Squad finally arrives on DVD. Thousands of 30-ish movie nerds clap their hands. (+1)
07/27 -- The year's most unintentionally amusing film arrives, with Lindsay Lohan as a sleazebag! Ladies and gentlemen, I Know Who Killed Me. (-1)
July total: +1 horror point! (Slow month.)
08/07 -- Philip Kaufman's near-flawless Invasion of the Body Snatchers gets a slick new DVD release. (+1)
08/10 -- The Skinwalkers finally arrive, to much muffled snickering. (-1)
08/14 -- Anchor Bay releases their 432nd different Halloween DVD. (0)
08/17 -- Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig wander aimlessly through a truly awful remake called The Invasion. (-1)
08/24 -- Indie apocalypse thriller Right At Your Door hits limited release. (+1)
08/31 -- Rob Zombie urinates all over Halloween. (-1)
August total: -1 horror points. (Thanks a lot, Rob.)
09/07 -- Victor Crowley swings one mean Hatchet. (+1)
09/11 -- Horror fans hit digital paydirt today: From Beyond, The Burning, and Return of the Living Dead get fancy new DVDs, and MGM unleashes a tidal wave of double features! (+3!)
09/18 -- Another colorful DVD day: Severance (+1), BloodRayne 2 (-1) and John Sayles' Alligator (yay, +1)!
09/14 -- Fans of goofy CGI and even goofier dialog had a ball with Dragon Wars. (0)
09/19 -- Larry Fessenden's smart, chilly thriller The Last Winter hits limited release. (+1)
09/21 -- Fans of the guilty pleasures line up for Resident Evil: Extinction. (-1)
09/25 -- Too many "catalog" releases to count. Suffice to say that September of 2007 was one stellar month for horror fans. (+1)
September total: +6 horror points!
10/02 -- The certifiably insane Evil Aliens finally hits R1 DVD. (+1)
10/02 -- Flight of the Living Dead = better than Snakes on a Plane. (+1)
10/02 -- Pumpkinhead 4 AND Species 4. Guys, enough already. (-2)
10/03 -- The really disturbing Girl Next Door hits limited release. (+1)
10/09 -- The pleasant surprise of the horror year arrives: the DTV sequel Wrong Turn 2. (+1)
10/09 -- Spielberg's closest brushes with horror (Poltergeist and Twilight Zone: The Movie) arrive on DVD, but they lose one point for being so damn stingy with the extra features. (+1)
10/16 -- Return to House on Haunted Hill uses a "choose your own adventure" gimmick to move discs. Too bad the movie itself kinda sucks. (-1)
10/16 -- Amusing indie horror flick Murder Party hits DVD. (+1)
10/16 -- The deliciously disgusting Planet Terror hits DVD, but loses a point for greediness. (0)
10/19 -- 30 Days of Night ends up kicking ass. Very cool. (+1)
10/23 -- If you're a fan of Saw 3, Hostel (and its sequel), Hellraiser and The Shining -- today was your DVD holiday. (+2)
10/26 -- Saw 4 keeps the series moving ... if not exactly moving forward. (+1)
10/30 -- Captivity hits DVD today and earns an extra -1, just for being so damn awful. Fortunately it's canceled out by the digital debut of Basket Case 2!! (0)
October total: +7 horror points! Gotta love October!
11/06 -- F. Murray Abraham IN Blood Monkey!! (-1)
11/09 -- The second After Dark slate hits theaters: Crazy Eights (didn't see yet, 0 points), Lake Dead (ditto, 0 points), Borderland (+1), The Deaths of Ian Stone (0), Mulberry Street (+1), Nightmare Man (0), Tooth and Nail (-1), Unearthed (-1).
11/09 -- P2? More like PU! (-1)
11/13 -- I sure seem to be in the minority, but I really dug John Hensleigh's Welcome to the Jungle. (+1)
11/20 -- Rob Lowe replaces Kevin Bacon for Stir of Echoes 2. Only the fans of the first flick actually noticed. (-1)
11/21 -- The second damn good King flick of the year hits the screen. Unfortunately, The Mist didn't rake in a whole lot of cash. (As if that really matters to me. +1)
11/27 -- Not a full-bore horror flick, really, but why not toss some love towards the underrated and little-seen First Snow? (+1)
11/30 -- Jessica Alba AND Hayden Christensen? No wonder I had trouble keeping Awake. (-1)
November total: -1 horror points!
12/07 -- The laughable Timber Falls (somehow) makes it into a few movie theaters. (-1)
12/14 -- The big-big-budget I Am Legend works surprisingly well ... until the monsters show up. How ironic. (0)
12/18 -- Anchor Bay unleashes a gorier Hatchet and their finest Evil Dead release yet! (+1)
12/21 -- Sweeney Todd arrives. Knocks Little Shop of Horrors down to 2nd place in the horror / comedy / musical hall of fame. (+1)
12/25 -- Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. (Stupid title.) Every bit as dumb as the first flick ... only a lot gorier. (-1)
12/28 -- I saved the best for last! My very favorite movie of 2007 (that's movie of ANY kind) is Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage. Everything del Toro touches turns to genre-geek gold! (+2)
December total: +2 horror points!
2007 total: +15 horror points, which means absolutely nothing because we've never done this before so there's really no basis for comparison. I just thought it would be fun.
Hmm, what else? How about a top ten and a bottom ten? Why the hell not?
Best Horror of the Year (in no particular order)
28 Weeks Later
30 Days of Night
Behind the Mask
...and Wrong Turn 2 gets 11th place for being a video flick that's better than most theatrical-release slasher-style horror movies. (Just missed the Top Ten: Bug, Hostel: Part 2, The Last Winter and Vacancy.)
Worst Horror of the Year (definitely in no particular order)
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Blood and Chocolate
The Hills Have Eyes 2
How's next year looking? You tell me: Cloverfield, Teeth, Seed, Stuck, Storm Warning, Doomsday, The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Pathology, Cold Prey, Diary of the Dead, The Zombie Diaries, The Signal, The Living and the Dead, The Ruins, Inside, Them (Ils), Trigger Man, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Black Water, Rogue, Spiral, The Carriers, Hell's Ground, Quarantine, Whiteout, The Passage, Amusement, Frontiere(s), [REC], End of the Line, Midnight Meat Train, The Devil's Chair, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Trick 'r Treat, WAZ, Asylum, Shrooms, KM 31, The Box, The Happening, Case 39, Daybreakers, The Burrowers, The Mother of Tears, Boogeyman 2, Cabin Fever 2, Lake Placid 2, White Noise 2, Joyride 2, Lost Boys 2, Alone in the Dark 2, Boogeyman 3, The Grudge 3, Underworld 3, Saw 5, (remakes of) Funny Games, Prom Night, One Missed Call, The Eye, Shutter, It's Alive, Sisters, April Fool's Day, Day of the Dead, The Stepfather, The Wizard of Gore, A Tale of Two Sisters, Hellraiser, Scanners, Motel Hell ... and a bunch more we haven't even heard of yet! Bring 'em on!
Happy New Year to all the horror freaks of the world!