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THE ARROW'S TOP 10 OF 2003
Our little genre known as "horror" has come a long way over the past couple of years. It's definitely at its peak within its cycle in terms of mainstream popularity and with the "remake" trend looking like it will own 2004, it will be interesting to see if history will repeat itself with horror being milked to its last drops by the evil suits to then go back into popular obscurity again? Time will tell. Now that I think of it, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing. Till then, here were my favorite genre films of 2003...

10 - Undead
The Spierig Brothers' "Undead" was a full meal that train-wrecked zombie carnage, kinetic style and creative ideas my way. Tag to that, its 50s invasion, zombie and Spaghetti Western feel and you get an indie power house that I’m proud to call “honey bunny”. This one has “Cult Classic” and “Fun Freaking Times” written all over it.
9 - Final Destination 2
> Buy This Film
The physical action in this gory sequel bowled me over like no other, starting with a kick ass opening car wreck which had to be "hands down" one of the most impressive car smashes in the history of film. The slew of relentless, imaginative “human disposal” set pieces that followed also slapped a huge grin on my face. Fun cheese!
8 - 28 Days Later
> Buy This Film
Although derivative of George Romero's Dead Trilogy and of the 80's cheese fest that was "Night of the Comet", "28 Days Later" titillated my taste buds as a powerful audio/visual experience, a layered character study, an in-depth social commentary and a horror/action piñata of shocks and red messes.
7 - Wrong Turn
> Buy This Film
FOX unwisely underplayed their own film. With the right marketing push, "Wrong Turn" could have made them a lot of money. There are horror movies that I like to watch for high IQ and subtlety and there are movies like "Wrong Turn" that are not necessarily the sharpest tools in the shed, but that kick serious ass by awakening fear, shock, tension, cheap laughs and outspoken “fuck yeahs” in yours truly. Straight up horror!
6 - Cabin Fever
"Cabin Fever" wound up being a non-stop horror jamboree that Fed-Ex'd every single damn thing that I crave within our beloved genre into one outrageous, no holds barred and side-splitting sitting. It’s all in here my friends, all you got to do is dig in and BARF with joy! Can't wait to see what madman Eli Roth comes up with next!
5 - Freddy VS Jason
> Buy This Film
After 20-something years, the titans of horror finally teamed up in this loud, brash and gory serving of fast food horror. This zany trip was a fanboy-pleasing rollercoaster ride. It moved at a lightning pace, slapped all kinds of crazy action and wild scenarios my way, “boo scared” my ass left and right while giving me EXACTLY what I crave from both series. This was 2003's sweetest candy!
4 - Terminator 3
> Buy This Film
With Terminator daddy James Cameron absent from this second sequel, T3 wound up being a pleasant upset for me. I expected to be let down, but was surprised to find it far exceeding my expectations. This nuclear head was tight and had all of its bases covered: chuckles, a strong script, expert acting, exhilarating action set pieces and one sexy-liscious robo-babe in the guise of the Terminatrix. What else do you want? This is what Blockbusters should be about!
3 - The Eye
> Buy This Film
Directed by The Pang Brothers, the elements and the conventions found in "The Eye" have been done before in other genre efforts, but they’ve never ruined me in a positive way like this bad girl did. The execution was beyond outstanding here, making this exercise an intense, scary and compelling experience to sit through. Easily the scariest film I've seen all year.
2 - Equilibrium
> Buy This Film
Dimension Films low-balled its own film by giving "Equilibrium" a limited big screen release in 2002 to then finally give it a half-cocked wide release via DVD in 2003. What a bad move! "Equilibrium" was a superior, cerebral, emotionally charged sci-fi action flick that made me think, feel, while at the same time injecting me with my daily intake of jaw-dropping action and violence. Fucking A!
1 - House of 1000 Corpses
> Buy This Film
With "House of 1000 Corpses", Rob Zombie wanted to put out an "old school" 70’s-like harsh offering for today’s generation and in my opinion, succeeded 90% of the time. When he failed, the heavy aesthetics and the addictive horror vibe oozing out of every single freaking frame of this film made up for it. This flick is ALL HORROR!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Willard:

This little character study of a man and his rats went unnoticed at the box office, but was still a solid, quality- filled effort all around. Yes, another "remake" in our midst and it must be said: you can't go wrong with R. Lee Ermey going buck wild!

Freak Out:

This was one funny movie! If it wasn’t the many pokes at typical movie conventions slaughtering my noggin, it was the endearing performances by all, the plasma showcases or the clever “British Kevin Smith”- like banter wowing me. Visit their site

Underworld:

This film's fly aesthetic, Gothic flavor, hypnotizing Beckinsale and “double take” soap opera- like antics kept me glued to the screen.

Love Object:

This ballsy little film used our contemporary emotional distance towards sex and love as its springboard to then take us deeper into its unbalanced abyss. Solid horror film that acted as a character study and social commentary.

CORPSES OF THE YEAR

Scary Movie 3 aka Soulless Assembly Line Product:

It made lots of money by appealing to the kiddies of the world (it went for the PG-13), but I didn't laugh once at this trite, manufactured and uninspired garbage. Maybe I'm just too old for this shit. Or maybe this movie sucks and it can KISS MY ASS!

Cold Creek Manor aka Cold Creek Liar:

This tired, clumsily executed, annoying and typical 90's-like psycho thriller wound up being even worse than it was due to the BS that came with it. Knowing damn well that "word of mouth" was going to kill this stinker fast, the studio had the audacity to market it has a haunted house movie, knowing that would get the crowd in the seats for the opening weekend. SHAME ON YOU FOR LYING TO US AND SHAME ON YOU FOR NOT KEEPING THIS UTTER CRAP ON THE SHELVES!


© 2004 John Fallon All Rights Reserved JoBlo.com