• ERIC BUTLER

2004 - Horror gets funny

Not that humor hasn't been prevalent in horror since the beginning, but 2004 saw humor take center stage in several horror-themed movies. Now before we get started, I had to limit the list to 10. I'm swamped, and if I didn't set a number, I'd be here all night. So some of the movies I didn't highlight - Blade 3, Van Helsing, Seed of Chucky, and Darkness.


James Wan's first studio film was a homerun. Saw is one of the most profitable horror films of all time. Although there have been other films that could have been the grandfather of the "torture porn", many find Saw as the start of this sub-genre. Stream it on Starz.


Blurb - Two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, and soon discover they're pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.



Zack Snyder's very first film was the remake of George Romero's classic Dawn of the Dead. The biggest difference was Snyder's changing the speed of the zombies. This is something most zombie films did in the 2000s. Stream it on tubi.


Blurb - A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.



My favorite horror-comedy is Broken Lizard's Club Dread. I love all their movies, but I really thought they were spot on in this slasher/horror joke-fest. The best part about Broken Lizard is their commitment to each genre they tackle with their films. This isn't a spoof like Date Movie, or even Scary Movie, but more of a very funny horror movie. If you have Cinemax you can stream it.


Blurb - When a serial killer interrupts the fun at the swanky Coconut Pete's Coconut Beach Resort--a hedonistic island paradise for swingers--it's up to the club's staff to stop the violence...or at least hide it.



The 1A of comedy-horror movies is Shaun of the Dead. This is one of the few zombie movies from the 2000s that pay homage to the George Romero version of the slow-moving zombies. George Romero was so impressed with their performance in this movie, he made Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright zombie extras in his film Land of the Dead. Stream it on Starz.


Blurb - The uneventful, aimless lives of a London electronics salesman and his layabout roommate are disrupted by the zombie apocalypse.




When I saw Secret Window in the theater I wasn't impressed, but I watched it recently and have changed my mind. It's a fun, clever thriller. Depp and John Turturro have great chemistry. Stream it on Netflix.


Blurb - A successful writer in the midst of a painful divorce is stalked at his remote lake house by a would-be scribe who accuses him of plagiarism.



Coming off of the success of Blade 2, Guillermo del Toro tackled another comic book property in Hellboy. Hellboy is based on one of my favorite comics which is inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos of HP Lovecraft. I'm a huge fan of del Toro's vision and unique way to showcase monsters in his films. Check it out on HBOMax.


Blurb - A demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness.



I love Alien vs Predator. Like James Cameron, I think it is the 3rd best movie of the franchise. I've already admitted my love of director Paul W.S. Anderson(Event Horizon, Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil). Another big plus is actress Sanaa Lathan in the lead. (If you want to watch a not horror movie, check out Something New.) Stream AVP on tubi.


Bonus Romance Movie Trailer

Blurb - During an archaeological expedition on Bouvetøya Island in Antarctica, a team of archaeologists and other scientists find themselves caught up in a battle between the two legends. Soon, the team realize that only one species can win.



Renny Harlin(Nightmare on Elm St 4 & Deep Blue Sea) returns to the horror genre in 2004 with Exorcist: The Beginning. He wasn't the first director to film this movie. Paul Schrader completed the first version of the film, but it was lacking in the gore the financiers were expecting. Enter director 2, Renny Harlin. He reshot 90% of the movie. The script was rewritten, and 2 characters were removed. I like this version, but I haven't actually seen the other version(which was released a few years later) to compare the 2. You will have to rent/buy to stream right now but I've seen it pop up on Netflix.


Blurb - Years before Father Lankester Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil's soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. This is the tale of Father Merrin's initial battle with Pazuzu and the rediscovery of his faith.



Director Takashi Shimizu remade his original Japanese movie Ju-On in the states as The Grudge. Before filming, the cast and crew went through a ceremony to bless them so nothing bad happened to them while filming. You can stream it on Starz & IMDBTv with ads(Prime).


Blurb - An American nurse living and working in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim.



At one time, Ashton Kutcher was meant to rule Hollywood. In fact, it wasn't until he added his name as Producer, that studios considered making The Butterfly Effect. Check it out on HBOMax.


Blurb - Evan Treborn suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life by reading his journal.



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