• ERIC BUTLER

2006 gives us some horror gems

In 2006 I had a 4-year-old and little to no free time, so I missed many of the movies that came out this year. Some I caught a few years later on Cable or with the DVD/Blu-Ray but some have slipped through the cracks. There is a chance one of your favorites won't be on here, but when I look at the list I can only shrug. It's a solid year for horror films, but nothing like the late 70s or early 80s, where I found it impossible to leave films out.


Some of the movies not showcased: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Dark Ride, See No Evil, Bug, and When a Stranger Calls ... now let's look at the 10 movies that made the list.

Brotherhood of the Wolf director Christophe Gans returns to the director's chair with the adaptation of the video game Silent Hill. It took him 5 years to get the rights and I think he's the right man for the job. His European sensibilities come across in a way that fits the Silent Hill franchise perfectly. Having Radha Mitchell(Pitch Black) and Sean Bean(just about everything) as the main players is icing on the cake. I find this movie gets better with every viewing, and it's moved up my list of favorites over the years. Stream it on Starz.


Blurb - A woman, Rose, goes in search for her adopted daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill.




Before he was wowing people with his comic movie/TV projects, James Gunn wrote and directed Slither. He was already an established Hollywood writer, but this was his first time directing a feature film. The movie does a great job of balancing the laughs with the horror and shows off Gunn's unique style. Check it out on Starz.


Blurb - A small town is taken over by an alien plague, turning residents into zombies and all forms of mutant monsters.



With the rise of shows like The Office, it was bound to transition over to the big screen, and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is quite possibly the best one done. Equal parts scary and funny, the movie takes it all and delivers it in a way that shows us the characters are very serious about the subject matter. This is a world where Jason, Freddy, and Michael all exist and Leslie just wants to add his face to the Mount Rushmore of Horror. Check it out on Shudder or Amc+.


Blurb - The next great psycho horror slasher has given a documentary crew exclusive access to his life as he plans his reign of terror over the sleepy town of Glen Echo.



One of my favorite horror directors, Alexandre Aja, nailed it when they remade the Wes Craven movie, The Hills Have Eyes. Once again the MPAA gave the original cut an X-rating and then threatened to move it to NC-17. They ended up cutting around 2 minutes to secure the R-rating. The movie is brutal, and somehow keeps the dirty, grimy feel of the original while still delivering to a more jaded and experienced audience. It's a rent/buy to stream, but it might pop up on one of the services soon.


Blurb - A traveling family falls victim to a group of mutated cannibals in a desert far away from civilization.



James Wong, the brainchild behind Final Destination, returns to the franchise to direct Final Destination 3. Listen by now you know what these are all about. A group cheats death, and then death comes to reclaim them. For me, the big plus is Mary Elizabeth Winstead. I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I have always had a bit of a crush on her and her appearance alone will get some movies on these lists. You can watch her ... I mean the movie on Netflix.


Blurb - Six years after students cheated death, another teen has a premonition she and her friends will be involved in an accident. When the vision proves true, the student and survivors deal with the repercussions of cheating the Grim Reaper.



Saw II director returns to give us the next chapter, Saw III. Which is the last one I've seen. It was also the highest-grossing film of the franchise, internationally. You can check it out on Starz.


Blurb - Jigsaw abducts a doctor in order to keep himself alive while he watches his new apprentice put an unlucky citizen named Jeff through a brutal test.



A new horror franchise came out in 2006 and introduced the character Victor Crowley in Hatchet. If you remove the opening and closing credits of all 3 movies, you get 1 long story that takes place over a couple of days. Check it out on tubi and VUDUfree.


Blurb - When a group of tourists in a New Orleans haunted swamp tour find themselves stranded in the wilderness, their evening of fun and spooks turns into a horrific nightmare.



Actor turned director John Stockwell gives us the 2006 vacation horror movie, Turistas. It has a solid cast and does a very good job to convince you to stay home. Stream it on Amazon Prime.


Blurb - A group of young backpackers' vacation turns sour when a bus accident leaves them marooned in a remote Brazilian rural area that holds an ominous secret.



Released on the 30th anniversary of the original movie, Fox Studios gave us an updated version of The Omen. Not sure why this was needed since this movie is so close to the original that the Writers Guild of America refused to give the new screenwriter credit and instead gave it to the original movie's screenwriter. The new cast is great, and the movie looks slicker than the original but that's more a product of the time. Check it out on HBOMax.


Blurb - An American official realizes that his young son may literally be the Devil incarnate.



Jonathan Liebesman the Darkness Falls director returns to horror with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. It took 17 cuts to get the movie rating down to the R-rating they were looking for. Even with the cuts, it still became the first movie to receive a rating of 18 in Iceland. Stream it on Netflix.


Blurb - Before being sent to serve in Vietnam, two brothers and their girlfriends take one last road trip, but when they get into an accident, a terrifying experience will take them to a secluded house of horrors, with a chainsaw-wielding killer.



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