2007 - Horror making a comeback?
So I just said in the 2006 post that while there had been a recent increase in the quality of horror movies, there hadn't been anything like we saw in the late 70s to mid-80s. 2007 was quick to pop up and hand me its beer. I stayed true to my 10 movies per year but I could have easily done more or even a 2nd post on Wednesday. I should do a deep dive to see just what was going on in 2006-7 that not only encouraged so many people to make quality horror but was forcing people to seek it out.
Some moves that didn't make this list - Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem, Vacancy, Hills Have Eyes 2, Wrong Turn 2, The Reaping, Rogue, Primevil, Saw IV, and P2(which would have been #11). Now let's see what made my top 10 of 2007 ...
Honestly, many of these movies could be #1, but I think it's required by law to make it Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth whenever possible. The movie is a beautiful horror fairy tale. You get to see the horror of this made-up world against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. Don't let the fact it's subtitled let it stop you from watching this. You will have to rent/buy to stream this gem.
Blurb - In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.
Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino team up to give us not only 2 amazing horror films but the Grindhouse experience of the 70s. Grindhouse gives us the double feature of Planet Terror & Death Proof. And while these movies are excellent in their entirety, it is over the top amazing when you see them in the Grindhouse format.
They add in splice moments, jump scenes, notes to tell you that there are 10 minutes missing in the footage, and a bunch of trailers for pretend low-budget horror movies between the 2 films. All things you might have encountered at a grindhouse theater back in the day. When the movie was over, I couldn't stop talking about how great the theater experience was. If you have to choose between a copy of Grindhouse or getting Planet Terror & Deathproof separately, I'd vote Grindhouse every time. That said, you can only find Grindhouse on Blu-ray 2nd hand. So rent/buy Planet Terror to stream and check out Deathproof on Pluto TV.
Blurb - Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's homage to exploitation double features in the '60s and '70s with two back-to-back cult films that include previews of coming attractions between them.
After The Devil's Rejects, Rob Zombie is given the green light to reboot Halloween. He contacted John Carpenter before getting started and let him know the direction he was going. Zombie received his blessing and was told to make it his own. Even though his style is clear, he reported working for the Weinsteins was a nightmare as they tried to micro-manage everything. I enjoy this remake but I'm a Zombie fan and like the way his films look. You can check it out on Netflix.
Blurb - After being committed for 17 years, Michael Myers, now a grown man and still very dangerous, escapes from the mental institution and immediately returns to Haddonfield to find his baby sister, Laurie.
The 3rd installment of the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil: Extinction, is Mad Max vs the Zombie Apocalypse. It's action-packed and the bloodiest of the franchise. It's my 2nd favorite movie in the franchise and though it is written by Paul W.S. Anderson it is directed by Russell Mulcahy(Highlander). I would have loved to see Anderson's take on this installment. Check it out on HBOMax.
Blurb - Survivors of the Raccoon City catastrophe travel across the Nevada desert, hoping to make it to Alaska. Alice joins the caravan and their fight against the evil Umbrella Corp.
One of my favorite movies based on Stephen King's work is 1408. The story was initially just going to be a few pages King used in his non-fiction book On Writing to demonstrate the process of revising a first draft. He became intrigued by the idea and ended up finishing it. Cusack and Jackson have great chemistry. Check it out on VUDUfree, IMDBTv(Primes free stuff)
Blurb - A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.
Although the original creators didn't come together to make the sequel, they were involved in some of the initial decisions for 28 Weeks Later. This movie takes a bigger look at the aftermath of the rage virus. The cast is fantastic - Jeremy Renner, Rose Byrne, Robert Carlyle, Harold Perrineau, Catherine McCormack, Idris Elba, & Imogen Poots. Stream it on HBOMax.
Blurb - Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes according to plan.
30 Days of Night is based on a comic book that was originally a screenplay that no one would make. The creator finally decided to make it a comic book to get the story out there and the studio picked it up to make. I think it's a decent vampire movie, but I would have liked a little more story on the vampire side of the film. It needed about 10-15 more minutes of story to be higher on this list. Check it out on tubi.
Blurb - After an Alaskan town is plunged into darkness for a month, it is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires.
The 2nd Stephen King-based movie of 2007 was The Mist. Frank Darabont (writer of the Blob, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, and writer/director of The Green Mile) tackled his 3rd King adaptation. King says he was generally frightened by the movie. You will have to rent/buy to see if it frightens you.
Blurb - A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.
After Saw, writer Leigh Whannell & director James Wan gave us Dead Silence. Whannell wasn't happy with all the studio interference he changed how he pitched movie ideas. Instead of giving just the idea, he has the completed script ready so he doesn't have someone over his shoulder changing things as they started the creative process. The movie didn't do well at the box office but I liked it. It's another rent/buy to watch.
Blurb - A young widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife's murder, which may be linked to the ghost of a deceased ventriloquist.
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton team up to tackle the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. While this movie features many Burton regulars and has the distinct look of a Burton film, it is only 1 of 3 movies not scored by Danny Elfman. As I stated at the top, this beat out P2 for the 10th spot. Check it out on HBOMax.
Blurb - The legendary tale of a barber who returns from wrongful imprisonment to 1840s London, bent on revenge for the rape and death of his wife, and resumes his trade while forming a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett.