Horror movies - In the year 2000 ...
So I'm only going to do 10 movies from here on out unless there's just something truly deserving. So not making this list are movies like What Lies Beneath, The Cell, The Gift, Faust, and horrible sequels to Blair Witch & Urban Legends. Some of these, I never considered horror but they are billed that way today. Others I just don't care for or they are terrible money grabs like the sequels. First up is one of my all-time favorites.
So I love, love, love Pitch Black. I love the idea of a known killer getting loose with a bunch of passengers on a ship. I love the science fiction elements. I love the introduction of the monsters to really ramp up the story. I love the cast - many relatively unknown or up-and-comers at the time- Vin Diesel, Cole Hauser, and Radha Mitchell; plus Keith David is great as always. The director, David Twohy, is a big-name screenwriter and this movie blossomed out of his rejected idea for the Alien 3 movie. You can stream it on Peacock Premium.
Blurb - A commercial transport ship and its crew are marooned on a planet full of bloodthirsty creatures that only come out to feast at night. But then, they learn that a month-long eclipse is about to occur.
Final Destination is a close #2 for the 2000 releases. It was originally going to be an X-Files episode, but writer/director James Wong was able to get it green-lit for the big screen. It takes a page out of the Scream playbook and gives us a hot, young cast. Throw in the "Candyman" Tony Todd as death, and you got a fun, and engaging whose gonna die next kind of movie. As the wife and I had just married, she was still up to giving these movies a try and even she got a kick out of some of the death scenes. You will have to rent/buy to watch but it's worth it.
Blurb - Alex Browning is among a group of high school students readying themselves for a trip to Europe. When he suddenly has a premonition their airplane will crash, he screams to warn the others but instead he is thrown off of the plane.
Mary Harron directed American Psycho based on the Bret Easton Ellis book of the same name. Many considered this career suicide for Christian Bale, but his performance is so perfect that it had the opposite effect. It skyrocketed him into a number of leading roles and an eventual Oscar win. It's a rent/buy to view, and worth every penny.
Blurb -A wealthy New York City investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.
The Ninth Gate is one of the many times you must separate the art from the artist. Roman Polanski is a genius director and a horrible human being. I wonder how many thought I was going to go off on Depp - who got railroaded by an overzealous press before the truth came out about his wife(ex-wife?).
This is also one of those movies that simply gets better with each viewing. One thing Polanski does well is location shots, especially in Europe, and this movie is just breathtaking to watch. Johnny Depp is spectacular as the sleazy book dealer, and Frank Langella is perfect in his role throughout the film. It's a slow burn film, reminiscent of the occult films of the late 60s and throughout the 70s. You can watch it on tubi, VUDUfree, and the IMDB/Prime app.
Blurb - A rare book dealer, while seeking out the last two copies of a demon text, gets drawn into a conspiracy with supernatural overtones.
So in 2000, Warner Brothers released a newer version of the hit classic The Exorcist in theaters. They updated some effects and added a scene here and there that couldn't be pulled off in 1973. My best friend and I got to see this opening week, and it is always cool to catch these horror classics on the big screen. You can stream the original on Netflix.
Blurb - When a 12-year-old girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her.
2 movies in the year 2000 had scenes that made me laugh so hard that all the people in the theater started to laugh with me. The first was a scene from Little Nicky - which actually helped the movie since many there didn't laugh at all during the Adam Sandler movie. The other was Scary Movie. This is Airplane-level spoofing genius and really did a knock-up job killing Scream and all the Scream knock-offs. You can stream it on Showtime and it pops up now and then on Netflix.
Blurb - A year after disposing of the body of a man they accidentally killed, a group of dumb teenagers are stalked by a bumbling serial killer.
Okay so Dracula 2000 doesn't hold up as well as I hoped, but I was a fan in 2000. The cast is really great - Gerard Butler, Johnny Lee Miller, Christopher Plummer, Omar Epps, Shane West, Jeri Ryan, Nathan Fillion, and one of my big-time movie crushes Jennifer Esposito. It's Dracula using the Scream blueprint, but there are some cringe-worthy moments. Stream it on Paramount+.
Blurb - A group of thieves breaks into a chamber expecting to find paintings, but instead they release the count himself, who travels to New Orleans to find his nemesis' daughter, Mary Van Helsing.
I'm a fan of Nosferatu and a fan of this movie, Shadow of the Vampire, which tries to give us a what-if backstory to the classic vampire tale. By this time, I feel Malkovich is just playing the same character over and over again, but Dafoe is brilliant as Max Schreck, who just might be a vampire himself. Doesn't seem to be streaming anywhere right now, but if you get a chance, it's worth a stop down.
Blurb - The filming of Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) is hampered by the fact that its star Max Schreck is taking the role of a vampire far more seriously than seems humanly possible.
Ginger Snaps is a clever take on the werewolf genre. It was the 5th highest-grossing Canadian film in 2000. The director was against any CGI and insisted all special effects be handled the old-fashioned way. Stream it on tubi, VUDUfree, and Peacock.
Blurb - Two death-obsessed sisters, outcasts in their suburban neighborhood, must deal with the tragic consequences when one of them is bitten by a deadly werewolf.
Wes Craven returns to give us Scream 3. Kevin Williamson was so bogged down with other projects, he only gave an outline to Ehran Kruger who basically ignored it. Craven had to rewrite several scenes to get the characters to match their previous performances. Craven also filmed 3 endings and told no one which was the actual one. The studio was terrified of leaks and played it very close to the vest for the last part of the trilogy. You can stream with amc+.
Blurb - While Sidney and her friends visit the Hollywood set of Stab 3, the third film based on the Woodsboro murders, another Ghostface killer rises to terrorize them.