Saturday, October 31, 2009

13 Years of Halloween

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)—for showing us that the monsters we love and fear are our unruly emotions

Irreversible (2002)—for Vincent Cassel and the unbearably realistic “scene”

Sleepy Hollow (1999)—for the exuberance in which it depicts decapitation and the beauty of its evocation of late eighteenth-century America

Shaun of the Dead (2004)—for the laughs, the camerawork, and, ultimately, its heart

Let the Right One In (2008)—for its banal but haunting imagery of violence

Jeepers Creepers (2001)—for Justin Long, its long yet effective setup, and its implicit dispelling of the sexist assumptions of earlier horror films

Sheitan (2006)—for Vincent Cassel (again, but in a totally different vein) and its disturbing recalibration of the iconography of Christmas (so, yes, it’s also a Christmas movie)

Final Destination (2000)—for tackling Fate (and, by insinuation, God) as the ultimate monster

Ringu (1998)—mostly for its ghostly video montage but also for introducing Japanese horror to mainstream Hollywood

Hostel (2005)—for its subversive and indirect critique of predatory sexuality and the slippery slope of the global free market

Planet Terror (2007)—for Rose McGowan and Marley Shelton

Underworld (2003)—for its slick but hardly ever plausible battles between werewolves and vampires

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)—for Ryan Phillippe in the shower

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