Top 11 Horror Films Of 2011

Welcome to our first list.  2011 was a great year for horror, maybe not mainstream horror but the independent and foreign markets made up for it.  We saw for the most part an uprising of the absurd.  Films that may not be strictly canonized as horror filled the gaps simply because they had no set genre.

Our list features no remakes, but interestingly enough two sequels, a parody, and a slew of homage films.  While other lists include Attack The Block, and The Dead our writers were slacking on that front.  Stay tuned, we may have to amend our list.  Without further digression here is the CineNiche top 11 of 2011.

11.) Paranormal Activity 3
The Catfish guys were tapped to make a follow up film for the Paranormal franchise and came up with another prequel.  This marks the only trilogy to ever work backwards.  The scares are made more intense by the total lack of newer technology.  The story, even with a few plot holes, deepens the mythology of the series.  This is a must for fans of the supernatural, or found footage horror.

10.) Hobo With A Shotgun
Another throwback to a time of bloody unrealistic violence and over-the-top characters.  This film came to be by winning awards for best faux trailer during the promotion of Grindhouse and Rutger Hauer truly lives up to his character's titular name.

9.) YellowBrickRoad
We get madness in the woods as a group of journalists take the same trail as a village did years before.  None of the villagers were seen again and we wonder if the same will happen to our journalists.  A hallucinogenic trip of terror awaits viewers of this intense research gone wrong film.  Aside from a rather blase ending, YellowBrickRoad is an innovative modern masterpiece.

8.) Scream 4
Wes Craven and Kevin Williams have done it again, they've actually created a sequel that lives up to the original.  You almost no longer need the second and third entries.  The wonderfully confusing into plays into you expectations and supersedes them all the while poking fun at the Saw series.  The kills are great and the guess who game is well crafted as well.  Again, we'd like to reiterate: Scream 4 lives up to the original.

7.) Bellflower
Not a horror film in any regular sense of the term, instead a wildly imaginative romantic drama with a few beautifully crafted horrific scenes.  This ranks on our list because of its true genre bending independent nature.  Evan Glodell who wrote, directed, acted, and edited actually built everything for this film.  He created the Mad Max muscle car, the flamethrower, and most importantly the cameras that shot the film as well.  If Bellflower is not this years recipient of the Cassavettes award then Glodell will truly be robbed.

6.) The Woman
Lucky McKee is the proud owner of an abomination of social commentary with his beautifully conceptualized torture film.  The film is abound in misogyny and thoroughly questions the paradigm of the once adamantly coveted nuclear family.  From its infamous first screening this film has been destine to disturb audiences into conversation.  Sean Bridgers is superb here as Chris Cleek, his ability to posit himself as the ultra moral patriarch of the Cleek family while brutally torturing and raping (or as he calls it 'civilizing') the last of a violent clan takes this film way beyond the horror realm.

5.) Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil
This is the new Shaun Of The Dead, Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon, or The Return Of The Living Dead.  Here we have a foray into the hillbilly world of horror.  We play off the stereotypes created in Deliverance, I Spit On Your Grave, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, Cabin Fever, and Wrong Turn.  These films always featured the privileged city slicker filled with arrogance and convenience going out to the country just to make fun of the locals and stomp on their customs.  In most country vs. city films the city barely wins, but here it is Tucker and Dale who prevail.  Their latent homosexual relationship juxtaposes the offensive misogyny of the city kids perfectly.  The humor and the horror go hand in hand as they should in a well done horror parody.

4.) Rubber
See our official write up for Rubber  Please, if you haven't met Robert, do so immediately.

3.) Amer
Turn off logic because Amer is a sensory experience.  This film works as a perfect homage to seventies giallo films without a hint of a detective story.  It is difficult to compare any film to Dario Argento's opus Suspiria, but now we have a film that comes close to the initial feeling of watching Suspiria.  The colors, imagery, and the music match those of Italian film from the most affluent horror decade.  What adds to the sensory overload is the overly sexual undertones connected to each element of the production.  As far as story goes we can gather through the triptych fashion that the film is presented that we are given a glimpse at the childhood, adolescence, and adulthood of our central character.  These vignettes work to bloom, blossom, and destroy respectively.  Each sequence dealing with a curious facet of sexuality.  The film has nearly no dialogue either so that narrative does not get in the way of it's subconscious beauty.

2.) I Saw The Devil
Jee-Woon Kim gave us A Tale Of Two Sisters, and The Good, The Bad, The Weird so it came as a total shock that I Saw The Devil is such a coherent revenge film - possibly the best revenge film ever made.  The film begins with the brutal torture rape murder of Kim Soo-hyeon's wife by the hands of Oldboy himself Min-sik Choi.  Quickly into the film Kim finds his wife's killer, but he does not seek fast retribution instead he uses tracking to continue stalking him.  Each time he faces him he leaves him a bloody mess and this happens again and again until his ultimate vengeance.

1.) A Serbian Film
Be sure to find the uncut original film, otherwise the ultimate in disturbing cinema will have at lease 4 minutes cut out of it, making it just disturbing.  This film features rape, brutal stabbings, eye-socket sex, infant porn, humiliation, suicides, pedophilia, necrophilia, and bestiality to name a few of the taboo elements.  This is the only film to ever rival Salo: 120 Days Of Sodom.  A must see for anyone who considers themselves ready for all that horror has to offer.


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