15 Images for 15 Years of Horror, Part 2 (2001-2015): some of the greatest, goriest, most shocking and most memorably defining moments in horror since 2001
Greetings, horrorounds! We spend so much of our time complaining about re-used, recycled, unoriginal, tired-out horror tropes and stories and stale archetypal horror character roles presented by actors that can’t act, directors who can rarely direct, and budgets that don’t get us anywhere. So I thought it was time for us to take a moment to remember that even today in the modern horror era we find the occasional delight in our modern horror in the form of worthy remakes or original approaches to old ideas…maybe even some new ideas.
This is a follow-up article to 15 Images for 15 Years of Horror, Part 1 (2000-2014) and 15 Images for 15 Years of Horror: The Good, the Bad and the Hilarious. So if you don’t see your favorite movies listed here, they were probably in last year’s review of awesome horror scenes. If you want some excellent horror suggestions from further back, you should check out The Best Moments in Horror: looking back 20 years to 1995 and looking back 20 years to 1996, and The Best Horror Came from the 80s: Part 1 and Part 2.
I really wanted to include movies like Session 9 and The Skeleton Key, but such films are more about tone than single iconic images that ignite memories. So now I give you 15 more photos for 15 years of horror. These don’t necessarily represent the 15 “best” horror movies since 2001–for that you should check out our articles on What is the Best Horror Movie of the 21st Century? and The Top 21 Horror Films of the 21st Century!–but rather 15 of the most memorable moments for me.
Remember when that demented, possessed elderly woman swallowed a child’s head whole like one of those egg-swallowing snakes in The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)? This was kinda’ like that.
Krampus was loaded with a yuletide menagerie of monsters, one of which was a somewhat cute-yet-clearly evil Jack-in-the-Box with the lower body and snow-burrowing habits of one of the victim-dragging Tremors (1990) monsters. How’s that for nightmare fuel? But the real shock came when we caught this snow slug with its mouth full. And just like Deborah Logan and her unhinging jaw, this Christmas creature was hungry for kids on the “Naughty List.” Feel free to listen to our podcast discussion of Krampus.
Goodnight Mommy (2014)
For future reference, if your child is so guilt-stricken over the accidental death of his twin, just let him enjoy his new imaginary friend. If you don’t, you may experience a bit of a domestic power struggle. This film was loaded with brutal scenes, twisted imagery, and paranoid crises of identity. I highly recommend it. If you don’t believe me, check out our podcast discussion on the film.
Evil Dead (2013)
The Evil Dead remake succeeded because it had many of the elements of the first two films (1981, 1987), but they have been chopped up, modified, meshed with other elements, spread across the entire cast or lumped into one. For example, there is no character that fills the role of Ash. Not really. But you’ll see “Ash” moments played out by different characters as well as “Ash” lines and other Ash-isms. What’s great about this is that you don’t know who, if anyone, is going to survive this movie. What a nice touch. It all feels so familiar to Evil Dead fans yet, despite this familiarity, you never know what’s in store except for a few iconic scenes. This horrendously brutal “tongue scene” however, was original to the remake. Please join us and listen to our podcast discussion on this remake.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Most people like referencing the Merman as the most memorable aspect of this brilliantly funny, gory and clever film. And in last year’s post I refer you to the board and the premise behind it. Was it genius? No. Was it 100% what we horror fans never knew we wanted? ABSOLUTELY!!! With such entries as “angry molesting tree” honoring Evil Dead, sexy witches and the much discussed “Kevin”….this film managed to give nods to a broad sweep of the horror genre’s better moments.
But for me, nothing offered such adorable levity as when our government horror technicians celebrated prematurely, breaking out into some impromptu white guy dances! Not only did we love this film, so did our readers! We conducted a poll and podcasted the results: that this was the best horror film of the 21st century!!!!
In case you should ever find yourself arguing “what’s more disgusting than a human centipede”…here’s your answer. And it’s not an even larger human centipede, but rather its creator. This little deviant masturbates with sandpaper while fantasizing about compound shit-eating alimentary canals. This mentally retarded, severely disturbed and abused man obsesses over Tom Sixx’s movie, takes it as medical canon and pursues his own dreams of a bigger, better human centipede. This metamovie sequel (as did Hostel 2) presents its sick, depraved story through the mad scientist’s perspective.
I DO NOT recommend watching Altitude unless you’re in the mood for a bad movie featuring a giant flying squid monster brought to life by the overactive imagination of a nostalgic horror comicbook fan. This is not happening in the sea. It’s happening 20 thousand feet above the ground at 200 mph!!!! I’m pretty sure that their plane would get shredded in the tail winds of this monster, which, by the way, is flying 200 mph backwards while assaulting this plane.
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
When Alison Lohman gets dragged to Hell in Drag Me to Hell. Yeah, I know it’s the title of the movie. But that was SHOCKING and somehow totally unexpected anyway.
But, then again, she did turn down a loan that threw an elderly dead-eyed gypsy out on the street. And, while you may argue she was just doing her job and making a tough call, she also did kill a kitten. Kitten killers go to Hell. It’s as simple as that. Honestly, I’m sort of relieved that Justin Long didn’t end up marrying that kitten killer.
Let’s be clear here. Mirrors definitely had its share of shortcomings. The movie is effectively quite creepy–as a more films relying on evil mirror images–but it starts off at a sluggish pace and ends in a lame finale. But trust me, the movie is worth it anyway. And this is the scene that brings it all together. There are few scenes so effectively terrifying…and it is not short either. Poor Amy Smart.
Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
Trick ‘r Treat is a favorite for many reasons and I consider it one of the better horror anthologies you can watch. I especially loved the artistic license taken on the werewolf transformation scene! It may seem a little questionable to horror fans at first glance, but it was done VERY well and it mingled fantastically with the “girls in slutty costumes” theme; they literally “stripped” off their human skin (i.e., the Wolf’s slutty costume) to reveal the wolf within. Given the tone of the movie and the scene, it felt perfect.
There couldn’t have been a more deliciously disgusting movie in 2006. Slither was the gourmet of all things gory and gooey. There are tentacles and mutations and transformations…and Nathan Fillion proclaiming that he has too much muscle mass to get drunk.
The Descent (2005)
Talk about cultivating urgency. When all your friends have been eaten alive by a race of subterranean blind vampire Morlocks and the only way to evade detection is to submerge yourself in an offal pit of decaying blood and chunky guts, it’s pretty fair you’re having a rough day and starring in a horror film that doesn’t need to resort to cheap thrills to get you on edge. Watch this movie. It has so much more to offer than it’s spelunking mole people monsters suggest.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
There truly is something magical about the completely credible, everyday apathy that could permit someone to completely overlook the beginnings of the zombie apocalypse around them. And this was before people walked about with their eyes affixed to a SmartPhone screen. Shaun of the Dead will likely forever remain among the very greatest of horror comedies. Not only is the writing on point, but the acting is splendid and this film always finds a way to be funny.
When Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees first met, I felt like such a fan boy! Their direct fights may not have been amazing, but Jason did rip off Freddy’s arm and Freddy did stab Jason with his own machete. I guess that’s just the kind of conflict that arises when a soul-stealing dream demon is serially foiled by the exploits of a promiscuous camper-killing zombie of vengeance. There’s also some general silliness, like getting baked with an evil caterpillar and using mommy issues to manipulate your nemesis. All in all, a great ride even if not a great film.
GOOD LORD! Scenes like this are why I loved the Cabin Fever films so much. But this scene had to be the best of all four movies–even the Cabin Fever: Spring Fever (2009) and Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014) had their charm. So good was this scene, in fact, that the Cabin Fever (2016) remake, of course, had to replicate it. This scene is really a simple concept brilliantly realized on screen.
Thirteen Ghosts (2001)
Remember how cool it was seeing all the different ghosts of the Black Zodiac? Well, few were as fun as the “Angry Princess.” Yeah, as a teenager I loved boobs, too. This suicidal specter wandered around with dead eyes, bare boobs, and a fixation on beauty. I remember being so nervous when she was standing behind Scream Queen Shannon Elizabeth.
Please read on to 15 Images for 15 Years of Horror, Part 1 (2000-2014).