Even though I got my start writing about horror by creating a blog called Horror's Not Dead, I don't jive with the idea that good horror is becoming an endangered species. Sure, who is actually making and delivering good horror is always in a state of flux, but considering the sheer crop of films to choose from is constantly on the rise, there will always be gems to found. Now before getting to the list proper, let's explain my own personal criteria for what qualifies as a 2009 film.

Basically, what matters is if the film was given its widest release during the course of the year. For example, despite being first shown publicly years ago, I consider Trick 'r Treat an eligible title, as 2009 finally found it going wide (albeit straight-to-video). Daybreakers, on the other hand, played a few festivals in 2009 but will not have its wide release until 2010. Conversely, most people in America won't see [REC] 2 until 2010 or beyond, but it went wide in its native Spain in 2009, thus it is eligible. Make sense? On to the show!

10. Paranormal Activity
I went back and forth on excluding Paranormal Activity from my Top 10 list because, really, it didn't do much for me in the scare department. I found it pulse pounding to watch for the first time, but it has scarcely popped into my brain since then. However, I do remain in awe of what Oren Peli accomplished with a mere $15,000. I have a lot of respect for the process that goes into engineering any thrill ride, so to speak, so even if it didn't severely impact me, it still commands a placement.

9. Thirst (my review)
Chan-wook Park's Thirst is, hands down, not only the best vampire film of the year, but I'd put it in league with another similarly atypical fang-set film, Let the Right One In. It's not particularly scary, but it is a deft, engrossing blend of lust and violence that gets back to the eroticism of the vampire that no film (or TV show) has properly explored in years. If you're feeling burned out on vampires these days, and that would be perfectly understandable, at least put this in your Must Watch queue simply because it's another brilliant film from the mind of the man who gave the world Oldboy.
categories Horror