Keyboard Cuts: 2010 In Rear View

A look back at the year in Horror.

Felix Vasquez Felix Vasquez Jr.

So 2010, how was it for you? In the area of the horror genre it was filled with a lot of twists and turns, very little surprises, and some interesting gems to come our way since the first decade introduced us to "The Descent." 2010 was a year filled with absolute let downs and lackluster titles, but along with it there were some neat treasures to be found. They were there. You just had to look very hard. That’s the sad fact about the state of the genre today. There is still some fun to be had, but you have to look hard. For instance, horror geeks had to sift through yet another Platinum Dunes remake. This time they remade and battered "A Nightmare on Elm Street" being greeted with fan scorn across the board. But for fans still angry and dreaming up ways to destroy Michael Bay, we were given the four hour documentary "Never Sleep Again."


While many originally deduced it would be a sloppy and lazy rehash of anecdotes from the series, many were shocked to see that we were finally given an exhaustive and stellar look in to the entire "Nightmare on Elm Street" series right down to the comic books and awful television series. The big theme this year was zombies, and we were in no short supply when it came to the shambling dead gnawing on our necks and breaking doors down. "Rammbock" brought down our doors as a one hour peek at the end of the world due to an infection that turned its victims in to gnarling monsters. Filled with a unique plot and high pace, it was a gem that many didn’t get to catch. Anyone looking for a fresh take on "Night of the Living Dead" Wild Eye released a brand new version entitled "ReAnimated" with a look at dozens of artist’s perspectives on the source material that was very controversial but talked about among inner circles. It also had the distinction of being supported by torrent website Demonoid.


And of course there was "La Horde" another foreign zombie shocker about cops and robbers stuck in a high rise being mercilessly bombarded by the sprinting dead. George Romero showed he could play with the youngsters with his release of "Survival of the Dead." While many didn’t see too much to enjoy, I personally loved it and I insist Romero still has it. I’ll fight anyone to defend that view. There was also "Big Tits Zombie" that asked the question: What would happen if gorgeous Asian strippers took on the walking dead? Robert Kirkman of course continued on with his stellar award winning black and white comic book entitled "The Walking Dead," and if that wasn’t enough, his comic book was adapted in to a highly anticipated television series for the AMC Network. This wasn’t just some shitty low budget affair either. Folks like Frank Darabont came on board to direct while Robert Kirkman himself wrote a few episodes for a series that garnered an immensely talented cast and garnered the biggest ratings for cable of the year. How can you argue with a cast like Laurie Holden, Andrew Lincoln, Lennie James, Emma Bell, and Jeffrey DeMunn? You can’t. You can try, but you can’t.


Of course it wasn’t just a good year for zombie fans; any one who has a love for indie horror also got their chance to champ at the bit too! Adam Green especially found himself busy by breaking ground with the release of "Hatchet II." His horror sequel managed to be one of the few horror films released unrated, and was backed by Dark Sky Films and AMC Theaters. Sadly, the film was pulled down within a month and many theaters refused to carry it without a rating, but the statement was made and Green’s fans rallied around him. If that wasn’t enough we were offered "Frozen," an excellent survival thriller from Green who puts three characters through hell after they accidentally get stuck on a ski lift in the middle of the wilderness during a snow storm. It was one of my top 10 films of 2010. I love you, Emma Bell. And of course fans of "Paranormal Activity" saw the little indie that could become a bonafide franchise with the release of "Paranormal Activity 2" a sequel/prequel to his hit independent film that went on to gross big at the box office, and even spawned a Japanese clone of its very own! Number tres is on the way, kids! I’m excited!


And for folks looking for thought provoking horror this year, there was the masterpiece "Red, White & Blue," a wonderful entry in to the genre from director Simon Rumley that also served as a thought provoking drama, and engrossing character study that… ends in a knife wielding maniac murdering and torturing people. It was one of my Top 10 of 2010! And if you didn’t want to think and just wanted to have a good time, there was "Piranha 3D" a gore soaked ode to cheesy horror films that teamed gorgeous women, lots of T&A, and thousands of hungry piranhas to bring the audiences to their knees laughing. Kudos for the Eli Roth death. And there was also the final installment (yeah, I believe that) of the "Saw" franchise. Moving on quickly, for folks who were looking for something different with an added originality, you could have looked no further than "The Loved Ones." A much talked about highly buzzed about Australian horror film, this is a modern "Misery," and I soaked it up with a grin.


And that’s just scratching the surface. I’m sitting here listening to "Four Seasons" from the "28 Days Later" soundtrack pondering what 2011 promises for us. A new "Scream." Yuk. Kevin Smith’s "Red State." Yuk. The "Fright Night" remake. A new "Final Destination"… You know what? I’m going to stop right there before I get depressed. 2010 had something for everyone, here’s hoping 2011 brings equally good fortune for the horror geeks like me. I’m optimistic!