5. Shaun of the Dead (2004, Edgar Wright)
Like Cabin in the Woods, this film offers us everything. We get scares, we get humor, and we even get romance in this once. This was the first feature teaming of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost – a team that would later bring us the incredible cop-buddy film, Hot Fuzz, and the sci-fi comedy, The World’s End. If they were all horror films, it would be hard to keep every Edgar Wright film off the list.
The film follows Shaun (Pegg), a no-hoper, working a dead-end job, and living in a small flat his best friend, Ed (Frost), when the zombie apocalypse begins. Shaun uses the impending apocalypse as an opportunity to impress and win back his girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield). His master plan to save the dwindling relationship is to wait out the disaster in the local pub.
Filled with laughs and charm, this zombie satire still packs enough scares, as well as punches from ground-breaking British weapons such as cricket bats and vinyl records – Not to mention a wonderful little supporting performance from Bill Nighy (Love Actually).
4. The House of the Devil (2009, Ti West)
An early film from Ti West (In A Valley of Violence), this throwback horror evokes teenage movie nights. Based in 1983, the film does not shy away from it with its wonderful synth-laden soundtrack – Nor its amazing freeze-frame opening credits.
The entire tone, cinematography, old-fashioned yet menacing pace, are spot on, and don’t mistake this for a token nostalgia trip. Most films that play on nostalgia tend to feel worn out, but this film manages to feel fresh on repeat viewings.
Samantha (Jocelin Donahue), a struggling college student, takes on a babysitting job to pay a deposit on new accommodation. When she arrives at the isolated mansion, she finds out through the client (A polite but effortlessly creepy, Tom Noonan) that she only needs to mind his elderly mother, who is sleeping upstairs. Nothing outrageous here. Apart from the fact that there is a lunar eclipse and the occupants of the house are aiming to raise the devil.
3. Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (2010, Eli Craig)
Arguably the best horror-comedy since Shaun of the Dead and Idle Hands before it. It is silly and never takes itself seriously, but sometimes we need a break from the seriousness and harshness of life, and a break from Oscar-winning stories. Sometimes we just need Tucker and Dale Vs Evil. This film is as easy to watch as Happy Gilmore (Don’t knock it, it’s freaking great) and don’t call it a guilty pleasure either.
Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk play rednecks, mistaken for horror-cliche murderers by a group of ignorant college students on a camping trip. Tucker and Dale, simply trying to enjoy a vacation in their newly purchased, dilapidated cabin, have their trip thrown into disarray as they save one of the college kids (Katrina Bowden) from drowning, and take her back to the cabin. Thinking their friend has been kidnapped by hillbilly monsters, the college kids set about fighting the innocent duo, and hilarious gore ensues.
Labine is the modern day equivalent, and as like-able as the great John Candy, and his on-screen chemistry with Alan Tudyk, mirrors the 80s bromances of Candy and Martin, or Pryor and Wilder – Let’s hope we get to see more of them together.
2. Let the Right One In (2008, Tomas Alfredson)
Tough to separate this with the remake. They are both fantastic. Everyone was worried they would massacre this film, but Matt Reeves captured most of the things that made this great. Ultimately, the original wins out. This film rivals Donnie Darko for atmosphere. It just feels so damn cool. Other than Thirst, it is probably the best looking, and definitely the coldest looking horror film of the 21st century.
This vampire film was released in the same year as Twilight, but could not be further from the glitter of Edward Cullen, and despite the rare gore moments, it’s not the worst date movie – It’s not the worst at anything to be fair.
The film follows the precious teen romance of Oskar, a 12 yr old, bullied, loner child, and his new loner neighbor, Eli. Oh, and Eli happens to be a vampire, who likes to look out for Oskar – Cue the most bad-ass bully revenge scene in cinematic history, and some of the most WTF moments of all time. This isn’t just one of the most re-watchable horror films, it is one of the best coming-of-age films too.
1. Zombieland (2009, Ruben Fleischer)
Any occasion. Literally any occasion, you can pull this film out and enjoy it.
Bad day at work. Tick.
Couple of friends over. Tick.
Hiding from humanity. Tick.
Party film. Massive tick.
This isn’t just a great party film. It is a party! Additionally, Bill Murray and Woody Harrelson are attending this party. If that doesn’t sell it, nothing will.
Also, try switching this film off if you happen to land on it while channel surfing. It is near impossible.
Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) teams up with Tallahassee (Harrelson) as they travel across America during a zombie apocalypse. The two are joined by sisters, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), who are hell-bent on not joining up for the trip.
The trip and plot pretty much revolves around killing zombies, double-tapping, visiting Bill Murray’s home, and visiting an amusement park, but it’s all pretty damn amusing. Woody Harrelson and zombie killing, name a more iconic duo…