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George Beremov’s Top 5 Horror Movies of 2011

GEORGE BEREMOV’S TOP 5 HORROR MOVIES OF 2011

Let’s face it, 2011 wasn’t a great year for movies, let alone horror flicks. That being said, there were some really good ones that horror geeks around the world will talk about for years to come. The following list doesn’t pretend to be 100% objective, but it’s an honest one, and represents arguably the five best horror movies of the past year, based on originality, execution, entertainment value and overall impact.

 

1. Mientras Duermes a.k.a. Sleep Tight (2011)

Rating: 8.00 stars out of 10

[Rec] director Jaume Balagueró’s latest project, Sleep Tight, is somewhat similar in concept to last year’s The Resident, but in terms of execution, creepiness, and overall effectiveness, this brilliant movie is everything The Resident should have been, but wasn’t. Balagueró proves yet again that he knows how to build suspense and shock the audience without using cheap gimmicks and buckets of gore, providing the viewer with growing tension, solid thrills, and many clever little twists that elevate this movie above “your average thriller.” Plus, Luis Tosar gives a sensationally disturbing and memorable performance as the seemingly polite janitor, César, who insensibly tortures his victim using nasty tricks.

 



2. Mother’s Day (2011)

Rating: 7.75 stars out of 10

Darren Lynn Bousman, the creator of Saw II, III & IV, brings Mother’s Day–a clever, harsh, skillfully-crafted and wonderfully-acted horror thriller, that makes modern “home invasion” classics like Funny Games and The Strangers look like kids stuff. This uncompromising depiction of sheer terror leaves nothing to the imagination. It’s extremely graphic, violent and bloody, and some of the torture scenes are so nasty, they’re hardly watchable. However, it’s the intimidating characters that make it as bone-chilling as it is. Though the entire cast does a great job, Rebecca De Mornay makes the biggest impression with her deeply unsettling portrayal as the obsessive and manipulative mother and leader of the family gang.

 

3. Attack the Block (2011)

Rating: 7.50 stars out of 10

Joe Cornish’s debut full-length feature, the absolutely refreshing Attack the Block, surprised moviegoers around the world with its cool premise, spot-on execution and high entertainment value. It works as both, a sci-fi action flick and a horror comedy, because it never takes itself seriously, it’s fast-paced, humorous and full of wit, and at times pretty intense and even frightening. Although the characters are a bit stereotypical, they’re so likable and nicely-written, you can’t help but feeling connected to them. The direction is versatile and energetic, the action is exciting, and while the creature itself doesn’t impress with an amazing design, it still looks cool, creepy, mean, ferocious, and unique in its own way.

 

4. Final Destination 5 [3D] (2011)

Rating: 7.50 stars out of 10

The Final Destination franchise had its ups and downs over the years, but the 2011 installment is a true breath of fresh air, and almost a masterpiece compared to its dreadful predecessor. Plot-wise, FD 5 brings nothing new to the table, however, Steven Quale’s inventive direction and a few clever twists here and there make up for the lack of originality. Every single one of the death scenes is executed to perfection, delightfully gross and in-your-face gory. You’ll find yourself covering your eyes and turning your head away, but at the same time, deep inside, you’ll be satisfied by the extreme graphicness of it. The 3D is well-used, beyond effective, and certainly adds to this horrific, yet hugely entertaining, experience.

 

5. The Tunnel (2011)

Rating: 7.50 stars out of 10

This ambitious Australian project, called The Tunnel, is the first-ever movie in history of cinema, released legally through BitTorrent for free. It’s a consistently tense, atmospheric, and utterly claustrophobic horror, shot in a mock-doc style, filled with thrills, chills, many jump-out-of-your-seat-moments, eerie sound effects and ominous settings. It doesn’t use creepy imagery, tons of blood and cheap scares to frighten its audience, as instead it relies on the mystery behind the story, and the fear of the unknown. The Tunnel may not be the scariest “found footage” horror flick you’ll ever see, or as innovative as its online campaign, but it’s certainly one of the most finely-crafted and realistic horror movies ever made.