Bride of Horror List
BOP's Best Horror Movies Since 2002: Introduction
By David Mumpower and Chris Hyde
October 27, 2010
In October of 2002, barely a year after our inception, Box Office Prophets created one of our first lists. Little did we know at the time that this relatively innocuous project would later become far and away the most popular thing we’ve ever done on the site. BOP’s 50 Favorite Horror Films is something we have re-posted on an annual basis each October and it has continued to be very well received and rediscovered anew, earning several million page views over the past decade.
Of course, a second annual tradition has occurred. Each Halloween, a few more readers write in, wondering why a movie from the 2000s is unlisted. Since there has never been a time stamp on the original Horror list, this is understandable. We have consciously avoiding doing a small update here or there, as we feel this group of 50 titles has stood the test of time. Many of them are now available to Watch Instantly on Netflix, a service that didn’t even exist when we posted the original batch of films. So, you can effectively plan out your entire movie viewing holiday weekend if you give BOP a small bit of faith. Whatever your choice, we stand behind the initial selections and have resisted the impulse to tweak here or there. Until now.
In many ways, the original horror list is the best reflection of who we are as a web site. It’s an eclectic batch of the obscure, the celebrated, and the cultish. In compiling the list, I myself had never heard of multiple titles, including Riget Parts 1 and 2, a work that would later be adapted into a television series by no less a horror icon than Stephen King. When we selected Dead Alive, Peter Jackson had only recently started to make his reputation as the director of the first Lord of the Rings movie; he was more of an arthouse director up until that point. And I am to this date unsure of the English translation of Au Rendezvous de la Mort Joyeuse. I presume it’s some sort of kinky sex thing; then again, I presume that of almost everything. So, much has changed in the interim in terms of the players involved, but what makes me proud as the founder of BOP is that almost all of the content creators for the first horror list are people with whom I still interact on a weekly if not daily basis. We have always been a tight knit group and while we have been blessed enough to add new friends over the years, the old ones largely remain. We are that list and that list is us.
We also know that the same is true of many of our readers. You have stuck with us through thick and thin, during the up phases in our traffic when we have been among the most popular movie sites in the world as well as the down phases when our content output was terrible, largely due to my health. We are thankful beyond words for your loyalty to us in the face of an ever-changing internet landscape. You are the primary reason why we have avoided the temptation over the years to create a new horror list simply to do another one for the traffic spike. That would be disrespectful to you, the people who make BOP go.
We are first in line to complain when an unwanted sequel is released into theaters. It would be hypocritical of us to fall guilty to the same temptation. For this reason, we have patiently waited until there was enough distance from the original list that a worthy group of successors could be named. We feel that the list of 25 selections we present to you this Halloween is comprised of some worthy movies that reflect the best of the 2000s to date. We hope that you will agree, but we also have taken the time to acknowledge the expected complaints about each of our selections. If you have more to add, feel free to take the time to drop us a note about how and why you think we’re wrong.
Keeping all of this in mind, let’s now re-post the original Horror introduction from BOP’s Chris Hyde, tweaked just a little to reflect the current situation:
Listen. Do you hear the leaves scuttling down the sidewalk? The chill wind that blows into town this week carries with it a manifestly evil horde of harridans, specters, revenants, wraiths, ghouls, succubi, lunatics, vampires, spooks, beasts, fiends, zombies, goblins, changelings and shambling sub-humanoids. And they brought their friends.
The history of the horror genre is a lengthy one, as humans of societies throughout time appear to have nearly always taken pleasure in scaring the living bejesus out of each other. In film, this tendency towards terror is almost as old as the medium itself, as evidenced by the devils and skeletons present in the movies of Melies and the early film versions of the still-classic stories Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1908) and Frankenstein (1910). There also seems little chance that this trend will dry up any time soon at the cinema, since this month brings us not only the now annual Jigsaw romp but in addition another twisted tale from the mind of Wes Craven (My Soul to Take), and a bigger budget take on one of the most lucrative horror films ever (Paranormal Activity 2).
Given the continued existence of frightening onscreen ventures and the imminent arrival of All Hallows Eve, the Box Office Prophets staff thought that now was as good a time as any to assess the body of horror films visited upon us by filmmakers since the posting of our first list in 2002. A list of the top 25 scary movies in the interim, as voted by the members of the site, follows this piece in all its ghastly glory, and the result is a relatively representative cross-section of the genre's recent history. It's not without its glaring omissions or controversial selections, however. Since little effort was put into defining what exactly typifies the horror film, there may be some entries that the splitters of the world would rather place into another categorical pigeonhole. There are also some mega-popular films and influential personalities or studios whose efforts somehow didn't manage to garner enough votes to crack the final tally, though that's probably inevitable in an unscientific small-sample polling like this.
Our final list truly consists of an amazing collection of startling screen scarifying destined to make your proverbial hair stand on end. So what's keeping you? Go ahead; take a slow stroll through what our staff has identified as their 25 favorite horror films of the past eight years. But pick your way through these littered corpses of film very carefully; the going is treacherous and not for the faint of heart. And if you happen to hear from over your perusing shoulder what sounds like some muted whispering or faint eerie scratching, just ignore it. It's probably only the wind.
Read selections 25-16
Read selections 15-6
Read selections 5-1