(Photo by Lions Gate/courtesy Everett Collection)
The 80 Best 2000s Horror Movies
Welcome to the new millennium. The decade horror came home to America. The decade horror went global. Welcome to the 80 Best Horror Movies of the 2000s.
If horror movies reflect the fears and concerns of a people, it’s notable that America claimed torture-porn as their de rigueur subgenre. Something in Saw and its ilk’s slow-roasted dismantling of human flesh appealed to a nation consumed by post-9/11 paranoia and a bombardment of wartime images and atrocity. But while torture-porn movies made a killing at the box office, none were ever particularly well-reviewed; only Hostel arrives here. Recovering from the ’90s doldrums, the best horror movies came from overseas, as digital cameras lowered the cost to film and the rise of the internet made knowledge and dissemination of these movies as simple as a mouse click. In fact, of the top 10 movies here (which includes the likes of Pan’s Labyrinth and The Host), only two were shot in America. Other trends seen during this decade: Asian originals and occasional remakes (The Ring, Thirst), found footage (Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield), the return of the living dead (Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later), and nostalgic throwbacks (Slither, Death Proof). The only stipulation for a movie to be considered for this list was a Fresh rating from at least 20 reviews.
Time to add some scary MIDIs to your MySpace and set AIM status to away (FOREVER), because here comes the best scary 2000s movies!
90 Best ’70s Horror Movies | 80 Best ’80s Horror Movies
40 Best ’90s Horror Movies| 140 Best 2010s Horror Movies
200 Best Horror Movies of All Time | Best Horror Movies of 2021
Adjusted Score: 65786%
Critics Consensus: This gory, senses-assaulting slasher film is an unpretentious, effective mix of old-school horror stylings and modern 3D technology.
Ten years ago, an inexperienced coal miner named Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles) caused an accident that killed five men and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 62488%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and tense from start to finish, the French horror film Them proves that a lack of gore doesn't mean a dearth of scares.
Lucas (Michaël Cohen) and Clementine (Olivia Bonamy) live in an isolated house near Bucharest. On one rainy night in their... [More]
Adjusted Score: 64781%
Critics Consensus: Day Watch is frequently cheesy but it offers enough twists, surprises, and inventive action sequences to maintain viewer interest.
Anton (Konstantin Khabensky), a member of a group of supernatural guardians who monitor the forces of the Dark, discovers that... [More]
Adjusted Score: 65825%
Critics Consensus: As Diary of the Dead proves, time hasn't subdued George A. Romero's affection for mixing politics with gore, nor has it given him cinematic grace or subtlety.
The dead are returning to life to feast on the flesh of the living. As civilization dissolves in this nightmare... [More]
Adjusted Score: 66898%
Critics Consensus: More gory than scary, Cabin Fever is satisfied with paying homage to genre conventions rather than reinventing them.
Bert (James DeBello), a college student vacationing with friends in the mountains, mistakenly shoots a local man (Arie Verveen) with... [More]
Adjusted Score: 66796%
Critics Consensus: Identity is a film that will divide audiences -- the twists of its plot will either impress or exasperate you.
When a vicious storm breaks out in the Nevada desert, 10 people seek refuge in an isolated motel. At the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 64120%
Critics Consensus: Poultrygeist may be relentlessly tasteless and juvenile, but it's also a lively slice of schlocky fun.
Some fast-food workers discover the restaurant they work in is built on an ancient burial ground, and the chickens they... [More]
Adjusted Score: 64775%
Critics Consensus: A real polarising movie, this Gallic torture-porn is graphic, brutal, nasty and gruesome and not to everyone's taste.
A young woman's quest for revenge leads her down a path of depravity.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 64650%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
A Parisian marketing professional, Esther (Marina de Van) has a gruesome secret. She's been obsessed with the damage she can... [More]
Adjusted Score: 67716%
Critics Consensus: Relying more on atmosphere than gore, Session 9 is effectively creepy.
A tale of terror when a group of asbestos removal workers start work in an abandoned insane asylum. The complex... [More]
Adjusted Score: 66943%
Critics Consensus: Conventional ghost tale with a few genuine scares.
After 18 years of blindness, 20-year-old violinist Wong Kar Mun (Lee Sin-Je) regains her vision when she undergoes a corneal... [More]
Adjusted Score: 67105%
Critics Consensus: In this creepy story of a man and his rodents, Glover seems born to play the oddball title character.
Desperate for companionship, the repressed Willard (Crispin Glover) befriends a group of rats that inhabit his late father's deteriorating mansion.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 64755%
Critics Consensus: A Svankmajer movie is not for everyone, but he displays his usual creative flair for surreal imagery.
In 19th-century France a young man (Pavel Liska) meets a nobleman (Jan Tríska) who invites him to spend the night... [More]
Adjusted Score: 65794%
Critics Consensus: Ichi The Killer is a thoroughly shocking gorefest that will surely entertain those with strong stomachs and a penchant for brutal violence.
A bloodthirsty hoodlum (Tadanobu Asano) sparks a series of violent reprisals after his boss is apparently taken by a mysterious... [More]
Adjusted Score: 66057%
Critics Consensus: Death Proof may feel somewhat minor in the context of Tarantino's larger filmography, but on its own merits, it packs just enough of a wallop to deliver sufficiently high-octane grindhouse goods.
Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) is a professional body double who likes to take unsuspecting women for deadly drives in his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 65729%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
When a virus threatens to wipe out humanity, Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci), his brother Brian (Chris Pine), and their friends... [More]
Adjusted Score: 68354%
Critics Consensus: A twisted and bloody spoof on office life, Severance nicely balances comedy and nasty horror.
Members (Danny Dyer, Laura Harris, Tim McInnerny) of the Palisades Defense Corp. sales group arrive in Europe for a team-building... [More]
Adjusted Score: 53991%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
As part of an Internet reality show, five people sign up to spend six months in a mansion while cameras... [More]
Adjusted Score: 67468%
Critics Consensus: If nothing else, Happiness of the Katakuris scores points for its delirious, over-the-top originality.
Fearing bad publicity, an innkeeper and his family bury the bodies of their ill-fated guests themselves.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 74953%
Critics Consensus: Competently made, but everything is a bit too familiar.
Ex-FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) is an expert investigator who quit the Bureau after almost losing his life in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 68430%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Members of Charles Manson's cult tell their story.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 69528%
Critics Consensus: It relies too heavily on American slasher cliches, but Tormented is a timely, funny, and even somewhat touching entry in the high school horror genre.
Darren Mullet (Calvin Dean) doesn't have it easy. He's overweight, uses an inhaler and is constantly bullied by his spoiled... [More]
Adjusted Score: 70868%
Critics Consensus: Above average slasher flick.
Young misfit May (Angela Bettis) endured a difficult childhood because of her lazy eye. And though contact lenses have helped... [More]
Adjusted Score: 70504%
Critics Consensus: Though it doesn't cover new ground, Dead Snow is an entertaining mix of camp, scares, and blood and guts.
A party of eight Norwegian medical students travel to a remote Arctic mountain for an Easter weekend filled with skiing... [More]
Adjusted Score: 74646%
Critics Consensus: If it falls short of the deadly satire of Bret Easton Ellis's novel, American Psycho still finds its own blend of horror and humor, thanks in part to a fittingly creepy performance by Christian Bale.
In New York City in 1987, a handsome, young urban professional, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), lives a second life as... [More]
Adjusted Score: 76187%
Critics Consensus: Snakes on a Plane lives up to its title, featuring snakes on a plane. It isn't perfect, but then again, it doesn't need to be.
FBI agent Nelville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) boards a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, escorting a witness to trial.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 77699%
Critics Consensus: Frank Darabont's impressive camerawork and politically incisive script make The Mist a truly frightening experience.
After a powerful storm damages their Maine home, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his young son head into town to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 77696%
Critics Consensus: A low budget thriller with some intense moments.
Daniel (Daniel Travis) and Susan (Blanchard Ryan) embark on a tropical vacation with their scuba-diving certifications in tow. During a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80004%
Critics Consensus: While 28 Weeks Later lacks the humanism that made 28 Days Later a classic, it's made up with fantastic atmosphere and punchy direction.
Six months after the original epidemic, the rage virus has all but annihilated the population of the British Isles. Nevertheless... [More]
Adjusted Score: 76848%
Critics Consensus: With little gore and a lot of creepy visuals, The Ring gets under your skin, thanks to director Gore Verbinski's haunting sense of atmosphere and an impassioned performance from Naomi Watts.
It sounds like just another urban legend -- a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling... [More]
Adjusted Score: 71456%
Critics Consensus: Though not entirely effective as a conventional horror flick, Grace is still a graphic, disturbing, and artful exploration of twisted maternal instinct.
In the wake of a horrific car accident that kills her husband, Michael (Stephen Park), expectant mother Madeline Matheson (Jordan... [More]
Adjusted Score: 71607%
Critics Consensus: Vampire Hunter D's gothic charms may be lost on those unfamiliar with the anime series that spawned it, but the crisp action and nightmarish style will satiate horror aficionados' bloodlust.
In a dark and distant future, when the undead have arisen from apocalyptic ashes, an original story unfolds. Ten thousand... [More]
Adjusted Score: 71641%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
In this fictionalized, fragmented biopic of one of America's most notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer (Jeremy Renner) contemplates his latest... [More]
Adjusted Score: 72094%
Critics Consensus: A horror comedy that's almost as chilling as it is funny, I Sell the Dead relies on its dark humor and offbeat charm to overcome its low budget shortcomings.
Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan) is about to be executed by guillotine for the crime of grave robbing. But before he... [More]
Adjusted Score: 72239%
Critics Consensus: Miike continues his run of compellingly bizarre flicks.
Chaos ensues when a yakuza boss orders a young gangster (Hideki Sone) to kill an insane colleague (Shô Aikawa).... [More]
Adjusted Score: 74636%
Critics Consensus: Making the most of its thin premise, Fido is an occasionally touching satire that provides big laughs and enough blood and guts to please gorehounds.
When a cloud of space dust causes the dead to rise as ravenous zombies, the ZomCon Corp. emerges to conquer... [More]
Adjusted Score: 75001%
Critics Consensus: With an outrageous premise played completely straight, Black Sheep is a violent, grotesque, and very funny movie that takes B-movie lunacy to a delirious extreme.
Sheep-fearing Henry (Nathan Meister) returns to his brother's (Peter Feeney) New Zealand farm, hoping his sibling will buy out his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 72646%
Critics Consensus: A creative and energetic adaptation of a Clive Barker short story, with enough scares and thrills to be a potential cult classic.
When struggling photographer Leon Kaufman (Bradley Cooper) meets the owner of a prominent art gallery, he sees a chance for... [More]
Adjusted Score: 74186%
Critics Consensus: This French animated horror portmanteau is monochrome and minimalist, visually stunning, but light on scares.
Animated sequences explore people's fear of darkness.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 76663%
Critics Consensus: Brotherhood of the Wolf mixes its genres with little logic, but the end result is wildly entertaining.
In a rural province of France, a mysterious creature is laying waste to the countryside, savagely killing scores of women... [More]
Adjusted Score: 73729%
Critics Consensus: Never taking itself too seriously, Splinter scores as a fast-paced, fun thriller with more than enough scares.
When their plans for a nature trip go awry, Polly Watt (Jill Wagner) and boyfriend Seth Belzer (Paulo Costanzo) decide... [More]
Adjusted Score: 78839%
Critics Consensus: Creepy and disturbing, Frailty is well-crafted, low-key horror.
Set in present day Texas, "Frailty" centers on the FBI's search for a serial killer who calls himself "God's Hands."... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82338%
Critics Consensus: George A. Romero's latest entry in his much-vaunted Dead series is not as fresh as his genre-inventing original, Night of the Living Dead. But Land of the Dead does deliver on the gore and zombies-feasting-on-flesh action.
In a world where zombies form the majority of the population, the remaining humans build a feudal society away from... [More]
Adjusted Score: 63671%
Critics Consensus: Hair High isn't first-tier Plympton, but like the rest of the animator's work, this is an assuredly odd tale that should resonate with fans of strange cinema.
As the prom approaches, the head cheerleader (Sarah Silverman) of Echo Lake High dumps her quarterback boyfriend (Dermot Mulroney) in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 75388%
Critics Consensus: A cool and hip grindhouse throwback, Planet Terror is an unpredictable zombie thrillride.
An ordinary evening in a small Texas town becomes a grisly nightmare when a horde of flesh-eating zombies goes on... [More]
Adjusted Score: 77010%
Critics Consensus: A smart mockumentary that presents a gory, funny, and obviously affectionate skewering of the slasher genre.
Nice, normal-looking Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) has an obsession with movie-style slashers like Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 77735%
Critics Consensus: The Last Winter creatively and effectively uses horror tactics -- fear, tension, anticipation, and just enough gore -- to shock, but never repulse, its audience.
Sent to evaluate the environmental impact of oil drilling in the Arctic, James Hoffman (James Le Gros) clashes with the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82020%
Critics Consensus: A kinetic, violent and surprisingly worthy remake of George Romero's horror classic that pays homage to the original while working on its own terms.
When her husband is attacked by a zombified neighbor, Ana (Sarah Polley) manages to escape, only to realize her entire... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85550%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Blair Witch Project crossed with Godzilla, Cloverfield is economically paced, stylistically clever, and filled with scares.
As a group of New Yorkers (Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman) enjoy a going-away party, little do they know... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80640%
Critics Consensus: A brutal and effective British hoodie-horror that, despite the clichés, stays on the right side of scary.
During a romantic weekend getaway, a young couple confronts a gang of youths, and suffers brutal consequences.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 78819%
Critics Consensus: Frightening, funny, and packed with action, Dog Soldiers is well worth checking out for genre fans -- and marks writer-director Neil Marshall as a talent to keep an eye on.
During a routine nighttime training mission in the Scottish Highlands, a small squad of British soldiers expected to rendezvous with... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81981%
Critics Consensus: The best movie to star both the King and JFK.
After falling into a lengthy coma following a freak accident involving hip gyration, a now aged Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87058%
Critics Consensus: Relying on psychological tension rather than overt violence and gore, 1408 is a genuinely creepy thriller with a strong lead performance by John Cusack.
Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena -- before he checks into... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80077%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
The parents of a deceased girl are given three days with their dead daughter.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82826%
Critics Consensus: Smart, original, and horrifically funny, Teeth puts a fresh feminist spin on horror movie tropes.
Dawn (Jess Weixler) is an active member of her high-school chastity club but, when she meets Tobey (Hale Appleman), nature... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85295%
Critics Consensus: The stylish Thirst packs plenty of bloody thrills to satisfy fans of both vampire films and director Chan Wook Park.
Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho), a respected priest, volunteers for an experimental procedure that may lead to a cure for a deadly... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81401%
Critics Consensus: Surreal and visually striking, Taxidermia is, at times, graphic and difficult to watch, but creatively touches on disturbing subjects with imagination and wit.
Set over three generations and beginning with Morosgoványi Vendel, a sexually frustrated orderly during the war who relieves his tensions... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86070%
Critics Consensus: Shadow of the Vampire is frightening, compelling, and funny, and features an excellent performance by Willem Dafoe.
F. W. Murnau (John Malkovich) is struggling to create his silent classic "Nosferatu" on location in Eastern Europe. The director... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84750%
Critics Consensus: A deftly crafted tribute to Halloween legends, Trick 'r' Treat hits all the genre marks with gusto and old fashioned suspense.
Interwoven stories demonstrate that some traditions are best not forgotten as the residents (Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker) of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89447%
Critics Consensus: The Others is a spooky thriller that reminds us that a movie doesn't need expensive special effects to be creepy.
Grace (Nicole Kidman), the devoutly religious mother of Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), moves her family to the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91421%
Critics Consensus: Using its low-budget effects and mockumentary method to great result, Paranormal Activity turns a simple haunted house story into 90 minutes of relentless suspense.
Soon after moving into a suburban tract home, Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) become increasingly disturbed by what... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84871%
Critics Consensus: This anthology contains brutal, powerful horror stories by three of Asia's top directors.
Adjusted Score: 87345%
Critics Consensus: Witty and restrained but still taut and funny, this Pontypool is a different breed of low-budget zombie film.
When disc jockey Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) reports to his basement radio station in the Canadian town of Pontypool, he... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86665%
Critics Consensus: Restrained but disturbing, A Tale of Two Sisters is a creepily effective, if at times confusing, horror movie.
After being institutionalized in a mental hospital, Korean teen Su-mi (Yum Jung-ah) reunites with her beloved sister, Su-yeon (Im Soo-jung),... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88602%
Critics Consensus: Though its underlying themes are familiar, House of the Devil effectively sheds the loud and gory cliches of contemporary horror to deliver a tense, slowly building throwback to the fright flicks of decades past.
Desperate to make some money so she can move into a new apartment, college student Samantha Hughes (Jocelin Donahue) takes... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86715%
Critics Consensus: This harrowing, naturalistic drama holds you in its grip through Huller's intense performance.
Michaela, an epileptic, enrolls in college to study education. She goes off her medication and soon begins hearing voices and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93863%
Critics Consensus: Deft direction and strong performances from its all-female cast guide The Descent, a riveting, claustrophobic horror film.
A year after a severe emotional trauma, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) goes to North Carolina to spend some time exploring caves... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88434%
Critics Consensus: Guy Maddin's film is a richly sensuous and dreamy interpretation of Dracula that reinvigorates the genre.
In this ballet version of Bram Stoker's classic vampire tale, Dracula (Zhang Wei-Qiang) arrives in London and performs a dance... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91719%
Critics Consensus: A slimy, B-movie homage oozing with affection for low-budget horror films, Slither is creepy and funny -- if you've got the stomach for it.
Wheelsy is a small town where not much happens and everyone minds his own business. No one notices when evil... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95246%
Critics Consensus: Deeply unnerving and surprisingly poignant, The Orphanage is an atmospheric, beautifully crafted haunted house horror film that earns scares with a minimum of blood.
Laura (Belén Rueda) has happy memories of her childhood in an orphanage. She convinces her husband to buy the place... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94188%
Critics Consensus: Kinetically directed by Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later is both a terrifying zombie movie and a sharp political allegory.
A group of misguided animal rights activists free a caged chimp infected with the "Rage" virus from a medical research... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90031%
Critics Consensus: Plunging viewers into the nightmarish hellscape of an apartment complex under siege, [Rec] proves that found footage can still be used as an effective delivery mechanism for sparse, economic horror.
A reporter (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman record the horrifying outbreak of a disease that turns humans into vicious cannibals.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101827%
Critics Consensus: Wickedly funny and featuring plenty of gore, Zombieland is proof that the zombie subgenre is far from dead.
After a virus turns most people into zombies, the world's surviving humans remain locked in an ongoing battle against the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90570%
Critics Consensus: The strong female cast and biting satire of teenage life makes Ginger Snaps far more memorable than your average werewolf movie -- or teen flick.
The story of two outcast sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), in the mindless suburban town of Bailey... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96338%
Critics Consensus: Creepily atmospheric and haunting, The Devil's Backbone is both a potent ghost story and an intelligent political allegory.
After losing his father, 10-year-old Carlos (Fernando Tielve) arrives at the Santa Lucia School, which shelters orphans of the Republican... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100666%
Critics Consensus: Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.
Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a 30-something loser with a dull, easy existence. When he's not working at the electronics store,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104000%
Critics Consensus: Sam Raimi returns to top form with Drag Me to Hell, a frightening, hilarious, delightfully campy thrill ride.
Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) has a loving boyfriend (Justin Long) and a great job at a Los Angeles bank. But... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98416%
Critics Consensus: As populace pleasing as it is intellectually satisfying, The Host combines scares, laughs, and satire into a riveting, monster movie.
Careless American military personnel dump chemicals into South Korea's Han River. Several years later, a creature emerges from the tainted... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105720%
Critics Consensus: Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.
In 1944 Spain young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her ailing mother (Ariadna Gil) arrive at the post of her mother's... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104738%
Critics Consensus: Let the Right One In reinvigorates the seemingly tired vampire genre by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling.
When Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), a sensitive, bullied 12-year-old boy living with his mother in suburban Sweden, meets his new neighbor,... [More]
It’s a light week for home video entertainment, but never fear — RT on DVD is here! We’ll kick things off with the biggest title of the week: Frank Miller’s The Spirit, which had fans drooling with anticipation…until the stylized comic strip adaptation hit theaters. Better reviewed, but nonetheless controversial in its own right, is Kate Winslet’s The Reader, which nabbed the British actress her first Academy Award but also drew the ire of critics thanks to its sensitive subject material. Horror fans will get a pleasant surprise with an indie creature feature (Splinter), while ’80s enthusiasts should embrace a new eight-DVD set that combines the star power of Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, and Jon Cryer (The Lost Collection). Fans of director Michel Gondry should check out his latest compilation of music videos and short films (Michel Gondry 2: More Videos). Finally, see if an overlooked science fiction flick holds up in High Def (The 13th Floor on Blu-ray).
Frank Miller‘s first solo effort as a director (after co-directing Sin City with Robert Rodriguez) had fans both curious and hopeful, since the adaptation of the 1940s-era comic strip would mesh the celebrated style of Miller’s mentor, Will Eisner, with his own. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Miller’s treatment of the crime fighter known as The Spirit was widely panned by critics, who blasted its unintelligible plotting and ridiculous dialogue. That’s too bad, since The Spirit — like Sin City and 300 before it — is a daring effort, setting a cast of real-life players against largely computer-generated environments to create a unique world, half-real and half-imagined; sadly, it’s a brave choice that couldn’t quite balance a hammy, atonal script. Give it a chance this week on DVD (or in glorious High Def on Blu-ray), if only to witness Miller’s stylistic flair caress each and every one of his femme fatales (including Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Paz Vega, Sarah Paulson, and Jaime King). Below, watch an exclusive excerpt from the DVD feature “Miller on Miller,” in which Frank Miller explains his attraction to black and white animation and noir storytelling.
Next: Kate Winslet in The Reader
“It’s not a Holocaust movie,” argues director Stephen Daldry, who all but invited controversy with this drama about a German woman named Hanna Schmitz hiding her past as a Nazi prison guard. Hence, critics were split on whether or not the tale, told from the perspective of Hanna’s former lover, Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes), was told in poor taste. Rife with literary references — Hanna asks her then-15 year old lover to read aloud to her between lovemaking sessions — The Reader is adapted from Bernhard Schlink’s semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. While the film does curry some sympathy for the culpable Schmitz (thanks in large part to Kate Winslet‘s Oscar-winning performance), the bigger questions are posed to Fiennes’ character, who represents a generation of Germans still dealing with post-war guilt. Deleted scenes and making-of featurettes accompany the DVD, along with segments with director Daldry and actor David Kross, Kate Winslet, and up-and-coming composer Nico Muhly.
Next: Michel Gondry is back with More Videos
If you already own director Michel Gondry‘s Director’s Label compilation of music videos and shorts, then you’re going to want to add this new volume to your DVD collection. Like that previous release, Michel Gondry 2: More Videos assembles an assortment of delightful short films and music videos, all of them Gondrian to the core (read: handcrafted, fresh visuals from Hollywood’s most offbeat and crafty filmmaker). Included in this go-around are music videos for Bjork (“Declare Independence”), Paul McCartney (“Dance Tonight”), Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules (“Mad World”), Stereogram (“Walkie Talkie Man”), The White Stripes (“The Denial Twist”), Beck (“Cellphone’s Dead”) and more, including his “Knives Out” video for Radiohead, which the band notoriously hated and never used.
The single-disc release also includes a handful of shorts, including Gondry’s infamous Rubik’s Cube video (in which he solves the mindbender with his feet), a response video entitled “Jack Black Beats Michel Gondry With His Rubik’s Cube,” and “How To Blow Up A Helicopter (Ayako’s Story),” featuring actress Ayako Fujitani (who starred in Gondry’s segment of the film Tokyo! and who happens to also be the daughter of Steven Seagal). Find Michel Gondry 2: More Videos available at his official site, www.michelgondry.com beginning April 14.
Next: Spiky horrors in Splinter
“Sharply-directed” and “amusing” aren’t the words one might expect from low-budget horror these days, but the critics agree that Splinter, which debuted on HDNet and in limited release last October, delivers. The plot: a couple and their carjackers become trapped in an abandoned gas station by a parasite that turns animals (and people) into porcupine-like flesh eaters. Director Toby Wilkins paces his creature feature well, drawing comparisons to such classic monster flicks as The Thing and Tremors; hear all about how Wilkins pulled it off in two audio commentaries (one with him and the cast, the other with him and his crew), making-of featurettes, and more.
Next: Science, tragedy, and Meryl Streep in Dark Matter
The crossroads between genius and insanity have been addressed before in films like A Beautiful Mind, but in Dark Matter, that theme takes a, well, darker turn. Helmed by Chinese opera director Chen Shi-zheng, the drama — based loosely on a 1991 campus tragedy at the University of Iowa — follows brilliant Chinese doctoral student Liu Xing (Ye Liu), who comes to America to study physics and pursue the American Dream. But when his dissertation on dark matter, the unseen elements of the universe, contradicts the theories of his advisor (Aidan Quinn), Xing loses everything, and is set on a path toward a violent mental breakdown. Critics praised Dark Matter for its sensitive portrayal of the American immigrant experience, but bemoaned the inert journey it takes to get to its shocking conclusion. Meryl Streep co-stars.
Next: HBO’s The House of Saddam
BBC and HBO Films teamed up to produce this four-hour mini-series about the rise and fall of Saddam Hussein, the notorious Iraqi dictator who was executed in 2006. Spread over two discs, The House of Saddam chronicles the 27-year reign of Iraq’s fifth President (Munich‘s Yigal Naor) in spectacularly terrifying fashion; part soap opera, part historical document, the series has drawn comparisons to The Sopranos in part because it not only weaves together Hussein’s personal and political lives, but peels back the layers on members of his inner circle.
Next: Pillow Talk 50th Anniversary Edition
Bring home this romantic comedy classic about the epic battle of the sexes between an independent Manhattan gal (Doris Day) and a songwriting playboy who lives in her building (Rock Hudson). Nominated for five Oscars (it won for Best Screenplay), Pillow Talk marked the beginning of a fruitful on-screen partnership between singer-turned-studio starlet Day and Hudson, who would go on to star together in the lesser known rom-coms Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers. The 50th Anniversary edition, however, leaves something to be desired, as it includes only three bonus features (commentary by film historians, a feature on the Day-Hudson partnership, and one on the success of the 1959 film) and trailers.
Next: Turn back to the ’80s with The Lost Collection
The Lost Collection: My Best Friend Is A Vampire, Slaughter High, Irreconcilable Differences, The Night Before, Homer & Eddie, Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home, Hiding Out, Repossessed!
When it comes to nostalgia for the ’80s, perhaps some things are better left in the past… Not! Lionsgate certainly doesn’t think so, as they’re releasing eight films under the banner “The Lost Collection,” which run the gamut from horror to high school comedies to, yes, the saddest comedy of the entire decade: Irreconcilable Differences. Within the set you’ll also find the teen slasher Slaughter High, the Leslie Nielsen spoof Repossessed! (which co-stars Linda Blair in a parody of her Exorcist role), and the Keanu Reeves vehicle The Night Before, which plays like an ’80s version of Dude, Where’s My Car? Also included in the Lost Collection are the Robert Sean Leonard bloodsucker comedy, My Best Friend is a Vampire, and the unforgettable buddy pic Homer & Eddie, in which James Belushi endures a road trip with BFF Whoopi Goldberg! We can’t quite decide what’s worse, between that match up and the inclusion of not one, but two Jon Cryer flicks (the back to school yukfest Hiding Out and Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home). Naturally, each film comes with its own “I Love the ’80s”-style pop up trivia.
Next: The Thirteenth Floor hits Blu-ray
By the time The 13th Floor debuted in the summer of 1999, Hollywood was jam-packed with science-fiction films about virtual reality and technology (see Dark City, eXistenZ, and the mother of them all, The Matrix). Now that it’s gotten some distance from those comparisons, The 13th Floor might finally get a fair shake on Blu-ray. The time-jumping story of virtual reality tech Douglas Hall (Craig Bierko) begins in the 1990s and travels (via simulation game) to 1937 Los Angeles, where Hall learns that an artificially-created character within the game has figured out the truth — and may be killing other people. Gretchen Mol co-stars in this existential thriller, which looks sumptuous on Blu-Ray but lacks substantial bonus features.
Until next week, happy renting!