It is hard to believe that the ‘00s ended nearly 9 years ago. Horror has gone through some huge changes in that time. Given the recent resurgence in horror films with the likes of Get Out, Don’t Breathe, and IT, it is easy to forget a time that the genre was limited to cheap thrills or simply waiting for Wes Craven to do something new. We may still be caught in the tight grip of remake fever, but there is no denying that horror is bigger now than it has ever been.
Heading back to the turn of the 21st Century and the decade that followed, horror hounds saw Jigsaw put his first puzzle together with Saw, Danny Boyle’s zombie reinvention with 28 Days Later, and everyone learn that you can’t cheat death thanks to Final Destination. However, for every Samara from The Ring and Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, there are many good (and bad) movies that fell by the wayside.
Prepare to take a trip down memory lane. With the good, the bad, and the ugly that may have slipped under the radar of that demonic decade that was 2000-2009, here are 15 ’00s Horror Movies You Completely Forgot About.
15. The Devil’s Rejects
Ditching the supernatural elements that may have bogged down original movie House of 1000 Corpses, Zombie gave his fans a sick Thelma & Louise sequel through the backroads of America. The Devil’s Rejects co-star Sid Haig does a bang-up job of playing Captain Spaulding – the overweight psychopath with a bad paint job who is in charge of the Firefly Family.
The usual band of Zombie alumni assembled, and with stellar performances from the lead trio of Haig, Bill Moseley, and Sherri Moon Zombie, horror hounds were gifted an uncomfortable watch. Before Zombie took on Michael Myers or drifted into even more obscure entries like 31, The Devil’s Rejects is arguably the peak of his career.
There may have once been plans to complete a Captain Spaulding trilogy, but it looks like the creepy clown really did go down in that hail of bullets to the beautiful words of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird”.
14. Jason X
When some horror franchises drop a clanger, they do it in style, and Jason X was no exception. After 21 years of treading water at Camp Crystal Lake – and even a trip to Hell – James Isaac took Jason Voorhees on his most absurd adventure yet.
To this day, even the madcap massacre that was Freddy vs. Jason can’t compare to the sheer lunacy of Jason X. Taking the mask-wearing weirdo to the year 2455, a ship of students were taken down by a reanimated Jason. Cue the typical noises of ch-ch-ka-ka, now in the vast emptiness of space.
To say Jason X was a cheese-fest gone wrong would be an understatement, but then Isaac had to go and make matters worse. The final act saw the emergence of Uber Jason as a genetically enhanced version of the serial slasher, complete with a snazzy new mask.
While Jason X isn’t actually the lowest rated entry in the series, it is the one that earned the least compared to its budget at the box office. It appears that taking a horror icon and sticking in space might only work for Leprechauns.
13. American Psycho 2
Who remembers when Mila Kunis starred in that awful sequel to American Psycho? While some may remember a flimsy plot about a criminology student who is obsessed with murder, the thinly-veiled sequel to Bret Easton Ellis’ novel and the subsequent movie adaptation failed to make a mark.
Although the first film was heralded as a shocking piece of cinema, American Psycho 2 was an unmitigated disaster. Without an Ellis novel to go off or Mary Harron’s directorial magic, fans were left with a movie that makes nearly every “Worst Sequels” list you could imagine.
The cool demeanor of Christian Bale’s suave Patrick Bateman was gone, replaced by Kunis as the unhinged Rachael Newman in a movie that leaned more on comedy than satire. The problems become clear when you delve a little deeper. Originally imagined as a simple adaptation of the script The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die, it wasn’t until the film entered production that it became a sequel to American Psycho.
12. The Strangers
“Is Tamara home?” These are the chilling words of a creepy girl lurking outside your holiday home from 2008’s The Strangers. It is easy to argue that our obsession with home invasion movies like The Purge and Hush wouldn’t be as big if not for The Strangers. Revamping the masked psycho trope, audiences were left clutching their seats as Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman were tortured by unknown assailants.
There was the tragedy of two broken lovers, the isolated setting, and enough clever camera work to have you shouting, “He’s behind you.” However, the real hook of The Strangers – apart from those terrifying masks- was that we never really understood the motive of the attackers.
While a sequel was always expected, it is a crime that The Strangers 2 was only officially announced in early 2017. The sequel aims to hit cinemas at some point in the near future and boasts a cast that includes Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks. Here’s hoping that it isn’t long before the masked menaces come rapping at our doors once again.
11. Eden Lake
With Brits trying to prove that they can do horror just as well as the American’s, James Watkins’ Eden Lake is a prime example of how to do it right. Starring Kelly Reilly and a young(er) Michael Fassbender, Eden Lake wasn’t your standard thriller.
Dubbed a “hoodie horror,” Eden Lake tackled Britain’s approach to youth culture and the crimes of the 21st century. Unbreakable star Jack O’Connell was the alpha leader in this warped Lord of the Flies, and it isn’t long before our leads Steve and Jenny were being hunted through the wilderness by a gang of sadistic thugs.
Taking classic horrors like Last House on the Left as an influence, Eden Lake updated a tired formula with a grim social commentary on teenage life in “Broken Britain.” Expect a heart-pounding race to the final act, but without spoiling it, one of the bleakest ending out there in the horrorverse. Don’t expect to explore much quaint British countryside if you sit down for this dose of noughties nostalgia.
10. Return To House On Haunted Hill
While 1999’s remake of House on Haunted Hill had Geoffrey Rush’s brilliant riff on Vincent Price’s performance in the 1959 original, 2007’s sequel had none of this charm. A forgettable cast of nobodies and a movie that no one really asked for, why would anyone watch Return to House on Haunted Hill?
Annoyingly, the movie couldn’t even stump up the cash to have Ali Larter return as Sara Wolfe, and instead opted to kill her off using a dodgy lookalike. There was some paper-thin plot about Amanda Righetti’s character being the younger sister of Larter’s from the first film. Even horror legend Jeffrey Combs’ couldn’t save the sequel from the bargain basement of Blockbuster.
Perhaps the only thing the blunder will be remembered for was the use of Warner Bros.’ short-lived Navigational Cinema technology. Here, audiences could choose the path that the movie took and end up with a variety of different conclusions – safe to say, this didn’t help the movie’s abysmal critical rating. Is it any wonder that Dark Castle canned the idea for a third House on Haunted Hill movie and closed the asylum doors for good?
Definitely living up to the tagline of “It’ll get under your skin,” it is just a shame that 2008’s Splinter doesn’t stay there for long. A low-budget throwback to the horror of the ‘80s, all the pieces were in place for a truly great addition to the creature feature genre. Whereas it would be all too easy to make this newly-invented monster the focus of the film, Splinter makes it all about the people.
Trapped in a desolate gas station, a group of mismatched survivors try and fight off a deadly parasite. The schtick here is that the creature not only kills you – it then distorts your body into a rabid creature with spikes protruding from it – think of a really angry hedgehog. Masterfully balancing a cast of just six actors, director Toby Wilkins really gets the horror pumping as soon as the titles have wrapped.
A forgotten gem, Splinter was even nominated for Spike TV‘s Scream Awards for “Most Memorable Mutilation,” but sadly lost to that infamous pendulum scene in Saw V. Anyone who is a fan of John Carpenter’s masterpieces like The Thing and Body Bags should definitely check out Splinter.
If anyone had ever wondered what a horror pairing of Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson would look like, you’d better check into Vacancy.
Trapped in a sleazy motel while awaiting rescue, David and Amy Fox soon find out they are being cast in their own real-life snuff film. Cue a lot of hidden cameras, shocked faces, and hiding under beds/in showers/climbing out windows. Even a big budget and bigger names couldn’t save this from being just another movie that you’d now probably skip past on Netflix.
When in early development, Sarah Jessica Parker had been cast as the female lead, so it is almost certainly for the best that Beckinsale eventually nabbed the part.
While one night at the murderous motel was probably enough for anyone, it didn’t stop the direct-to-DVD market pushing ahead with Vacancy 2: The First Cut. The prequel somehow managed to out-crap its predecessor, meaning that Beckinsale and Wilson can now sleep soundly in their beds.
7. House Of Wax
Be honest and own up, the only reason anyone remembers the corny remake of 1953’s House of Wax is for Paris Hilton and her “talents”. When you realize that ’50s version is actually a remake of 1933’s Mystery at the Wax Museum, it is hard to stop the feeling that Hollywood should’ve stopped at just one reboot.
A group of friends heads off to a football match, but when the town isn’t even on the GPS, you’ve probably come to the wrong place. Continuing the classic Texas Chain Saw Massacre mistakes, it isn’t long before the scantily-clad college kids are sliced, diced, and dipped in wax. If becoming a human candle wasn’t bad enough, spare a thought for the cast who had to sit through the entire production and put up with Hilton’s ear-piercing screams.
Slack-jawed yokels are the predictable villains, and there is a fiery climax sporting some atrocious CGI. All in all, House of Wax slips in among other ‘00s remakes like The Hills Have Eyes. Originally titled Wax House, Baby Jaume Collet-Serra’s movie was far too busy trying to be relevant to today’s tech-savvy kids to notice it was actually melting into nothing.
6. Ginger Snaps
Nope, not a delectable cookie for after you finish your vegetables. It’s time to talk about the movie Ginger Snaps. The tale of two death-obsessed sisters with Cronenberg-esque transformations and a wicked streak of black comedy, what wasn’t there to love about John Fawcett’s 2000 movie?
When Katharine Isabelle’s titular nerd gets mauled by a ravenous creature, she immediately undergoes a physical and mental change to become one of “cool kids” at school. Embracing the new-found werewolf inside while battling with the affections of her sister Brigitte, Ginger isn’t ready to go back to her old life just yet.
With a strong female cast and a unique spin of the werewolf premise, most critics lauded the monstrous metaphor for female puberty; a Teen Wolf for the modern girl.
5. Trick ‘R Treat
Easily one of the best horror anthologies ever, Trick ‘r Treat is a must-have for any horror fan. A screaming cast of Brian Cox, Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker, and Leslie Bibb are to name but a few of the big-name cast that make up 82 minutes of pure horror gluttony.
Trick ‘r Treat has enough twists and turns to keep even the most seasoned horror veterans interested. From school buses full of doomed kids to another Ginger Snaps-esque take on werewolves, there is something for everyone.
Each story intertwines for one twisted night of Hallow’s Eve fun in a tormented American town. However, the real icing on the cake for Trick ‘r Treat is the introduction of the sack-headed Sam, who becomes easily the cutest lil’ psycho since Chucky became a Good Guy doll.
There may have been little movement on the promised sequel, but true horror aficionados know that director Michael Dougherty would be a fool not to treat us with Trick ‘r Treat 2.
Prepare to get lost in your own never-ending Möbius strip with Christopher Smith’s nautical head-scratcher – Triangle. One of those films that starts off confusing enough, Triangle slowly sticks a middle finger to its audience while they try and keep up with what the hell is going on. Expect a Bermuda Triangle of time loops as Smith replays the same scene over and over, while the movie unravels to a predictable but chilling conclusion.
A single mother tries to leave her life behind with some R&R on a sunny boat trip, but things go awry when the group comes across an eerily quiet ocean liner. Convinced that someone – or something – is stalking them, will anyone make it back to dry land with their life? Mulholland Drive’s Melissa George is superb as the movie’s tormented lead.
Don’t expect your standard horror jumps, but as a mind-bending thriller, fans are sure to be satisfied by the end. Triangle is brash and defiant in its narrative, and it won’t apologize for being like nothing you have seen before.
3. What Lies Beneath
Forget Tyler and Speedman or Beckinsale and Wilson, Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer are the perfect horror couple in What Lies Beneath. Anyone who claims they weren’t a little scared of their bathroom after this supernatural thriller is a damn liar.
Pfeiffer is perfect as Claire Spencer – a woman settling into a new life after her kids have flown the nest. Alongside her loving scientist husband (Ford), Claire is haunted by strange happenings inside her house and an increased worry for the abusive relationship of her neighbor. As the slow-burner comes to a climax, Claire realizes some dark secrets from her own past while battling to unveil the truth.
Coming from Robert “Back to the Future” Zemeckis, the movie fulfills the director’s aspirations to always make a thriller. Though laced with Hitchcockian themes, What Lies Beneath sadly comes off as a cheap imitation. People undoubtedly forget the early ‘00s thriller due to its absurd supernatural elements and an almost laughable conclusion. As a straight-up thriller, it could’ve been great, but combining two genres in such a poor way does What Lies Beneath and its stellar cast no favors.
2. The Others
You can tell a noughties horror film has made it when Scary Movie takes a pop, and yet, it is all too easy to forget how good 2001’s The Others actually is. Before The Woman in Black was terrifying Daniel Radcliffe, we had Nicole Kidman starring in Alejandro Amenábar’s haunted house horror.
Kidman portrayed the prim and proper mother trying to hold her family together while her husband fights the war. With her children afflicted with a rare photosensitivity disease, Kidman’s Grace Stewart knows exactly how she likes her house run. After the arrival of three new servants, strange occurrences have Grace worried and things start to go wrong.
Sure, the kids are as annoying as movie kids get, but there is a quintessential British charm that fans just can’t help but love.Forget what you know about ghost movies, because none of that applies here. The Others is a tense psychological horror with a truly brilliant twist at the end. While movies since may rely on flash CGI or big-budget scares, The Others was simplicity at its best.
1. My Bloody Valentine 3D
Prepare to go down the mine one more time, because there is a final remake to finish off the list of ‘00s horror we all forget. Get out your pickaxe and shine the head torch – it is time to look at My Bloody Valentine 3D.
Riding a wave of bloodshed and gimmicks, My Bloody Valentine 3D retraces the tale of a trapped miner who decided to go on a murderous killing spree when waking from a coma. There are survivors, and the story obviously picks up many years later on a typical Valentine’s Day night. Expect there to be clichéd murders, but credit to the movie, it doesn’t shy away from living up to its horror credentials.
Ironically, it is usually the gimmicky films that struggle to make a mark, and the lackadaisical use of 3D technology won’t have helped My Bloody Valentine age particularly well. However, as a reboot of the 1981 slasher, Lionsgate reaped the box office rewards of this campy horror. There is no Agatha Christie mystery here, but as a tense whodunnit, My Bloody Valentine is at least worthy of a watch once.
Which is your favorite ’00s horror that everyone forgets? Sound off in the comments below!
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