Horror is a pretty broad genre, but it’s fair to say that the movie is a good fit if it features a hideous creature with enormous teeth, piercing dead eyes and skin that looks like the bottom of a swamp, behaving in a predatory and unhinged manner.
A new Sex & The City movie didn’t come out in 2011, but our editors’ shortlist for the Best Horror award featured a number of interesting choices, reflecting how diverse the genre banner is these days. 2011 had something for everyone, from unrelenting suspense and slasher gore to crossovers with science fiction and thrillers. Which one will claim the Golden Dactyl? Follow the jump to find out…
Some might not consider Attack The Block to be a horror film and there are certainly elements that push against the bracket: it’s fast-paced, very entertaining in a popcorn-munching way, centres around an alien invasion and is chock full of action. However, that would be ignoring how Joe Cornish’s versatile directorial debut also features a number of hugely suspenseful set-pieces – case in point being the gang slowly making their way down a smoky corridor, knowing that alien beasties could be waiting to pounce at any moment – and a monster design that is simple, but brutally unsettling: those glowing fangs turned out to be an inspired way of alerting audiences to an impending threat in a sudden, terrifying way.
For those of you who disagree, our shortlist features a number of more straight-laced genre experiences that only narrowly missed taking the Dactyl. Insidious quickly earnt a reputation as the most relentlessly scary movie of the year, while bravely lacking the usual gore. One movie definitely not lacking in that department was Final Destination 5, another entry in the knowingly ridiculous series featuring a group of teens being hunted by death itself, whose art is plied in increasingly outlandish ways. Kill List (my vote) was more of a genre mix, but by the end had embraced the tone to formidable effect. The Woman and Fright Night also succeeded in spinning the genre in distinctive ways. It’s the awesome Attack The Block which wins the Dactyl, though, and as one of the movie highlights of the year in general, couldn’t be more deserving.