The 2000s were a hot time for horror movies. If you couldn’t find a horror movie that you liked, then you weren’t trying very hard. There were horror movies for kids including Coraline (2009), Corpse Bride (2005), and Monster House (2006). There were psychological horror movies like Identity (2003), Silent Hill (2006), American Psycho (2000), 1408 (2007), and Panic Room (2002). The 2000s had gore horror such as Sweeney Todd (2007), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), and the Saw franchise. There were even funny horror movies like Scary Movie (2000) and Zombieland (2009). And we can’t forget the fantasy horror movies like Pans Labyrinth (2006), 30 Days of Nights (2007), and The Brothers Grimm (2005). So many choices, so many sub-genres, all with one thing in common, give the audience a thrill.
The 2000s is when I started watching horror movies to be scared. I tried something every sub-genre and found that psychological, gore, and fantasy are what I prefer and even though I would normally go for a psychological thriller over anything else, those were not what I selected to review this go round.
First up, Ghost Ship (2002). This movie has my all-time favorite opening scene. It takes place on a cruise ship in the 1960s. Everyone is onboard dancing when a wire cuts across the deck and through everything/everyone in its way. It was so brutal, so shocking, and so perfect to set up the rest of the movie. This movie has two strong female leads, Julianna Margulies and Emily Browning. Julianna plays Epps, the co-owner of a salvage crew and Emily plays Katie, the child ghost trying to save anyone who will listen to her. Together, Epps and Katie figure out what is happening and on board the ship and put a stop to it, or so Epps thinks. The ending of this movie flashes back over the whole movie to show you how everything connected and left an opening for a sequel that I hoped for but it just never happened.
Thir13en Ghosts (2001) is a movie about what happens when you have eccentric relatives with too much money and time and not enough humanity. Tony Shalhoub plays Arthur, the dad of Kathy and Bobby played by Shannon Elizabeth and Alec Roberts. Arthur is a struggling single dad who inherits his uncle Cyrus’s estate which includes this amazing house that has everything their current living situation does not. Thir13en Ghosts is exactly that, the eccentric uncle was collecting 13 ghosts to power a machine. The up side? The ghosts are contained…for about five whole minutes. Soon after Arthur and his kids show up at the house, the person that was helping Cyrus shows up, his name is Dennis played by Matthew Lillard. He tells the family about the ghosts and the tragic back stories that made them perfect victims for Cyrus’ machine. The assistant antagonist of the movie, was a twist that will not be shared here. Thir13en Ghosts will make you jump and may even make you cover your eyes once or twice. The ending is beautiful and very well done.
“WHEN SOMEONE DIES IN THE GRIP OF A POWERFUL RAGE, A CURSE IS BORN. IT GATHERS IN THE PLACE OF DEATH, BUT CANNOT BE CONTAINED ONCE YOU ENCOUNTER IT, IT WILL NEVER LET YOU GO.”
The final movie of this article is The Grudge (2004) which we can’t talk about without giving The Ring (2002) honorable mention, because without the success of The Ring, movies like The Grudge would not have been possible. The Grudge is about an American nurse named Karen played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, that is living and working in Tokyo who is exposed to a curse. The Grudge is a different kind of ghost story that deals with possession. This movie is creepy from start to finish and will keep you on the edge on your seat. Seeing how the ghost takes possession of its victims and fills them with a murderous rage that causes the victim in basically implode is intense. There is some gore but for the most part, the movie is suspenseful. If stressful situations are your thing, then this movie is for you.
I know these are not the best horror movies of the 2000s but these are some of my favorites from the time. These are the movies that made me realize that being scared can be just as fun as being happy in a controlled environment, that is. So, this spooky season, find a new horror movie or indulge in an old favorite and enjoy!