The highlight train keeps chugging, with Erin's list for the best films of 2011: both horror and not.
Chillerama - This was awesome. Most people my age missed the golden age of Drive Thru Horror Shlock, and this was the highlight of the year for B-movie fans.
Paranormal Activity 3 - I won't lie, I was prepared to hate this, expecting it to be the new "Saw" series, where they take a great movie/concept and run it into the ground by producing sequel after sequel until it gets to the point of ridiculousness. But, I still went to see it, and I'm glad I did. So many people won't give movies that use the "character's video camera" approach, saying it's cheap, you don't see much, it's boring, etc. I love this approach. The terror can be subtle, and shocking. People today don't understand that sometimes, it's what you don't see that's scary.
Insidious - What else can I say that most don't already know? It was proof you don't need a huge budget, pointless gore, fancy CGI effects or music to replace true scares. The cinematography in this film was amazing, the atmosphere was truly creepy, and it was an new and original story. It manages to scare & make you scream without a drop of blood. Don't let the PG-13 rating fool you -- this movie is truly scary. Hollywood should stop shoveling out 3D remake crap, and watch this -- they may learn a thing or two.
Priest - Yes, it's not the best acting I've ever seen, and some of the dialoge was questionable, the plot was weak and the 3D was pointless. But it's a post apocalyptic, western-like film with vampires. Look, not every film has to be Oscar worthy, and I thought this was a pretty damn good time. We all have guilty pleasure movies, and this is one of mine.
Drive Angry - Some of the best acting by Nicholas Cage's hair I've seen! This one had a grindhouse feel: The violence is over the top, there's nudity, gore, intentionally cheesy dialog delivered by Cage as if it was Shakespeare. I loved it all. This movie embraces the fact it's ridiculous and over the top. And although I saw it in 2D, I heard that this was one of the few films that was worth seeing in 3D.
Hobo With a Shotgun - I know, you're sensing a theme here -- another violent, over the top, gore filled romp of ridiculousness. Something I didn't expect in this one was the strong character development of both The Hobo & Abbey, especially in a movie of this nature. The killings come fast and furious, they're brutal, and the director is a master of capturing cinematic blood and guts. This was another cheesy Grindhouse, good-time movie, and you'll be cheering every time Rutger Hauer offs a bad guy in splatter-rific fashion. It's just an overall fun movie.
Fright Night - I put this on here because as much as I bash remakes (for good reason: Most of them suck and don't capture the reasons the movie was a classic in the first place) "Fright Night's" decision to modernize the time frame of the movie seemed to work. Colin Farrell steals the show, and really embraces being the evil bad guy. I was however, a bit disappointed in his wide-mouth shark teeth CGI transformation into vamp -- it wasn't as convincing as the original. And how could you not miss the original lines and acting of Evil Ed. Ultimately, yes, I admit I was wrong when I said this movie would suck donkey balls. It's worth a watch.
Your Highness - I can't believe this film didn't get more recognition! People must not have a sense of humor anymore. The goofy humor was great, and I didn't expect anything else from the guy who did "Pineapple Express." I almost forgave Natalie Portman for her awful "Star Wars" prequel performances with this one.
Paul - It's a movie about a foul mouthed, crude alien. I shouldn't even have to explain this one. Oh, and it's funny, so that helps. Seth Rogan does a great job voicing Paul too.
Bridesmaids - Oh shut up. Look, technically, it's a chick flick, but it wasn't a sappy or tear jerking piece of romance crap. This was the Anti-Chick flick. "The Hangover" with women. It was dirty, it was hilarious, and there were just as many men laughing their ass off in the theater as women. So yeah - men, it's ok to watch.