Sunday 26 October 2014

Modern British Horror Survey - the top twenty

Over the past month I have been finding the best British horror films of the 21st century (so far) by soliciting top tens from directors, screenwriters, producers, actors, designers, FX artists, critics, academics and fans. Now the votes are in, and I can reveal the top 20, as voted for by you:

  1. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle, 201) Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris evade rage-infected sort-of-zombies. With a side order of Christopher Eccleston
  2. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005) Six friends go caving, get lost, get trapped - and then find they're not alone...
  3. Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004) Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and pals stumble through a zombie apocalypse and eventually reach the pub.
  4. Dead Man’s Shoes (Shane Meadows, 2004) Ex-soldier Paddy Considine takes terrifying revenge on the small-town gangsters who bullied his mentally impaired brother.
  5. Eden Lake (James Watkins, 2008) Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender are terrorised by out-of-control children in the idyllic countryside.
  6. Dog Soldiers (Neil Marshall, 2002) It's squaddies vs werewolves in a classic siege scenario, under the command of British horror favourite Sgt Sean Pertwee.
  7. Kill List (Ben Wheatley, 2011) Two hitmen take on a mysterious job which leads them into conflict with a Pagan cult.
  8. The Woman in Black (James Watkins, 2012) Daniel Radcliffe makes his post-Potter debut in a traditional gothic ghost story from the reborn Hammer Films.
  9. Monsters (Gareth Edwards, 2010) A young couple travel across a depopulated zone inhabited by giant mysterious aliens.
  10. Attack the Block (Joe Cornish, 2011) Teenage muggers turn the tables on invading extraterrestrials.
  11. Creep (Christopher Smith, 2005) Franka Potente is trapped in the Tube overnight with a mysterious, deadly killer.
  12. Severance (Christopher Smith, 2007) A corporate team-building exercise in Eastern Europe with Andy Nyman and Danny Dyer goes oh so very wrong
  13. Let Me In (Matt Reeves, 2010) Young boy meets not-as-young-as-she-looks girl in Hammer remake of creepy Swedish vampire tale.
  14. The Children (Tom Shankland, 2008) Mysterious illness turns little tykes into emotionless, deadly killers.
  15. Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012) Psychological terror for Toby Jones at the mixing desk as he works on the soundtrack of an Italian horror movie.
  16. The Borderlands (Elliot Goldner, 2014) Vatican-backed paranormal investigators find more than they bargained for when they look underneath an old English church.
  17. Triangle (Christopher Smith, 2009) Multiple realities and time-travel on board a mysterious, deserted ocean liner.
  18. Byzantium (Neil Jordan, 2013) Vampire sisters on the run in a little coastal town.
  19. Colin (Marc Price, 2009) One zombie’s journey through the apocalypse.
  20. Cockneys vs Zombies (Matthias Hoene, 2012) The living dead interfere with a bank robbery and attack an old people’s home.
Some statistics:
  • Three films directed by Christopher Smith (Black Death came 33rd)
  • Two films directed by Neil Marshall (Doomsday also got a few votes)
  • Two films directed by James Watkins
  • Five films feature make-up effects by Paul Hyett (2, 5, 6, 8, 9 - Paul's own film The Seasoning House came 29th)
  • Two films written by James Moran (12, 20 - Tower Block also got a few votes)
  • Two films with music by Dave Julyan (2, 5)
  • Two films starring Nick Frost (3, 10)
  • Two films starring MyAnna Buring (2, 7)
  • Most expensive film: The Woman in Black (£17 million)
  • Least expensive film: Colin (45 quid!)
  • Although 28 Days Later scored slightly higher overall than The Descent, more people voted The Descent as their no.1 film
  • Films 1-6, 11, 12, 14 are featured in depth in my book Urban Terrors
Now take a look at films 21-40 and the rest of the nominees.

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