Best Genre Films of 2011: Part 2

By: Heather Seebach

The countdown continues!

Missed part 1? Click here!

15. Red State

Here is another potentially controversial choice. I can understand the hatred surrounding this movie because of its muddled commentary. Kevin Smith seemingly does not take sides as he bashes both religious zealots and the government alike. However, I viewed this film as a straight-forward horror where villains are all around, and the victims are basically fucked. It is bleak, funny, and splattery. The film – especially the first third – is not unlike other “survival” horror films (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Cold Prey, etc.) with a family of crazies terrorizing young people. Is it far-fetched? Absolutely. Is it clever commentary on religion or law enforcement? No. It’s just entertaining horror, and worth watching for Michael Parks alone. 

14. Dream Home

This gory Chinese slasher flick is a little different in that the killer is the protagonist. Her victims, at first, are seemingly random, but we soon discover how a sweet young girl comes to brutally murder over a dozen people. There are some sweet kills (though not all are winners) and some funny sight gags. Dream Home is not only a tongue-in-cheek splatter film but it is also socio-political commentary on the global effects of the American financial crisis. 

13. The Woman

The concept of Lucky McKee’s latest film is bold and interesting. It portrays a seemingly normal nuclear family whose dark secrets unravel after the father brings home a feral woman and chains her up in the cellar. Like a twisted My Fair Lady, he aims to “rehabilitate” her. The idea is far-fetched but the point is to expose and mock the self-entitlement and self-righteousness often held by the upper-middle class, and also to chastise men who get off on dominating and demeaning women. The male protagonist claims his captive is not civilized while he behaves like a beast. My problems with this film include an absurd ending with silly gore and obnoxious camerawork, and some poorly placed music. Still, it’s a disturbing little thought-provoker worth seeing. 

12. Troll Hunter

I am as sick as everyone else of found footage films but films like this prove there is still some life in the subgenre. Troll Hunter follows three college students who pursue an alleged bear poacher in Norway. They soon discover he is actually hunting trolls in the forests. It’s a silly concept, yes, but it really works. The movie feels authentic (like a nature documentary) and the trolls are treated realistically like wildlife, but there are also nods to the fairy tales. The bridge scene took me a minute but I loved it. Watching Hans, the hunter – fictional though he may be – track these creatures is actually fascinating. The emphasis on wild trolls and their natural history reminds me a lot of Finland’s Rare Exports, where Santa Claus was given a similar treatment. Fans of that film should definitely check this one out.

11. Some Guy Who Kills People

Kevin Corrigan plays a former mental patient who is trying to re-adjust to society but is haunted by memories of high school bullies. When his estranged daughter shows up and forces a bond, he starts finding happiness again. Meanwhile, murdered old high school jocks start showing up around town and all signs point to the resident crazy person. This film was directed by Jack Perez, who previously directed Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. But don’t let that discourage you – this flick is dark and hilarious. Barry Bostwick, who plays a policeman, is especially funny.  

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