Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!

The Cyber-Horror Elite Pick the Top 25 Modern Horrors

Descent poster

About three weeks ago, the Vault of Horror blog owner B-Sol compiled the Top 50 Horror Films of All Time from the lists of thirty-two of the top horror bloggers and site owners (the "Cyber-Horror Elite"). The results were controversial, to say the least, although that was anticipated. One of the major points of discussion was that the list skewed towards older horror -- only 10% of the list came from the 1990s and 2000s. With that in mind, B-Sol regathered the Elite (with new additions) and embarked upon a new poll, this time to determine the 25 best horror films made since 1990.

The results of the poll, compiled from the lists of twenty-six contributors, were published on Saturday. The top five are below, followed by a link to the full list:

  1. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
  2. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, 1999)
  3. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991)
  4. The Ring (Gore Verbinski, 2002)
  5. Scream (Wes Craven, 1996)
    The full list...

I'm pleased to say that I was one of the contributors to this new list. Originally, I hesitated to do so, as I was unfamiliar with some of the more highly praised films of recent years. However, after doing some research and watching a few movies that failed to make a dent in my original ten, I changed my mind. Here's my own contribution to the list:

  1. Cemetery Man (Michele Soavi, 1994)
  2. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
  3. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
  4. Ju-on: The Grudge (Takashi Shimizu, 2003)
  5. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991)
  6. Dead Alive (Peter Jackson, 1992)
  7. 28 Days Later... (Danny Boyle, 2002)
  8. Sleepy Hollow (Tim Burton, 1999)
  9. Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008)
  10. Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett, 2000)

As fate would have it, I saw Tomas Alfredson's Let the Right One In just three days after I submitted my list. It would have taken the #6 slot, bumping Dead Alive and everything after it down one (except I'd probably keep Ginger Snaps and drop Cloverfield -- don't ask me how that works).

The only comment I have on the ranking of my list is that the only position that was never in any question was the #1 slot. After I put together my rough list of candidates, I just knew that Cemetery Man (aka Dellamorte Dellamore) stood above them all. It's funny, actually, when you realize that a film that you've loved for a long time is actually one of your absolute favorites. I hadn't realize how fiercely devoted I was to Soavi's existential zombie comedy until I made my list. I'm rather pleased, actually, that it actually made the Vault's combined 25, albeit in the very last slot.

There's been a lot of brouhaha on the Internet about The Descent's placement at the top of the final list. Personally, I don't understand it. It's a simple horror story about common fears -- darkness, claustraphobia, something skittering in the shadows -- that is told well. I first watched the movie on Halloween night in 2007, with all the lights turned off and an easily freaked out roommate at my side. It was one of the more affecting horror movie experiences I'd ever had, so I'm pleased to see the film get recognized.

The Descent (Neil Marshall,

The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)

This was a great movie-- it made my wife scream bloody murder twice, which makes it totally worth the money. At the same time, it's not a cheap horror flick; instead, it develops the characters and makes you feel like you are really in the cave exploring it. For anyone who is a true spelunker or climber, you will appreciate the extraordinary and accurate filming under tough lighting conditions, as well as the accuracy of climbing technique that went into this film. The blu-ray looked fantastic, especially when viewing the wilderness area where the cave was located.

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