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Best Horror Movies of 2010: Theatrical

Best Wide Theatrical Horror/Suspense Releases of 2010


The horror/suspense movies receiving a wide release in 2010 might not have provided any obvious all-time classics, but it was a very consistent slate throughout the year, with solid genre offerings from January through December. (For the purposes of this list, I'm defining "wide" as 500-plus screens.)

Honorable Mentions: Piranha 3D, The Wolfman, Skyline, Case 39.

10. Predators

'Predators' movie poster.
© 20th Century Fox

The long-anticipated sequel (reboot, whatever) manages to recreate some of the magic of the original Schwarzenegger film (minus the "choppa"), although it tends to err on the safe side of being overly reverential. Still, a fun time for all.

9. Devil

'Devil' movie poster.
© Universal

This M. Night Shyamalan-conceived tale takes a simple concept and runs with it, creating a tense, fast-paced mashup of The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt with a dash of Hitchcock and a Towering Inferno-styled disaster movie.

8. Black Swan

'Black Swan' movie poster.
© Fox Searchlight
The critical acclaim is perhaps a bit overblown, but it's still a juicy visual feast that can satisfy the art house crowd, the horror crowd and the camp crowd.

7. The Crazies

'The Crazies' poster.
© Overture
One of the rare horror remakes that might be better than the original, this modernization of the overly talky George Romero tale bumps up the adrenaline (granted, dumbing it down in the process), delivering an intense hybrid of horror and action.

6. Paranormal Activity 2

'Paranormal Activity 2' movie poster.
© Paramount

Although the story ends up playing much like the original, the atmospheric realism of the scares in Paranormal Activity 2 still resonate. Kudos to the filmmakers for finding a way to engage us with a new narrative but still tying it into the original film and leaving us wanting (maybe just one) more.

5. Shutter Island

'Shutter Island' movie poster.
© Paramount

The final twist is predictable, but the journey through Shutter Island is still an engrossing blend of psychological thriller and throwback "dark and stormy night" mystery shot with a wonderfully neo-noirish eye from Martin Scorsese.

4. Let Me In

'Let Me In' movie poster.
© Hammer/Overture

There were many cries of protest when an American remake of Let the Right One In was announced, but Matt Reeves' emotion-packed version garnered stellar reviews and earned the respect of many skeptics -- granted it's not a drastic reinterpretation of the story. Stars Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz shine in what could've been star-making performances had the film performed better at the box office.

3. The Last Exorcism

'The Last Exorcism' movie poster.
© Lionsgate

One of the most divisive horror movies of the year, The Last Exorcism automatically earned the ire of some viewers for being yet another POV/"found footage" fright flick, but its strong performances, creepy atmosphere, compelling storyline and sly sense of humor combine to create a lasting impression.

2. Splice

'Splice' movie poster.
© Warner Bros.
This modern Frankenstein tale brings the classic mad scientist scenario into the cloning age with intelligence and genuine emotion uncommon in most genre movies today.

1. Daybreakers

'Daybreakers' poster.
© Lionsgate

Part horror, part wham-bam action pic, Daybreakers manages to deliver popcorn thrills while also imparting insightful commentary on everything from natural resources to class conflict, making the sort of bold statements within a vampire mythology that George Romero has done so often with zombies.

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