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.)
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.
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
7. The Crazies
6. Paranormal Activity 2
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
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
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
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.
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.