Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Horror-able Performance

I randomly started wondering today about horror movies and the performances within. Specifically horror films from this past decade. I've got a couple of ideas of how to do rundowns of the '00s and this wasn't one of them, it was just a spur of the moment thing. Here for no reason whatsoever - although Halloween is coming up so let's take that and run with it - are my ten favourite horror movie performances of the decade. I've decided to include films that are on the edge as to whether they are classified as horror or not, but they're impressive and any chance to mention them I'll take.

Bare in mind that this is in no way some "official" list. It's just ten performances I like for the sake of doing a list (and who doesn't love a list?) And I am aware that I haven't seen every horror movie that has come out this decade (far from it) and that some of the notable exceptions probably include some fine performances.

In alphabetical order:

Christian Bale
as "Patrick Bateman"
American Psycho
"You're a fucking ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death, and then play around with your blood."

Angela Bettis
as "May Canady"
"It was sweet... I don't think she could've got his finger off in one bite, though. That part seemed a little far fetched."

Jennifer Carpenter
as "Angela Vidal"

Maeve Dermody
as "Lee"
Black Water
"It's not gonna leave us alone, is it? We're gonna die, aren't we?"

Laura Dern
as a"Nikki Grace / Susan Blue"
"Damn! This sounds like a dialogue from our script!"

John Jarratt
as "Mick Taylor"
Wolf Creek
"How 'bout I cut ya fuckin' tits off?"

Ashley Judd
as "Agnes White"
"I am the mother queen."

Nicole Kidman
as "Grace Stewart"
The Others
"Where's my daughter? What have you done with my daughter?"

Parker Posey
as "Jennifer Jolie"
Scream 3
"...someone wants to kill you. So now, starting now, I go where you go. That way, if someone wants to kill me, I'll be with you, and since he really wants to kill you, he won't kill me, he'll kill you. Make sense?"

Jennifer Tilly
as "Jennifer Tily" (and "Tiffany")
Seed of Chucky
"I'm an Oscar-nominee, for God's sake. Now look at me, I'm fucking a puppet."


Drew said...

This is a really interesting list. I agree that Laura Dern, Christian Bale and Ashley Judd delivered absolutely brilliant performances in those films. I'm interested by the inclusion of Jennifer Carpenter, because I think she's a great actress but I've heard bad things about Quarantine.

When I saw this post the performance I immediately thought of was Marcia Gay Harden in The Mist. Hard to think of more.

Scott Mendelson said...

Good to see some love for Bug and especially Ashley Judd. Michael Shannon (deservedly) got the lion's share of what little press the movie received, but it really was a team effort.

elgringo said...

ARGH! I still haven't seen MAY! I've been meaning to for YEARS! You've convinced me. Top of my Netflix queue RIGHT NOW!

Ashley Judd in Bug? Really? I haven't seen it but I was under the impression that it was...awful. I'm trusting you here, but I still can't believe it.

You hit the nail on the head with American Psycho. Whether or not you enjoy the film itself, his performance cannot be denied.

El Gringo

Glenn Dunks said...

Drew, I didn't like The Mist or anybody in it.

In regards to Jennifer Carpenter, I really enjoyed the way her character went from level-headed to completely erratic the moment the horror started. I found it refreshing since if this were to happen in real life nobody would be acting cool, calm and collected, they'd be screaming and irrational and insane. Quarantine is good though. I think I liked [rec] more, but they're essentially the exact same movie so it's hard to gauge. I imagine whatever one you see first you will prefer (I saw the Spanish one first).

Prospero said...

Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum in "The Fly;" Ellen Burstyn in "The Exorcist;" Jamie Lee Curtis in "Halloween;" Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in "The Silence of the Lambs?" Have you never seen a horror movie made before 1990?

Prospero said...

I re-read your post and realized you were only talking about horror from the last decade. Sorry to take you to task, like that. Guess it's time for my own post about the best Horror Performances of all time.

Glenn Dunks said...

Prospero, I did an "all time" list like this it would look very different, obviously. :)

Joel said...

Wow you didn't like The Mist?!
Would also suggest Jena Malone for The Ruins, Lorna Raver for Drag Me To Hell, Belen Rueda for The Orphanage, Lina Leandersson for Let The Right One In and most of the women in Grindhouse.

Glenn Dunks said...

Joel, I'm going to see Drag Me to Hell on DVD (I missed it at the cinema because it was released at the start of MIFF and I was ruined afterwards), The Ruins looks... bad (to me) so I skipped. The ladies from GrindHouse work best as an ensemble, and I wasn't as taken with Let the Right One In as many others. I liked it well enough, but it was hardly a holy grail of cinema.

JA said...

Gotta put in a second shout-out for Jena Malone in The Ruins. She's so fucking good in it.

Joel said...

You should check out The Ruins, its not the greatest horror film, but it's pretty darn great and has much better acting than it probably deserves... Laura Ramsey is also great in it.
I agree with you on Let The Right One In. Great film, but its amazing how internet buzz can overshadow the actual film. Regardless, she was still great.
Drag me To Hell not out on DVD until December unfortunately.