What does this list really represent? Well, let’s start with the easy bit—the modern. The classics have been written about, talked about, even sung about, but what about modern films? It can be tough to predict which new-age films will stick around long enough to be considered classics in the future, and that’s exactly what I’ll avoid here. While this list certainly includes some of the greatest post-2000 movies that have been made, these movies represent something else.
Let’s draw up a scenario. Let’s imagine that an alien landed in your backyard. You feed him and befriend him, only to learn that he has a disease that’s killing him, let’s call it the E.T. disease, or ETD. His last wish is to be introduced to modern film, a collection of films that represents post-2000 movies as a whole. What would you show him and why? Well, for me, I would try to cover a variety of genres, styles and feelings. I would look to cover the most experiential films, as well as those films that stray from the ordinary in their method of storytelling. Now, since we don’t have an alien, you will be mine. You’re dying, and this is my list. The 14 Modern Movies to See Before You Die.
13 Pan’s Labyrinth
11 The Babadook
Horror fans have been waiting for the next stage in the evolution of the genre for a while. Where is the next Hitchcock, Carpenter or Romero? Who will take over for Polanski, Cronenberg or Craven? Well, there have been a couple of moments in modern horror that have moved us forward, others have caused us to take leaps. The Babadook is one of those momentous films that change the way we view the genre. A mix of atmospheric tension, mystery and mistrust, The Babadook toys with its audience and generates one of the most powerful feelings of unease that I can remember in my lifetime. For me, there is no question about if The Babadook will play a part in rejuvenating the horror genre, only how and where will it lead us.
10 Mulholland Drive
9 Inglourious Basterds
8 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
7 Requiem for a Dream
6 Donnie Darko
5 Mad Max: Fury Road
3 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
1 Cabin in the Woods
When Scream introduced the masses to meta-horror, there was a period of time where it seemed like there was nowhere else that that style of film could go; Wes Craven and Scream had essentially covered all the visible ground that there was. But then others started to creep out, films that explored the inner workings of other films and genres. Horror films, more than any other genre, have stuck to their traditions and expectations. Because of these hard and fast traditions, understanding the deconstruction of horror is available to everyone. Even the most general of audiences can understand the basic elements of horror, and that’s why Cabin in the Woods is so important. It not only demonstrates how horror films work; it establishes the necessity for the conventions through a quality movie plot. It’s intelligent, hilarious and an integral piece to the canon of horror and slasher films.
Sources: IMDB, Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes
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