Brian’s Top 10 Blu-ray Horror Films of 2009

Why So Blu Top 10 ListIt’s my favorite time of the year and what better way to celebrate than to share with readers my Top 10 Horror Blu-rays of 2009.  Let me rephrase the first half of that last sentence.  Summer is my favorite time of the year.  Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year.  Halloween takes its roots from the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints’ Day.  Along with Halloween comes increased awareness of the occult and frequent horror movie viewings throughout the month of October as I wait in anticipation of becoming someone else for a day.  There are parties to attend, people adorn in costumes, haunted attractions to see, ghost stories to read and most of all…31 days in October each perfectly suitable for watching your favorite horror movies.

In heightened state of anxiety, longing for my favorite holiday, I want to take a retrospective moment to recap what I consider to be the Top 10 Horror Blu-rays of 2009.  Picking a number one film this year wasn’t easy, in my opinion, as there are two top heavyweight contenders to chose between.  There’s no room for indecisiveness.  I must be strong.  All of the below Blu-ray titles were released within the calendar year of 2009.  Without further ado…let’s get started!


10.  The Unborn

The UnbornThis Michael Bay produced film was so awful on so many levels but it has three good things going for it.  Before I get to the good things I am sure you are probably all wondering how could a Michael Bay produced film ever be considered bad and if it is bad, then how come it made my Top 10 list?  Well, do I really need to answer the first half of the question?  I think Transformers Part Deux is all I need to say.  Second, it made my Top 10 list because of the following three reasons.  First off, it made my Top 10 list because of the beautiful Odette Yusman.  She is a sight to behold in 1080P and I look forward to seeing the ex-Cloverfield actress in future roles.  In addition to Odette, the movie also stars Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino and Meagan Good.  Second, the production quality of this Universal release was just outstanding.  The video and audio presentation was splendid throughout.  Last but not least was the fact that the movie conied the term J-Horror, meaning Jewish horror.  I have never heard of the J-Horror genre before researching this film.  That term has now become part of my daily vocabulary and will always remind me of The Unborn.  Oh and the movie…well it has its highs and lows.  It is your typical demonic possession story.  If you watch it for Odette and nothing else, then you might walk away satisfied.


9.  Mirrors

MirrorsWhat’s better than the heart pounding riveting action of 24 where Jack Bauer is busting down the doors of global terrorists around the world?  The answer is quite simple.  Jack Bauer in a horror movie, but of course!  If you disregarded the name of Kiefer Sutherland’s character in the movie you would swear you are watching a horror version of 24.  With all his same Jack Bauer mannerisms intact Kiefer plays a security officer battling his own demons as well the spirits trying to make contact with him through the mirrors.  The disclaimer should read…objects in mirror are deadlier than they appear.  Amy Smart also stars in this Alexandre Aja production.  I have to admit, the ending is what makes Mirrors a winner for me.  It’s not your typical Hollywood ending.  Check this one out, if you have not already!  This is a no-brainer purchase for Kiefer Sutherland fans.  My only negative comment is that the video presentation is a little rough throughout, but it can always be worse.  You could be watching DVD!  Oh no!  The horror!


8.  My Bloody Valentine 3D

My Bloody Valentine 3DMy Bloody Valentine 3D is certainly not the best horror remake to hit the silver screen, but it has a little something to offer both genders.  For the women, you got the handsome rugged looks of Jensen Ackles.  According to my wife, Jensen is always pleasing on the yes to watch.  And for the guys…well in addition to the gruesome murder, mayhem, blood and guts we also get to experience a three-dimensional chase/fight sequence involving a completely naked, not bad looking, actress.  Now unless you know of some movies that I do not, this was my first time seeing female nudity in 3D on the big screen.  Of course, the 3D effect is a grandiose experience in the theater in comparison to viewing at home.  But with your choice of watching the film in either 2D or 3D how can you go wrong?  Newcomers to the film will be left guessing to the very end exactly who the killer is.  In the words of Drowning Pool…”let the bodies hit the floor.”  My Bloody Valentine also stars Jaime King and Megan Boone.


7.  Saw V

Saw VMany the fans have grown bored of the stale Saw franchise, including myself, that is…until Saw V hit the screen.  Saw V was a breath of fresh air after the roadkill skunk stench Saw IV left behind.  Much like my remarks about Mirrors, the final scene in Saw V is one of the best horror endings I have ever had the pleasure to witness.  It’s definitely one of the most sadistic ones to say the least.  Jigsaw’s legacy lives on!  How much longer can they continue the franchise?  If the trailer for Saw VI is indicative of the way things are going, then I am guessing it won’t be that long until Saw will be a past tense verb once again.  Until that happens, make sure you brush up on Saw V before your Saw VI outing on October 23rd.  You don’t want to be lost in confusion.  Why not lessen any plot holes and enjoy a Saw marathon this weekend.  It could be just what the doctor ordered.


6.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

The Texas Chainsaw MassacreLove it or hate it, Hollywood will get their way every time with a remake.  This time around it’s Leatherface in all his 1080P glory tearing up your screen.  Originally released in 2003 this film contains performances by Jessica Biel and Eric Balfour.  I know you are probably like Eric who?  Or maybe you did not even see Eric’s name after Jessica Biel.  Whatever the case is…YES…Jessica Biel is running around for 90 minutes in tight jeans and a wife beater that leaves nothing to the imagination.  So in other words…guys should love this movie.  Oh yeah…and it’s also based on the real life crimes involving the grotesque and brutal murders committed by Leatherface and his dysfunctional family.  I really have no bad things to say about the film, nor its presentation.  Every bead of sweat is exasperatedly captured and harnessed in this beautiful Blu-ray transfer.  This was a no-brainer to add to my growing collection.  If you act quickly, you can still pick up The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) on Blu-ray from Amazon for only $9.99.


5.  The Haunting in Connecticut

The Haunting in ConnecticutAlthough I do not own this Blu-ray release I was quite content throughout my Blu-ray viewing of The Haunting in Connecticut.  I’m probably in the minority for loving this film so much as I did, but I just can’t help getting off from the subject matter.  The film loosely reminds me of a Blu-ray movie called Mortuary I reviewed not so long ago.  The premise is simple.  A boy, suffering from cancer, is in the fight of his young life to survive.  Once you are on that road to death certain things appear a little easier to you than they do to the lay population.  By certain things I am referring to ghosts, spirits and apparitions.  I get goose bumps just thinking about it.  Of course, not all spirits and things that go bump in the middle of the night are always good for you…especially when they are trying to warn you about numerous murders that just so happened in the very house you live in.  If you have not given this movie a watch already, then I highly encourage it as a rental this holiday season. 


4.  True Blood: The Complete First Season True Blood: The Complete First Season

 OK.  So it’s not exactly a horror feature film, but True Blood: The Complete First Season is unlike any other TV show of its kind.  It may take a little getting use to, but once you’re hooked…you’re an addict!  The show’s promiscuous and quirky plot is sure to leave you scratching your head in bewilderment whether it is over the many sexual escapades of Jason Stackhouse, the eccentric lifestyle of LaFayette or the blossoming romance of Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton.  Brace yourself folks.  This southern version of Twilight is for adults only.  DON’T let your kiddies play with True Blood.  You don’t want them as sick, deranged and messed up as you…do you?  Just for the record, True Blood has the best intro ever for a television show.  Quench your nocturnal thirst for blood on Blu-ray today!  If you act right now, Amazon has the Blu-ray box set on sale for an insane low price of only $33.


3.  Let The Right One In

Let The Right One InIf you are a fan of vampire lore, then there is no better time to be living in than 2009.  This seems to be the year of the vampire with so many tales popping up here and there, but none unlike the Swedish production of Let The Right One In.  The movie is critically halied by some as the best vampire movie ever.  I am on the fence about that one.  However, there’s no denying that it’s a vampire tale like no other, for many reasons I don’t even want to list in fear of inducing spoilers.  I’m just going to be bold and suggest that you give this one a test drive.  This movie will not be for everyone, but it’s a must-see for vampire lovers.  The movie’s soundtrack is in Swedish with optional overdub in English.  I prefer to listen to the Swedish soundtrack and read the English subtitles to get the most out of the translation.  Be aware that this film has already been subjected to a Hollywood makeover as we speak.  That must mean only one thing.  It must be good!  The film is eerie, creepy and mesmerizing as it sucks every last bit of attention from you.  Sounds like the right ingredients to me!


2.  Trick ‘r Treat

Trick 'r TreatAs I mentioned beforehand, the most difficult task in making this list, not to mention the significant time investment, was choosing between Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat and Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell.  I really can’t say enough good things about them.  The only thing that put Sam Raimi on top was the abundance of horror, gore and comedy.  But enough of Sam Raimi, we’ll get to him in a moment.  The man of the hour is Michael Dougherty.  His flawlessly crafted and intertwining tales that comprise Trick ‘r Treat brilliantly earns its namesake as one of the best horror films in the past 25 years, obviously alluding to John Carpenter’s Halloween.  Usher in the dawn of a new Halloween icon to be reckoned with…Sam.  Sam is the creation of Michael Dougherty that symbolizes the spirit and psychosis of the Halloween holiday.  Move over Michael, Freddy, Jason and others…there’s a new sheriff in town.  And his name is Sam!  Do you remember me saying previously above that Halloween takes its roots from the Celtic festival of Samhain?  Well, do you think there is any coincidence that Michael’s killing machine is named Sam?  Nah, neither did I!  We may never know why Trick ‘r Treat’s release date has been held up since 2007, but I’m sure glad it’s here now for a whole new generation of horror fans to enjoy.  Trick ‘r Treat was produced by Bryan Singer and stars X-Men‘s Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, Lauren Lee Smith and many more faces you have seen before.  No questions asked, buy this one today and savor the moment.


1.  Drag Me To Hell

Drag Me To HellI admit, not being the biggest fan of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series, that when I first saw the trailer to Drag Me To Hell that I thought it looked like the stupidest movie ever.  Wow!  Was I ever wrong.  Upon the film’s theatrical release I heard nothing but positive remarks and praise for this picture.  The critics and user reviews professed, “Sam Raimi is back!”  I thought there would be no way I could ever like it especially since they were comparing the new film to the Evil Dead series.  Like most things in life, I decided to give it one chance to win me over.  So I did what I do best and called together a group of friends for an outing at the local Cinemark theater.  The film started off in a quirky fashion much like the usual Sam Raimi works, but then it exploded like rotten tomatoes being thrown at a Vaudeville stage.  I mean that in the most sincere and pleasant way.  The jump out of your seat and gore factor was off the wall!  This movie was a fresh of breath air from the boring cliché horror settings we are used to.  Not only was it a change in pace for the horror genre, but also it regurgitated up some hefty laughs that I had no idea were residing inconspicuously within me.  I can’t say enough good things about Drag Me To Hell.  Although we are a day away from the Blu-ray release of this film I have no shadow of doubt that this will look stunning on the format.  If you pay attention to your reviews, you already know that Universal always does a bang up job on their releases and this one will be no exception.  Don’t be a fool like me and almost pass this one up.  Do yourself a favor.  Go in with a clear mind and give this one a watch.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised I think.  If nothing else, you will have some laugh out loud moments.  What do you have to lose?  After all, laughter is the best medicine. 

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed reading my Top 10 Horror Blu-rays of 2009.  I know it’s hard to please everyone so please feel free to agree to disagree.  Upon starting this, I had no idea how much work would be involved with creating this list, but I am glad I did it.  Please feel free to share your comments or show your appreciation below.  I look forward to hearing feedback from my readers.  Please use the below links to show your support and bring home some of the above mentioned Blu-rays today so you can celebrate the Halloween holiday season the right way…the “Blu” way!  Thanks!

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

3 Responses to “Brian’s Top 10 Blu-ray Horror Films of 2009”

  1. Gregg

    Grand list! Texas Chainsaw Massacre was decent and Trick r’ Treat was definitely one clever film. I still want to see Drag Me To Hell but first I must watch the Canadian-only (Blu-ray) release of one of the greatest horror flicks of all time…A Nightmare on Elm Street!

  2. Brian White

    Thanks Gregg! I appreciate the positive feedback. I need to check out the horror film Grace. It’s available on Blu-ray and I have heard nothing but good things about it. Who knows…it could very well deserve to have a spot in the list above. Also, I am anxious to check out Orphan at the end of the month. I missed that one in the theater.

  3. blu jay

    jack bauer’s a wimp