As I promised, here's the best sleeper movies and the guiltiest pleasures of 2010. Many (if not most) of these were Direct to DVD movies, or barely where a blip in the radar, while the guilty pleasures are films that I enjoyed that got a lot of flack anyways. So, here goes
The Horseman-It took awhile, but Steven Kastrissios's tale of revenge finally came to American shores this year, and is the best Direct to DVD film of the year. Featuring an impressive performance from Peter Marshall as a father on a quest for vengeance, and who must save his soul in the process, "The Horseman" is a must for those who love an intelligent take on a well-worn sub-genre.
Triangle-Christopher Smith is one of those director's who get's better with each film. "Triangle" is a captivating puzzle of a movie, with enough twists and turns to keep the viewer guessing, all without insulting their intelligence.
Parasomnia-It got decidedly mixed reviews, but William Malone's adult fairy tale about a boy who must save a girl suffering from the the sleep disorder that is the film's title is a surreal, poetic movie that's unlike any other genre release this year. Kudos to Patrick Kilpatrick who plays one of the best villains in a genre film this year.
Burning Bright-Proof that Lionsgate can still release solid genre films to the DVD market, "Burning Bright" is a suspenseful little gem that serves as a reminder of what is capable with a PG-13 rating and limited locations.
Fragile-It took five years for this haunting ghost story from director Jaume Balagueró to hit the U.S., and was the best of the "Fangoria Frightfest" titles.
Mutants-On surface level, "Mutants" is the French answer to "28 Days Later." In actuality, it's a look at how a couple who must cope when one of them is infected, and actually teases audiences with a little thing called hope. If you have a choice between this and another recent French zombie film in "The Horde", go with this one.
Hidden-Out of all of this year's "Horrorfest" titles, "Hidden" is the one that unjustly seems to get the least attention. A shame really, as it's a creepy little movie about the past coming back to haunt it's main character, and serves as proof that Norway has a real grip on the genre at the moment.
Grimm Love-Those used to the tired sensationalism of most "True Story" horror films will be surprised at the restraint and strong performances in Martin Weisz's take on the infamous German Cannibal Sex murders.
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever-No, I didn't enjoy it as much as the original. Yes, the final ten minutes suck, and it obviously reeks of studio tampering. At the same time, dammit, I really enjoyed much of this over the top sequel, which manages to bring in enough laughs, gross outs, and inspired touches (love the "Getting ready for Prom" montage") to make it impossible for me to hate.
Mega Piranha-You must have a heart of coal to hate this movie.