The scariest thing about the year 2000 might have been the made up hysteria surrounding the Y2K bug leading into it. While there are some really good movies here, they aren’t super scary. One of the more interesting horror flicks to come out in 2000 was The Cell. This is a movie I’ve always had a hard time with. By all accounts, I should love it. Its got Vincent D’Onfrio for starters, so it’s already about a 75. It has some really cool visuals and deals with virtual reality so, for me anyway, that puts it at like an 85 at least. But then, there’s Jennifer Lopez so “wah-wah.” Theres a lot of good here though, and the movie is definitely worth a watch, but it’s more stylish than good, and the overall narrative gets lost a bit but the moments that hit really hit.
Without question the biggest hit of 2000 was Final Destination. This movie was a huge deal and spawned a number of sequels of diminishing quality. But that first one? Really, really solid. The concept was so damn interesting and fresh. In it, a kid has a vision of a horrible accident befalling him and his friends on a plane. He convinces them to leave and thereby robs death of his rightful victims. Death, is not pleased. And Death will get his rightful victims any way he can. What follows is a series of gruesome, outlandish, sometimes nonsensical deaths. It’s so over the top at times that it is borderline absurd. But there is some really good film making here and some really interesting choices made. It’s definitely worth watching and one of the more creative takes on horror you will see.
2000 also saw the release of another Kevin Bacon horror flick, Hollow Man. In it, Bacon is a scientist who develops a serum that enables him to turn invisible. His failure to turn visible again though, sets him off the deep end, as it were. He loses his grip on sanity when he is isolated by his team and begins escaping over and over again. Things go a little wonky plot wise but there are some truly scary moments that speak to our more animalistic nature. Bacon does a hell of a job in this and the direction provides for some really creepy visuals. It’s definitely worth your time even though the lack of Bacon may leave you in the dark. And speaking of being in the dark, Pitch Black was released. Pitch Black is a seriously cool sci-fi horror flick. Riddick was such an interesting, layered character brought to life beautifully by Vin Diesel. The concept of the film was typical sci-fi fare but was just so cool. As a spaceship carrying an impossible collection of people, seriously how is it possible that these people always end up together, crashes on an alien planet that is darker than dark. Thankfully, Riddick has illegally augmented eyes that allow him to see the monsters in the dark. The bad guy suddenly becomes the only one who can save them. The movie unfolds as you would expect but not to its detriment. One of the best examples of sci-fi horror you can find.
The best flick of 2000 however, was What Lies Beneath. The film, which stars Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer, is a haunted house story that is so well done. I don’t want to go into too much detail because the twists and turns of this flick are so integral to the plot. Needless to say this movie, shot by Robert Zemeckis, is gorgeous. It is so well shot that every scare is earnest. The performances by the cast, especially Pfeiffer, are out of control good. If you have never seen this movie, I urge you to watch it immediately. It is brilliant. And my god that tub scene… chills.