Jan. 3rd, 2011

thejunipertree: (Default)
I keep seeing everyone post things about how badly 2010 sucked and how it was the worst year ever, etc. I used to be like that, cussing the back of every year as it walked through the door. Eff you, 2001. And 2004? You can eat my entire ass lukewarm.

But, this year, I'm having difficulty giving the one finger salute and frowning at everything that's happened. It wasn't a good year, not by a long stretch. I had to put down my 23-year old cat and 18 year-old cat, both of whom I'd raised since they were wee kittens, within a week of each other. I lost $10k worth of overtime that I rely on. I watched people I love greatly go through mass amounts of pain, completely helpless to offer succor. I've spent more time in one of the deepest depressions I've ever than I've spent out of it. My OCD went almost out of control. I didn't start writing again, even though I swore I would spend the eight month break from school working on a story I've been kicking around. I've cried and been badly hurt, struggled fiercely to not throw my hands up and call uncle to the whole goddamn show.

But, I've also spent the year re-trying old things I'd previously hated. Red wine, John Carpenter's "The Thing", and rice made the cut. Beer, coffee, Slayer, and getting up before 9 in the morning are all still on the shit list. I've read more good books than bad, discovered new music obsessions, and grew out the beginnings of a rocking grey streak in my hair. I enrolled in mortuary school and just finished my first semester. Chris and made it through another year without me killing him in his sleep (or vice versa, if we're being all confessional and shit). We got Timothy and Henry Lee. I made mass amounts of amazing food. I drove my Mini. A lot. I laughed. A lot. I feel I made great strides in my constant struggle to be a real person.

I would be lying if I said there was more good than bad. There wasn't. But, the good carries more weight with me. I can't ever ignore that. And telling the year it can fuck off and live in the street also feels like I'm turning my back on the amazing and awesome things, too.

So, in defiance of telling the year to eat a bag of dicks, and in honor of the closing of probably the most interesting decade of my life (because everyone seems to be ignoring the decade itself in favor of how shitty the year has been), I present to you:

My top 5 horror movies of the decade (which were seriously difficult to pin down and the discussion of which to pick resulted in raised voices in my household)



(Not in any kind of order, mind you. I would never be able to do that.)



Being as ridiculous of a horror!nerd as I am, the construction of this list was extremely serious business that it almost made me throw in the towel on several occasions due to its sheer nature. There were just too many absolutely incredible films in the broad genre that have come out in the past decade to be able to whittle it down to just five. Only five? What manner of bullshit is that? Five for each year, perhaps. The idea of choosing only five movies to represent the best for the entire decade was so ludicrous and impossible, it bordered on the realms of non-Euclidean. But, I persevered.

I managed to finally do it by giving myself strict parameters. No horror!comedies (like Shaun of the Dead or Fido, both of which I love like I'm getting a paycheck to do so), no franchises (this ruled out Jason X, which I also adore). The films couldn't be remakes (leaves out Dawn of the Dead) or be purely spooky atmospheric!horror (The Orphanage), nor could any gore be gratuitously non-central to the plot. And there definitely needed to be a good plot. They had to be fresh ideas; the kind that feel like a slap in the face. They all also had to beget an extreme emotional reaction in me. Not just jump scares, something more visceral.

It took me a while, but I did it:

Dagon
Cabin Fever
28 Days Later
Bug
The Descent

One of these actually gave me an anxiety attack during a particular scene, two of them have scenes where I will physically cover my eyes (and that hasn't happened since I was 11). One has a scene that makes me cry like a little girl every time I watch it. And one blurs the line between reality and delusion so perfectly, it gives me chills.

I briefly thought about doing this again for the five best books of the decade, but (for once) logic prevailed and once again proved that I can at least occasionally figure out when something is not The Best Idea Ever. My reading tastes are so eclectic and genre-spanning, it would be headache inducing.

Five best albums, however...

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thejunipertree

January 2011

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