M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved starting with the year I began reviewing the genre officially October 1, 2010 through October 1, 2011. I have posted my best of lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around a bit. I’ve even added a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!

How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st 2010 and September 30, 2011 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number, 31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!

Released on June 15, 2011. Available On Demand, digital download, and on BluRay/DVD from IFC Midnight!

#15 – KIDNAPPED (2011)

AKA Secuestrados
Directed by Miguel Angel Vivas
Written by Miguel Ángel Vivas & Javier García
Starring Ana Wagener, Fernando Cayo, Manuela Vellés, & Guillermo Barrientos
Find out more about this here

The premise of KIDNAPPED is nothing new: a family moving into a new house is the victim of a home intrusion by masked assailants. The intruders ask for credit cards, cash, and any valuables the family may have. Soon the disorganization of the intruders proves to pale in comparison to the strength of the family. Well, that’s the way a Hollywood ending of this type of film would go. Apart from some moments of pitch black bleakness at the end of KIDNAPPED, reading a description of the film is not going to entice you to check it out.

The thing is, despite the fact that this story has been told before, KIDNAPPED is a film of immense technical skill. The film is comprised of only a few extended takes, some of which span ten to twenty minutes at a time. The amount of planning and hurdles to leap in order to pull off these takes is immense and all pays off in a seamlessly performed drama of a family in peril. One scene channels DePalma as a split screen follows Jamie, the father, driving in his car with one assailant to cash out his credit cards while the other side follows Isabel, the daughter, who is being stalked through the house by another. The action during both of these scenes are as intense as they come and you’ll find yourself wishing your eyes would go all Marty Feldman-like and be able to follow both sequences at once. The end of this scene in particular took my breath away in a technique I have seen before (RULES OF ATTRACTION come to mind).

KIDNAPPED is most definitely an experience you’ll never forget. It’s a relentless journey down a rabbit hole of despair laced with razor blades along the sides. I found myself utterly shocked at the places director Miguel Angel Vivas goes with this story and the masterful techniques he uses to take us there. You’ll wonder how they did what they did and remember KIDNAPPED long after its over.


THE 2010-2011 COUNTDOWN!


#15 – KIDNAPPED
#16 – INSIDIOUS
#17 – A SERBIAN FILM
#18 – TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL
#19 – HEARTLESS
#20 – ABSENTIA
#21 – BEREAVEMENT
#22 – RUBBER
#23 – GRAVE ENCOUNTERS
#24 – STAKE LAND
#25 – WAKE WOOD
#26 – LONG PIGS
#27 – HUSK
#28 – YELLOWBRICKROAD
#29 – MONSTERS
#30 – LA HORDE
#31 – THE VIOLENT KIND


M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.

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