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The 10 Best Horror Films of 2004

Dawn of the Dead 2004

2004 produced some generally adored films, launched a slick franchise or two, gifted us one of the greatest guilty pleasure films ever made and of course, introduced the world to Zack Snyder, who put together an absolutely magical remake of a movie most filmmakers would be terrified to touch. It was a fun year, no doubt, so get a peek at the movies released in 2004 that you absolutely have to see!

Check out our breakdowns of each year dating back to 1990 right here.

10 Calvaire

A few days before Christmas, traveling entertainer Marc Stevens is stuck at nightfall in a remote wood in the swampy Hautes Fagnes region of Liège, his van conked out. An odd chap who’s looking for a lost dog leads Marc to a shuttered inn; the owner gives Marc a room for the night. Next day, the innkeeper, Mr. Bartel, promises to fix the van, demands that Marc not visit the nearby village, and goes through Marc’s things while the entertainer takes a walk. At dinner that night, Bartel laments his wife’s having left him, and by next day, Marc is in a nightmare that may not end.

09 Alien vs. Predator

When a private satellite encounters an unidentified source of heat in Antarctica and it is found to be a pyramid buried deep underground, a search team comprising of top-of-the-line archaeologists and engineers is sent to Antarctica to find out more . Once there, the team comes across signs which indicate that the place is inhabited by an unknown alien species . It is not long before the aliens begin to hunt the team members. At the same time, a trio of coming-of-age Predators have arrived to collect the skulls of the aliens as trophies, and the humans are caught between a deadly battle between the two warring species.

08 The Village

M Night Shyamalan’s The Villiage revolves around a desolate town in Pennsylvania. The residents of this town live simply and without the means of a modern world – no tv, modern medications. They live by strict rules – They are not to leave the village or the monsters beyond their boundaries will surely attack them. Lucius and Ivy have an attraction – a strong one. But when Noah – a man with an intellectual disability and whom also has feelings for Ivy, finds out that the two are In love, Noah attacks Lucius. He will die if brave Ivy (who is blind) does not breach the borders and find help to save Lucius.

07 Club Dread

Broken Lizard is surrounded by limber, wanton women on a booze-soaked island resort owned by Coconut Pete, a rock star has-been. But the non-stop party takes a turn for the weird when dead bodies start turning up. Everyone begins to look suspicious. Could it be Sam, of the Fun Police brigade, who is quick-on-the-trigger with his tequila-loaded Super Soaker; Jenny, the over-sexed fitness instructor; Juan, the flamboyant diving instructor with a secret third-world past; Putman, the bratty British tennis coach/fanatic; Dave, the Ecstasy-crazed, adopted nephew of Coconut Pete; or the burly masseuse blessed with a creepy touch–that can render anyone into instant Jell-O? Can the inhabitants of Pleasure Island unite, solve the mystery and restore happy hour to this tropical bacchanal?

06 R-Point

On 07 January 1972, the South Korean base in Nah-Trang, Vietnam, receives a radio transmission from a missing platoon presumed dead. The high-command assigns the veteran and decorated Lieutenant Choi Tae-in to lead a squad with eight other soldiers and rescue the missing soldiers from the R-Point. When they arrive in the location, they have a shooting and defeat a Vietnamese woman with a machine gun in a trench. Later, they find a tombstone telling that one hundred years ago, Chinese killed Vietnamese, dropped them in a lake and built a temple over the place, being a sacred location to the Vietnamese. While chasing the missing soldiers, weird things happen with the rescue team.

05 Creep

Heading home late one night after a party, Kate falls asleep while waiting for her train. She awakens to find herself trapped in the London underground, with all the doors locked for the evening. While being attacked by a co-worker who has followed her, a mysterious unseen creature drags him away and kills him. This begins a terrifying ordeal, as Kate and a young homeless couple are stalked through the dark tunnels by something dangerous with payback on its mind.

04 Hellboy

In the final days of World War II, the Nazis attempt to use black magic to aid their dying cause. The Allies raid the camp where the ceremony is taking place, but not before a demon – Hellboy – has already been conjured. Joining the Allied forces, Hellboy eventually grows to adulthood, serving the cause of good rather than evil.

03 Saw

Waking up in a undisclosed location in a unknown room two men, adam and gordon are trapped into a single room with a dead body. Given random tools with riddles hidnen around the room. Wondering who could have done this there are clues to who might of done it; the jigsaw killer. The question is not just who but why would a serial killer leave two men in a room. Both adam and gordon hiding secrets they must trust and work together to get out or die…can they survive jigsaws game or die trying?

02 Shaun of the Dead

Shaun doesn’t have a very good day, so he decides to turn his life around by getting his ex to take him back, but he times it for right in the middle of what may be a zombie apocalypse… But for him, it’s an opportunity to show everyone he knows how useful he is by saving them all. All he has to do is survive… And get his ex back.

01 Dawn of the Dead

Ana goes home to her peaceful suburban residence, but she is unpleasantly surprised the morning that follows when her husband is brutally attacked by her zombified neighbor. In the chaos of her once picturesque neighborhood, Ana flees and stumbles upon a police officer named Kenneth, along with more survivors who decide that their best chances of survival would be found in the deserted Crossroads Shopping Mall. When supplies begin running low and other trapped survivors need help, the group comes to the realization that they cannot stay put forever at the Shopping Mall, and devise a plan to escape.

About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

2 Comments on The 10 Best Horror Films of 2004

  1. Wow- a pretty lean year for Horror indeed! Seriously, THE VILLAGE? Did you say Horror movies or HORRIBLE movies. The fact that there are some ( in my humble opinion ) true losers, some comedies disguised as horror speaks volumes. . All of that falls by the wayside when I saw these magical words DAWN OF THE DEAD. As well received as it was, I still think it’s undervalued. It blew Romero’s version out of the water, I had to see it 3 times to take in thebrilliance of every aspect of this min-masterpiece. I remember a surprisingly effective promo the production did with Fox tv, where during prime time they ran the first full UNEDITEDterrifying 10 minutes…I couldn’t believe how kinetic, visceral and horrifying it was. The fact that so many people left the theater and missed the nasty, nihilistic ending. Of everything on ( in my humble opinion ) that “…if you say so…” list, this gem ranks high as number 1….


    • Matt Molgaard // July 14, 2017 at 11:40 am // Reply

      I think the words “interesting year” would best suit 2004 for me, the more I think about it. Calvaire and R-Point are both masterful and two of the best foreign genre pics to see release in the last 20 years.

      AVP was flawed all over the place, but at the end of the day it was a lot of brainless fun, which was what I expected out of it. The fact that we get some fun fight scenes between the aliens and the predators was gratifying. Technically, it’s far from a masterpiece, but it isn’t easy to beat in regard to just goofy, non-stop fun.

      I enjoyed The Village quite a bit, and I’d say it is the one movie that always comes to mind when I think of undeserved hatred. It becomes predictable once we’re deep into the second act, but it also does some things that are pretty brave. I wasn’t let down at all to realize I wasn’t watching an outright horror film. Shyamalan has always marched to the beat of his own drum. I can understand why a few plot points pissed people off, but it WAS a wonderfully shot, edited and acted film. Brody and Howard were both excellent.

      Creep is a fantastic creature feature from a fantastic filmmaker, Hellboy is one of the greatest comic adaptations ever made, though it obviously infuses a LOT of different genres. As for Shaun of the Dead, it’s not necessarily my brand of humor, but I can understand why it’s widely recognized as the greatest horror comedy in history. Even not being crazy about the brand of humor, I can’t deny that it deserves to be ranked right up there with Brooks’ spoofs/satires. And Club Dread… if you don’t have a blast with that one, you’re just not living! Coconut Pete.. just an amazing character, and def one of my favorite Paxton performances.

      Saw was genuinely innovative in a lot of ways. I expected about 10X the amount of horror tropes and a simple gratuitous flick, but it was shockingly intelligent, even if a few of the performances were shaky. I can’t say much of anything positive about any of the sequels, but that first one was a big breath of fresh air.

      A lot of weird movies came out in 2004. Definitely interesting, and definitely better than some other recent years. A lot more to enjoy on that list than Dawn of the Dead alone. That WAS a superb remake, though. Sad to see Snyder go in the direction he’s gone.


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