Sunday, August 28, 2011

Top Ten of the Past Ten: The Super-Nerdy Number-Crunching Wrap-up

Not only was the Top Ten Horror Films of the Past Ten Years Liststravanganza great fun, it was also a statistically unbiased, completely accurate survey that scientifically proves how awesome horror has been in the last decade. I've compiled the results into a fascinating fact sheet for your perusal:

Number of contributors: 18

Number of films chosen: 78

Number of films chosen that I haven't seen: 20

Most popular films:
[REC] - picked 10 times
The Descent - picked 10 times
Shaun of the Dead - picked 9 times
Let the Right One In - picked 8 times
The Mist - picked 6 times
28 Days Later - picked 6 times
Drag Me to Hell - picked 6 times
The Orphanage - picked 5 times
Martyrs - picked 5 times
Paranormal Activity - picked 4 times
Trick r' Treat - picked 4 times

So there they are, the official top, uh eleven, horror films of the last ten years. This is no longer a matter of opinion, but a scientific fact from which we can deduce the single best year in horror of the last decade. Any guesses? No, 2000 doesn't count. Because that was the previous decade. Yes it was. No, actually it wasn't the new millenium; that didn't officially start until 2001. Yeah-huh. Look, you're the only one who thinks 2000 should count, so be quiet and listen up. Sorry guys, there's always that one reader who just has to win every argument, you know.

Anyway, by one measure, you could say that 2007 and 2008 tied, but you'd be wrong. You see, while they tied for most films chosen from each year (12 each), this doesn't account for popularity. Instead it is necessary to weight the films by the number of times they were chosen. See the uber-geeky graph below to see the clear winner:

That's right, 2007. The year that brought us [REC], The Mist, The Orphanage, Inside, Hostel 2, Grindhouse, Funny Games, Trick r' Treat, and Paranormal Activity was King Shit here at the Triple M. 2007 movies were picked a grand total of 42 times, leaving the next highest year, 2008, in the dust with a mere 25 points.

You may also notice that of the top eleven films, seven of them were European. That's right. The 80's belonged to America, the 90's were dominated by Asia, and the last decade has been all about Europe. Who knows what the next decade will bring, but I'm thinking Canada needs to step up.  I'd provide more stats on country of origin, but it seems nearly everything these days is an international co-production. I will say that Asia's star has certainly fallen, with only 6 Asian films chosen.

As for directors, the one with the most films chosen was Alexandre Aja, with 3 films (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, and Pirhana). However, each of his films were only chosen by one person, meaning only 3 people chose an Aja film. Therefore, the most popular director goes to Neil Marshall, whose The Descent was chosen 10 times, and Dog Soldiers was picked by 3, for a grand total of lucky 13. Hot on his heels was Jaume Balaguero who picked up 10 points for [REC] (since he co-directed, do we have to cut this score in half), and one for Darkness. I should also note that only one female director was chosen, and she didn't even count because the film was from 2000 (Mary Herron, American Psycho). Shame on us, sexist pigs that we are.

So, of our contributors, whose tastes align the most closely with the official top eleven list? And whose picks were the most original? The contributor who chose the most films that no one else picked was none other than Mrs. Macabre herself, my wife Chelle, whose original choices were:

Vanishing on 7th Street
Van Helsing
Wind Chill

Every other contributor had at least one film choice that was unique to them. But I went a step further and calculated originality scores by assigning a value to each film coinciding with the number of times it was chosen. The more original the choices, the lower the score; the closer to the official top eleven, the higher the score. (Please note that those who submitted incomplete lists, namely my sisters, were not included in this tabulation) Here are the scores:

56 - James Van Fleet
53 - Vetch
51 - Marvin the Macabre
45 - Liam Underwood
44 - BROWN!
44 - Kweeny Todd
43 - Chuck
42 - Ashley
42 - Banned in Queensland
38 - Noel
37 - Andreas
37 - Chelle
36 - The Mike
35 - Tucker
32 - She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
29 - John Bem

I prefer to think that those of us near the top of the list aren't necessarily unoriginal, we simply have impeccable taste, right? Anyhow, those were all the pointless stats I could think to report. I don't know if they were interesting to anybody but me, but nerd that I am, I couldn't not plug the numbers into a spreadsheet and geek out over them.

Even though we're wrapping this list love-in, I encourage those who haven't contributed yet to do so. I'll post them all, and if there are enough, I may even re-crunchify the numbers and update the results.

But the fun's not over yet. I, Marvin the Macabre, vow to watch every movie that ya'll listed and that I haven't seen yet, and to blog about them all. Here are the 20 films I've missed out on:

Funny Games
Rammbock: Berlin Undead
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Seed of Chucky
Skeleton Key
Snakes on a Plane
The Host
Vanishing on 7th Street
We Are What We Are
Wolf Creek
Zombie Strippers

I own copies of 8 of these films, so I'll probably start there. I have no firm time frame for this latest project, but my goal is to blog about them all by the end of the year.

One last order of business. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have made my singing/guitaring debut over at the If We Made It podcast. The song is a Marvin the Macabre original entitled "Days of the Dinosaurs." The song is at the tail-end of the podcast for The Other Sister, but you'll probably want to check out the whole podcast, in which Tucker and BROWN! rip The Other Sister a new one. They compare actors playing retarded people to white people acting in blackface (which would make The Other Sister a double-dose of Tardface). Here's the link:

Thanks again to everyone who helped make the Liststravaganza a success. We'll have to do this again soon... stay tuned.

P.S. Here's a photo of Marvin the Spider Monkey to make your life worthwhile:


  1. Science! I would agree with science in declaring 2007 the best year in not only horror, but in movies of the last decade. Thanks Marvin for all the list fun. Can't wait for the next assignment. And thanks for the shout out for the podcast and your contributions.

  2. Congrats on the very fun "list-stravaganza," Marvin!


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