The Best 21st Century Horror Film According to James Gunn


Being a horror freak, James Gunn has his own list of horror thrillers and comedies which involve 21st century’s best horror genre movie. Even though James Gunn is best known for his comedic productions, Gunn has always a hint of horror in the comedy’s as well. Whether it be a comic book movie, there will always be room for some horror centric drama giving it a title of “Horror-Comedy-Energy”. Gunn talked about making zombie movies as a kid in a 2011 interview with St. Louis Magazine and he also mentioned how his entry level job at schlock horror institution Troma was more educational than his Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia.

Gunn has been approachable to fans which although helps him stay in touch with his fans and learn about their expectations, but on the other hand this “open relationship” sometimes backfires to him. A few Halloweens back, Gunn posted a list to Facebook of his top 50 favorite horror films. “This is my list of FAVORITES. It does not mean these are the BEST,” he wrote. “They are simply the horror films I get the most out of personally.”

The Steven Spielberg classic film ‘Jaw’ topped the list but we’re not going to discuss it as there were several other 20s films until we saw the fourth one which was a 21st century film and the position was filled by none other than the 2006 Korean monster film “The Host.” The film is amazingly directed by “Parasite” auteur Bong Joon-ho. This film proved to be a breakout for Korean cinema’s international reputation. The storyline of the film follows a monster that comes from environmental negligence, but it’s also about how poorly bureaucrats react to present danger. As said by Critic David Erlich, this movie is a definitive monster movie of the 21st century. He wrote for IndieWire, “It’s a story about an evil that doesn’t even pretend to be anything else.” And also mentioned that, “It’s the only recent monster movie that doesn’t feel like a metaphor for something else. Sometimes, the danger really is that obvious.”

One can see why Gunn, a man who has been working in horror comedy since he wrote the screenplay for Troma classic “Tromeo and Juliet” — not to mention the script for the first live action “Scooby-Doo” – would love such a chucklesome horror film. Like many of Bong Joon-ho’s films, comedic elements slip in and fit perfectly in dry society in the “The Host.” The movie is well deserved to be on the list as it also has the perfect blend of timely tonal shifts.


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