Tammi Sutton's Top 13 films of 2010

We saw her in London this past summer where she presented her film Isle of Dogs at FrightFest, a grisly horror-thriller with a retro, gialli-inspired soundtrack that stars Barbara Nedeljakova of Eli Roth's Hostel fame, but how does the blood-spattered genre rank up on director Tammi Sutton's list of her favourite films from 2010? You may just be surprised with her selections if you've seen her disturbing, gory effort or are familiar with her previous films, Suture and Killjoy 2: Deliverance from Evil. We must say, it's incredibly refreshing to see such an articulate and knowledgeable female film-maker helming horror movies. There just aren't enough female directors these days, and so we are very appreciative of Tammi for providing us with the films from this year that she enjoyed the most.

#1. The American – directed by Anton Corbin. It’s intimate, soft, slick and slow, this film is like making love. When you make an audience fall in love with your characters, you've got something special. It’s simply, called passion. The hardest job a director working with A-list actors has, I imagine, is making them disappear into a roll where you cannot recognize them personally. Only 3 films I saw this year pulled it off. This film’s Giallo lighting and guttural instincts brought me to my knees. It’s the sexiest film I’ve seen in a long, long time. Everything is right about this movie. If you could turn a Leonard Cohen song into a film, in the dark, you’ve got The American.

#2. The Way Back - directed by Peter Weir. A fact-based story centered on soldiers who escaped from a Siberian gulag in 1940. The Long Walk Novel "The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom" is a great read. I discovered the book last year in Europe, and went through hell to get to see this film, it was worth it.

#3. Machete - this could have easily been an Oliver Stone political drama, director Robert Rodriguez brought all his fun, but he also brought his balls to the table this time. Watch this movie.

#4. Wound – directed by David Blyth of New Zealand. Go out of your way if you must to get this film. Visceral and raw. I met [the] director in London at FrightFest and loved him, this film will rock your socks off and leave you feeling like you need a hot shower. You probably need one anyway.

#5. Kick-Ass - Funny and awesome soft spot for my superhero stuff and loved seeing Nic Cage relax into a part like he hasn’t done in years. It’s got all the right stuff.

#6. True Grit – best and only western – Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon disappeared in a great way inside this remake with the Cohens. They had great material, hindsight, and budget, but they went there anyway. Don’t miss it.

#7. Inception – Best SciFi - I got lost in this film. I watched it at least three times before I committed to it. It was not the CGI that drew me in, but the performances. I certainly have a new crush on Ken Watanabe. Zero special effects would have still made this a great story and film thanks to the actors, and director.

#8. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths - An outstanding representation of the DC Universe comic series of groundbreaking animated films coming from creative forces within DC Comics & Warner. This is truly a blockbuster, animated film even though it was straight to video.

#9. Red - Action Comedy - old Gs kicking ass with some unexpected, well delivered, funny moments. Surprisingly, gave me a new crush on John Malkovich. Bruce Willis delivers as always, he’s like addictive candy or crack, you have to see anything he does.

#10. Shutter Island - Best studio thriller. The game scares me still, and the film brought this dark world to life the way real studio money can. Will be a perfect rainy day thrill for years to come.

#11. Ong Bak 3 - Epic, action, trilogy. See it. It kicks ass the way it was intended.

#12. The Book of Eli - I didn’t like this film at first when I watched it on a flight, then it grew inside me like cancer. It’s dark and twisted with excellent actors and direction. I guess I didn’t know what to expect, but like I said, it stayed inside like a disease.

#13. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World - nice to see Kieran Culkin back on screen, looks like we're going to get to see a lot more of him. Gamer love meets the uncomfortable, awkward, fantastic moments we have discovering love, and our own inner geekdom for some of us. Favorite line “We gotta go, I used to date that clown.” KO Wright, you’ve got a cult film in your grasp! Well done.

Thanks so much, Tammi!

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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