Best movies: Creep (2004), Triangle (2009), Black Death (2011)
The genre market needs more daring and original thinkers a la Christopher Smith. Hailing from Bristol, England, the horror specialist has displayed more diversity in his brief eight-year career than heavyweights like George A. Romero and Stuart Gordon have in their entire, much longer filmmaking histories. And, best of all, Smith’s movies are all different and all really damn good.
In the spirit of most horror newcomers, Smith went for gory craziness with his debut, 2004’s Creep, about a deformed killer spilling guts inside London’s wretched sewers. He lightened up a smidge two years later with the comedic slasher flick Severance, and then stripped away all humor to write the complicated and downright superb 2009 brain-scrambler Triangle, a spellbinder that deserves to become a new-age cult classic.
Last year, Smith delivered his most thought-provoking picture yet in Black Death, a medieval chiller that starts off in King Arthur territory, twists into a supernatural creeper, and culminates with god-fearing torture and dismemberment. One of our favorite movies of 2011, the grandiose-looking Black Death should have Smith’s phone buzzing with Hollywood studio requests; if not, chalk up another “L” for the majors.