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The Descent (2005)
Howling onto the scene with surprise werewolf hit, Dog Soldiers, Neil Marshall surpassed himself with this claustrophobic follow-up that sees six female potholers trapped in the dark, far underground. Set in the US (where these things more routinely seem to happen) but shot at Pinewood and on location in Scotland, The Descent is by far and away the best Brit horror in years. It's achievement is unrelenting terror - hell, the film wrings out a secession of solid scares before the film's primary menace is even introduced! Ultimately a simple concept, this is skillfully executed, with a well-balanced character dynamic underpinning Marshall's expert grasp of horror filmmaking.

The Passion Of The Christ (2004)
It almost defies belief that an R-rated, independent film, shot entirely in two dead languages went on to make $370 million at the box office. Even more so considering that distributors, mindful of the inevitable controversy, originally wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot Roman spear. But Mel Gibson's vision did pay off and despite the bluster of indignant religious leaders and the righteous smiting of the Lord (two crew members, including star Jim Caviezel, were struck by lightning during the shoot) the film succeeded: spreading the gospel and raking in an ungodly amount of cash for good measure.

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