I consider myself to have somewhat eclectic taste in movies.
From the war drama to the romantic comedy, I have seen a large variety of movies, some of which that stuck in my mind for weeks. Listed below, in no particular order, are ten movies that I personally believe offer a worthwhile cinematic experience, but that didn’t necessarily receive much fame.
1. Howl (2015) (R)
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Directed by: Paul Hyett
In case the picture above didn’t make it obvious, this is a werewolf movie. I have been a huge fan of werewolves for most of my life, and truthfully find them terrifying. Unfortunately, with zombie movies and vampire movies taking over the mainstream media, us werewolf fans have been left with a small selection. The good news is that this is one of the most well done horror movies I have ever seen, and it happens to also be about my favorite movie monster. The gore effects and creature design are excellent, and the acting is almost exclusively above average for a horror film. Additionally, the sound designers got the music and atmosphere just right to create an immersing, terrifying experience.
Summary: A group of strangers are aboard a train that breaks down in the middle of a forest. With communications inoperable and the full moon looming overhead, they must decide whether to leave the safety of the train to seek help, or to stay and hope to survive till daybreak.
2. The Lost City Of Z (2017) (PG-13)
Genre: Biography, History
Directed by: James Gray
Truthfully I have never been a huge fan of the “bio-pic” genre. The stories that are told are most usually either fantasized beyond their source material, or they tell a story not worth telling. This movie is one of the few exceptions. If the grand, sweeping cinematography and powerful score are not enough to generate interest, the portrayal of the real-life main character (Percival Fawcett) by Charlie Hunnam is engrossing and complex enough to carry the entire movie. I didn’t feel as though I was watching a film about someone from history, I felt as though I had been transported back in time to watch the events unfold as they happened. Aside from the stunning visuals and outright Oscar-worthy performance, the story that the film is based on is as epic as I have ever seen outside of fiction.
Summary: At the turn of the 20th century, a British Explorer named Percival Fawcett discovers evidence of an ancient, highly advanced civilization previously hidden from discovery. Despite suffering ridicule from his peers, he perseveres in an attempt to prove the validity of his claims.
3. Shallow Ground (2005) (R)
Genre: Thriller, Horror
Directed By: Sheldon Wilson
There are a lot of indie-horror flicks out there, A lot. There are so many in fact, that it has become very difficult for even higher budget films in the indie-horror category to avoid being lost amid the swarm. I stumbled upon this film one day when searching for something, anything new to watch, and immediately prepared myself for the worst (The film looks like it was shot with a magnifying lens duct taped to an Iphone 3G). I have to say though, after getting past the initial shock of shoddy post-editing, I was astonished at the story, acting, and even the low budget special effects in this film. Words of warning for the faint of heart, this movie contains quite a bit of gore (On of the main characters spends the entirety of the film naked and covered in it) and violence. What stands out in the film, however, is the plot, which had me guessing (Which is not a usual for me) until the screen faded to black.
Summary: A naked teenage boy covered in blood appears at a remote sheriff’s location exactly one year after the brutal unsolved murder of a local girl. The sheriff, guilt ridden over his past failures, feels compelled to discover the truth behind the boy’s identity and purpose, and in doing so unknowingly inches himself ever-closer to an unthinkable horror.
4. ’71 (2014) (R)
Genre: Drama, Action
Directed By: Yann Demange
This film is another rarity in the sense that it not only offers a glimpse of a relatively untold true story in a human way, but it manages to tread the fine line between fact and fiction while still maintaining a strong feeling of tension and energy. The lead performance by Jack O’Connel is compelling, and you find yourself quickly becoming invested in his safety as he scurries about in enemy territory, unfamiliar with his surroundings and never knowing who is friend or foe. Don’t take the genre of this film the wrong way, it definitely has the gore and harsh reality of war on display, but unlike traditional war films such as Saving Private Ryan, The focus of the story boils down to one individual and his desperate fight to survive.
Summary: A young British soldier must reach safety after being accidentally abandoned by his unit during a street riot in Belfast.
5. The Autopsy Of Jane Doe (2016) (R)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Directed By: André Øvredal
Although its outward appearance practically bashes you over the head with a blunt object while muttering something about “horror”, this movie actually ended up being one of my all time favorite mystery style movies produced in the last decade. The way that the main characters (A coroner and his son) connect with one another on screen is believable, even heartbreaking at times, and the subtle way in which the mystery unravels kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the film. The score is also excellent, providing the right amount of palpable fear while at the same time remaining subtle enough as to remain unnoticed. If anyone thinking about watching this movie is going to be around cadavers any time soon (Or if you really like cats) you probably shouldn’t watch this.
Summary: A duo of coroners (Father and son) are tasked with determining the cause of death for a homicide victim who bears no physical evidence of trauma.
-More to Follow
I appreciate anyone who checked out this page, I will be uploading the second half of the list soon. If anyone has requests or ideas for top ten lists, or for future content for this blog, feel free to post in the comments section.