So hi there. This is Meagan, of “Thinking Too Hard”. And for a change up, I’m not going to over analyze something until my eyes roll around in my head. No, for my first post here on Keyboard Trolls I wanted to do something fun. A top ten list on an internet site? I know, I am just that amazing and original. Did you know that last month people watched over one billion hours of movies and shows on Netflix? Well, it’s time to pitch in and do your part so we can break two billion hours this month! And you might as well see some movies that slipped through theaters before getting their proper due. Ready? Let’s dive right in, in no particular order.
Let The Right One In
Not the American remake, the Swedish original. It’s rare to find a movie that is so tense and so arresting from the very beginning to the very end. I know vampires are played out in the popular culture right now, but this movie explores the dark side that so many vampire fantasies gloss over or completely ignore. The acting is great, the effects can be terrifying in their realness, and the setting is just so bleak. It makes for the perfect remedy to the sparklepire.
If you saw the new “Clash of the Titans” movies and found them boring and lacking, this movie is for you. This gorgeous movie brings art house visuals to an exciting action movie plot in a truly unique mixture that will be sure to stick with you. It’s weird and wonderful in ways you rarely get to see, a truly unique visual style that only cinema can bring you. Too bad you didn’t see it in the theaters, it was amazing.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Based on a Spanish teleplay and produced by Guillermo Del Toro, this dark fantasy horror movie follows a little girl that has moved into a new house to find it has some magical residents. But instead of granting her wishes or taking her on adventures, they want to take her to a dark underworld and are evil little bastards. This is a nice juxtaposition to most childrens’ fantasy movies that goes back to what fairy stories used to be. Dark creatures that tormented and stole children. If that sounds cool to you, definitely check this one out.
A first person, or “found footage” movie from Norway about a group of students that stumbles across a real live “Troll Hunter”, a man who basically works as pest control for mythical trolls that still wander Norway’s wilderness. The mixture of the mundane and the fantastic makes for a very compelling watch. There are some very tense and exciting action scenes mixed in with a fascinating mythology and great characters.
This Canadian film is reminiscent of an old Twilight Zone episode, in that it utilizes one location and relies heavily on the dialogue and characters to tell the story. I don’t want to give any spoilers as I went into this blind and found it fascinating. It is a horror story with a very unique concept, and the mystery, tension and claustrophobia was enough to keep me engaged until the very end.
Bubba Ho Tep
Bruce Campbell plays an aging Elvis Presley in a retirement home who must team up with a black man that thinks he’s John F. Kennedy to fight a mummy that has invaded their peaceful retirement to feed on their fellow nursing home residents. Do I need to tell you any more?
Not gonna lie, this movie will break your heart. This is one of those movies that reminds you why cinema is great. It’s almost impossible to summarize this movie, the plot is not all that important. The visuals and the emotion are the core of this film. Half of the film takes place inside a hospital in the 1930s, and the other half takes place inside a story a man is telling to a little girl. The story he tells takes place in the most beautiful places on earth, all shot in real locations with no CGI special effects. It is a visual feast, and yet so much more. The story at its heart is touching, and yes, you will probably cry. Still, this is one of those films I tell people they must see before they die.
Do you want to see Wilford Brimley riding a horse with a bow and arrow in one hand while a huge fireball explodes behind him? Yes, the “diabeetus” guy. Yes? Then this is the perfect movie for you. Not only does that exact thing happen in it, it has Jean Claude Van Damme kicking the shit out of everyone in sight and some of the best John Woo action ever shot in the states. Oh yes, there are slow motion doves. I am not going to tell you a single thing about the plot, Wilford Brimley blowing shit up should be enough.
A dark and gritty film noir, set in a modern high school. But it has all the lingo and characters you’d expect out of Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown”. The femme fatale, the jaded gumshoe, the kingpin, the fall guy, the thug, all rendered in loving detail. This is not a satire but instead a true example of the noir genre, with all the twist and turns and witty dialogue. The director behind this unique film is also responsible for the movie “Looper” which will be coming out later this year. Check out this movie to see his roots.
Okay, so I mentioned this in my “The End of the Uwe Era” podcast. This is Uwe Boll’s good film. It is hard to watch, but not because of quality. It is a chilling, unflinching look at a psychopath who goes on a shooting rampage in his small town. This movie is so quiet in its horror, so eerie in its main character, so uncomfortable in that we are given no other protagonist but this monster, and yet he is terrifying. He’s not an anti-hero, he’s evil in the most human way. One moment sticks out to me that I’ll share because I still remember it in perfect detail. So, spoilers, skip this paragraph and just go watch it. Then come back. Anyway, as our main character is walking down the street brutally murdering everyone he comes across, he runs out of bullets. A woman is panicked, trapped in a corner with him right in front of her. He laughs and says, “This is some scary shit, huh?” And his tone is so casual, I think he’s going to let her go. But then he says, “There we go,” reloads his gun, and shoots her dead. It’s that casualness, that sociopathic callousness, that is so unnerving. He’s not doing this for a cause. He’s doing it because he can, and that’s all the reason he needs. And in the real world, when we are left searching for answers to these tragedies, so often that is the only one we get. And holy shit, this movie is directed by Uwe “Alone in the Dark” Boll. A look into the darkest part of the human soul, brought to you by the guy that crapped out “Blood Rayne.” He really was just fucking with us with those video game movies, that tricky bastard.
So get crackin’ on that Netflix watching. There are a ton of under appreciated gems on instant play, along with tons and tons of classics. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to watching “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”.