We’re on day idontevenknow of self-isolating and I know most of us are considering streaming platforms a lifeline from boredom. I’ve been using my time to catch up on shows that I hadn’t gotten around to, and enjoying a Netflix Party or two (or ten) with my friends. It can be pretty overwhelming with all the different services – which has been saturated long before the current climate.
The seemingly endless carousels that you scan through in a zombie-like state, until you finally give up and re-watch your favorite go-to show. Well, we’re going to attempt to avoid that as of now and give our attention to some films we’d otherwise scroll past. Here are some of my film recommendations, broken down by streaming platform.
Searching for his sister who’s been kidnapped, a man treks to a remote island in search of her. He will soon discover the horrors within as the land bares home to a disturbing cult. Apostle may look like a typical period piece on the surface, but the horrors that divulge within take it to another level. You can read my full review here.
Speaking of cults in film, The Invitation is one that has seemed to fly under most people’s radar. After being invited to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife, Will grows quite suspicious when the conversation shifts to dark ideologies on life and death. While his paranoia is dismissed, he can’t shake the strange feeling he has. While a slow-burner in the beginning, it keeps building on this uneasy feeling that packs a powerful punch.
To honor their late friend, a group of friends embark on a hike in northern Sweden. When they need to take a shortcut through a more wooded area, they find themselves stalked by something in the night. Based on the 2011 novel of the same name, The Ritual seems like a familiar film, but the horrors inside are something unexpected and beautifully delivered. You can read my full review here.
Hush places you into a horror film unlike any other. It’s a slightly typical “stalker outside the house” flick, but the difference here is our protagonist – a deaf woman. The most terrifying aspect of this film is not only that she can’t hear him, but she can’t tell how loud she is either.
With Nia DaCosta’s upcoming 2020 revamp of the series, now is a good time to watch the original. Candyman terrorized me as a child, thanks to Tony Todd’s frightening performance as the titular character. The film follows grad student Helen as she researches urban legends. She’ll find herself discovering that the “Candyman” is more than a fictional tale.
If you’re looking for something outside of horror movies (sorry, that’s just me!) then I 100% recommend Christopher Robin for a dose of precious nostalgia. Starring Ewan McGregor as the titular character, this film tells the story of an adult reconnecting to his youth. You can read my full review here.
When their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, a couple of wannabe thieves realize they aren’t the only colorful characters in the area. Starring Bill Skarsgård, Maika Monroe, Jeffrey Donovan and Kyra Sedgwick, Villains is a wicked good time with a few creepy twists and turns throughout. Read my full review here.
Long before Stranger Things, JJ Abrams released a throwback sci-fi flick that followed a group of kids trying to uncover the mystery of a monster in their small town. It’s the perfect film for anyone craving some Hawkins vibes right about now. It’s also available on Prime Video!
Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut follows two best friends as they attempt to have one true high school party experience before graduation. It’s similar in premise to Superbad, but it creates an identity all its own with a beautiful story about friendship and growing up.
One of my favorite Tim Burton films, Big Fish is a whimsical adventure that never gets old in my book. Starring Ewan McGregor, Billy Crudup, Helena Bonham Carter and many other incredible actors, it’s the perfect film for a dose of joyful wonder.
A QUIET PLACE
I feel like most have watched this film by now, but if you have slept on it so far, do yourself a favor and put it on now. John Krasinski has crafted one of the most spectacular science fiction horror films. While we have to wait a little longer for the sequel, we can at least enjoy this over and over in the meantime. Read my full review here.
When a young girl enters a singing competition to break away from her rural life, she will find her own voice and uncover a confidence she never knew she had. Fueled by a perfect, funky pop soundtrack, Teen Spirit surpasses a notion that it’s a simple teen drama. Read my full review here.
Lupita Nyong’o and Josh Gad take on zombies in this hilarious Australian horror comedy. It was on my favorites out of SXSW last year with its ridiculous and unique take on the zombie genre. Read my full review here.
ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE
This is a film I’ve seen mentioned several times on Twitter since its release in 2017, but I haven’t had the chance to sit down and watch it until now. The film is a brilliant genre mash-up about a teen girl stuck in the midst of a zombie apocalypse during Christmastime. What makes it even more unique is this film is a musical – yes, full on singing musical. It’s wacky, tons of fun, and the songs are catchy as hell.
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
This Drew Goddard/Joss Whedon satirical horror comedy mash-up mocks the stereotypes and cliches that have plagued the horror genre. It balances that humor of imitation with just making an awesome scary movie. It’s funny, inventive and will surprise the hell out of you. It’s a great film to watch for those who aren’t quite into horror films.
I don’t know if a horror film has truly shaken me to my core like this film. Written and directed by Ari Aster, and with one hell of an amazing performance by Toni Collette, Hereditary is not only one of the best horror movies to come out in the last decade or so, but also one of the best films.
This 2019 film was written by Shia LaBeouf, in where he tells his life story while portraying his own abusive father. Those of us who grew up watching LaBeouf on our tv screens, then during his stint in blockbuster films, will see a different side to the actor and get a feel for the dark shadow he carried alongside his comedic mask.
Clue has always been one of my go-to comfort films. Based on the board game, this 1985 movie stars Tim Curry and Christopher Lloyd alongside a stellar ensemble cast. It’s funny, ridiculous, and the perfect throwback film to cozy up to.
SXSW Film Festival
It was just announced that Amazon has teamed up with SXSW to have a digital film festival, after the Austin fest was cancelled due to Covid-19. A number of films, shorts, and episodics will be available for free, for anyone with an Amazon account (even with a free account). These films will be on Prime Video, exclusively for 10-days in the U.S. from April 27th thru May 6th.
This Disney/Pixar creation is the perfect film for a bit of escapism right now. Though it’s not just a silly kids flick, as it tackles some real issues on how to deal with emotions – something we’re all struggling with right now.
ONE DAY AT DISNEY
This documentary is a Disney+ original and shows the daily lives of those who work for the Walt Disney Company, including parks, animation, and networks. It’s a great look behind the curtain, and recognizes all the passionate, hardworking employees that help the brand to succeed.
Released in theaters on March 6th, Disney decided to release this film on its platform after Covid-19 forced theaters to shut down. It’s a sweet gesture on Disney’s part, as many films that were still in theaters have just switched to VOD rental. This new flick features voice work by Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, who play two elf brothers on a magical quest.
THE IMAGINEERING STORY
This docu-series follows the creation of Disney parks – from Disneyland just being an idea of Walt’s, to the most recently opened Shanghai Disney, to the groundbreaking opening of Disneyland and Hollywood Studios Star Wars lands. The series follows the Imagineers closely as they reminiscent on their past projects (some of who worked with Walt himself), and look towards the future. Even non-Disney fans will find this series fascinating, as it uncovers the technological advancements made by these teams and all the hard work that goes into creating these magical worlds.
DANIEL ISN’T REAL
One of my favorites from SXSW last year, this film stars Miles Robbins as a college student who is revisited by his childhood imaginary friend Daniel, played by Patrick Schwarzenegger. It’s an inventive film that explores mental health. From a more metaphorical sense of its plot, to the beautiful cinematography – it’s just a perfect film. Read my full review here.
For those who are up for renting films, here is a quick list of some films I think are worth spending the extra cash on.
- THE INVISIBLE MAN – $19.99 on Amazon Prime, Google Play & YouTube
- KNIVES OUT – $5.99 on Amazon Prime, Google Play & YouTube
- THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON – $5.99 on Amazon Prime, Google Play & YouTube
- 1917 – $5.99 on Amazon Prime, Google Play & YouTube
- ADOPT A HIGHWAY – $3.99 on Amazon Prime, Google Play & YouTube