I think the word that ties the following four movies together is “insidious.” (Incidentally, there was an “Insidious 3” that came out this year, but I didn’t see it (the first one sucked)). They get under your skin and feel like they could be, in time, deemed cult classics if not outright classics.
‘The Nightmare‘ – Seriously, fuck this movie. It has changed my life in negative ways. The whole reason I’m writing this list, on January 7, 2016, is because I had my first legitimate experience with sleep paralysis last night. The reason I had that experience is I couldn’t sleep, and I started thinking about this fucking movie. I willed it to happen. The whole movie is about the fact that it can will horrible nightmares into existence, and for that it has my utmost respect.
‘Crimson Peak‘ – Severely underrated and will get its due as a classic, in time (he says with authority). I saw this on an IMAX screen and man, what texture, what costumes, what color! Watched it a second time on a TV and the story held up – I really don’t understand the criticism saying the narrative is frayed or all over the place. I think it’s gripping and airtight. Also a lot of fun and most of all, fucking gorgeous.
‘Inside Out‘ – Will this movie influence the way an entire generation perceive themselves? That’d be pretty crazy. It definitely rearranged my brain for at least the couple of days after I saw it.
‘It Follows‘ – Saw this one twice and could not get it out of my head. Loved the dreaminess of it more than anything, the out-of-time, out-of-place retro styling. Great score. Just an altogether original movie with a premise that didn’t make any sense to me when I read about it. It hits on a specific, post 9/11 type of anxiety: that no matter how much you relax and tell yourself that everything’s fine, there’s always something new and horrible coming around the corner.
Honorable mention: ‘Marfa Girl‘ – I’ve written about this one before. I’m a little iffy about putting it on the same tier as the previous four movies, but I want to give it some love cause it’s underrated, batshit insane, and totally worth watching.
Dug em: ‘Amy’, ‘The Martian’, ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’, ‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’, ‘Welcome to Me’, ‘Magic Mike XXL’, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘Nasty Baby’, ‘Iris’
Haven’t seen but my camp-value hopes are high: ‘By the Sea’, ‘We Are Your Friends’, ‘Jem and the Holograms’, ‘Stonewall’
Want to see: ‘Carol’, ‘Spotlight’, ‘Anomalisa’, ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl’, ‘The Duke of Burgundy’, ‘The Forbidden Room’, ‘Ex Machina’, ‘The Gift’, ‘Maps to the Stars’, ‘The Visit’, ‘Love’
Hopelessly cynical sentence I refrained from tweeting about ‘Star Wars’ on its opening weekend: “Enjoy your market-tested and approved movie-product, nostalgia whores.”