Here’s the deal; My hunt for the modern-day-cult-phenomenon was not as extensive in 2013. This list would most likely be very different if I had the same time I had in the years prior. 2013 was a hell of year though and here are movies you should check out for a bunch of goofy reasons.
The “Cloud Atlas” before “Cloud Atlas.” I got the sense that “Mr. Nobody” was one of those movies where promoting it was nigh impossible. Made in 2009, “Mr. Nobody” is a psychedelic stream of conscious that depicts the oldest man alive telling his dementia riddled life story. It’s visually lush and the performances are top notch. Jared Leto is a great actor, but he seems to be uncomfortable with just looking like a person.
When a fad starts to die, let it’s swan song be totally fucking insane. The over saturated “found footage” motif still cranks out half-hearted ideas to the cinema going public, but once in a while someone does one that deserves some attention. Plus, there’s three of them on my list, so I think this sentence needs to exist. Well, “Frankestein’s Army” knows exactly what it is and decides to bombard you with awesome robot-nazi-frankenstein-monsters. Hell yeah, found footage on film (kind of). Fuck you “Cloverfield.”
Well, I had no idea what this movie was about when I walked into it and I feel like that’s the way it should be experienced. I recently watched it again and it’s ingenuity in storytelling makes it better with multiple viewings. I’m not sure if the creative team intended all of the interpretations that came with “The Dirties,” but it’s brilliant in it’s execution none the less.
Pawn Shop Chronicles
My favorite thing about “Pawn Shop Chronicles” is that it exists. It has an incredibly strong cast and crew for something so goofily cruel. This was also the project that lead me to believe that Paul Walker was entering a new phase of his career. This seemed to be a depraved labor of love and I hope to see more things like it soon.
Only God Forgives
It’s time to give credit where credit is due. “Only God Forgives” may be incredibly strange and plodding, but it’s expertly crafted. I may have not enjoyed it while watching it, but when it was over, I was hypnotized by it’s precision. It’s gorgeous in it’s execution, the story is compelling, and it’s really really really really violent.
Well Elijah Wood, you did it. You have officially created enough distance from “The Lord of The Rings” that you’ll never be typecast. “Maniac” stars a murdering psychopath and most of the film is in his POV. The visuals, as well as the violence, are pretty fantastic. It’s a nice change of pace for a slasher to actually follow around the slasher. They’re way more interesting than the victims anyway.
Lets not confuse anyone with this section: “Safe Haven” is why this movie is on this list. I highly enjoyed the other segments too, but “Safe Haven” went above and beyond what was asked for in this series. If you haven’t seen V/H/S 1or 2, I would recommend 2 as a litmus test. If that tickles your inner-maniac go ahead and see V/H/S 1 (or Maniac).
“Alyce Kills” shows that excessive debauchery can be second fiddle to character. This may sound kind of harrowing for a movie like “Alyce Kills,” but it’s this kind of movie that shows that exceedingly disturbing material can accentuate a story without being exploitative. Good for you “Alyce Kills.” You deserve more credit.
It was a good move to not physically reveal anyone they were interviewing. When you see their conspiracy theories in action, and not so much the fruitcakes saying them, it becomes much easier to swallow. But if you’re a Kubric fan, why haven’t you watched this? I
Kiss of the Damned/Byzantium
If you like mellow dramatic Anne Rice-y vampires, here you go. There were two really well done gothic vampire movies in 2013. It’s probably a reaction to the horrendous Twilight saga. And if that’s the case, it warms my heart to know nonsensical garbage can produce some well made reactionary content. Anyway, Byzantium highlights a familiar vampire tale, but retrofits it for the 21st century and “The Kiss of the Damned” doesn’t really do anything new, but it looks really sharp and has a sex scene you’ll want to watch alone.