High Life (2018)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

This is definitely not for everyone, so proceed with caution. High Life must be one of the biggest budget art films in cinema history. I’m impressed director Claire Denis was given an opportunity to create on this scale. It’s essentially a sci-fi / drama, with some brief moments of gore and nudity. This movie is very deliberately paced, although not as slow as Tarkovsky’s Solaris. Every shot looks beautiful, and Robert Pattinson is excellent. This is tip-top Anomalous Cinema that will reward the open minded viewer.

Available on Blu-ray from Lion’s Gate.

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Sightseers (2012)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer 

ANOTHER Ben Wheatley movie?!?? Yes, this is a great one though. A couple go on holiday and wackiness ensues. By wackiness I mean murder. It’s a dark comedy that is truly funny, and one of Wheatley’s very best films. The female lead just happens to be Alice Lowe who played Madeleine Wool in Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place (she’s been in a ton of other great stuff too). You might also recognize her boyfriend Chris, played by Steve Oram, from The World’s End, Kill List, and The Mighty Boosh. I can’t recommend this film strongly enough. It gets an Anomalous Cinema 10 out of 10.

Available on Import Blu-ray from Studio Canal.

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Black ‘47 (2018)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This is a very good revenge action / drama set during the Irish potato famine. It could easily be a Samurai movie, or Spaghetti Western, but the dark, muddy locations are a visual improvement on those genre’s usual settings. Several writers have made the connection to First Blood, which is indeed driven home by a scene in a “police station” and the music. The good thing is that Black ‘47 goes off in it’s own direction after that. Our anti-hero has much deeper motivation for his revenge than John Rambo. You will recognize several fine actors in this film, but I was most happy to see Hugo Weaving as the manhunter (pictured above). Don’t go into this expecting non-stop action. The pace is deliberate between the explosive scenes, but I was never bored. The balance of drama to action is just about perfect. Watch this instead of one of the zillion straight-to-Netflix shitshows, and I doubt you’ll regret it.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

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The Occupant (2020)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer (English – WATCH THE MOVIE IN SPANISH W/ SUBS)

Netflix delivers another entertaining Spanish thriller. The whole thing is improbable to the extreme, so forget about suspending your disbelief. It doesn’t matter because The Occupant looks great, the performances are spot on, and it has some wonderfully twisted moments. A word of warning though, some people HATED this movie. I’d say watch without expectations. Let the movie do it’s thing. If you generally appreciate the films I recommend on Anomalous Cinema, there’s a good chance you’ll like this as much as I did. Not feeling a little adventurous? Pick something else.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

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Monos (2019)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

This is a beautifully photographed borderline-art film about teenage rebel fighters with an American hostage. It has several violent scenes, but is mostly a deliberately paced dark drama. The jungle locations are stunning, and seem so remote they’re from another planet. All the actors are excellent, but it was a pleasant surprise to see Julianne Nicholson (Law and Order / Boardwalk Empire) knock it out of the park as the hostage. This film also features a killer electronic soundtrack by Mica Levi who also did the music for Under the Skin. Monos is an almost perfect film that I strongly recommend to any patient film buff.

Available on Blu-ray from Universal.

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13 Assassins (2010)

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu | imdb | trailer

This is easily the best recent samurai film, and it’s also one of my top choices among Takashi Miike’s output. 13 Assassins is fast-paced, well made, and features awesome performances. No, it doesn’t have many of the transgressive aspects that this director is known for, but I barely noticed. This film kicks major ass from start to finish.

Available on Blu-ray from Magnolia.

The Nightingale (2018)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

This is a pitch black revenge film. I’ve seen a lot of on screen nastiness in my time, but The Nightingale made even me cringe. The only flaw of the movie is that it is too damn long. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’ve got patience and a strong stomach.

The Nightingale is available Blu-ray from Scream Factory.

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