Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

I didn’t expect much when I first saw this film. I ended up very pleasantly surprised. It’s an excellent thriller that looks damn-near perfect. Nocturnal Animals is more centered in drama than violence, but it’s still very dark in all the best ways. Some critics even called it “cynical.” No wonder I liked it so much.

Available on Blu-ray from Universal.

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Possessor (2020)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

A trained assassin can take over any person, and use their body to do the killing. This beautifully lensed film starts with a bang and does not let up. Lead actress Andrea Riseborough is spot on, and Christopher Abbott (from the very good Catch 22 mini-series) is a perfect choice too. This film features innovative looking dark psychedelic interludes, which up the game on SpectreVision (who produced Mandy also starring Riseborough). Possessor also features pretty graphic sex, and very graphic violence with some excellent gore FX. There’s even a pseudo J&B bottle nod to Italian horror films of yesteryear. Jim Williams (Kill List, Sightseers) provided a top-notch dark ambient electronic score that sounded killer in headphones. Yes, yes… this was written and directed by David Cronenberg’s son, so there are nods to Videodrome and Existenz (which also starred Jennifer Jason Leigh), but they are handled in a really smart and next-level way. You will have no idea where the movie will end up, and it’s wonderful. Pitch black but wonderful.

Available on Blu-ray from Well-Go USA.

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Mom and Dad (2017)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

I’m picky about horror comedies, but this is a good one. Nicholas Cage does his thing as dad without slipping into Wicker Man level ridiculousness, and Selma Blair is the perfect choice as mom. The pace is pretty relentless, and the end ramps up the crazy even further. The filmmakers have done an admirable job at keeping the movie effective, and not as silly as it could have easily become in lesser hands.

Available on Blu-ray from Momentum.

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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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The Platform (2019)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

I almost didn’t recommend this one as it was on the Netflix Top 10 when it was first released, and has received a lot of press. However, The Platform deserves that attention AND is very much Anomalous Cinema. This movie skillfully blends horror and sci-fi, into a borderline-art film. Now let’s hope this leads to Netflix releasing more even more daring and intelligent weirdo features.

FYI – I recommend if you watch ANY foreign content made after 1990 on Netflix, you do so in it’s original language with subtitles. Netflix’s English dubbing is absolutely horrible 99% of the time.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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The Decline (2020)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This is an original thriller that verges on action at times. I may like some silly movies, but little details like unrealistic firearm use can ruin it for me. This almost completely suspended my disbelief. Just watch The Decline, in it’s original French Canadian language, and let it do it’s thing.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (1988)

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu | imdb | trailer

I got grounded for sneaking in to see this back in 1988. Yes it’s a bit cheesy at times, but this film is extremely dark, and even more extremely violent. I personally like this better than the original Hellraiser. You get all you need to know about the story in the prologue, so just dive in. It’s not the greatest transfer, but it’s in 1080p HD. What bothers me is the fact they didn’t finish this storyline, and made a horrendously bad part three. Don’t let that stop you from seeing this as the plot is wrapped up satisfyingly enough by the end.

FYI – I originally posted this months before I got a copy of the Arrow Blu-ray. I compared it to the version on Amazon (I’ll assume it’s the same as Hulu) and the difference is pretty stunning. The Arrow version looks better in every way. It has more detail, better color, you name it. That said, if you’re a fan on this movie, get the Arrow Blu-ray. The extras alone are worth the investment.

Available on Blu-ray from Arrow.

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Avengement (2019)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

There are a ton of awful action movies on Netflix. This movie should have been one of them, but I loved it. It features English gangsters, almost non-stop fighting, a good story, and solid production values. You might need to turn on the subtitles as the accents and jargon are very thick for the duration. Really that’s a minor quibble, as this movie is a blast.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

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No Tears for the Dead (2014)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

Here’s another very good South Korean crime film. It’s got all the elements that you’d expect: tons of action, a very complicated story, extremely bad bad guys, and slick production values. This one leans a lot on drama, but that’s fine. It kept reminding me of Léon: The Professional, which is a good thing. Like Luc Besson’s film, the drama serves a purpose, and the action is impressive.

Blu-ray available from CJ Entertainment.

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The Ritual (2017)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

A solid horror movie that starts off pretty derivative, but ends up doing its own thing. The Ritual also features quality, bass-heavy sound design, and a creepy score.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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