Movies Watched: Q1 Edition
Busy days, but some films were still consumed.
Culled from my Letterboxd diary, here are some of the movies I would recommend from my February through April watches.
An absolutely bonkers B-movie with an A-movie budget. It starts off slow, but the last third is a flawlessly executed ride. Stream on HBO Max.
Christopher Landon’s follow-up to the Happy Death Day duology is a slasher version of Freaky Friday. The emphasis is largely on the humor, much more so than the horror, and both Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton deliver great performances. Stream on HBO Max, and revel in the rumors of a Freaky Death Day happening sooner rather than later. (You can read my review on One Star Classics.)
The Tinder Swindler (Documentary)
A bizarre story of the dangers of Tinder. Based largely on Norwegian newspaper VG’s investigation into—surprise, surprise—a swindler who uses Tinder to scam his victims, the story has more twists and turns than most fictional thrillers. Stream on Netflix.
Werewolves Within (Thriller-Comedy)
A whodunnit mystery where the killer happens to be a werewolf. A gallery of comedic character actors delivers sharp dialogue in a story full of twists and turns. Buy or rent on iTunes.
After Midnight (Horror-Drama)
This heartfelt horror romance was set to become an indie hit… and instead got hit by COVID. Great performances, great script, and stylish visuals—stream on Shudder.
In Possession (Psychological Thriller)
I searched for thirty-plus years to find this movie I first watched on TV in the mid-eighties. Back then, it gave me nightmares, and watching it now, I can see why. The quasi-surreal narrative is creepy and is shot in a quasi-avant-garde style. In Possession is not available for streaming or purchase. (Be creative, and you can still find it online.)
Sparks—a fantastic band (more below)—finally got a musical released, and it’s as weird (and catchy) as most of their albums. Who knew that Adam Driver was a good singer? Streams on Prime.
Flashback (Surreal Thriller)
An absolutely weird time-travel(?) thriller. It’s not an easy watch and is hard to follow until the end when it sort of adds up. Well worth the journey. Streams on Amazon.
Untitled Horror Movie (Comedy)
A group of vain actors start making a horror movie over Zoom—this is a COVID-era production—when things go horribly wrong. It might not be a great film, but it is genuinely funny. Stream on Prime or read my full review over on One Star Classics.
What The Hell Is It This Time? Sparks: Live In London (Concert Film)
A bonus feature on The Sparks Brothers documentary, Edgar Wright also directed a concert film with the band. The music is great and Wright shoots the concert perfectly. Buy or rent on iTunes as part of The Sparks Brothers bundle.
The French Dispatch (Comedy-Drama)
I have no idea how Wes Anderson’s latest didn’t get any Oscar nominations—at the very least for cinematography—as it’s an absolutely delightful watch. Stream on HBO Max.
The Worst Person In The World (Drama-Comedy)
Nominated for two Oscars, this Norwegian coming-of-age story is both amusing and heartfelt (and ultimately sad)—a fitting finale to Trier’s Oslo Trilogy. Buy or rent on iTunes.
The Evil Dead Trilogy (Horror, Comedy-Horror, Comedy)
All three are great, but I will always have a particular affinity for Army of Darkness which is mostly a straight comedy. Bruce Campbell is a living legend. All three films stream on HBO Max.
A fast-moving Hitchcockian thriller. Maybe not very original, but very stylish. Streams on HBO Max.
House of Gucci (Comedy)
I don’t care what people say, Jared Leto is great in this weird semi-fictionalized take on the Gucci family. Buy or rent on iTunes.
A COVID-era, low-budget time-travel film, Madelines make up for its shortcomings through sharp dialogue and great performances. Buy or rent on iTunes or read my review on One Star Classics.
Ti West returns, blending humor and downright sweet drama with 1970s-style slasher tropes. The performances are fantastic, as is the cinematography. Rent on iTunes.