Think Twilight, but strip it from everything that makes it a total joke – and you’ll have an ocean of actually awesome movies to explore. These 6 movies explore the relationships between humans and monsters, whether it be your sister becoming a werwolf, your lover turning out to be a vampire, or your only friend being a flesh-eating monster. Is it possible to find love, friendship or peace with something different from ourselves? Let’s have a look.
The Shape of Water (2017)
Everything there is to The Shape of Water comes down to the brilliant directing by Guillermo del Toro. The story is simple, probably too simple. It’s predictable and unsensible, yet I like it. You can see it as something boring and predictable, or you can see it as something created with care and love. I believe in the latter.
The Shape of Water is a love story that takes place with the Cold War as a background. Elisa is a cleaning lady for a secret state laboratory. After witnessing scientists taking in a water creature found in the Amazon jungle, her interest sparks. The Americans plan to use the creature in the war against the Russians, who in turn want to get hold of it themselves. Elisa approaches the “monster” who she sees as her equal, and a friendship takes shape.
Del toro’s movie is an adventure, a drama and a love story. It is as much of a message about loving what is different as it is a declaration of love for classic film and a bygone era.
Warm Bodies (2013)
Can’t say that when I think of zombies, I think of something sexy, and Warm Bodies definitely doesn’t make any efforts to change that. Fair enough, as we already have a trillion teenagers yearn for blood-sucking monsters at night. What Warm Bodies does offer is gore and romance mixed together in a bloody funny mess. Hard to resist, right?
As we a all know Romeo and Juliet had difficulties being with each other because of a family feud. With this story, R and Julie, which they are fittingly called, experience similar troubles. But their obstacles have more so to do with R being a zombie while Julie is a human. And then there’s also the fact that R just ate Julie’s boyfriend’s brain.
Warm Bodies may not reach the same cult status as some other awesome zombie movies, such as Shaun of the Dead and other twisted films that make us laugh with the undead. Still, it feels like a perfect dating movie which should appeal to both the romantic and the zombie nerd.
The Dark (2018)
This movie is one of those amazing hidden gems that you very rarely find. First feature film from director Justin P. Lange, who just as the movie most people never heard of. The Dark is one of those horror movies that makes you feel a range of emotions, not only fear. A beautiful movie with soul and heart.
Deep in the woods lives what once was a girl named Mina but is now a murderous monster. Mina comes across Alex in the woods, a boy that has been abducted and brutally blinded by his kidnapper. Through flashbacks, we learn what Mina experienced in her former life. The two teenagers have both suffered horrendous traumas, and the pain is what bonds them.
The Dark is a fascinating, deep, dark and disturbing movie about childhood trauma and the effects it can have. We get to know a monster. One that brutally kills, stabs, slays and bites people’s throats out. But it doesn’t stop us from sympathising with her and understanding why she became a monster, seeing as monsters are what made her.
The Transfiguration 2016
The Transfiguration is yet another movie that went totally under the radar and has remained a hidden gem that only a lucky few managed to find. They screened the film at Cannes in the “Un Certain Regard” section, which is where unusual movies with untraditional stories go to seek international recognition. Well, that didn’t work. It genuinely upsets me to know how few people find these awesome hidden movies, but luckily I now have a place to rant about them.
Milo is a 14-year-old unusual boy with an obsession for vampire movies and a blood thirst most would deem unnatural. He leaves a trail of corpses in his wake, but unlike vampires he has no supernatural powers, and has no problem eating garlic or being in the sunlight. Things get a little complicated when Milo meets his neighbor Sophie, a girl who cuts herself in the arms and uses sex as a way of self harming. Will he be able to keep his blood thirst at bay?
Michael O’Shea is not your typical director. Before Cannes he had multiple jobs including taxi driver, doorman and fixing up computers – all the while working on different screenplays. The result was The Transfiguration, a slow paced movie, perhaps too slow for the typical horror fan, but well worth the watch if you let it sink in.
Although Spring may seem predictable, it is a unique love story that deserves much more recognition. I thought I had the story figured out many times, but Benson and Moorhead made something new out of the exhausted concept. The movie’s strength lies not only in the unexpected twists but also in the talented actors and the well-written characters they portray.
When Evan’s mother dies after a long battle with illness, Evan’s lonely existence becomes even more lonely. A pub fight results in him loosing his job and having the police on his heels. Evan realizes it’s time to change his life and books a direct flight to Italy in order to find himself. What he finds instead is Louise, an exciting girl who will change his life. But Louise carries a dark secret that can endanger not only their relationship, but Evan’s life.
What is the meaning of life? How much time do we really get? And what are we going to do with it? These are questions most of us ask ourselves, and Spring channels these questions spectacularly well. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have proved themselves to be a directors duo worth keeping track of, with three amazing feature films that all hold quality throughout. I can’t wait to see that they do next!
Ginger Snaps (2000)
One of my favourite movies when I was a teenager. I mean, I see now that the special effects leave much to be desired, but I still think it was a wise choice from director John Fawcett who refused to use CGI. The now 20-year-old movie has grown into something of a modern cult classic, and in my opinion it still holds up!
Ginger and Birgitte are sisters who share the peculiar interest of arranging and photographing each other in different death scenarios. The’ve also made a pact to die together. The same night as Ginger gets her first period, in the beginning of October, she’s also bitten by a werewolf. Within just a few days her physique drastically changes, along with her temperament. The 15-year-old sister must now try to find a cure, so she enlists the help of the local drug dealer to get her sister back to normal.
The struggles of being a teenager, trying to fit into society while going against the flow. Thoughts about sexuality and adulthood. Ginger Snaps is basically a youth drama that addresses all the difficult things most young people go through during high school. The occasional humor is spot on and the Fitzgerald sisters who act as each other’s protectors are perfectly displayed by Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle.
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