There’s a popular refrain nowadays that “TV is so much better than film.” While it’s true that mainstream cinema has become more heavily focused on franchises and blockbusters, there are still great movies being made if you know where to look. Many of my favourite movies from the past five or so years have tended to be smaller indie fare, and in this post, I’d like to share a few from various genres, ranging from quirky comedy to horror. They’re all worth checking out if you haven’t seen them, or re-watching them if you have.
BEFORE I DISAPPEAR (2015) Written and directed by Shawn Christensen, this is a must-see for any lover of dark, quirky (but not too quirky) comedy drama. It stars Christensen himself as a near-suicidal man who’s forced to look after his estranged sister’s young daughter for the night. The movie walks a fine line between comedy and despair but manages to pull it off perfectly.
COHERENCE (2013) This low-budget sci-fi thriller has a single location, and is again set over one night (a theme is emerging here already for any budding filmmakers). A group of friends get together for a birthday party, and some very strange occurrences involving doppelgängers begin to take place. I was blown away by this film the first time that I saw it, and if you’re in the mood for a thriller with a supernatural twist, this is the movie for you.
THE ONE I LOVE (2014) Sticking with a sci-fi theme, this gem of a picture stars Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss as a couple who arrive at a beautiful country house on vacation and – you got it – strange things start to happen. I think I’ll leave it at that and let you get drawn into the drama of their strange relationship for yourself, but this is a great film that blends several genres without ever feeling forced or unfocused.
THE PACT (2012) The Pact is a horror flick that tells the story of a woman who returns to her just-deceased mother’s home to look for her sister and, naturally, is not quite as alone as she thinks. In my opinion, it’s one of the most underrated horrors of the past ten years, and demonstrates how, with only a fraction of the budget of movies like The Conjuring or Insidious, it’s possible to deliver just as big a punch.
THE OVERNIGHT (2015) Alex (Adam Scott) and his wife, Emily (Orange Is The New Black’s Taylor Schilling), have just moved to LA, where they meet the eccentric and overly friendly Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) in a park. Kurt persuades them to come over for dinner at his Hollywood hills home, and what follows is a night of bizarre inter-couple dynamics in which you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen next.
Script Reader Pro is a screenplay consultancy made up of working screenwriters. If you’re a screenwriter and you’re tired of receiving unhelpful advice such as, “Just trust in your story”, or “Your protagonist needs to be more likable”, their Script Coverage may be the feedback that you’re looking for.