Top 5 Recent Indie Movies You Have to Watch
There have been a lot of great indie movies released in the past two years. To help you out, I narrowed down the list to just five movies. These five movies did not attain commercial success, but commercial success is not always an indicator of quality. Surely, if you give these movies a chance, you wouldn't regret watching them at all.
These are the top five indie movies from the past two years, in chronological order.
1. The Lobster
Release Date: October 2015
The Lobster is set in an absurd world wherein single people are sent to a hotel wherein they must find a suitable match in a span of 45 days, or else they get turned into an animal of their choice. David (Colin Farrell) just learned that his wife is leaving him for another man, and so newly single, he gets sent to the hotel to find a new partner. There, he gets acquainted with different women, each with a certain quirk.
The Lobster markets itself as a black comedy, and it surely is a prototypical example of the genre. The characters in the movie are emotionless and monotonic, whereas the scenarios that they find themselves in are absurd, and so the contrast between these two facets oftentimes lead to laugh out loud moments.
The movie is roughly split into two parts; the first is inside the hotel, wherein David meets various single ladies and tries to find a connection with one of them. The second part is out in the woods, where the loners thrive. These loners are the former hotel residents who do not want to be paired and so escaped from the hotel.
The Lobster is recommended for those who want to LOL and say WTF at the same time.
2. The Final Girls
Release Date: October 2015
The Final Girls is a horror-comedy, albeit more comedy than horror. It's a meta-horror film, similar to The Cabin in the Woods, and so it subverts typical horror tropes and turn them on their heads.
Max Cartwright (Taissa Farmiga) is invited to a screening of Camp Bloodbath, a 1980s cult horror flick which is starred by her mother Amanda (Malin Akerman). Max initially hesitates since her mother died three years ago in a car accident, but nonetheless agrees to the proposal. While inside the theater, a fire breaks out, so Max and her friends try to exit the cinema by ripping a hole through the screen. This sends them to the world of Camp Bloodbath, and allows Max to have a face-to-face encounter with Nancy, the character her mom plays in the movie. There, they must fend themselves from the serial killer Billy.
The Final Girls is a fun movie to watch. It spoofs the typical final girl movie and succeeds in doing it. Apart from the light-heartedness, the movie has a very deep emotional core which can be attributed to the mother-daughter relationship of Max and Nancy/Amanda.
The movie has a very satisfying climax, one which could probably bring tears to your eyes. Apart from that, it is also interesting to see how Max and her friends act once they realize that they could actually die while inside the movie; they try to theorize ways to escape the movie.
The Final Girls is recommended for those who want to laugh and cry in equal measure.
Release Date: May 2016
Elle got some share of the spotlight by winning the Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes, as well as the lead Isabelle Huppert winning Best Actress in a Drama in the same awards show.
Elle has a lot of storylines that are intertwined, all of which involve the titular Michelle (Isabelle Huppert), one way or another. But the main storyline involves the assault and rape of Michelle in her own home by a masked man, and her subsequent attempt to unmask the rapist.
Elle is a very weird movie - the actions of the characters are unpredictable and what you think will happen doesn't really happen. That's the great thing about Elle - you don't know what to expect.
The movie is quite long since it involves a number of storylines. One storyline involves Michelle's son and his dominating girlfriend. Another involves Michelle's affair with the husband of her best friend. Another involves a religious couple moving in in the lot in front of Michelle's home. Another involves a clip of a video game cut scene spread in Michelle's office, which is edited to show Michelle being raped by a video game character.
Saying anything more would spoil the movie. All I can say is that the storylines converge neatly by the end of the movie. The movie acts like a character study of Michelle - how she reacts to situations, and how she deals with these. Isabelle Huppert is a star in the movie.
Watch Elle if you want to watch a family-friends drama with a twist.
4. Closet Monster
Release Date: July 2016
Closet Monster is a drama film about a sexually confused teen, Oscar Madly (Connor Jessup), who is in the process of applying to art school in New York. The movie deals with Oscar's estranged relationship with his divorced father, Peter, and Oscar's attraction to his workmate Wilder.
The movie deals with Oscar's isolation from the world, particularly his drunkard and controlling father who is apparently homophobic. Oscar usually talks to his pet hamster for comfort, which was given to him as a gift when his parents divorced.
Closet Monster is a captivating look at the life of a closeted LGBT teen. Oscar's sexual urges are inhibited by a homophobic crime he witnessed as a child, prompting him to be confused of what he should be feeling. Connor Jessup is amazing in the role as Oscar; his portrayal of Oscar's transition from meek to rebellious during the movie is engaging.
Closet Monster is recommended for everyone who wants to see the internal conflict of an LGBT teen in a not-so-healthy environment.
5. The Love Witch
Release Date: November 2016
The Love Witch's cinematography is breathtaking - it invokes the feel of 1960s cinema, from the way it was shot, to the demeanor and costumes of the characters. The movie is worth watching for this alone.
The movie focuses on a beautiful, young witch named Elaine, who just recently moved to California after the death of her husband Jerry. Elaine is the titular love witch, and she uses magic in order for men to fall in love with her. The movie deals with the various men that she has affairs with, and how her magic brings about unexpected and disastrous results.
To be honest, the story is a bit shallow - it doesn't really go that deep. However, the main draw of the movie is its cinematography, and it more than makes up for the story. Watching the movie transports you to a different time and place, and it surely is an experience you do not want to miss.
Obviously, the movie deserves a lot more recognition for what it is able to accomplish.
Watch this movie if you want to be transported to the 60s.