As the first half of 2016 comes to a close, it is safe to say that the movie industry has seen its share of hits and misses. The likes of Captain America: Civil War and Zootopia have risen to become box-office and critical hits, prompting Disney Studios to green-light sequels. Even less-than-stellar movies have performed slightly well such as the critically panned Batman vs. Superman, the movie adaptation of Warcraft, and lackluster comedies Ride Along 2 and Central Intelligence. The number one thing that keeps these disappointing films afloat is the fact that they are backed up by major studios or they may have famous actors starring in them.
This brings us to the topic of relatively unknown films. Cannes and other film festivals have been known to shed light to indie movies and smaller productions, but sadly these gems never seem to reach mainstream audiences. ExploreTalent is putting the spotlight on those films today.
Here are five lesser-known films that deserve your attention:
1. 10 Cloverfield Lane
It might be questionable to add 10 Cloverfield Lane as the J.J. Abrams–produced film did perform past expectations in the box office. But the movie definitely deserved even more attention considering the effort exerted when it came to creating it. The performance of the cast, particularly John Goodman, were all exceptionally good and the slow building tension built around this thriller makes the experience absolutely worthwhile.
The movie 10 Cloverfield Lane is referred as the “spiritual sequel” to the 2008 film Cloverfield. As the name implies, the two stories are not exactly related and the former is shot through a third-person narrative. The plot is enough to surprise audiences as it leads them to believing that the story is heading to a certain direction, until it morphs into a completely different story line. This type of film making skill is a risky move, but both Abram and director Dan Tratchenberg executed it right.
2. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
This Kiwi adventure comedy may have received critical acclaim, but it still is relatively below the radar. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is directed by Taika Waititi, who beautifully showcases the lush scenery of New Zealand in the film. The movie centers around the unlikely duo composed of an ill-tempered uncle and his bratty nephew. After a series of events, they find themselves stuck in the wilderness and need to work with each other in order to survive.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the highest-grossing film in its home country New Zealand, and it definitely deserves more attention overseas.
Netflix has been known to produce quality series, documentaries and even films. So it was no question that they would shell out money for a quality horror movie like Hush. The movie was produced under Blumhouse Productions, which notably delivered a number of quality low-budget horror film franchises such as Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and The Purge.
The story revolves around a young deaf writer who lives in an isolated cabin in the woods when a masked man begins to torment her. It may be a premise that you have heard before, but the main character’s physical impairment only increases the tension in the movie. Those who want to see the film can log into their Netflix accounts as Hush is currently available for viewing.
4. Green Room
Green Room understandably did not gain a massive audience due to the nature of the film. It is violent, brutal, and deals with controversial themes such as Nazis and drugs. But this doesn’t make the viewing experience any less worthwhile, as the movie was starred by good actors including Patrick Stewart, Imogen Poots, and the late Anthon Yelchin. Stewart, in particular, strays away from his usual roles and steps into the shoes of a ruthless leader of a Nazi skinhead group that is bent on killing a punk rock band. Yes, you read that right. It’s punk rock versus Nazis, and although it is clear on who won, how the movie delivered it is unrelentingly gritty, it will will leave you at the edge of your seat.
5. Sing Street
Director John Carney delivers the same theme over and over again through his films—and that is the discovery of hope through music. In Sing Street, Carney brings audiences back to Dublin during the 1980s where hairs were feathered out and Duran Duran ruled the music charts. The story revolves around Connor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who is stuck in the middle of different issues like a broken home and the inability to fit in his school, when out of the blue he hatches a plan to impress his crush Raphina (Lucy Boynton) by forming a rock band. The plot is simple, but it had many heartwarming scenes, many of which involve Connor’s interaction with his brother (Jack Reynor).
Overall, Sing Street is a remarkable coming-of-age film packed with the right amount of laughter, tears, and an 80s-fueled soundtrack.