The 2000s was a very hit or miss decade. The original content that was created might have been good, but it was too far and in-between.
Meanwhile this was the decade that brought strong interest to foreign cinema, especially when it came to the horror genre- seeing how the more original horror movies were coming from places like Japan, South Korea and other foreign countries. Meanwhile a new found respect and interest in the indie scene was also making itself known.
Here are 14 films from the 2000s that all have potential to be cult favorites – if they aren’t already become cult classics.
1. Charlie Bartlett (2007)
Charlie Bartlett follows the titular character as he goes from a prestigious private school to a public school where he becomes the unofficial therapist for the students; where he listens to what his fellow students have to stay, as well as prescribing drugs to them.
The Character of Charlie Bartlett immediately brings to mind the high school schemers from the 80s like Ferris Bueller or Zack Morris. Charlie is a schemer in every sense of the word and never manages to be unlikeable throughout the film; while it doesn’t help that Anton Yelchin makes the character so likeable and fun to watch.
The plot might seem like it would be filled with overused high school clichés- especially seeing how the movie is about a fish out of water in a new environment- but Charlie Bartlett somehow overcomes these cliché by being fresh and creative.
For example, Charlie meets a stereotypical school bully that starts beating him up, and rather than ignoring the bully, Charlie decides enlists his help so that he can help Charlie with his schemes- and the bully even manages to open up and talk to Charlie once he starts his therapy business.
It’s small things like that which makes the movie feel refreshing and worth watching, in fact it almost feels like a John Hughes-esk 80s film- mainly because of how the movie walks the line between being comedic and dramatic. Charlie Bartlett is a refreshing high school movie that has more to it than you would expect.
2. The House of the Devil (2009)
Samantha is a college student who is a little strapped for cash, so she decides to take a babysitting job. Little does she know this is one job she’ll never forget.
House of the Devil is a horror movie that was made in 2009 but feels unlike any other horror movie made during that decade, as the movie looks and feels like a late 70s early 80s horror film- complete with gritty title font colors and a directing style by Ti West that seem to effortlessly echo the horror movies from that era.
The acting is pretty good as well, this is largely due to the actress that plays Samantha-Jocelin Donahue- being so likeable in her role; which is very important in order to make a movie like this work, seeing how the audience is with this character for the entire movie. Cult favorite actor Tom Noonan is in a small part but delivers a very solid performance- being subtly off putting without trying to be.
Make no mistake of it though, this movie is slow moving, as much of the tension come from the idea of what’s about to happen- as well as the overall fear of something that’s not quite right. The directing by Ti West seems to capture that genuine fear without showing any cheap jump scares. There’s a certain simplicity that this movie has that makes it worth viewing- especially for fans of early 80s horror films.
3. Dance of the Dead (2008)
The dead begin to rise on the night of prom, and it’s up to a few teenagers to stop this infestation of the dead.
Dance of the Dead may sound like it wouldn’t bring anything new to the zombie subgenre- in fact the title sounds like it would be some sort of parody of zombie films- however, this movie is a hugely entertaining horror comedy.
The main set of characters in this movie are funny and very likeable, this includes the main character Jimmy and his girlfriend Lindsey, the school bully, the nerdy sci-fi club members and a trio of punks all come together to make a diverse and entertaining group of characters- as well as having some pretty genuine interactions between each other.
Dance of the Dead may not be the most original zombie film but this movie certainly makes up for it with a seriously entertaining script that features memorable dialogue and characters. It has that 80s horror comedy feel to it that evokes influences from zombie horror comedies like Return of the Living Dead or Night of the Creeps.
4. V For Vendetta (2005)
Based on the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore, V for Vendetta is a faithful adaption that is a skillfully made action film with a strong meaning.
In a dystopian future England has transformed into a fascist lead government. A mysterious freedom fighter known as ‘V’ is promising to bring down this regime by means of anarchy, chaos and destruction.
This is a top notch graphic novel adaption that is smart, well executed and- above everything else- meaningful. V For Vendetta is about bring change to a disloyal government by means of rebellion, which is why this movie has become so regarded in the years since its release. The image of V’s mask- the now iconic Guy Fawkes mask- has become a symbol for rebellion in recent years.
V for Vendetta is a movie that will always be important and relevant due to its themes of rebellion and overall message.
5. Kids in America (2005)
After having their rights abused and taken away by their power hungry principal, a group of high school kids decide to fight back by means of protest and freedom of expression.
This movie was not well received when it first came out in 2005, and today has pretty much fell into obscurity, and yet, much like V for Vendetta, this movie is probably more relevant today due to its themes of protest and civil disobedience.
The main actor Gregory Smith brings a certain level of likeability and coolness to his role as the rebellious leader Holden; meanwhile the other cast members do a well enough job. The soundtrack is also pretty good, as the early 00’s pop punk soundtrack features some fairly catchy songs- even though they might date the film a bit.
It’s disappointing that this movie has feel into such obscurity, because if this movie was released a few years later than it was then maybe it would have done a bit better- especially among the young adults in this post- Occupy Wall Street world. Although at times it might feel a bit farfetched, the films overall message is still there- which is stand up for what you believe in, no matter the cost. This movie will clearly stick with anyone who has ever felt like standing up for their constitutional rights.
6. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
In the Year 1899 a team made up of Alan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll, Dorian Grey, The Invisible Man, Mina Harker and Tom Sawyer are all recruited to take down a supervillian known as ‘The Fantom’ before he causes a potential world war.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has been widely criticized by critics since it was released back in 2003, and has been considered one of the worst movies of the 00’s- which is a title that this movie does not deserved at all. Even though this movie might be sub-par it’s really not that bad.
The reason for this is because of the interesting set designs and well directed action sequences; while the quasi Steam punk looking designs are interesting and will potentially intrigue anyone who’s interested in that medium.
The acting is fairly decent, actor Shane West does a pretty good as Tom Sawyer, however actor Sean Connery-who does is decent enough as Alan Quatermain- seems rather bored throughout; which is made all the more apparent by the fact that this was the last movie he stared in before retiring.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen might not be great, but it’s still a pretty entertaining film, and not nearly as bad as critics say it is.
7. Night Watch (2004) / Day Watch (2006)
In modern day Russia the forces of light are being pitted against the forces of darkness. The Night Watch and Day Watch are responsible for making sure that everything remains balanced between the two forces. Yet, things are soon about to change between the two sides.
Based on the World of Watchers book series Night Watch and Day Watch are two supernatural thrillers that take place in modern day Russia and are some of the most commercially successful Russian made films ever made- and with good reason.
Night Watch and Day Watch are hugely entertaining supernatural action thrillers with well shot action sequences by director Timur Berkmambetov- who really brings something creative and atmospheric to the screen. These two movies are dark and action filled and make for a great time to watch.
Something else that makes these movies entertaining are the subtitles, as the subtitled version of this movie features subtitles that change colors and are sometimes animated to fit certain scenarios. This is definitely the version to watch, as the subtitles themselves are just as entertaining as the movies are.