6. Vertigo (1958)
Vertigo is another great film that uses the theme of desire gone awry. When a film explores the theme of desire, the line between healthy infatuation and obsession is often blurred. Who better than the master of suspense to tackle this idea?
Hitchcock’s Vertigo was not only ahead of the curve in terms of story; it’s also one of his most visually striking films. As a side note, knowing what we now do about Hitchcock’s alleged treatment of women, the film feels partly autobiographical in retrospect. As a result, when we watch this film today it is all the more jarring.
7. The Soft Skin (1964)
Taking cues from Hitchcock, Truffaut’s The Soft Skin deserves a mention on this list due to the sophisticated way he treats his characters.
It’s essentially about a love affair, but thanks to the Hitchcock influence it’s given the same treatment you’d expect from a thriller or mystery. Almost two decades later, Truffaut would make a similar film worth mentioning on this list: The Woman Next Door.
8. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
What would happen if you took a regular romantic comedy plot, and put it in the hands of one of the most original filmmakers ever? It might look something like Punch-Drunk Love.
Paul Thomas Anderson knew exactly what he was doing by casting Adam Sandler, who was one of the most popular comedy stars at the time, and giving him a darker edge. Instead of a man Sandler would normally play, we get the tortured Barry Egan. In one scene Barry tells Lena (his love interest), “I’m lookin’ at your face and I just wanna smash it.” Lena responds to this with another violent, yet loving comment. This is not your average love story.
9. Dressed to Kill (1980)
Dressed to Kill is another instance where a film benefits from being something of a genre hybrid (and incidentally, yet another Hitchcock influenced film).
Instead of just the basic “erotic” film, this is De Palma. That means the eroticism is just the half of it; we’re led down a stylish rabbit hole that involves murder and mystery.
10. The Love Witch (2016)
The tagline for this film says it all, “She loved men…to death.” What happens when a person is forced to fall in love with someone? Can you really “force” love successfully? Anna Biller’s film explores this idea in a fresh, sometimes hilarious way.
It has been described as being a horror comedy film, and even a thriller. However you classify The Love Witch, it is one of the most beautiful films in recent history to feature such a dark look at love.
Author Bio: Dilair Singh is a film lover from Toronto. He particularly enjoys screenwriting, and hopes to sell a screenplay someday. You can find him on Twitter: @dilairsingh.