Film history is full of films that were hated when they were released but through time grew in status and became beloved classics, but once they’ve reached their high stature we often forget how they were received at the time of their release.
But with the birth of the Internet that change has become a lot slower and harder because now every film gets an instantaneous majority opinion slapped on it and then it’s stuck with that opinion forever even if that opinion was misguided, biased or based on wrong expectations or unreachable hype.
It’s getting harder and harder for films to shed those opinions and get re-evaluated, as opinions are always changing and that’s just the natural order of things, but with the Internet those opinion tend to stay static and some even tend to become hostile when change is even suggested.
But that change is how Cult films are born, as they are literally films that were either misunderstood or ignored when initially released and have then gone through that re-evaluation and become beloved by a somewhat large group of people.
In this list we’ll be taking a look at 10 recent movies that seem destined to go through that process and come out the other end as Cult classics.
10. A Cure for Wellness (2016)
A Cure for Wellness is a batshit crazy gothic horror epic with Lovecraftian elements that’s directed to perfection by GoreVerbinski in his first great horror film.
It’s a film that feels almost designed to divide the audience as many will be turned off by how crazy and fucked-up this film is, but many will fall under its unique spell and get lost in the strong atmosphere that permeates the whole film.
Watching the film feels like walking through a hazy dream where everything just feels weirdly off in the beginning and then just keeps getting weirder and crazier the longer it goes until it reaches a perfect crescendo of insanity and then you wake up confused and creeped out.
The film is a sure-fire cult classic that will live on for a long time and will in time be recognized as the underrated horror masterpiece that it is.
9. Chappie (2015)
Chappie was the victim of wrong expectations causing people to miss the woods for the trees, as people were expecting a mix between Robocop and Short Circuit.
They expected it to be a blood-soaked but charming robot comedy action film, but instead they got a highly idiosyncratic character study about growing up in a poor crime-infested neighbourhood and how that can shape the behaviour and actions of an individual.
It’s a grim story about Nature vs. Nurture that uses the sci-fi genre to make the subject matter more accessible to people who wouldn’t usually be into these kinds of films.
The film is pretty low on action but the action that’s there is masterfully directed, the film is full of charm and cute moments in the first half, but those moments are almost overshadowed by the dark existential turn the film takes at the mid-point.
If you go into it with an open mind and judge the film based on what it is instead of what you wanted it to be then you’ll be in for a great ride, if not then you’ll just be angry and confused but at least you’ll have Hugh Jackman’s glorious mullet to hang onto.
8. Lucy (2014)
Lucy is both a really smart film and a gloriously dumb one.
On a scientific level it’s beyond ridiculous and is full of inaccuracies that will slowly drive you mad if you’re obsessive about those kinds of things.
But on a philosophical level it’s actually quite brilliant and poses one of the most interesting What ifs? Scenario’s ever conceived.
What if we would unlock our full potential and slowly become god?
It’s a great concept and Luc Besson goes all out on it and creates one of the craziest action films ever, he throws so many different abstract ideas at the concept that the audience is pretty much seconds from downing in information throughout most of the runtime.
It’s a complete mess but it also strangely works thanks to Besson’s insane willingness to take everything up to 11 and it’s actually awe-inspiring to see him run around like a madman firing on all cylinders and somehow pulling it off.
It’s a batshit insane ride that’s relentlessly awesome and it’s actually insane that it hasn’t already gained the Cult status that it obviously deserves.
7. Lost River (2014)
Lost River is actor Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut and he has obviously taken a lot of inspiration from Director Nicolas Winding Refn who he had worked twice with prior to making this film.
But Lost River is also a completely different beast from anything that Refn has made so far, the things that this film shares with Only God Forgives are mostly superficial, as in some similar stylistic choices and similar colour pallet.
Lost River is a hyper-realist modern fairy tale that’s a bit messy in the narrative department but is so visually stunning and full of spellbinding atmosphere that the narrative short comings are easily forgivable.
Gosling shows real talent in the director’s chair and he could become a great director if he follows through on the vison presented here, and even though Lost River is flawed it’s still a hell of a debut film and is pretty damn impressive.
Even if it ends up being viewed as a strange novelty in Goslings career, the film still has enough style, mood and weirdness to warrant a large cult following.
6. Noah (2014)
A Biblical epic for Atheists and Anti-theists.
It’s no wonder why people hated this one as Darren Aronofsky took one of the most beloved stories in the bible and turned it into a horrific meditation on the worth of human life.
It also shows the true horror of the story in a way that will shock people who have never really stopped to think about how terrifying it really is, and by throwing in some more fantastical elements and magic taken from pretty much every religion that isn’t Christianity it seems like he was willingly trying to annoy the hell out of Christians everywhere.
But the film isn’t only just a slice of Christian trolling because it’s also a brilliantly directed and brutally effective film that might be the weirdest fantasy epic of the 21st century.