For every movie that is critically or commercially successful there are often times those movies that are left out of the public’s viewing. For every Avatar or The Avengers that make billions of dollars there are often those movies that, while critically successful, often times do not make that much at the box office; sometimes they don’t even do well critically. These movies simply fade out of the public consciousness and are replaced by something with not nearly as much originality or artistic creativity.
These movies are called cult movies. The cult movies trend really began in the 1970s and is responsible for the some of the most beloved movies, which today are considered classics; like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or Harold and Maude. However, when looking at initial responses to these movies the feedback was rather negative.
If it wasn’t for a strong and passionate fan bases, such as the case for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, these movies would not have had the same impact as they do today, and thus the idea of cult movies were born.
With this in mind, movies today work the same way. Every year there are those films that thrive purely on their fan bases and repeated viewings. While the 2000s have already spawned these types of cult movies, whether it’s the so bad it’s good type of movies like The Room, or weird and unusual movies that were not financially successful, like Brick or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
Throughout the past five years there have been some movies that could have the same type of cult movie status. These are fourteen movies made during this decade, 2010-2015, that all have the potential to be future cult favorites:
1. Antiviral (2012)
If the idea of seeing a body horror film made by the son of a legend doesn’t intrigue you, then this movie will surely change your mind. Brandon Cronenberg, son of legendary director David Cronenberg, makes a totally original and intriguing horror movie- especially for a first time writer/director.
The story is about a medical clinic that can bring you closer to a celebrity by injecting yourself with their diseases. The film acts as a satire on the obsession that most people in this day and age have with celebrities- especially with the advent of gossip sites and magazines that further push this idea of celebrity obsession.
Antiviral is a movie that fans of David Cronenberg have been dying to see, seeing how David Cronenberg has been pushing himself further away from that genre over the past two decades. Writer and Director Brandon Cronenberg has so much potential to make himself a horror master like his father.
2. Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)
This movie probably has the most potential to be a cult classic. The main reason for this has to do with the bizarre visuals, lighting and soundtrack- all of which borrow heavily from science fiction and horror films from the 1970’s and 80s.
Describing this movie is almost like describing a lucid dream, because this movie has the same qualities that some lucid dreams have-which would be a sense of unfamiliarity, alienation, and a strong sense of distortion which few films made in the past ten years have been able to accomplish so well.
Writer/Director Panos Cosmatos has an eye for visual storytelling-as the best aspects of this movie have to do with its visuals-and is accompanied by an utterly fantastic soundtrack by Sinoia Caves. Yet, despite this the movie suffers noticeably from a lack of plot and actual character development.
Beyond the Black Rainbow is purely a visual and audible film and should really be appreciated as such, and should not being slammed because of that. The strong sense of paying tribute to films of the past decade will surely please any fan of 70s and 80s science fiction films.
3. John Dies at the End (2012)
Directed by cult movie favorite Don Coscarelli- the man who created the Phantasm series- John Dies at the End is pure hilarity in one of the most bizarre ways.
While at times it does try a bit too hard to cement itself as a cult movie, John Dies at the End bring an off the wall weirdness that makes it a total blast to watch.
The movie also features some fun cameo appearances by notable cult movie actors such as Doug Jones, Glynn Turman and of course The Tall Man himself, Angus Scrimm.
Filled with quirky and quotable dialogue, as well as off the wall dark humor, John Dies at the End will make for a great time to watch alone; and for an even better experience watch it with a group of people and experience the weirdness together.
4. Electrick Children (2012)
Electrick Children follows the character of Rachel, a devout Mormon, who believes that she got pregnant via a cassette tape that plays rock music. This leads her on a journey to Las Vegas to find out who the person on the tape is, as she believes that this person is the father of her child.
Electrick Children is a very quiet and atmospheric movie. Yet, there is a certain atmosphere that this movie has that’s hard to describe- as the lighting and cinematography really make this movie memorable. However, it’s the acting by Julia Garner and Rory Culkin that make this movie what it is, as their performances really elevate this movie.
This movie is an example of the originality that most cult films have, as they often have unique or original story that doesn’t quite seem to fit in with a mainstream audience.
5. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
The fact that this movie is already considered a cult classic among circles of people seems to really show the dedication that the fans have for this movie.
Based on a graphic novel series- which already had a cult following even before the movie was made- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is basically as close to a video game as you can possibly make without it outright being a video game- and one of the more faithful graphic novel adaption’s.
This movie is so hyper accelerated and full of pop culture and video games references that it would make any video gamer laugh, as well as non video-gamers. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has a visual style that’s so much its own and really makes the movie feel unique.
There really is no way to describe the visuals that this movie has, because the best way would be to describe them as a sugar rush-seeing how everything in this movie is exceedingly bright and colorful and makes you feel like you’ve ingested about a pound full of candy.
Aside from the bright visuals the rest of the movie is great- although it might feel a bit rushed at times- it’s still a blast to watch if you’re a fan of the graphic novel series, as it follows the novels rather well.
6. The Raid/ The Raid 2 (2011/2014)
It would be unfair to split these movies apart, especially seeing how both of these movies feature some of the most impressive and expertly choreographed fighting scenes from the last decade; and thus both deserve to be mentioned at once.
The Raid, also known as The Raid: Redemption, is a bit bare-bones when it comes to plot, as it basically has to do with a police squad ascending an apartment complex to arrest a drug lord. It does however feature some rather great fight sequences- as the final fight scene at the end is probably the highlight of the movie. Despite the weak plot the movie completely works as a martial arts action movie, and that largely has to do with actor Iko Uwais and his skillful fight choreography.
While the first movie is definitely worth watching it’s the second one that is really worth watch. The Raid 2 features much more plot and character development than the first Raid does. While the expert fight scenes and choreography are also better than the first.
The Raid 2 features fight sequences that are much better and tighter than the first one, especially the final fight scene in the kitchen- which alone makes The Raid 2 a masterful martial arts movie worth watching- as it is simply that good and that expertly choreographed.
The Raid 1 and 2 are bound to be cult favorites to anyone who loves martial arts movies or just anyone who loves action movies in general.
7. Upstream Color (2013)
Upstream Color is probably the most “challenging” film on this list and that’s mainly due to the fact that the plot is fairly hard to describe. With this in mind, writer/ director/ composer and actor Shane Carruth creates a mesmerizingly fascinating film that is disorienting and leaves so many questions that it probably requires another viewing to fully articulate what this movie is about.
Much like ‘Electrick Children’ Upstream Color creates an atmosphere that is so hard to describe, but at the same time, is so hard to look away from because of the hypnotic quality that it has.Upstream Color is absolutely beautiful and is one of those films that never really leaves your mind after watching it.
While it might not move at a fast pace, its Shane Carruth’s eye for visuals that really makes this movie worth watching, while the lo-fi droning score that Carruth composes also adds to the films beauty. With enough patients you can hopefully make it through this movie and realize what a stunning movie it is.