Here we go, the final list, the top 50, these films are treasured a bit more than all the others, just a bit more. The previous lists are here..
50 Meglobox (2018)
Megalo boxing is a popular sport where the boxers fight while wearing a metal frame — something that makes their attacks even more lethal. Junk Dog fights in the underground illegal rings with fixed fights, but the young kid breaks through to the big central tournament but nothing goes right for him and he becomes Gearless Joe. I really adore this remake of the 1980’s Anime Ashita no Joe. The sheer grit and determination is sublime in this dynamic animated movie, It’s hard not to fall in love with Joe dream and his tiny side kick and friends, a wonderful journey that almost puts Rocky to shame.
After reports of strange phenomena in a rural English church, a team is sent by the Vatican to see if what is happening qualifies as a miracle. At first skeptical, and mistrusted by the locals, they soon learn that they may have found something far darker and more potent than they could possibly have imagined. One of the better found footage style movies out there from Elliot Goldner, co starring Robin Hill. Bold heavy folklore horror undertones in the style of Ben Wheatley.
Peter Stircklands latest masterpiece, featuring a red dress that seems to hold a curse, much like the historical fable of the Red Shoes by Hans Christian Andersen dramatized in films made in 1948 and 2005, but Strickland does things his way, a stylised movie set in many eras, a spooky television advert, and many unlucky victims and those damned mannequins. For me it’s not his best work but it’s miles ahead of everyone else. A slightly strange, not very straight forwards but gripping horror story with lots of questions and beauty.
47 Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)
after a mysterious corpse is found a father and son team (Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch) are tasked with carrying out her autopsy only to discover layers of secrets about the life and death of this unknown woman through the secrets left in her body. Incredibly atmospheric thriller, filled with genuine fear this taut horror is superbly crafted by? A chilling tale that goes back through American history from André Øvredal.
46 Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)
Black and white drama which looks at WWII from an unusual stand point. The man who brought us Tattoo (2002) one of my all time favourite German movies, and who later dazzled his audiences with RED (2010) and R.I.P.D (2013) he returns back to German soil with a tale of young man Max Hubacher, originally on the run from German Soldiers, through a strange twist of fate he ends up with a captains uniform but this gift comes a great price as he becomes just as, if not more deranged and violent as his original captors. It’s a stark story with helpings of black comedy but remains a thrilling movie from beginning to it’s bitter surreal end.
Debut movie from actor Paddy Considine, a bitter and aggressive man (Peter Mullan) encounters a fragile but golden hearted woman in a charity shop (Olivia Colman) they strike up a strange friendship despite her abusive husband Eddie Marsan. A stunning bittersweet story that really packs a punch while pulling at the heartstrings, it’s such a brutal, bold and frank approach to a tough subject, the film easily deserves anyone’s attention.
French LoFiSciFi adventure in this curious epic starring the energetic and charismatic Denis Lavant as Mr Oscar, who seems to pop in and out of people’s lives. Changing into costume in the back of a white limo driven by Céline (Edith Scob) he then emerges as a mic of himself and his next subject, we can see him, everyone acts like he’s someone else, but the reason why is something you’ll have to decipher from the movie, the only break from character is when he meets someone like him, who happened to be Kylie Minogue, but the character who won everyone heart is a strange chap called Mr. Merde/Shit who steals Eva Mendes and marries her in one scene and went on to have his own mini movie in Japan. Tons to enjoy and ponder about in this movie set apart from the rest.
As a quiet person I am drawn to quiet films, and this one is almost silent, in a similar vein as Gözetleme Kulesi –Watchtower (2012) which should have made this list if I had checked the date of it. Either way this is a bleak story of a prisoner of war taken from the hot desert to the cold tundra of …?? possibly Russia, maybe eastern Europe. The main protagonist is Vincent Gallo who masterfully takes this story by the reins. Without ever speaking he initially tries to surrender but then makes a break for it. traversing an alien landscape trying to.. get home? it’s never clear but the sweeping camera shots make the desolate landscape beautiful, in this harrowing story.
Liam Gavin’s story of grief and dark esoteric rituals, follows two very difficult characters as they battle each others vices as they strive to work together to speak to a Guardian Angel in order to ask for a wish, it sounds light and fairy but it lives up to it’s cryptic title. Out does Ben Wheatley on the dark occult scale, tension but with little special effects it’s deep and compelling tale with frightening consequences. A director to keep an eye on.
David M. Rosenthal’s backwoods thriller starts with a bang: a single shot, aimed at a lone deer, that hits and kills a young woman. The hunter, John Moon (Sam Rockwell), after robbing her, he uses the money in a custody battle but he discovers that the money belonged to a group of hardened criminals, the hunter becomes the hunted in this tense cat-and-mouse struggle in the backwoods of West Virginia.
A paranormal investigation team have their hands full when they attempt to probe into strange events in a neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Brilliant scares, both jump and genuine brooding horror are all found in this delightful horror which lives up to its name. Take a step into the real unknown.
A pretentious lawyer captures the last member of a violent clan (Pollyanna McIntosh) and forcefully tries to tame her. Superb acting from Pollyanna in a tale of feminism and persecution. A hard to watch rape revenge with a primal animalistic edge, quite unusual but so very splendid if you like that kind of bloody gory messy violence.
A modern day video nasty that sees an ex porn star try to get back into his industry for the movie to end all porn movies, only to be sucked into a debauched underworld of violence, pain and control. A social expression of the current situation of Serbia personified or just a gorefest to gross people out, not for the faint hearted.
Icy, gory, mutant bloody nature gone wild HORROR! From the first preview of this I was in love, for me this was the next I can’t wait to see movie after Trollhunter (I should get excited about movies more often) A likeness can be found of Thaw, The Thing and Evil Dead all melded together with a strong European flavour of throwing traditions to the wind. It all lets rip in this unusual creature feature. A Glacier turns red with a mysterious algae which starts to mix the genes of the local wildlife as well as supersizing them. A small arctic research team and a local MP out making a publicity documentary about how much she loved the wildlife and conservation are all subject to this surreal onslaught of mutant animals and their attacks it also has in one of the best lines in a horror movie.. “Stop eating that banana while you’re crying“
Black and white historical occult masterpiece with a touch of blackened comedy. Ben Wheatley takes a further step into the surreal with this mystical jaunt into the bizarre. All the familiar faces reappear, with the addition of Reece Shearsmith who plays a mild mannered assistant on the hunt for an alchemist who has stolen his masters books to search for a hidden treasure in a field.. In England… the film is beautiful and haunting, the slow motion possession scene with the Blanck Mass OST running in the background is possibly the best 5 minutes of cinema history ever.
A series I was happy to break character to watch, a small team of FBI investigators attempt to classify serial killers, based on a book and true events following Holden Ford and his team as they attempt to do the impossible and profile killers after interviewing. Partly created by David Fincher, this meticulous attentive movie with ambitious visuals and delightful character studies is utterly absorbing and worth every second.
When his cover gets blown, a Hong Kong cop (Wu Jing) lands in a Thai prison where the warden (Zhang Jin) works with a criminal mastermind (Louis Koo) to harvest organs. Bolstered with wall to wall kick ass fighting with perfect choreography the end battle I like to wall a fight with Mr Teflon as it’s absolutely seamless and possibly the best scene I’ve seen in modern combat cinema.
33 Black Mountain Side (2014)
A group of archaeologists uncover a strange structure in Northern Canada but before they can really assess the relic the local guides abandon them and they find their communications cut off. Isolated they attempt to keep their sanity but is it cabin fever or does the horned figure that whispers to them from the edge of the forest really exist? A brilliant chilling thriller, second only to the ultimate The Thing with a touch of Ritual, not the ultimate main event that it could be but a very gripping and important watch, so moody and atmospheric.
More LoFiSciFi in a fan funded classic, two friends spend their free time building their perfect car of the apocalypse called Mother Medusa, but along the way one finds love and all the pain that goes with it. Crafted and starring Evan Glodell for a mere $17,000 this epic tale of love, lies, compassion and destruction set against a deeply charming OST featuring Jonathan Keevil. it feels as if the stars aligned to make this perfect.
A group of film students encounter a real-life Troll Hunter, a high concept mockumentary with equal levels of creeping dread and dry wit. Possibly one of the best Found Footage movies to date, with a compelling story, intelligent use of CGI and loveable characters.
Jonathan Glazer adapts an unusual sci fi book by cult classic author Michel Faber. into something slightly different but equally as subline, mystifying and thought provoking. An extra-terrestrial disguises itself as a human and drives around Scotland luring men into a van where they are processed as nothing more than meat. Opening up ideas of immigration, feminism and what it means to be human this work is surreal, atmospheric and really stuck with me leaving me feel so very absent.
I fully geeked out for this movie. It’s a full replay (shortened of course) of the Apollo 11 mission to land a man on the moon. With newly discovered video and audio from the original event, it’s a wild ride from beginning to the end, giving those of us who weren’t born at the time a chance to fully submerge yourself into 1969.
Ari Aster broke onto the scene with the horror film to end all horrors, it certainly caused a stir when it was accidently played to a group of school kids! But a strange family seem to be the target for some strange happenings when a grandmother passes leaving strange legacy for her family. It works on different levels, jump scares, brooding undercurrents and shocking in the face brutality. A winning combination for me.
27 Blue Ruin (2013)
A revenge story unlike any other starring Macon Blair As the most unassuming deadly assassin, a drifter returns home to avenge his parents murders, revenge its in his heart but at first not his actions buy he adapts… Eventually… is a systematic breaking down of a man ok a mission, brutally beautiful hard hitting and somber it it’s approach.
This movie blows apart any Hollywood blockbuster with dazzling special effects. It’s so on point and so deeply real, the lead is Ivo a father like figure who has stayed behind during the civil war to harvest his tangerines. He then finds himself harboring two soldiers from opposite sides of the war, educating them and freeing them of hate as he heals their minds and bodies. It’s just beautiful all round, sentimentally and in the lavish landscapes of Estonia. It does have a bitter edge, it’s not a daydream that everything will be alright. I can’t praise it enough.
Easily one of the most stylish and most respectful remakes of the decade Gary Oldman heads up a star studded cast in an exciting spy thriller. Based on the original book by John le Carre and the British TV drama, Oldman plays a retired spy, George is summoned by the Government to investigate a furtive case. Beautifully set with perfect 1970’s aesthetics what a treat this film is, and what an unexpected thrill.
A visually stunning and thematically rich feast for the senses, this very original story is based on true diary entries, detailing two very personal trips down the Amazon river with a the last survivor of his people and Shaman who knows about a rare plant which heals all disease. The relationships between the men and clash of culture and ideologies is a blistering argument that every man has with himself and hopefully we all pick the right path afterwards. Dream for health, dream for unity. It sounds like a terrible cliché but this is really one of those movies which will change our life if given a chance.
While the VVitch really brought home the secular idea of satanism as a concept of freedom, For me Hagazussa really brings home the idea of a darker older paganism and madness in the hills of Europe. This film called “Witch” in an old tongue follows a family line accused of witchcraft. It’s murky and had a feeling of doom throughout, there’s lots of curious behaviour which I find bold and daring, all the things missing from the VVitch, but the symbolism, paranoia and ritual, and psychosis is so exact, I fell Lukas Feigelfld has made an absolute masterpiece with a blistering dark ambient soundtrack from duo MMMD.
A stunning documentary created and narrated by José Luis López-Linares as he details the aspects of the painting and the artist while looking through one of the most talked about painting in history. I’ve seen other detailed works but there is something about this education tribute which is soothing and remarkable.
A damned near perfect movie follows that life and last days of iconic Polish artist (and my hero) this Polish biographical film directed by Jan P. Matuszyński follows the final years of this strange but very pleasant surreal painter whose work influences many dark artist today. It’s set in a brutalist apartment complex and focuses on Zdzisław and his son Tomasz, somewhat depressing, very enlightening,
This is a film which I was always being told to watch, but while I thought it couldn’t be THAT good, it bloody well is. A corrupt London cop (Peter Ferdinando) tries to shut down an Albanian crime ring before his own illegal activities are discovered. Director Gerard Johnson, has equaled the impressive Pusher styled gritty on the street crime atmosphere and thrown in even more nastiness into the mix, really hard hitting Brit flick.
19 The Hunter (2011)
Well round and respected actor Willem Dafoe travels to the land down under for an secret mission from a biotech company to hunt down the very last Tasmanian Tiger, thought to have been extinct but a lone conservationist seems to have found traces of the long lost animal but as he’s vanished the urgency to find the long lost creature doubles. Native Aussie Sam Neil stars alongside in this conspiracy fuelled drama filled with hostility and dread, a thrilling and humbling ride.
New Zealand action film directed by Toa Fraser, a young Maori is caught up in a vicious tribal war, having to team up with a rogue monster he learns a lot about being a man of honour and kicking ass in the process, fast action, perfect fighting choreography especially with such deadly weapons, powerful narrative and a setting to die for. Always likened to Apocalypto (same production team) but it’s less faffy, imagine the second half but on Red Bull.
Possibly one of the most profound movies I’ve ever seen, with tons of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we enter the life of Beto. A security guard working at a gym in Mexico is slowly consumed by a mysterious disease, Beto (Alberto Trujillo) is surrounded by beautiful bodies while his is dead and decaying, spending his days shut in his apartment polishing silver and injecting himself with embalming fluid, a magical date with a friend at work spurs on a new chapter in his bizarre existence. It’s deep and as wonderful if not more than Den Brysomme Mannen.
Scandinavian folklore hits a few british boys right in the gut in this dark thriller set deep in the wilderness. The group are out, saying goodbye to a late friend when they realise they are being stalked by something very different and this creature often referred to as s Jontar is so unusual and different it really brings fear back to the big screen. Directed by David Brickner and starring Rafe Spall, for me this is what horror movies in the woods is all about, a power struggle and bravery should be in question in any horror. Bring on the runes!
Benh Zeitlin’s phenomenal movie starring and equally phenomenal young actress Quvenzhanè Wallis as Hushpuppy, and filmed entirely from her 6 year old perspective as she deals with her father’s alcoholism, living wild in the south and motherless. But for Hushpuppy he’s just her dad and she doesn’t really understand his changing moods but this won’t deter her free southern spirit as she embarks on an epic adventure exploring the world around her. It’s so magical and really thought provoking.
A very committed Vince Vaugh has his best performance of his career in this brutally violent thriller, an ex con attempts falls into prison again but being a man of honour to his family he is tasked with killing a highly protected crim, apparently based in Cell block 99 so he does what he has to inorder to find this elusive character. This film is almost body horror in terms of it’s utter gore and violence.
Love at first sight! Finding Bullhead – Rundskop was the best mistake I had made in 2011. The film is brutal and powerful while dealing with deep personal issues and the aftermath of a terrible childhood altercation, the Flemish cattleman Jacky( Matthias Schonenaerts) has had a strange alternative lifestyle and aggression problems since the incident. It’s so beautiful, a real roller coaster ride with a bittersweet ending.
Ben Wheatley’s triumph that finally got him noticed in all the right places, see’s to charismatic ex forces buddies Jay and Gal (Neil Maskell /Michael Smilie ) approach an unusual job where they are tasked to kill a short list of random people by a secret group, but things become personal when they realise who the real targets are. A deeply hypnotic movie which really swung from left field, opening the floodgates for a new wave of folklore styled thrillers but they never top this.
An outstanding drama from Iranian/Swedish director Ali Abbasi, which follows the subdued life of a unique customs officer (Eva Melander) with a acute sense of smell, not only able to detect hidden alcohol she’s also able to smell guilt, but after meeting a stranger (Eero Milonoff) who’s remarkably like her she begins to learn more about herself, the past and why she’s mortally afraid of lightning. Every aspect of the movie is outstanding, the acting just cannot be matched while the stunning cinematography is breath-taking. A cross between a superhero and origin myth, this folky body horror is something which I walked into and it changed my perception on life.
From the acclaimed filmmaker Fatih Akin comes the grotty tale of the notorious German serial killer Fritz Honka, played by the multi talented Jonas Dassler who went through some daring make up to take on the mask of a vile woman beater/killer in a is a bleak, depressing attempt to remove all glorification or justification from the serial killer. Based on the book by Heinz Strunk. A gloomy story that is totally unforgiving in it’s portrait of Germany and the killer everyone wants to forget, but an instant favourite for me.
Michaels Pearces tense drama following the life of a troubled young woman flamed haired damsel, and her new romance with a handsome stranger who walks into her life at the same time that a serial killer is on the run in a gorgeous seaside village, will keep any audience glued to the screen and guessing until the bitter end. Superb acting and unforgettable ending are only a few highlights in this all round ed blistering movie.
Highly experimental one man film project, from by British filmmaker, Scott Barley. Single handedly and through the power of his iPhone he’s managed to capture one of the most stunning, profound movies of the decade, true poetry in motion. The film is considered part of the slow cinema movement due to its use of long takes; the longest of which is 11 minutes long, featuring the sun setting until dusk. Part of a much bigger project and hopefully only one of many films from him.
A suicidal actor tries to kill himself in an apartment building. Unbeknownst to him, the apartment block is inhabited by a vampire hunter, ghosts and other supernatural beings and residents are soon fighting for their lives. Steeped in folklore and mysticism, there’s a massive physical and metaphysical battle going on in this crazy tower bock that seems to sit on the gateway between many world’s. Nothing is what it seems here.
A dark, morbid, unsettling, sexual spiral into the abyss is the best way to describe it. A creative Canadian girl wakes up one day rotting. Thanatomorphose itself means a fear of rotting. When the rot starts every emotion is masterfully played out, in this dark fear filled movie. It’s quiet and slow, a small cast enhances the loneliness and isolation. The film has already been copied so it’s potential is clear. I do urge that this original is watched.for me it’s one of my favourites depressing and disturbing movies.
Exploring the life of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who started his career in his teens before gaining notice as designer for Givenchy and launching his own label, which continues to this day. A deeply moving and sentimental piece which covers the life of the man from his closest friends and his inspirations including Joel Witkins unusual morbid artwork.
Peter Strickland’s lavish feminine world follows the strained fetishistic relationship of two beautiful women, starring Sidse Babett Knudsen as Cynthia and Chiara D’Anna as Evelyn. The two women try different approaches in dominance and submission trying to mend their unusual lifestyle in a very unusual world while studying lepidopterology and giving lectures to shop dummies. A profound romance with surreal quirks that intrigued and even brought a tear to my eye in the emotive ending.
An amazing creative folk romantic horror drama directed by Rainer Sarnet, set in a medieval Estonian village, where the locals peasants use magic and folk remedies and conjuring to survive the winter, and a young woman tries to get a young man to love her, based on Andrus Kivirähk’s novel Rehepapp ehk November (“Old Barny aka November”) the film is filled with amazing creatures, Krats, werewolves, Deiter, personifications of (the black) Death and the Devil who lives in the woods, it’s utterly breath-taking to see this way of life come to life in this dark buy softly fanciful fairy-tale.
For me this perfect debut from now cult director Panos Cosmatos was a bold and striking launch of a very enigmatic career. The story is crafted from memories of 80’s sci fi video covers and posters, giving an authentic atmosphere of a realistic vaporwave movie. A heavily sedated woman Eva Allan tries to escape a secluded commune where she’s being held captive, but her only weapon is her devastating ESP. Outstanding cinematography is layered on by Norm Li and a booming electronic OST is delivered by Jeremy Schmidt. The film raises so many questions while remaining quite relevant, for me it’s something that needs to be turned up and fully experienced, it’s like a substance that gets stuck in the psyche. Loved it so much I g
Janina Duszejko (Agnieszka Mandat), an elderly environmentalist, living a solitary life with her two dogs in the Klodzko Valley where a series of mysterious crimes are committed. Duszejko is convinced that she knows who or what is the murderer, but nobody believes her. A stunning murder mystery filled with vibrant characters, deep mysteries and a folklore atmosphere, coming from seasoned directors Agnieszka Holland and Kasia Adamik it’s a extraordinary modern masterpiece.
So what did I miss?