The world is in lockdown, and we are all, sensibly, looking at our movie backlogs and thinking “finally!”. There’s time now to whittle away at those Netflix and Amazon Prime lists, since there is literally nothing better to do for the good of the world than sit on your arse mainlining cinema. Yet there are still the possibility of pitfalls in the practice of making yourself a more well-rounded film buff; some movies that you should give a miss to, lest they just turn out to be a little too reflective of life at large right now. Or, you know, if you like to torture yourself with the worst case scenarios, maybe these are the movies you should be seeking out, just for the fun of making a bad situation even worse. Let the quarantine madness commence!
Before the lockdown, Contagion was a forgettable mid-tier Steven Soderbergh movie, albeit one with a starry cast. Since the lockdown, this okay movie has been given near-Simpsons level status of prescience. My main question is, why do this to yourself? If there was ever a movie, ever a time in history where it would be more triggering, it’s right now, and it’s this film. There is a member of my family who has decided she’s not leaving the house ever again after watching it. And it’s not even that good.
For the same reason as Contagion, though I actually think Outbreak is great – mainly because it treats the titular Outbreak like an action movie, instead of the uber-philosophizing sniffle-fest of Soderbergh’s outing. None of this is enough to recommend it, though, since it’s still the pandemic-porn that you should be avoiding right now. But what is enough to reccommend it, should you be looking for an excuse? The fact that it’s also one of the most nineties films ever – with the overwrought score, the cast of mostly now-problematic stars, and a greasy Patrick Dempsey before Hollywood decided that he was Gods gift to women, actually.
30 Days of Night
While nobody I know actually believes the apocalypse is here (though to be fair there is always some group of people that believe it will happen in the next five minutes), we’re certainly apocalypse-adjacent right now. But, somehow, watching the likes of Mad Max Fury Road, The Hunger Games, any Romero zombie movie is actually fine. Despite what Hollywood has taught us, we are mostly being good to each other, rather than recreating the media montage of violence and death that seems to begin every modern zombie movie.
But 30 Days of Night? Not only is it a criminally underrated movie, and for those of us that live in densely populated areas I couldn’t un-recommend it highly enough. For those of you in a small town or village, I have some really bad news: the vampires are coming, they’re going to have bad suits, and they’re going to be led by the last Goth Huston you want to see.
I joke, of course, but be sensible and don’t use your viewing to make your angst even Especially since going through the trending movies on every streaming platform shows me that all people are watch is Contagion and corny religious movies. You do you, indulge your cinematic obsession, but don’t upset yourself and – uh, don’t watch The Platform. Trust us on this one.
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By Kevin Boyle
(header image via Haaretz)