6. The Transfiguration
Now Streaming on Netflix

Vampire movies have mostly become stale and repetitive, but every once in awhile one comes along to turn the sub-genre on its head. Like this grungy horror film from Michael O’Shea. Eric Ruffin is Milo, a young man living in a housing project in Queens who thinks he’s a vampire. Milo has taken his obsession to the extreme, but things change when a new girl (Chloe Levine, very good here) moves in and becomes his friend. This is not your typical vampire film, and that’s what makes it special.

For fans of: Let The Right One In, Martin, Ms. 45.

7. Thou Wast Mild & Lovely
Now Streaming on Shudder

Josephine Decker’s Thou Wast Mild & Lovely is a dream slowly turning into a nightmare. The story of a man (Joe Swanberg) who hires on at a farm and falls for the farmer’s daughter (Sophie Traub, absolutely phenomenal). It sounds like the set-up for a dirty joke, but there’s a lot more going on here: beautiful shots of nature jarringly contrasted with close-ups of flies and flashes of perverse violence out of seemingly nowhere. Trust me, this is unlike any movie you’ve ever seen.

For fans of: The Eyes of My MotherFrailty. 

8. The Magnificent Seven (2016)
Streaming on Hulu 9/9

Since the original Magnificent Seven from 1960 was itself a remake (of Seven Samurai), there probably wasn’t a need for yet another remake. And yet we got one anyway last year from Antoine Fuqua. And guess what — it’s kind of great. Denzel Washington leads a cast that includes Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and,Haley Bennett, all of whom are doing some really great work here, particularly D’Onofrio, who is going all-in on his bear skin wearing mountain man character. The seven anti-heroes are hired to help save a town from a very Donald Trump-like robber baron, played with icky menace by Peter Sarsgaard. The Magnificent Seven is highly entertaining and surprisingly downbeat and finite for a modern age when all Hollywood movies have to be easily digestible and leave room for sequels.

For fans of: The Magnificent Seven (1960)Seven Samurai

9. Hoffa
Now Streaming on Netflix

Many of Danny DeVito’s directorial efforts can be hit and miss (although I know there are plenty of Death to Smoochy fans out there, somewhere). But DeVito’s best effort behind the camera is this old fashioned, mostly forgotten 1992 biopic of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa. Jack Nicholson is typically great as the brutish, hot-tempered Hoffa, and DeVito is good also as his (fictional) right hand man. Hoffa plays fast and loose with the facts, but it’s stylish as hell and features a soaring, incredible score from David Newman.

For fans of: GoodFellas, Nixon, Bugsy.

10. Frozen
Now Streaming on Shudder

No, not the Disney one. This ice cold thriller from Adam Green is the perfect escape from the blistering dog days of August. Three friends ( played by Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore and Kevin Zegers) on a ski trip find themselves stuck on a ski lift after the mountain they’re skiing on closes down for the night. Now the three have to brave the harsh elements and a pack of ravenous wolves waiting below. This is a nasty, darkly funny film, and a great example of doing a lot with a little. Frozen barely moves away from one location yet remains engrossing through its entire runtime.

For fans of: The Edge, The Shallows, Open Water.

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