6. The Mothman Prophecies
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 2002

Genre: Richard Gere Solving Spooky Mysteries

Director: Mark Pellington

Cast: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Will Patton, Debra Messing, Lucinda Jenney, Alan Bates

Based on a true story (but not really), The Mothman Prophecies is a super spooky mystery about a supernatural being haunting a West Virginia town. The creature, dubbed the Mothman, seems to signify impending doom, and Richard Gere, playing a Washington Post writer grieving the death of his wife, wants to get to the bottom of it all. When you get down to the bare bones of it all, The Mothman Prophecies is basically a feature-length episode of The X-Files, with Gere standing in for Mulder and Laura Linney, playing a local cop, standing in for Scully. But director Mark Pellington loads this thing up with so much style and so much menace that it’s easy to get wrapped-up in it all. On top of that, there are a handful of genuinely creepy scenes that will give you the heebie-jeebies.

For fans of: The X-FilesPrimal FearArlington RoadMimic, ChapStick.

 

7. Natural Born Killers
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Release Date: 1994

Genre: Hyper-Stylized, Hyper-Violent Black Comedy

Director: Oliver Stone

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey, Jr., Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore

Oliver Stone‘s Natural Born Killers generated a lot of controversy when it hit theaters in 1994, and perhaps understandably so – the film is unhinged, and feels at times as if its coursing with some sort of poisoning venom that’s on the verge from spraying out of the screen right into your eyes. But even if you don’t like Stone’s film (and I’m honestly not entirely sure if I do), there’s something to be said about the artistry on display here. Stone blends styles, film stock, and tones, crafting a brutal (and sometimes surprisingly funny) portrait of two very bad people, played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, who embark on a cross-country killing spree. Natural Born Killers isn’t really about the murders, though – it’s more about how society reacts and, sometimes, ghoulishly celebrates such actions. Stone (working from a story by Quentin Tarantino) isn’t always successful in getting this point across, but the film deserves credit for its over-the-top attempts.

For fans of: True RomanceU-TurnHenry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Robert Downey, Jr. using a terrible Australian accent.

 

8. Lunopolis
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2010

Genre: Mockumentary

Director: Matthew Avant

Cast: Matthew Avant, Hal Maynor IV, Dave Potter

Lunopolis is a funny, highly entertaining faux documentary that proves you don’t need a budget to be creative. Two documentary filmmakers get wrapped up in a story involving a fringe religion known as the Church of Lunology (a blatant satire of the Church of Scientology). According to the cult, countless famous (and infamous) historical figures actually came to earth from the moon. It only gets weirder from there. What makes Lunopolis work is how it simultaneously takes itself and its  mythology seriously while also acknowledging how silly it all is. This is a film with flying cars, a time machine, and a mysterious moon rock. There is a scene where a character yells, with grit and determination, “You can stop the charade – we have your moon rock!” You can’t beat unapologetic silliness like that. Bonus: here’s the tagline for the film: “There are people on the moon, they’re from the future, and they’re running our government.” Yes, that entire thing is the tagline. Please, watch this movie.

For fans of: Operation AvalancheWhat We Do In the ShadowsThe Last Exorcism, magic moon rocks.

 

9. Crooked House
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Mystery

Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner

Cast: Glenn Close, Terence Stamp, Max Irons, Stefanie Martini, Julian Sands, Honor Kneafsey, Christian McKay, Amanda Abbington, Gillian Anderson, Christina Hendricks

A business tycoon dies, and almost any member of his flat-out insane family could’ve done the deed. That’s the set-up of this bawdy Agatha Christie adaptation that assembles an incredible cast, puts them all in wigs, and lets them run wild. You might be able to solve the mystery a lot sooner than the film’s detective character, a milquetoast dweeb played by Max Irons, but that doesn’t matter. You’ll be having too much fun watching Crooked House allow all these actors to crank up the volume to 11. The best of the bunch is Gillian Anderson, who wears a vampire wig and spends the whole film drunk, flirty and hurling insults.

For fans of: Murder on the Orient ExpressClueMurder by Death, wigs galore.

 

10. Prevenge
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Fetal Horror-Comedy

Director: Alice Lowe

Cast: Alice Lowe, Gemma Whelan, Kate Dickie, Jo Hartley

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a movie about a woman ordered to kill people by her unborn baby. Alice Lowe wrote, directed and starred in this horror-comedy (while pregnant herself), and she deserves awards for coming up with such a bonkers premise and pulling it off. Lowe plays Ruth, a pregnant woman whose partner died in a climbing accident. Except, maybe it wasn’t an accident. Taking orders from her unborn baby, Ruth tracks down people who were possibly involved in her husband’s death, and brutally dispatches them. What a strange, clever movie this is. More indie horror like Prevenge, please.

For fans of: It’s AliveSightseers, High-Rise, bossy fetuses.

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