So, you’ve made it to the weekend. Congratulations! You’ve worked diligently to complete all of your tasks during the work week and are now in need of some much deserved rest and relaxation. Should you turn on that show that’s been on your watchlist for the past six months? No, too much of a commitment. How about that movie you’ve seen 87 times? No, you’re not looking to make it 88. How about something new? We have you covered. We’ve rounded up some of the best films that might be hidden under the mountain of popular titles on your favorite streaming services.
Are you after some laughs?
What We Do In the Shadows (2014)
What is there to say about this comedic masterpiece from Taika Waititi? With three vampire roommates, werewolves fighting off anger issues, and a witty ‘mockumentary’ format, chances are high that you will have a stitch in your side by this movie’s end.
How about escaping to another world?
Based on tales from Irish folklore, Wolfwalkers, follows the story of two young girls from two dramatically different worlds. If you would consider yourself to be an animation connoisseur to any degree, this is an absolute must-watch. The style closely resembles colored storyboards rendered into motion.
The Breadwinner (2017)
This emotional narrative tells the story of a young Afghani girl living under the rule of the Taliban in Kabul. When tragedy strikes her household, she disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for the family. If you enjoy the movie, consider checking out the novel it was based off of, “The Breadwinner” by Deborah Ellis.
A quick word of advice: although the film may market itself as a children’s movie, beware! This movie packs quite the disturbing punch as it enters its third act. Based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman and created by Laika Studios, this movie is animated through the use of puppetry and stop motion, making it a visual delight to the eye.
Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
A second project by Laika Studios! Set in feudal Japan, titular character Kubo is on the search for the armor belonging to his father, a great samurai. Magic and music collide through the shamisen, a traditional Japanese three-stringed instrument. The movie’s soundtrack, composed by Dario Marianelli, has a good chance of being added to your playlist.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010)
For the child in all of us, this movie delights both the senses and the mind. As the title would suggest, the story follows a band of young owls searching for their childhood heroes of myth to deliver them from a force of darkness. Looking for more after the credits? Check out the book series that inspired the film by Kathryn Lasky.
Does drama tickle your fancy?
The Farewell (2019)
Familial drama reigns supreme in this story revolving around discovery of self for a young Chinese-American who returns to China to visit her ailing grandmother. If you would consider yourself someone who may find themselves in tears in the theater, tissues are a necessity.
In need of an adrenaline rush?
We’re dipping into the international movie market for this category. If you’re someone who has no problems with subtitles, or if you speak Korean, these thrillers are for you.
Be ready for a mindbend as you attempt to unravel plot twist after plot twist in this unsettling story. You’ll feel like Alice in Wonderland as you explore an ever-deepening rabbit hole of deceit surrounding two brothers. While the jump scares are relatively few and far between, it is quality over quantity!
The Call (2020)
You might not ever want to pick up your phone after this film. Be careful about who you trust — what might seem innocent at first may have a darker nature. If you find yourself easily spooked by a jump scare or a dramatic musical swell, be armed with a pillow to shield your eyes.
Time to log off of your Zoom, Gmail, Outlook, Teams, or whatever apps might distract you from bringing down your cortisol levels. It’s movie night (or morning, or afternoon – your choice!)
Grace Holladay is a third-year student at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH. She loves to spend her free time cooking new recipes, binging Marvel movies, and dancing at her university’s rec center.