If you’re looking to watch something a little off the beaten path this weekend, fear not: Netflix has a little something to offer us all even on the dreariest pre-party Friday evenings (or post-hangout Sunday afternoons).
These three films are unabashedly not the best on the planet. In fact, some might number among the worst… but they all have a special little something that should get you watching. Even if it’s just the fact that they’re positively abysmal.
If you like: trope subversion, noir #aesthetic, chase scenes, the “Everything Wrong With [Popular Movie]” series and the films it takes aim at
You should watch: “Final Girl,” a 2015 pseudo-thriller starring Abigail Breslin as a young woman named Veronica. Following a tragedy that is never explained, Abigail is orphaned and taught to be a remorseless but highly regimented killer by a young scientist-assassin named William (Wes Bentley). Through methods that are never shown or explained, William locates a gang of misogynistic rich boy serial killers in a setting that can only be described as pseudo-1950s small town America. These guys like to pick up innocent dates and then hunt them down in the woods outside of town. Of course, William sics Veronica on them. The bulk of the film is wit has Veronica, armed with laced booze and a scary amount of combat knowledge, go up against the four boys. Slowly, the hunters become hunted… and ish gets weird. So weird. Killer theme park mascot hallucination weird.
Cult status achieved: This baby’s got plot holes you could toss a tree through. How does William find these creeps? What is “the program” he keeps referring to? Where the hell does he get his funding? How many serial killers can possibly be dotting the landscape in this reverse Rockwellian horror show for some shadowy quasi-organization to consider training and utilizing a one-woman killing machine? Why does Veronica go into the woods in a ludicrously impractical dress? But Breslin’s performance and creepy chemistry with the group of ghoulish guys that she’s meant to kill makes the film more than worth it. In addition, the cinematography is simply stunning – there are shots that feel downright chilling. Learn to love the movie for its idiosyncrasies, its standout performances, and the completely irrelevant but well-framed shot of one of the boys singing a ditty to his ax in a cold, empty room in his McMansion.
If you like: “Ginger Snaps,” horror-comedy, a side of camp
You should watch: “Ava’s Possessions” (2015 – a good year for this kind of film, apparently.) In this Jordan Galland-directed horror-comedy starring Louisa Krause, the title character finds herself in the aftermath of an exorcism. Ava’s given the opportunity to circumvent jail for the crimes she committed while under demonic influence: She has to attend Spirit Possessions Anonymous. And it’s a real killer.
Cult status achieved: Aside from Ava, the film doesn’t treat its women very well – the stereotypically morally derelict friend gets committed, a sex worker who encounters Ava and hints at information that might reveal the source of her possession is killed for no real reason other than to demonstrate how bad the Big Bad is. Also, the addiction metaphor is well-executed initially, but it grows clunky towards the end, and you can see most of the twists a mile and a half off on a foggy day. Still, the acting’s very good, it’s darkly funny, and it’s a fresh take on the possession film that the genre sorely needs at this point.