We’ve just passed 2018’s halfway point, so what better time to take a look back at some of the incredible overlooked movies that have been released this year?
You know, just in case there’s a couple of gems you haven’t managed to catch yet.
So, here’s our ten favourite films of the year that aren’t Avengers: Infinity War.
Super Dark Times
Basically Stand By Me if Stephen King had his full-blown horror hat on when he wrote it, Super Dark Times sees a gang of teens make a tragic mistake, which quickly escalates into one of the most tense movies of the year. Now streaming on Netflix, you’ve got no excuse not to catch this one. Well, unless super creepy and violent films freak you out, in which case we’ll let you off.
Given a very limited release by its distributor Studio Canal, Crowhurst tells the (true) story of the titular Donald Crowhurst, a (very) amateur sailor who decides to compete in an ‘around the world’ boat race. His extreme lack of experience leads to a deteriorating mental state, which eventually results in tragedy.
Featuring a misguided sense of nostalgia for a lost Britain combined with a calamitous risk taken out of a sense of pride and patriotism, Crowhurst is about as tied into the cultural zeitgeist as movies get.
A Gentle Creature
Inspired by Dostoevsky’s short story A Gentle Creature – about a woman who travels to a prison in a remote region to track down her incarcerated husband – this modern take on the tale operates as a metaphor for modern Russia, and its various frustrations.
Starting out ultra-realistic, before getting increasingly more surreal, this isn’t an easy watch, but it is an essential one.
Another brilliantly tense horror movie currently streaming on Netflix, Ravenous takes the zombie movie and adds a sense of originality and invention we thought the genre had left for dead years ago.
Genuinely scary, with eerily smart deadheads who are as comfortable sneaking up on you as they are tearing out your throat, you should probably watch this instead of the next series of The Walking Dead.
A misrepresentative trailer may have put you off Blockers, which basically made it look like like a lazy / lame sex-comedy, but it’s actually one of the most progressive / entertaining films of the year. Full of genuinely funny jokes, loveable characters you actually care about, and more heartwarming moments than a Dothraki initiation ceremony, Blockers is fun for all the family – seriously!
What is it about miserable Russian movies this year? Loveless tracks a distant couple who are forced to come back together after their son vanishes. As you may be able to guess from the title, this doesn’t suddenly turn into a rom-com halfway through, and is only really recommended to people who enjoy their cinema as bleak as possible. But if that’s you, you won’t find a finer example from the first half of 2018.
Based on the 1956 novel by Antonio Di Benedetto, Zama follows Don Diego de Zama, a Spanish officer of the 17th century settled in Asunción, as he awaits his transfer to Buenos Aires. Combining existential angst with some of the most stunning locations of the year, this uniquely disturbing period drama will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.
As impossibly cool as the gaze of a sociopath, Thoroughbreds follows two teenage girls with murderous tendencies – who bond over their shared desire to kill. Featuring mesmerising central performances from Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy and Anton Yelchin (this was the brilliant actor’s final performance following his tragic death), think Heathers, but even nastier.
Our second Simon Rumley recommendation after the brilliant Crowhurst, Fashionista sees the versatile director delivering a very different psychological horror film, as a clothes-addicted thrift store owner’s sanity starts to slip as she discovers her husband is having an affair – and decides to pursue one herself. Dark, disturbing and with a subplot that makes 50 Shades Of Grey look like Twilight, this is easily one of the best thrillers of the year.
British director Michael Pearce’s neo-fairytale sees a privileged young woman falling in love with a gruff poacher – who may or may not be a serial killer.
Centred by a stunning performance from the incredible Jessie Buckley (War & Peace) as the young woman torn between love and fear, Beast builds to a shocking climax that contains one of the best twists of 2018.