I really enjoy strange movies and think there needs to be more of them. Watching a strange movie is like a breath of fresh air in an incredibly stale market. It is a break from the big budget Hollywood blockbusters flooding the cinemas week after week.
So here is a list of five strange movies (in no particular order) that you should check out. Now some of these films may not be the strangest out there, but I think they delve into the abstract enough for them to not be considered entirely traditional.
Swiss Army Man (2016)
The most recent entry on this list, Swiss Army Man was without a doubt the strangest viewing experience of 2016. It is the story of Hank, played by Paul Dano, marooned on a tiny island when the body of Manny, portrayed brilliantly by Daniel Radcliffe washes up on shore.
Hank discovers Manny can do just about anything; he vomits fresh drinking water, he can rapid-fire projectiles shoved down his throat, his arm can be spring-loaded as a cutting tool, and his dick is a compass…yeah.
Everything about Swiss Army Man is delightfully strange and odd. Throw in an uplifting and hopeful acapella soundtrack composed by Robert McDowell and Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra fame. Love it or hate it, Swiss Army Man is quirky and strange filmmaking at its finest.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Charlie Kaufman is one of the more unique writers and directors working today. From the stop motion animation Anomalisa to the thought provoking Synecdoche, New York, Kaufman has never shied away from incredibly strange conceptual films that require more than one viewing.
Kaufman wrote the screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and it shows; it practically screams his name with its weirdness. Jim Carrey turns in the best performance we will ever see from him as Joel, a man who decides to undergo a treatment to erase his ex – Kate Winslet’s Clementine – from his memory after she did the same to him.
The bulk of the film follows Joel through his subconscious, as he relives cherished memories with Clementine only for them to begin to be erased right before him. It is funny, bizarre, heartfelt and heartbreaking all at the same time, and probably the most accessible of Kaufman’s films to check out.
The Lobster (2015)
The Lobster is without a doubt the most absurdist film to appear on this list. A dystopian look at the future where Colin Farrell enters a retreat where he has 45 days to find a suitable partner, else he be turned into an animal of his choosing. Yeah, I said it was strange.
This is a film that certainly won’t gel with everyone; the soundtrack can be repetitive, it leaves a lot open to interpretation and explains very little as to how the world got to be the way it is in the movie. But if you can get past that, you’ll find an incredibly dry and satirical take on individuality, love, and the social pressures of modern relationships.
Everything is so stiff and played completely straight that most of the humour comes from the absurd, deadpan delivery of dialogue, resulting in quite a few genuine laughs. The Lobster is strange from minute one right til the very end…if you can make it that far.
The Voices (2014)
This incredibly strange black comedy was not what I was expecting, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it immensely. Ryan Reynolds is Jerry, a sweet man with an almost childlike outlook on life…who starts killing people at the behest of his cat.
Deeply troubled by childhood trauma, Jerry hears voices from his cat, Mr Whiskers, and Bosco, his dog. While Bosco sees the good in everyone and wants Jerry to be happy, Mr Whiskers has more sinister plans in mind.
The voices don’t stop at his pets however, as the heads of Jerry’s victims encourage him to keep killing so they have more company to hang out with. The film is almost paradoxical in it presentation, dealing with grisly imagery with childlike wonder. It is incredibly strange to say the least, but is an oddly satisfying watch with endearing characters and a collection of funny and brutally dark moments.
To me, Frank is a staple if you’re a fan of strange movies. In it, we follow experimental rock band the Soronprfbs led by Frank (Michael Fassbender) who at all times wears a papier mâché mask, simply because he must.
Not only does Fassbender give a tremendous performance with his face behind a mask for 99% of the movie, but Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal also add another layer to an already layered yet simple movie.
It is undoubtedly strange, whimsical and quirky but it never devolves into something so bizarre that you lose all emotional connection to it. Director Lenny Abrahmson has captured something special in Frank, something strange and endearing that sticks with you even after the credits roll.
So there you go, five strange movies that you should certainly check out! Which is your favourite, is there one we missed? Be sure to comment below or our Facebook page.