For those of you unfamiliar with what a cult film is, let me give you a brief run down. A cult film is a movie with a small yet very dedicated fan base. Oftentimes, cult films are obscure movies that are forgotten about over the years. These films are often enjoyed for a certain quality that really clicks with certain people. Whether they be uber-cheesy or uber-amazing, these films are often celebrated for their uniqueness. I find these films fascinating since they often have interesting backgrounds or their fans enjoy these pictures for oddly specific reasons. So here are a few movies that I think deserve some love as well.
The best way to describe Hanna is imagine if an arthouse film, The Bourne Identity, Snow White, and a coming of age movie all got mixed together in a blender. The story follows the titular character Hanna, a pre-teen girl who lives in Finland with her ex-CIA operative father. When she decides that she is ready to go out into the world, her decision starts a chain reaction that gets the attention of a powerful government officer with ill intentions for Hanna and her father. It's stylish direction, fairy tale themes, and well choreographed action is enough to make it a cult classic in my book.
2. Lars and the Real Girl
An introverted young man with no social life decides the best way to go out into the dating scene is by pretending a life size sex doll is his girlfriend. With a synopsis like that, most would come to the conclusion that this movie is a raunchy comedy in the same vein as American Pie or Porky's. But actually, Lars and the Real Girl is a heartwarming comedy about the human condition with great performances from Ryan Gosling and Paul Schneider
3. American Ultra
From the first trailer, I knew for sure that this would be a cult classic. Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg are praised for their chemistry in this stoner comedy/spy thriller. The idea alone of a secret agent disguised as junkie working in a gas station grocery store might be enough to snag some fans. This is one flick just crazy enough to earn a spot in the cult classic category.
4. The Phantom Tollbooth
Chuck Jones is often celebrated for being one of the greatest animators of the 20th century. Yet, a huge chunk of his work goes unnoticed by the public. The Phantom Tollbooth is a perfect example of this sad predicament. Based on the children's novel, this 1970 box office flop is about a young boy named Milo who travels to the Kingdom of Wisdom where he befriends a talking dog with a clock on his body named Tock and a cranky old insect called the Humbug. Its a visually stimulating adventure that teaches kids valuable lessons in the same vein as Alice in Wonderland or Gulliver's Travels.
5. The Pitch Perfect movies
While most cult classics are box office bombs, many are quite successful despite their minimal advertising. Pitch Perfect is a great example of this type. The writers obviously drew inspiration from 80's teen flicks and cheesy musicals like Grease. Because of this, the Pitch Perfect films live in their own little strange world detached from any form of reality. The comedy may be low brow and the acting might be stiff, but you jut can't help and sing along with those catchy musical numbers.
6. The Visit (2015)
M. Night Shyamalan hasn't been doing too hot recently with some citing his films as the worst ever made. So when The Visit was released, most people were shocked to find that they actually enjoyed the film. The story about two kids who visit their suspiciously creepy grandparents is a great thrill ride that keeps you guessing till the very end and actually uses the found footage technique to it's advantage. I think just like The Village and Lady in The Lake, The Visit will be swept under the rug but remembered fondly by a few.
A project as ambitious as filming a cast over 12 years would normally crumble apart after only a few years. Yet somehow, they managed to pull this thing together to be able to make it be nominated for several Academy awards. Enough said.
8. Spaced Invaders
I almost didn't put this one on here until I remembered the cult film Hocus Pocus. It isn't a very good movie but you can tell the cast and crew put their heart and soul into it despite the fact that the script didn't give them much to work with. Spaced Invaders is similar in that aspect. The idea of aliens coming to Earth after hearing the War of the Worlds broadcast by Orson Welles is nothing too creative. Yet it goes in so many weird and strange directions that you wouldn't expect like a giant tractor robot, a romance between a little girl and an alien machine, a Donut of Doom (I am not kidding), and even corn mutating to gigantic proportions due to alien crap. It's that kind of film.
9. Illusion (2004)
While all of the films on here I enjoy whether ironically or intentionally, I can't say any of them are great. That is not the case with Illusion. This low budget film is about a former movie director from the golden age of Hollywood-played by legendary actor Kirk Douglas-who is dying. He is visited by the ghost of an old friend who shows to him small bits of the life of his son who he never knew. Each part of the son's life is shown as a film stylized according to different film genres: a teen romp, a gothic noir, and a redemptive drama. This movie took several years to film like Boyhood and also like that film, it pulls it off rather well. The film is well paced, well acted, and well directed especially for someone who hasn't done a lot of directing work. Out of all these films, I would suggest seeing this one the most.
Thanks for reading! What films do you think deserve a cult following? Leave it in the comments below! God Bless!