Well, it was bound to happen eventually. I grew up watching tons of sci-fi movies. I have a particular soft spot for dystopian cyberpunk stories. That could be why I always knew the day would come that we’d find ourselves moving in this direction.
I mean, have you seen Blade Runner? It’s set in 2019!
Fun Random Fact: My laptop is named Rachael after one of my main characters from Blade Runner.
Well, if you haven’t seen Blade Runner, it’s currently streaming on Netflix! The film is based on an excellent Philip K. Dick book, Do Android’s Dream of Electic Sheep. If you haven’t read the book, I’d also give that a high recommendation during these trying, and possibly boring times.
Have you noticed EVERYONE is saying “in these trying times” right now? It’s reaching maximum meme level in my head.
So we’re in a weird time out there. Things are a bit crazy in my world too. You may have noticed I’ve been totally absent from social media for a bit. I’m really struggling with the idea of coming back right now amid the mix of chaos, tone-deafness, and denial. It’s just crazy out there, and I’m happy to be home with my cats and my video games. And my husband, who has to work from home for the next 30 days.
I’ve been struggling with other things lately, so this just put a cherry on top of existing issues. At the same time, it felt like the Universe pushing the world to just slow down. I always say that when we find ourselves forced to stay home, for whatever reason, it’s the Universe and our Higher Selves saying, “Hey, sit the fuck down for a minute! What is so important that you’re rushing through life?”
A few days ago, the governor of my state of Nevada issued a 30-day statewide closure of all non-essential businesses. I live in Las Vegas. Can you imagine what chaos this is going to throw us into? The casinos, hotels, bars, and restaurants have all be ordered to close.
The company my husband works for is non-essential ones since it’s retail. My husband is an essential employee as one of the executive level managers, but it’s still scary. They’re a smaller company already facing challenges. While they are 100% planning to stay in business and reopen when it’s time, everything, including his job, is up in the air. So everything is scary.
And I literally had to buy toilet paper on eBay the other day because it doesn’t exist in stores. But you guys know all about that by now.
Since many of us are home and looking to stay entertained, I thought I would share some movie recommendations. These 10 picks can all be streamed right now on Amazon Prime, Netflix, or Hulu.
Here’s a warning. I’m not including any of the obvious picks like The Craft (it’s on Netflix), Practical Magic (it’s not streaming for free right now) or The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (it’s not a movie, but you know you can…and should…watch that on Netflix). I’m going with some of the less obvious or totally unexpected favorites in hopes of giving you something different to watch.
But, since I know I have a particular kind of taste that not everyone has, I wanted to first introduce you to a free website and app called Just Watch. If you’re a movie and TV lover and you stream most of what you watch this is a must!
After signing up and you’ll be asked to check off some of your favorite movies, along with what streaming services you have access to. These range from Netflix to YouTube Premium to free ones like Tubi. Then you will get recommendations for movies to watch and where to watch them.
You can also search for specific movies to find if they’re online and where/how you can watch them. The site also shows where movies are available to rent. For instance, you can search for “The Joker” and find where to rent it and for how much. BTW, I cannot recommend that movie enough. It was terrific! Even if you aren’t into “comic book movies,” it’s well worth a watch because other than the source material, it is NOT your typical comic book movie.
So get signed up for Just Watch (#notsponsored) and use that to help in these trying times.
Alright, here we go! My 10 (Currently Streaming) Quarantine Lockdown Movie Suggestions
10 – The Big Lebowski (Hulu)
This is one of my all-time favorite movies, period. In 2006 my husband and I rescheduled our wedding so we could attend a fan convention for the movie. We won the “Hardest Traveled” award as a result of telling that story there. It’s a simple story of an aging stoner, mistaken identity, Nihilists, a trophy wife, and the quest to get back a rug that really tied the room together. If you haven’t seen this by now, but you love weird dark humor, check this one out for sure.
9 – Green Room (Netflix)
This one is fucking INTENSE. I’m not even going to try to sugar coat it. It’s a crime thriller with horror elements, so know that going in…if you don’t like scary stuff, this won’t be for you. But if you want your mystery with a little terror, this movie is a gem! Patrick Stewart plays a fantastic bad guy, and it features one of the last performances from Anton Yelchin before he passed away suddenly in 2016. He was one of my favorite up and coming actors, I was so sad when he died. The story centers around a punk band that takes a gig without knowing all the details and finds themselves playing at a white power skinhead bar. They witness a crime they never should have seen, which puts targets on their backs as they attempt to leave the venue alive. I truly loved this movie and found it hit ALL the right spots for a gritty, scary crime thriller.
8 – Only Lovers Left Alive (Hulu)
Speaking of Anton Yelchin, you can also catch him in my all-time favorite vampire movie, Only Lovers Left Alive. It also stars the always wondrous and beautiful Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as a vampire couple, Adam and Eve, who has been married for centuries. Adam is starting to think it’s time to give up on the world, but Eve isn’t having any of that, which leads them through some interesting events. This movie is absolutely beautiful, its poetry…and a little weird because it is a Jim Jarmusch film. If you like vampire movies and you want something a little different, watch this one for sure. And then listen to the soundtrack on repeat over on Spotify because it’s one of the most beautiful ones in recent years.
7 – The Blackcoat’s Daughter (Netflix)
This movie is fucking weird, and you may need to watch it twice, but it’s worth it if you like mind-bending psychological horror. It’s one of those movies that you THINK you know where it’s going, and it’s not until the end that you realize you lost track of stuff halfway through, but you’re not even mad, you’re really impressed! I did end up seeing this twice, and it was just as great on a second viewing. This one stars Kiernan Shipka and Emma Roberts…and I honestly can’t say too much because it will give away everything. So check out the trailer, and if it at all piques your interest, check it out. Also, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT read the Wikipedia page BEFORE watching this, just go in blind, trust me.
6 – Midsommar (Amazon Prime)
This was by far my favorite movie of 2019. It was one that I went into with a lot of hopes and was glad I wasn’t let down. This is another psychological horror, but it has the added bonus of being well researched when it comes to the Scandinavian myths and traditions that make the backdrop of the story. A group of college friends, including a struggling couple, Dani and Christian, go to Sweden to visit the remote village one of the friends is from for their Midsommar festival. Little did everyone else know that things would get a bit violet before they’d reach the “dance around the Maypole” part of the festivities! I can’t recommend this enough for people that like their horror to be a little more “high brow,” which makes me feel like an asshole for even saying. But it’s not a slasher, there’s not someone lurking in the woods killing people, and there aren’t buckets of blood. There’s blood, but it’s not overly gory. The real horror is in how well director Ari Aster uses sound and visuals to unsettle you and totally disturb you from start to finish. And if you’ve ever done psychedelics, like I have, this will be especially true for you.
5 – Dazed and Confused (Hulu)
This is one of those movies that if you haven’t seen by now, you probably don’t have any interest in it. Still, I honestly think this is worth a watch for anyone that likes coming of age comedy. It’s set in 1976 on the last day of school for a bunch of kids in Austin, Texas. Some are graduating. Some are excited that they’re about to be seniors. And some are freaking out about being hazed all summer long as they prepare to go into their freshmen year. As everyone begins to face their uncertain future, they prepare to attend a town-wide keg party that. And as you may remember from high school, things are going to get real before the night is over. This movie has a special place in my heart because it came out just a few months after I graduated high school while I was in my first semester of college. I was living through some of these things, so it really resonated with me, and still does. It’s one of my all-time favs for sure.
4 – Arthur (Hulu)
This is the ORIGNAL movie from 1981, not the absolutely terrible Russell Brand helmed remake from a handful of years ago. I love Russell Brand, but that movie was fucking awful. This movie, however, is one of my favorites from when I was a kid, and it’s still a frequently watched one for me. It stars Dudley Moore as a near-constantly drunk, but hilarious, millionaire playboy. Despite being expected to marry an equally rich but cold and boring long time girlfriend, he falls in love with a coffee shop waitress played by Liza Minelli. This is also a coming of age kind of story, but it’s got that twist of being about adults and not kids. This is great for a little 80s NYC nostalgia too! There is a second movie, Arthur 2: On The Rocks, that isn’t nearly as good, partly because it didn’t come out until 1988, and there is a massive difference between the feel of the two movies. But Arthur 2 is also available on Hulu right now.
3 – Hail Satan? (Hulu)
Weird to see a documentary here, right? Well, this is one that totally deserves to be on a list like this because it’s funny, it’s through-provoking, and it’s incredibly empowering. If you’re one of those witches that instantly turn away from even the mention of Satan or Satanists, I urge you to watch this documentary about The Satanic Temple and their incredibly meaningful…although often controversial and misunderstood efforts toward religious and social justice. I’m often shocked by how wrong the impression of Satanists and Satanism is that a lot of Pagans and Wiccan-centric witches hold. Hopefully, you’ll not only be highly entertained but educated by this fun doc.
2 – The Babysitter (Netflix)
OK, this one is just an all-out gorefest. It’s a horror-comedy with ridiculous 15-year-old humor style jokes, but this is by far one of the best gems I found last year on Netflix. Cole is 12 and still has a babysitter, Bee. He’s getting older and is kind of developing a thing for his babysitter, as 12-year-old boys sometimes do. One night while Bee is babysitting after Cole goes to bed, she has friends over for a game of truth or dare. But Cole makes the big mistake of staying up past his bedtime and witnessing Bee stab someone during a game of spin the bottle…and things get bloody and absolutely hilarious from there. This movie is truly a gift for anyone that loves horror-comedy. I waited to watch this for a few years because it was kind of early in the direct to Netflix game, but this is 100% worth a watch. And…a sequel is in the works!
1 – The Dead Don’t Die (Hulu)
Well, if you were thinking, “Wow, a movie list in 2020 without a zombie movie! How cool!” I hate to break it to you…here’s a zombie movie. This isn’t a zombie movie for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s slow, it’s filled with really weird deadpan humor, but it’s goofy and one of my favorite movies from last year. I mean, I actually left the house to see it the weekend it opened, so that’s saying something! This is another Jim Jarmusch movie, which means it’s going to be odd and arty. This probably won’t be a winner for fans of things like The Walking Dead, but if you like quirky takes on overdone horror topes, check this one out for sure. If nothing else, Tilda Swinton’s character is well worth watching for. And I’ve been a fan of Adam Driver since season one of Girls, so its fun to see him in something quirky again.
A few honorable mentions
Here are a few other quick suggestions that are also available now.
Pete Davidson: Alive from New York (Netflix)
Lords of Chaos (Hulu)
Deathgasm (Amazon Prime)
The Dark Knight (Netflix)
Paradise Lost (Amazon Prime)
Paradise Lost 2 (Amazon Prime)
Paradise Lost 3 (Amazon Prime)
(It is worth watching ALL THREE of these documentaries to see the evolution of this story.)
Take Me Home Tonight (Netflix)
Can’t Hardly Wait (IMDB TV) (This is, without a doubt, one of my all time favorite 90s movies)
Heathers (Hulu and Amazon Prime)
What movies are you watching during your stay at home time? Let me know!
Also, remember, listen to the experts about how to protect yourself from the current pandemic and how to take care of yourself if you’re sick. Don’t get caught up in the essential oil scams and “wish it away with good vibes” nonsense. This is serious shit, folks, so stay safe…for your sake and the sake of the rest of the world!