Welcome to the next installment of Studentenkrant’s Top 3 Movies. Each week, one of SK’s writers dives into their top three favorite movies of all time. Spanning different decades, runtimes, and genres, this series will confront readers with a diverse list of top tier cinema and explain to them what they are, why we love them, and why you should give them a watch!
This week’s writer: Paula Teerink
Movies have always served as a moment of peace for me. There’s something about their captivating stories and mesmerizing shots that is unable to be found anywhere else. As for my taste, it changes every few months, and I’ve recently started gravitating more towards horror and psychological thrillers, but I’ve finally reached a point where I enjoy watching movies of almost any genre.
Now to choose only three movies is definitely a challenge. I must say that if I had written this a month ago, the recommendations would most likely be completely different. However, In choosing my top 3, I managed to narrow it down to movies that I believe are worthy of recognition. I attempted to choose from different genres and styles, to make sure there is something for everyone to enjoy.
- Everything Everywhere All At Once (Kwan & Scheinert, 2022)
- La Lengua De Las Mariposas (Cuerda, 1999)
- Us (Peele, 2019)
- Moonlight (Jenkins, 2016)
- The Grand Budapest Hotel (Anderson, 2014)
- Jennifer’s Body (Kusama, 2009)
- Black Swan (Aronofsky, 2010)
- Get Out (Peele, 2017)
- The Virgin Suicides (Coppola, 1999)
- The Little Hours (Baenam 2017)
- Marley And Me (Frankel, 2008)
The Grudge (Shimizu, 2004)
Now, I know most people are not fans of horror movies. I too used to think I could never enjoy a real thriller, but that was until I finally gathered the courage to watch this movie. After watching The Grudge, my view on horror movies completely changed. Under Takashi Shimizu’s direction, it’s a perfect mix between supernatural horror and psychological thriller that kept me at the edge of my seat from beginning to end.
The plot centers around a haunted house in Tokyo, where a vengeful spirit possesses anyone who enters the property. It follows a group of characters who become entangled with the house’s dark past, and as they try to unravel the mystery, they are confronted with terrifying visions and experiences that threaten their sanity and their lives.
One of the film’s most notable features, which also makes it stand out from other horror movies, is its nonlinear storytelling and how each scene provides a small piece of the puzzle, which adds to the viewer’s intrigue and confusion.
If you’re not sold on watching it just yet, I must add that after watching it with some friends, we tried to find a movie that would make us feel like The Grudge did, and to this day, we have not found it yet. Not even close.
So, if you’re a real horror fan, or if you’re considering watching it, I urge you to try it! Specifically, I’d recommend watching it without seeing the trailer beforehand, to add to the mystery.
Superbad (Mottola, 2007)
Superbad is your typical coming-of-age movie. It revolves around two high school seniors, Evan (Michael Cera) and Seth (Jonah Hill), who are on a mission to buy alcohol for a party and impress their crushes before they go off to college. Along the way, they encounter a series of mishaps and misadventures.
The movie’s humor includes jokes that range from the absurd to borderline offensive, and it’s somehow one of the only movies that actually makes me cry with laughter.
The cast is primarily what makes this movie so memorable. Michael Cera and Jonah Hill manage to create perfect comedic timing. The supporting cast, including Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fogell, Bill Hader, and Seth Rogen, also deliver standout performances that add to the film’s comedic appeal.
The writing is also exceptional. The movie’s screenplay was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who based the story on their own experiences as teenagers. Their humor is smart, witty, and often absurd, which makes for a perfect combination that keeps you hooked from beginning to end.
However, Superbad is not without its controversies. The film has faced criticism for its use of sexist and homophobic jokes. It is important to note that the film’s creators have since acknowledged these problematic aspects and have expressed regret for some of the jokes that were included.
As far as comedies go, if you’re looking for a good laugh and an easy watch, I have to say Superbad will not disappoint you. Its relatability, characters, writing, and cast all come together to create a comedic masterpiece that you can’t help but love.
The VelociPastor (Steere, 2017)
This is gonna be a controversial recommendation, but please hear me out. If you’ve already seen it you might think it’s possibly the trashiest movie to exist. I, on the other hand, am convinced that it’s an absolute masterpiece. Here’s why.
The VelociPastor is a hilarious cult classic. The film’s premise centers around a priest who turns into a dinosaur and uses his newfound abilities to fight crime and evil forces. Now, trust me, I know how it sounds. You might think it’s the worst idea ever, but that’s what makes it so good! The movie has gained a massive following for its intentionally bad execution and over-the-top humor.
I was introduced to this movie by a friend and I immediately said “there’s no way I’m watching this”. I personally can’t take bad comedies, since they make me cringe and they’re just hard to watch, but to my surprise, The VelociPastor surprised me in every possible way.
The main element that makes it so good is that it’s purposefully bad. The filmmakers and actors didn’t aim to make a serious, Oscar-winning movie, but rather to make a movie that was so ridiculous that it would be enjoyable to watch. It’s so bad it’s good!
Due to its low budget, which is immediately apparent, there are several aspects that make it absolutely hilarious. The special effects are incredibly trashy, with visible wires and obvious green screens, as well as the fight scenes which are ridiculously bad.
For instance the scenes where the pastor is transformed into a dinosaur, where you can clearly see he’s wearing a costume, and a different scene where a car is supposed to explode, but instead of seeing that, the shot consists of a writing saying “ VFX: Car on fire”. But this just makes the movie much more fun.
Overall, The VelociPastor is a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s what I like most about it. It’s the perfect movie to watch with your friends and laugh at how absurd it is. While it might not be for everyone, I urge you to give it a try. It might surprise you.
To conclude, I encourage everyone to start watching genres they’re unfamiliar with. It is easier to stick to what we know and we’re comfortable with, but you never know, you might find the most mind-blowing movie where you least expect it.