With film giants like Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, Spielberg’s Ready Player One and the latest Star Wars instalment Solo: A Star Wars Story looking to dominate headlines in 2018, it can be easy for great independent films to fall through the gaps. So here are three hand-picked films to watch out for:

 

HEREDITARTY

It definitely feels like we’re in the midst of a new golden age of horror. We’ve seen Get Out achieving Oscar success and other films like The Witch and It Follows climbing to high critical and financial heights.

Already a film festival favourite and achieving breakout success at Sundance this year – it looks like Ari Aster’s Hereditary might be the next film to carry the horror torch.

Filled with surreal, insane and supernatural clips while being cut to the sound of creepy tongue clucks and screeching high strings being plucked at random – the trailer is almost enough to make me add a therapist to my speed dial. Check it out yourself – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6wWKNij_1M

Critic David Ehrlich has hailed this film as a “supernatural creep-fest like The Conjuring, but told with the patience of The Witch, the emotional depth of The Babadook”. Released by A24 who have recently brought us Moonlight, Lady Bird, The Florida Project and Ex Machina – Hereditary is worth looking out for.

Release date: 15th June.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6wWKNij_1M

For fans of: The Exorcist, The Witch, Get Out, The Babadook.

 

ISLE OF DOGS

This film needs little introduction coming from one of the most cerebrated living auteurs of cinema – Wes Anderson. At Glasgow Film Festival we were treated to the UK premiere of Isle of Dogs, the second stop-motion feature from Anderson following the hugely impressive Fantastic Mr. Fox. Set in future Japan where a mayor has banished all dogs to a garbage island due to a canine flu, we follow a group of exiled dogs who help a 12 year-old boy looking for his pooch. An adventure Kurosawa would be proud of and a thoughtfulness that evokes Miyazaki – it’s another straight up classic. It’s hard to imagine a Wes Anderson film more imaginative than The Grand Budapest Hotel but somehow it’s surpassed.

Backed up with an astonishing cast featuring Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Greta Gerwig, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, F. Murray Abraham, Harvey Keitel, Yoko Ono and many others. Even if you’re a cat person you’re going to love Isle of Dogs.

Release date: 30th March.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt__kig8PVU

For fans of: Anything Wes Anderson or dogs.

 

THOROUGHBREDS

Like Hereditary, Thoroughbreds was another Sundance hit this year creating a lot of film festival buzz coming from an extremely confident debut from director Cory Finlay (who had, quite remarkably, never set foot on a film set before). This is a tale of two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut. While rekindling their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems.

In a film of great performances, one of the most memorable roles comes from the late Anton Yelchin, in the final role before his tragic death last summer and a potent reminder of his talent.

Critic Rob Hunter calls the film “a wickedly sharp, funny, and suspenseful look at the thin divide between our emotions and our actions, and the film finds fault and value in both halves as brought to beautifully engaging life by two incredibly talented young actors.”

Release date: 6th April.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tyrpx_ZpY0

For fans of: Heavenly Creatures, Heathers, American Psycho.

 

Jack Willison

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