I've been looking forward to the Inspired Edition of this Netflix guide for weeks. For one, I didn't really know what an "inspired film" meant so I've used it as an excuse to be quite wide with today's choices and two, I've been able to include some of the best films of the last couple of years that I've been sitting on for ages. It's been a good time all around.

We usually try to keep this list as diverse as possible, but we really have gone all out in picking some of the weirdest genre-bending movies Netflix has to offer. Sure we've still got your action movies, your westerns and your independents, but they don't offer the same experience you've come to expect of these genres. The most exciting part for me though is that these movies play around with expectations and conventions so much that even if you're not a fan of the type of film they might appear to be, they're so different that they might just win you over.


Love (2015)

"Maybe we're not the great artists we dreamed we were."

Perhaps the most cynical romance film you've ever seen (which is quite remarkable considering it's director Gaspar Noe's most heart-warming film to date), last year's Love is definitely not for everyone. Hell, I'm still not even sure it was for me. An unflinching tale of romance, betrayal and yeah, loads and loads of sexual adventures, Love never quite nails its characters or dialogue, but it more than makes up for it in striking imagery. The stylish way these mostly hateful characters are portrayed means that even their basic personalities are always cranked up to eleven, and the film manages to imbue every scene with some kind of emotional climax. Although the sex scenes are explicit, for the most part they serve a purpose, and it never feels as though the film is throwing them at you for the sake of showing a couple more nipples in this endurance test of a movie.


Slow West (2015)

"Wanted: dead or alive."

Criminally overlooked by everyone (including me) last year, there's a good chance you didn't see - or even know about - the solid Michael Fassbender western Slow West. Although it starts off as a rather conventional flick, chronicling one man's attempt to track down his missing lady, it quickly transforms into a much weirder beast than you might have been expecting. Although Fassbender receives top billing, it's really his co-star Kodi-Smit McPhee's movie. The way the two bounce off each other means the charismatic duo are able to carry the movie in its more lumbering sections, and the younger actor more than manages to match the top talent on display. Likewise, Ben Mendelsohn turns in another great performance as bad guy Payne, proving he's one of the best screen villains working today.


The Guest (2014)

"I'm a soldier man, I like guns."

An amalgamation of every great '80s movie ever, The Guest lovingly takes influence from the best horror and action movies of the decade. When a homecoming soldier takes residence in the home of his former squad mate, things start to get increasingly more surreal and more violent as his new housemates start to suspect there's more to him than meets the eye. The film effortlessly moves through a variety of genres, switching between horror and sci-fi at a blink of an eye which makes for a truly unpredictable experience overall. Although many people might be a bit annoyed with where it ends up, if you're willing to let the movie take you for a ride then The Guest can be loads of fun. The Terminator by way of Halloween, The Guest manages to create a distinct identity for itself even though it only exists because of hundreds of movies that came before it.


Pi (1998)

"It's survival of the fittest, Max, and we've got the fucking gun."

Darren Aronofsky's first feature film is, funnily enough, his weirdest one to date. Even with a ludicrously tight budget, this small-scale cerebral black and white movie packs the depth of the director's later pictures. As an increasingly paranoid mathematician searches for the numerical sequence that will unlock the secrets of nature's universal patterns, Aronofsky delves into some surprisingly surreal and haunting territory. It takes more than a smidgen of influence from the likes of David Lynch (after all, the distinctive Aronofsky style was still a work in progress at the time), yet that's not a bad thing, and it makes for one of the strangest viewing experiences the director has ever put out.


Blue Ruin (2014)

"Just 'cause my dad loved your mom we all end up dead."

A revenge film gone wrong, Blue Ruin shows just how much of a trainwreck an amateur assassination would be if it was handled by your average Joe. Although he gets his target, he only serves to anger the surviving members of the family, resulting in a brilliantly tense game of cat and mouse as the two parties hunt each other over the entirety of southern America. Although it sounds a bit bleak, the film can be darkly funny in places, with some moments of extreme violence drawing attention to the ridiculousness of the situation. It's not quite your classic revenge flick, but it's one of the better entries into the violent sub-genre in recent years.