After ten volumes and over fifty recommended films, you might have thought we'd be scraping the bottom of the Netflix barrel to find movies to include in this list. Fortunately, that couldn't be more from the truth, as this week's eclectic list of retro action thrillers, British gangster flicks and imaginative animations undoubtedly proves there's plenty more gems to be found in Netflix's streaming service yet.

From the dazzling neon-drenched ultraviolence of The Guest to the animated grimy personal journey found in It's Such a Beautiful Day, The 405's compiled a definitive list of the best films you need to see this weekend. Don't say we never do anything for you.


The Guest (2014)

The Guest

Recommended Viewing Time: Friday 8pm
"I'm a solider, man. I like guns."

Taking inspiration from a myriad of '80s thrillers, Adam Wingard's The Guest works as a loving pastiche of a whole decade of explosive, campy action spectacles. Featuring a plot that only gets more ridiculous as the film goes on, the inherent fun that's imbued in Wingard's retro flick is never lost, as the bombastic and violent film delivers every beat with a wry wink and a smile. With top class performances by an uncharacteristically menacing Dan Stevens and an archetypal Sarah Connor-esque heroine in Maika Monroe, everything about the genre-bending film feels spot-on, with every idiosyncratic element holding together a movie entirely comprised of seemingly incompatible influences.

Though The Guest is perhaps most interesting because it's essentially three different movies in one. At times feeling like a 1980s action flick, the film can morph organically into a John Carpenter '70s horror in the space of only a few scenes. As a result, Wingard's intrinsic sense of unpredictability becomes infectious to an audience dying to know what could possibly come next. Though a flick that takes both inspiration from neo-noirs like The Terminator as well as dark horror fantasies like Halloween might feel as if it's having some sort of identity crisis, The Guest's playfulness with cinematic genres and conventions never feels disparate. Likewise the influences never become intrusive, allowing Wingard to create a subversive ode to '80s cinema that still feels both contemporary and original.

Boasting a sophisticated and mesmerising eye for cinematography and visual language, The Guest acts as a loving appreciation of the genres so often ignored by Hollywood. Embracing niche and kitschy extravagance and indulgence, Wingard's movie is brash and brave, and despite its knowing nods to the films it takes inspiration from, plays like nothing else on Netflix at the moment.


World War Z (2013)

World War Z

Recommended Viewing Time: Friday 10pm
"Looks like we just woke the dead."

I really didn't want to like World War Z; just about everything in the film screams that it should be have been a disaster. From its convoluted narrative to its over-reliance on CGI, this epic zombie thriller should have bombed both critically and commercially. Yet, to everyone's surprise, the Brad Pitt vehicle actually featured moments of, dare I say, genuine charm. From small character beats to some surprisingly well-structured scares, World War Z actually has more heart and personality than its overbearing CGI-filled action set-pieces would have you believe.


Snatch (2000)

Snatch

Recommended Viewing Time: Saturday 8pm
"There's a gun in your trousers. What's a gun doing in your trousers?"

Kind of like Guy Ritchie's Pulp Fiction to his Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' Reservoir Dogs, the Brit director's sophomore effort ups the ante on his first film in almost every way. With some brilliantly funny one-liners and a constantly twisting and turning crime story that never gets old, Snatch practically oozes charisma and humour in a way that's so lacking in the director's latest efforts. There's definitely a repulsive streak that's found all too often in "gritty" British thrillers, but for the most part Snatch is such a well-crafted and enjoyable gangster flick that these small indiscretions can mostly be ignored.


Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

Kill Bill Vol. 1

Recommended Viewing Time: Saturday 10pm
"Silly Caucasian girl likes to play with Samurai swords."

Come on, by now you don't need me to tell you why Kill Bill is a great film. While maybe not Tarantino's best, this action two-parter is easily the director's most visually stunning. Vibrant, gorgeous sequences of colour punctuate the over the top action spectacle on display, creating an aesthetic that naturally evokes more arthouse visuals than it does modern action flicks. The film is essentially a classic Hong Kong violent exploitation movie squeezed through a blender of classic Tarantino tropes, and the end result is every bit as campy, funny and gory as you'd expect.


It's Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

It's Such a Beautiful Day

Recommended Viewing Time: Sunday 9pm
"Mostly they talked about death. They agreed that being buried seemed too claustrophobic."

Digging into the fractured psyche of one Bill, a mis-guided and troubled stick figure, It's Such a Beautiful Day delivers one of the most charmingly crafted animations ever released. Though the minimalist style could appear at first lazy or basic, from the very first frame it's obvious that there's been plenty of hard work and sweat poured into the picture to make it look and feel so grimy and dreary. Told in a sort of stream of conscious insanity, It's Such a Beautiful Day demands to be watched, and at only 60 minutes long you've really got no excuse to not get lost in Don Hertzfeldt's dazzling daydream.


Notable Additions

As Chosen by Mike Clark.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, George Roy Hill): Classic western starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.