It's been a pretty lame time for movies this week. With The Avengers and Mad Max: Fury Road still stealing the box-office spotlight, there hasn't really been anything new to satisfy anyone's cinema-going needs. Poltergeist, despite the cautiously optimistic hype leading up until release, bombed as we all should have expected, and the only good thing (nay, great thing) that came out this week was the outstanding Girlhood, but of course, that film only ended up being shown in about five cinemas for a day or so.

So, for a change I've actually had a chance to re-watch a lot of old favourites this week, as well as a couple of flicks that have eluded me for whatever reason. From one of the most underrated horror movies to come in the past few years to an icon of Japanese cinema, this week's list covers all the bases and then some with five of the most intoxicating and engrossing film's you'll find on Netflix. Although they're all from completely different genres and cover completely different topics, they're all unified by one key goal; creating a filmic world that you never want to leave.


Lost in Translation (2003)

Recommended Viewing Time: Friday 9pm
"Let's never come here again because it would never be as much fun."

Sofia Coppola's minimalist post-modern romance covers the brief connection between two unlikely individuals, an ageing actor and a young college grad played by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson respectively, and culminates in a heartfelt and deeply touching experience. The backdrop of Tokyo makes for the perfect setting for this weird and alienating film, as the subdued high-rise glamour clashes with the energy and vibrancy of the pulpy city streets to create the perfect visual parallel to the relationship of the two lead characters.

The slow, considered narrative of Lost in Translation is brought to life through a multitude of brilliant cinematic techniques, as an incredibly thoughtful colour pallet, amazing set design and fascinating characters make for a captivating and exciting cinematic experience. The simplicity of the film's aesthetic mimics the simplicity and innocence of the romantic story at the heart of the film, and the gorgeous surreal cinematography at work echoes the same sense of lurking despondency that haunts our main characters.

The movie's plot is simple and slow, but the themes the film so effortlessly embodies are eternally relatable, and a focus on mood and characters rather than set-piece pay-offs makes it easy to see why this movie has become a favourite of so many. It's a picture that at times plays like a melancholic Sunday afternoon, with an infectious sense of hope and longing that's at the same time both incredibly endearing yet deeply forlorn.


The Sacrament (2013)

Recommended Viewing Time: Saturday 8pm
"We were gonna change the world."

A horror film that focuses on real life evil over anything supernatural, The Sacrament's eerie Jonestown-esque cult is a constant source of anxiety and tension throughout this thrilling tale of murder and indoctrination. The movie is so effective because its characters and situations could have - and actually have - happened in real life, and it's this unrelenting sense of uneasy familiarity that makes The Sacrament such a horrifying movie to watch. As a result, the movie's ordinary and unassuming terror will stick with you for days afterwards.


Battle Royale (2000)

Recommended Viewing Time: Saturday 10pm
"Here's your list of friends in the order they died."

One of the most exciting and entertaining actions films released, well, ever, Battle Royale is a hypnotic mix of harrowing ultra-violence and quintessential Japanese filmmaking. When a group of students are forced to fight to the death for the world to watch, the fragile alliances and constant sense of unpredictability that permeates through the entire film makes for a movie that never dips in intensity. But what elevates Battle Royale above other brutal action flicks is that, although not deeply expressed through the dialogue, the world the film occupies is drenched head to toe in mythology and context that just begs to be uncovered by those paying attention.


Blackfish (2013)

Recommended Viewing Time: Sunday 7pm
"I think that in 50 years we'll look back and go 'My God, what a barbaric time'."

Blackfish, or, That Seaworld Documentary Everyone Went On About For A Month, is a gripping and hugely interesting documentary about the mistreatment of Orcas at the hands of the hugely popular aquatic resort. Amassing a deep and dense amount of research from a wide range of respectable sources, Blackfish's condemnation of the treatment of Killer Whales is both heart-breaking and enraging, and easily makes for one of the most stimulating documentaries to be released in the past few years.


Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Recommended Viewing Time: Sunday 9pm
"There ain't nothin' out there can kill fuckin' Ron Woodroof in 30 days."

If you were keeping up with the awards season of 2013 (or you know, just went on the internet at any point during that year) then you've probably already at least heard of Dallas Buyers Club. The film made waves critically and commercially earning itself numerous "Best Film" nominations for that year, and for good reason; Jean-Marc Vallee's story of mistreated HIV sufferers in the mid-80s was one of the most interesting flicks to hit screens in 2013.


One to Avoid:

Stitches (2012) // Recommended Viewing Time: Never