Several films intentionally aim to make their viewers anxious and on edge by tackling heavy topics like loneliness, anxiety, sadness, and death, and there is an entire hall of fame of filmmakers like Ari Aster and Marry Harron who never shy away from creating a masterpiece that makes us question why this movie was even on my list. Here are the five best movies to tackle if you want to feel the same shivering down your spine.
Requiem For A Dream (2000)
The typical, unrealistic rehabilitation storyline in addiction series and flicks puts the audience into the shoes of an addict who, after attending a few sessions, fully transforms their lifestyle and becomes a compassionate, seemingly divine part of the community. Requiem for a Dream isn’t anything like that, and trust me; it holds no punches. The film’s iconic soundtrack, performed by the Kronos Quartet, always brings back vivid memories of the film’s most intense sequences for me. I won’t give anything away about the plot. However, I will say that all major protagonists attempt to get well and recuperate, unfortunately, to no effect. Their tragic fall from grace represents the most unforgettable conclusion to a film I’ve ever watched.
This Ari Aster movie is something else, and it masterfully explores his genius and his knack for playing with the audience’s mind and their fear. Critics and moviegoers alike have also called it “the scariest horror movie” ever made. Annie is the protagonist of the movie, and she is a housewife and an accomplished figurine artist. The movie kicks off with the depressed funeral of Annie’s estranged mother, and after that, everything spirals out of control. Annie notices some odd shifts in her son’s attitude and conduct in the weeks after the ceremony, which eventually leads to a terrible tragedy and other disturbing events that put the household at the risk of breaking up. The picture’s production design contains settings covered in rich and vibrant hues that stand in stark juxtaposition to the horror of the film’s narrative and throw off an atmosphere that is absolutely ghastly, lending its own kind of dread.
The Descent (2005)
The story opens with a bunch of adventurous women set off for the Appalachian Highlands, located in North Carolina, a location specifically chosen by Juno so that they can find a hidden underground cavern. Six young women get themselves ready to enter the cavern and plunge into lunacy. The cave they picked out turns out to be very different from what they had anticipated. Even more ominously, the group seems to be being followed by some sort of a shadowy figure, leading us to believe that something very terrifying lurks within the bowels of the leaking cavern. The movie is an excellently made thriller that makes the most of its flaws to offer a unique perspective on the standard horror genre. In addition, the ending may be interpreted in several ways, which will please both cinema connoisseurs and horror aficionados. This movie will provide a much more satisfying viewing experience than is typical, exploring subjects related to human psychology, such as isolation, fear of the unexpected, envy, and loss.
Uncut Gems (2019)
Tell me how it feels to be surrounded by people who are dying to murder you every step of the way. Tell me how does it feel to keep trying till something changes and then fail again and again in your pursuit of that one huge triumph that will forever change your life. Uncut Gems seems like your standard robbery movie, complete with the stereotypical Jewish watchmaker, unscrupulous financial activities, and ominous mafia links. Yet the story that develops is a dark one, full of despair, blind faith, and betrayal. Howard lives at a breakneck pace due to the stress of his impending separation from his spouse, Dinah, as well as his entitled mistress Julia. Moreover, he is constantly pursued by a lingering danger as a result of his failed diamond firm and his unending debt to several dishonest individuals.
The storyline is too exciting and fascinating to give away any specifics, but suffice it to mention that the movie takes a realistic and sympathetic look at the challenges of climbing the socioeconomic ladder and the ways in which blue-collar workers are pitted against one another by society. The screenplay is a flawless masterwork of tension and comedy, pitting the pair against one another in a high-stakes swindle. Bong’s aesthetic genius is really stunning; a single highlight sequence has such exhilaratingly smooth cinematography, frame-perfect trimming, and an explosive soundtrack that it elicits impromptu acclaim. Also, the shiver we all felt in our spines when the entire parasitic household brilliantly planned to place themselves in the lives of their elite hosts. It’s a compelling movie that highlights the destructive power of avarice while also demonstrating that our stereotypical baddies may simply be regular folks making their best decisions with the knowledge they have at hand. This obvious naiveté is used by leaving us, the audience, to formulate our own hypothesis about how the movie ends rather than providing one for us.