Now that most of the world is stuck inside, many of us have found ourselves struggling to occupy our time during the weekend. There are only so many reality TV shows and Netflix series that one can consume; so many loaves of bread one can bake; so many books that one can read. The absence of routine can be difficult to cope with, but movies provide a few hours of blissful entertainment to bring you into another world.
One of the lesser-known streaming services to find new movies is a site called Kanopy, which all University of Colorado Boulder students have access to for free. Here are four exciting movies on Kanopy that you can watch for free to keep you entertained while you stay indoors.
Released last summer, Ari Aster’s “Midsommar” is a film that defies genre. It is equal parts horror, thriller and drama and is also perhaps the brightest scary movie ever made, considering the setting of the summer solstice. In a remote Scandinavian village, a group of outside travelers slowly discover the sinister practices of the villagers. Things soon turn grotesque. The film stars Florence Pugh of “Little Women” fame, who gives a beautiful performance as Dani, the protagonist. It is worth watching solely for its unique style and tone, moving seamlessly between horror and drama, causing delightful confusion in the process, while also providing a compelling and thought-provoking tale of love and loss. Aster has also said that “Midsommar” is about a breakup, which makes it one of the most extreme breakup movies ever made.
This Greek film, released in 2009, was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (of “The Lobster,” “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” and “The Favourite”) and had a shockingly low budget of just €250,000. Equal parts family drama and psychological art film, “Dogtooth” traces a family whose mother and father trap their children inside a fenced-in property for their entire lives. Their offspring, now adults, are strange, often violent and stunted in a variety of ways with their odd rituals and frequent fighting. The film takes family dynamics to their extreme and is transgressive in the process, with a few scenes that could be too violent or disturbing for some. If you can stomach the strangeness, you’ll be sucked in by the film’s loose and surreal style, as well as its fascinating commentary on the nature of family. Given its plot, which revolves around a quarantine, it feels especially appropriate now.
“Night of the Living Dead”
These days, it seems like zombies have pervaded all aspects of culture: movies, television, video games, books and music. However, before it became a cultural staple, the ubiquitous zombie image was first invented by George Romero in his 1968 horror classic “Night of the Living Dead.” The film might feel derivative, but this is because its plot, tropes and conflicts have been imitated by so many horror movies since its creation. “Night of the Living Dead” is one of the most influential horror films ever made. Despite its influence and age, there are genuinely terrifying aspects of suspense and violence that will scare even horror veterans.
“Stalker” may be the least adrenaline-filled film on this list, but it is easily the most beautiful. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, the film documents the journey of a writer, professor and guide named “Stalker” into a strange and magical area called “The Zone.” With a runtime of 161 minutes and just 142 distinct shots, Tarkovsky uses achingly long takes to build an atmosphere of suspense, fear and paranormality with barely any supernatural elements. The production of this film is also believed to have caused the deaths of many crew members, including Tarkovsky himself, due to the shooting taking place in toxic locations, one being a chemical plant in Estonia. The film takes a bit of effort to enjoy, but its obsessive and dystopian beauty makes it worth watching.
More information on Kanopy for CU students can be found here.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Cameron Markuson at firstname.lastname@example.org.