A Peek at My Never-Ending List of Scifi and Fantasy Films to Watch

A number of years ago I started keeping track of movies I’d like to watch once they became available to rent online.

This list has only ballooned over time despite my valiant attempts to chip away at it. The problem with watching a film is that you have to carve out about two hours of time for it. It’s easier to commit 22-45 minutes on a TV show than a few hours for something that I’m not always sure I’m actually going to enjoy.

My hope is that I might find an extra boost of motivation to watch some of these movies if I share my list publicly. Their titles are bolded and include links to the trailers for them when possible. I’m including brief notes on how I first heard of them or why they appeal to me, too.

(Yes, this list is alphabetized. I’m geeky like that).

The Age of Adeline

This reminded me of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, another movie about a character who doesn’t age in a typical fashion. It’s going to be fascinating to compare the tale of a man who aged backwards with the story of a woman who didn’t age at all.

Alpha 

As my longtime readers know, I love stories set in the distant past that are about hunter-gatherers or other similar cultures. The fact that this film is also about taming a wolf only makes me want to see it more once it’s released in September of this year.

If I like it, you all might just get a review of it at some point.

Angelica

I loved the book it was based on and do want to see how the film compares one of these days. The references to possible child abuse in the original version were so unsettling that I’ll need to be in just the right mood to watch it.

Annihilation

For some reason, I mixed this film up with Arrival a few weeks ago. I thought I’d already seen (and loved) Annihilation, but it turns out I was thinking of Arrival instead. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who I was discussing it with anymore, but my apologies for the error. This is definitely something I will be watching and blogging about as soon as I can rent it online. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite available yet.

Coco 

I adore well-made animated films like Inside Out, Wall-E, Up, and Finding Nemo.  Honestly, sometimes it feels like they were written for adult audiences just as much as children.

Coco‘s take on death and the afterlife looks particularly interesting, especially since I don’t know a lot about this part of Mexican culture in general.

Devil 

This was recommended by @Alexandria_SZ‬ from Twitter. I’ve never been someone who feared stepping into an elevator, but it sure would be a scary experience if you’re riding with the devil!

The Devil’s Backbone

Also recommended by @Alexandria_SZ‬. You’re going to see several more recommendations from her in this list. What can I say? She has good taste in movies.

Get Out

I have heard nothing but positive things about this Oscar-winning film since it was first released last year. The horror genre doesn’t generally spend a lot of time on serious social commentary, so I’m looking forward to seeing how race and racism are discussed and dissected in it.  It honestly should be the next thing I watch.

A Ghost Story

What appeals to me the most about this one is that the ghost in it isn’t scary at all. Like The Babadook, it appears to be using “frightening” themes in order to explore love, grief, and other topics that are usually brushed over in the paranormal genre.

The Good Dinosaur

There’s something to be said for a friendly dinosaur movie every now and again.

Iceman

Yes, this is about a real person who lived and died about 5,000 years ago. I included it in today’s post due to all of the educated guesses the filmmakers and scientists made about who this man was and why he died such a violent death. While their speculation is based on all of the scientific research done on Otzi’s life and death, there is an art to putting all of those clues together.

If I lived closer to my mom, I’d gently pester her to watch it with me as soon as it becomes available to rent online. I think she’d really love it.

If I Stay

The book this was based on was excellent. I truly enjoyed reading the main character’s thoughts about the hazy place between death and life she was existing in after a horrible car accident. Would she fight to wake up from her coma or go to the afterlife to join certain loved ones who died in the same accident that so badly injured her?  There were compelling reasons for her to make both choices. While I was pretty sure which one she was going to make in the book by the time I’d finished the first chapter, it’s going to be emotional to watch those moments play out in vivid detail on my TV screen.

Into the Forest

Every few months, I ask my spouse again if he’d like to see this movie with me. I think he’d really enjoy the post-apocalyptic themes in it given how gritty and realistic the book was. My fingers are crossed that he’ll someday say yes and give it a try. If not, I’ll still watch these teenage sisters try to survive in a dangerous world where there are no longer  police officers, antibiotics, adult supervision, or electricity.

Lights Out

I honestly have no idea how I heard of this one. It looks frightening, though!

A Monster Calls

There’s no shame in admitting that I sobbed my way through the last few scenes the book this was based on. Patrick Ness is an incredibly talented writer. I just need to be in the right mood to be emotionally torn to shreds again. LOL!

Monsters University.

Monsters, Inc. was such a fun tale. I sure hope the sequel will be every bit as good. This is another one of those films that I’m waiting to watch with my spouse.

Open Grave

Recommended by @Alexandria_SZ‬.

Orphan

Also recommended by @Alexandria_SZ‬.

The Revenant

Is there any part of your mind, body, or soul that is surprised this was also recommended by @Alexandria_SZ as well‬? Keep reading, because this isn’t the last recommendation from her.

The Shape of Water

Based on what I’ve seen online, some people adored this movie. Others didn’t have that reaction. I’m withholding judgement either way until I’ve seen it for myself, and I’m trying to avoid spoilers in the meantime.

The Skeleton Key

I feel like @Alexandria_SZ‬ might have recommended this one to me as well. Maybe she’ll remember for sure either way?

The Visit

Recommended by @Alexandria_SZ‬ as well as by several other horror fans I know who deeply enjoyed it. As with most of the other horror flicks on this list, I’ll need to be in the right mood to watch it.

Winchester: The House that Ghosts Built 

I love ghost stories that are based on real people, places, events, and/o items in rour world. It makes some of the tired tropes in this genre feel fresh again. This also sounds like the kind of urban legend that would have really creeped me out as a kid.

***

If you’ve seen any of these films, tell me what you think of them! Were they good? What did you like about them? Would you recommend buying them or waiting for them to show up on Netflix or similar sites?

How long is your to-watch list? If you share it, I’ll tell you what I think of anything on your list that I’ve already seen.

7 Responses to A Peek at My Never-Ending List of Scifi and Fantasy Films to Watch

  1. Aww… ain’t you sweet to give me so many shout-outs. You recommended Babadook to me in one of your blog posts, and I loved it. Wow, these movies all sound wonderful, but I haven’t heard of most of them. I’ll have to print this post out and keep my eye out for the films. Love you, A

  2. What a great list! I’m going to pop back here when the hubby & I are looking for something to watch. Have you seen “Primer” or “Moon”? I’d definitely add both of those to your list! 🙂 —Tui

  3. Apologies in advance, this is going to be a long comment.

    I’ve seen “Annihilation” twice. I think it’s a really good movie, and what I like most is that it leaves quite a bit to be interpreted. I’ve read lots of different takes on it, and I don’t think any two people have the same reading. Plus there are lots of hidden details that aren’t obvious the first time. It’s a shame it didn’t get a wider theatrical release, because there are subtleties that won’t be obvious on the small screen.

    The other thing that’s interesting is comparing it with the book, by Jeff VanderMeer. The two are so different that I think you could definitely read the book without spoiling the film, and it’s also very good. One thing the book has is a strong environmentalist message. The film doesn’t emphasize that as much, although it has its own interesting themes to explore. Not to give too much away, but even the word “Annihilation” itself has drastically different implications in the book v. the film.

    Last point: I’ve seen quite a few people compare “Annihilation” to “Arrival”–always in positive terms, e.g. “‘Annihilation’ is the best sci-fi film since ‘Arrival”. I haven’t seen “Arrival” yet, but I certainly want to!

    • From what I know about you, I think you’d love “Arrival.”

      Did you prefer “Annihilation” as a film or a book? It’s interesting that they were so different from each other even though the former was based on the latter.

      • That is a really good question, and very tough to answer. There are a couple of scenes in the film that I thought made some points a little too clear. It’s ironic, since a major complaint other people had about the movie was that it wasn’t clear enough, but I liked how these things were left vague and ambiguous in the book. And there were a few other elements from the book that sadly didn’t make it into the film that I would have liked to see. (I don’t want to spoil them.)

        That said, there was some very clever cinematography in the film, and that added something. The acting was also very good, and in fact I thought the performances and writing made all the characters more three-dimensional and interesting than their counterparts in the novel. They are intentionally kept at a distance emotionally in the book.

        So I guess I’m not sure which one I preferred. That’s not a very helpful answer, I know. But I definitely enjoyed both. 🙂