The Cabin in the Woods (rated R, 4/5 stars, currently priced at $3.99 to rent and $14.99 to buy) – From the brilliant mind of Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Avengers Assemble) comes this twisty horror thriller that’s not at all the by-the-numbers exercise it may initially appear. From Amazon:
A rambunctious group of five college friends steal away for a weekend of debauchery in an isolated country cabin, only to be attacked by horrific supernatural creatures in a night of endless terror and bloodshed.
This movie acknowledges and sends up just about every horror movie cliche you’ve ever seen, and features cameo appearances from every horror movie villain, too.
Prometheus (rated R, 3.5/5 stars, currently priced at $14.99 to buy in high definition) – This is the long-anticipated Alien prequel from Ridley Scott, and stars Michael Fassbender (300, A Dangerous Method), Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron. This Instant Video won’t be released for rental or in standard definition until next month, but it may well be worth buying the HD edition that’s currently available because most viewers find they need to watch it more than once to fully understand it. From Amazon:
Legendary director Ridley Scott (Alien) returns to his sci-fi origins in this epic adventure bursting with spectacular action and mind-blowing visual effects. A team of scientists and explorers travels to the darkest corners of the universe searching for the origins of human life. Instead they find a dark, twisted world that hides a terrifying threat capable of destroying them…and all mankind!
Dark Shadows (PG-13, 3/5 stars, currently priced at $14.99 to buy, not yet released for rental) – Johnny Depp and Tim Burton team up yet again in this movie based on the gothic television series from the sixties. From Amazon:
After being turned into a vampire by a jilted lover, Barnabas (Johnny Depp) is entombed for two centuries until he emerges into thevery changed world of 1972.
Katy Perry the Movie: Part of Me (rated PG, 4/5 stars, currently priced at $3.99 to rent and $14.99 to buy) – The critically acclaimed documentary that includes generous concert footage! From Amazon:
Katy Perry is living proof that if you just be yourself, you can be anything! Get an inside look at how she became one of the biggest stars in the world! This “inspiring story”* is your chance to experience Katy Perry’s teenage dream come true! * US Weekly
The Do-Deca-Pentathlon (not rated, mature audiences only, 4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $3.99 to rent and $14.99 to buy) – From Amazon:
After decades of feuding, two forty-something brothers embark on a tournament of 25 assorted games to prove which is superior, and, in the process, they find a kind of joy in life that helps them save/solve their own personal problems.
Amazon reviewer ReCynd says:
Two brothers, each pushing middle age, and each with their own set of baggage, breathe new life into an old and unfinished piece of business at a gathering at Mom’s house (the old family home) for a family birthday party. The Do-Deca-Pentathlon is an epic battle of strength and mettle, and is comprised of a series of 25 quasi-sports events (ping-pong, skeeball, arm-wrestling, air hockey, breath-holding, push-ups, laser tag, go-kart racing, etc.). The game ends after 13 of the 25 games are won, and the prize is the the coveted “Best Brother” title. And so it goes.
I loved this independent film: it was not unnecessarily complicated (a breath of fresh air), the characters and the situations were wholly relatable, and for the most part, everybody was nice to each other, even when they didn’t want to be.