“Old Boy” (Korean)
Not the 2013 American remake, this Korean film is a dark and violent story of vengeance. Protagonist Oh Dae-Su is released one day after being in prison for 15 years and starts tracking down the person responsible for his imprisonment. Perhaps Oh Dae-Su should not ask why he was captured but instead why he was released. This movie also features the craziest plot twist ever.
“Battle Royale” (Japanese)
The Hunger Games before The Hunger Games was even a thing. Given a bag with a few food and water rations and a randomly selected item ranging from a gun or knife to binoculars and a coat hanger, 42 students fight to the death on a deserted island until only one remains.
“Let The Right One In” (Swedish)
Oskar is a lonely 12-year-old boy living in a Stockholm suburb. Eli is 12, but she’s been 12 for a long time. Oskar falls in love with Eli and she gives him the courage to stand up to his bullies but he has to find the strength to stand up to Eli when he finds out her secret. Let The Right One In is a beautiful film about growing up, first loves, and finding strength in others.
“Funny Games” (German)
A family is terrorized in their summer lake house by two sadistic neighbors. Funny Games is a strange mixture of disturbing, suspenseful, humor, and it even incorporates a bit of audience participation. This movie is unlike any in the horror genre and absolutely unforgettable.
“Enter The Void” (French)
This French film is in English so no subtitles are necessary, but there isn’t much dialogue anyway. An American drug dealer, Oscar, living in Tokyo is ousted by his friend to the police and killed in a sting operation. Oscar’s point of view rises up out of his body and flashes back to various points in his life and the future of his friend and sister’s lives. This movie is definitely not for everyone and is very graphic but if you enjoy existential or obscure films you should give this one a try.
“Y Tu Mamá También” (Spanish)
Abandoned by their girlfriends for the summer and feeling restless in Mexico City, Julio and Tenoch take a roadtrip with the beautiful and much older Luisa. Along the way they learn a lot about each other and themselves. Y Tu Mamá También is an accurate representation of the lives of teens with lots of money, freedom, and naivety.