Thursday, January 6, 2022

Top 10 Most Surprising Movies of 2021

According to: Selina
SPOILER ALERTBecause some of the surprises involved in the following movies have to do with plot points, there is a full spoiler alert on for this countdown.
10 My Little Pony: The Next Generation (2021) 

Reviewed on: September 29, 2021
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Animation
Rated: PG
Length: 90 minutes
IMDb Blurb: After the time of the Mane 6, Sunny--a young Earth Pony--and her new Unicorn friend Izzy explore their world and strive to restore Harmony to Equestria.
Who would have ever guessed a kids movie based around some ponies would be as insightful and relevant as this one was?
We expected My Little Pony: The Next Generation to be a decent offering for kids, but we had no idea just how good it would seem to adults as well. It blew our minds.
9 The Boy Behind the Door (2021) 

Reviewed on: July 26, 2021
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Rated: Unrated
Length: 88 minutes
IMDb Blurb: After Bobby and his best friend Kevin are kidnapped and taken to a strange house in the middle of nowhere, Bobby manages to escape. But as he starts to make a break for it, he hears Kevin's screams for help and realizes he can't leave his friend behind.
In a previous countdown I mentioned that it’s tough to make kids committing violence something someone wants to see. In the case of The Boy Behind the Door, they managed to do it right.
During the first part of the movie, one of the boys manages to stab his kidnapper in the stomach – killing him. It’s an incredibly shocking scene. There was no way to see it coming. Sure, maybe one could have predicted an accidental stab, but for the kidnapper to die so soon? I have to admit, I may have cheered a little.
That wasn’t the last time the kids in this film were badass. But it was definitely the most surprising moment.
8 Blood Red Sky (2021) 

Reviewed on: July 28, 2021
Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 123 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A woman with a mysterious illness is forced into action when a group of terrorists attempt to hijack a transatlantic overnight flight.
It’s not so much a specific aspect of Blood Red Sky that’s memorable, so much as the way it does things.
A good Nosferatu-style vampire is one of my favorite supernatural creatures. The storylines utilizing them are usually pretty basic, though. In this case, the creative team made the vampire sympathetic and threw in a heist-like aspect.
It was unpredictable through the use of a strange mix of elements and sub-genres.
7 V/H/S/94 (2021)

Reviewed on: October 4, 2021
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 100 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A police S.W.A.T. team investigates about a mysterious VHS tape and discovers a sinister cult that has pre-recorded material which uncovers a nightmarish conspiracy.
What made V/H/S/94 surprising was just how good it was.
After the first V/H/S (2012), the movies steadily declined in quality. It remained, for the most part, watchable… but not something you would go out of your way to find. We pretty much figured that V/H/S/94 would be along the same lines. At best it would be alright, at worst a train wreck.
We found a film that was crazy good instead. Never saw it coming.
6 After Midnight (2021)

Reviewed on: February 10, 2021
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 83 minutes
IMDb Blurb: When his girlfriend suddenly disappears, leaving a cryptic note as her only explanation, Hank's comfortable life and his sanity begin to crack. Then, from the woods surrounding his house, something terrible starts trying to break in.
After the movie was just about over, and we decided there was nothing left for it to give us, After Midnight added one more twist.
It made us believe that the ‘monster’ in the movie was just about the main character battling a fear of commitment. He beats his fear and asks his girl to marry him. During the toast, in the last minute, an actual monster leaps from off screen and attacks the main character.
It was an extremely strange turn of events, and there was just no way to predict it.
5Hunter Hunter (2020) 

Reviewed on: April 14, 2021
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 93 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Joseph and his family live in the remote wilderness as fur trappers, but their tranquility is threatened when they think they are being hunted by the return of a rogue wolf, and Joseph leaves them behind to track it.
The ending of Hunter Hunter was insane.
Anne blacked out after being attacked. When she woke up, she frantically went searching for her daughter. When she did find her, the movie never actually showed what she found. This film that flat out showed a large group of nude and murdered women earlier on, along with some other devastatingly triggering stuff, decided whatever was in that room was too much for audiences.
After that, Anne goes after the guy responsible.
The movie ends with a scene of her flaying the responsible party alive. We see the whole thing happen, including a full look at the end product.
It’s such a savage scene that it’s impossible to look away, and so well-acted that it’s intensely shocking.  
4Kate (2021) 

Reviewed on: September 17, 2021
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Rated: R
Length: 106 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A female assassin has 24 hours to get vengeance on her murderer before she dies.
Kate was a John Wick-style film, following a female assassin as she fights her way toward some answers.
It was a decent movie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead delivers just as well as Keanu Reeves does in John Wick. Maybe it was a bit on the recipe side of things, but it definitely had potential to create a whole world. Sequels galore.
With the way producers have been going, wringing every single cent out of an IP before being forced to move on, it was expected that there would be sequel bait.
For the entire film, I wondered how they would find a cure for the poison that Kate experiences.
They don’t.
There’s not even a whiff of sequel bait. Not even an after-credits scene. In the end, she just dies. It’s glorious. An entire story is told, beginning to end, and there’s no swinging blade over it to keep us wondering if the sequel will destroy the plot.
It was truly surprising, and actually made the film so much better.
3Spontaneous (2020) 

Reviewed on: May 28, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Romance
Rated: R
Length: 101 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Get ready for the outrageous coming-of-age love story about growing up...and blowing up. When students in their school begin exploding (literally), seniors Mara and Dylan struggle to survive in a world where each moment may be their last.
Spontaneous paints itself as a teen romance within a comedy horror. The main character has her little crush, and people begin exploding around them.
It was an interesting, and unique, story… but it seemed to be going down a predictable route.
Until her crush explodes. Literally. With just over a half-hour left in the film.
Suddenly the genre’s changed. There’s a heaping helping of drama thrown in and it comes out of left field. I just about fell out of my chair.
2 The Suicide Squad (2021) 

Reviewed on: August 6, 2021
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 132 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.
Advertising for The Suicide Squad pumped everyone up. There were so many big names joining the cast and getting ready to play these completely obscure comic book characters. None of us could wait to see how they were utilized.
Then the majority of them died in the first act.
Those us following news about The Suicide Squad, expected the majority of the cast to die. James Gunn said in interviews that there would likely only be a few characters left in the end. Even then, the characters that DID make it, were not the expected ones (except Harley, of course).
Using the shock value of all that death was a smart decision and really made it FEEL like a Suicide Squad story.
1Slaxx (2021) 

Reviewed on: March 17, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 77 minutes
IMDb Blurb: When a possessed pair of jeans begins to kill the staff of a trendy clothing store, it is up to Libby, an idealistic young salesclerk, to stop its bloody rampage.
If you didn’t foresee this one hitting my #1 slot, you may have missed a few of the Year in Review articles.
Slaxx was a story about murderous pants, and it was GOOD.
I expected to giggle at Slaxx. Maybe enjoy it as a ‘so bad it’s good’ kind of project. Instead, I got a cohesive story, some comedy to laugh with, and a hell of an ending. I’ve watched it several times and practically thrown it at friends looking for recommendations.
NOTHING surprised me as much as Slaxx did this year.

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