Intruders-Poster_100814_1Intruders (2014–present, BBC America)
Mira Sorvino stars in this new TV show as a happily married woman who suddenly starts acting strangely one day. At first, her husband thinks she might be lying about something or cheating on him, but then things get even weirder. She pumps ’30s jazz on the stereo and wears old-time-y lingerie even though she has always hated jazz and has been, heretofore, a fairly conservative person. It turns out that there is an Illuminati-type group that has figured out how to facilitate REINCARNATION, but in order to be reincarnated, you basically have to take over someone else’s body, which is what’s going on with Sorvino’s character: She is POSSESSED! The show also follows other possessed people, including a 12-year-old girl “occupied” by a serial killer who walks around in her body, saying stuff like “I’m just lookin’ for a place to shower, shit, and shave,” to the total shock of everyone around her. It’s wild watching the reincarnated souls fight with the people they inhabit, which I suppose could be interpreted as the struggle to be whole and to not let anyone or anything influence you. It’s all totally fascinating, even if I haven’t quite figured out what the hell is going on. —Julianne

snowpiercer-international-posterSnowpiercer (2013)
I saw this movie three times in theater and loved it more each time. Dystopian sci-fi featuring a truly diverse international cast, including Tilda Swinton? With untranslated Korean jokes because screw Eurocentrism? YESSSSSSS! The plot is kind of unbelievable: After a global disaster that nearly wipes out the entire population of the Earth, all the survivors live together on a Noah’s Ark–like train, powered by a perpetual-motion engine, for 17 years. But who cares about plot? It’s an eloquent commentary on Marxism, class warfare, and white saviors—kind of like The Hunger Games, but maybe 15 times better. And the ending. The ending is the best part. Go watch it! —Arabelle

slc-punk-movie-poster-1999-1010266765SLC Punk! (1998)
SLC Punk! follows Stevo, a young punk nonconformist living in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the Reagan era. I saw this movie for the first time as a 15-year-old living in a conservative Mormon suburb of Salt Lake City. I was struggling to strike a balance between rebellion and conformity, and SLC Punk! helped me find my place among the punks and mods of Salt Lake’s underground. One of my favorite parts is when Stevo says, “In a country of lost souls, rebellion comes hard. But in a religiously oppressive city, where half its population isn’t even of that religion, it comes like fire.” Comedic, bizarre, and insightful, SLC Punk! acknowledges human interconnectedness beyond matters of religion, personal preference, or physique. Stevo is a punk just trying to find peace. —Mads

let the right one inLet the Right One In (2008)
Like many Swedish movies about love, Let the Right One In is almost always dark, and its characters are almost always wearing many, many layers of clothing. Unlike most Swedish movies about love, this one is about a boy and his love for the child-vampire next door. An American adaptation starring the terrific Chloë Grace Moretz was made in 2010; the two films are very similar, but I think the difference in their titles is indicative of a certain philosophical difference. Let the Right One In implies that the vampire and the human boy chose each other wisely and carefully. Their love builds slowly, forged from parallel lonelinesses. The American version suggests a power that is more one-sided, which also comes across in the movie. I prefer the Swedish interpretation, but I suggest you watch them both back to back. —Emma S.

Dear_White_PeopleDear White People (2014)
Dear everyone: Go see Dear White People, which is in theaters now. I haven’t felt as immediately moved and provoked by a movie since the time a professor showed Spike Lee’s Bamboozled in one of my classes. After seeing Dear White People, I felt a similar sense of disruption in my soul, the kind that tells you that you’re not wrong for the unease and discomfort you feel because of the racial microagressions you face, or anyone faces, on a daily basis. The film, which is set on a fictional Ivy League–like college campus, is a learning experience—one, I might add, that should be required for everyone! It blurs the lines between protagonists and antagonists when it comes to how we discuss race and dismantle whiteness. Having just left college, I related to the way the characters discussed and argued the messiness that race relations has always been. If you’re looking for a solution, Dear White People is not the place to find it, but it does offer some great ideas on how to start picking up the pieces. Take everyone you know to go see it if it’s playing near you, and then plan for a lengthy, honest discussion with them afterwards! —Brittany

MV5BMTIzMTIxOTg1NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTM0OTcxMQ@@._V1_SX640_SY720_Interview With the Vampire (1994)
This movie, an adaptation of the first book in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series, follows two vampires, Louis and Lestat, as they exist, through centuries, on the fringes of New Orleans society. Their relationship is more symbiotic than romantic; they stroll together through the darkened French Quarter for “dinner,” while Louis compassionately narrates his feelings for Lestat and his moral quandaries about killing humans to satisfy his aching hunger. The pair eventually “adopts” a child named Claudia, played by a very young Kirsten Dunst (who steals nearly every scene she’s in). —Meagan

urlThe Double (2014)
Simon works in some kind of dystopian office (it’s never clear what’s actually done there) and goes through his life on the verge of invisibility—so much so that no one seems to notice when his doppelgänger, James, shows up. James is the charismatic, confident person that Simon just isn’t, and slowly their lives begin to merge, much to Simon’s disadvantage. The Double is a new contender for my favorite movie because of its amazingly witty, dark sense of humor. The director, Richard Ayoade, carried over several actors from his movie Submarine, so the characters here will seem weirdly familiar to anyone who’s seen that movie. You may even feel, like I did, a dizzying sense of lives blurring together. This is one of those movies that linger with you for a long while. —Eleanor

im-a-cyborg-but-thats-ok-saibogujiman-kwenchana.14725I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK (2006)
Director Park Chan-wook’s work looks to me like a visual representation of my own mind-space, and this movie by him is the root of my current feminist praxis. It’s about a girl who thinks she’s a combat cyborg and her experiences in a mental hospital and her relationship with a man (played by Rain, my first K-pop crush) who thinks he can steal people’s souls. It is bizarre and uncomfortable movie, but it is also a little bit kinder than Chan-wook’s other work. If you are feeling lost or bitterly dysphoric, I think you will find kinship—if not comfort—in this movie. —Arabelle

Nosferatu 1979Nosferatu (1922)
This silent German film is the first—and one of the very best—vampire movies. Thanks to Twilight and True Blood, vampires nowadays are mostly thought to be handsome and charming, but Nosferatu’s Count Orlok is a monstrous-looking vampire with misshapen features (pointed ears, claw-like fingernails, and some seriously nasty teeth). The plot is basically Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It’s so similar, in fact, Stoker’s heirs sued the filmmakers for copyright infringement, and all of the copies of Nosferatu were supposed to have been destroyed. Fortunately for movie buffs and horror fans, at least a few copies somehow survived. It’s more creepy/eerie than straight-up scary, but the musical score and the scenes of Count Orlok stalking his victims will set the perfect mood for Halloween. —Stephanie

true-detective-posterTrue Detective (2014–present, HBO)
Before I watched the first episode of True Detective, I was expecting a more cinematic Law & Order. I was wholly unprepared to be immersed in this how’s nightmarish world. The first season opens with a series of terrifying occult-like ritual (?) murders that are being investigated by two detectives, Rust and Marty, played flawlessly by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Against a backdrop filled with eerie, Southern Gothic beauty and Satanic symbolism, you come to know them as men who are as flawed as the killer they seek. The murder investigation becomes a vehicle to move these deeply unethical characters through a ghastly but beautifully designed hellscape that will have your heart racing. —Meagan

url-1The Lost Boys (1987)
Would you join a vampire gang to make friends in a new town? I’m not sure I would, but that’s what Michael does when his mom moves him and his brother to Santa Carla, California, where he quickly joins a clique of tough-looking dudes led by a young Kiefer Sutherland with a serious mullet. When Michael’s little brother hears that their new city is overrun with vampires, he’s skeptical—until he starts to wonder whether his brother’s new pals have a taste for blood. The movie is hilariously ’80s (if you need proof beyond David’s hair, peep this incredible saxophone scene), but it is my all-time favorite vampire flick. I watch it every year while carving pumpkins for Halloween. —Stephanie

urlBeasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
The protagonist in Beasts of the Southern Wild is a young girl named Hushpuppy, played by the youngest-ever best-actress Oscar nominee, Quvenzhané Wallace. After her mother disappears, Hushpuppy basically has to raise herself, under the vague guidance of her sick father, Wink. The Bathtub, where much of the film takes place, is a small crab-fishing community that exists in a swamp. People from the Bathtub see themselves as completely different from the mainlanders, and they want to keep their lives the way they are. After a life-threatening storm ravages the community, though, the government steps in to evacuate the residents of the Bathtub against their will. Beasts of the Southern Wild is a mythical retelling of the effects of Hurricane Katrina on severely impoverished communities on the Gulf Coast. Through the eyes of an unbelievably smart and strong young girl, it becomes a magical-realist take on the real violence and terror enacted by the United States government on rural communities in Louisiana. —Meredith

the-leftoversThe Leftovers (2014–present, HBO)
This TV show takes place after a Rapture-ish event called the Sudden Departure, which has disappeared a select group of people from the face of the earth. The chief of police, Kevin Garvey, leads a cast of unique characters figuring out how to live their lives in the face of unanswered questions, mass hysteria, and failed recovery. I think my favorite part of the show is the Guilty Remnant, a cult-like group of people who don’t talk, smoke a lot, and are constantly at odds with everyone not like them. They defy societal norms and human emotions, which makes everything they do mysterious, scary, and kind of exhilarating. —Chanel ♦