Bad films often don’t get the recognition they deserve - but whether it’s the cheap effects, the poor acting, or the storyline that makes you cringe, they can be quite entertaining. Films like The Room (2003) have become iconic, and are even deemed as “cult-classics” for being as bad as they are. And there are many reasons one can enjoy bad movies to the point where they are considered good.
Firstly, they’re quite easy to watch. Usually, bad films do not require too much attention, and can therefore be watched when you don’t want to put too much effort or thought into what you’re watching. This also makes them great comedy films. Even if unintentionally, those movies will most likely be funny because of their absurdist nature or odd qualities. Their “bad” aspects can be seen as comedic, which makes them even more fun if seen with a friend.
Secondly, they can make any cinephile feel better about their knowledge of films and cinematography. Trying to identify what exactly makes the movie bad can be quite fun, and, as mentioned before, especially if you are sharing the experience with a friend. That way you can both have a light-hearted laugh whilst feeling good about knowing about the industry.
Finally, you also learn a lot. It’s safe to say that personally, I have learned a lot more about filmmaking from bad movies than from good ones. Knowing what to avoid and what works can be easily noticed when you’ve seen both good and bad products of the industry. Bad films are overall very easy to enjoy if you’re not looking for anything too serious or something light you can watch while on your phone. And the best part is, they can always make you laugh.
Oh yes, I chose possibly one of the most niche categories I could for this article. Some of the best coming-of-age films in film history have given me goosebumps because of the music they include. You know that scene in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) where they're driving through the tunnel and David Bowie's "Heroes" comes on and you've never really wanted to be in a car more? That's the kind of vibe I'm going for here.
Kicking my niche Netflix category off is 2019's Blinded by the Light, yes, named after the Bruce Springsteen song. By no means a perfect film, it was still severely underrated - a few people actually left the screening I was in - and has one of the best coming-of-age soundtracks I've heard in a while. Why? Because it's all Bruce Springsteen music... okay with the exception of "It's a sin" by The Pet Shop Boys and a few others, but still. It's such a heartwarming and emotional film, with family at its core - but you can't tell me that you wouldn't have "Born to Run" on a roadtrip playlist.
A bit of a 180 next, but Booksmart (2019). Hear me out. You can absolutely dance your heart out to "To Whom It May Concern", "Holy Calamity [Bear Witness II]", "What's Golden" and "Boys". If you're feeling especially wild you can put Death Grips "I've Seen Footage" on the list as well. But Olivia Wilde's masterpiece has some brilliant slower songs, the kind you might play in the early hours of the morning when things are winding down - "Slip Away" by Perfume Genius and "oh baby" by LCD Soundsystem especially.
I'll admit, I have a horrible habit of listening to soundtracks before watching films (I know). And I've read Love, Simon, I've listened to Love, Simon - but shamefully, I still haven't seen it. Never-mind Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", Greg Berlanti's film treated us to not one, not two - but four Bleachers songs. Yes please. But the absolute best, wind the windows down and turn it all the way up of them has to be "Rollercoaster". Up there with Bowie's "Heroes" for me, it's the epitome of being young and feeling like the protagonist of your very own coming-of-age movie.
Crying tends to be a sign that a movie is doing its job. Be it a character you've grown to love having their heartbroken, a fan favourite character dying or someone well and truly being down in the dumps chances are if done right and built towards you will be reduced to a pile of tears. And then there are those moments that cause complete emotional shutdown and trauma for at least several years afterwards - the death of an animal.
The death of characters like Marley, Mufasa, Bambi's mum, and Aragog can bring out the sadness from even the most emotionally repressed people like me. All of us can agree that it sucks when an animal dies on-screen and we wish we never had to see it. I'd much rather watch an extremely violent slasher film with human characters I like dying left and right then have to sit through Marley and Me (2008) again.
Wouldn't it be great to have a section of movies where you wouldn't have to worry about watching these innocent creatures meet a grisly end when they certainly don't deserve it?
Filtering that movie watching experience means that whenever a fuzzy companion appears we need not worry about what will happen to them and instead just enjoy their ever pleasant company.
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