With 2021 still not getting the world fully back on track after the nightmare that was 2020. It did allow for a more consistent (and still ongoing) return to the big screen, which was a great thing to see. With huge franchise features such as Spider-Man: No Way Home, F9 & No Time to Die pushing the box office back onto its feet, whilst critically acclaimed lower budget features such as C’mon C’mon, The Green Knight & Spencer helped provide cinephiles with standout features both on the big screen and streaming. Here though I want to recommend 5 (with a slight rule bend) features that came out this year that you may not have heard of or haven’t got around to checking out yet!
Batman: The Long Halloween - Part One & Two
Out of the myriad of DC animated features released this year, this double feature (which is best viewed as one 3 hour film) was the standout. Adapting one of The Dark Knight’s darkest and most famous tales, that boasts a whole lot of his rogue’s gallery and a mafia inflicted murder mystery, that will keep you guessing along the way.
Don’t Breathe 2
The sequel to 2016’s box office hit, that admittedly didn’t particularly need a sequel. However, this follow up is armed with a bold (considering the Blind Man’s past actions) premise and truly brutal and bloody kills, presented with impressive practical effects, which makes this worth a viewing for gore hounds and those in the mood for 90 minutes of thrills.
A unique psychological, slow-burn horror feature that will have fans of the video nasty era of the 70/80’s (particularly in the UK) grinning with grisly glee. This film delves into the effects that barraging your eyeballs with disturbing and horrific imagery could have on someone (accompanied with a slasher edge), as well as providing an insight into the job role of a film censor.
Aardman’s newest animated feature that can be found on Netflix. 30 minutes of charming Christmas joy, upbeat tunes, a good spirited message and exceptional animation. Essential family viewing.
Originally set for a cinema release before Apple TV snapped it up. This easy going sci-fi road trip starring Tom Hanks and Caleb Landry Jones as his robotic companion, may not exactly rewrite the rule book but it is a surprisingly wholesome and engaging watch if you are in the mood for a post-apocalyptic journey.