While local rep theaters are out of commission, we’ll be putting together weekly watchlists of films readily available to stream. This week, in celebration of Netflix’s release of I’m Thinking of Ending Things, we highlight enigmatic psychological thrillers steeped in eerie atmospheres and swirling with mystery.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)
A woman (Jessie Buckley) contemplates breaking up with her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) as the pair travel to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis) in the country. These feelings are only exacerbated when they arrive and she discovers something ominous about him and his family. Dangerously ominous. The great Charlie Kaufman adapted Iain Reid’s taut page-turner of a novel into this twisted thriller, already garnering rave reviews. Netflix.
At the center of Atom Egoyan’s hypnotic drama is Exotica, a unique strip club whose main dancer (Mia Kirshner) attracts a depressed tax auditor (Bruce Greenwood) recovering from a mysterious tragedy. As the film progresses, information is slowly and meticulously meted out, and we begin to understand each complicated character—patrons and employees alike—on a bone-deep level. Criterion Channel.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars as two identical strangers in Denis Villeneuve’s mind-bending thriller. When one of them, a college professor named Adam, notices the other in the background of a movie he rents, he becomes obsessed with tracking down his double. Identities and relationships blur in this unforgettable surrealist allegory. Amazon Prime, Google Play, Hulu, Kanopy, Showtime, Sling TV, Vudu, YouTube.
You Were Never Really Here (2017)
In Lynne Ramsay’s biting character study, we follow a traumatized and suicidal mercenary (Joaquin Phoenix) named Joe who makes a living rescuing girls from human trafficking. When a senator hires him to track down his daughter, Joe becomes involved in a much larger conspiracy—all set to Jonny Greenwood’s phenomenal industrial score. Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)
After a cardiac surgeon (Colin Farrell) takes pity on the teenage son (Barry Keoghan) of one of his deceased patients, he and his family (including Nicole Kidman) soon become victims of an inexplicable curse, and he finds himself having to make an impossible choice. King of the “Greek Weird Wave,” Yorgos Lanthimos writes and directs this loose adaptation of an ancient Euripides tragedy. Amazon Prime, Google Play, Kanopy, Netflix, Vudu, YouTube.