There’s a good argument to be made that every movie had better go into it knowing very little. If a movie goes in unexpected directions with regards to its storyline, characters, or genres, it’s obviously nice to walk into a movie not knowing such things. Plus, with trailers, rumors, and social media sometimes revealing a little too much, the real surprises are getting harder and harder to find.
That being said, some films benefit more than others from being entered blind. The following are all brilliant examples of movies that provide a better experience the less you know about them beforehand. They will be very briefly summarized, taking care not to reveal anything at all. Long story short, if there are any here that you haven’t seen and know next to nothing about, they should be watched ASAP, and before pesky spoilers get to you.
10/10 ‘Barbarian’ (2022)
Barbaric has already emerged as one of the most interesting horror films in years, and is certainly among the best of 2022 so far. It plays straight through and subverts various horror tropes throughout its well-paced and unpredictable runtime, and makes for an exciting watch for horror fans in the process.
So how much should you know to enter? It’s probably important to know that if you struggle with claustrophobic and/or dark spaces, this might not be the movie for you, nor will it convert non-horror fans. But on the plot side? Go on knowing literally nothing, because Barbaric is a unique and consistently thrilling ride that aims to keep you on your toes for each of its 102 minutes, and it more than achieves that.
9/10 Psycho (1960)
Chances are you know the big twists psychology has to offer, even if you’ve never seen the classic Alfred Hitchcock film. But let’s assume for a moment that you didn’t know that, just like the viewers of 1960 didn’t know what they were going to do. The things that happen in this movie – and in one particularly famous scene – were truly shocking to audiences at the time. Whether Psychosis the big moments hadn’t become so often referenced and parodied, they would still shock viewers today.
Hitchcock had famous rules for cinemas that showed psychology, which emphasized how closely its twists were meant to be watched. Apparently pre-1960 moviegoers sometimes arrived late to the cinema, but psychology screenings were not allowed to allow late admissions, given the precociousness of some of its surprises. Still, even though it’s a movie that was ruined to death, it’s worth watching (just be sure to steer clear of the bizarrely redundant 1998 remake!)
8/10 “The Cabin in the Woods” (2011)
The cabin in the woods comes across as a pretty derivative horror movie in its opening scenes. As the title suggests, there is a cabin buried deep in the woods. It’s isolated, scary, and for some reason considered a desirable place to visit by a group of youngsters, all of whom sound like standard movie stereotypes in their intro scenes.
However, the real subject of the film is presented rather quickly, and from there the plot thickens and becomes more and more unexpected. It never feels exactly like a parody, but becomes a sort of commentary on the state of horror movies and the mindset of the people who watch them. The way he explores his satirical and dark ideas is better preserved, of course.
7/10 ‘A Cup of the Dead’ (2017)
A cup of the dead is a charming, low-budget zombie flick that’s rough around the edges, but still fun to watch. Some of that fun comes from the way it’s presented in one take and the fact that it goes meta, with a story about a group of people making a low-budget horror movie who then get attacked by real zombies.
Eventually, the film moves away from that initial premise and becomes something else entirely. The “one cut” presentation also disappears, but for good reason, and in its place is something even better, with a fantastic second half that recontextualizes and expertly enhances the film’s always enjoyable first half. It’s a masterfully written and ridiculously clever film, and offers a one-of-a-kind experience.
6/10 ‘Fresh’ (2022)
The broadest (and best) way to describe Costs that is, it’s a film about the difficulties of dating in general in the 21st century. Daisy EdgarJones plays a young woman who seems unable to find even a half-decent person until she meets by Sebastien Stan character by chance, and the two hit it off surprisingly well.
It plays until the opening title appears more than half an hour into the film. At this point, the film has revealed what genre it will actually be and gives you an idea of why it’s called Costs. If you can get to that point knowing nothing of where it ends up going, it would undoubtedly become an even more rewarding and mind-blowing film to watch.
5/10 “Parasite” (2019)
The already classic and critically acclaimed Parasite has a title that makes it sound a bit like a horror movie. It’s not quite one, and saying it doesn’t give too much away. It is, however, a film that touches on many other genres, and it blends comedy, drama, and suspense in a way that has never been done before.
Parasite is essentially a film about two families separated by class and wealth, and what happens when they interact. It’s kept very vague, but seeing the plot slowly take shape before a plot twist midway through changes just about everything is something that makes Parasite such a memorable movie…and revealing everything that happens after that halfway point would be borderline criminal.
4/10 ‘Godzilla: Final Wars’ (2004)
Truth be told, there aren’t really any plot-specific spoilers in Godzilla: Final Wars which must absolutely be kept secret for those who have not seen it. It’s mainly because there’s little to no plot in Final Wars; at least not one that makes logical sense.
However, unlike most films, this is not a defect, as Godzilla: Final Wars isn’t most movies. It’s an excuse to get one of the most powerful versions of Godzilla in the series’ history to battle as many monsters as possible, while featuring a crazy human story that happily references Hollywood blockbusters like star wars, The matrixand x-men. It’s probably the craziest giant monster movie of all time, so the lesser known the better.
3/10 “Spider-Man: No Coming Home” (2021)
Some would say that the great revelation in Spider-Man: No Coming Home were not the best kept secrets. There were a lot of rumors surrounding the movie during its production, and it was speculated more heavily than the average MCU movie, that’s for sure.
For anyone who might have been expecting certain things but not sure if they would be there, it ended up being a hugely satisfying experience. And to the film’s credit, it’s the most ambitious, dramatic and twisted movie ever. Spider Man movie in the MCU so far, which means that even those who might know some reveals in advance probably won’t know them all.
2/10 “Red State” (2011)
red state is a movie that really stands out among by Kevin Smith other leadership efforts. It’s a far cry from the kind of laid-back comedy he’s best known for doing, as any humor here is extremely dark and infrequent, it’s much more of a serious action/thriller than anything else.
This is a film that continually aims to subvert your expectations, and while the deviations it takes throughout might prove too shocking for some, they could probably prove thrilling and exciting for others. Either way, it’s great to see Smith taking that kind of risk and making it pay off reasonably well, because it can’t be overstated how far he’s come from something like Clerks Where Chasing Amy.
1/10 “Hereditary” (2018)
In making one of the best – and most heartbreaking – horror movies of the past decade, Ari Aster instantly made a name for himself as a director to watch. Hereditary is a movie that starts off fairly normal, with a suitably creepy atmosphere and family drama…until it turns into something much more disturbing and traumatic surprisingly early on.
After an incredibly intense streak, Hereditary continues to descend into darkness and horror as sad as they are disturbing. Toni Collette is phenomenal in the lead role, too, with Hereditary emerging as a film that will likely shake even the most jaded and hardened horror fans.
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