So I stayed up all night watching movies, and I thought I could write a little list. Here are a few suggestions of double features, movies I think go well together either because of their stories, their styles or their genre.
The Thing (1982) and The Hateful Eight (2015)
This one was kind of obvious, since people have been talking about it quite a lot. Not only is Kurt Russell in both movies, Quentin Tarantino admitted that The Hateful Eight was highly inspired by John Carpenter’s The Thing. Plus, some music written for The Thing, that ended up unused, can actually be heard in Tarantino’s movie. Both movies are set in winter and in both movies, winter becomes its own character. Paranoia, isolation, violence and death are shared themes and the feeling you get while watching either of them is quite similar. It can seem like a weird couple, but they fit very well together.
The Evil Dead (1981) and The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
The Cabin in the Woods was written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard as a “love letter” or tribute to the horror genre. The movie is filled with references to classic horror movies, one of the most obvious being to The Evil Dead. In both movies, a group of friends go to spend the weekend in a cabin in the woods. There, they find a weird looking diary or journal, which should not have been touched. Things take a wrong turn from there and violent deaths ensue. They are definitely worth watching together.
J’ai tué ma mère (2009) and Mommy (2014)
Both written and directed by Xavier Dolan and both starring Anne Dorval as a single mother, these movies are about mother and son relationships. Complicated relationships. I wrote a little bit about Mommy in 5 favourites of the moment if you want to check it out. Though the movies do have really similar themes, they are very different, both character wise and aesthetic wise. It is also very interesting to see how much Dolan has improved and changed as a writer and director in such a short period of time.
Drive (2011) and Nightcrawler (2014)
With similar themes and aesthetics, Drive and Nightcrawler are pretty amazing together. They both have great film noir qualities, playing with lights and shadows a lot, and of course, telling us crime stories happening in the nighttime. They’re both quite thrilling movies too. The main characters are pretty different, which creates a great contrast when watching them one after the other. The stories are different too, but they give you the same feeling of watching and being watched, uninvited.
Batman (1989) and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)
I’ve decided to put Batman together with Birdman because of Michael Keaton. Yes, he plays the main character in both movies, no this is not really the reason why. Birdman tells the story of an actor who is mostly known for his role as a superhero in a series of movies he was a part of decades ago. Michael Keaton is mostly known for his role of the titular superhero in Batman, which was, according to many, his biggest, most popular role. The parallel established between the actor and his character is interesting. I think watching Batman and then watching Birdman with the previous movie in head is pretty cool.
The Time Machine (1960), Westworld (1973), and Logan’s Run (1976)
Okay, this is a triple feature, but believe me, they all fit together so perfectly! I’ve loved these movies ever since I was a kid; my dad had bought them and I’d watch them again and again. I’ve always considered them as a trilogy of some sort (even though they aren’t). You might be wondering why I’ve put them together; one has morlocks, one has robots and one has a ceremony to kill everybody who’s turned 30. But they’re all science-fiction movies about a dystopian future (well, Westworld doesn’t really take place in the future, but it has a dystopian future vibe either way). And let’s not forget just how entertaining they are. And quite weird too, especially Logan’s Run, with that weird ice place and that weird robot. Anyway, I recommend watching those three one after the other.