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Film Lovers Unite to Discuss the Best High-Concept Movies

A Still From The Night of the Hunter 1955 (Photo: The Night of the Hunter)

In a recent thread on the r/movies subreddit, Redditors came together to discuss their favorite high-concept movies, which are characterized by a simple yet powerful premise. The thread included a wide range of films from sci-fi anime to classic noir, all of which have a strong hook and successfully flesh out their premise into a full-fledged story. Unfortunately, many of these films failed to attract a large audience, slipping through the cracks without receiving the attention and acclaim they rightfully deserved.

One of the standout films mentioned in the thread was “Magnetic Rose,” a 1995 anime sci-fi anthology film that is fantastically written and gorgeously animated. The film tells the story of a spaceship salvage crew who are sent to an abandoned space station, only to find it haunted. User NicNac_PattyMac praised the film, pointing out that it was animated by the same studio that did Ghost in the Shell. The film remains severely underrated, but audiences should give it the time of day, especially newcomers to anime and those with an appreciation for the animation medium.

Another classic film mentioned in the thread was “The Night of the Hunter,” a 1955 thriller directed by Charles Laughton. The film is set in Depression-era West Virginia and centers on a sinister preacher who marries and murders women to steal their money. Redditor NicNac_PattyMac called it a “classic,” saying, “[I have] absolutely no idea why it was never remade. Also, the whole ‘love’ and ‘hate’ tattooed on knuckles comes from this movie.” The film is recognized as a masterpiece and remains severely underseen, but modern audiences should definitely give it a chance.

A Still From The Night of the Hunter 1955 (Photo: The Night of the Hunter)

The thread also included more recent films, such as “Dave Made a Maze,” a 2017 sci-fi thriller that is certainly unique, with an off-kilter sense of humor, a DIY aesthetic, and charming practical effects. User Standard_Cycle_2224 praised the film, saying, “[It’s a] very breezy, silly, gory-but-not-really movie with fantastic set and prop design.” Dave Made a Maze deserves all the critical and audience support it can get, and fans of sci-fi thrillers should definitely check it out.

Other films mentioned in the thread included “Defending Your Life,” a 1991 fantasy movie that is a rom-com with a twist, as the recently deceased must defend their life choices in a court-like setting in the afterlife; “eXistenZ,” a 1999 sci-fi thriller that is among David Cronenberg’s weirdest movies, boasting his signature body horror; “Bunraku,” a 2010 martial arts film set in a dystopian future where guns are banned and swordplay reigns supreme; “Ravenous,” a 1999 horror Western that is among the best of its kind, drawing on real-world cases of cannibalism to add to the chilling authenticity; and “Coherence,” a 2013 low-budget indie sci-fi that uses its limited story elements for maximum effect, featuring a group of friends who gather for a dinner party only to find strange occurrences taking place.

The thread highlights a wide range of high-concept movies that all share a simple yet powerful premise. These films are all worthy of recognition and deserve to be seen, especially by fans of sci-fi and thrillers.

Koushik Ghorai
Written By

Koushik is a cinephile residing in Delhi, India. He specializes in dissecting classic films and contemporary cinema trends. Contact him at [email protected].

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