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Cannibals, Wood Chippers and (Un)Funny Games: Top 10 Most Demented Hostage Films

Cannibals, Wood Chippers and (Un)Funny Games: Top 10 Most Demented Hostage Films

These films take the timeless hostage scenario to a whole new level of twisted—where cannibals play mind games with cops, psychotic killers take the form of fan girls and snipers, bombs are on buses and vampire strippers are a thing. Our list of demented hostage films isn’t for the faint of heart.

1. Funny Games
When two deranged young men take a family hostage in their home, they’re forced to engage in a slew of savage games in order to stay alive. Naomi Watts’ and Michael Pitt’s grueling performances—loving, brave mother and perverse, psycho killer, respectively—and a thrilling, fourth-wall breaking scene make the movie well worth enduring the horrors.

2. Silence of the Lambs
FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodi Foster) is drawn into a game of wits with one villain behind bars (the Hannibal Lector), while pursuing another serial killer, “Buffalo Bill,” on the loose. When Bill takes a new victim hostage, Starling’s race against the clock begins. She must get the information she needs from the cryptic psychopath Hannibal (cue the mind games) to apprehend Bill before he murders his prey.

Giving an Unsung Decade Its Due: The ’90s in Movies

Giving an Unsung Decade Its Due: The ’90s in Movies

Do the ’90s seem less memorable that the ’80s (so rad) or the ’70s (so groovy) to you? Take a moment and reconsider the decade which features some of the most offbeat characters in movie history. Suddenly, the ’90s seem a bit more memorable, right?

1. The Dude (Jeff Bridges), The Big Lebowski (1998)
It’s hard to imagine a more iconic, more offbeat character from the ’90s—or any era—than Jeff Lebowski, a perpetually bath-robed bastion of chillness in search of justice for his peed-on rug (because, hey, “it really tied the room together”). A fan of weed and White Russians, he made bowling an art form and inspired a subculture of devoted fans who still attend annual Lebowski Fests.

2. Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), The Piano (1993)
The mute woman at the center of Jane Campion’s extraordinary story is one of the most unconventional heroines in film history: a young mother (Hunter won a Best Actress Oscar) who, despite being shipped off to the wilds of New Zealand for an arranged marriage, manages to fall in love (not with her husband) through a shared passion for music and ultimately receives a most unexpected salvation.

Now Playing: FISH TANK, FARGO, and SEX MAGIC, plus more great films this week

Now Playing: FISH TANK, FARGO, and SEX MAGIC, plus more great films this week

This week we delve into our darkest fears and deepest desires with films about alienation, death, love, sex and… improper surgical techniques? Luckily, not all in the same film. Like this crazy month of December so far, our films are running hot and cold this week, from the blazing Arizona sun of SEX MAGIC to the North Dakota/Minnesota snow and ice of FARGO and points in between.

William H. Macy: Five must-see roles of an indie darling

William H. Macy: Five must-see roles of an indie darling

Any real film fan will recognize William H. Macy. Chances are, you’ve seen his Oscar-nominated role in FARGO and his supporting turns in MAGNOLIA and BOOGIE NIGHTS. But if that’s all you know of this indie Everyman hero, are you ever missing out. Both awkward and intelligent, apprehensive and over-eager, Macy conveys a jittery familiarity — you know a guy like this, however far-fetched a character he may be playing. Here’s a William H. Macy sampler that will give you the full picture of his considerable talents — and, lucky for you, you can even catch two of these movies this weekend on Sundance Channel.

Top 10 hicksploitation films

Top 10 hicksploitation films

Aaah… the great American outdoors. It can sure be beautiful, but beware: The further afield you get, the harder it is to find help. Help with what, you may ask? Just ask the boys from DELIVERANCE, currently playing on the Sundance Channel: deviant lunatic hicks, o’course!

Top 10 reasons the Coen brothers are like the Beatles

Top 10 reasons the Coen brothers are like the Beatles

Everyone has a favorite Beatles song. And if there’s a Beatles song for everyone, why can’t there be a Coen brothers movie for everyone? After the shocking brilliance of their debut BLOOD SIMPLE., Joel and Ethan Coen followed up with RAISING ARIZONA, proving that they could make comedy just as well as crime drama and violence that actually has a point (most of the time). Since then, they’ve done just about everything in between.

So which Coen Brother’s movie are you?