The ’80s and early ’90s introduced many hits that are now considered cult classics. However, the same thing cannot be said about the 2000s. A majority of the movies released during the new millennium simply lacked the charisma its predecessors displayed. But of course, in a sea of humdrum films are a few rare gems, and ExploreTalent has picked them out for movie lovers everywhere.
Before going over the list, you may ask yourself, what turns a movie into a cult favorite? The truth is, there is no clear definition of a cult film. Many experts would say that they need to be underground or lesser-known, but others would argue that there are many big-budget movies that have developed a cult following as well.
Possibly the most common feature among cult films is the fact that they get stuck in the audiences’ mind, contributing to a long-lasting popularity complete with a loyal following. So take a look at some movies of the 2000’s that deserve to be considered as cult classics below.
1. The House of the Devil (2009)
House of the Devil is set in the 1980s and it pays homage to the traditional horror movies made during that era.
Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) is a college student who cannot pay her rent so she takes on a babysitting job from a mysterious man. Little does Samantha know, this will only be the start of a series of horrific events.
The movie integrates haunted house elements into the slasher film genre. The cast definitely made the movie so likable, with horror favorites Dee Wallace and Tom Noonan playing notable characters. Don’t expect this to be your run-in-the-mill horror movie with jump scares and cheesy monsters showing up, though, as House of the Devil feeds primarily on that innate feeling that something is not quite right. So without the usual gimmicks and slow-building tension, this 2009 movie definitely deserves a spot on this list.
2. V for Vendetta (2005)
There is nothing more iconic than that Guy Fawkes–inspired mask worn by V (Hugo Weaving) in the movie based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore. It takes place in a dystopian future, one that is more terrifying than the Hunger Games or Maze Runner combined. England has now become a fascist government following a long civil war. A vigilante known only by “V” is on a mission to bring it down.
V for Vendetta is often regarded as one of the best films of the decade, with acclaimed movie critic Roger Ebert giving the movie “two thumbs-up.” The film’s legacy continues to live on today as the Guy Fawkes mask has been used as a symbol by the international activist group Anonymous.
3. Brick (2005)
Following a successful run as a child actor in Third Rock from the Sun, the multi-talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt proved that he was ready for serious roles in the 2005 neo-noir thriller Brick.
In the movie, Gordon-Levitt plays Brendan who suddenly finds himself staring at the dead body of his ex-girlfriend. He takes it upon himself to solve the mystery of her death without consulting the police.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of this film is the fact that it centers around high-school students and turns them into hard-boiled detectives solving a potentially dangerous case. Critics have even gone to call it a darker take on Nancy Drew. The movie also gives audiences a fresh look into the life of a teenager and is backed up by the amazing screenplay and directing by Rian Johnson. The film is slowly gaining a cult following, more than ten years since it was released.
4. Donnie Darko (2001)
A majority of cult movies tend to be a bit too odd for mainstream audiences, and Donnie Darko is a great example of that. It has many different movie genres packed into one, including psychological, sci-fi, and even horror. This movie was released just as people welcomed the new millennium, and it received a lukewarm response during its Sundance premiere.
The box-office reception was bleak as well, mostly because it was on the heels of the tragic 9/11 terror attacks. But even with that, Donnie Darko gained an avid fan base and had a successful run during Midnight Screenings in New York City’s East Village.
5. Charlie Bartlett (2007)
The year 2007 was one for teenagers. Social media was on the rise and so were teen movies. One particular film that stood out was Charlie Bartlett and the late Anton Yelchin took on the titular role.
Charlie Bartlett goes to a public school and fails to connect to other students, so he appoints himself as the unofficial therapist and even goes to the extent of prescribing and supplying medication to them.
Though the film was a box-office bomb and gained mixed reviews from critics, no one can deny that Yelchin was excellent in the role. His performance may even be compared to iconic Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Overall, this is a fun film and is definitely worth watching.