Written by Sophia Cowley

The Sundance Film Festival is the place you need to look for the best and newest movies to watch. This year, women made up 44% of the directors which is a huge improvement for female filmmakers. Out of the 121 movies shown at the festival, I’ve made a list of 10 of the best movies shown.

Velvet Buzzsaw is by far the strangest, but most intriguing thriller I have seen in such a long time. The story revolves around a batch of new art that’s discovered from a dead, unknown artist and the supernatural entity looking to wreak havoc on anyone who comes into contact with it. Check out this trailer:

The Report is such an interesting thriller about the events that occurred post-9/11. It imparts reams of info about the CIA’s enhanced detention and interrogation techniques and makes heroes out of Senate investigator Dan Jones and Senator Dianne Feinstein, who fought against the White House and the CIA to get the truth out to the world. Though I could not find a trailer for this film, it is available to watch on Amazon.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is all about the serial killer Ted Bundy, played by Zac Efron. The film tracks Bundy’s seemingly perfect marriage and what happens when that relationship begins to intersect with Bundy’s ruthless killing spree. Check out the trailer:

Memory: The Origins of Alien is a documentary of the untold origin story behind Ridley Scott’s Alien – rooted in Greek and Egyptian mythologies, underground comics, the art of Francis Bacon, and the dark visions of Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger. This is a contemplation on the symbiotic collaborative process of movie-making, the power of myth, and our collective unconscious.

Big Time Adolescence is a coming of age film that follows a 16-year old teen named Mo who doesn’t seem to be following the right path growing up. This is all because of his best friend Zeke, a college dropout who used to date Mo’s older sister and has no direction in life. But that’s not stopping Zeke from teaching Mo the ropes of dealing drugs, partying hard, and ghosting girls. Check out the movie poster:

The Lodge is a thriller about a pair of siblings who really don’t care for Grace, the young woman their recently divorced father plans to marry. Grace’s attempt to bond with the brother and sister fall flat and the siblings instead dig up dirt on Grace’s tragic past. Needless to say, this ends up backfiring when the two find themselves snowed-in with Grace in a cabin in a remote village. Creepy, disturbing things follow.

The Lodge is a thriller about a pair of siblings who really don’t care for Grace, the young woman their recently divorced father plans to marry. Grace’s attempt to bond with the brother and sister fall flat and the siblings instead dig up dirt on Grace’s tragic past. Needless to say, this ends up backfiring when the two find themselves snowed-in with Grace in a cabin in a remote village. Creepy, disturbing things follow. Yet another film that doesn’t seem to have a trailer, so here’s the movie poster!

Relive tells the story about how after an LAPD detective’s family is killed in what appears to be a grisly murder, the detective receives an impossible phone call from his young niece – one of the deceased victims. Using the time-twisted situation to his advantage, the detective encourages the niece to gather enough clues for him to try to solve the case.

Wounds is a mystery thriller about a New Orleans bartender who retrieves a cell phone left behind after a bar fight and experiences mysterious and disturbing things when he starts receiving calls and texts on the stranger’s phone. His girlfriend insists on investigating and ends up finding haunting information.

Leaving Neverland, of course, had to be on this list. This film is a four-hour, two-part documentary where Wade Robson and James Safechuck testify that Michael Jackson befriended them when they were children and, for years (starting when they were 7 and 11 years old, respectively), sexually abused them. The testimony is overwhelmingly powerful and convincing, and the film suggests that they were far from the only victims. It captures one of the towering evils of child sexual abuse: that the victims may not experience it, at the time, as “wrong.” “Leaving Neverland” is a disturbing but important document because of what it forces us to confront. the greatest pop genius since the Beatles was, beneath his talent, a monster. Check out the trailer:

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