The big studios will bombard the average consumer with adverts on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, anywhere the eye will wander. There are films out there that are picked up by smaller distributors around the world who don't have the advertising budget or studio resources and have to rely on word of mouth to get bums in to seats in cinemas/theaters. All too often I see comments on official Facebook pagers and threads talking about how people will just wait for them to appear on illegal apps etc. (Don't be that dick, people working hard on these releases see that stuff...)

These are the distributors and films that need your support. Take a risk... watch the trailer, if you're interested, GO! Indie filmmaking is not an easy route to take and these smaller distributors taking risks on these filmmakers are not doing so just so they can be watched on dodgy apps.  They need to turn a profit to survive...

Here are the films you may have missed in 2018...


LIZZIE

The first film which features Chloë Sevigny in a lead role and it's about time too! This is a new telling of the crime that shook the United States of America in 1892.  The story of Lizzie Borden was one that travelled the globe, had its own nursery rhyme  Released by Bulldog Film Distribution in the UK, LIZZIE had a small theatrical release and will hopefully receive a wide home ent release within the next couple of months. 

This one stands out for Chloë's performance. Alongside Kristen Stewart, Chloë shines as the would-be murderess who made headlines around the world. There's no feminist message here but the patriarchal world Lizzie lives in is one she fights against each day. There's reasoning for her father's bull headedness, he has enemies who would see the family fall but the world Craig William Macneill has constructed is a gilded cage for young women to grow up in. Birds are supposed to fly and Lizzie will fly at any cost.

It's a slow burner but the finale is well worth the asking price. Chloë Sevigny rocks it from start to finish.


ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE

A Christmas miracle befell US and UK theaters at the end of 2018. An independent short film became a feature film, filmed entirely in Scotland. Yes the accents can be a bit much but this film is pure joy in a confetti cannon! 

Anna and the Apocalypse is a comedy horror with a difference, it's a musical and the tunes are immense! you can not help but tap your feet to High School Musical meets La La Land style tracks like Hollywood Ending and Turning My Life Around

The beauty of this film is the people behind it, from the cast to the crew who spent years pulling this feature together and to the mind who brought this concept to life.  Ryan McHenry didn't live to see this musical masterpiece hit the big screen but his friends carried on his dream and it was one of the most heart-warming releases of last year.

ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE is released by VERTIGO in the UK.


A SIMPLE FAVOUR

Smart, sexy and completely vicious. Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick lead this battle of wits, this insane bitch fight which goes to the edge of sanity before bouncing back to reality with a thunderous crash.

Paul Feig (Nurse Jackie, The Heat, Bridesmaids) directs and brings this brightly coloured teen version of GONE GIRL to the big screen. Is it tragedy or is it a psychotic game of wits. The great thing about A Simple Favour is it does cause you to question the motives of everyone on screen. At one point you'll be hating on one character only to discover that they may not be as totally dastardly as you first thought.

This is a game of chess playing out on the big screen. The characters and the team behind the film are all ten steps ahead, you just don't know it yet.

The ending, the opening and everything in between is a mystery thrill ride waiting to be boarded. Get on it in 2019! This was a great cinematic experience.


MILE 22

Never did I even consider that Mark Wahlberg would make it on to this list but here he is! Mile 22 was released to little fanfare but this one deserves praise because it does exactly what it says on the tin.

This is a high-octane action flick starring IKO UWAIS (The Raid) and Lauren Cohen (The Boy, The Walking Dead). Iko as always is superb but the real gem here is Lauren Cohen... always playing support when she could have carried this film by herself. Mile 22 puts a team of off the book operatives against the clock, they need to deliver an asset to make a trade and the clock is ticking. The problem is they have every hired gun and officer on their tail during this 22 mile trek to an air stirp.

Throw in a shed load of amazingly shot and well-timed action sequences and you've got one great evening in sorted. In fact, I'd almost left this one off the list... time to go pre-order the Blu-ray!


UPGRADE

Leigh Whannell (Insidious) brings a futuristic revenge thriller with hard hits and some truly funny moments. With smart writing and direction, UPGRADE was one of the must-see films of 2018.  Unfortunately, its release strategy wasn't as big as it could have been. However, as distributors you pick and choose your battles.

With a nod to 80's action and Sci-Fi, UPGRADE delivers an all-round high-octane piece of thrilling action entertainment with a KNIGHTRIDER-esque bromance between man and technology. Without Logan Marshall-Green in the lead role this could have been a total miss, but can people PLEASE stop comparing him to Tom Hardy? Thanks!