Instant Picks of the Week 1/12/18

Gone are the days of scrolling mindlessly through your queue! No longer will you have to sift through the vastness of what’s coming to the instant viewing wastelands this month! Whether you’re looking for a stellar film or an exciting new show to binge, Instant Picks of the Week brings you the hottest releases in film and television on instant viewing platforms that we know you’ll love, or at the very least not despise.

instant picks of the week raw

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RAW (Netflix)

There is a persistence to RAW’s vision that is unlike most horror contemporaries. It is more akin to the works of Refn, though arguably far more personal, than any traditional horror release, and deceptively comedic for a film that masquerades as straight horror. Justine is an introverted 18-year-old vegetarian hoping to follow in the footsteps of her parents to one day become a vet. Her older sister is no different. Together they attend France’s most elite veterinarian college, forcing Justine through a brutal freshman hazing process the likes of which the United States has never seen. The willful separation from faculty and the student body largely contributes to the growing sense of unrest that RAW attains. Justine has to share her dorm room with a gay man she slowly develops feelings for, is forced to eat a raw rabbit kidney, discovers a horrific skin rash, and (as we all do) develops an insatiable appetite for human flesh. Inside a college fantasy where roofied college students party right next to the morgue, only to nonchalantly dissect a dog the next morning, RAW hints at the hypocrisies of a generation so self-obsessed that even doctors don’t lend a hand to a girl in need. RAW is a walk of solidarity for any misfit to ever attend college. It is a consolidation for all children who have lost their way amidst the peer pressure of frat initiations. It demands that we be who we are, and consoles us knowing that we will one day work our way through this struggle. Read the full review here

instant picks of the week super dark times

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Talk about propulsive. Few films snowball from their ominous prologue like SUPER DARK TIMES, a quintessential angsty-teen melodrama that deftly cannonballs itself into the terrain of a horror-thriller. Debut director Kevin Phillips, who hails from a background of commercial cinematography, breathes life into the monotony of ‘90s east coast Americana exceptionally. And that’s perhaps the biggest takeaway here: SUPER DARK TIMES is a case study that no milieu is too bland. If you can make suburbia this compelling, then by God, anything is possible. After a traumatic accident causes a rift in allegiances between two best friends, Phillips lures his audience into a narrative of mental decay. It’s the darkest version of STAND BY ME you’ll ever see. Phillips’s film profits greatly from its outstanding central performances. Lead actors Owen Campbell and Charlie Tahan perform with a level of natural vulnerability that astutely captures the existential malaise of postmodern youth. It’s a film where our demons lie dormant and can be awakened at the drop of a hat, one where the fallout of bullying and late-teen shenanigans can have drastic repercussions. It’s a powerfully captured film, one directed with care and attention, precisely framed and elegantly staged. Phillips’s film may leave something to be desired in characterization, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t showcase the merits of coordinated filmmaking. Read the full review here.

"When I make love, I realize eating steak was the preferable alternative." Sergio is the Crossfader Film Editor and a film connoisseur from Romania. He pretends to understand culinary culture enough to call himself an LA foodie, but he just can't manage to like scallops.

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