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Ranking the 2018 Revenge Movies With One Word Titles

November 27, 2018

‘Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

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2018 has been a great year for revenge movies with one word titles. Between Mandy, Upgrade, Revenge and Peppermint the world has been blessed with ultra-violence, chainsaw fights and a beer can phoenix tattoo. In honor of these movies, I decided to rank them in an effort to get more eyes on them (watch Mandy now!). I had a really hard time ranking Revenge and Upgrade because they are both exceptional movies that are expertly directed and performed. So, don’t think that being placed at #3 is a bad thing because every movie in the top three is worth owning.

Here is the list!

4. Peppermint

Peppermint was supposed to be Jennifer Garner’s Taken, however, it played more like her Taken 3. I was really excited for this movie because after Alias and Elektra we all know that Garner can beat up stunt people with ease. I’ve been waiting for her to get back in the action game and thought her teaming up with director Pierre Morel (District B13, Taken, From Paris With Love) would result in a fun action film with lots of revenge inspired mayhem. However, Peppermint is a dour little thing that looks drab and features good actors saying dialogue in somber tones. It features none of the fun of Taken and I hope another director is able to capitalize on Garner’s skills in the future.

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3. Upgrade

Upgrade is a bloody breath of fresh air that features top-notch production value, inspired violence and a solid lead performance from Logan Marshall-Green. It is a tiny-budgeted  ($3-5 million) exploitation movie that showcases the DIY talents of director/writer Leigh Whannell.  Whannell is the man responsible for the  Saw, Insidious, Cooties and Dead Silence screenplays and you can tell he has been fine-tuning his craft to get to Upgrade. What I appreciate most about Whannell is how he can maximize his tiny budgets and create new worlds that feel heavily borrowed and totally unique at the same time. I can’t think of the last time I wanted a movie to succeed so badly because I’d love to see what Leigh Whannell will do next.

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2. Revenge

Revenge is a badass revenge movie that spins the genre on its head and builds to a bloody and bonkers finale that is 100% memorable. Director/writer Coralie Fargeat does a find job creating INSANELY unlikable villains and then using the barren desert locations perfectly to create an expansive sense of dread and hopelessness. Revenge puts actress Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz through the wringer and she was clearly up to the challenge. I can’t think of the last time I’ve seen an actress go all-in like this, and you will find yourself cheering for her as she fights, crawls, grunts and fights more to achieve revenge. Watch this movie now!

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1. Mandy

Mandy is so much more than a “Nic Cage freaking out” movie, and I’m certain it will become a cult classic that is celebrated at midnight screenings full of loving fans who celebrate every blood splurt that sprays in Nic Cage’s face. It can best be described as a thrilling experience that bombards your senses with bright colors, loud noises and ultra-violence, that will either make you cheer or cringe. Director Panos Cosmatos has created a movie that feels familiar with its Mad Max, giallo and Clive Barker/Nicolas Winding Refn vibes, and totally alien with its fever dream cinematography, heavy metal score and dedication to anarchy. I love how Cosmatos found a way to combine the grindhouse aesthetic (lots of blood and heightened performances) with an unconventional arthouse style that will alienate the masses and gain a very loyal audience who embrace how niche Mandy is.

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Which 2018 revenge movie do you like the most?

 

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