I need a palate cleanser, because reasons, and I’ve been thinking about something recently that I thought might make a fun game (for very me-specific values of fun).
Here’s the general idea: There are groups of movies that have similar attributes, and are generally in the same genre, but there are specific aspects of them that I think qualifies them as a new (sub)genre. The
fun is in either proposing new names for the (sub)genre, or identifying additional movies that fit that (sub)genre. Maybe we work on a group for a little while, then vote on the (sub)genre titles, and then move on to another.
Here’s the first group I could come up with:
Gravity: Directed by Alfonso Cuarón. With Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen. Two astronauts work together to survive after an accident leaves them stranded in space.
Average Rating: 7.7
47 Meters Down: Directed by Johannes Roberts. With Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Chris Johnson, Yani Gellman. Two sisters vacationing in Mexico are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. With less than an hour of oxygen left and great white...
Average Rating: 5.6
12 Feet Deep: Directed by Matt Eskandari. With Nora-Jane Noone, Alexandra Park, Diane Farr, Christian Kain Blackburn. Two sisters are trapped under the fiberglass cover of an Olympic sized public pool and must brave the cold and each other to survive...
Average Rating: 5.3
Adrift: Directed by Baltasar Kormákur. With Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Hawthorne. A true story of survival, as a young couple's chance encounter leads them first to love, and then on the adventure of a lifetime as they...
Average Rating: 6.6
127 Hours: Directed by Danny Boyle. With James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn, Sean Bott. A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.
Average Rating: 7.6
6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain: Directed by Scott Waugh. With Josh Hartnett, Mira Sorvino, Sarah Dumont, Kale Culley. An adrenaline seeking snowboarder gets lost in a massive winter storm in the back country of the High Sierras where he is pushed...
Average Rating: 5.7
Fall: Directed by Scott Mann. With Grace Caroline Currey, Virginia Gardner, Mason Gooding, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Best friends Becky and Hunter find themselves at the top of a 2,000-foot radio tower.
Average Rating: 6.4
The Shallows: Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. With Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo, Joseph Salas. A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the...
Average Rating: 6.3
Life of Pi: Directed by Ang Lee. With Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Ayush Tandon, Gautam Belur. A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection...
Average Rating: 7.9
Key Similarities (in no particular order):
The protagonist(s) is/are trapped in an extreme and isolating situation.
They are frequently injured or partially incapacitated during their attempts to escape.
If there are multiple characters trapped together,
one of them will die, often off-screen, and this will not be revealed to the audience until later.
The main protagonist will often hallucinate or have flashbacks in order to move the plot forward.
The main protagonist will often have to overcome some personal trauma or flaw in order to survive and escape.
There are often antagonizing elements that are placing pressure on the protagonist(s) in addition to their general situation.
There is often a tragic backstory that has led the protagonist(s) to climb this mountain/tower, visit this beach, dive into this ocean/pool, go into space, etc.
This backstory is often key to the trauma/flaw that they must overcome in order to find the strength to survive.
There, I think that’s a pretty good start. I’d also like help refining/expanding the list above, in addition to the activities described in the first post.
Seems like The Martian would fit in?
Only one of those I’ve seen is Gravity.
That’s an interesting suggestion. I hadn’t considered it. Maybe it makes sense to create a checklist foe each of the movies on the list to see how they score on the criteria? I may try to do that later.
There’s definitely a quality gap between movies like Gravity and the Martian, and the rest of the items on the list.