Top 5 Films of SXSW 2014

SXSW had a lot of excellent films, and overall there were probably only two or three I walked out of disappointed.

With eight straight days of movies, and over a hundred to choose from, it almost seems impossible that only a small percentage of them wound up sinking to the bottom; but SXSW is a film festival that really has no angle and its goal is to show you as many great films as possible. From creative indies to upcoming mega-blockbusters to eerie midnight movies, the Austin-based film festival has something for everyone. Out of all the excellent showcases, here are our five favorite films at SXSW this year.

5. The Guest
Adam Wingard is a smart horror director, and he further proves his endless talents with his latest horror-thriller The Guest. A modern playful take on the 80’s slasher, The Guest is filled with strong performances that compliment Simon Barrett’s witty writing style. Dan Stevens never breaks a sweat as the titular role, and proves that perhaps leaving Downton Abbey wasn’t a bad move after all. Wingard’s latest film is just as good, if not better, than his refreshing home invasion film You’re Next. Debates on his best film aside, The Guest was the most entertaining midnighter at SXSW, even though it didn’t win the audience award.

3. Only Lovers Left Alive
Detroit, music and Tom Hiddleston. All these elements make the best vampire film since the spectacular Let the Right One In hit screens across the globe. Only Lovers Left Alive is a visually stunning movie that’s smartly written and powerfully acted. Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton’s chemistry flows from the screen, as does Mia Wasikowska’s mischievous energy. Director Jim Jarmusch isn’t known for his upbeat films, and sometimes he’s a little difficult to get behind, but Only Lovers Left Alive is one of his best. He brings the vampire myth back to life, utilizing the monster as it was intended – to comment on modern day society. Although it’s slower moving that the others on this list, Only Lovers still stood out in a festival jam-packed with stiff competition.

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Princess Ava thanks you for your time.