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The Most Overlooked Films of 2012

Written by on December 13, 2012 

Detention (Joseph Kahn; Not reported)

Blisteringly frenetic, it’s easy to see why so many were turned off by Torque director Joseph Kahn‘s latest feature. Mixing a variety genres from horror to science-fiction to romance to comedy, this is a prime example of a film that throws just about everything at the wall and considering I thought the majority of it sticks, it certainly deserves a watch. Led by Josh Hutcherson, the film was released soon after his major hit The Hunger Games, but sadly it didn’t give this indie any major boost. With the film now available on home release, it’s well worth seeking out. – Jordan R.

Extraterrestrial (Nacho Vigalondo; Not reported)

Nacho Vigalondo’s Extraterrestrial is an extraordinary blend of science fiction, farce and just plain bad timing for an alien invasion. Julio (Julian Villagran) wakes up next to the gorgeous Julia (Michelle Jenner) after a one night stand they can’t quite explain. Her live-in boyfriend returns and along with their creepy next door neighbor and several very long evenings unfold. Extraterrestrial is one of the most brazenly original sci-fi films, mixing part Scott Pilgrim, part mumblecore with an added dose of UFOs. – John F.

Girl Walk // All Day (Jacob Krupnick; Not reported)

Easily the smallest film on this list in terms of budget, this experimental musical is by far the most delightful. Leaving a smile on your face for the entire, brief 70-minute runtime, director Jason Krupnick follows three characters (Anne Marsen as “the Girl”, Dai Omiya as “the Gentleman” and John Doyle as “the Creep”) through a living, breathing New York City as they express their interactions through nothing but dance. All set to the album Girl Talk‘s All Day, you can stream the entire thing for free here. What are you waiting for? – Jordan R.

Headhunters (Morten Tyldum; $1,200,010)

Looking back on the year, this small Norwegian thriller managed to entertain more than most summer blockbusters. A slick tale of twists and turns, this art heist gone wrong film marks the a break-out for director Morten Tyldum, but sadly it went mostly unnoticed, getting released a few days before the biggest box-office hit of the year (hint: it featured many superheroes assembling and avenging).  Following a wealthy man who gets himself further and further down a rabbit hole, it’s easy to see why Tyldum already secured his big Hollywood debut with the upcoming drama The Imitation Game, thanks to this polished thriller. – Jordan R.

Killer Joe (William Friedkin; $1,987,762)

This year was dominated by unusual Matthew McConaughey performances, ranging from a closeted homosexual lawyer in Lee Daniels The Paperboy to a male stripper in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike. Yet none of these seem to hold a candle to his haunting, menacing and effective performance as the titular character Killer Joe in William Friedkin’s Southern Gothic dark comedy. Set in trailer park America, the film could be described as a surreal cross section of vulgar theatrics with pulpy film noir, while McConaughey’s creepy rendition of a crooked cop who moonlights as a hired killer will make you never want to eat fried chicken again. – Raffi A.

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