A24, the independent film studio behind the Oscar-nominated Everything Everywhere All At Once, has always done things its own way – and so far this approach has worked out pretty well.
Next, they have a 17-year-old filmmaker to direct their upcoming horror, The Backrooms, which will run with a story inspired by the internet’s creepypasta subculture. Creepypasta is the term used by certain internet users to describe online horror-related content. Some stories or characters associated with creepypasta have gained legendary status within certain online groups over time because they have been shared so many times.
The Backrooms will be a feature film reimagining the YouTube video series by 17-year-old director Kane Parsons (aka Kane Pixels). Each of the episodes on Parsons’ channels has been viewed at least several million times, while one video has reached 44 million views.
The Backrooms script is being written by Roberto Patino, creator of the dystopian HBO Max series DMZ.
If this barmy project came from a different studio, it could be considered a risk. But A24 doesn’t seem to be able to put a foot wrong.
Launched in 2012 by film industry stalwarts Daniel Katz, David Fenkel and John Hodges, A24 has produced some of Hollywood’s most interesting films, including 2016’s Moonlight, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and Asif Kapadia’s 2015 documentary Amy.
Over the years, many of his films have done well at the Oscars, including Room, Moonlight, Ex Machina, and Minari, and have worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Sofia Coppola (who directed On The Rocks). and The Bling Ring made) with the studio), Gaspar Noé’, James Franco, Andrea Arnold (whose film American Honey won the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2016), and Joel Coen (with his 2021 black-and-white version of Macbeth starring Denzel Washington in the leading role). A24 is also the studio behind HBO’s hit teen drama series Euphoria.
The outrageous 2022 multiverse comedy-drama Everything Everywhere All at Once, starring Michelle Yeoh, is also now up for 11 Oscars.
For the first time, A24 screened three films at the 2022 Venice Film Festival: Ti West’s Pearl, Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale (for which Brendan Fraser won Best Actor at the Critics Choice Awards last night) and Joanna Hogg’s The Eternal Daughter.
If you’re new to A24, you’re in for a treat. The studio has a full list of brilliant films to watch – so many, in fact, that narrowing down a selection is a truly difficult task. Nevertheless, here’s our rundown of the best A24 movies to date.
1. Everything everywhere at once
Everything Everywhere All At Once is A24’s most successful film. Not only is it in the running for 11 Oscars this year, it’s also won dozens of awards and has become A24’s first film to make $100 million worldwide – it’s raked in more than A24’s previous world-top earners Hereditary (which grossed $80 million). ), Lady Bird ($78 million), Moonlight ($65 million), and Uncut Gems ($50 million).
It follows the story of laundromat owner Evelyn (Yeoh) who discovers she must join forces with parallel universe versions of herself to fight against a creature taking the form of her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) that threatens to destroy the multiverse.
2. After sun
Paul Mescal has earned his first Oscar nomination for playing Calumn in this outstanding feature film debut from filmmaker Charlotte Wells. He is a father who is in a bit of an existential crisis on the eve of his 31st birthday and who has gone on holiday to Turkey with his 11-year-old daughter Sophie (Frankie Corio). The Standard called it “amazingly beautiful”.
3. Uncut Gems – Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie
If you were on the internet earlier this year, it’s unlikely you missed Julia Fox’s viral sound bite saying “Uncut Gems.” You may have missed the source of this infamous line: a 2019 crime movie starring Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, and Idina Menzel from the Safdie brothers. Set in New York, it stars Sandler as a jeweler who makes a series of high-stakes bets around a valuable black opal. It’s fast, loud, brash and extremely, extremely tense. Forget the popcorn while watching, invest in a stress ball instead.
4. The Lighthouse – Robert Eggers
American director Robert Eggers, who recently made The Northman, first found success with folk horror The Witch and then followed with psychological thriller The Lighthouse with A24. Set in the 19th century, Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson play two lighthouse keepers, stranded in a small New England outpost by a particularly violent storm. They’re starting to get a little crazy and it’s a haunting watch with undertones of Citizen Kane and Hitchcock Psycho.
5. The Farewell – Lulu Wang
Awkwafina won an Oscar for her role in this tender comedy-drama about a Chinese-American family who decide not to tell their grandmother that she has terminal lung cancer and is short of life, and plans a family get-together instead. The film was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s both hilarious and deeply moving.
6. The Souvenir – Joanna Hogg
This critically acclaimed 2019 film from British director Joanna Hogg is a semi-autobiographical retelling of her film school experience. It stars Tilda Swinton, the daughter of actor Honor, Tom Burke and Richard Ayoade. The story is wonderfully told, while the film is also an aesthetic treat.
7. The Child Law – Richard Eyre
Starring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci, 2017’s The Children Act feels like a departure point for A24. Based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Ian McEwan, who also wrote the screenplay, it tells the story of 17-year-old Adam Henry who has leukemia.
His doctors want to give him a blood transfusion that will help him fight the disease, but Adam and his parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses and so believe it is unbiblical to receive a transfusion. Thompson is a Supreme Court Justice assigned to unravel the dramatic case.
8. Hereditary – Ari Aster
This 2018 movie from Midsommar director Ari Aster is one of A24’s biggest earners, and it’s easy to see why. Using the idea of hereditary trauma, the movie, starring Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne, is genuinely scary, cleverly playing with classic horror tropes. After a family’s mysterious grandmother dies, a dark presence haunts them. Absolutely terrifying.
9. Menashe – Joshua Z Weinstein
This 2017 movie tells the story of a single father, Menashe, who wants to spend more time with his son. However, in the Hasidic community in New York where he comes from, a rabbi has decreed that he must remarry before his son can come back to live with him. His first marriage was unhappy, so he hesitates.
Director Joshua Z Weinstein was praised for giving audiences a glimpse of this often closed community through a deeply human story with universal themes.
10. Killing a Sacred Deer – Yorgos Lanthimos
This 2017 film from Yorgos Lanthimos, director of The Lobster and The Favorite, stars Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman and tells the story of a surgeon who secretly befriends a teenage boy before creepy and terrible things happen to his family.
The film is said to be inspired by Euripides’ play Iphigenia in Aulis, although the disturbing white hospital walls and stifled conversations between the characters evoke fear as well as tragedy.
11. Ladybug – Greta Gerwig
Lady Bird, a coming-of-age drama from Little Women director Greta Gerwig, centers on the relationship between a teenage girl (Saoirse Ronan) and her mother (Laurie Metcalf). The film earned five Oscar nominations, won two Golden Globe Awards, and was named one of the best films of the year by Time.
12. Good Time – Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie
The Safdie brothers deserve to have two movies on this list – their 2017 crime thriller Good Time is as full-throttle as Uncut Gems, backed by an incredible soundtrack. Robert Pattinson and Benny Safdie play two brothers who rob a bank. Safdie’s character Nick is mentally challenged and gets caught up in his brother’s antics, with dire consequences.
The film received some criticism for Nick’s portrayal, with The New York Times calling it “slack-jawed” – but many praised the high-octane action, including Vulture, saying it was “the kind of suspense that sticks”.
13. Remember – Atom Egoyan
Remember is a drama thriller starring Christopher Plummer as a holocaust survivor with dementia who decides to kill a Nazi war criminal. It is a devastating work, playing with themes of regret, revenge, hatred and forgiveness and growing old. Director Atom Egoyan received the 2015 Vittorio Veneto Film Festival Award in Venice for the film.
14. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
We all remember that embarrassing moment when La La Land was read as the Best Picture winner at the 2016 Oscars, when Moonlight had actually won. Well, they finally got there, and it’s a good thing.
Starring Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes and André Holland, the coming-of-age film follows three stages in a man’s life as he struggles with his sexual identity. The film also earned Ali for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars and Best Adapted Screenplay for Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney. It also became one of A24’s top earners.
15. Amy – Asif Kapadia
Another big hit, Asif Kapadia’s 2015 documentary Amy, about Amy Winehouse, won an Oscar for Best Documentary, won Best Music Film at the Grammy Awards and won Best Documentary at the British Academy Film Awards. An absolute must for Amy fans, as it follows the singer’s life as she rises to fame and then follows her struggles with addiction.
The film was seen as a painting of Winehouse’s father, Mitch, in a negative light, and the family largely shunned it. “The film represents me in a not very good way. There is no balance, there is nothing about the foundation,” Mitch said on ITV’s This Morning in 2015.