By now we all aware of the global situation that we’re in, and staying isolated is currently the best bet to not catching the Covid-19 virus.

To somewhat lighten the mood, this post will be comprised of movies and shows to keep you busy while your stuck inside avoiding, well, everything and everyone.

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So…

Drink lots of fluids, take your daily dose of vitamin C, wash your hands regularly, and prepare for the binge of oddities to help you survive some cabin fever.

The Isolation List

The Cured (2017)

The story follows people who have been cured after suffering from a disease that turns them into mindless bloodthirsty monsters, and the world’s reaction to the people once they are placed back into society.

As a fan of Ellen Page I went into this excited, but she especially delivers in this movie and the story itself was an incredibly fresh take on both zombie and post-apocalyptic genre.

It not only discussed the psychology of those who survived the crisis, but also the people who were unwilling members of the violent mayhem.

Whether you’re a zombie fan or just looking for an interesting character story, this Irish indie hits all the marks and leaves you with a lot to think about.

Umbrella Academy (2019)

Yea, I know, another Ellen Page entry, but this one is completely different than the above-mentioned zombie film.

The superhero genre is typically a battle between Marvel/Disney and DC/Warner Bros, but this Netflix/Dark Horse combo worked as an ensemble TV series that pumped life into a growlingly stale playing field.

Umbrella Academy isn’t just for comic book geeks, it’s for anyone who is looking for something that packs: action, horror, isolation, and of course the plight of semi-reluctant heroes.

It’s ones I suggest to anyone who can take a bit of gore, and want something a bit more grittier in comparison to the usual bright colored family comedies that are more prevalent in the superhero medium.

The second season is already in production but no release date has been set, which gives you plenty of time to catch up before during this social shutdown.

I Am Not Okay with This (2020)

Okay, this is show is especially unique for a number of qualities it is able to bring in each episodes short runtime.

It starts out like you’re watching a modern version of John Hughes directed series about a teen girl tackling the loneliness of being an outsider at school and home, but quickly turns into a superhero (or maybe villain) origin story with an helluva ending.

Even now, days after finishing it, I’m mentally still picking apart the pieces that lead to the devastating cliffhanger ending that closed the show perfectly.

My only real complaint about the show is there wasn’t enough to go around, it felt like I needed at least 4 more hours of these characters together. Seriously, the entire series is a 2 hour and 36 minute watch, it’s shorter than a lot of movies currently getting theatrical runs.

Sophia Lillis ( who also plays Young Beverly Marsh in It and It Chapter 2) is fast becoming a scream queen to watch, and this series is another performance that really highlights her stunning acting abilities in a strange sci-fi or horror setting.

The Night Eats World (2018)

Foreign zombie films are some of my favourites as I have mentioned in other articles, and this indie is cut from a much different cloth of both writing and directing.

The movie follows a lone character stuck in an apartment building while a chaotic outbreak turns almost everyone around him into zombies.

Not only does it give us the usual fears to expect from the subgenre, but it includes the slow turn into madness from being solitary among a world filled with monsters.

It’s a smart zombie film, and with it being a solo acting performance for the most part, it is really captivating to watch.

Swamp Thing (2019)

There were a number of cancellations in 2019 that hit me pretty hard as a horror and science fiction fan, but none of them stung as much as Swamp Thing.

This was easily one of the best horror TV series I have seen in quite some time, from the practical effects to the ongoing mystery, every episode was better than the previous.

For those not familiar with DC comics character Swamp Thing, the title character is a plant based entity with elemental control over nature who becomes the defender of the natural world.

The series expands on that character’s origins, but it follows a CDC doctor looking into a mysterious virus that is causing the townsfolk of a small town to fall sick, and a greedy business man who is hellbent on being the worst human being in every situation for the duration of the show.

Through the point of view of the Swamp Thing and the CDC doctor we are shown mankind’s interesting connection with nature, and the evils of a pharmacetical industry looking to make a profit off of a struggling small town.

Trust me, this description barely scratches the surface of other mystical and scientific oddities there are in the series. It also works as a great character study on what it means to be human, even when the world sees you as a monster.

As a person who is only briefly familiar with the comic, I can safely say you can go into this series blind and thoroughly enjoy it if you’re a horror fan. It was a mystery that continued to build on itself per episode and had some gruesome body horror that felt 80’s inspired.

Servant (2019)

M. Night Shyamalan has had his ups and downs in the horror filmmaking department with fans, and because of that some viewers are reluctant to give him a chance on newer projects.

If you were on the fence about starting this Apple TV series for that reason, let that go and get on this the first chance you get.

One part psychological thriller, another part possible supernatural horror, and also part cooking show?

To top it all off, Lauren Ambrose’s role as character Dorothy Turner is simply incredible, and at times very painful to watch. To put it simply, it’s a a masterclass.

Almost every shot of this series is visually stunning, and even if the show was not a thriller, it would be worth the watch for stars Toby Kebbell and Rupert Grint’s characters’ constant scheming while drinking copious bottles of expensive wine.

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The fine dining and ludicrously expensive alcohol are incredibly pivotal to the series, which makes every episode a fun window into upper class living and the troubles that come with it.

Another major highlight from the show is Nell Tiger Free’s character Leanne who is creepy, innocent, and incredibly unsettling. She plays it perfectly, and I honestly hope we get to see more of her in the announced second season.

Make sure to go into this knowing that it is a viewing that requires your full attention, because even the smallest details maybe incredibly important later on in the series.

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I hope this list is able to keep your mind busy while other events are temporarily canceled, and hopefully by the time you’re finished watching them all everything will be back to normal.

It’s a wishful thought, but here’s hoping.

westcoaststrange
joel@westcoaststrange.com

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