HomeNewsFriday FlicksFriday Flicks: ‘Damsel’, ‘Incident in a Ghost Land’, ‘Distorted’

Friday Flicks: ‘Damsel’, ‘Incident in a Ghost Land’, ‘Distorted’

'Damsel' is finally hitting the theaters this weekend. Ya boy Robert Pattinson stars as an affluent pioneer in the Wild West circa 1870 who ventures deep into the American wilderness to reunite with and marry the love of his life, Penelope (played by Mia Wasikowska).

Friday Flicks: ‘Damsel’, ‘Incident in a Ghost Land’, ‘Distorted’

What year is this? What season are we in? Do you even know your own name?

If you’ve had as busy a week as we have, you probably don’t know the answers to any of those questions either. But not to worry, folks! All you need to know is it’s Friday, which means there’s a whole new batch of indie flicks hitting the theaters this weekend. But before we dive in, let’s take a look back over the past week and everything that’s been going down in the entertainment industry.

Dominating the box office right now, you’ll probably not be all that excited to know it’s the Incredibles 2 in the top spot. Unless you’ve got kids – in which case, why are you reading this? Get yourselves down to your nearest movie theater and kill a few hours with the little ones. Second up is the gender-swapped Ocean’s 8, followed closely by Solo: A Star Wars Story. Whether you’re a Star Wars superfan or a dedicated Jedi hater, we can probably all agree that the Hans Solo spinoff is a steaming shitheap and an insult to the franchise. Which is why it’s great news the mega media conglomerate has decided to can its spinoffs in favor of continuing the story (at least for now, anyway).

Elsewhere, the Directors Guild of America’s inclusion report was released this week with some rather shocking findings. Diversity among feature-film directors remained low in Hollywood and beyond last year, with just 16% directed by women, while a whopping 91% of the movies studied were directed by caucasians. In a statement, DGA President Thomas Schlamme called it “outrageous that we’re once again seeing such a lack of opportunity for women and people of color to direct feature films. Our new study shows that discriminatory practices are still rampant across every corner of the feature film business.”

Over to the small screen and Roseanne is getting a spinoff show. It was only a matter of time – the cogs of the ABC development team started spinning the moment Roseanne Barr posted a series of sickening racist messages on her Twitter account. Although the sitcom revival was wiped from ABC’s schedule, the network has already come up with a solution to keep milking that cash cow – a spinoff entitled The Connors. Yay? In better TV news, Dear White People has been renewed by Netflix for a third season, which was only fair after the cliffhanger it left us on in the S2 finale.

But for now, let’s take a break from the headlines and step into the enchanting world of indie flicks. Read on for FD’s picks of the best films to catch this weekend.

Damsel (Magnolia Pictures)

On limited theatrical release now

The Zellner brothers’ film festival favorite is finally hitting the theaters this weekend. Ya boy Robert Pattinson (Good Time) stars as an affluent pioneer in the Wild West circa 1870 who ventures deep into the American wilderness to reunite with and marry the love of his life, Penelope (played by Mia Wasikowska). As his group traverses the frontier, the journey grows treacherous and the lines between hero, villain, and damsel become increasingly blurred.

Boundaries (Sony Pictures Classics)

On limited theatrical release now

Shana Feste’s Boundaries first hit the big screen at this year’s SXSW to warm reviews, with Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World) starring as a pot-dealing carefree father who is picked up by his daughter Laura (Vera Farmiga) after being kicked out of a nursing home. This puts further strain on Laura – a single mother who has a constant need to put others (even animals) before her. The more Laura tries to set boundaries in her life, the faster those lines are crossed, and now she must embark on a road trip with her 12-year-old son and her father. But the question is, will it bring the family closer together or push them further away?

The Catcher Was A Spy (IFC Films)

On limited theatrical release now

Not only is Robbie P hitting the big screen this weekend, but so is none other than Paul Rudd (Mute) in this biographical spy film directed by Ben Lewin (Georgia) and written by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan). Based on Nicholas Dawidoff’s book of the same name, the story centers on Major League baseball player Moe Berg who lived a double life as a spy for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. It’s worth the ticket price just to see Rudd on the big screen.

Incident in a Ghost Land (Vertical Entertainment)

On limited theatrical release now

Pascal Laugier – the director behind cinematic masterpiece Martyrs – is back with a film situated in similar terrain, involving a haunted house and a family of women pulled apart by a sinister past. The story follows a mother of two who inherits a home from her aunt. On the first night in the new home, she is confronted with murderous intruders and is forced to fight for her daughters’ lives. Sixteen years later when the daughters reunite at the house, events take a turn for the terrifying.

Distorted (Minds Eye International)

On limited theatrical release now

Brendan Fletcher (RV) and Christina Ricci (The Addams Family) star as a couple who move away from the busy city to reside in the peaceful luxury condo known as The Pinnacle. All’s well until Ricci’s Lauren – who is suffering from bipolar disorder – comes to believe the building has a dark side. Seeking the help of an investigative journalist (John Cusack) with an interest in cyber conspiracy, together they come to believe that The Pinnacle may be brainwashing unsuspecting residents with dire global ramifications.

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Daisy Webb is an outspoken, opinionated writer with a passion for all things horror and cult comedy. When she's not watching films, she likes listening to music, cooking too much food, and writing short stories with unhappy endings.

daisyp@filmdaily.co