Indie Fresh List

The Indie Fresh List: A Troubled Assistant, Historic Porn, and Witchy Horror

Check out the latest Fresh indie releases now streaming on VOD and what's coming soon.

by | April 28, 2020 | Comments

Join us weekly as Rotten Tomatoes reports on what’s indie features are streaming. From promising releases by new voices to experimental efforts from storied filmmakers – or perhaps the next indie darling to go the distance for end-of-year accolades – we will break it all down for you here each week.


For the foreseeable future, the specialty box office and all theatrical releases will be on hold as we all make efforts to socially distance ourselves and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. With that in mind, we have reshaped our Indie Fresh List to reflect the specialty box office releases that are newly available on streaming services and VOD. This week, we have the first narrative feature to tackle the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal, a witchy horror flick, and an insightful documentary about an iconic LGBTQ bookstore. In our Spotlight section, we revisit a hilarious Huckleberry Finn styled story about a young man with down syndrome and the drifter he befriends.


Streaming This Weekend

The Assistant (2020) 92%

 

If, by chance, you caught the latest season of Ozark or the miniseries Waco (both newly available on Netflix), you might have noticed the captivating power of Emmy-winning actress Julia Garner. And if so, you might also want to take a peek at The Assistant. Harvey Weinstein’s sex scandal gets the Hollywood treatment in this haunting breakout from the Telluride Film Festival, a drama about the pre-#MeToo film industry as told through the eyes of a young assistant (Garner) to a predatory Hollywood producer. The nearly silent narrative is told entirely from the young woman’s perspective as she glimpses her boss’s behavior and questions what can she do when she seems to be the only person who sees a problem with the serial abuser’s treatment of women. “The silence of this movie is devastating because we recognize it all too clearly as our own,” writes Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times.

Available now to rent or buy on FandangoNow, VuduAmazon, Google Play, and iTunes.


Circus of Books (2020) 98%

 

Outside of San Francisco’s Castro district, during the early 1980s, LA’s West Hollywood neighborhood was the place for gay men to congregate on the west coast and housed the famed Circus of Books. Once the nation’s largest purveyor of gay pornography, the iconic bookstore served as a meeting place for gay men to find each other for social interaction and sexual escapades. Surprisingly, however, the infamous bookstore that sold everything from sex toys to hardcore porn was run by a quiet, heterosexual Jewish couple: Larry and Karen Mason. The documentary Circus of Books examines the history of the bookstore, how it survived the ’80s AIDS epidemic, and how the family who ran it struggled to reconcile their successful business with their conservative lifestyle. Matt Fagerholm of RogerEbert.com wrote, “The film consistently subverts our expectations by revealing new layers about its subjects that deepen their humanity, causing us to challenge our own preconceptions.”

Streaming on now Netflix.


The Wretched (2020) 75%

A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Spielbergian atmosphere, and gnarly creature design, The Wretched follows a young boy who goes to live with his father following his parent’s divorce and soon discovers his new town and the women who inhabit it are not what they seem. Suspecting that a supernatural force is abducting children, he believes the nearby forest is home to a powerful witch. As he is the only person who seems to understand what is happening, he embarks on a solo mission to kill the monster and return the lost children. “A polished, well-paced nightmare [with] a playfully Hitchcockian suspense approach… [and] likable performances keeping us emotionally grounded.” writes Dennis Harvey of Variety.

Available to rent or buy on May 1.


Fresh & Available Now on VOD – Spotlight Pick

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) 96%

 

Feel-good films are in high demand right now, which is why we choose to bring back one of our favorite heartwarming indies from 2019 — The Peanut Butter Falcon, starring Shia LaBeouf — for our Spotlight pick. When we spoke to LaBeouf about his performance in the Certified Fresh indie flick, he confessed that he left the set “a changed man,” and having seen the hilarious and heartwarming tale, we can see why the actor and critics are calling it a transformative experience. Lead actor Zack Gottsagen first met co-directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz at a retreat for young adults with down syndrome and told them he wanted to be a movie star. When they replied that it was difficult for an actor with disabilities to be cast in feature films, Gottsagen quipped back: “Well why don’t you go make a movie for me?” And they did. The result is a modern-day Huckleberry Finn, centered on a young man with dreams of wrestling stardom and a drifter, whose lives intersect and are changed forever. “The whole thing is just so damn sweet that I couldn’t help but feel uplifted. Add to that a handful of genuine belly laughs and you’ve got yourself a winner,” writes Dan Scully of Cinema 76.

Available to rent or buy on FandangoNow, VuduAmazonGoogle Play, and iTunes.


Along with…

  • Swallow (2020) , about an affluent housewife who develops a deadly case of pica — the urge to swallow inanimate objects.
  • Bad Education (2019) , a dramatic retelling of true-life school embezzlement scandal.
  • True History of the Kelly Gang (2020) , a stylish re-imaging of the Ned Kelly legend.
  • Sea Fever (2020) , a thriller about a scientist who must battle an unseen evil presence aboard a ship with an unfamiliar crew.
  • Blow the Man Down (2020) , about two women who get enveloped in a twisty tale of murder and revenge in a remote fishing village.
  • Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) , about a low-income family who hoodwink their way into the home of an affluent one.
  • The Wild Goose Lake (Nan fang che zhan de ju hui) (2020) , about a Chinese gangster who meets a woman with a deadly secret.
  • The Dog Doc (2020) , a documentary about a compassionate vet who tries to save vulnerable animals.
  • Emma. (2020) , a new adaptation of the Jane Austen novel about a naive, privileged heiress who plays matchmaker to the detriment of her own romantic prospects.
  • Extra Ordinary (2020) , about a lonely widower who discovers he is surrounded by people with extraordinary abilities.
  • The Lighthouse (2019) , a surreal psychological drama about two men who are tortured by the elements and by each other while isolated at a remote lighthouse.
  • Jojo Rabbit (2019) , a satire about a naive Hitler youth who discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl during World War II.
  • Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) , a drama about an aging director who reflects on his films, collaborators, and legacy after he’s sidelined by severe back pain.

Thumbnail images by Roadside Attractions, Netflix, Bleecker Street

Tag Cloud

superhero mutant richard e. Grant cars Rom-Com Funimation Peacock Apple TV Plus teaser Netflix mission: impossible SundanceTV Lifetime Christmas movies MTV Bravo sequels VICE Pop Sci-Fi X-Men Tarantino BAFTA 4/20 Hallmark Freeform Polls and Games Set visit RT21 Amazon Studios reviews justice league rotten FOX Chernobyl First Reviews See It Skip It TruTV Starz supernatural E! Television Critics Association mockumentary Superheroe stoner HBO Max Musicals Warner Bros. elevated horror Black Mirror golden globes facebook Cartoon Network Crunchyroll crime thriller BBC One WGN zombies TLC Podcast TCA 2017 Comedy Central Hulu zombie Song of Ice and Fire Stephen King criterion History Year in Review 2018 talk show anthology best aliens Grammys cancelled TV series technology strong female leads Amazon Apple TV+ name the review Creative Arts Emmys hist Trophy Talk Music psychological thriller DC streaming service Heroines psycho RT History ESPN video fast and furious Fall TV Kids & Family Spectrum Originals NYCC Pirates canceled serial killer Logo what to watch Tumblr Family Disney Plus cancelled television science fiction miniseries green book Drama movie Paramount crossover true crime documentary 007 CMT Food Network Interview MCU MSNBC discovery Thanksgiving Amazon Prime Video Premiere Dates Martial Arts Calendar Awards Tour Animation The Walking Dead indiana jones Adult Swim biography WarnerMedia doctor who Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Tubi dogs Dark Horse Comics critics spider-man comics Pet Sematary Film Oscars BBC America TV Land singing competition Mindy Kaling revenge adaptation Rock breaking bad AMC cooking composers asian-american anime Mary Tyler Moore Academy Awards politics 2017 dragons Captain marvel Tomatazos Turner spain comedies classics Superheroes Pride Month Arrowverse Acorn TV TCA Winter 2020 Emmy Nominations HBO ratings TV a nightmare on elm street casting blockbuster Horror E3 universal monsters Nat Geo Showtime Star Trek Pop TV romance Reality Competition YA Disney historical drama twilight Mystery ghosts Box Office Binge Guide 71st Emmy Awards YouTube VH1 Infographic cinemax Epix all-time Marathons streaming independent cancelled harry potter concert Travel Channel Lionsgate thriller ABC CBS werewolf toy story Election cops kids travel Apple hollywood renewed TV shows parents A24 Disney Channel slashers Nominations Comedy TCA Baby Yoda Columbia Pictures Walt Disney Pictures Musical Winter TV screenings die hard Fox News cancelled TV shows romantic comedy political drama franchise natural history movies VOD Marvel DC Comics Holidays satire Sundance Now Endgame reboot finale dc obituary sequel SDCC theme song Mudbound A&E BET Rocky animated game show Discovery Channel Lucasfilm unscripted TNT DGA Disney streaming service YouTube Red Sundance TV Ghostbusters joker Avengers LGBT award winner Ellie Kemper Christmas nature Elton John book FX on Hulu Film Festival witnail spinoff ABC Family Schedule Women's History Month 2016 Awards docudrama halloween Classic Film Countdown LGBTQ OWN Rocketman versus stand-up comedy IFC Films nbcuniversal Super Bowl USA PBS emmy awards Quiz cats NBC GIFs Disney+ Disney Plus vampires scary movies comiccon 20th Century Fox dceu Television Academy social media Video Games Emmys children's TV diversity Hear Us Out Mary poppins FXX television Hallmark Christmas movies BBC films First Look GLAAD BET Awards TCM Trailer binge Spike TCA Awards medical drama Cannes Extras robots zero dark thirty sag awards Spring TV Sony Pictures Red Carpet FX Country Mary Poppins Returns foreign American Society of Cinematographers Marvel Studios El Rey Summer tv talk Shondaland Netflix Christmas movies APB transformers 2020 ITV The Witch DirecTV cartoon adventure Masterpiece Lifetime Sundance TBS sports Character Guide Star Wars spy thriller hispanic Pixar news Watching Series festivals Cosplay dark Toys 21st Century Fox YouTube Premium boxoffice Britbox Vudu Amazon Prime Paramount Network Biopics screen actors guild Shudder The Purge war 45 directors CBS All Access OneApp Black History Month Marvel Television 24 frames blaxploitation Esquire Holiday Winners indie Certified Fresh Anna Paquin TV renewals Writers Guild of America disaster spanish language CW Seed latino CNN Opinion sitcom USA Network documentaries stop motion police drama laika New York Comic Con Reality TIFF canceled TV shows worst quibi DC Universe video on demand SXSW 2015 free movies series Sneak Peek game of thrones Photos crime drama President The Arrangement Syfy period drama National Geographic south america Universal crime Fantasy HBO Go Trivia Action San Diego Comic-Con batman christmas movies Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Nickelodeon child's play 72 Emmy Awards chucky rotten movies we love 2019 IFC Teen dramedy space Western PaleyFest Crackle Comic Book comic cults based on movie jamie lee curtis Turner Classic Movies The CW Valentine's Day PlayStation Brie Larson Ovation Best and Worst GoT Comics on TV