Indie Fresh List

The Indie Fresh List: A Young Chef, Teen Cliques, and a Darkly Comic Murder Gone Awry

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

by | April 15, 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 a story about an aspiring chef who uses food to unite his family, a Sundance standout about high school cliques, and a gory, dark comedy about patricide. In our Spotlight section, we call back to an award-winning atmospheric horror story from the filmmakers behind The Witch.

Streaming This Weekend

Abe (2020) 71%


Stranger Things’ Noah Schnapp stars in this dramedy about an aspiring chef who hopes to mend the schism between the two sides of his family. The son of Palestinian and Israeli agnostics, Abraham (Schnapp) has a hard time getting his deeply devote grandparents to sit at the same table without an argument. Using his love of food and new exposure to multicultural mash-up cuisine, “Abe” looks to repair his familial strife at the dinner table. Following his efforts is “an appetizing fusion of diverse influences,” according to Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter.

Available to rent or buy now on Google PlayiTunes, and Vudu.

Selah and the Spades (2020) 89%


Teen angst gets a fresh update in our second film this week, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Tayarisha Poe’s feature film debut is an entertaining exploration of five underground cliques at a prestigious boarding school. Starring Lovie Simone as the titular Selah, the film feels like a welcome update to teen favorites like Heathers or Cruel Intentions. “Poe’s film exhibits far more originality than we normally see in the genre… But it is Lovie Simone’s cool intensity and Celeste O’Connor’s initial smitten bewilderment that turns into her own brand of confidence that ignite Selah and the Spades,” writes Laura Clifford of Reeling Reviews.

Available to stream now on Amazon.

Why Don't You Just Die! (Papa, sdokhni) (2020) 97%


An arresting action-comedy that grabs you from the first frame, Why Won’t You Just Die! was the toast of the genre film circuit in 2019. In it, we follow Matvey as he tries to kill his girlfriend’s father; the reason for his murderous aims and why it proves to be so difficult are carefully teased through clever flashbacks. Star Aleksandr Kuznetsov, led by writer-director Kirill Sokolov, shines in this dark comedy with uber-violent imagery. Nicholas Bell of wrote, “An action-packed, gory chamber piece… Sokolov makes an immediate name for himself with a revenge comedy as memorable as it is familiar.”

Available to rent or buy April 20th on iTunes

Fresh & Available Now on VOD – Spotlight Pick

The Lighthouse (2019) 90%

Dropping on Amazon Prime Video on Thursday is the Oscar-nominated black & white horror tale The Lighthouse. It hits perhaps a little too close to home given the current situation, but watching Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe go crazy in a remote lighthouse might serve as a reminder of just how bad things could be. Following up his cult smash hit The Witch, Robert Eggers’ sophomore effort is a rain-soaked fever dream in which Pattinson and Dafoe star as two lighthouse keepers – or “wickies” – who are beset and tormented by unseen, or perhaps imaginary, dark forces while cut off from the outside world, with only their uneasy cohabitation to keep them sane. Or not. Heavily influenced by the early 20th-century painter Andrew Wyeth, Eggers (who co-wrote the film with his brother Max Eggers) utilizes 19th-century filming techniques and vintage camera equipment to give the film its distinctive period aesthetic. Lewis Knight of the Daily Mirror describes the film as “[A] gothic, dark fairy-tale, incomprehensible…and incredibly elusive throughout, which only serves to make it more hypnotic as it weaves its dark web before it reaches its chilling climax.”

Available to stream now on Amazon; available to rent or buy on FandangoNowGoogle Play, iTunes, and Vudu.

Along with…

  • Swallow (2020) , about an affluent housewife who develops a deadly case of pica — the urge to swallow inanimate objects.
  • 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.
  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) , about two women who go on a perilous journey to end an unwanted pregnancy.
  • Butt Boy (2020) , about a recovering alcoholic detective whose AA sponsor becomes the main suspect in a murder investigation.
  • Invisible Life (A vida invisível de Eurídice Gusmão) (2019) , a drama about a pair of sisters who are kept apart in 1950’s Brazil.
  • Uncut Gems (2019) , about a fast-talking jeweler who has a couple of days to pay his debt.
  • Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) , a darkly comedic satire about the terrifying antics that ensue when an underprivileged family latches on to a more affluent one and things go sideways.
  • Stray (2018) , about two damaged strangers who meet and fall into a tumultuous relationship.
  • 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.
  • Banana Split (2020) , about a girl who develops an unlikely friendship with her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend.
  • We Summon the Darkness (2020) , about a trio of girls who run into a satanic serial killer after leaving a metal concert.
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) , a romance about a painter and her muse who fall in love on borrowed time.
  • Jojo Rabbit (2019) , a satire about a naive Hitler youth who discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl during World War II.
  • Color Out of Space (2020) , a psychedelic horror film about an eerie meteorite that falls in a family’s back yard and wreaks havoc.
  • Blow the Man Down (2020) , a mystery about two young women who get caught in a web of murder and mayhem in a quiet seaside town in Maine.
  • Come As You Are (2020) , a road trip sex comedy about a group of disabled men to travel to a brothel in Canada that solely caters to disabled people.
  • 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 Arrow Video, Amazon Films, Blue Fox Entertainment

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