Date Night Double Feature #1: Family Secrets

In an effort to continue The Movie Sleuth’s desire to provide its readers with new and diverse ways of experiencing the art of cinema, we have decided to curate a weekly, streaming, double feature for couples who want a little more out of their movie date nights. You won’t find any lackluster, predictable romantic comedies in this series. Instead, we hope to bring a little spice with a compelling series that will make your ‘chill’ part a little more cerebral. Beware! Many of these movies are not for the faint of heart. Delve in at your own risk.

Date Night Double Feature #1 – Family Secrets

Aren’t secrets just so juicy?! Businesses, empires, presidencies and the like, rise and fall on the backs or in the shadows of secrets. We have trade secrets and governmental secrets, secret societies, secret handshakes, secret codes and secret lovers. There is a plethora of ways in which humans make exclusive certain bits of information, giving rise to various forms of social hierarchies. To the have-nots of information, nothing is more relishing than a secret exposed. If it’s one thing humans love more than knowing a secret, it’s revealing one. After all, wasn’t it George Orwell who wrote in his book 1984, “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”? This week’s double feature brings you two films about family secrets, which, with all of their added baggage and dysfunction, are some of the juiciest of all.

Feature Film #1: Oldboy (Oldeuboi, 2003)

Directed by Chan-wook Park, this South Korean, neo-noir action thriller is the story of Oh Dae-Su, a middle aged, alcoholic family man who finds himself kidnapped and imprisoned on the night of his young daughter’s birthday. After spending 15 years in a cell disguised as a hotel room, he is released and given 5 days to discover the puzzle behind his imprisonment. Long before Alfonso Cuarón became the poster child for long and elaborately choreographed, single shots, Oldboy’s infamous fight scene set the bar for this type of cinematography. It is still impressive to watch 16 years later and is just one of the many dark and beautiful elements to this thrilling first feature. There is an American remake of this from 2013, so make sure not to confuse the two. Available on Shudder.

Feature Film #2: Society (1989)

Directed by Brian Yunza (Bride of Re-animator 1989), this cult comedy/horror classic brings audiences a glimpse into the Beverly Hills lifestyle unlike any other. Teenage Bill Whitney has an uneasy feeling that something is off about his upper class family. After his sister’s boyfriend comes to him with some evidence of their dark, sexual secret, Bill sets out to uncover the truth about his family, and ultimately the rest of their elitist community. What he finds is beyond gruesome and includes some awesome (or disgusting depending on your point of view) traditional horror effects, leading some to describe The Human Centipede as the second grossest film after Society. Feature Film #2 is sure to make you simultaneously laugh and recoil in horror. Available on Amazon Prime Video.