After tomorrow, 2021 will be in the books. Despite starting off with an attempted coup and ending with a new superinfectious mutant virus, the past twelve months were actually a little better than 2020—and that shows you where we’re at. As long as we’re in the end times, with plagues and insurrections and heat waves at Christmastime and half of Facebook praying that a secret cabal is really directing all this chaos, we might as well enjoy a few weird movies along the way—even if they’re increasingly starting to look like documentaries.
Actually, for the purposes of weird movie accounting, we put 2021 to bed last month. Our annual movie calendar ends on the last day of November, to allow 366 Weird Movies Yearbooks to go out in December. We’re not missing out on much; usually, December releases are limited to extended universe entries and Oscar bait dramas.
As always, there were hard cuts at the bottom of the list. The Show, in particular, caught us off guard with a late November Blu-ray drop. The conspiracy horror The Empty Man scored well with some of our staff, but came up empty in the end. ‘s About Endlessness were weighty and weird, but fell victim to more-of-the-same syndrome. ‘s eerily noisy Memoria certainly would have made this list, but it didn’t make it’s official debut until December. And of course, a couple of festival favorites bearing 2021 copyright dates—the whimsical dream auditing romance Strawberry Mansion and ‘s decades-in-the-making Boschian stop-motion hellscape Mad God—haven’t been distributed yet and will have to wait until a future year for consideration.penned surrealist noir
I personally finalize this list. The staff here has input, but I set the voting rules, create the universe of candidates, and break all ties. Therefore, if you feel that it’s a crime that Titane comes in at a lousy #4 instead of the #1 any idiot can see it so obviously deserves, I am the idiot to blame. When ranking, I use a secret proprietary formula that accounts for cinematic craftsmanship, the degree of surrealism/weirdness, and the perceived prestige in the weird movie community based on buzz and reader feedback, then I shuffle them into whatever arbitrary order I momentarily feel like without regard to any of that.
So, on to the official Weirdest Movies of 2021 List! As always, films are listed in random order—the weirdest of orders.