17 Movies All 'Buffy' Fans Should Watch Immediately
I regret to inform you that the rumors are true and not just the work of some trickster Hellmouth demon: Buffy The Vampire Slayer is leaving Netflix on April 1. It's particularly unfair that all seven seasons of the show will be dropped from the streaming service in its 20th anniversary year. Just a few weeks ago, #BuffySlays20 was trending worldwide, and now it's fading into Netflix oblivion? What's that about? But while Joss Whedon's standard-setting high school horror series is one of a kind, there are plenty of movies that share a quality or two with the tale of the Chosen One and her Slayerettes. So in the spirit of honoring and moving on, here are 17 movies that Buffy The Vampire Slayer fans have to see. Because it beats sulking over the loss of the Scooby Gang.
It's not on the list because it ought to go without saying: every Buffy fan should watch the 1992 movie version at least once. Don't expect it to have the same feel as the show you love though. It's much sillier and less clever by half. But it will help you appreciate Whedon's more thoughtful take on the material even more. And once you've paid homage to the source material, you can move on to these 17 movies, which earn the comparison to Buffy with powerful female protagonists, witty scripts, and supernatural elements.
1. Pan's Labyrinth
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is, at its core, about a young woman who stands between the world she was born into and literal hell on Earth. In the allegorical fantasy Pan's Labyrinth, a 14-year-old Spanish girl must leave her plane of existence to prove her strength and wisdom to the rulers of the underworld.
One of the many things that Buffy got right is that high school is hell for so many. It's certainly a trial for Veronica, who teams up with a dreamy adolescent anarchist to take out the mean girl clique who make her life a daily misery.
3. True Grit
Buffy's vulnerability is never exploited or confused with weakness. It's the same with Mattie Ross, the steely frontier teenager with a mind to avenge her father. Hailee Steinfeld earned an Oscar nod for her performance in this modern Western.
4. What We Do In The Shadows
Buffy's vampires are as entertaining as the living: whiny, clever, over-confident, and arch, depending on the situation. Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi gives vampires the mockumentary treatment in the uproarious What We Do In The Shadows. Bet you can't help but imagine Spike moving in and making enemies.
5. The Cabin In The Woods
The less you know about this movie going into it, the better. Suffice it to say that it's a Joss Whedon script with his patented snappy dialogue and nose for satire.
6. Easy A
With that quippy, sardonic humor, Olive of Easy A would have fit right in at Sunnydale.
7. The Craft
A little obvious maybe, but how could I make a list of Buffy-related movies without including The Craft? Unlike the show, The Craft wears its cynicism on its sleeve, but it shares Buffy's penchant for using the supernatural to explore the untapped and often destructive power of teen girls.
8. Only Lovers Left Alive
You like vampires? Then sit down and lose yourself in a plot-light character study of two undead hipsters in love.
When the dead rise again, that's all sorts of inconvenient. Zombieland is Buffy-as-road-movie, with an unlikely crew pulled together by a rather unfortunate flesh-eating epidemic.
10. The Grudge
An American exchange student picks the wrong client to care for in this entry in the mid-'00s wave of American remakes of Japanese horror. If you miss watching Sarah Michelle Gellar being stalked by ghostly things, The Grudge will make you feel right at home.
Vanessa Hudgens is the beauty to Alex Pettyfer's beast in this teen take on the fairytale. Their starcrossed romance may remind you of Buffy and a certain cursed vampire.
12. Kiki's Delivery Service
Buffy is a relatable heroine because she struggles with the mandate she was born with. She didn't choose to be the Slayer, but it gives her purpose. Purpose is also the key ingredient to the success of Kiki, the young and independent witch at the center of this charming Studio Ghibli film.
13. 17 Again
Movies and TV get made about high school because it's a formative, sometimes traumatizing experience for anyone who ever stashed their books in a squeaky locker. In this reverse-Big, a mid-life crisis puts Matthew Perry into the body of Zac Efron — his idealistic and hopeful teenage self — to be reminded of how good he has it.
This relatively low-budget teen superhero movie does a better job of raising stakes and developing character than some of those name-brand blockbusters do.
15. Legally Blonde
Here's another petite blonde heroine who's familiar with being underestimated. Elle Woods' superpowers are her insight, determination, and respect for herself and others. Just as effective as a roundhouse kick, in the right circumstances.
16. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe
Growing up is a magical, dangerous business. Sometimes you'll pick the wrong person to trust.
17. Fright Night
Charley Brewster wasn't born into slayage. He has no powers, and his only ally isn't a watcher, but an ego-maniacal Vegas showman. But when no one else believes that his tall, dark and handsome neighbor is an honest-to-goodness vampire, he has no choice but to take him on himself.
The apocalypse came uncomfortably close a few times during the run of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. But these movies prove that its departure from Netflix doesn't spell out the end of the world.