My Top 5 Best and Top 5 Worst Lists will be coming next week towards the official end of the year. But today I want to talk about the films that surprised me the most. These won’t necessarily be the ones I gave the highest scores to. Or the ones that I loved the most, those are reserved for my ‘Best of’ list. These are the films that I went into thinking I was going to dislike or at best be indifferent towards, and instead came out of it with an much more positive impression than I was expecting. There will be a similar list for my most Disappointing films, coming later this week. This list uses the UK Release Dates and the Date that I SAW THEM. So, here’s the list:

5: Birds of Prey

I was not expecting to love this film as much as I did. I was of the mind that they were plugging the Harley Quinn thing for all they could get. But a great cast, lead by the incomparable Margot Robbie actually surpassed my expectation for this colourful, over the top, female lead action film.

The characters were great, the costumes and sets were delightful and I am glad that it made me eat my words.

4. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Hello, my name is Pearl, and for those of you who haven’t been around here for a while, I hate comedies. I especially dislike Will Ferrell comedies. In fact one of his other films in 2020 narrowly missed out on being on my worst of the year list, (Downhill). But this film was just delightful. The songs were annoyingly catchy, in true Eurovision fashion. I even have the soundtrack.

The cheesy, campy approach fits the Eurovision theme perfectly. If you have ever watched and loved the contest, then this film will delight you. Otherwise, you may think everyone in Europe is just a little weird for all getting together for a giant singing competition. And you would mostly be right.

3. His House

The most frustrating thing about horror movies is that moment when you question why the hell the victims don’t just leave. Go somewhere else. Stop trying to explain away the weird goings on and noises behind the walls. The scariest thing in His House, was that they couldn’t do that. They were stuck in that house.

You spent a lot of time trying to work out if it was all in their heads. Their opposing feelings towards the events made for really interesting interactions between characters and the horror element was taken from a culture and a story that I had never heard of. Lots of great things about this horror film that seemed very generic from it’s description.

2. The Invisible Man

Remakes and Reboots are the bug bare of Film lovers everywhere. Done right, like here, they can be a great reimagining of a beloved story. But too often, they are sub-par and never live up to all the lofty claims that they make. This film was a giant exception to that.

It was chilling, genuinely terrifying and really updated the classic story. Elizabeth Moss was an absolute Power house in this film. Most of the time she was acting against an invisible assailant, so effectively, reacting to nothing, and yet still delivered one of the best horror movie performances of the year. I cannot wait to revisit this one.

1. The Broken Hearts Gallery

Mere paragraphs after once again mentioning my hatred of comedies here I am talking about another one. And that is the reason it is the tippy top of my most surprising films this year. I LOVED this film a lot. It was adorable, and funny and I walked out of the cinema (yes I actually got to see this film in a real life cinema) with a huge smile on my face.

The film poster made me worry it was going to be a little too romance heavy for me, but it was just cute and sweet enough to make me feel all gooey inside without having to roll my eyes every few seconds. If you were skipping this one, I would recommend giving it a shot, it’s not as generic as you would expect.