Spring Break movie marathon

The Daily News

If you lose your plane tickets or jet-skis, there is still plenty of fun to be had while sitting on your butt and watching a boatload of movies over Spring Break. Here are some suggestions for the perfect movie marathon. 

To start the party with a bang


Horror films are rarely considered to improve our well-being. But they can be imaginatively therapeutic, holding a funhouse mirror up to everyday fears. “Hellraiser” reflects the most primal, universal fear of all — family destruction. The story revolves around the twisted romance between bored housewife Julia and her husband’s hedonistic brother Frank. When a skinless Frank returns from a netherworld opened by an ancient puzzle box, he enlists Julia to help him regenerate, namely by seducing men from whom he can absorb flesh and energy. Stick with me; it gets better. 

While Frank waits in the attic of the English cottage like a Victorian-era monster, tension grows between Julia, her husband and his teenage daughter. Eventually, Julia’s secrets are revealed, and Frank slowly tears the family apart. 

Due to the film’s sadomasochistic imagery and legions of pierced, tattooed fans, most dismiss it as a grungy piece of punk horror. However, with its eerie rustic setting and mounting sense of dread, it is more akin to the romantic Universal Studios monster movies of the ‘30s and ’40s. It’s kind of like a soap opera ... but with more blood and guts. And you could get quite buzzed drinking a shot every time a character mentions someone’s soul being torn apart. 

Rating: 5/5 stars

To cool off a notch


Possibly the greatest comedy of all time, this film finds Dustin Hoffman as a struggling actor who takes the natural route to success — pretending to be a woman. It’s even sharper and funnier than it sounds. You could probably make a drinking game out of this one as well. Take a shot every time Hoffman’s character fights with a director or reminds him of his — err, uh, his alter ego’s name — Dorothy. 

Rating: 5/5 stars

To get a little more thoughtful

“American Beauty”

The study of a suburbanite in the midst of a midlife crisis, this film follows a journey to which any moviegoer can relate — the search for magic within the mundane. Numbed by normalcy, the film’s hero Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) aims to break free of monotony, quitting his job, working out and taking up marijuana in an attempt to recapture his youth and impress his teenage daughter’s sexy friend.

“American Beauty” captures American desires more vividly than all but a handful of films over the last 20 years. Florid (with red rose petals as a recurring motif) and highlighted by a background of white and blue, the film arrestingly embodies the American Dream. In the end, it subverts this idyllic vision of America, unearthing the morally murky desires buried beneath its residents’ white picket fences — and the beauty for which they are digging. 

Rating: 5/5 stars

To escape reality


A CIA hitman is sent to Hell and forced to lead Satan’s army. Although it sounds ridiculous, this film is a lot of fun. Based on the popular comic book by Todd McFarlane and written and directed by former Industrial Light & Magic animator Mark A.Z. Dippé, “Spawn” is a feast for the eyes. And John Leguizamo provides gloriously crude comic relief as a demonic leader operating under the guise of a birthday party clown. 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

To settle back down to Earth

“The Big Lebowski”

This breezy delight from the Coen Brothers follows the kind of character we all aspire to be — a carefree, fun-loving bowler/slacker referred to simply as The Dude (Jeff Bridges). The fun of this film comes from watching The Dude’s carefree existence turned upside down, as he is forced to abandon his life of zero responsibility and assist in the case of a kidnapping. One of the funniest and simply most pleasant films you will ever see, “The Big Lebowski” is like chicken soup for the soul. 

Rating: 4.5/5 stars


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