If you’re like most movie fans, there are probably a few movies that just don’t add up for you. They’re the so-called “cult classics” that others adore, but that you just never really got. Sometimes this is just a matter of taste; you may never like these films as much as other people. In many cases though, you just need to revisit a movie with a fresh perspective.
You won’t always love them all, but here are a few examples of cult classics that some people appreciate more long after an initial viewing.
1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Pulp Fiction is an undisputed classic, and will likely go down as the greatest work from director Quentin Tarantino (particularly if he sticks to his plan of making only 10 movies). At the same time though, plenty of people never really clicked with it. The film is eccentric, and a touch disjointed on an initial viewing. If you felt that way upon your first watch and just never chose to revisit it, you’re not alone.
So how can you get a little more out of it? There’s not really a specific tip to follow, but we’d suggest that being a bit more of a cinephile will help. If you’ve grown more familiar with Tarantino’s work and style, more literate in cinema, and more attached to the actors involved, you’ll probably find Pulp Fiction to be a richer experience than you recall.
2. Fargo (1996)
There are three distinct camps when it comes to Fargo: people who adore it and still binge watch it today, people who hate it, and people who have never engaged with it. Really, that combination isn’t a bad way to define cult classics! Whatever camp you fall into though, it doesn’t change that at this point Fargo is recognised as a Coen brothers classic. So if you weren’t a fan, you may want to give it a fresh chance!
As to what might lead you to care for Fargo this time around, it’s difficult to say. The Coen brothers can be an acquired taste. That said, it may help to know there’s a modern TV show based on the film. Considering Fargo as a companion to the show may make it more inviting.
3. Rounders (1998)
Rounders is more or less the definition of a cult classic. A lot of people love it. Some in the poker community basically credit it with the early-2000s spike in poker interest. But if you just weren’t into poker at the turn of the century, or you weren’t on the Matt Damon train yet, you may have been indifferent, or skipped it altogether. That’s all well and good, but when the film still comes up decades later (in lists of the best poker movies, conversations about Matt Damon’s career, etc.) you start to wonder what you missed.
Having 20 extra years of Matt Damon and Ed Norton in your life will probably help you to get more out of Rounders now. But for this one, a little bit of extra homework can help to. You don’t need to be a card-playing mastermind to have fun with Rounders, but a basic understanding of poker can help. You’ll know the flow of the game and how bets and bluffs work, and you’ll likely pick up some terminology too. A lot of people didn’t really have this base of poker knowledge back in 1998.
4. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
You know a movie is a cult classic when some consider it one of the best comedies of the century and others find it unwatchable. That’s pretty much the case with Napoleon Dynamite, and if you fell into the latter camp the first time around, you probably haven’t been motivated to watch it again.
Here’s the thing to consider with Napoleon Dynamite though: It came out before awkwardness and cringe moments became mainstream in comedy. The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Bridesmaids, I Love You Man, Borat, The Office, and more came out after Napoleon Dynamite, and helped to make discomfort hysterically funny. Napoleon Dynamite is still a far cry from those films tonally, but rewatching it now with an acquired taste for “cringe comedy” can be a different experience.
They may not all be for you in the end, but these films are all worth revisiting if you’re not on board already!