6 Movies To Watch To Fight Cabin Fever
Social distancing and being stuck at home isn't fun, but we can make the best of it with some old favorites.
Let's face it: self-isolation and social distancing are not exactly the most fun way to spend your time, but in the face of the greater good, it's definitely worth it. And, besides, it does kind of harken back to the halcyon days of the snow day for those of you who were lucky enough to get them. Or, the sick day for those of you who weren't. There was something a little magical about being stuck at home and not at school as a kid and part of that magic came from the freedom to watch movies over and over again to your heart's content.
Now, the situation with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is pretty drastically different (and infinitely more serious) than the rose-colored days of our youths, to be sure--and the list of events, movies, and conventions delayed, postponed or canceled altogether keeps growing--but we can still do what we can to make the best of a bad situation. The GameSpot editorial team has come together to think back on their favorite movies to watch when stuck inside for whatever reason--from nostalgic deep-cuts to modern classics. These are the movies that have helped us get through the cabin fever of the great indoors, and we certainly hope they'll do the same for you.
Muppets Treasure Island - Meg Downey, Associate Entertainment Editor
Sometimes, you just need to have a troupe of Muppets perform musical renditions of literary classics to really make you feel better. If it were closer to Christmas, A Muppets Christmas Carol would do the trick, but since it's March, we're going to hit the high seas with Muppets Treasure Island.
There's just something magical about a muppet-filled pirate adventure. This used to be my go-to "home sick from school" movie back as a kid and it still holds up today--everything from Tim Curry belting out sea shanties in the company of Kermit the Frog to the genuinely terrifying Blind Pew who kicks the movie off by not-quite-murdering (but also definitely murdering) Billy Connolley. And, to really ice the cake, there's even a whole musical number about feeling like you're losing your mind because you're stuck inside. It's quite literally the perfect movie for the situation.
Hackers - Chris Hayner, Entertainment Editor
No, you won't learn how to hack computers in this movie. However, you will know how to look and act incredibly cool, should you ever be transported back to 1995--a personal dream of mine. Hackers, for how silly it is, is actually a very entertaining movie and the exact kind of comfort food you need when you're stuck at home for any reason.
It stars a young Angelina Jolie as a teen computer hacker who, along with her fellow teen hackers (played by Jonny Lee Miller, Mathew Lillard, and an array of other terrible dressed kids), goes toe-to-toe with an evil hacker framing them for trying to capsize oil tankers. Why is he doing that? So he can steal money from the oil company, of course.
Come for the budding romance between Jolie's Acid Burn and Miller's Zero Cool, stay for the ridiculous special effects, unrealistic use of computers, and lots of technobabble that mostly doesn't make sense. Then relish in the over-the-top performance by Fisher Stevens as the evil hacker, who is an adult named Eugene that calls himself The Plague and rides a skateboard. Hackers truly has it all.
Masters of the Universe - Mat Elfring, News Editor of Entertainment
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is an objectively terrible animated series that I watched every single morning before heading off to elementary school. So when the live-action adaptation of that cartoon came to the big screen in 1987, of course, I was first in line. When it came out on VHS, I owned a copy. Every time I stayed home from school, I curled up in the living room watching that flaming dumpster of a movie.
Masters of the Universe isn't just a poor adaptation of a weekly 30-minute commercial for toys, it's a poor attempt at making a movie with a coherent plot. But hey, Billy Barty was in it, and that made me pretty happy. He-Man has to go to Earth to play a magical keyboard or whatever, and he ends up teaming up with Courtney Cox--right after she was in that Bruce Springstein music video. Frank Langella--most known for his role as the street-savvy cop in Brainscan--plays Skeletor here, and he seems to be the only actor in the film giving it his all.
The nostalgia factor is strong with this one for me. Sure, I just dedicated a solid amount of time slam dunking on a movie that's already been slam-dunked on for 30 years, but I get a very warm and fuzzy feeling when this movie comes on. Side note: I highly recommend the Masters of the Universe episode of Toys That Made Us and the documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story of Cannon Films. Both of these give much better insight into why this movie is awful.
Big Trouble in Little China - Lan Pitts, Entertainment Writer
There's something about a story about a white collar superhero that seems more than ever relatable. "Big Trouble" is all about truck driver Jack Burton (played iconically by Kurt Russell) as he comes face-to-face with ancient evil and powerful magics, while trying to survive so he can get paid. There's a lot to love about "Big Trouble" as it's not a standard 80s action flick. Yeah, some of the trademark tropes are there, but most of them are embodied in Russell's performance as Jack, the rest is a martial arts sword and sorcery movie that truly is one of a kind.
The Matrix - Mike Rougeau, Managing Editor of Entertainment
When things aren't going so well--for me personally or for the world in general, as is currently the case--there's nothing I love more than fetal'ing up under a blanket and allowing myself to become completely absorbed in a familiar but deeply immersive story. And what could possibly be more immersive than a movie about the very fabric of the world in which we live?
From the opening action scene in which Trinity flees from the machines' Agents, to Neo's first meeting with the mysterious Morpheus, all the way through the revelation of what the Matrix is, Neo's training, and his eventual confrontation with Agent Smith, The Matrix is essentially a perfect movie. There's nothing in this film that will take you out of it or make you think about all the things you'd rather not think about, from current politics to looming global pandemics. Besides, if we're all living in a simulation, then rapidly spreading, highly contagious viruses can't really hurt us--right?
Thor: Ragnarok - Tamoor Hussain, Senior Editor
When stuck inside I gravitate towards movies and TV that lift the spirit, lighten the mood, and inject a little energy into my world. I want to feel like I'm hanging out with friends, kickin' it, sharing jokes, poking fun at each other and--on the odd occasion--getting up to a bit of mischief. These days, the movie I lean on to give me that feeling is Thor: Ragnarok, a wacky tale about a superhero god that gets stranded on another planet ruled by Jeff Goldblum. Ragnarok is, from it's opening moments, a film about making light of the situation and embracing the ridiculousness of it all. Almost every scene delivers a joke that tickles, and you can bet a bolt of lightning that I'm quoting every Korg line. Watching that movie is like being surrounded with mates, which is perfect to stave off the madness of isolation. Whenever I'm starting to lose the plot a bit, I can just shout, "The hammer pulled you off?" and all is well.