The films that influenced me: Jack Horsley

Jack Horsley influential films

In the final chapter of the most influential films of Movie Metropolis contributors, our newest writer, Jack Horsley, takes a personal journey through film, picking out the 10 movies that have meant the most to him. You can find the links to Adam, Joe, Daulton, Jesse and Louise’s articles at the bottom of this article.

In this article I will explore the films that influenced me. Those that gave me a passion for film and helped me look at film the way I do today.

10. The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight is the second film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and without a doubt the most incredible. 

One of the reasons I love this film so much is because it helped reinvent the superhero genre. It made me realise that even inside established worlds, there are no rules and the evolution and the changing of characters is actually… encouraged.

This film breaks the barriers of filmmaking, with superb performances all round (most prolifically Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning Joker) this film is a must watch. Filmed with IMAX cameras and mostly practical effects this film looks stunning and this is very nearly Nolan’s masterpiece. The story develops the character of Bruce Wayne to the max here and also provides a brilliant output for Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent A.K.A Two Face. I feel awful that this film is as low down as it is, but we move on. 

9. Blade Runner

For me, this film was years ahead of its time. Based on Phillip K. Dick’s ‘Do androids dream of electric sheep’, this film adapted by Ridley Scott is beautiful. Harrison Ford is superb as Deckard, and gives an extremely memorable performance that will still be remembered for many years to come. 

Scott is able to visualise the most beautiful dystopian science fiction world on-screen. The visuals are ahead of their time and fantastic, the score is absolutely fantastic. It shows the jaded morality of humans in a world occupied by replicants too, portrayed by Harrison ford fantastically. 

8. Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse

For me this is the most amazing animated film ever made. Visually it is beautifully striking, it feels like a comic book come to life. The voice cast is all round amazing, from people like Jake Johnson to Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali, Hailee Steinfeld, Nicholas Cage and many, many more. 

Story wise, I love what is done here. I love Spider-man as much as the next comic book fan, but I feel the origin story has been so overplayed. Here we get a quick run-through of the origin of Peter Parker and then we get to focus on Miles Morales, and it is fantastic!

Rothman, Ramsey and Persichetti do a fantastic job here and I cannot wait to see the sequel!

7. The Shining

Despite what critics said at its time of release, The Shining is one of the most brilliant and one of the most influential pieces of cinema ever made. Stanley Kubrick, took a best selling novel and didn’t copy it, but made it his own and in my opinion, stayed loyal. Yes to wasn’t completely by the book but he did nothing to disrespect it, He honoured the work of Stephen King and he did so in the most fantastic way. 

The way the film is shot is absolutely sublime all the way through, from the wide scenic shots across the hills to the big wheel scenes around the hotel, the filmmaking here is revolutionary. 

Jack Nicholson is absolutely fantastic as Jack Torrance, playing a positively evil and derange character so absolutely fabulously that I believe he could single handedly strike fear into the heart of any audience member. 

6. The Grand Budapest Hotel

This was one of the hardest choices for me. I absolutely adore Wes Anderson, I think his work is masterful, and it was a no brainer that some of his work had to end up in this list… but which one? After rewatches and careful consideration, it came down to three, ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, and The Grand Budapest ultimately prevailed. 

This film shows Anderson’s quality on a whole new level. 

The cast and the performances each one of them give is absolutely sublime. The way this film is shot is beautiful and godly. The colour palette used is gorgeous, the script is witty and heart-warming, pure genius. 

Most importantly, the way all these things blend is absolutely divine.

Damn… maybe this should have been higher…

5. Hot Fuzz

I think I could very easily say that Edgar Wright is my favorite director. He is most definitely my favorite English director anyway. 

Hot Fuzz is a work of art. It is without a doubt, THE BEST, British comedy film ever made. The way this film is written is exquisite. It is absolutely hilarious and has me laughing out loud on every watch, it features the perfect blend of action, comedy and mystery and there is no film like it. 

The way that Edgar Wright directs here, once again, is brilliant. It is pure precision and skill, paired with the signature fast editing style and a fantastic soundtrack and world class cast that makes this film significantly magnificent. 

4. Scott Pilgrim vs The World

And once more, Edgar Wright has graced my list, this time on a huge scale. This was Wright’s chance to show the world what he could do with a big budget, and man he did good. The casting in this film is second to none, Michael Cera gives and phenomenal performance here, and most underrated in this film, Kieran Culkin as Wallace is fantastic. The cast is brilliant throughout however, featuring the likes of Anna Kendrick, Chris Evans, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Brie Larson, Aubrey Plaza and Jason Schwartzman, the list goes on. 

Visually this film is fantastic, the soundtrack and the original music is great, the writing is typical Wright, witty and top notch, this film will never get boring and I am confident it will forever reman in my top ten. 

3. Inception

Putting together this top 3 was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, all three of them deserve that top spot, however on this one occasion, Inception falls short. 

Now this film in my opinion, IS Nolan’s masterpiece. It is so insanely good. The score is beautiful, I could listen to it all day long. The cast is fantastic, ranging from DiCaprio to Cillian Murphy. The writing is insane and shocks me every time I watch it. Visually, considering a lot of it was visual it looks stunning, there are not many directors that can do what Nolan can. 

It is gripping from beginning to end, and I guarantee in 50 years time, it will be hailed a classic. 

2. The Social Network

Hailed as the best film of the last decade by none other than Quentin Tarantino, ‘The social network’ is a mind-blowing piece of cinematic art. 

This is quite possibly the best writing I have ever seen in a film, and no surprises, it’s Aaron Sorkin. The way this man writes is absolutely insane. Every sentence truly comes to life, the dialogue is damn natural and so real. Not only does it grip you, but it allows you to form real opinions about the characters and really get attached.

The casting here is also fantastic. Jesse Eisenberg thrived as Zuckerberg and Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake did fantastically here. David Fincher did a beautiful job directing here as per and I just cannot believe this isn’t my number one film, but I feel the other film deserves the spot just as much. 

This film really helped me in a screenwriting perspective. It allowed me to think about my dialogue, create characters that are human and take an overly mundane topic and make it thrilling!

Anyway, this film is amazing. 

1. Pulp Fiction

I feel like it just had to be number 1… It’s Pulp Fiction! It’s fantastic! The writing is insane, it’s incredible. The way the dialogue can be about everything and nothing at the same time is a skill Tarantino possesses, he can make the most useless conversation the most important thing on the screen. He is able to lure you in and grip you to the film. The acting is also top notch here. John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson are fantastic, as is the supporting cast, containing Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Bruce Willis and Harvey Keitel. My favorite scene from the whole film however, is when Vince and Jules go to Jimmie (played by Tarantino) looking for help to clean up their car. The comedic acting here is fantastic and it never gets old. 

I love this film a lot, and I truly think it deserves the number one spot. 

It’s a work of art and it truly is a writing, directing and acting masterclass from Tarantino and co. 

For more of our most influential films, check out Adam, Joe, Daulton, Jesse and Louise’s articles to see which movies mean the most to them.

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