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3 underrated movies you need to watch in July 2024

A man looks up from a hole in the ground in Starve Acre.
BFI Distribution

The summer season is typically full of popcorn-selling blockbusters, and certainly, June didn’t disappoint by giving is Bad Boys: Ride or Die, Inside Out 2, and A Quiet Place: Day One. July promises to deliver even more hits with Despicable Me 4, Twisters, and the latest MCU movie, Deadpool & Wolverine.

Besides those mainstream films, there are other, quieter movies being released that are just as worthy of your attention and dollars. Digital Trends has lined up three must-watch underrated movies in July that promise to linger in the memory long after you’ve seen digital tornadoes destroy a farm or Deadpool crack yet another obscene joke.

Longlegs (July 12)

A woman looks at a photo on Longlegs.
Neon

Can a movie go from being underrated to near-overexposure within a month? Certainly, and while Longlegs hasn’t yet fallen into the latter category, it’s definitely not as underrated as it was earlier this year. That’s due to multiple sneak peeks at the movie, which have elicited the kind of praise every horror movie dreams of getting: “scariest movie of the year,” “feels like a movie you’ve never seen before,” and a “pure horror experience we’ve been waiting for.”

So what’s all the hubbub about? Longlegs focuses on a young FBI agent, Lee Harker (Maika Monroe), who is investigating a series of murders linked to a Satanic serial killer known only as Longlegs. Who is Longlegs? Not much is known about him, except he’s played by Nicolas Cage, has long, stringy hair, and lurks in the shadows like any self-respecting madman.

Longlegs has shades of Silence of the Lambs as Harker discovers a personal connection to Cage’s killer and must prevent other murders from happening. It may sound like a routine slasher, but if you’ve watched any of the creepy trailers released so far, you’ll know that Longlegs offers an unsettling experience you probably won’t soon forget.

Touch (July 12)

A man and a woman sit on a bus in Touch.
Focus Features

Fans of last year’s terrific Oscar-nominated drama Past Lives are sure to like Touch, which deals with similar themes of past regrets and lost loves. The film is split between the present day and the early 1970s by focusing on Kristófer, who in 2024 is an old man freshly grieving over the loss of his wife. He remembers his first love, Mako, from his days as young drifter in London, and decides to find out what happened after she mysteriously left him all those years ago.

Part mystery, part love story, Touch is directed by Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur, who helmed 2015’s Everest and the 2022 genre picture Beast with Idris Elba. Touch promises something quieter and more contemplative than those movies, and could be the late-summer breakout movie that Past Lives was last year.

Starve Acre (July 26)

Starve Acre (2024) Official Trailer

British folk horror is a very specific subgenre that reached its apotheosis with 1973’s The Wicker Man, but has never really gone away thanks to such recent fare as 2018’s Apostle and 2022’s Enys Men. 2024 will get at least one new entry in the subgenre, Daniel Kokotajlo’s Starve Acre, which stars two actors at home with all things spooky and otherworldly: House of the Dragon‘s Matt Smith and The Rings of Power‘s Morfydd Clark.

They play a British couple in the 1970s, Rich and Juliette, whose tranquil life in the English countryside is disturbed by their young son acting oddly. It’s enough to drive Richard on an obsessive quest to find out how the occult, and an ancient oak tree on their property, is both the cause and solution to their problem, much to Juliette’s increasing alarm.

Starve Acre‘s trailer showcases all the hallmarks of British folk horror — weird townspeople, possessed animals, strange natural phenomena — and gives both Smith and Clark a chance to look distraught and menacing at the same time. The movie will premiere in theaters and VOD at the same time, giving audiences the option of being terrorized with strangers or in the comfort of their own homes.

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
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