Depraved is Larry Fessenden’s modern retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Like many of Fessenden’s films, it remains an intricate New York artifact (our lead gets stabbed to death in DUMBO, a flashback between he and his girlfriend takes place at the Strand Bookstore, she works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and the choice was appreciated by this New York native. Fessenden’s city that never sleeps is forever dark and dreary—never put to better use than in 1995’s Habit—and the filmmaker loves casting himself as the biggest creep in the room. Here, he’s a barfly at a local watering hole where the Frankenstein monster flirts with a woman before murdering her. [TUBI]—EL

Most Beautiful Island

It takes a herculean effort to produce a first film that’s accepted to festivals and showered with praise (and prizes – SXSW handed it the Narrative Feature Grand Jury Award), but first-time director Ana Asensio pulled it off in her debut Most Beautiful Island, a grounded-in-reality genre film following a Spanish immigrant who moves to New York City to start a new life. Emotionally distraught over the death of her child, Luciana (played by Asensio) works dead-end jobs—in one scene, dressing up as a chicken to promote a local poultry joint—trying to make ends meet and keep the growing guilt at bay. One afternoon, her co-worker informs of a well-paying gig requiring minimal effort: dress sexy and be gawked at at an undisclosed location for rich party guests who need something to fantasize over. She agrees to attend (the money is solid), and, after a series of unfortunate and nagging hiccups, arrives in a decrepit basement under circumstances she never could’ve anticipated. [TUBI]—EL

Read Whole list at Filmmaker Magazine