7 Classic Dark Teen Movies to Binge Watch

Dragon Con is happening this Labor Day weekend and, due to a family emergency, I won't be able to make it. This is the second Con I've had to miss this year and I'm so heartbroken!

So, instead of getting to see and possibly interview some amazing actors and writers (Anjali Bhimani aka Overwatch's Symmetra, the always amazing John Barrowman, the cast of Black Lightning, Peter Capaldi aka The Doctor and his companion Bil aka Pearl Mackie and Karen Gillan), I'll be home, letting my teen angst resurface by watching some of my favorite teen films.

We're seeing so many repeats of films from the 1990s and early 2000s. Hollywood's obsession with remakes is getting beyond ridiculous and lack of original ideas. Perhaps we're seeing so many remakes because we had some of the best films come out during that time. Especially teen films. My favorites had to be the dark teen films that were instant classics.

So, on this dateless, Labor Day weekend, here are the top 7 cult classic, dark teen movies that I'm going to watch. And if you haven't seen any of these, you need to watch them, too!

Better Luck Tomorrow
Starring Parry Shen, Jason J. Tobin, Shirley Anderson, Nanette Matoba, Kenji Matoba
 

Better Luck Tomorrow was the first time I saw a film that showed Asian Americans as just Americans dealing with their shit like everyone else. As an African American, I wanted to see more positive representation in television and film and we were just beginning to see representation for African Americans improve and become more widespread. BUT, this was the film that helped me understand that it wasn't just African American PoC that didn't have representation in films. I wanted to see more Asian Americans just being themselves, just living, just being represented. 

Representation, of course, isn't the only reason this film is on my top 7 list of favorite dark teen films. This movie is fucking dark! The acting is exceptional, the story is fucking dope and crazy as hell.

The Craft
Starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True
 

The Craft is arguable one of the best films that covers teen bullying, love, obsession, wanting to belong and witchcraft. Superb acting and the feels from being so damn relatable.

Pump Up the Volume (1990)
Starring Christian Slater, Annie Ross, Andy Romano, Scott Paulin, Mimi Kennedy
 

Another relatable film. Sometimes, as a teen, it feels as if no matter how hard you try, how many people are around you, no one is listening. Actually, it feels that way an adult, too. This was probably one of my favorite movies as a preteen. Watching Christian Slater take on society with his underground, pirated radio station solidified my little 11-year old heart's crush on Slater.

Welcome to the Dollhouse
Starring Heather Matarazzo, Victoria Davis, Christina Brucato, Christina Vidal, Siri Howard
 

Welcome to the Dollhouse is one of those awkwardly cool films that make you question everything.

Slums Of Beverly Hills
Starring Natasha Lyonne, Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei, Eli Marienthal, David Krumholtz
 

This is definitely one of those films where you have to watch until the very end to understand why some people behave the way they do. And when you do see it, it's heartbreaking, shocking and then, for some of us, triggering. With that said, 
TW: sexual molestation, incest

Heathers
Starring Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty
 

My favorite teen movie of all time. Granted, I was still in elementary school when I first saw Heathers (yes, I'm that old), but it was still wildly familiar and relatable. I was 10 years old when I moved to New Jersey, went to a new school where it seemed everyone was a Heather and I was a Veronica, before Christian Slater. 

Jawbreaker
Starring Rose McGowan, Rebecca Gayheart, Carol Kane, Julie Benz, Chad Christ
 

Incredible storyatelling, amazing soundtrack and wardrobe to DIE FOR, literally. Jawbreaker was high school.

Better Luck Tomorrow was the first time I saw a film that showed Asian Americans as just Americans dealing with their shit like everyone else. As an African American, I wanted to see more positive representation in television and film and we were just beginning to see representation for African Americans improve and become more widespread. BUT, this was the film that helped me understand that it wasn't just African American PoC that didn't have representation in films. I wanted to see more Asian Americans just being themselves, just living, just being represented. 

Representation, of course, isn't the only reason this film is on my top 8 list of favorite dark teen films. This movie is fucking dark! The acting is exceptional, the story is fucking dope and crazy as hell.

Empire Records
Starring Anthony Lapaglia, Maxwell Caulfield, Debi Mazar, Rory Cochrane, Johnny Whitworth
 

Empire Records WAS the 90s! Who remembers hanging out music stores like Tower Records or Sam Goody's or Suncoast in the mall? Again, dope soundtrack, funny and touches your nostalgic feels.

What are some of your favorite, dark movies? What will you be doing this Labor Day weekend?