Panic! At The Movies: An Emo Top 10 Watchlist

9. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Review

Edger Wright’s adaptation of Brian Lee O’Malley’s cult graphic novel series, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, is a celebration of games, comics, music and ever-changing hair colours. The film used nostalgia to sneak its way into many cold emo hearts, and despite bob-bombing upon its release, has earned its place as an undeniable cult classic and staple of alternative teenage cinema.

Scott is the guitarist in the struggling rock band Sex-Bob-Omb and no stranger to heartbreak or awkward, fetishised romantic entanglements. As he and his band move through a Battle of the Bands competition, Scott learns that he must also defeat the seven evil exes of his beloved Ramona Flowers if he wants to keep dating her.

Michael Cera delivers a note-perfect performance as the timid and lousy Scott Pilgrim, in whom he manages to encapsulate the personality of your classic dead-beat, wannabe rocker. While the movie rests on Scott’s narrative, it is the bombardment of supporting characters that keep the heart of the film beating. Such noteworthy performances include: Brie Larson, as the skin-tingling Envy Adams, Ellen Wong as Knives Chau, who demands respect for the enthusiastic and doting fan-girl, Kieran Culkin, who brings well-timed and relatable meme humour as Wallace Wells, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who made every girl wish they could be as effortlessly cool as Ramona Flowers.

The movie has a finger on the pulse when it comes to sarcastic, adolescent alt-teen humour, which it playfully pokes fun at with lines such as ‘An epic of epic epicness’ and ‘He slapped the highlights out of her hair’. Revisiting Scott Pilgrim vs the World will make you nostalgic for your youth, and cringe for once finding its nonsensical comedy witty or quotable.

Recommended for you: Edgar Wright Movies Ranked




10. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Most emo kids know a thing or two about what it feels like to be part of a profoundly embarrassing family. No film has ever captured the real dysfunction that can exist inside the average nuclear family better than Little Miss Sunshine. 

Little Miss Sunshine is a divergent road movie, following a feuding family travelling cross country so their young daughter can take part in a child beauty pageant. Along the way, the family address the flaws making their relationships with one another so jagged and unbearable, and come to understand one another a little better. The family encounter several obstacles, including past loves, business failures and a malfunctioning mini-van, all of which threaten to stop the journey in its tracks. Despite the onslaught of problems, the group become determined to make it through the nightmare trip, and subsequently bond through their shared experiences of loss, failure and ruined dreams.

With box-dyed black hair and a nihilistic attitude, Paul Dano’s Dwayne became a fan favourite of other like-minded rebellious teenagers. Inspired by the German philosopher, Friedrich Neichze (who was most famous for his “God is dead’ and ‘To live is to suffer’ arguments), Dwayne takes a vow of silence which he plans to uphold until he achieves his dream of becoming a jet pilot. Dano, who speaks barely a word throughout the movie, was still able to express the emo struggle in a series of bewildered facial expressions and rebellious handwritten messages—the most iconic line being ‘I hate everybody’, which he underlines to accentuate his point.

Little Miss Sunshine is an exceptionally well-written film, both hilarious and slightly disturbing. Alongside Dwayne and his family, we learn to let go and enjoy the suffering as we go along. In one of his few spoken lines, Dwayne aptly sums up the message of the movie in eight short words, ‘Do what you love and fuck the rest’.


With emo being so prominent in the past few decades, we’re sure there are other films out there that made for perfect emo movies. Tell us about them in the comments, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on more articles like this one.

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