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  1. Wayne’s World (1992) is one of the few Mike Myers films that has aged better than most fine wine. It’s funny, exciting, and it always makes me forget my troubles. Watch them running around and partying on to distract from the fact that you can’t.
  2. Cabin Fever (2002) might be a nice fictional departure from the real horrors of the world. Enjoy this not-so-contained freak-out about uncontrollable flesh-eating bacteria, it’s topical in a not-really-all-that-topical way. Also, nudity.
  3. Parasite (2019) can provide an interesting insight on much of the chaos we are hiding from right now. It is a film rife with social commentary, but, rest assured, it is called a comedy for good reason.
  4. Rear Window (1954) is an interesting portrait of the passive (captive) audience. Who else are we right now if not the character with every reason to stay inside and no reason to stop watching as what to him looks like an atrocious disaster. Only difference is that, for us, it’s kinda a disaster out there. Relish in the fiction of it all. And the lighting.
  5. Alien (1979) is a fun, gross, and spellbinding tale of people trapped in space rather than the comfort of their own homes. The xenomorph is a good time and the set design is a guarantee that you will, for the most part, feel like you are watching a movie set in space. It’s pretty cool.
  6. The Princess Bride (1987) compares with the experience of #1 of this list, as it is an adventure. A kid, home sick, hears a story filled with ridiculous character names and some of the best humor I’ve seen wrapped in a “for children” bow. Stan Cary Elwes.
  7. The Shining (1980) encapsulates being trapped by geography rather than sickness, but some form of ill finds a family who has set up to take care of a hotel off-season. This is another opportunity to commiserate with people who, for fictional reasons, have it a hell of a lot worse than we do right now. Think of it as an exercise in trading your real worries for fake ones.
  8. Oldboy (2005) includes both elements of this list: an adventure and the sense of being trapped. However, the adventure begins when our protagonist is set “free.” The movie ends when he finds himself trapped again with no chance to escape until he dies. It’s got very sad undertones, but it looks so damn good. All the way through. Take the ride, what else do you have going on?
  9. Get Out (2018) is a story also rife with social commentary. The sense of being trapped in this movie comes from the purely psychological effects of systemic oppression on individuals on either side of said oppression. If you have not already seen it, it’s just another way to remind yourself that your confinement is more temporary than others’.
  10. The Mummy (1999) is purely and simply one of the greatest adventure films ever made. It ends cleanly and happily, and none of the main characters die. Also, Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz make an amazing couple on-screen. You can’t go wrong in escaping to Egypt from the safety of your own home.

These films have been listed in no specific order, and I would suggest breaking the “trapped” titles up with the “adventure” titles. Nothing would soothe my own quarantined melancholia better than a healthy balance of what I’m experiencing with what I am missing.

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