16. Death Note
Release Year: 2017
Directed By: Adam Wingard
Cast: Nat Wolff, Lakeith Stanfield, Margaret Qualley, Shea Whigham, Paul Nakauchi, Jason Liles, Willem Dafoe
Death Note was loosely based on the Japanese manga created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. The adaptation had been in development since 2007 until Netflix bought the rights to the franchise from Warner Bros. in 2016. Director Adam Wingard is known for his work in horror with the films, You’re Next and Blair Witch.
The neo-noir supernatural film tells the story of a high school student named Light Turner (Nat Wolff) who finds a mysterious notebook. After names are written in this “Death Note,” that person is killed in the manner the writer describes. Light then uses the notebook’s powers to kill criminals to clean up his city. He then becomes known as the serial killer “Kira” and is praised by the media and public for ridding the city of crime. This gets the attention of a local detective (Lakeith Stanfield) as well as a demon.
The movie received mixed reviews but has been praised for its twisted concept and dark tones. As of 2018, a sequel to Death Note was reportedly in development. There’s no word if Windgard has interest in returning as he’s currently developing Godzilla vs. Kong for the 2020 release date.