It’s been a difficult time for movies. Theaters are struggling, productions have been shuttered by the pandemic, and everyone’s streaming big-budget releases on their MacBooks. But with every crisis comes an opportunity—in this case, the opportunity to resurrect tired film tropes using the magic elixir of the insurance industry!
“Hold on,” you say. “Insurance is the opposite of entertainment. Insurance is a drag! Insurance is boring.” First of all, you’re dead wrong. Second of all, if insurance is so lame and predictable, then why are we seriously considering producing the six edge-of-your-seat, insurance-inspired blockbusters below?
Buckle up, kids. Back in 2020 we explored what would happen if common insurance terms were actually bands. Now we’re here to improve Hollywood. Whether you’re into slapstick dramedies or interstellar legal thrillers, here’s a rundown of what you’ll be lining up to see in the multiplex later this weird year (and here are the terms that inspired it all).
Riggs Murtaugh is an ex-alcoholic ex-con with a destructive streak—and a rap sheet three miles long. But he’s also the best goddamn hostage negotiator the City of Angels has ever seen. So when the mayor’s daughter is kidnapped by a gang of geographically-challenged Quebecois separatists, who’s the FBI gonna call? It’s gotta be Riggs. Will their gamble pay off—or will they find themselves holding the bill?
“Joltingly visceral and stupidly violent,” the Times of Dayton raves, “this brutal, explosive romp makes the John Wick and Taken franchises look as impotent as Frozen.” Shot entirely using high-definition Go-Pro cameras—and featuring cinema’s first-ever unsimulated sex scene atop a speeding train—this action-packed thriller proves that if you don’t take chances, you don’t get anywhere.
There’s an app for everything, right? That’s what sorority president Veronica Dean (Dominique Fishback) thought—until her phone was possessed by an undead, Satanic spirit from hell. Damn! The “Adjuster,” played with sociopathic glee by Michael Shannon, is about to demonstrate the very bloody consequences of being very online. He knows exactly how damaged you really are.
Catalonian horror maestro Diego Fraude continues to push the envelope with his latest feature, filmed guerrilla-style (and without permission) on UCLA’s semi-abandoned campus in the spring of 2020. Imagine if Karyn Kusama and Steven Soderbergh were trapped in a haunted elevator together, forced to use the corpse of Dario Argento to make their escape. In the guise of a high-tech slasher, The Adjuster is actually a 21st-century cautionary tale about the claims we make on each other.
Doug has it made. All he wants to do is kick back and get his candy-flavored vape business off the ground. But when his great aunt dies in a freak drone accident, Doug finds out that he’s inherited her entire estate in Bel Air—plus a fortune in Bitcoin.
More money, more problems! The sweet-ass mansion—with its trampoline, water slide, koi ponds, big cat zoo, and spiked fences—becomes a magnet for neighborhood kids hell-bent on self-destruction. Meanwhile, Doug himself is drawn to his own very dangerous attraction: The Russian mobster’s wife next door. Чёрт возьми!
Featuring a slip-and-fall ska soundtrack by a reunited Reel Big Fish, Attractive Nuisance is a whimsical romp through the treacherous terrain of the human heart… and a reminder that the most tempting things are the ones that end up hurting us the most.
Bio-Borgs and Crustaceans have been at war for close to forty billion years—but Star Command’s newest Lunar Chaplain thinks that enough’s enough. After overseeing the upload of a planet’s worth of “Neptunian plebes” to Facebook-Tesla’s digital mines, Aeaeee XIV (Eritzia Kwan) makes it her mission to bring peace to the Orb of Bub.
The only catch? A radioactive subterranean ocean that the Scourge of Plankton (Gary Busey) has diverted into the most cherished Bio-Borgian religious site, in order to fulfill a personal vendetta against the conjoined twins who head the Church of Everlasting Plenitude (Peter Dinklage and Adam Driver, in a career-defining moment of symbiosis).
The Bio-Borgs will spend millennia (and millions of BorgBucks) cleaning up the damage—and they’re looking for payback. Part space-opera, part cosmic courtroom drama, Subrogation is an out-of-this-world saga about reclaiming what’s yours.
12-year-old Grace Lee has never quite fit in. When a prank during equestrian class goes horribly wrong, her school’s principal throws down an ultimatum: Shape up, or ship out. Grace has 90 days to get her act together—or be booted out of the Narrow Blaisely Academy for Girls. Everyone deserves the chance for redemption… Period.
Sensitive yet snarktastic, Grace Period is a coming-of-age story about patience, empathy, and repaying those who trusted in us. It’s Frances Ha for tweens, told through a bold visual pastiche of TikTok videos, Snapchat messages, and Twitch streams.
And currently seeking financing…
How far would you go to protect what’s most valuable? This French-language indie gem is still seeking distribution, perhaps because the film’s clunky original title—Scheduled Personal Property Coverage—was putting advance audiences to sleep. Rebranded and rebooted, the breathless erotic thriller is a calling card for first-time director Shugg Catrone (previously best known for his work on the 2020 Bud Light Lemonade Seltzer campaign). A chilling exploration of polyamory and problematic roommates, Extra Coverage has been hailed by one critic as “Single White Female for the age of Zillow, except less white… and less single.”
And the “real” definitions…
What’s that? You don’t think we’re actually excited about these so-called blockbusters, and that this is all just a cheap excuse to make nerdy jokes about semi-obscure insurance terms? As if this is something we’ve bothered wasting our time on in the past?
We are so offended right now, buddy. But hey, if you only came here for the legit insurance definitions, we don’t want you to leave disappointed. Here goes:
Attractive nuisance: Per the brains at Cornell Law School, this is “a hazardous object or condition on the land that is likely to attract children who are unable to appreciate the risk posed by the object or condition.” In plain English, examples of attractive nuisances include stuff like trampolines, tree houses, or fancy koi ponds. The presence of attractive nuisances on a property can affect homeowners insurance rates or eligibility, and at the very least features like pools, hot tubs, or skateboard ramps would need to have fencing around them.
Bad risk: In insurance terms, this simply means a potential policyholder whose situation makes it likely that they’ll end up filing claims—perhaps their property is already on the verge of collapsing. Considering Riggs Murtaugh’s destructive past (not to mention the tendency of his houses to explode for mysterious reasons) he’d certainly qualify. And if we’re talking about life insurance, Murtaugh’s habits—chainsmoking, aerobic activities on top of speeding trains, skydiving into active furnaces—would make him a pretty poor risk as well.
Adjuster: Insurance adjusters don’t actually haunt your phone or try to murder you. But they will investigate claims to determine how much (or if) your insurance company should pay you for damages and losses to your stuff or property.
Grace period: A grace period is an amount of time your insurance company allows you to pay after your monthly premium is due (while keeping your coverage active).
Subrogation: This is a fancy way to describe a situation where your insurance company steps in to get back money from a third party (or their insurer) who caused damages/losses to you or your property.
Extra Coverage: This is Lemonade’s rebranding of what the insurance biz calls “scheduled personal property coverage.” It allows you to add extra protections to valuables like jewelry, cameras, musical instruments, or artwork, with benefits like zero-deductible claims and coverage for accidental damage or mysterious loss.