I get paralysed by too many choices. Most nights when I flick on Netflix, if I am not already deep in a series, I just sit there flicking through the service until my mind explodes and I pick up all the brain pieces from the floor.
I’ve watched all the good stuff – but there are plenty of hidden gems on Netflix.
Synopsis: A vampire hunter fights to save a besieged city from an army of otherworldly creatures controlled by Dracula.
Why Should You Watch It: Look, anything with ‘a vampire hunter’ in the synopsis is worth checking out, even if it is an anime. It’s just a well-realised series and definitely one of the most surprising of Netflix’s past year.
The Mortified Guide
Synopsis: The Mortified Guide is a 6-episode comedic docu-series where adults share their actual teenage diaries, love letters, music and art– in front of total strangers.
Why Should You Watch It: Reading out journal entries and love letters from your childhood to a crowd? Is there actually anything else that would terrify me more? Probably not. This one is equal parts awkward and cute. It’s certainly not what I immediately think about when I flick on Netflix, but it’s worth watching.
Synopsis: A stranger arrives in a little village and soon after a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman is drawn into the incident and is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.
Why Should You Watch It: The South Koreans do horror movies really well and this is a great example of that. This one is absolutely filled with dread and an unusual weirdness. Make a night of South Korean cinema and enjoy this with Train to Busan, another great horror film. There has been talk that the film is a little xenophobic, however, with the role of the stranger played by a Japanese actor raising eyebrows.
Extraordinary: The Stan Romanek Story
Synopsis: Stan Romanek is the centre of the world’s most documented extraterrestrial contact story, and the multitude of evidence accumulated over the past decade has convinced thousands around the world that his story is true.
Why Should You Watch It: I am really stretching the definition of GEM here, but that’s okay, this has to be seen to be believed. This film is kind of like a documentary and kind of like the biggest train wreck I have ever seen in my life.
Synopsis: A white-collar suburban father Kyle (Fran Kranz) who is surprised at his office by long-lost college buddy Zack (Adam Goldberg). Zack is as wild and crazy as ever, brimming with excitement about the self-actualization program he’s just finished called Rebirth. He talks Kyle into going on a weekend-long Rebirth retreat, handing over his keys, wallet, and phone. Thus begins his journey down a bizarre rabbit hole of psychodrama, seduction, and violence.
Why Should You Watch It: I saw one reviewer call this exhausting and that certainly sets it up. It has an ending that leaves you wanting, but it’s a journey I am glad I went on. Just don’t go in expecting some kind of genre-destroying masterpiece.
Synopsis: Meeting by chance when they return to their tiny California hometown, two former high-school sweethearts reflect on their shared past.
Why Should You Watch It: The premise sounds kind of Notebookish and very romantic comedy, but it is far more profound than that. A movie that is kind of awkward and kind of uplifting and ultimately, a sombre reflection on finding out who you are as you get older.
Synopsis: Held captive and faced with their imminent executions, fifty strangers are forced to choose the one person among them who deserves to live.
Why Should You Watch It: Like Battle Royale meets SAW, but one of those movies where you talk to the person next to you the entire time trying to figure out what’s going on and who you’d kill next. Does that sound grim? It’s kind of grim.
Synopsis: When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts.
Why Should You Watch It: Denis Villeneuve has had a stellar run of films all the way up to his most recent – Blade Runner 2049 – but the one that is a bit of a sleeper is this one. It’s incredibly tense and made me as panicked as its lead characters. So atmospheric, so well shot – like Villeneuve’s latter films.
Synopsis: An international crew of astronauts undertakes a privately funded mission to search for life on Jupiter’s fourth largest moon.
Why Should You Watch It: Similar to Prisoners in its intensity and feeling of panic, but with a hard sci-fi slant. I am big on it, even with gaping plot holes, because it’s just intriguing, top-to-bottom – the kind of sci-fi film that the world needs more of.
Synopsis: A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears at her window.
Why Should You Watch It: If you couldn’t tell from the last two recommendations, I am really into thrillers. Hush is no different. The premise alone is interesting, but it works with the horror tropes so well. Could be considered a little gory, but I wouldn’t say it’s over the top. Horror or thriller fans, get involved.
Synopsis: A gangster family epic set in 1919 Birmingham, England and centered on a gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps, and their fierce boss Tommy Shelby, who means to move up in the world.
Why Should You Watch It: I will champion this series until my dying breath because it is very good, Cillian Murphy is awesome and why is no one talking about this all the time? Why? Is it because those Brummy accents aren’t all that realistic? Or people are over period dramas after the incredible Boardwalk Empire? Just watch it. Then come back here.