Netflix Recommendations: What I Watched Over Winter Break

During semesters, my life is incredibly busy. Even life’s simple pleasures like listening to music is done on a bus or while catching up on laundry. There’s one thing I definitely don’t have time for and that’s watching Netflix. And I LOVE binging shows and movies!

This past Winter break, I kicked my feet up and started clearing out my ever growing queue. I also had the “benefit” of catching a cold which meant several days in bed. The cold sucked, but binge watching Netflix wasn’t so bad.

Here are a list of shows and movies I watched. Ratings are based on a scale from 1 to 5 PI. Warning: My passion is horror!

American Vandal (2017) • Comedy • Mystery

IMDB page

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A true-crime satire that explores the aftermath of a costly high school prank that left twenty-seven faculty cars vandalized with phallic images. Basically, someone draws dicks on the cars of every faculty member. I saw this show mentioned on some other site and thought it was too ridiculous to ignore. I checked it out and liked it! It sounds immature – which it is – but they treat the “crime” like a murder. It’s hard not to laugh when the filmmakers are dissecting the method one would draw a penis to calculate the proper spray paint splatter. Watch this if you enjoy a cheap laugh. The ending was a bit of a letdown, but it’s worth a watch.

Rating: πππ

Bright (2017) · Action · Crime · Fantasy

IMDB page

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Bright has been panned by critics but the majority of non-critics seem to like it. I thought it was a really enjoyable movie! Sure, it’s not winning any Oscars, but it will entertain you for 1 1/2 hours. The story takes place in a world where mystical creatures live side by side with humans. Will Smith’s character is paired with an Orc – something neither of them is thrilled about – and they discover the most coveted weapon in the world: a magic wand.

Rating: πππ

Creep 2 (2017) · Horror · Thriller

IMDB page

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As you might have guessed, Creep 2 is a sequel to Creep, a thrilling horror about a serial killer who enjoys playing mind games with his victims. I watched the original a few years ago and loved it. In the sequel, the serial killer hires a videographer to film his life as a, well,  serial killer – something the videographer doesn’t quite believe – and things take a fascinating turn. I recommend the sequel, but not before you watch the original.

Rating: ππππ

Cube (1997) • Drama • Mystery • Sci-Fi

IMDB page

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The oldest movie on my list, it definitely has that old school horror/thriller/sci-fi feel. I feel like those genres were a bit, …. “cheesy” back then. Maybe things just age weird. Anyway, this movie is about a group of strangers who wake up in a mysterious cube that shifts every so often and contains extremely deadly traps. Overall, I did enjoy it. The premise is certainly original and captivating. I do think this is a movie that would be only appreciated by diehard fans of the genres.

Rating: πππ

Easy (2016 – ) • Comedy • Romance

IMDB page

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I’m not a romantic comedy person at all but gave Easy a chance because it’s an anthology series. I’m a sucker for anthologies. Easy was very hit-and-miss for me. I’m actually not finished with the series, but watched most of what’s available on Netflix. The episodes are less than 30 minutes long (an easy binge). Some of the episodes had potential but didn’t seem to go anywhere meaningful. On the other hand, some of the episodes were amazing. The episodes with Marc Maron and Dave Franco specifically. While I wouldn’t recommend dropping what you’re doing for Easy, it’s something casual to throw on in the background or while going to sleep.

Rating: ππ

Gerald’s Game (2017) • Drama • Horror • Thriller

IMDB page

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While trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame. This movie primarily takes place in a bedroom with the occasional flashback. Based on a Stephen King novel, this story of overcoming our pasts doesn’t disappoint. There were moments that were hard to watch, but I’m glad I stuck through it. The ending of the movie felt oddly out of place, which is one of those pitfalls of book-to-movie adaptations. There just wasn’t enough time to set up that entirely different narrative. Still, that’s the only part I didn’t like and it doesn’t take away from an enjoyable film.

Rating: ππππ

Raw (2016) • Drama • Horror

IMDB page

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When a young vegetarian undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, an unbidden taste for meat begins to grow in her. If you’re a horror fan, I recommend adding this movie to your queue ASAP. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen and kept me on my toes the entire time. If you’re not a horror fan, the more gruesome scenes might be a bit much. I enjoyed Raw, but felt like there were missed opportunities. I can’t get into my unseen predictions without spoiling the movie, but I’ll say the “twist” wasn’t as shocking as it could have been.

Rating: πππ

Okja (2017) • Action • Adventure • Drama

IMDB page

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A young girl risks everything to prevent a powerful, multinational company from kidnapping her best friend – a fascinating beast named Okja. This is basically a movie about vegetarianism/veganism. The themes aren’t subtle at all, but don’t let that deter you if you aren’t looking to be converted. It’s a solid movie.

Rating: ππ

Some Freaks (2016) • Comedy • Drama • Romance

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IMDB page

A charming romance develops between a boy with one eye and an overweight girl, though when she loses her weight after going to college, their relationship is tested in devastating ways they never dreamed would happen. This is one of those indie-type quirky movies that manages to be really likeable. As someone who can relate to being an outsider, I found the characters very realistic. Their choices are incredibly frustrating at times, but that’s par for the course in real life.

Rating: ππππ

Super Dark Times (2017) •Drama • Thriller

IMDB page

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Teenagers Zach and Josh have been best friends their whole lives, but when a gruesome accident leads to a cover-up, the secret drives a wedge between them and propels them down a rabbit hole of escalating paranoia and violence. This is a dark and interesting movie. I was captivated the entire time, well, almost. The end – and I do mean the last 5 minutes or so – didn’t live up to the rest of the movie. I would have loved a better wrap-up and something that didn’t leave me scratching my head. Overall, it’s a good thriller worth the hour and a half.

Rating: πππ

The End of the F***ing World (2017) • Comedy • Drama

IMDB page

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This is a series that hooked me from the start. If you haven’t noticed, I lean heavily towards apocalypse/horror/thrillers. THIS IS NOT THAT. I mention that because that’s what I expected. The poster is a kid holding a gun and there’s that title – I was ready to get my zombie on. Turns out, there are no zombies. It’s a story about a kid who believes he’s a sociopath and the connection he makes with a cool and moody girl. And it’s so very good. It’s an easy binge and highly recommended.

Rating: πππππ

What Happened to Monday (2017) · Action · Adventure · Crime

IMDB page

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This movie takes place in the future when overpopulation is causing a global crisis. Government implements a strict one child per family policy. Siblings are quickly removed from families and put to cryosleep. The story is about a group of septuplets avoiding detection and investigating the disappearance of one of their own.

Rating: ππππ

On a sidenote: I hardly ever watch movies or shows that suck. This isn’t because I have impeccable taste. When a movie catches my attention, I always check IMDB user reviews and YouTube the trailer. Critic reviews aren’t reliable for “regular people” I think. Check out real movie goers, the casual viewer, to weed out the bad entertainment and to steer you towards those hidden gems.

 

 

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