Everyone is aware of the big, blockbuster films that are released on Netflix every month, but few are aware of the films that are quietly released on the popular streaming service. Such films often sit around Netlfix and are seldom viewed until their license expires and then they disappear from Netflix forever.
To help prevent my loyal readers from missing out on some hidden gems, I put together this little list of ten films that I found to be surprisingly well-made and pretty kick ass. Let me know what films you’ve seen lately that you consider to be hidden gems. (This list is in no particular order)
A cute, young just-married couple head out to a remote cabin for their honeymoon. One night the young bride disappears into the woods and when the worried hubby finds her, she seems somehow changed. The changes are subtle at first, but as the film goes on those changes become somewhat life threatening.
HONEYMOON is a well-acted, tight little horror-thriller with Lovecraftian overtones and a great isolated atmosphere. Don’t miss this one!!
A sister travels to her disturbed brother’s cabin after not hearing from him for a while. When she gets there she soon realizes that her brother has gone off the deep end with his paranoid rantings about aliens and abductions. Is the brother, an ex-soldier, suffering from a bad case of PTSD, or is there something more nefarious going on?
POD is a really well-written film that gives the viewer just enough insight to keep them engaged in the film. The performances by the two leads is fantastic, and the film keeps you wondering what is really going on right up to the final scene. This is a really well-crafted scifi-horror film.
What could have easily been a mediocre giant creature flick about over-sized wasps ruining a garden wine party ends up being one helluva fun flick!! Instead of settling for the cookie-cutter characters that usually occupy such films, director Benni Diez and writer Adam Aresty inject some new blood into this sub-genre by offering unique characters, great dialogue, ferocious creatures, and wall-to-wall action. This is a really fun one!!
LAST SHIFT (2014)
Think of this as John Carpenter’s ASSAULT ON PRECINT 13 with a heavy supernatural edge to it. In LAST SHIFT, a rookie cop’s first shift is on duty on the last night of a closing police station. Sounds like an easy gig, right? Well, it seems that something pretty horrific happened at this police station years ago, and the spirits of the past event aren’t ready to go away quite yet. This film is a solid horror-occult film with a bit of a “mind-f**k” edge to it. I had a lot of fun with this one.
At its simplest, EJECTA is about human being’s first contact with alien life … but there’s so much more going on here!! A man is captured and taken to a secret military base and is interrogated by a secret military organization tasked to uncover what is going on with the recent strange, seemingly extraterrestrial occurrences. I’m not going to say too much about this one, but the performances are fantastic, and the story will have you on the edge of your seat right up to the revealing ending. Don’t miss this one!!
What I thought was going to be a typical, under-performing ghost story set in an exotic location wound up being a way above-average ghost story with excessive gore and a really solid story. But then this is what I’ve come to expect from horror filmmaker, James Cullen Bressack!!
THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN (2014)
This film takes not one, but two tired sub-genres (the possession and found footage genres) and manages to make a film that feels completely original. A documentary film crew is studying Alzheimer patient Deborah Logan’s descent. But wait, is there something else more supernatural going on here? You bet your ass there is!!
THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN has something most films in these sub-genres don’t have—a fantastic story. The found footage/faux-documentary aspect wasn’t just a gimmick here, but was an integral part of the story. Any way you look at this film, it is a winner and is extremely effective!!
THE VEIL (2016)
Much of the things said above for THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN can be said for THE VEIL as well. A documentary film crew visits the site where a cult committed mass suicide twenty-five years ago. Along with the crew is the sole survivor of the massacre, and she seems to have more of a connection to the site that she thought.
THE VEIL is a well-thought out story that walks a fine line between the supernatural and between the ghosts one might have in one’s head. Thomas Jane also puts in a great performance as the head of the cult who might be more than he first appears.
DARK WAS THE NIGHT (2014)
Another creature flick that manages to break the mould and give the viewer something more unique. Here the creature is connected to the ravaging of the environment and is forced to start chowing down on human beings in order to survive. The local sheriff and his deputy are tasked with finding out what the hell is going on.
DARK WAS THE NIGHT is chocked full of atmosphere and takes its time setting up the characters and the story. There are more than a few creepy scenes, and the confrontation with the creature at the end of the film is also pretty damn spectacular. This is a must-see!!
CREEP has a very experimental feel to it that works in its favor. CREEP stars Mark Duplass as a man who is dying and hires a videographer to record his final days so he can have something to pass along to his young daughter. Everything, though, is far from what it seems!! Duplass gives a stellar performance and does a great job slowly revealing the depth of his character. Duplass is definitely an onion here, and we get to see many, many odd and bizarre levels. The entire film culminates in a shocking ending that you may not see coming.
This is supposed to be the first in a trilogy of CREEP films, and after watching this one, I say, “Bring it on!!”
What hidden gems on Netflix have I missed? Sound off in the comments section below.