Netflix is so rammed with films that finding a stunner, amongst the flowing tides of thumbnails, the bafflingly off the mark star ratings and the unrevealing (strangely sassy) two line descriptions, can be difficult. And sometimes that means it’s easy for a great film to be written off as just another random, bungled two hour piece of video footage parading as a film so that Netflix can advertise 3169 titles on their service.

1. Look Who’s Back (2015)

look whos back

What it looks like?
This film is the reason for this list. The slapstick comedy of the screenshots mixed with the bewildered face of a practically cross eyed Adolf Hitler and the cheeky title, which promises all the comic subtlety of your grandad welcoming you back in the room after you made him a cup of tea, is about as worrying as the premise; Hitler’s back from the dead and he’s a YouTube sensation. You’d be mistaken for avoiding this film like the plague, assuming another unfortunate side effect of film’s very own Godwin law; if you can imagine a Nazi in a situation, someone has already made a terrible, borderline offensive, low budget film about just that. Need proof; 
Dead Snow (2009) – Nazi Zombies, Iron Sky (2012) – Nazis on the moon, Zaat (1971) – Nazi mutated Catfish.

Why’s it Worth-A-Watch? 

Look Who’s back is a brilliantly satirical and self aware film, based on a critically acclaimed novel of the same title, that poses serious questions about comedy and its effect on politics.  It’s well acted and also very amusing throughout, driving home some meaty questions about social media and modern European society which resounds with whats happening across the world. It certainly isn’t the most usual l film but by the end there’s a lot to think about (at points just if you’re sure what level of meta you’re on) and with dark but genuine laughs throughout its certainly more watchable than its Netflix ‘profile’ suggests.  

2. Creep (2014)

creep

What it looks like?
Creep was cursed with a terrible set of screenshots, that look like a stock image grab from a google search for ‘low quality, low budget, low horror,’ and a straight to Netflix release before that became an attractive prospect. Creep doesn’t look like the sort of film to really terrify, or entertain really. Throw in the generic font of the thumbnail and the description and Creep looks like a Saw-esque torture porn film. So unless Mark Duplass staring manically out of a bath really does it for you (luckily it was enough for me) you’re unlikely to give it a chance.

Why its Worth-A-Watch?
There is nothing generic about Creep, it makes use of horror film tropes, twisting and subverting them into something far more suspenseful than six buckets of blood. The two man cast, Mark Duplass and Patrick Kack-Brice, are both brilliant. Creep exhibits a level of naturalism, through the lens of a handheld camera, that is striking at times – beyond the style of usual cinema. The found-footage feel is executed perfectly, making Duplass’ incredibly unsettling lead feel horribly real. The title maybe part of what would steer me away from this movie, but it is perfectly apt. Every moment is creepy, it really makes your skin crawl and keeps your head swiveling to check whats behind you long after the credits roll. 
One of the best horrors I’ve seen on Netflix, a wolf in a run of the mill sheepish horror film’s clothing.

3. What we do in the Shadows (2014)

what we do

What it looks like?
By the initial thumbnail and the parodically ominous title What we do in the Shadows would appear to be a 1970s churn ’em out vampire flick that your slightly odd friend insists is cinematic history but is not remotely scary due to the papier mache bats and stilted acting. If you’ve learnt already that the Netflix star rating system is apparently controlled by allowing a cat to select which of the five bowls the film makes it want to eat from,then you probably won’t give much weight to that either. The giveaway  here is the cast, including Jemaine Clement – one half of The Flight of the Conchords, and the incongruity of the description which is seemingly for something more akin to The Real Vampires of Orange County. 

Why’s it Worth-A-Watch?
As a thorough investigation of its title page suggests, this is a slightly off the wall mockumentary following the day to day lives of Wellington’s most average vampires. The combination of banal chit chat and the world of the undead, coupled with ludicrous characters who take themselves entirely seriously, is an absolute winner. What we do in the Shadows, is fast paced and provides comedy for every minute of its short hour and twenty-five running time. The deadpan performances and on point writing make for an hilarious, noteworthy and refreshing comedy. 

4. Boom Bust Boom (2015)

boom bust boom

What it looks like?
To be honest, it looks pretty close to what it is, but until you click on the thumbnail you’re unlikely to be too gravitated towards a documentary that at first glance promises graphs and economics (Unless that gets you going like Duplas holding a calculator). Even once you read the description it would be easy to think that Netflix was somewhat overselling their product. Its a lot to promise analysis of the economic system, puppetry and plenty of laughs in one breath. I can’t imagine how Terry Jones ever got this off the floor with funding. 

Why’s it Worth-A-Watch?
Amazingly, Boom Bust Boom, delivers absolutely everything it promises; a robust and enlightening break down of economics in a light hearted, amusing and incredibly puppety way. Unlike most documentaries about the recent economic collapse this film does not concern itself with simply listing the key players, features and events of the recession. Boom Bust Boom is an exploration of human nature – why are we predisposed to make such crushing errors, over and over again – and a genuine guideline for how we can do better. None of it is forced down your throat, its slipped down with the whimsy of the film-making providing a spoonful of sugar and over an hour of genuine enjoyment. 

5. Small Apartments

small apartments

What it looks like?
It looks like one of Britain’s most hit or miss, the board and the wall, comedians in a three star reviewed film. It has a suitably random collection of screenshots, seemingly designed to warn Little Britain Season three fans that this is not a man wanting bitty. Other than that, there’s not much to go on other than a strong roster of British and American actors. The description gives about as much away as an S.A.S officer getting his feet tickled, possibly leading you to believe ‘Quirky’ will be short hand for different and pretty irritatingly bad. 

Why’s it Worth-A-Watch?

This is not the strongest title on this list. At times it is difficult to get your head round the tone, switching between dark gritty social realism (albeit black comedy) and complete absurdism. However this is precisely what makes it worth watching. There’s no film like it, its fascinating, and importantly laugh out loud funny at points. Once I’d surrendered to quite how strange it was, not a frivolous decision – a reflection of its strange lead played with surprising delicacy by Matt Lucas, it was a delight. Films like this, that tread the lines between light and dark, comedy and tragedy, are difficult to market. Beyond ‘British Films’ I don’t know what Netflix lists it fits into. Whether its your new favourite film or just that bizarre film whose title you can’t remember I’m sure you’ll be telling people about it, even if its just because you want to assure yourself it happened. 

 

I hope you enjoy these Netflix suggestions, if you have any of your own Unlikely Netflix Gold, leave a comment below. And use the link at the bottom of the page to follow recommendations and reviews from Worth-A-Watch.