Netflix and Chills: This Month’s New Releases

Netflix is making a bold choice this October by bringing surprisingly little shock and horror in their new arrivals. Nevertheless, I’m here to highlight some of the great films coming to the service, even if they aren’t scary. As an added bonus, I'll take a look at what good picks they do have for you terrifying Halloween parties.

I’m going to come right out and say it—Breakfast at Tiffany’s is coming to Netflix and you all should go watch it immediately. This movie may seem cheesy on the service but this swinging sixties flick, based on the Truman Capote short story of the same name, is witty, insightful, and it honestly it makes me cry every time. As someone who is deeply interested in the nature of love and how different people express those complicated emotions, Breakfast at Tiffany’s gets to the heart of issues around independence and emotional intimacy.

Audrey Hepburn shines in this movie (as she does in every movie) but this film truly marks a turning point in her career from Hollywood’s ingénue to one of the many faces of contemporary womanhood in the 60s.  

I must issue a warning, though, this film has one of the most disgusting and ridiculous portrayals of Japanese Americans in Hollywood history with Holly Golightly’s landlord, Mr. Yunoshi, being played by a white actor Mickey Rooney in horrible yellowface. I totally understand if you can’t get past that, and luckily we have other Netflix options.

There are three amazing documentaries coming to the site. First, Werner Herzog (who I wrote about last week) has two documentaries, this year’s Into the Inferno and his 2005 classic Grizzly Man. Herzog is a modern documentary master and these two films prove that. Both movies deal with the amazing forces of nature and what they do to the psychology of the individual and the collective. With Grizzly Man, Herzog explores the life of Timothy Treadwell, a man who decided to live among Grizzly bears for the last years of his life.

Alternatively, Into the Inferno gives a glimpse into the life of British volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer as he travels the world studying these beautiful and yet destructive entities. 

Ava DuVernay’s new film, The 13th rounds out the new releases, coming out Oct. 7th. I’m excited to see how she will bring her sublime artistic vision to our modern discussion on the Prison-Industrial Complex and its parallels and connections to slavery. I encourage everyone to watch what promises to be an eye-opening and visually captivating documentary.

And, if you really want to get your scare on, do not worry; there is no end to the spookfest on Netflix. Here's the skinny on three frightening choices. I’ve got to start with Dead Set, a horror mini-series written by Charlie Brooker of Black Mirror fame. Yes, the era of zombies is ending, but this show is timeless with its unique concept, gory visuals, and quirky sense of humor. Dead Set finds the cast of the reality show Big Brother all trapped in the famous house at the advent of the Zombie Apocalypse. Is it ridiculous? Completely. But, the mini-series is a great commentary on mass media, modern-day narcissism, and constructed realities.

If you’re looking for something a bit more terrifying, anthology horror films V/H/S and V/H/S 2 have some shorts that genuinely still terrify me, most notably “Amateur Night” and “10/31/98” from the first V/H/S and “Safe Haven” and “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” from V/H/S 2. I am not messing around when I say these are you won't be able to sleep after this scary. They are the perfect mix of suspenseful and outright gory. Until next time, stay spooky.

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