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Netflix: Taking a stab at original horror films

Netflix originals are popping up left and right and seem to be making their way onto everyone’s must see lists. Shows like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and Daredevil have all captured the interest of a wide range of audiences. However, you may notice that these all have something in common. Many of the Netflix originals that we know and love are created as a series and not just as stand-alone films.

More recently, Netflix has been buying smaller indie films that may not have ended up on the big screen. They are dipping their feet into the movie scene in a way that gives these filmmakers more creative freedom than they would be allowed working for one of the larger film companies. These movies are also rewarded with access to a tremendous audience, as Netflix reaches over 190 different countries.

I Am The Pretty Thing that Lives in the House, directed by Osgood Perkins, was released in October of 2016. The film is about a young hospice nurse, played by Ruth Wilson, who takes up residence with an elderly horror novelist. Wilson’s character, who scares easily, takes a stab at reading some of her client’s work in the hopes of better understanding the ramblings/dementia that afflict her. The further she gets into the book the more curious she becomes about the inspiration for the novel and goes searching for answers.

The film was what one would expect for an indie film and was more for those who are into the indie horror genre. For others, it could have seemed a bit bland for their tastes. It had the potential to keep the attention of the audience by connecting the mysterious history of the novel and current events in the story if they were willing to get through much of the slower moving parts of the film. The camera work, which I personally thought was beautifully done, attributed to the mystery and thrill through steady wide angle, in and out of focus shots.

At this point I am interested in viewing another Netflix original horror film currently being shown. Titled Clinical, and released in January of 2017, the film centers around a psychiatrist who starts seeing flashbacks from her own attack after trying to help treat a man who is dealing with his own tragedy. The trailer seemed disturbing and eerie.

So where will Netflix go from here? It will be interesting to see what new indie films Netflix takes on for the horror genre and I anticipate more will be on the way. After watching numerous Netflix original series, I have high hopes for Netflix and their stand-alone horror movies. They’ve got a slow start, but their track record with other original series has been phenomenal and many are already of cult status. It will be interesting to see if/how they might continue to tread with the dead.

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