Monday, November 05, 2018

A personal ban on Netflix original movies

Google the topic "why are Netflix original movies so bad/mediocre" and you'll find much discussion along those lines.

On Saturday, despite getting a bit overdosed on Netflix haunting material lately, we watched the lengthily titled "I am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House": a very minimalist and peculiar ghost story that doesn't just flag where it's going, but draws a diagram within the first 5 minutes and doesn't divert from it.  As a result, there is nothing of surprise (save for one bit of sudden violence), even though I expected it must have a twist ending which never came.

The movie, surprisingly, was considered very good by some reviewers:  it seemed to me (and my son) more like a complete waste of 90 minutes.  I thought it had the feel of a student project, really.   Certainly, it should have been cheap to make.   Could the lead character have any less charisma, I wonder?

Given this poor experience, I'm very inclined to not try any more Netflix original material.

Update:   speaking of hauntings, we have started to watch The Haunting of Hill House series on Netflix.  

I have not seen the original movie that it is based on,  and I gather that this series is a very divergent  modern updating of the themes in the original, rather than re-playing the story.   (Now that I think of it, rather like how the re-invented Lost in Space goes all into family drama as a major them.)

I think I will continue watching it, but I have to say, I am getting tired of certain haunted house tropes:

a.  if you wake up very scared by a sound at night, the first thing normal people do is turn on a light.    People in haunted houses would rather stare out into the dark, it seems.

b.  On the occasions they do turn on the light, it becomes clear that they have no idea about wattage strength for their light bulbs.   (Always buying ones that are about a third as bright as they would be in a normal house.) 

c.  People who are renovating haunted houses are much more interested in money than the psychological health of their children.

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