Jim’s 7 Hidden Gems On Netflix Instant


For anyone out there who is a Netflix instant customer, you know it can be very easy to get lost in the shuffle of absolute shit that permeates the marketplace on our beloved streaming service. After all, how exactly are we supposed to use both the user rating for the film and what Netflix thinks we’ll think of the film together to figure out how much we’ll like it? And sometimes, you know, a film with 2 stars can actually be more entertaining than one with 4. Those films are not the ones I have listed below. The six films and one TV season below aren’t that wide of a range of films to be honest (all except one are from 2004-2010, and most have some sense of horror/thriller to them), but they are ones you may repeatedly pass over when scrolling down your Instant Queue. SCROLL NO MORE! If possible, immediately check out the films (and TV series) below, you will not regret it, and if you do regret it, feel free to write me a strongly worded letter.

SPOILER ALERT: I tried to remain as spoiler-free as possible, but sometimes giving the most general plot synopsis leads to minor spoilers. To avoid all spoilers, simply scroll very quickly and just note the titles, then write them down, then watch them.

The Wind That Shakes The Barley – 2006 – Dir. Ken Loach

What?: Two brothers brought together, and then torn apart, by the Irish War of Independence.

Why Should I Watch?: Because on top of brilliant performances by Cillian Murphy, Pádraic Delaney, and Orla Fitzgerald, it ranks in my mind as one of the best war films ever made. Sure, the film is set around the Irish War of Independence, but the war at the forefront here is between brother and brother, man and country, ideals and reality.

Luther (Series 1) – 2010 – Created by Neil Cross

What?: Meet Detective Chief Inspector John Luther (how very British). He’s a detective, and he’s brilliant, but he has issues. He’s kinda like Gregory House, but instead of having a little pill problem, he may have tried to kill a guy … while on duty. But it’s okay, because he’s past that now and back on the job, only the ramifications of that little incident still follow him around.

Why Should I Watch?: Because unlike the standard formulaic US cop show, this one actually goes places you might not expect. And it’s seriously dark. And I (now Golden Globe winner) Idris Elba is brilliant in it. A warning however: the show is mostly devoid of humor. If you’d like something similar, but a bit on the lighter side, watch Stephen Moffat‘s Sherlock, which is also pretty remarkable.

The Burning – 1981 – Dir. Tony Maylam

What?: More or less your standard, campy, slasher-fare.

Why Should I Watch?: You mean other than roles played by the young Fisher Stevens and Jason Alexander? It may be standard, but it’s must better (and campier) than most of the self-serious horror that comes out today. Plus, scenes happen in the daytime, which is for some reason unheard of in modern horror.

Dead Man’s Shoes – 2004 – Dir. Shane Meadows

What?: A soldier returns home to exact revenge on the men who mistreated his mentally disabled brother while he was away.

Why Should I Watch?: Incredibly filmed by Shane Meadows (see also: This Is England), Dead Man’s Shoes is equal parts thriller and family drama, with wonderful performances from Toby Kebbel and Paddy Considine (who also co-wrote).

Los Cronocrímenes (aka Timecrimes) – 2007 – Dir. Nacho Vigalondo

What?: Hector is having a bad day, and it’s going to get worse … and worse … and worse.

WHAT?!: Yeah, I know, but I honestly can’t say very much without giving away giant spoilers. Just watch it, okay?

Why Should I Watch?: Other than a refreshing and original take on an overused movie trope? An English-language remake is set to be made some time in the future, so you can be that cool guy after the movie who says, “The original was better.”

Pontypool – 2009 – Dir. Bruce McDonald

What?: Details roll in to a morning radio show about weird occurrences happening around one small Canadian town.

Why Should I Watch?: Based off of a radio play, Pontypool doesn’t stray far, using minimal characters and locations. By never really leaving the room with the main characters, we are as trapped and shut off from the outside world as they are.

The House of the Devil – 2009 – Dir. Ti West

What?: A girl who needs money to make rent answers a flyer looking for a babysitter, but everything is not as it seems.

Why Should I Watch?: You mean other than the fact that I was able to type something I have always wanted to type in describing it (“everything is not as it seems”)? It’s a 1980s set horror-thriller filmed using all 1980s era-equipment. The film takes you back to the heyday of the low-budget fright flick with very few reminders (other than some recognizable faces) that this wasn’t dug up in some basement and then released 25 years later. Also, it’s excellent.

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7 Comments on “Jim’s 7 Hidden Gems On Netflix Instant”

  1. 02.29.12 at 2:07 PM #

    Dead Man’s Shoes is an incredible movie.

    I also feel like Old Boy should be on here.

    • 02.29.12 at 2:20 PM #

      I was going to include Oldboy, and I probably should have, but I think even people who haven’t seen it have at least heard of it, so I included The Wind that Shakes The Barley instead, since it’s a vastly under-appreciated and anonymous film.

      • 03.1.12 at 9:27 PM #

        Did they ever make a second Oldboy? I feel like I remember hearing something about that. Watched The House of the Devil today…Good stuff.

  2. 03.4.12 at 3:26 AM #

    I have tried to create my own list. One being ‘Hidden Gems on Netflix’ and the other just simply being ‘Overlooked Films’

    Overlooked films= http://wp.me/P1Xasa-1F
    Hidden Gems on Netflix= http://wp.me/P1Xasa-O

    I would love it if you looked!

    Cheers

  3. 03.5.12 at 10:42 PM #

    Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is a must watch.

  4. Memphisslim
    11.30.12 at 9:09 PM #

    I didn’t like Oldboy that much. Predictable.
    Not sure if it’s on Netflix, but if you like Bruce McDonald, you need to watch Hard Core Logo. One of my favorite movies of all time.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Colin’s Netflix Picks | List Off - 02.29.12

    […] Netflix Picks   Yesterday Jim brought you his Seven Hidden Gems on Netflix Instant so today I come back at you with seven picks of my own. I tried to dig deep and scrounge up a […]

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