What to watch on Netflix: Week of 12/30

Matthew Ellmore/Staff Writer

Netflix offers a wide array of content for its viewers to watch, and it can be daunting to skim through its large collection to try and find something that interests you. However, there are some documentaries, series, and movies that are available on Netflix and that stand out from the rest. Some of them may be well-known, others may not. Hopefully, you can find something that interests you.

Green Room” (2015)

“Green Room” follows a punk band that accidentally books a show at a neo-Nazi skinhead punk club. After their show, they become witnesses to a murder and are held hostage. If that’s not enough to interest you, then maybe this will: Patrick Stewart plays the leader of the neo-Nazi skinheads. The plot of “Green Room” moves slowly, so it might be more appropriate to label it as a thriller instead of a horror movie. The entire premise revolves around the wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time scenario that so many thrillers and horrors tend to focus on, but “Green Room” is a totally different example of it. “Green Room” draws most of its horror from its use of absurd violence. Not only are the acts themselves horrific, but the fact that they’re appropriate for the situation is even more terrifying. Its horror also comes from how realistic the situations that it portrays are. It evokes a sense of dread and relentless brutality, but it never feels overdone. The violence is impactful and the characters surrounding it feel genuine. The story chooses to forgo painting certain characters as good or evil; each character has their own animalistic and sympathetic side, which makes for an even more compelling story. “Green Room” is an exciting slasher-horror thriller that will give its audience a sense of fright and shock from start to finish.

“Perfume” (2018)

Based on the novel by German author Patrick Süskind with the same name, “Perfume” follows a young detective investigating a series of brutal murders that involve manipulating people through human scents. Although it’s based on the novel, the series shifts the story to modern day while maintaining the same theme of manipulation through scent. This is a major change from the original source material, but the show manages to convey a thrilling story. The characters are complex and compelling, the surroundings are grey and dreary, and the narration is slow but important to the show. Unlike most crime series, “Perfume” does not deliver evidence piece by piece, and it tends to stray away from conventional storytelling methods. There are jumps in time and setting but they’re used intelligently and are vital to the story itself. “Perfume” is both explicit and gory. At times, it can feel a little over the top, but in most cases these two elements add to the theme of the series. “Perfume” hits on all of the aspects that make a great crime series, and its unique plot and captivating characters are enough to draw an audience in and keep them hooked throughout the entire series.

“The Sunshine Makers” (2015)

“The Sunshine Makers” tells the perplexing story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully. The duo became notorious in the 1960s for manufacturing and distributing enormous amounts of LSD, including “Orange Sunshine,” which would be hailed as the golden standard for psychedelics. Somehow, the documentary manages to recount the events involving Sand and Scully in a light but thrilling way.  The film resembles other documentaries about the period by focusing on the criminals’ tactics to evade police, but it also reflects many of the aesthetics from the time period it’s focused on. CGI effects during hallucinatory clips from ‘60s and ‘70s television and movies help the film place its audience straight into the 1960s. Another thing that separates “The Sunshine Makers” from other types of media dealing with the drug culture of the ‘60s is that it shows some caution in how it presents its main subjects. Both Sand and Scully believed that the drugs they were making were for a good cause, but their tactics were severely flawed. The documentary carries the idea that both men were interested in trying to achieve a more peaceful future, but they probably could have gone about it in a better way.

Featured photo by Shawn Fields on Unsplash.

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