• Your one stop for college news and resources!
The 12 Best Netflix Movies to Watch This Halloween

The 12 Best Netflix Movies to Watch This Halloween

A recent survey by Redbox.com found that, after 45 years, The Exorcist (1973) is still the scariest movie that members have ever seen. Hocus Pocus (1993) is also celebrating a milestone anniversary this year, and it’s no surprise to hear that the iconic, 25-year-old classic out-performed all other family-friendly Halloween movies.

Whether you prefer fun or frightening, staying in with Netflix beats trick or treating—just ask the survey. We’re giving you 12 spooky movie options that you can stream for the best October ever.

The survey also showed that 72 percent of responders prefer popcorn to candy, so you should probably watch Children Of The Corn (1984) too. Happy Halloween!

  1. Scooby-Doo (2002)

Anyone who says this isn’t the best film ever made is lying—or just isn’t that nostalgic. The live-action re-imagining of the classic cartoon involves cults, spirits, brainwashing and meddling kids.

  1. It Follows (2014)

This horror film seems to be about an STD—except it takes the form of an evil spirit that sets out to murder its victim. Pass it on to survive.

  1. The Sixth Sense (1999)

This classic psychological thriller follows Bruce Willis as his character tries to help a young boy who is visited by ghosts. If you haven’t already been spoiled on the ending, your Halloween just got 100 times better.

  1. Coraline (2009)

Coraline is based on Neil Gaiman’s slightly disturbing children’s book. It follows a young girl who discovers an exciting parallel universe. Once you get over how creepy the character’s button-eyes are, this movie is awesome.

  1. The Babadook (2014)

On the surface, this monster movie seems like a terrifying horror film. Deep down, it is a terrifying horror film that cleverly explores the stresses of being a single parent and the manifestation of grief and depression.

  1. The Conjuring (2013) 

The Conjuring is inspired by a true story, and it’s petrifying. The movie follows paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, as they attempt to help a family who are being terrorized by a malevolent spirit.

  1. The Boy (2016)

Creepy doll movies are perfect for Halloween, and this one is no exception. When a young nanny breaks the list of rules for looking after a life-size doll, it becomes clear why the parents treat it like a real boy.

  1. Hotel Transylvania (2012)

If you need a break from the horrors, Hotel Transylvania’s monsters-meet-humans adventure is charming and fun. It was also voted as the fifth family-friendly favourite in the Redbox survey.

  1. Would You Rather (2013)

We dare you to tear your eyes away from this gruesome horror. The intense movie follows a group of unfortunate characters at a dinner party. In a merciless twist, the host forces them to play a sadistic game or pay the price.

  1. Curse of Chucky (2012) 

What screams Halloween more than Chucky? Another sequel. This installment is actually one of the most atmospheric and scary Chucky films, and follows a grieving daughter whose niece has a creepy doll.

  1. Van Helsing (2004)

This monster hunter saga is mainly here because it has Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale in, but it’s also a thrilling roller-coaster ride of entertainment.

  1. Raw (2016) 

This one is best viewed on an empty stomach, so put the popcorn down. At school, a vegetarian girl is convinced to eat raw meat for the first time and develops a craving for flesh. This movie is famous for causing audience members to faint at the Toronto International Film Festival. Go on, we dare you.

Further reading: Why Netflix’s Sierra Burgess Is A Loser Is Problematic

Why Netflix’s Sierra Burgess Is A Loser Is Problematic

Why Netflix’s Sierra Burgess Is A Loser Is Problematic

2018 is becoming the year of the hit or miss Netflix rom-com. The streaming sensation’s most recent success, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, is a charming and mature exploration of identity, family and young love. With emerging teenage heartthrob, Noah Centineo, also appearing as a new love interest in Sierra Burgess Is A Loser just a few weeks later, it’s hard to see how Netflix got this film so wrong.

Netflix’s Stranger Things star, Shannon Purser has been promoted from sidekick to leading lady in Sierra Burgess—what should have been a heartwarming move towards body positivity. With a respectable, talented cast and undeniably positive themes of friendship, it’s a shame that pretty much the rest of the Sierra Burgess plot makes us feel uncomfortable. Indeed, for a film that was supposed to subvert the stereotypes of teenage rom-coms, every joke served to insult its own integrity.

Sierra Burgess is loosely based on the 1897 play, Cyrano de Bergerac, and follows an intelligent misfit who accepts her unpopularity at school with the help of family, friendship and integrity. Sounds good so far, right?

When stereotypical it-girl, Veronica (Kristine Froseth), gives Sierra’s phone number to Jamey (Noah Centineo) as a joke, and he texts the number thinking he’s messaging Veronica, Sierra just goes along with it. Perhaps if Sierra had any incentive to do so—perhaps if she had ever actually met Jamey—we’d sympathize with her character or see this moment as comedic. As it goes, we see Sierra cat fishing Jamey throughout the film by pretending to be Veronica, without her permission.

Luckily for Sierra, Veronica doesn’t seem to mind this, and goes on to help Sierra to continue to deceive Jamey in exchange for tutoring. Notably, the tutoring stems from a guy calling Veronica “dumb” and serves as an attempt—not to prove him wrong—but to impress him. Veronica even allows Sierra to coerce her into face timing Jamey and, at one point, actually goes on a date with him. We’ll forgive you for being such a dreamboat, but come on Jamey; she has a completely different voice!

As this scene comes to a head, Netflix also throws in a huge consent fail. Jamey asks to kiss Veronica, at which point she promptly puts her hands over his eyes and switches places with Sierra, who has been eavesdropping on the date from underneath Jamey’s car. Cringingly similar to ‘The Houdini’ manoeuvre, this PG-13 version is still ringing all of the alarm bells.

Bizarre, cat-fishing scenes aside, this message does not promote body positivity or self-acceptance to its young viewers. Instead, it seems that the only way Sierra can get a guy to kiss her is through force, and by pretending to be someone she’s not—a thin, blonde socialite. Even as Sierra and Veronica become unsuspecting best friends, a scene where Veronica plucks Sierra’s eyebrows reminds us that grooming is still considered a way to fit in to gendered society.

In a more positive light, another casting success for the film was the role of Jamey’s deaf little brother, who is played by the deaf actor, Cochise Zornoza. Unfortunately, a scene where Sierra bumps into Jamey in real life and pretends to be deaf so that he won’t recognise her voice, does not help its cause. Prominent deaf activist and male model, Nyle DiMarco, was one of the first to point out why.

“So one of my close friends’ deaf brother is in Sierra Burgess”, he tweeted.

“When I learned, I was elated. Finally more deaf actors/representation & ASL inclusion in films

“… Only to find out the deaf character was written and used for a terrible joke.

“PS- pretending to be deaf is NOT ok.”

Viewers have also been quick to point out that the slut shaming in Sierra Burgess, as well as a number of LGBT and mental illness jokes, is totally not okay. For a movie with the slogan “Just Be You”, it really just romanticizes cat fishing and manipulation. In a somewhat undeserving resolution, Jamey tells Sierra that “even though she isn’t everyone’s type,” she’s perfect for him—charming.

Whilst I think that the idea of teenage love bringing out unexplored insecurities is relatable—and I did relate to Sierra on a few different levels—this film was just far too problematic to work for me. I’m also definitely on team Veronica—sorry Barb.

fat-shaming

Netflix’s ‘Insatiable’ to Release Despite Fat-shaming Backlash

New Netflix Original  Insatiable is due to release August 10 despite the growing fat-shaming controversy surrounding it.

Debby Ryan, actress known for her roles in Disney’s Jessie and 16 Wishes, portrays “Fatty Patty”, a teenager who has her jaw wired shut over the summer, causing dramatic weight loss. She then seeks revenge on her peers who previously bullied her.

The show has received a negative reaction from Netflix watchers who suggest that it emphasises the objectification of women and promotes fat-shaming.

A petition has been started on Change.org by Florence Given titled, “Stop the Release of Netflix’s Body Shaming series Insatiable”, which has now gained over 200,000 signatures from fellow protestors. The petition emphasises the effect of the show on young women, suggesting that the show will “perpetuate the further objectification of women’s bodies.”

At the 2018 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, Netflix’s Original Series’ vice president, Cindy Holland, confirmed that the show is still going forward despite the criticism it has received. She states, “Fat-shaming itself, that criticism, is embedded in the DNA of the show.”

A ‘review embargo’ has been issued to critics by Netflix until August 8.

Ryan has responded to the backlash by posting a lengthy response on Twitter. “We’re not in the business of fat-shaming. We’re out to turn a sharp eye on broken, harmful systems that equate thinness with worth”, she writes. Ryan adds that she hopes fans will wait until they watch the show before judging it.

Lauren Gussis, the brains behind the new series, has said that Insatiable is based on her own experiences. “When I was 13, I was suicidal. My best friends dumped me, I was bullied, and I wanted revenge. I thought that if I looked pretty on the outside, I’d feel like I was enough. Instead, I developed an eating disorder… and the kind of rage that makes you want to do bad things.”

Many people have taken to Twitter to express their opinions regarding body shaming on the show. Jameela Jamil, actress popular for her role in The Good Place, tweeted about the show: “Not very into the premise of Fatty Patty… a teenager stops eating and loses weight and then when ‘conventionally attractive’ takes revenge on her schoolmates? This is still telling kids to lose weight to ‘win’. The fat-shaming is inherent and pretty upsetting.”

Further reading: Netflix Pulls Out of Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

Netflix Pulls Out of Cannes Film Festival

Streaming giant Netflix pulls out of Cannes Film Festival this year after a new rule change was made banning films without a theatrical release in France from competing for the main prizes.

In an interview with Hollywood trade publication Variety, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said that the company will not be changing its release strategy to satisfy the new rule. Commenting on pulling out of the prestigious event, Sarandos said, “It was not our decision to make.” He called the new rule, which was imposed by the festival’s artistic director Thierry Frémaux, “completely contrary to the spirit of any film festival in the world.”

While Netflix will be able to screen films not in the competition, Sarandos maintains that this would be an unlikely route for the company to take. “We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker.

“There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”

Frémaux responded to Netflix’s announcement saying, “Any film in competition should be open to distribution in theaters.”

He continued, “We made offers for two films by Netflix this year, one out of competition and one in competition. Netflix did not wish to release the [competition title] in theaters. According to the rule, this film will not be in the competition. The film could not be in the competition. Films must be open to the possibility of being distributed in cinemas. It’s too bad.”

Cannes Film Festival started life more than 70 years ago as an art house showcase. It has attracted major celebrities and commercial films over the decades, giving it its stellar reputation as one of the most important festivals in the world.

Cannes Film Festival will run from May 8 to May 19 in France.

Further reading: Stranger Things Creators Sued for Plagiarism

Kate Nash

Interview with Kate Nash

Kate Nash rose to the heights of fame in 2007, dominating the UK charts with her debut album Made of Bricks before hitting 20 years old. More than 10 years later, the musician and actress is back with fervour and busier than ever with her first studio album for five years, Yesterday was Forever, and her dazzling role in Netflix favorite, Glow.

New Wave Nash

Nash tells me that Yesterday was Forever was recorded over four years. “I started recording it in 2014, but it’s been really challenging… I went through this period of kind of writing pop songs again and trying to write songs for other people… There’s a massive scene of writers and producers and song-writing camps and rooms that are really draining and confusing. But I also did find some really cool people that i worked with individually from those sessions and so I worked primarily with two producers.” She tells me that while some of the tracks on the record were written as little as two months ago, some were recorded at the very beginning, four years ago. “I was worried when we were recording it that it wasn’t going to sound like a record,” she remembers. “But when we were mastering it, I was like, ‘Wow. This is a record, this sounds like an album.’” Recording a record this time round wasn’t the stressed out, time-strained process it once was. “Putting together the album was really chilled because I’m not attached to everything in the same way [as in the past] because I have changed a lot since I started writing it… There’s this journey throughout the album from where I was when I started and where I am now and that’s really cool as well. It wasn’t the way I chose to do it, but I do believe everything happens for a reason and I think, you know, that this is that album that’s supposed to exist and I’m really excited about it.”

Nash shot to pop stardom rapidly, having recorded and distributed Made of Bricks before even turning 20. Was fame a difficult thing to cope with? “Yeah, definitely. How can it not be?” The artist replies. “You’re trying to figure out who you are and everyone is telling you all these things… and you’re like, ‘I literally don’t know who I am yet, leave me alone!’ Just being so young, managing all of these people and being a boss and being in control of something that feels really big but also felt like it was controlling me for a while.” Nash credits her close-knit network of family and friends for keeping her stable and grounded during such a crazy time in her career. “Fame is it’s own beast, so you really have to manage it carefully and know what it is. It comes with the job and there’s benefits but it’s not something I’m ever desiring. Fame itself is just very rapid and empty and it doesn’t really do anything, you know? It’s sort of confusing and it sort of creates weird social environments. But I think it’s just changing your idea of how you measure success, which I think is really important in this industry.”

The dark side

When Nash’s second album didn’t hit the same dizzying heights of success of Made of Bricks, she was dropped by her record label. “It felt really fucked up because I found out by text message and no one was there to talk to me about it—and no one really ever talked to me properly about it. I still feel like I don’t really know what happened, but I also don’t mind.” Even after such a crushing time, Nash remained admirably positive. “I feel very lucky to be an independent artist… Being on a label is really great, but there’s also a lot of stuff that comes with being on a label that’s controlling and there’s so much pressure and so many people involved in your vision. I’m in a different place now, but at the time it felt really, like, ‘What the fuck just happened?’ It felt like no one really cared. All these people came and found me when I was really young and wanted to get in on the hype of my MySpace and the shows I was doing in London, but really, they didn’t care about me as a person or as an artist.” Nash tells me how important she thinks it is that artists in the industry have an open dialogue about the negative side to the industry. “It’s important to talk about so that it’s normalised, because I think everyone in the music industry is having a fairly hard time at the moment… We can [artists] all learn from each other’s experiences.”

The topic of conversation progresses to the star’s upcoming North American tour in April. Contrary to usual tour-type questions, I want to know about the dark side of being on the road. “The dark side of touring is how many people on tour are addicts and have ended up in dark situations because of how you party every night and how you’re expected to drink and do drugs and have this adrenaline boost that not everyone can do naturally. There’s a lot of mental health issues on the road; it’s a lifestyle that isn’t suited to everybody. I’m really lucky to have found such great people to go on the road with.” Her advice for budding musicians? “Build your family on the road, build people that make you feel fucking joy and excited to play music because it is such a privilege. It’s just the best job ever; it’s such a cool thing to be able to do. I’ve had times when I’ve been on tour with people who didn’t make me feel good and that’s horrible. But now I have this amazing girl band and all my lighting girls on tour with me. Just making sure you’re curating the environment and bringing only positive vibes—anyone with any negativity just gets, like, fired immediately from now on,” she laughs. “Because it poisons an environment really fast; everyone’s tired and run down, if there’s any negativity then it’s east to become negative. Whereas if everyone’s positive, then even when you’re tired and stressed out and confused about which time zone you’re in, you are still having an amazing ride with people who are filling you with excitement.”

“Fame is it’s own beast, so you really have to manage it carefully and know what it is”—Kate Nash

Girl Talk

The pop star has always been vocal when it comes to talking about being a woman constantly in the eye of the media. The new shift in the entertainment landscape makes it feel like women are having their moment; they’re finally being taken seriously. Does she agree? “I don’t know yet,” she says. “I’m not sure the effects are happening yet but I think people are really inspired to see that we can really change things. Ten years ago, it was not a great environment to be female… [But] I think there has been growth and we should always be striving for growth. Because 10 years ago, it was definitely a different scene for me. I’m seeing changes that are positive; teenage girls have reclaimed their voice and they’ve demanded that they’re taken seriously and they rule the internet and that’s the most powerful thing ever. I think young people are really doing something completely iconic.” I agree, vehemently. “The pendulum is swinging,” she muses, “but it’s also transitional. It’s going to be a painful shift, but there’s definitely been a positive change.”

Way to Glow

In the summer of 2017, Netflix’s smash comedy, Glow, streamed for the first time. Nash landed the role of spunky Rhonda after a pilot she shot with director Jenji Kohen starring Eddy Izzard failed to get picked up. “Because I’d done that, Jenji wanted me to read for the part of Rhonda in Glow, so I auditioned.” Glow is set in the 80s and sees a group of misfit women reinvent themselves in the form of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. “We trained to be wrestlers, we trained to be stunt women and wrestlers. The two best things about the show have been learning how to wrestle and doing it with the most amazing group of women and having this insane bond over our physicality and having a bunch of new female friends who I feel I can really lean on and trust. It’s such a fucking dream job.” She speaks with such verve that I wish I was a part the empowering group of women, too. “Honestly, I can’t believe it sometimes, because I have so much fun with a bunch of ridiculously funny and talented women who I love and are actually my friends. We’ve learned to do really amazing things with our bodies and we feel really strong and powerful. I have such a connection with my physicality that I’ve just never had before; I never thought I’d have it.” I make a mental note to learn to wrestle before asking if TV will take precedence in her career now, or whether it’ll run side-by-side with her first passion, music. “I’m think I’m going to have to find a way to be parallel. I guess that it’s going to be depending on my commitments. Sometimes I have to take a dip out of each one. You know, when I’m shooting Glow, that’s extensive, like five months of physical wrestling and long hours. My time is really taken up by that. I was actually doing stuff for the record on the weekends which was intense. I want to do both, but I’m just going to have to learn how to balance them. I think that it’s key to carve out personal time and healing time, so that I can give my energy to both in a fresh way each time I come back to them.”

Is there anything on the horizon for the artist that we should keep an eye out for in the coming year? She tells me that season two of Glow will be released this year (“that’s gonna be fucking epic,” she says) and her tour is coming up in April. “At the moment, it’s sort of unknown to be honest with you.” But here’s something you didn’t know: Nash is about to study mycology, the scientific study of mushrooms and fungi. “I’m obsessed with nature and just learning about it. I think being in nature is so fucking important, like, it keeps me sane. But yeah, I’m really fascinated with mushrooms.”

> Yesterday was Forever is to be released March 30 and will be available to buy online and in stores nationwide.

Further reading: Dates for Kate Nash’s North American Tour Confirmed