Earlier this week the notoriously secretive streaming site Netflix released some interesting stats concerning its viewership data, revealing top series bingers by country. Ireland came 11th out of 190 countries surveyed! We for one, blame the weather and with storm Brian on the way this weekend, it couldn’t be a better time to snuggle up in front of the telly. Here are our top picks for the weekend.
Fun throwback slasher: The Babysitter
Netflix’s latest Original film isn’t art by any standards but it can’t be denied that it has a certain 80s teen slasher era throwback charm about it. The story concerns Cole, a nerdy 12-year-old boy with the mother of all crushes on his gorgeous girl-next-door babysitter Bee. Bee has it all, she’s beautiful, funny and stands up to Cole’s bullies. One night, Cole decides to stay up after bedtime to see what Bee gets up to while he’s asleep. Spoiler alert… it’s nothing good! In fact it’s nothing short of satanic…
Viewers looking for a light piece of diverting trash this Halloween season will no doubt be entertained but don’t go in expecting a masterpiece of horror by any means.
Promising review: A great horror comedy with a genuinely touching tale of growing up tucked underneath the buckets of blood, and Satanism.
Give it a go: If you’re looking for a kitschy teen slasher.
Give it a miss: If you prefer Rosemary’s Baby to Scary Movie when it comes to horror films.
HBO does 70s seedy underbelly of NYC: The Deuce
A new premium series from HBO starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce “chronicles that moment in time when sex went from being a back-alley, brown-paper-bag commodity to a billion-dollar universal in American life, a moment when ground zero for the earliest pioneers in the flesh trade was the midtown heart of the nation's largest city, New York's Times Square.”
With a score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, David Simon’s new drama series comes with a talented cast, big budget production values and a fully realised 70s New York. We can’t wait to watch it
Promising review: “The Deuce demands you dive into its vice-filled world. You may feel a little dirty and tainted afterwards but it is so electrifying, you won't be able to resist its sinful charms.”
Give it a go: If you’re looking for a new series to transport you to another world.
Give it a miss: If you’re not a fan of urban grit and you want your shows to be a little more shiny.
The Deuce is available to stream on NOW TV now.
Keeping it spooky: Lore
From the executive producer of The Walking Dead and the executive producer of The X-Files comes Lore, a six part anthology series adapted from the popular podcast of the same name. Each episode explores a new non-fiction scary story, examining historical events that show the dark side of human nature and is presented in a style that's been compared to a campfire experience.
The series has so far received mostly mixed reviews with some reviewers feeling that the adaptation from the podcast format to a visual medium hasn’t been an easy one. Others praise the series of its innovative use of different types of footage to create its eerie atmosphere.
Why not give it a try and see for yourself? The series is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now.
Promising review: “Aaron Mahnke's unique use of animation, stock footage and live action will keep you glued to your screens. It is a wonderful piece of entertainment for horror fans and casual viewers alike to learn more about the monsters we thought we knew so well.”
Give it a go: If you like spooky stories and the anthology format.
Give it a miss: If you’re a loyal fan of the podcast with big expectations.
Dip in and out: Room 104
Keeping with the anthology theme, fans of short stories and films will no doubt enjoy the Duplass brothers new series Room 104. The premise is quite simple; set in a single room of an average American motel, Room 104 tells a different story of the assorted characters who pass through it over the course of a few decades in each episode.
Stories include a pizza delivery boy getting caught up in a couple’s twisted games, two young Mormon missionaries test the boundaries of their faith and two young men plotting to disrupt a political convention are interrupted by nerves—and an air-conditioning repairman.
Intrigued? Room 104 is available to stream on NOW TV now.
Promising review: “What makes Room 104 entertaining is its ability to create a weird and imaginative world out of a small, nondescript place that seems so common from the outside.”
Give it a go: If you’re looking for a show that can change its skin entirely with every episode.
Give it a miss: If you hate being left wanting more, your time with these characters is very limited!
Acting masterclass: Split
Given that’s it’s spooky season, here’s just one more creepy offering for this week’s recommendations, though it leans more on the spine tingling thriller side than horror.
Meet Kevin… and Patricia, and Denis and Hedwig and… These are just some of the 23 distinct personalities that James McAvoy embodies with masterclass aplomb in Split. While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.Though Kevin has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher, there remains one still submerged who is set to materialise and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey, Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him - as well as everyone around him - as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.
Promising review: “Split isn't a complete return to form, but it reminded me of what a Shyamalan film used to promise: heart-racing unpredictability and a story that winds into a towering structure of queasy horror.”
Give it a go: If you’re looking for great suspense and equally great acting.
Give it miss: If you find the demonisation of mental illness to be a little problematic…
That’s all folks!
If you’re looking for more recommendations to watch, check out our last edition of What to Watch.