This April, like every month, an interesting variety of productions will be added to our Netflix options, while other options will be leaving us. To keep you up to date on what’s coming and going, the following is a brief compilation of trends and titles to watch out for.
What’s coming: Netflix is bringing in titles that belong to incredibly diverse genres this month. No matter what mood you're in, there’s bound to be something for you to watch when you need to unwind from the season of midterms.
Originals: Black Summer and The Silence
Even though Halloween is still a long ways away, the recent trend in popularity for the horror genre has evidently inspired Netflix to jump on the bandwagon. Netflix will contribute some of their own productions, with Originals like Black Summer and The Silence, this month. Black Summer is set in a post–apocalyptic world where zombies run rampant and a desperate mother seeks her lost daughter. This Original is meant to be a prequel to Syfy’s Z Nation, a zombie television series that only received lukewarm reviews but proved to be popular among audiences. The Silence shares the same premise as A Quiet Place. Monsters hunt based on sound, and survival is predicated on silence.
Horror Classics: Freddy vs. Jason and Friday the 13th
Netflix will be adding the age–old Freddy vs. Jason and Friday the 13th. While they are following the general shift towards horror, they’ve missed the nuanced creativity that Jordan Peele has offered in Get Out and his newly released Us. Their additions either follow the formula for cheap jump scares or simply borrow from John Krasinski, who directed A Quiet Place and managed to create an imaginatively and genuinely scary movie.
Thrillers: I Am Legend and The Hateful Eight
While Netflix may not have captured the horror genre well, they did a fantastic job in their selection for thrillers. I Am Legend and The Hateful Eight will make appearances on the site for the first time this April.
I Am Legend explores themes of alienation and conservatism in a thought–provoking screenplay that centers on the struggles of survival that Robert Neville (Will Smith) endures in a post–apocalyptic world taken over by vengeful zombies, or “darkseekers.” Its deathly quiet shots in an abandoned New York City and pensive cinematography build suspense for the heart–stopping conflicts that Neville eventually encounters with these monsters. The film is terrifying and suspenseful, and while some are partial to the book upon which it is loosely based, the film will still keep you strapped to your seat like no other.
The Hateful Eight is Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film. Set almost exclusively in a wintery cabin shortly after the Civil War, Tarantino brands the film with his name through its fast–paced dialogue and extravagant violence. He raises questions of race and gender relations in the United States: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) ultimately becomes the executioner of the Confederate general in the cabin, and Daisy Domergue, the sole woman—perhaps the most vicious of the lot—upends gender roles and conceptions of women during that time.
Miscellaneous: Spy Kids, Pineapple Express, and You vs. Wild
Among Netflix's new options is the 2000s classic Spy Kids, for those whose childhood involved watching these two spy kids save their spy parents. The comedy Pineapple Express, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, is perfect after a late night out to watch their weed–filled antics. And You vs. Wild is the interactive new series where viewers can make decisions to help Bear Grylls survive—or let him die trying.
Bold Dramas: L.A. Confidential, Casino Royale, and Goldfinger
The advent of great thrillers is supplementing the exit of equally great films from the same genre. Sadly, two James Bond movies will be leaving us, as will the neo–noir L.A. Confidential.
If you can get over the apparent rule that women get killed off about as frequently as Bond survives implausible long–drops and explosions, the movies make for fun entertainment. Casino Royale and Goldfinger, the two Bond movies on their way out, include gorgeous shots of sunny, foreign countries that will make you long for summer break, suave spy plots with opulent villains, and—just as a bonus—the handsome Daniel Craig and Sean Connery, respectively.
L.A. Confidential is more serious and thoughtful—not exactly what you want to watch after a three–hour lecture, as one of the Bond movies might be. A story of intrigue and corruption in the Los Angeles Police Department, its unlikeable—yet strangely likeable—characters add a depth to the story that is lacking in other police narratives.
Comedies: Silver Linings Playbook and American Pie
Silver Linings Playbook is a romance that verges on cheesy, but the witty humor of its two misfit protagonists set all thoughts of cliché aside. The slightly psychotic Pat (Bradley Cooper) and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) connect through their inability to act “appropriately” in society. The charm that the actors so easily convey and their passionate love for the Eagles make this film an incredibly enjoyable watch.
The humor of American Pie is coarser and far less subtle, but it has still become a cult classic. Personally, I don’t mind seeing this one go.
A full list of what’s coming and going can be found here.