Because we thought you deserve better than watching ‘Contagion’ all day on and off-screen! We bring to you five fresh-off-the-boat, absolute crowdpleasers that’ll leave you gasping (in a good way, of course) in no time!
Mind-blowing is an understatement for the team at The August. We are absolute slackers when it comes to gorging great watch material online, be it on a workday or weekend. What’s a more intimidating way to spend ‘social distancing’ than to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ lock horns in the battle to the excellent quarantine movie-time? It is indeed a steamy situation online.
The last time we were this excited was when there was the impeachment of ahem! a particular president, last year. 2019 feels so distant right now (almost like another era) that you may misunderstand the impeached president here with Bill Clinton in 1998.
Survival of the fittest. For us, it’s survival of the smartest, darkest, most suspenseful, unbelievably exciting psychological thrillers; we guess you get the rest. If all the devastating news or on-repeat favourites is taking its toll on your mind, here are five gems to watch online that can take your mind, pack it in a box and send you away to their worlds for good. *NO SPOILERS Ahead*
1. The Platform (Dark, Psychology Thriller) – Netflix
Unusual name as that is, The Platform is an excruciatingly creative, gruesomely detailed Spanish thriller that would keep you on your toes all through. If you’ve been a fan of Chris Evans starring Snowpiercer (2013), or Cube (1997), you’ll love this dystopian, thought-experiment of a movie. Released on March 20, 2020, on Netflix, this movie has received massive praise from critics and audiences online, mainly because of its relevance to the given timing. No, it’s not about quarantine, social distancing, or pandemic – preferably on the importance of ‘rationing’ of food.
The crux of the movie stems from the unfair ‘divide’ between people above and below and represents a vertical prison with unknown levels – each containing two prisoners. The prisoners are assigned cell levels at a random, monthly re-arrangement process. They are the right mix of volunteers who have opted to experience the prison in return for money, and others.
Every cell has a massive slot in the middle of the room for food to arrive from level zero. At level zero, each day, a grand buffet table that is enough for every prisoner, is set by top chefs and sent down via the slot. However, as the table is timed as it passes through each level, by the time it reaches to the 50th level, there’s absolutely nothing left behind for the remaining prisoners to eat in the lower levels. Reason? It’s because of overconsuming by people at upper levels. Such selfish behaviour of prisoners at top levels led to a rise in dark, gritty, plot-twists for survival. Didn’t the overconsuming remind you of toilet rolls and sanitizers? Us too!
2. Parasite (Suspense, Drama) – Amazon Prime
The hype is real, and those who have seen the movie would agree! The South Korean mastermind Bong Joon-ho has delivered a bizarre, riveting story that is going to stay with you for long, just like a hidden parasite feeding off your imagination. A rare experience that only grows on your mind; Parasite can be the perfect way to understand how deep the divide in society runs in our blood and brains. With generous tones of chills, drama, and black comedy, Parasite lets you revel in the sheer adrenaline that movies bring.
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The story is based on the luxurious mansions set upon the dingy slums of Seoul, where the walls and pavements are littered with urinating drunks and coagulated rain waters. While the family living in the architectural marvel of a mansion lead a lavish lifestyle with feasts and bouquets, the not-so-fortunate family in the slums live in a semi-basement with a small window opening to the roads.
Despite limited resources, the latter family has ambitious and talented youngsters who decide to take tutoring jobs to the children of the richest family in the mansion. However, since the plentiful Parks’ wouldn’t take anything less than efficient, high-class staff into their household, the Kims’ fake their degrees and identities to slip into their roles. Soon they were a bunch of posers who ran errands across the mansion, only to enjoy its comfort in the absence of the Parks’. All was well until a secret was revealed and things took an unprecedented turn!
3. Money Heist (Crime, Thriller) – Netflix
One of the most celebrated TV drama of our times, this cult TV series, has taken the Italian anti-fascist song ‘Bella Ciao’ to every household across the world. Money Heist was also awarded the best drama series at the 46th International Emmy Awards in November 2018.
The plot remains simple – a man named ‘Professor’ having no background information appears and gathers eight people in Madrid, with cities as codenames. These people brainstorm, as well as get into the Royal Mint of Spain, to rob €2.4 billion money. Before knowing, we’re already chasing as many as 67 hostages in the mint, for 11 long days, as the police force gains momentum on them. However, many nail-biting moments later, the same group can be seen planning yet another heist.
The unpredictability of the situations, the emotionally extreme characters, make Money Heist a quintessential TV show that stems from the very foundation of Spanish literature – rising against the system is idealistic. Not to mention its epic intro song!
4. Sex Education (Comedy, Drama) – Netflix
Don’t judge a TV drama by its name – it’s hilarious and not for the faint at hearts, yes! For anyone wanting to have a breath of freshness into your watch time, this TV series is your cue! The MA (means if you’re 16+ and not a 9 yr old reading this sneakingly on your mother’s phone! *Sigh*) is a glorious, heartwarming, ROFL-worthy creation that you can binge-watch anytime! Think of it this way, do you remember the first time (and probably the last!) you had sex education talk from your parents? Yeeeah, that may not be a pleasant memory for many of you, but we’ll tell you what – imagine if you were a teenager with your parents as sex therapists, how would that conversation go?
For 16-year-old nerd Otis, “Sweetheart – I’ve noticed you’re pretending to masturbate” is a conversation-ender. However, thanks to this beautifully badass girl at school, the plot brings sex-positivity in a colourful, naturalistic way. The dense writing puts sex in the foreground, but only to give you throat lumps and snorts of laughter. All the time, you’d be relishing the innocence, awkwardness, and the comedy that this show brings about a bunch of kids learning about sexual health for the first time, in a world that’s way more complicated.
5. You (Crime, TV Drama) – Netflix
You may have heard about it since the first season was released in 2018 and the second season in December 2019. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s still immensely difficult to talk about it anyways. We mean every time from now we say ‘You’ it would mean the show and not the person reading this! Go figure.
This stalker psychology thriller almost has an addictive aftertaste to it thanks to its dark, unprecedented plot twists. We know it’s common for Netflix series, but does it always refer to an easy-to-love bookshop manager who woos a pretty writer only to turn the story into crime from a romcom. It’s audacious even to have two seasons about it, once you’ve seen Penn Badgley’s smoulder! In case you’re wondering this came as a spoiler, HELLO, the TV series is listed under ‘Crime’!
To add to our plight, season 2 comes with many fun moments, dipped in large helpings of dark humour and horror. If you’ve seen it, the infuriation is a part of the package deal, in such dexterity that it almost becomes impossible to take your eyes off of it. We realized we’re in a love-hate relationship with ‘You.’
Too Hot To Handle (scandalous, romantic, honestly disastrous) – Netflix’s reality show so bad that you can’t miss!
If ‘Love Island’ and ‘Love is Blind’ had a particularly hideous baby, this show would have been it! From glazing beaches to ‘bon viveurs,’ Netflix’s Too Hot To Handle is what living in denial looks like in reality. The show is so bad in putting up a facade that it doesn’t even have to try anything.
The concept revolves around bronzed young men and women put in a lavish forever island retreat, only to abstain from any sexual activity (like kissing, touching, or masturbation). Why so, you may ask? Because they’re on their journey to win $100,000 – which can slide down in case they break the above rules! Honestly, we couldn’t let this woolly show go without an honorary mention for its extreme callous concept!
You didn’t see that coming, did ya? Now that you already know about it, good luck with keeping away from it!