The Best of Netflix Originals


Sydney Cooper , Editor-in-Chief

Netflix movie review: Bandersnatch, Dumplin’, Birdbox

Netflix has been making Netflix Original movies and TV shows since the beginning of 2013 with the start of the House of Cards series, however the company pushed out many brand new movies at the start of this Holiday break encouraging students to sit back, relax, and enjoy their break with a nice high-quality movie that doesn’t require them to brave the cold and pay $12 each time a new one comes out. However, the three most popular movies that have caught many people’s eyes are Bandersnatch, Dumplin’, and Birdbox. Three very different movies that captivated very similar audiences, including myself.

  1. Bandersnatch 

    Courtesy of Netflix

Bandersnatch is a psychological thriller that is a spin-off movie from the show Black Mirror. The producers of Black Mirror wanted to do something different with the movie that still coincided with their theme of horrific differing realities and making the audience think about their relationships with technology. Thus, Bandersnatch was born: the very first choose your own adventure movie. As a part of the film, viewers use their remote at different parts of the movie to determine the path that the main character, Stefan Butler, takes. The movie follows Stefan and his quest to make the very first choose your own adventure video game back in the 1980s. Depending on the choices that the viewer makes for him, the video game will either be a success or failure. This leads to the movie having up to 10 different endings, giving viewers a new film almost every time they watch. The run time for the movie is approximately an hour and 30 minutes, however, depending on how many time you go back and choose different paths, people can be watching for over two hours.

Review: This movie was so much fun to watch and anxiety-inducing. I could not tell at the time how my actions would affect the outcome of the movie and I rewatched the film many times with different people to see how their choices differed from mine. Even though it is a horror, there were parts in the movie that I found myself laughing because of the decisions that I made. Since the movie deals with the idea of alternate realities, there are a few plot holes, but since it is the first movie of its kind, that is to be expected.

  1. Dumplin’

    Courtesy of Netflix

Dumplin’ is a romantic comedy/girl power movie dealing with the ideas of body image and self-worth. This movie follows the story of Willowdean, a plus-size, teenage girl who is also the daughter of a former beauty queen. Willowdean signs up for her mother’s pageant as a protest against traditional beauty standards that escalates when other contestants follow in her footsteps, revitalizing the meaning of the pageant in their small Texas town. Willowdean and her friends use the music of Dolly Parton and her love for her late aunt Lucy to prove to everyone that beauty does not come in just one shape or size.

Review: This movie was so powerful for me. As I finished the movie, I was so impressed by the artistry and the empowerment factor of the movie. Many plus-sized girls do not get the spotlight in movies unless it is for them to be the punchline of a joke, so seeing plus-sized girls not only be happy but thrive in a world that they were not originally welcomed in made my heart soar. The movie gave a great message to young girls who are trying to find themselves and told the audience to never give up when the world is against you.

  1. Birdbox 

    Courtesy of Netflix

Birdbox is a horror movie centered around the idea of a monster that no one can see, and if they did, they died. In the movie, every character had to wear a blindfold while they were outside in case they were faced with the horror of seeing the monster out in the open. The film follows the story of Malorie and two children who are named Girl and Boy. They are given the difficult task of trying to find the commune that was told was at the end of the river. However, they have to make the entire trip while blindfolded. The movie does an interesting technique in which the movie goes back and forth between the past and the present versions of Malorie and how her life, and the world, became to be the way that it was.

Review: This movie was very entertaining to me and reminded me a lot of The Quiet Place. I was intrigued by the world building that this movie was trying to create in such a small period of time. The actors were amazing (including the incredible Sandra Bullock making a come back) and the little kids were so cute! Even though there are a lot of criticisms of plot holes and parts of the movie that wouldn’t work in reality, I believe that the purpose of the movie wasn’t meant to be one taken from a place of realism, but of horror and thrill of a whole world that is unknown to ourselves. The purpose was to try and frighten and entertain with the thoughts of “what ifs” and twists throughout the story to keep the audience on their toes. Even though I believe that the movie could have been a little bit longer and include more details about the world they were trying to create, I believe that this could be the start to an amazing movie series with excellent artistry and storytelling abilities.