New on Netflix: Three Reviews of Netflix Originals

Emily Hicks
Staff Writer

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PC: Wikimedia Commons

Spring break means a lot of things: going to the beach with friends, getting a tan and finding time to relax. For many of us, relaxing comes in the form of catching up on some Netflix originals. Here are three reviews of some of the newest movies Netflix has to offer.

Scoring a whopping 14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, “The Open House” barely had a chance when it hit Netflix in January. The subpar plot lacks imagination, leaving the teen horror feeling empty, at the very least. Horror fans ought not to waste time on this failure of a horror.

Teenager Logan and his mother head to stay in the mountains after Logan’s father dies in a gruesome accident, only to be met by strange occurrences and inevitably, death. The obscure situation surrounding the characters leaves viewers confused, while the genericism of the overall plot and underwhelming acting leaves the audience bored to tears for most of the 94-minute runtime. The mediocre conflicts before the ultimate climax are so minute that they’re somewhat laughable, with the only true horror in the movie being the appearance of the intruder.

Aside from the painfully obvious thriller narrative, the cinematography of the Netflix original is quite good in comparison to some of Netflix’s earlier projects. The use of light added an aesthetically pleasing visual to the movie, but yet, was not enough to distract from the monotonous plot, or the one-dimensionality of the main characters. Ordinarily, actor Dylan Minnette delivers on screen. This time, the lack of performance by Minnette and the overdone plot made “The Open House” a dud. Netflix: think about foreclosing on this one.

For fans of the Hulu series “Workaholics,” they can see Adam DeVine’s character in a whole new light in the new Netflix original “When We First Met.” The cheeky rom-com follows Noah Ashby (Adam DeVine) on his quest to get a redo with the girl of his dreams, Avery. Played by Alexandra Daddario, Avery Martin is engaged to another man who she thinks is her soulmate. The movie follows Noah on his quest to have the perfect first meeting with Avery to make her fall in love with him. Time traveling Noah does his best to win back the one that got away.

The predictability of the rom-com plot is certainly present, but the fresh take on getting back the girl is what keeps viewers watching “When We First Met.” Adam DeVine’s goofy sense of humor isn’t for everyone, but fans of DeVine will find his character to be noticeably similar to his starring role in “Workaholics.” One trick pony? Maybe, but DeVine’s character shows a touch more emotion than his “Workaholics” counterpart.

Lactose intolerant folks beware, Netflix certainly didn’t skimp on the cheese this time. However, despite the cheese, “When We First Met” is a nice pick for a harmless night in. The new Netflix original has all the glue to hold a rom-com together, but key factors aside, the plot itself doesn’t hold too much of a wow factor. Avid lovers of romantic comedy: “When We First Met” is a charming and cute option for a cozy night in. Don’t hold out high expectations for cinematic gold, but it certainly delivers more than a few laughs.

For the horror fanatics, Netflix offered up a great new feature mid-February:

“The Ritual.” If you aren’t one for blood and guts, turn back. “The Ritual” is most definitely not for you. Set in the forests of Sweden, four friends hike the dream vacation of their deceased friend who was brutally murdered shortly before the trip takes place. The men run into trouble deep in the forest when they are found in the home of a Nordic deity with a hunger for blood. As they try their hardest to escape the creature lurking in the forest, the four friends find themselves in more and more trouble. Will they escape alive? The predator goes unseen for the better part of the 94-minute runtime, giving the audience a sense of impending doom as more and more tragedy strikes. As the fear of the looming deity grows, the darkness of the gory film does as well.

The soundtrack and setting of the Netflix original add to the creeping fear that surrounds “The Ritual.” Dark and gloomy, this movie will certainly have you on the edge of your seat. The creepy horror should not be watched alone in the dark, or even alone at all. The fear of the characters and flashbacks to their friend’s gruesome death make for an incredibly effective horror film. It certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, but horror fans – give “The Ritual” a go if you’re looking to be scared out of your shorts.

Though spring break has come to an end, taking some time to relax and watch a few Netflix originals is still an option. Maybe one, or more of these will find it to your binge-watching list.

Categories: A & E, Arts & Entertainment, Reviews

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