Cassie Delaney has reached the end of Netflix. Here she presents some brilliant viewing alternatives and what to check out on each…
I overheard my girlfriend tell our neighbour that we had completed Netflix – as though it were a concerted effort to sit and plough through the catalogue of decent content. Intentional or not, the sentiment stands: we’ve reached the end of good Netflix. All that remains are some untouched holiday movies, several interchangeable cake building competitions and Riverdale. The digital scrapings of the internet barrel.[restrict]
So, if like us, you’ve reached the end of consumable programming, here are some nifty alternatives and recommendations.
Volta is an Irish video on demand platform that delivers the best independent films to Irish audiences. It is named after The Volta, the country’s first movie theatre (opened in 1909). Volta has a wealth of Irish film and documentary and is overflowing with absolutely gems.
His & Hers
From kitchens, living rooms, and hallways across the Irish midlands, His & Hers delightfully combines observation and charm to tell a 90-year-old love story through the voices of 70 women.
One Million Dubliners
Glasnevin Cemetery is the final resting place of 1.5 million souls; it is Ireland’s national necropolis. This film reveals the often unspoken stories of ritual, love, loss, redemption, history – and the business of death.
In March 2010, two American women, including one who named herself ‘Jihad Jane’, were arrested in a number of high-profile arrests which were trumpeted by the US attorney’s office as the ‘new face on terror’. Facing huge jail sentences, the two women pleaded guilty but now for the first time ever, with unprecedented access, Jihad Jane tells the story of the most absurd terror cell ever to come together.
A Date for Mad Mary
Mary McArdle returns to Drogheda after a short spell in prison – for something she’d rather forget. Back home, everything and everyone has changed. Her best friend, Charlene, is about to get married and Mary is maid of honour. When Charlene refuses Mary a ‘plus one’ on the grounds that she probably couldn’t find a date, Mary becomes determined to prove her wrong.
The RTÉ Player
The RTÉ player is an untapped source of joy waiting to be discovered. Not only does it have recent hit series like Normal People and The Secret She Keeps, it’s also the home to cultural moments like Fade Street. There is a plethora of original and sharp documentary work, plus it’s all free.
Pure Mule is credited with progressing the careers of actors such as Simone Kirby, Garrett Lombard and Charlene McKenna. Set in a midlands market town, each episode is a self-contained story following one character over the course of a weekend. It’s brilliant.
Living Lolita, an RTÉ original, explores the world of the unique fashion sub-culture that found its way from Japan to a group of young women in Ireland.
Converted is another original from the Docland team. It explores the stories of four people with first-hand experience of gay conversion therapy, from counselling to exorcism.
Zithelo Bobby Mthombeni’s documentary This Land, is a short film about Ireland’s relationship with race, identity and immigration. The film explores new ways of experiencing Irishness, via discussions with chefs, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, journalists and activists.
Shudder is a niche streaming service that curates the best in horror, thriller and suspense. It boasts a mix of classic movies, TV and Shudder originals. If you want a scream, this would be the place to find it. Most importantly, it is home to the terrifying European originals that inspire many Americanised horrors.
Let The Right One In
A bullied boy befriends, then falls for a vampire girl in this recent horror hit from Sweden. When 12-year-old Oskar meets Eli he feels his wish for a friend has come true. But why can’t Eli come out to play during the day? And why’s her dad running a down-low blood drive in the woods? Once Oskar figures it out, a subtle romance begins.
Admittedly I have not psyched myself up to watch this yet, but I have seen non-stop chatter about it online. This original film is lockdown inspired and takes place over Zoom.
Six friends get together for their weekly zoom call. It’s Haley’s turn to organise an activity and instead of a quiz, she’s arranged for a Medium to conduct a séance. Bored and feeling mischievous, Jemma decides to have some fun and invents a story about a boy in her school who hanged himself. However, her prank gives license for a demonic presence to cross over, taking on the guise of the boy in Jemma’s made-up story. The friends begin noticing strange occurrences in their homes as the evil presence begins to make itself known, and they soon realise that they might not survive the night.
Main image Myke Simon on Unsplash