If you haven’t watched Netflix’s Black Mirror series yet, what are you doing?! This is essential watching for any true TV or film buff, even if it doesn’t sound like your thing. I was a late comer to the series, after struggling to get through the pig episode of the original British produced series. However, when Netflix got behind Charlie Brooker and his deeply dark sense of humour and mixed it with an awesome cast and a bit more of an American flavour, this is when I really got interested. Different to most series, each Black Mirror episode is its own standalone short film. There are always threads of themes that weave themselves through each series, but overall you’ve got to watch each episode with a fresh and open mind.
The best thing about Black Mirror is its ability to make the audience think and feel uncomfortable about things that they may never noticed before, it encourages important conversations whilst providing extremely entertaining, deeply disturbing stories. If you’ve binge watched it all too fast, I’ve got eight recommendations of other TV shows and films that I think you’ll love if you dug Black Mirror. Let me know if you think of any others and if you’ve already watched anything on this list.
Dark (2017, dir. Baran bo Odar)
This one could also go on a list entitled, Things to Watch if you Loved Stranger Things. On first look, Dark feels like a German version of the hit 80s inspired Netflix production, but after just a few episodes you’ll quickly see that this show lives up to its name. It’s much, much darker than Stranger Things. It’s got murder, betrayal and time travel, whilst being beautifully shot in stunning German countryside. I can’t wait to see the second series, this has honestly been one of the best things I’ve watched in years! It’ll leave you thinking WTF just like Black Mirror does, except this one goes on and on keeping you guessing and desperate to know what will happen next.
Lucid Dream (2017, dir. Kim Joon-Sung)
We’re not afraid of reading subtitles in our house, in fact, it’s quite a blessing as we find some of the best stuff when it look outside of English language film and television. This one is a Korean Netflix Original film, solving the mystery of a missing child through the concept of shared dreaming and lucid dreams. It’s beautiful, gripping and makes you want to visit Korea, even if the storyline isn’t so happy. Must watch for fans of mystery and crime themes.
Limitless (Film: 2011, dir. Neil Burger / TV Show: 2015, dir. Craig Sweeney)
Thought it was worth mentioning both the film and the TV show here, as both are worth a watch. Set in the not so distant future (true Black Mirror style) Limitless is about a future in which a drug has been developed that allows people to access their entire brain capacity. Both the film and TV show go in slightly different directions, following a protagonist who has been using the drug. The film stars Bradley Cooper and Anna Friel, so there’s two more reasons to give that a go.
Whatever Happened to Monday? (2017, dir. Tommy Wirkola)
Starring Swedish actress, Noomie Rapace (the original star of the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film series) playing SEVEN different characters, that alone should be reason to check this Netflix Original film from Norwegian director, Tommy Wirkola. Don’t worry though, no subtitles needed here since they filmed in English alongside Hollywood icons like Glen Close and Willem Dafoe. The story is set in a future where families are limited to only one child, as a work around to this the Settman family and their seven identical daughters, trick the system so they can all live. This is a thrilling sci-fi story with a great cast and easy to find on Netflix right now.
Get Out (2017, dir. Jordan Peele)
With awards season just around around the corner, Get Out is already getting the attention it deserves with numerous nominations for the 2018 Oscars, Golden Globes and BAFTAs, I’m fairly confident they’ll come out with some victories! Set in the modern day, it follows an African American, Chris as he travels to the countryside to meet his White girlfriend’s family for the first time. This slow building thriller, will make you nervous and uncomfortable as it gradually leads to being story about hypnosis and race. Probably the most Black Mirror film on this list and something that everyone needs to watch at least once!
Otherlife (2017, dir. Ben C. Lucas)
This low-budget Australian film makes up for its lack of fancy effects and famous actors with a clever and thought-provoking sci-fi thriller story. Set in the near future protagonist, Ren fights her business partner over the ethical use of a new biological virtual reality invention with the help of her lover. It’ll make you think about ethics and technology and despite it’s simple set-up, filmed in only 5 weeks, you’ll be entertained and impressed at what can be achieved with so little.
Ingrid Goes West (2017, dir. Matt Spicer)
If you dug Black Mirror’s social media themed episode, Nosedive, then this is a must-watch for you. In fact, any social media fan needs to watch this cautionary tale of Instagram fame and fandom. This comedy drama has its funny moments, following the story of Ingrid played by the brilliant Aubrey Plaza, as she becomes obsessed with Elizabeth Olsen’s Instagram influencer superstar character. If you’ve ever been immersed in the influencer world, this story will be creepily relate-able making you both laugh, cringe and cry.
Abre Los Ojos (1997, dir. Alejandro Amenábar)
This recommendation comes directly from Miz for you, as I’ve haven’t watched this one just yet, but wanted to be diverse in the types of films I featured. Obre Los Ojos is the Spanish language film that inspired Vanilla Sky, in fact, they are the same story and not everyone realises that. Starring Penelope Cruz, the story follows a handsome playboy as it finds himself disfigured after an accident and how he copes with finding the love of his life. With themes of mental health, paranoia and morality I’m sure this is one of many foreign language films that probably inspired the creation of Black Mirror.
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