As a part of their 71 Original films project, Netflix has vowed to release one film per week – and they have been keeping to their promise.
Releasing films and series almost every month, expanding our watchlist by the day, Netflix has managed to keep subscribers glued to their screens, unable to move around because of how intoxicating some of the new shows and films are. From releasing sappy romcoms to gruesome and gory horror films, July has been witness to a wide range of Netflix originals.
2021 has been a good year for the streaming giant as their new original series have appealed a lot to the audience. Until June, films such as A Woman In the Window have graced the platform and been widely liked by the viewers. With a lot of fresh content in July, Netflix has released a lot of new films in languages such as English, Italian, Thai, Hangul and more.
Before July rolls over to August, where the content plan seems to be even more stellar, here are some of the best July 2021 releases in terms of films that you can binge on Netflix:
The 10 best Netflix Original films to watch in July 2021
10. Deep (Sita Likitvanichkul and more)
Four university students suffer from insomnia. The characters are involved in a sinister experiment that sends them down a rabbit hole where they are prisoners in their own minds, desperately trying to find routes of escape. The only catch is that they cannot fall asleep lest they want to die.
This Thai mystery film was directed and written by a group of students from Bangkok University. The film has an indie cult film aesthetic yet somehow delves into the overdone storyline and loses its appeal. Nevertheless, it is fairly refreshing to watch an independent student-driven Thai production with a promising cast who play as teenagers in the film that has a budding romance amidst the overall horror atmosphere.
9. Fear Street Part 3: 1666 (Leigh Janiak)
The third part brings closure to the events at Shadyside. The Town’s history comes to a full circle as the true origins of Sarah Fier’s sinister curse is revealed and this prompts the lives of the residents at Shadyside to change forever as they stumble upon the uncanny truth.
The final part of the trilogy ends on a somewhat flat note. While the survivors are more careful, it could be executed better. However, it is essential for the viewers to watch the third film to get closure on this retro-gore slasher film. There are overarching influences palpable from 1990s slasher films and cartoons which makes this franchise an overall pleasant and somewhat scary package.
8. Haseen Dilruba (Vinil Mathew)
Rani Kashyap is married to Rishu and they are apparently in a somewhat loveless marriage as Rishu is unable to satisfy Rani in bed. When his handsome, well-built cousin Neel comes to stay at their household, Rani develops an illicit affair with her brother-in-law. When Rishu stumbles upon this unpleasant truth, consequences follow.
While the film might seem somewhat illogical to the mass due to the sudden twists and turns, the overall theme of jealousy, frenzied love and passionate affairs add colour to the film. Vikrant Massey is brilliant as usual and so is Tapasee Pannu. But Harsgvardhan Rane as the elusive Neel steals the show with his incredible performance. If you are a sucker for love triads, give this film a watch.
7. The 8th Night (Kim Tae-hyoung)
This Korean occult mystery thriller brings in the conflict between the dead and the undead where an exorcist struggles to intervene and prevent the resurrection of mysterious elements that are sinister and dangerous. They torment mankind and have been locked in caskets for thousands of years and are struggling to get out and unleash havoc.
The film is thought-provoking and refreshing. The suspenseful premise might keep the viewers on their toes, awaiting further consequences. With strong scenic aesthetics, visuals, cinematography and VFX, the film helps uphold the mysterious aspect of the spiritual world. The climax, though messy, is compensated by the overall chilling atmosphere of the film.
6. Fear Street Part One: 1994 (Leigh Janiak)
Based on R.L. Stine’s Fear Street, the film is based in a town named Shadyside which is dubbed the murder capital of the US. A group of teenagers suddenly encounter the ancient and legendary evil that was responsible for the gruesome murders adorning the town that made it become the cursed Shadyside.
Being the first part of the trilogy, the film started the trilogy on a promising note, it is imbued by the retro-slasher film aesthetic and is faithful to the original text. It leaves the viewers hungry for more yet lacks the shockingly scary factor. Cue the ‘90s music, please!
5. A Classic Horror Story (Roberto De Feo, Paolo Strippoli)
Five carpoolers including a pregnant lady are on their way to a destination when they crash into a tree while trying to avoid running over the dead carcass of a goat at nighttime. After regaining their senses, they are stranded in the middle of nowhere amidst a dense, spine-chilling forest. Soon they seek shelter in an isolated house amidst the woods which is the meeting location for a sinister cult.
This Italian film is filled with gruesome horror and an overall ominous atmosphere. With wonderful production and charismatic acting, the film also delivers a somewhat strong social message while dealing with important issues such as abortion while adding fantastic visuals to the cult-like film. It also gives the viewers an insight into the lesser-known Italian folktale.
4. Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (Leigh Janiak)
The second part of the trilogy takes the viewers back into time regarding Shadyside’s killing spree history. In 1978, the town is gearing up for Camp Nightwing where various fun and frolic pertaining to summer activities are about to begin. However, a resident of Shadyside is suddenly overcome by bloodlust and is overpowered by the urge to kill. Soon, the frolicky summer turns into a dangerous time for survival.
Sadie Sink should deserve special mention for her lovely performance. The second part is considered better than the first as it somehow subverts the usual slasher film tropes. The second part is not boring as it is not a mere continuation of the first; instead, it has a lot of new and sinister elements to enjoy that makes it an overall exhilarating experience.
3. My Amanda (Alessandra de Rossi)
This is the directorial debut of de Rossi who based the script on her real-life experiences. The Philippine film revolves around two friends Amanda and TJ who embark on various adventures and are often mistaken to be together. It is a sincere and intimate look into the lives of the characters who share a very unique and different romance.
“This story is very personal to me because it’s about my friendships. I wanted to share a different kind of love story,” said de Rossi. Since none of the directors wanted to “touch it”, de Rossi went ahead and directed it herself. Besides being the director and writer, she acted as the lead as well which was, admittedly, “draining” for her. Although it was “challenging”, de Rossie said that it was “fulfilling” to see the end-product.
2. Last Summer (Ozan Aciktan)
Deniz usually visits his parent’s summer house every summer. At 16, he has faced a new teenage awakening in his heart and starts to feel sensations and emotions that are tantamount to love. He thinks of indulging in some kind of a sexual adventure with his childhood crush Asli. However, his chances with Asli are thwarted by the hot athletic neighbour boy Burak who is vying for her attention as well.
This torrid Turkish love affair takes place in the summer of 1996. Located in southern Turkey, complemented by the beautiful and picturesque scenery of rocks, cliffs, waves and the sunny climate, the story reeks of love and heartbreak. Yet another love triangle, this film offers the viewers yet another venture into the world of teenage angst, romance and eventual sadness.
1. A Perfect Fit (Hadrah Daeng Ratu)
A fashion blogger named Saski is very job-driven and a dedicated daughter. However, she is stuck in a relationship with an abusive and possessive man. By happenstance, Saski meets a shoemaker named Rio who is gifted and persevering. Saski is his very first customer and soon a sweet romance starts brewing between them both.
One of Netflix’s very first Indonesian original films, Nadiya Arin and Refal Hadi as the two leads living in Bali add flavour to the wonderful premise. The film is rooted in traditions that emerge from various cultures while dealing with domestic conflicts juxtaposed to a lovely romance. The process of healing and falling in love is beautifully depicted in the film.