Over the years, the streaming giant Netflix has produced a plethora of original content, ranging from critically acclaimed masterpieces to, well, utter disasters. It is only acceptable to enjoy these when you are doing a terrible movie marathon!
In a bid to build up its original library, Netflix became responsible for creating some of the most cringe-worthy cinematic experiences. SNL even did a skit on this, joking that Netflix was so desperate that they had started borrowing ideas from the fake films in Entourage.
Given its track record with cancelling decent shows with dedicated fanbases and greenlighting the trashiest reality shows, Netflix might as well have been taking a page out of 30 Rock debonair Jack Donaghy’s guide to tank NBC. As per Variety, Netflix announced that it will be shifting away from its past strategy to focus more on quality than quantity, at least when it comes to its original movies.
Only time will tell how well they follow through with this promise. In the meantime, here are five Netflix original movies that stand out not for their brilliance but for their sheer awfulness.
The five worst Netflix original movies:
Hubie Halloween (2020)
Directed by Steven Brill and starring Adam Sandler, Hubie Halloween is cringe-inducing. Packed with mean-spirited jokes and drowning in gross toilet humour, the film fails to deliver any laughter. Sandler’s character, Hubie Dubois, is a well-meaning but woefully unfunny creation.
The Golden Raspberry Awards nominated Hubie Halloween in three categories. These included a nod for Worst Actor (Adam Sandler), Worst Screen Combo under the category “Sandler and His Grating Simpleton Voice,” and recognition for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel, with a specific mention as a Remake/Rip-Off of Ernest Scared Stupid.
The Kissing Booth (2018)
Adapted from a story on Wattpad, of all places, this teen romance flick directed by Vince Marcello gained notoriety for its ridiculous plot and cringe-worthy dialogues. It was, after all, a fantasy written by a teenager, but the fact the adaptation made no effort to elevate the story goes to show how little effort went into the hit.
Jacob Elordi, who played the male lead in Kissing Booth, went down the Robert Pattinson route and publicly trashed the film recently, stating that he never wanted to be a part of such “ridiculous” movies.
He’s All That (2021)
A gender-swapped reboot of the 1999 romcom She’s All That, this film, directed by Mark Waters (yes, the very same Mark Waters who directed Mean Girls and Freaky Friday), falls flat in almost every aspect. From uninspired writing to the drabbest performances, He’s All That fails to capture the charm of its predecessor.
The attempt to modernise the story and make it relevant for a new generation saw the film centre social media influencer Addison Rae, along with Rachael Leigh Cook and Matthew Lillard.
Heart of Stone (2023)
Directed by Tom Harper, Heart of Stone is a prime example of how a film can crumble under the weight of terrible acting, poor writing, and nonexistent direction. Gal Gadot proved again that she can’t act, and Wonder Woman most definitely worked because of the behind-the-scenes magicians, including director Patty Jenkins and writers like Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs.
For the actors involved, from Sophie Okonedo to Matthias Schweighöfer, Heart of Stone seemed to be nothing more than a paycheck film devoid of any artistic merit.
Thunder Force (2021)
Starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer, two of the funniest ladies in showbiz, Thunder Force attempted to blend comedy and action but fell flat on both fronts. Directed by Ben Falcone, the film struggled to find its comedic rhythm and lacked the engaging elements needed for a successful action flick.
The script failed to match the talents of its lead actors as well, resulting in a mindbogglingly forgettable misfire.