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Films

The worst Netflix Original films of 2021

Netflix has been treating us to delightful original films and series over the years, delivering astounding work across all genres. With its benevolent nature, it isn’t easy to keep up with all the films that Netflix begins streaming every month.

It can make the platform quite difficult to navigate. While we tend to go back to our comfort movies whenever we can, it is hard to ignore the new delights that grace the platform. 

However, Netflix’s constant grind to produce new content and add a film almost every week is detrimental in many ways. Not only do they demonstrate poor quality Originals but also reinforce the concerns of auteurs like Martin Scorsese who worry about the kind of effect this could have on the future of cinema. 

While Netflix has produced quite a few brilliant Netflix Originals in 2021, namely Pieces of a Woman, The Power of the Dog, Malcolm & Marie, The Swarm and more, there have also been a huge number of let-downs this year. 

If you are interested in having a bad-film-marathon, here are the 7 worst Netflix Original films of 2021, ranked from bad to worst: 

7 worst 2021 Netflix Original films

7. Red Notice – Rawson Marshall Thurber 

Despite being one of the worst heist films ever, this film, starring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot has gone on to become Netflix’s most-watched film. With a flimsy plot and palpably awkward chemistry between the leads, not even Reynolds’ zany humour and sarcastic goofs can stop the film from being as boring as it is. 

Films like Red Notice basically confirm what auteurs like Martin Scorsese have to say about Netflix’s lack of discretion regarding producing content and their inability to sift the good from bad in an attempt to churn out as much content as they can. This star-studded ensemble show is otherwise pretty hollow and should have stuck to the glitz and glamour of a three-minute trailer at most.  

6. The Woman in the Window – Joe Wright 

Adapted from Dan Mallory’s eponymous novel, the film sees an agoraphobic child psychologist who is obsessed with the notion of her neighbour’s alleged murder. When the police fail to find anything that alludes to the crime, she decides to investigate the matter on her own and soon finds herself caught in a dangerous rabbit hole. 

While the film pays tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, by indulging in a sultry rendezvous of voyeurism and murder, it is nothing new. The same tropes have been overdone, and it does not offer the kind of ominous tension that the premise originally should. Amy Adams is good in her role, but the film will surely not gain enough appreciation from thriller aficionados due to the lack of ingenuity. 

5. The Kissing Booth 3 – Vince Marcello

If you keep dragging something for too long and add a dollop of mush and cliched teenage love to the mix, the disastrous product will never be at par with the other brilliant originals that Netflix has produced over the years. That is precisely what went wrong with the third instalment of The Kissing Booth franchise. 

Although Elle, Noah and Lee find themselves having the time of their lives, Elle is caught between choosing her boyfriend over her best friend in terms of the two prestigious Ivy League schools, Harvard and Berkely. While we found Elle’s indecisiveness cute and adorable in the beginning, it is frankly annoying to see her struggle so much to be her own person by the third film.  

4. He’s All That – Mark Waters 

The 1990s produced a bunch of fun teen films and it seems like Netflix is hell-bent on destroying them with their gag-worthy remakes. A popular Robert Iscove film She’s All That got a gender-bending remake in form of the Addison Rae and Tanner Buchanan-led He’s All That. We wish we could admonish R. Lee Fleming for writing such a flimsy screenplay that ruins the essence of the original. 

It does not seem like a film but an hour-long advert for various brands, including skincare brands, chips and more. Kourtney Kardashian’s two-minute appearance on the screen is more impactful than the rest of the cast who are busy updating their social lives and living out the hyperreality of Hollywood schools- well-toned bodies, no acne and expensive clothing. The film is also a gentle reminder to Addison Rae that she should probably try and stick to doing the Renegade challenge on TikTok.  

3. Things Heard and Seen – Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

Based on Elizabeth Brundage’s novel, All Things Cease to Appear, the film sees a Manhattan artist relocating with her husband and daughter to a historic small-town. As she tries to adjust to her new life, she understands that her new home hides a sinister history as devastating and dark as the one at the root of her marriage. 

Starring Amanda Seyfried and George Norton, the cast’s brilliant performances add to the film’s sinister feel. However, the weak jumpscares and the feeble attempts at making the premise seem in some way harrowing is honestly amusing. Despite having great potential, or perhaps because of it, the film is an utter let-down. 

2. Hypnotic – Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote 

Despite the directors’ valiant efforts at introducing elements of suspense and mystery in the pathetic plot, the paltry narrative fails a promising premise. Starring Kate Siegel in the lead as an unemployed software engineer who seeks respite from her devastating life in hypnotherapy, the film sees a creepy hypnotherapist luring her into his sinister trap. 

While Siegel tries hard to shine within this flimsy narrative, Jason O’Mara as the eerie therapist is the man of the hour. Zero character development is followed by the failing attempts at creating a thick, claustrophobic atmosphere. It is a film that one should watch only if they have trouble falling asleep lest it is a waste of time. 

1. No One Gets Out Alive – Santiano Menghini

 Netflix’s contribution to Halloween was pretty weak in terms of this Spanish English horror film that started on a promising note before quickly dissolving into something largely hilarious that failed to meet the simple standards of horror. Adapted from Adam Nevill’s horror novel, the film falls flat in its embarrassingly funny jumpscares and feeble attempts at horror. 

The real horror of the film resides in the plight and predicament of immigrants who cross the border and their discernable degradation and dehumanisation. While portraying that in-depth would have made the film far more menacing, the creator had to spoil it by including a poor CGI version of a crossbreed demon with vaginal dentata.