What is it with the human brain and the compulsion of doing something when you’ve been specifically told not to? That’s exactly what I did when I saw Don’t Watch This on Netflix—I clicked on it almost immediately.
Now, looking back, maybe I should’ve taken it seriously.
Ghouls, psychos and dark obsessions are the protagonists on Netflix’s brand new horror anthology, Don’t Watch This. It was created as a collaboration between Netflix, Crypt TV and Queer Eye’s executive producers. Good combo, right?
I was more than excited when I read the loglines for the episodes, which don’t have anything in common—not the theme, not the length, nor the atmosphere. Still, I had been proven before that horror anthologies could, in fact, work.
Unfortunately, what I was served wasn’t much more than another XX or ABC’s of Death.
It pains me to say this but Don’t Watch This failed to bring originality, scares and overall entertainment.
Perhaps the lack of common denominator is what caused the anthology to collapse—it didn’t have any grounds to stand on. In spite of all the bad, it has its good sides. I really enjoyed two shorts: Incommodum, the third one, and Antoni Psycho, the last one.
Incommodum is an experimental short, with no conventional narrative; therefore all of our need of clear storyline and resolution should be thrown out of the window when watching it. It shows distorted images of “ominous symbols, bodily horrors and other frights [that] converge in a surreal nightmare that’s not for the squeamish”, as one of the producers kindly wrote.
The last one is an homage to Mary Harron’s iconic American Psycho. In this short, Antoni Porowski, one of the fab five from Queer Eye appears as himself in a parody that feeds from American Psycho and the personality’s fame after the success of Queer Eye.
Its style and tone are perfectly copied from Harron’s feature, as it shows a duplicate from the opening scene where Christian Bale’s character gets ready for his day, voicing his day-to-day routines. Both in the feature and in the short, the voice-over is as painfully boring as it is important for the character development. Although the protagonist on the short film is a real person, both versions explore the absurd of human vanity.
As I mentioned before, Don’t Watch This is not Netflix’s best, but it is worth a watch—despite its name—for its novelty. It is Netflix’s first attempt to swim in uncharted waters and even better—it is really, really short!