Instant Picks of the Week 4/15/16
Gone are the days of scrolling mindlessly through your queue! No longer will you have to sift through the vastness of what’s coming to the instant viewing wastelands this month! Whether you’re looking for a stellar film or an exciting new show to binge, Instant Picks of the Week gives you the hottest releases in film and television on instant viewing platforms that we know you’ll love, or at the very least not despise.
THE DEN (Netflix)
Predating the now somewhat notorious UNFRIENDED, THE DEN is far more of an innovative and masterful outing than its popular peer. Existing in the seemingly burgeoning subgenre of webcam-based found footage horror, THE DEN is more intelligent with its portrayal steadily building dread than it has any right to be. Telling the story of a woman who witnesses a snuff video murder while doing grant research on the users of a Chatroulette-esque website, THE DEN may wear its commentary warning against the anonymous internet age on its sleeve, but that doesn’t stop it from being genuinely frightening and disheartening throughout its extremely economical run time. Although nitpickers will be quick to jump on segments that require suspension of disbelief, THE DEN is far more logical than UNFRIENDED, and adds subtle touches of internet culture (watching tutorial videos on Youtube, having the protagonist utilize freeware instead of a “pro” version) that add a welcome and refreshing layer of verisimilitude. The third act may be more stereotypical than the two that precede it, but considering the psychological menace of the group of netizens terrorizing our protagonist, THE DEN still manages to be an affecting horror outing at the end of the day, chillingly presenting the disinterested, amoral nature of the technology that dominates our lives.
TIM & ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE (Netflix)
A late night viewing staple long holding down Netflix’s comedy section, TIM & ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE is without a doubt the quintessential film to watch while fucked up beyond all belief. Those who are not accustomed to the duo’s bizarre, often willfully obtuse and antithetical comedy most likely won’t be won over, but those who’ve enjoyed any of the clips that make the rounds on the internet will be rolling in the aisles as the eponymous duo goes about renovating the Swallow Valley Mall in the hopes of paying back a billion dollar debt. Although they may not push their personal capacities as actors, Heidecker and Wareheim adapt swimmingly to a more traditional narrative structure, and the arc their relationship goes through is surprisingly emotional. Featuring the usual parade of side-splitting celebrity cameos, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and Will Forte all turn in extremely memorable comedic turns, and virtually every line establishes itself as quotable for all eternity. Topped off with one of the last on-screen appearances of cinema legend Robert Loggia and keeping the unabashed and unapologetic sense of weirdness throughout, TIM & ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE is sure to at least crack a smile with anyone under the age of 30. Just be sure to get rid of that wolf.