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Netflix's 'Don't Watch This' Is Not A Clever Name, But A Real Warning

By Jodi Smith | Industry | November 8, 2018 |

By Jodi Smith | Industry | November 8, 2018 |


Described as a collection of short horror films, anthology series Don’t Watch This offers up the episode “Friendship Bracelet” as its first entry. It focuses on a strange, lonely girl, Julie (Acacia Marquez), that enjoys poking at dead things and using a bone saw on dolls. After another disappointment at her fifteenth birthday party, Julie turns further into delusion and attacks classmates. The film is indeed short, but also predictable, lacking in creativity, and dependent on gore and idiocy for its scares.

“CTRL+ALT+DEL” is even worse, opening with a hacker exposing nude photos of a young girl for reasons unknown. Next thing you know, something calling itself The Reckoning double-dog dares the hacker into entering virtual reality to play a game in the Dark Web. The virtual reality effects are about as special and underwhelming as Spawn on a well-worn VHS tape, with the games involving matching runes on a wall and punishments of REAL LIFE BOILS on Hacker. The audience basically watches a grown-ass man play Memory poorly several times before The Reckoning shows up looking like Red Skull’s cousin, Ash Skull.

“Incommodum” bills itself as “not for the squeamish” before showing images visually similar enough to have been pulled from Nine Inch Nail’s “Closer” video and scenes in “Silent Hill” spliced together like Samara’s tape in The Ring. Seriously. That’s the “film” you get.

“Keep Out” has an actual, coherent story line involved, even if it is the well-worn trope of exploring a creepy place with video cameras. An abandoned home once owned by a family involved in pharmaceuticals and alleged experiments on children sets the backdrop for the two leads. Do they have names? Probably. Did I doze off while they said them? STOP JUDGING ME.

When the creature popped out of the Scooby-Doo style bookcase/hidden doorway looking like Salad Fingers after rolling in fireplace ashes, things just got more unsurprising and lackluster.

With “Antoni Psycho”, the series somehow roped in Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski doing his very best American Psycho Patrick Bateman impression. Porowski actually isn’t bad, but the scare factor is nil.

Thought it took barely any time to watch, this Netflix “horror” anthology definitely should not be watched by anyone — unless you skip to the “Antoni Psycho” episode for the eerily fantastic homage and eye candy.

Jodi Smith is a Senior Reporter, Film & Television at Pajiba. You can email her or follow her on Twitter.

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