Whatever your streaming tastes, it’s difficult to remain stalwartly unimpressed by Netflix’s commitment to the expansion of its library. While network television has arduously battled onwards over the summer, the online streaming service and its counterparts seem to have largely met the crisis head-on, seemingly without breaking a sweat or the bank. Having deftly reshuffled their show schedule, Netflix now seems poised to leap into the scariest of months, in one of the scariest of years, with the greatest of ease.
October is usually the entrance point to the informal Oscar season—when big-name directors and prestige pictures begin to drop in anticipation of Hollywood’s biggest awards ceremony in the spring. But the Oscars have been pushed from February to April, and no one’s quite sure how the last stretch of the race to the golden statuette will play out given the impacts of the pandemic. As a result, many movies that would have been released this month in theatres have either been delayed or moved to streaming services. That second option is bona fide good news for Netflix subscribers, however, as some of the hotly anticipated titles of the year have been snapped up exclusively for the platform’s viewers.
Perhaps in preparation for audiences who would rather stay safe on the couch under a pile of blankets on Halloween night this year, Netflix has curated an incredible lineup of thrills, spills, and chills for October. Don’t think the platform has restricted itself to only the spookiest content, though; for every Scandinavian cannibal drama and unsolved mystery investigation is plenty of more light-hearted fare, including a fashion-centric show set in Paris and a documentary on Korean pop stars.
No tricks, all treats: it’s a good month to be a Netflix subscriber.
Emily in Paris
Brought to you by the creator of Sex and the City, Darren Starr, and the costume designer from The Devil Wears Prada, Patricia Field, this new series has already generated serious buzz. Hailed as the next great fashion show, Emily in Paris sees Lily Collins as the titular Emily, who moves to Paris from Chicago after landing her dream job. Awash in adventure and romance, the series was shot on-location in Paris, and it shows in the dreamy aesthetics of the production design. Expect bold prints, unusual designer pairings, and plenty of peacoats. Originally meant to launch on the Paramount Network in April 2019, Netflix scooped it up and is set to release it just in time for all of us to start dreaming about international travel again.
Available from 2 October
Composer, musician, and podcaster Hrishikesh Hirway has interviewed everyone from Björk to Weezer in his quest to deconstruct hit songs of this era and those previous. Getting his subjects to reveal how they brought their most iconic creations to life, Hirway has taken that concept—and his skill at executing it—to the silver screen. Weaving together in-depth interviews, archival footage, and raw recordings, Hirway and Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville spotlight some of our greatest artists, including Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, R.E.M., and Ty Dolla $ign. Each will share intimate insight into the personal inspiration behind the music and lyrics that make up our favourite songs in this new show.
Available from 2 October
Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol
Go A-ra and Lee Jae-Wook star as a bright-eyed musician and a free-spirited gig worker who collide when the former goes from riches to rags and moves out to a small village to start a private piano academy. Along the way, the two will find hope, home, and love in the countryside. Originally, this drama was meant to premiere in late August, but was pushed back after filming had to be paused when one of the actors tested positive for COVID-19.
Available from 7 October
Unsolved Mysteries: Volume 2
As if Volume 1 wasn’t frightening enough, Stranger Things executive producer Shawn Levy is back to revamp a whole new batch of conspiracy-spawning episodes. Unexplained disappearances, tragic events, and bizarre occurrences abound in this reboot, which is the latest iteration in the show’s long, proud history, which began as a series of NBC specials in 1987 and ran for over 500 episodes in one form or another until 2010. With each episode taking a hard look at one mystery, it’s impossible to watch this show without inadvertently becoming a bit of an amateur detective yourself. We can only hope that the fan theories this time around will be as effective as those of Volume 1, some of which had a 16-year-old cold case reopened.
Available from 19 October
The Queen’s Gambit
Anna Taylor-Joy stars as Beth Harmon, an orphan who discovers a preternatural talent for chess. A miniseries set in the 1950s and based on the novel of the same name, The Queen’s Gambit explores Beth’s personal demons as she pursues the highest levels of achievement in a male-dominated field. She transforms into the glamourous outcast of the professional chess circuit, but battles a debilitating addiction to the tranquilizers provided to orphanages by the state. Godless showrunner Scott Frank returns to the small screen to write and direct this psychological drama, a tale of the true cost of genius.
Available from 23 October
BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky
This one’s for the BLINKs. This documentary charts the dreams and trials behind the meteoric rise of Korean girl band BLACKPINK. Extensive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Jennie, Rosé, Lisa, and Jisoo will showcase their hard-fought journey to global stardom for the first time. Directed by Caroline Suh, a close friend to the band and the creator of Salt Fat Acid Heat, the film follows them to the stage at 2019’s Coachella, where they were the first K-pop girl group to perform at the festival.
Available from 13 October
Set on the windswept English coast, Rebecca is a highly-anticipated adaptation of the 1938 Gothic novel. Starring Lily James, Armie Hammer, and Kristin Scott Thomas, one of the movie’s screenwriters is the acclaimed Jane Goldman, known for numerous entries in both the X-Men and Kingsman series. The new movie has a lofty legacy to live up to, with 1940’s lauded Hitchcock film adaptation preceding it, an Oscar Best Picture winner. However, according to director Ben Wheatley, the Netflix adaptation will not tread too closely on its forerunner’s coattails, making it more about the romance between James and Hammer’s characters than the psychological ghost story.
Available from 21 October
A Norwegian horror set after a nuclear disaster, this film follows a starving family lured to a hotel by the promise of a meal and a good night’s entertainment. They are invited to a play set at the hotel, but things begin to go sideways when audience members start to vanish. In between the Purge-style masks and post-apocalyptic cult aesthetics is an effective, terrifying movie about survival and impossible choices. Blurring the line between theatre and reality, 24-year-old director Jarand Herdal brings to the table an eerie atmosphere tailor-made for our current circumstances.
Available from 22 October