With the turning of the month, the Halloween celebrations have come to an end and Mariah Carey is slowly emerging from her yearly slumber. And in the event that all you want for Christmas are some festive shows to binge-watch, Netflix is here to kickstart the joyous occasion with two Christmas-themed releases to get you going.
Up first is the Vanessa Hudgens special, The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. Return to Monetenaro, the festive wonderland where key figures all look like The High School Musical star, and everyone is none the wiser. Joining the cast is Remy Hii (Crazy Rich Asians) as Peter Maxwell, Fiona’s ex and whose help the Hudgens’ trio must enlist to track down the stolen Star of Peace and save Christmas.
To further get you in the festive mood, don’t miss A Castle for Christmas, a romantic comedy about a famed author (Brookle Shields) on a quest to purchase a castle from its current crotchety owner. Set in the lush, rolling hills of Scotland, with a beautiful castle to boot, A Castle for Christmas is here to satisfy all our holiday wanderlust desires.
If holiday movies aren’t for you, Netflix has a slew of other offerings sure to pique your interest. The biggest release of the month is undoubtedly Red Notice, an action-packed adventure that is part buddy-cop movie, part heist flick and part Indiana Jones-style adventure. It doesn’t hurt that the movie is fronted by three of the largest names in Hollywood: Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot.
If you are looking for something more hard-hitting, check out Passing. The Sundance Film Festival film intimately uses the concept of “passing” to explore not just racial identity, but also topics pertaining to gender and the responsibilities of motherhood, sexuality and the performance of femininity.
1 / 8
IT Chapter Two
Pennywise is back. 27 years after the terrifying events of the first movie, the group of friends reunite to finally put an end to what they started. The Stephen King adaptation brings together Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone and Andy Bean as the seven members of the Losers Club. Together, they must perform the Native American “Ritual of Chüd” to stop the dancing clown for good. Will this finally be the end for It? Travel to Derry to find out.
Watch IT Chapter Two from 1 November.
2 / 8
Narcos: Mexico Season 3
Originally intended to be a spin off from the mega-hit Netflix series Narcos, Narcos: Mexico has earned itself its own legion of fans over the years. Exploring the rise and subsequent fall of Félix Gallardo and the Guadalajara Cartel, the show chronicles the true story behind Mexico’s illegal drug trade. Picking up where the previous season left off, the focus is now on the cartels emerging from the wake of the Guadalajara Cartel’s disintegration. The latest season will cover events that led to the flare up and outbreak of the Mexican drug war. As the franchise comes to a close, the story that it is centred around–the Mexican drug war, rages on as the conflict nears its 15-year anniversary.
Watch Narcos: Mexico Season 3 from 5 November.
3 / 8
Adapted from the celebrated 1929 novel of the same name by Nella Larsen, Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga star as Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry, two Black women with a shared past. A chance encounter reunites the two during the height of the Harlem Renaissance in late 1920s New York, with Irene soon learning that Ruth has been “passing” as white and is now married to a prejudiced, wealthy white man. As their lives become increasingly intertwined, the childhood friends are forced to review the choices they’ve made that landed them their current lives. A riveting examination of obsession, repression and the lies people tell themselves and others to protect their carefully constructed realities, Passing marks the directorial debut of Rebecca Hall (The Awakening, Godzilla vs. Kong). An insightful and timely watch, Passing is not one to press ‘next’ on.
Watch Passing from 10 November.
4 / 8
Let’s cut to the chase. What are Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot doing together in a Netflix movie? The star-studded film centres around Johnson as a top FBI agent hot on the heels of two master criminals—Reynolds and Gadot. Chaos ensues, with unlikely betrayals and partnerships emerging along the way. The prize at the end of it all? Three 18-karat golden Egyptian eggs rumoured to have been a gift from Roman general Mark Antony as a sign of his love to the fabled beauty, Queen Cleopatra. Shot across the globe (think Rome, Russia, London and Egypt) get ready for a heist flick packed with fun, action and adventure.
Watch Red Notice from 12 November.
5 / 8
The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star
Starring Vanessa Hudgens, Vanessa Hudgens and Vanessa Hudgens, The Princess Switch series has been the must-watch for every Vanessa Hudgens fan out there. While it doesn’t look like the third instalment of the series will debut yet another Hudgens character, Romancing the Star sees her reprising her roles as Queen Margaret, Stacy and Fiona. The plot is simple as always, but who can complain when it’s a Christmas movie? This year, our favourite trio reunite (and team up) to track down a mysterious jewel thief and reclaim the priceless Star of Peace—or all Christmas is ruined in Montenaro. It may be a little early to ring in the festivities but who’s complaining? As they say in Montenaro (probably), Merry Switchmas!
Watch The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star from 18 November.
6 / 8
Tick, Tick... Boom!
Fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda rejoice! The musical theatre maven makes his feature directorial debut with Tick, Tick… Boom!, alongside a stellar cast consisting of Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp and Vanessa Hudgens. Garfield plays Jonathan Larson, the creator behind cultural phenomenon Rent, and the film chronicles his life in his late 20s as he struggles to break out on the Broadway stage. It might be too early to call it the next Hamilton, but our fingers are crossed!
Watch Tick, Tick… Boom! from 19 November.
7 / 8
Move over Squid Game. From Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho comes a new gory thriller that is bound to be your next guilty pleasure. Hellbound centres around a supernatural phenomenon where demonic beings emerge to deliver bloody condemnations before dragging their victims to hell. This is welcomed by the religious group which preaches that the death angels sent from hell are a revelation from god, sparking greater fear amongst society. Meanwhile, producer Bae Young-jae (Park Jeong-min), attorney Min Hye-jin (Kim Hyun-joo) and detective Jin Gyeong-hun (Yang Ik-june) race to uncover the truth behind these executors of hell and the disappearances of their victims.
Watch Hellbound from 19 November.
8 / 8
A Castle for Christmas
This festive romantic comedy stars Brooke Shields as Sophie Brown, an acclaimed author who travels to Scotland hoping to find the castle in her grandfather’s stories. There, she discovers that the castle of her dreams is up for sale—a Christmas miracle! In her way is Duke Myles (Cary Elwes), the grumpy castle owner hoping to scam Sophie of her deposit money. As you may have guessed, the two butt heads but eventually fall in love in time for Christmas. Featuring an abundance of tartan, baubles and fairy lights, A Castle for Christmas is sure to get you in the mood for the season.