As the lockdown continues, we return with part two of film writer Ally Davies’ guide on what to watch on Netflix during social isolation.

Inside No. 9

This is a darkly twisted, black comedy-horror anthology series packed full of hilarious and horrifying twists and turns featuring an array of seemingly realistic characters who find themselves in morbid and fantastical situations. It’s a fantastically imaginative and a real original piece of television from the geniuses behind League of Gentlemen. Speaking of League of Gentlemen, if you haven’t seen that either, watch all the series here too.

The Lord of the Rings

This trilogy is one of the most epic, breathtaking pieces of fantasy ever brought to the screen. Based on Tolkien’s novels, its world-building can’t be rivaled. Being a total Lord of the Rings obsessive I’m a little biased, but it has everything you want on a binge-worthy duvet day: epic scores, incredible costumes, dramatic fantasy creature worlds that collide, fabulous VFX/SFX and characters to fall in love with. Unlike a lot of films in the mainstream fantasy genre, The Lord of the Rings trilogy presents the perfect balance between form and content; it looks magnificent but the characters have real depth and emotion. Good to watch this whenever you need to feel comforted or held.


Luther follows homicide detective DCI John Luther as he investigates gruesome cases involving serial killers. He may be a mastermind investigator but his passion and gift for getting inside the minds of the most dangerous monsters around gets him into a world of trouble, much to the detriment of his family and colleagues. It’s full of dark storylines, thrilling action and Idris Elba – what’s not to love.


A film noir thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a desperate, sociopathic cameraman who discovers new ways of making money in the nocturnal world of crime journalism and taking it to outrageous heights. It’s disturbing, riveting and nice to see Gyllenhaal in a different type of role; creepy AF suits him.

Orphan Black

Orphan Black is a nifty little science fiction thriller series that centres around a character that discovers she has a number of clones and is part of a deeper conspiracy. With a stellar performance from Tatiana Maslany playing multiple different characters, this is an underrated show that packs a punch and pulls you along for a thrilling ride.

Peaky Blinders

I’m not sure this needs an introduction – if you haven’t seen Peaky Blinders you need to binge-watch it immediately. Even if you’re not really into period pieces or the gangster genre, this is an epic period gangster saga set in 1920s Birmingham. It’s absolutely stunning, from the soundtrack with its superb use of contemporary music (inc. Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys and Nick Cave to mention a few), production design and cast, right down to the editing, writing and costumes. It really is breathtaking TV (and I’m not even into gangster narratives). Grab a bottle of gin, wear any hat with a flap you can find and binge watch this series immediately.

The Perfection

This is a psychological thriller that follows two musical prodigies with troubled pasts who are accepted to an exclusive music school who suddenly find themselves on a menacing path. Its twisty-turny narrative is quite engaging as it gets dragged further and further into the realms of the deranged. Perfect for an evening if you are looking for a shockingly demented but fun romp.


A riveting Indian drama where two-year-old Pihu, after a tragic accident, is trapped alone in an apartment. She has no contact with the world outside, nor any food or water, and gets herself into life-threatening situations which will keep you on the edge of your seat.


A film from Bong Joon Ho’s (Parasite) early career and still my personal favourite of his films, Snowpiercer is an accomplished yet still relatively unknown Korean science fiction film where the remaining humans who are surviving Earth’s second ice age live on a train that endlessly encircles the globe as revolution brews amongst the classes. It’s equally dark, offbeat and bizarre whilst exploring poignant metaphor of the injustice of the class system.

War and Peace

As epic historical dramas go it’s a wonderful, large scale piece with a particularly haunting score. If you adore your 1800s costume dramas you will love this.

The Witcher

If you’re into world-building fantasy dramas like Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings, then this isn’t either of them – just to be clear – but it’s a beautifully crafted, epic neo-fantasy adventure series of a similar ilk which is perfect for binging.


You is an American psychological thriller based on the novel by Caroline Kepnes. It follows serial killer Joe Goldberg who develops toxic, delusional and obsessive crushes which get him into all kinds of trouble. It’s darkly comic with some great twists. With use of voice over from Joe’s perspective, the brilliance of this show is that it gets you straight into his demented mind seeing things from his point of view. It’s clever, sinister and you’ll strangely end up routing for this guy. Think Dexter meets Gossip Girl.

You Were Never Really Here

A psychological thriller starring Joaquin Phoenix who plays a traumatised veteran with a brutal reputation who uses his hard-earned skills specialising in finding missing teen girls. With a focus more on psyche than narrative, this is an intense and moving arthouse film with an affecting score by Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread, There Will Be Blood).

Ally Davies
Published on:
Thu 4 Jun 2020