Netflix gems provide summer viewing fun

by Kevin Smead

In “Trollhunter,” Norway has a rather large pest problem.  | Courtesy of Magnet Releasing
In “Trollhunter,” Norway has a rather large pest problem. | Courtesy of Magnet Releasing

Tired of the sun this summer? Or just can’t sleep and need something to watch late at night? Every time you open up Netflix, feel as though you’ve seen everything? Well, here are a few movies to keep you busy this summer that you may have missed hiding in the library.


“Trollhunter” (2010)

Synopsis: When a group of Norwegian college-age documentarians attempt to film an environmental interest story about bear deaths, they uncover a government cover-up that hides Norway’s biggest, darkest secret: trolls.

Why it’s awesome: This unexpected, often funny and hilariously well-produced mockumentary from Norway is entirely unassuming. A second-rate film this is not. “Trollhunter” is one of the best movies to be released in recent years, and it’s easily missed because it never saw a massive commercial release stateside. Luckily, the film is on Netflix Instant Streaming for viewers’ anytime pleasure. It’s subtitled, but who cares? When the rumored American remake from “Harry Potter” director Chris Columbus is released, early viewers can scoff at “how much better the original was.” Do yourself a great service and get down on some troll hunting.


“Troll 2” (1990) and “Best Worst Movie” (2009)

Synopsis: “They’re eating her. And then they’re going to eat me. Oh my god!”

Why it’s awesome: Not all movies about trolls are as splendid as “Trollhunter,” though “Troll 2” is killer in its own right. Combining these two films together makes for one awesomely bad double feature. “Troll 2,” known for being a terrible yet hilarious film is really just about a family getting attacked by a town full of trolls. What follows is a cornucopia of bad lines, horrible acting and some of the most unintentionally hilarious delivery this side of Voldemort’s laugh after killing Harry in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” A documentary was made about the film, simply called “Best Worst Movie,” which chronicles the production of “Troll 2,” and ultimately asks how these awful movies unintentionally get made. Really, it doesn’t matter, as long as the world never runs out of movies like “Troll 2.”


“Dead Snow” (2009)

Synopsis: While vacationing in Norway, a group of friends encounters a hoard of Nazi zombies out for gehrin. (That’s German for “brains.”)

Why it’s awesome: This film never saw a wide release for reasons that are difficult to understand. Generally, when something combines Nazis and zombies, the cash starts flowing. If you don’t believe that, take a look at the “Call of Duty” franchise. With that being said, this is a film about Nazi zombies. There’s not much more to say than grab a lover, dim the lights and face the undead version of Adolf Hitler’s army.


“Ip Man” (2008)

Synopsis: “Ip Man” stars Donnie Yen as Yip Man, the first teacher of the Wing Chun-style of martial arts and eventually the instructor to the legendary Bruce Lee, in this quasi-biographical account of his struggle against the Japanese in World War II.

Why it’s awesome: This film has actually gained quite a bit of popularity recently, making it less of a hidden gem and more just a butt-kicking regular gem. “Ip Man” is a feel-good kind of movie. Watching Yen systematically wreck 10 of Japan’s strongest black belts in front of a major Japanese general and replying, “I am just a Chinese man,” when asked for his name is so awesome it’s physically painful. It would be easy to say, “Dude, YouTube it,” but that would be a disservice to this excellent film. There’s also a sequel, but it’s not quite as radical as the first. When watching the film, keep in mind the man it is based on was very real and lived to be almost 80, and he was just as awesome.

Think you know the best hidden gem in the Netflix library? Let us know by emailing or tweeting to @thedailyaztec #netflixgems.