Massive content choice aside, we’re happy to watch anything on Netflix in July (or anytime) for good reason. It’s because its CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin have donated US$120 million towards education reform for the black community in America. And another US$100 million recently to “directly support Black communities in the U.S.”
This comes at a time when the world is reexamining its conscience for being party to racial discrimination of any kind. But Hastings isn’t new to promoting education reform. The gentleman has been involved in promoting reform for decades, including backing charter schools. Thus, it is with particular pleasure that we present our regular viewers’ guide for the upcoming month.
(Did you miss previous releases? You can catch up on them here too.)
After a long hiatus (last seen in 2010), crime series Unsolved Mysteries is back for anyone who cares about truth and justice. For the unacquainted, it’s a documentary that sheds light on the world’s coldest unsolved cases and paranormal phenomena.
Led by filmmaker Shawn Levy, Netflix’s version of the show promises to be bigger and better – not least because the man who directed hit series Stranger Things. Unsolved Mysteries (2020) will be providing a more immersive viewing experience compared to its predecessors’. That is, no host nor narrator to recount case details from script, or have a case dragged across several episodes. Instead, it’ll come in a more direct format, like that of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness and Don’t F**k with Cats.
Date: 1 July
Since Ju-On‘s introduction in the 2000s, that pale-looking boy with black sunken eyes and that long-haired lady who crawls out of a TV set have been scaring the s*** out of us in films like Ju-On, The Grudge and Sadako. Now, 20 years later, it may do the same thing to us in Netflix’s latest horror series.
As the title suggests, Ju-On Origins is a show that will dive into the hows and whys of the Ju-On “curse” and, at its core, revolve around the chain of terrifying events to whoever comes into contact with the curse at the house in Nerima, Tokyo. Consequently, we reckon the franchise’s iconic characters will reappear on our screens. So be prepared for jump-scares.
Date: 3 July
After her leading role in 2019’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Academy and Golden Globes winner Cate Blanchett shifts her focus to directing Netflix’s limited series Stateless. She is joined by The Handmaid’s Tale’s Yvonne Strahovski, Suicide Squad’s Jai Courtney, and Dominic West from The Affair.
Inspired by the unlawful detention of Australia’s permanent citizen Cornelia Rau in 2004, Stateless is a heart-wrenching dramatisation of the documentary Border Security: Australia’s Front Lines. Instead of glamorising the effectiveness and fairness of Australia’s border protection system, however, Blanchett’s series states (pun intended) otherwise.
The series follows four strangers whose paths cross at an immigration detention centre in the middle of a desert after their respective experiences left them wanting to leave/enter Australia, but are detained for reasons unknown.
Fun fact: Blanchett is also an ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Date: 8 July
The Old Guard
Every other month, Netflix releases an original film led by big-name celebrities. There’s Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in The Irishman. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Marriage Story. Ryan Reynolds in 6 Underground. Mark Wahlberg in Spenser Confidential. And most recently, Chris Hemsworth in Extraction. What’s next you ask? The Old Guard, featuring the stunning Charlize Theron.
Based on a graphic novel of the same name, The Old Guard sees a group of immortal mercenaries fight for their chance at freedom as mortal beings, that Theron and company swore to protect from evil, look to replicate and monetise their immortal gifts. Betrayal: one of those things that shake your faith in humanity.
Date: 10 July
Golden Globe Award winner Katherine Langford is one busy actor. After appearing on teen-drama 13 Reasons Why (2017-2018) and on films like Love, Simon (2018) and Knives Out (2019), Langford now tackles a new kind of role as the titular character in Netflix’s latest Arthurian drama.
Here’s what we know about Cursed. The premise essentially pivots around the medieval tale about King Arthur, Merlin, the Lady of the Lake, and the powers of Exacalibur. The series, however, is based on Thomas Wheeler’s novel. Thus viewers should expect to watch the Lady of the Lake draw Excalibur instead, and save the people from King Uther Pendragon’s reign. It’s an interesting modern spin to the Arthurian legend, if you ask us.
Date: 17 July 2020
You can also catch: Under the Riccione Sun (1 July), Desperados (3 July), The Baby-Sitters Club (Season One) (3 July), The Twelve (10 July), Indian Matchmaking (16 July), Fatal Affair (16 July), Fear City: New York vs The Mafia (22 July), Offering to the Storm (24 July), The Kissing Booth 2 (24 July), and The Umbrella Academy (Season Two) (31 July).