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Top 5 Best Netflix Original Films to Watch Over Break

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Winter break is fast approaching, and with classes winding down after finals, the perfect time to lounge around has finally arrived. And with lounging comes Netflix. While holiday movies are the greatest, sometimes they can get a little repetitive. If you can’t think of anything else to watch besides Elf and Home Alone then here’s a diverse list for you to use! Being an avid movie watcher myself I have accumulated a perfect list of movies and documentaries that you may want to consider watching this coming winter season.

To All the boys I’ve loved before

This movie is one of my all-time favorites. I watched it when it was first released on Netflix in 2018, and always find myself coming back to it. The first movie features an amazing dynamic between Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky, the two main characters, as they try to navigate a “fake relationship” they had gotten themselves into. The movie features an adorable love story and really good chemistry built up in this “will they, won’t they” romance. I recommend only watching the first, the last two movies in the series are not the best but To All the Boys…is truly a masterpiece and is the perfect movie to obsess over. 

The ritual

The Ritual is a horror thriller that takes place in the mountains of the Scandinavian wilderness. Four men, mourning the loss of their best friend, decided to take a several-day hike into the mountains of Sweden to commemorate his death. However, after deciding to take a shortcut through a dense forest the group begins to experience disturbing psychological events. This movie is the perfect middle ground between a thriller and horror. Many horror movies today tend to have a tacky plot and always end the same way. The Ritual focuses on the deeper side of thrillers featuring disturbing and slightly realistic fears. If you’re looking for something a little spookier then this Netflix original is the way to go. 

Crip Camp: a disability revolution

Crip Camp is an inspiring and heart-warming documentary about one of the first disability camps that started in the 1970s. It follows the journey of several camp goers as well as the counselors in their fight to gain the rights for people with disabilities. The documentary provides a glimpse into the difficulties people face in a world that doesn’t assist those with disabilities and how the movement fought against the isolating discrimination that many of these people faced every day of their lives. The documentary even won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was produced by Michelle and Barack Obama. If you are feeling defeated or uninspired I would recommend watching this documentary.

The half of it

The Half of It is a budding romance movie with unexpected twists and turns. A straight-A student, Ellie Chu, finds herself roped into helping jock, Trig Carson, into getting a girl to fall in love with him. However she herself has feelings for the same girl. The unexpected LGBTQ+ inclusion in the movie is a breath of fresh air and offers something different from the usual boy-girl love story. The movie doesn’t romanticize the relationships either, instead, it depicts the clear realities that come with high school and emotions and how sometimes life doesn’t always end up as planned. 

The woman in the window

The Woman in the Window is a psychological thriller full of murder, mystery, and many twists. Dr. Anna Fox lives in her condo in the heart of Manhattan. One night after the new neighbors across the street had moved in, she witness a woman being murdered in their apartment. She struggles to call for help due to her debilitating agoraphobia preventing her from stepping foot outside. The movie is a continual mystery with details that will lead you all over the place. The ratings aren’t the best, but I enjoyed the simplicity of the movie with its twists and turns that leave you in shock by the end. 

There are hundreds of Netflix original films but I believe the ones above are some of the best the platform has to offer, and I highly recommend watching one if not all of them while you sit at home relaxing after a stressful semester at school. You deserve it! Enjoy! 

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Abigail Hartman

U Mass Amherst '23

Abby's a Senior with a psychology major and a Spanish and PoliSci minor, and she loves anything true crime related!