3 underrated Netflix movies you should watch this weekend (March 15-17)

A vampire hides from a woman in John Carpenter's Vampires.

March’s Netflix slate is pretty impressive. On the new movies side, there’s Damsel, a modern take on an age-old fantasy tale featuring Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, Angela Bassett, Robin Wright, Nick Robinson, Ray Winstone, and a fire-breathing dragon. There’s also older fare like 2020’s Alone, a pandemic thriller no one had heard about until it shot up Netflix’s most popular movies chart this week.

There are also quality movies on Netflix that were released before 2020, films that are worth another look if you’ve already seen them in years past. Digital Trends has compiled a list of three underrated movies on Netflix that are worth watching this weekend.

Need more recommendations? Read our guides to the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime Video, and the best movies on HBO.

John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998)

5 men point their guns in John Carpenter's Vampires.

John Carpenter has built a career out of being underrated. Aside from Halloween, many of his movies, which are now rightly considered classics, were ignored by critics or audiences, and often both, when they were first released. Yet ,while The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China need no championing nowadays, one of Carpenter’s movies still hasn’t received the love it deserves: John Carpenter’s Vampires. It’s a small, nasty B-movie with a great lead performance by James Woods that critic Gene Siskel praised at the time it was released.

This 1998 movie stars Woods as Jack Crow, a vampire hunter sponsored by the Vatican who is tasked with tracking down a nest of vampires in New Mexico and killing them. Once Jack and his team of slayers arrive there, however, they are ambushed by an elder master vampire named Valek, who may have similar ties to the Vatican as Jack. With his team decimated, Jack and two companions, one of whom is a newly minted female vampire with a psychic link to Valek, must find the old vampire before he finds them.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

A woman tends to a man in The Amazing Spider-Man.

It’s 2024, and we’re all feeling comic book fatigue. There have been far too many of them, and most are just not that good. Yet, there’s one movie released 12 years ago that is good and doesn’t have all that convoluted multiverse baloney attached to it: The Amazing Spider-Man. Marc Webb’s reboot got a polite, but muted response when it was first released, but it plays well today, not the least because of the, ahem, amazing chemistry between co-leads Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man/Peter Parker and freshly minted two-time Oscar winner Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy.

You know the story by now: nerdy high school student Peter Parker acquires the spectacular powers of a spider, and seeks to protect his New York City home from evildoers like Dr. Curtis Connors, who can transform into the scaly monster The Lizard. Along the way, Peter has to find time for his burgeoning relationship with Gwen while also tending to his Aunt May, played by veteran actress Sally Field. (And yes, we really, really like her in this.) In addition to its terrific love story, The Amazing Spider-Man also features pretty decent action set pieces, and the visual effect surprisingly hold up. In a year that has already given us the instant bomb Madame Web, Webb’s charmingly lo-fi movie (well, for its genre) just looks better and better.

Fear (1996)

A man glowers outside in Fear.

The 1996 movie Fear is like Fatal Attraction, only with less middle-aged ennui and boiling rabbits and more young people and Seattle grunge. The movie chronicles the burgeoning romance between innocent teen Nicole (Reese Witherspoon) and mysterious bad boy David (Mark Wahlberg), who has some anger management issues and seems to really hate Nicole’s father, Steven (future CSI star William Petersen). Dad doesn’t like him either, especially when he finds out abut David took Nicole’s virginity, has a criminal past, and wants to take over as the head of the family.

Fear is a straightforward thriller that hits its marks well and gives an early glimpse of Witherspoon, whose talent shines here just as well as it does in future projects like Election, Walk the Line, and Big Little Lies. This movie, with its crisp cinematography and lush, propulsive score, is better than it has any right to be, and it has an ending that’s straight out of Looney Tunes.