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Challengers Shows You a New, Badder Side of Zendaya

Challengers Shows You a New, Badder Side of Zendaya


There are about 47,000 oh wait, a new Netflix Original just came out; that's 47,001 TV shows and movies released every week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and avoid the rest.

We already have a variety of in-depth and exclusive coverage on all your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you're looking for is a simple Do's or Don'ts. That's why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our editors think you should see and what you can skip in the crowded entertainment landscape of the past few weeks.

Mike Faist, Zendaya and Josh O'Connor in

MGM/courtesy Everett Collectio

See: Challengers

Challengers is sexy, sweaty and dangerous, aka the most fun you'll have in a theater all season. The psychosexual tennis drama boasts three scintillating star performances, but it's Zendaya's career-best turn as the ruthless schemer that will have everyone talking.

Here is Coleman Spilde's view:

Orgasmic moans and grunts are part of the appeal of tennis. They reflect the intensity of the sport: how hard players must hit the ball; how quickly they have to rush from one end of the field to the other; how carefully they must avoid slipping on their own sweat, dripping from their bodies and falling to the ground in the oppressive heat of the sun. The simple contact between ball and racket is enough primal satisfaction to rival any roll in the hay. A loud, irrepressible moan serves the same purpose in tennis as it does in sex. The noise is both a gasp of pleasure and a way to catch your breath so that the experience lasts as long as possible.

There is much of this rapture in Challengers, on and off the field. Luca Guadagnino's latest film, in theaters April 26, is fluid, psychosexual heat as fast-paced and thrilling as any tennis tournament. The drama is broadcast online and spreads between films, three players in a heated match with everything on the line. In the film, tennis is a three-person sport, and each new serve feels like it's for the match point. Advantage switches between a different person in each scene. The heat rises, tensions flare and the skin is slippery with perspiration, but fatigue never sets in among the characters or the audience.

Learn more.

A photo of Alisha Weir in 'Abigail'

Bernard Walsh/Universal Pictures

Jump: Abigail

Abigail should be a lot of fun as a B-movie, what with a centuries-old vampire disguised as a little girl taking down kidnappers in a haunted mansion and all. But the film's leaden dialogues and archetypal characters drain all the novelty from the film's arteries.

Here's Nick Schagers' take:

Children do the stupidest things, and Abigail, which includes sprouting fangs and sucking blood while wearing cute tutus. This plot point would, under normal circumstances, be classified as a spoiler, given that Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett's film, which hits theaters April 19, hides its central surprise for its first third. Unfortunately, with the sales department having totally let the cat out of the proverbial bag in order to get teenagers into multiplex seats, there is no mystery in this gruesome horror show that is almost as noxious as the materials' penchant for exposition on scares, bloat over conciseness and clichés over invention.

As with their previous Shout And Scream VI, the latest from Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett has a modest personality but little creative terror. Very loosely based on 1936 Dracula's Daughter (by which I mean it shares the fundamental conceit of its predecessors and virtually nothing else), this clumsy bloodbath is about a seemingly perfect crime gone horribly wrong. In an unnamed town, teenage ballerina Abigail (Alisha Weir) returns home from rehearsal in a Rolls Royce to her opulent mansion. Unbeknownst to her, she is not alone, as a gang of crooks is hiding in the shadows of her room. Led by Frank (Dan Stevens), this pragmatic gang has been hired by Lambert (Giancarlo Esposito) to kidnap Abigail, transport her to another palatial residence and hold her hostage for 24 hours, at the end of which they will earn a sum. collective $50 million.

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Sandra Oh and Hoa Xuande in The Sympathizer

See: The sympathizer

The sympathizer is certainly an ambitious drama (often to its detriment), but even knowing that, I can't prepare you for the scene where a character graphically discusses masturbation with raw squid. Well, never look at sushi the same way again.

Here's Fletcher Peters taking:

The sympathizer landed in America. After the end of last week's first episode, the Captain (Hoa Xunde) is now in the United States, having barely managed to get on the plane from Vietnam when Saigon fell.

In a tense opening scene, we move from that moment just before the plane leaves to the captain's first days in America. The captain travels the Texas panhandle in a convertible, an easy and breezy life compared to the one he had just a few months ago. Well, has (Fred Nguyen Khan) ever managed to get on that plane? As Captain hurtles down the highway, we watch Bon sprint across the tarmac, trying to catch the plane with the corpses of his wife and child in his arms.

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Daniel Lyon in

See: The Spiderwick Chronicles

The Spiderwick Chronicles finds new life 20 years later in a series adapted from the beloved young adult books, which functions as both a modern family drama and a fantasy series free of the intense gore and graphic scenes found in its peers . .

Here is Caroline Siedes taken:

Recent years have seen harrowing stories of streaming platforms setting aside completed projects to deduct from their taxes. This time, at least, there's a happy ending for the YA series The Spiderwick Chronicles, which was initially designed for Disney+, and then discarded as a cost-cutting strategy and instead sold to Roku.

Based on the bestselling fantasy novels by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black about a family who moves into their old ancestral home and discovers a hidden world of magical creatures, Spiderwick it certainly would have made sense as a Disney companion Percy Jackson and the Olympians. (Both are based on a series of Mid-August books that gained popularity in the years since.Harry Potter editing landscape.) On Roku, however, it's an uneven but mostly charming flagship series for the free, ad-supported streamer, debuting all eight episodes on April 19.

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