Film-going habits have changed, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Impressive home cinema systems, fast internet connections and a wide variety of streaming platforms mean that you can watch pretty much anything you want from the comfort of your own living room.
We’ve grabbed some popcorn and picked out the best ways of recreating the cinema experience at home.
The market leaders
There’s no avoiding the major players when it comes to setting up your home cinema. Netflix and Amazon Prime lead the way, with exclusive content and the best selection of modern movies shared between them. Disney + is a late arrival on the scene, but has made a big splash. The “House of Mouse” has all Marvel and Star Wars movies available for subscribers and will soon be bringing a huge library of additional content online from Twentieth Century Fox. You’ll want to pick at least one of these to start off with just so you have some of the basics covered, but there are other platforms to consider.
In many ways scary movies work better at home than they do in cinemas. The horror genre doesn’t rely on bombastic special effects and instead gets under your skin with atmospheric storytelling. Shudder is dedicated to streaming things that go bump in the night, and has carved out a real name for itself in the last 12 months. Lockdown horror Host is the standout but there’s also a lot more worth discovering if you’re feeling brave enough.
In many ways scary movies work better at home than they do in cinemas.
Arthouse cinema and quality foreign films are actually quite rare on the main platforms we mentioned earlier. Mubi fills this gap with its excellent selection of films from all corners of the world. Subscribers get a lot in return for their monthly payments, and this is the way to go if you’re looking to expand your knowledge of cinema. The hand-picked selection of titles from experts mean that the days of endless scrolling looking for something to watch could be over.
It might seem a bit odd to not include Apple’s streaming platform with other heavy-hitters, but the simple fact is that most people still don’t know it exists. There are some great shows on the platform which is now starting to create some mouth-watering content. The Morning Show and Ted Lasso are two recent highlights, and with incredible buying power at its disposal, the platform is signing up some major talent too. If you’re buying a new iPad or iPhone, you can get a 12-month subscription thrown in for free if you’re still on the fence.
Building your home cinema
Now that you’ve got the content sorted, you need to start thinking about how to watch it all. You can spend as much – or as little – as you want when it comes to setting up a film watching environment. Modern smartphones and tablets generally run streaming content with ease, and can even be wirelessly connected to smart TVs if you crave a bigger screen. Most TVs on the market today can do the heavy lifting themselves, so you don’t need anything more than a sturdy internet connection to get streaming. You can’t go wrong with a Samsung TV when it comes to form and function, with high end projectors upping the ante for real cinephiles. If you’re after a budget option, then this nifty gadget turns your humble mobile into a decent projector, while at the other end of the spectrum luxury seating really makes you feel like you’re back in the multiplex.