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Netflix has a new No.1 movie — and there's lots of surprise twists

Netflix logo on a TV screen next to a vase of flowers
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Netflix has a twist-filled new No.1 movie, and I’m not talking about the mammoth-sized episodes of Stranger Things season 4

While Netflix's most-watched movie list has been dominated by new releases such as Senior Year, Jackass 4.5 and Our Father this month, May is ending with a film that was originally released in 2019 at the summit. 

Disappearance at Clifton Hill (currently the No. 1 movie on Netflix at the time of publishing according to Netflix's home screen) follows a young woman named Abby (Tuppence Middleton) who returns home to Niagara Falls, Ontario after she inherits a motel in the city’s Clifton Hill tourist district following her mother’s death. 

The motel has fallen into disrepair, to the point where Abby’s sister wants to sell the place to a local businessman as she doesn't consider it viable anymore. However, Abby feels a strange connection to the practically dilapidated building and is adamant about keeping it in the family. 

Abby’s return home isn’t just focused on fixing up her family's musty old motel. She is also haunted by the memory of a mysterious disappearance that she witnessed in her childhood. Soon after she arrives back in Clifton Hill she sets out on a quest to find out what happened to the “one-eyed boy” and confront the demons of her past. 

Directed by Albert Shin, the flick stars Middleton, Hannah Gross, Noah Reid, Eric Johson, Marie-Josee Croze and legendary director David Cronenberg in a rare acting appearance. The mystery thriller film was first released almost three years ago, so it's resurfacing at the top of the Netflix most-watched list is rather surprising. 

This is certainly not to say it’s not worthy of the top spot. For starters, the film was reviewed well upon release scoring 74% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). Disappearance at Clifton Hill was particularly praised for Middleton’s strong lead performance, neo-noir tone and twist-driven narrative that is full of suspense and dramatic reveals you’ll never see coming. 

It’s not hard to see why the film has gone down well with Netflix subscribers. It contains all the elements that make true crime one of the most popular genres on the streaming service with an unsolved mystery at its core. While the movie is not based on a true story, it’s very easy to imagine something similar happening in real life, which only adds to the intrigue. 

Disappearance at Clifton Hill taking the No.1 spot away from its much fresher competition is an apt reminder that it’s always worth diving deeper into Netflix’s catalog. While the new stuff naturally gets most of the headlines, and the biggest promotional push from the streamer itself, there are plenty of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered within the larger Netflix content library. 

Next: Is Netflix one of the 3 streaming services we'd cancel this month? Also, Stranger Things 4 suffers from Netflix's biggest problem, and we're hoping there's some logical explanation for it. Plus, we've got the Celtics vs. Warriors live stream details for the NBA Finals.

Rory Mellon
Deals Editor

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.