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Netflix, Fever and Chills?

For a writer, it's a total bummer to stay home sick AND be too sick to write. Or worse, to have a little cutie who needs round-the-clock loving during an illness.

I have lived through a few of those weeks during my past five years as a mama, and I've learned there is only one thing to do. Give up on those thoughts of catching up on chores, writing that synopsis, or doing anything else productive. Focus on healing in the form of snuggling in bed and watching free stuff on Hulu.

Yeah, my clever post title says Netflix, but I'm not even that fancy. I get my movies strictly from the library and whatever freebies are available on Hulu without a subscription.

But I've found some pretty good ones over the years, which you may also be able to find free on Hulu (though their availability does change), Netflix, your local library, or some online criminal underworld.

I tend to go for foreign films because they really transport me to a different world. My taste also skews a little dark and twisted, so if you're squeamish, you might want to stick to something bland like episodes of House Hunters. And of course, if you have a child at home, you'll want to scroll down to the family-friendly selections. But if you crave a little something shocking in your entertainment, even under the influence of fever meds, this list is for you.

Here is my curated list of (maybe) free movies that will massage your muses as you convalesce.

For adults only:

 4 Lovers: extra-steamy French film with a lot of psychological suspense and very graphic doin'-it scenes, about two couples who swap partners

Madeinusa: the darkest and creepiest Cinderella variant you'll ever see, set in a rural village in the Andes

Unconscious: trippy adventures with Sigmund Freud; silly, steamy, and romantic

Northanger Abbey: bringing Jane Austen's dry wit and sultry undertones alive in a film that could never have been shown in her time (if films had existed then)

Thesis: 1990s thriller about a film student in Madrid who discovers a snuff film--and evidence of a snuff ring operating within her school... kind of like 8MM with 100% less Nicholas Cage and a lot more twists and turns

Demons: a psychological thriller miniseries based on a Dostoevsky novel, featuring some totally creepy hot actors

Karen llora en el bus: the adventures of a middle-aged, pampered and stifled housewife who decides to leave her husband and strike out on her own in a rough city, with no support; a tale of redemption, not horror

Sand Dollars: for anyone interested in seeing an elderly Frenchwoman play colonialist Don Juan in the Dominican Republic

The House of the Sun: the adventures of Soviet hippies in the 1960s

For snuggling with family (or, a couple of films that are less likely to leave you traumatized):

The Secret of Kells: a beautiful animated film with rich, Irish-inspired artwork and a haunting soundtrack, about a boy monk who teams up with a wolf-girl forest deity to overcome the evil powers of a death-dealing forest god and the destructive forces of Vikings (possibly too scary for tiny tots but highly entertaining for less sensitive kids)

Alamar: a dreamy, sweet depiction of a young boy's seaside summer with his father off the coast of Mexico ("boring" enough to put a kid to sleep, if that's your objective)


What are YOUR favorite sick-day binges that feed your imagination when you can't work? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments.

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