The Dystopian Sci-Fi Thriller On Netflix That Needs A Sequel

By Steven Nelson | Published

In a world bursting with dystopian tales, What Happened to Monday manages to offer a fresh, thrilling spin, catching viewers in a web of suspense, emotion, and intricate plotting. It went under-watched and underappreciated at the time, but we can correct that now.

It’s streaming on Netflix, and this moderately gripping sci-fi film poses the question: In a future where overpopulation leads to a strict one-child policy, what happens when you have seven identical sisters living in secret? 

If you’re in the mood for a pulse-pounding ride that merges mystery with futuristic paranoia, then What Happened to Monday is one to add to your watchlist. And if you are a parent dealing with multiple kids at home, don’t worry, this will make your situation seem practically peaceful.

In What Happened to Monday, Noomi Rapace plays seven different versions of herself

In the not-so-far-off future depicted in What Happened to Monday, overpopulation isn’t just a looming issue—it’s a critical crisis. The world’s governments, in a desperate attempt to control the situation, implement a strict one-child policy. 

The Child Allocation Bureau ensures this policy is followed ruthlessly, taking away any additional children from families and putting them in cryosleep, with the promise that they’ll be awakened in a better, less crowded future. It’s in this world that the Settman sisters, seven identical siblings, are born.

Now, how do you hide seven sisters in a one-child society? Ingeniously named after each day of the week, the sisters rotate turns, stepping outside on the day named after them, and all impersonating the same identity: Karen Settman.

Indoors, they’re Sunday through Saturday (hence, What Happened to Monday), each with her own personality and quirks. Outdoors, they maintain a collective facade, sharing experiences and memories with one another to keep their secret intact.

But the system, as meticulous as it is, starts to crumble when Monday doesn’t return home after her day out. Panic ensues among the remaining sisters. Has she been discovered? Did she run away? Or is there a more sinister reason behind her disappearance?

What Happened to Monday

The ensuing search pulls the sisters into a whirlwind of danger, conspiracy, and revelations as they race against time, not just to find Monday, but to ensure their own survival.

The stellar cast elevates this intriguing premise. Noomi Rapace takes on a challenging feat, portraying all seven distinct sisters, each with her own nuances and depth.

Glenn Close, as the unwavering head of the Child Allocation Bureau, is the embodiment of the hard decisions and sacrifices made in the name of the greater good. Willem Dafoe also makes his mark as the Settman grandfather, the architect of the sisters’ intricate hide-and-seek life.

In essence, What Happened to Monday isn’t just another dystopian tale. It’s a story of sisterhood, survival, and the lengths to which one will go to preserve family.

What Happened to Monday generated a potpourri of reactions from critics upon its release. The film was lauded for its intriguing premise and the tour de force performance by Noomi Rapace. Playing seven distinct characters in a single film is no easy feat, and Rapace’s portrayal was often spotlighted as the movie’s shining strength.

What Happened to Monday

However, critics also had their reservations. Some felt that the movie, while ambitious, occasionally stumbled in its narrative execution. There were concerns that the film veered into formulaic territory, occasionally becoming predictable or borrowing tropes from other dystopian tales.

Some critiques pointed towards the character depth, feeling that despite Rapace’s commendable effort, not all sisters received equal and adequate characterization.

On the flip side, the film’s pacing, action sequences, and visual aesthetics were often praised. The tension-laden plot kept many viewers at the edge of their seats, even if it sometimes sacrificed deeper thematic exploration for thrills.

A What Happened to Monday Sequel?

If What Happened to Monday were to be granted a sequel, it could take multiple intriguing directions. Here’s one way to envision it:

Building on the first movie’s exploration of a world strangled by overpopulation, the sequel could venture beyond the Settman sisters’ story. The aftermath of the events of the first film has shaken the foundations of the Child Allocation Bureau.

People across the world are now aware of the dark secrets of cryosleep and the fate of “extra” children. This revelation could trigger widespread unrest, with communities and families demanding transparency, accountability, and change.

The remaining Settman sisters could be at the heart of this revolution, becoming symbols of resistance against the oppressive one-child policy. They could join or even lead a movement seeking to challenge and overthrow the system. Along the way, they might uncover even deeper secrets about the Bureau and the global elite’s real intentions behind the policy.

Overall, What Happened to Monday garnered a mixed-to-positive reception. While it might not have been hailed universally as a classic in the sci-fi dystopian genre, it was recognized for its ambition, Rapace’s commendable performance, and its fresh take on a future grappling with overpopulation.

For many viewers, especially those fond of suspenseful, high-stakes cinema, What Happened to Monday became a must-watch.