Top Films to Watch on Netflix UK This Halloween: Part 2. #HorrorOctober

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If you missed part one of this post, you can check it out here

5. Malevolent (2018)

I watched this last night and was very pleasantly surprised. It was great! I didn’t expect it to be British either.

Florence Pugh in Malevolent (2018)Siblings Jackson and Angela run a profitable ghostbusting racket; swindling the bereaved with fake detection equipment and Angela’s paranormal ‘visions’. Hired to investigate a haunted old foster home, the team uncover its terrifying past: young girls brutally slaughtered, mouths stitched shut; silenced by a sadistic killer. And Angela’s on the edge – sleepless, strung out and losing her mind, no longer certain what’s actually real; convinced she hears the girls crying out to her from the darkness… But supernatural terrors are the least of their problems when they discover the very real evil lurking in the isolated house.

 

Director:  Olaf de Fleur Johannesson (as Olaf De Fleur)
Writers: Ben Ketai (screenplay by), Eva Konstantopoulos (screenplay by)
Stars: Florence Pugh, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Scott Chambers

6. Family Blood (2018)

Family Blood is an interesting film as far as modern vampire movies go. They’ve sort of fallen out of fashion haven’t they!? I wouldn’t say this is an amazing film, but I enjoyed it. It’s a good one to watch if you’re not big on being scared but want to get in the Halloween mood.

Vinessa Shaw in Family Blood (2018)

Ellie, a recovering drug addict, has just moved to a new city with her two teenage children. She has struggled to stay sober in the past and is determined to make it work this time, finding a stable job and regularly attending her meetings. Unfortunately, new friends, a new job, and the chance of a new life, can’t keep Ellie from slipping once again. Her life changes when she meets Christopher – a different kind of addict – which forces her daughter and son to accept a new version of Ellie.

 

Director: Sonny Mallhi
Writers:
Nick Savvides, Sonny Mallhi
Stars:
Vinessa Shaw, James Ransone, Colin Ford

7. Cabin in the Woods (2012)

OK, so this probably featured on my list last year too, but it’s just so good!

The Cabin in the Woods Poster

Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.

 
Director: Drew Goddard

Writers: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard

Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison

8. From Beyond (1986)

80s movies are a guilty pleasure of mine. This is a bit of a cheat though because I don’t think I’ve actually seen it. It’s bound to be an all-out gore/laughter-fest though, right!?

From Beyond PosterA group of scientists have developed the Resonator, a machine which allows whoever is within range to see beyond normal perceptible reality. But when the experiment succeeds, they are immediately attacked by terrible life forms.

 
Director: Stuart Gordon

Writers: H.P. Lovecraft (short story), Brian Yuzna (adaptation)

Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sore

9. Hostel (2005)

Hostel got quite a poor reception when it came out (at least here in the UK) but I loved it. Gore, organised crime, and lots and lots of torture. What’s not to like? I wouldn’t bother with the sequels though, if I were you. SAVE YOURSELVES.

Hostel PosterThree backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.

 
Director: Eli Roth
Writer: Eli Roth
Stars: Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson

 

10. Carrie (1976)

An oldie but a goody! If you only watch one horror film this Halloween, then it may as well be a classic. I didn’t actually mind the remake either, but the original always wins out.

Carrie Poster

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

 

 
Director: Brian De Palma
Writers: Stephen King (novel), Lawrence D. Cohen (screenplay)
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving

Happy Halloween Blog Friends!

Ten Films to Watch on Netflix UK This Halloween: Part 1 #HO18

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1. The Boy (2016)

theboy

An American nanny is shocked that her new English family’s boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.

 

The Boy might have a ridiculous premise, but if you’re anything like me and hate dolls, you’ll find this gloriously creepy, and it’s a really well done, if not silly, horror.

Scare Factor: 4     Creep Factor: 10

 

2. The Open House (2018)

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A teenager and his mother find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a temporary house which is actually for sale and has open Sundays.

DirectorsMatt AngelSuzanne Coote

Writers: Matt AngelSuzanne Coote

This was actually much better than I was expecting. There’s definitely something creepy about having strangers in your house, especially when you suspect that they may not have actually left…

Scare Factor: 6                        Creep Factor: 5

 

3. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

autopsy

A father and son, both coroners, are pulled into a complex mystery while attempting to identify the body of a young woman, who was apparently harbouring dark secrets.

StarsBrian CoxEmile HirschOphelia Lovibond

Autopsy is a hidden gem. I feel like it definitely deserves more exposure than it’s been given.

 

Scare Factor: 7           Creep Factor: 7

 

4. I Spit on Your Grave (2010)

ispitA writer who is brutalized during her cabin retreat seeks revenge on her attackers, who left her for dead.

Director: Steven R. Monroe

Writers: Adam Rockoff (screenplay) (as Stuart Morse), Meir Zarchi (based on the film by)

If you haven’t seen the original, then watch that instead, but it’s sadly not on Netflix. This remake isn’t half bad though and gives you a good taster of one of the most classic stories of revenge ever told on screen.

Scare factor: 8                             Creep Factor: 4

5. The Awakening (2011)

awakening

In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the ‘missing’ begin to show themselves.

DirectorNick Murphy

Writers: Stephen Volk (screenplay), Nick Murphy (screenplay)

Stars: Rebecca HallDominic WestImelda Staunton 

It’s been a while since I saw this but I remember it being much better than I was expecting. Some genuine scares and many potential jump scares.

Scare Factor: 7            Creep Factor: 7

While we’re talking about Netflix, has anyone watched The Haunting on Hill House yet? Thoughts? I watched the first episode and didn’t enjoy it at all. Do I need to give it a chance?

 

Horror October: Week #2 Wrap-up! #HO17

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Well, that was a busy week! I can’t believe we’re half-way through already!
If you missed anything, do not fret, here is a handy summary of all the goings-on.

Horror October Week 2

Review: Misery by Stephen King

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Top Ten Tuesday: Spooky Autumnal Book Covers

30 Days of Horror:

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Day #7: Some Will Not Sleep

Day #8: Interview with the Vampire

Day #9: Battle Royale

Day #10: You Die When You Die

Day #11: Goth Girl

Day #12: The White Road

Day #13: Universal Harvester

This Week in Books 09.10.17

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This Year in Horror (so far)!

Lazy Saturday Review: Killing the Dead by Marcus Sedgwick

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Posts from around the blogosphere

Review: S.T.A.G.S – A World of Books

Come for a walk through Bram Stoker’s Dublin – Come Here to Me

Review: Hell House – Ruined Head

Top Ten Scariest Towns You Never Want to Visit – Redmangorereviews

October Scary Book Recommendation: The Hallowed Ones – Reading in Winter

Movie Review: The Ritual – One Room with a View

Movie Review: Happy Death Day – Literary Dust

Up Next on Horror October:

Book Review: The Silent Companions

Mother! What the Hell was that all about? #FilmReview #Movies #HO17

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I don’t usually feel the urge to write movie reviews, even though I go to the cinema about once  week. After seeing this film, however, I really felt like I had to write down my thoughts because I couldn’t figure out what my thoughts were! It was one strange film.

Did I enjoy it? Not sure. Did I understand it? Probably not!

I went into this film not knowing anything about it other than seeing the trailer, and at the time of writing this, I had not read anything about it either…so were my theories correct? Read on…

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Summary: A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. [Certificate 18, 2 hr 1 min running time]
Genres: Mystery; Horror; Drama

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Writer: Darren Aronofsky

When I was working in pubs and first started getting manager shifts I started having these awful stress-dreams where people simply refused to leave at the end of the night (turns out this is a common thing in the trade). I’d go around the pub telling each group of customers that drinking time was up and they had to leave, but no one would move. I’d lock one door but more people would come through a side door and I couldn’t stop them. They would be crowding around the bar shouting for drinks and start trashing the place. AND NEVER LEAVE.

That’s exactly what watching this film was like. It was exhausting, claustrophobic, and stressful (especially for someone like me who finds people tiring at the best of times – not least when they show up uninvited and then won’t leave).

Being an Aronofsky film (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), I knew mother! would be a bit doo-lally, but woah. I didn’t expect that amount of craziness. On the surface it seems like a confused, badly-written film, but surely there’s more to it!?

At first glance it’s a home invasion story where these bizarre, audacious people keep turning up at the house Jennifer Lawrence’s character (yep none of the characters have proper names, just to add to the pretension of it all)  has built from scratch.  And when they finally outstay their welcome, they refuse to leave. This gives way to the marital breakdown part of the story where the young wife (still Lawrence) will always love the older husband (Javier Bardem’s ‘Him’) more than he loves her, no matter how hard she tries. And then there’s the real horror element which is a sort of creepy living house vibe, where stains grow by themselves and walls have heartbeats. Weird.

As the film surpassed the half-way mark, it got pretty disturbingly bizarre and increasingly fantastical. It’s one of those films that you hope has a point that you’re not quite grasping, because without a point, it seems pretty terrible.

But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I couldn’t look away, even though I wanted to. A lot.

As I said at the beginning, I’ve not read any of the reviews of interviews, so I only have my own thoughts to go on, and for what it’s worth, I came up with the following theories:

1. Aronofsky is trying to represent the hormonal, emotional and physical turmoil of pregnancy. Was the whole thing a metaphor for JL’s pregnancy-induced paranoia of never being good enough?

2. Or, it is a representation of the ego of mankind. Those who feed off the goodness of others, whom take everything and give nothing. I think I like this theory the most.

(On a side note, it could also be a dig at celebrity culture – those who crave constant attention and out-pourings of love and admiration?)

3. It is a political/ecological lesson about overpopulation, inhumanity, and environmental destruction.

It’s possible the writer/director was trying to say all of these things and that’s why it was so mad. No doubt everyone who sees it will have their own theories as well, so I think the film was a success on that level. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the need to actively find the meaning behind a film or story. And the more I think about what it could all mean, the less ridiculous the film seems. Taken at face value though, it is just that – ridiculous.

horroctrating-4

***Update: I have since read some reviews and interviews about what the hell was going on here and it turns out my theories weren’t quite what Aronofsky had in mind. But I don’t think I was that far off! This Telegraph article explains all (and has ALL THE SPOILERS FYI)

Did you see Mother! ? What did you make of it?

#HorrorOctober The Finale: The Top 5 of Everything With Jason Arnopp #HappyHalloween

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Happy Halloween!

 

Well, it’s Halloween. Hurrah! It’s always bit bittersweet for me though as it signifies the end of Horror October. But,  it’s been a great month and I’ve saved the best til last for you…

After reading The Last Days of Jack Sparks earlier this year, Jason Arnopp crept into my Horror Hall of Fame; it’s such an entertaining novel, I can’t recommend it enough! You can read my review here. Therefore,  I was naturally thrilled when Jason agreed to write a guest post for the occasion. Read on for more info on Jack Sparks and his Top 5’s of all things horror. 

The Last Days of Jack Sparks

jacksparks

Jack Sparks died while writing this book. This is the account of his final days.


In 2014, Jack Sparks – the controversial pop culture journalist – died in mysterious circumstances.

To his fans, Jack was a fearless rebel; to his detractors, he was a talentless hack. Either way, his death came as a shock to everyone.

It was no secret that Jack had been researching the occult for his new book. He’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed in rural Italy.

Then there was that video: thirty-six seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now. This book, compiled from the files found after his death, reveals the chilling details of Jack’s final hours.

First Published March 1st 2016 by Orbit // Available in Hardback, Paperback & Kindle / eBook

Amazon // Goodreads

The Top 5 of Everything with Jason Arnopp

[In no particular order]

Top 5 Films that got you into Horror

 

1. Salem’s Lot (1979) Couldn’t sleep with the curtains open for years after that!

2. Poltergeist (1982) First saw this at an equally young friend’s house, and his mum physically blocked our view of the TV when the guy ripped his own face off!

3. The Evil Dead (1981) My favourite horror movie in terms of sheer rewatchability

4. The Thing (1982) My favourite horror in terms of slowburn tension

5. Hammer House Of Horror (1980) Not a film but a Brit TV show, which gave a young me some influential chills

 

Top 5 Books that made you want to write

1. Doctor Who: Terror Of The Autons by Terrance Dicks – I liked all the Target novels, but this one always stood out. Autons and the Nestene consciousness are very creepy.

2. Stephen King On Writing – a great non-fiction book. Part memoir, part kick up the ass for scribblers.

3. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk – one of my favourite authors. Such great unique style and ideas. Brave as hell too, for the way he trains an unflinching eye on the human condition.

4. House Of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski – insanely ambitious and just all-round insane!

5. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton – basically Doctor Who, in terms of the central concept of a tree with different worlds arriving at the very top of it.

 

Top 5 things you’re scared of

 

1. Death

2. Debilitating illness

3. Russia having a nuclear missile called Satan 2

4. The prospect of Donald Trump becoming president of America

5. People with no empathy

Top 5 things you’ve worked on

 

1. The Last Days Of Jack Sparks (Orbit Books)

2. Beast In The Basement (Retribution Books)

3. A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home (Retribution Books)

4. Auto Rewind (Retribution Books)

5. American Hoarder (Retribution Books)

 

Top 5 things that inspired Jack Sparks

 

1. The amount of certainty displayed on social media

2. The lack of empathy displayed on social media

3. The amount of ego displayed online in general

4. Non-fiction books in which the author goes on some kind of egotistical quest

5. Found footage movies

 

Top 5 things you’d want to survive a zombie apocalypse

 

1. Me

2. My loved ones

3. Seabirds

4. Animals in general

5. Anyone likely to buy my books in a post-apocalyptic age

 

Top 5 things you’d still like to accomplish

 

1. Write lots more novels

2. Write more movies

3. Become vegan instead of just vegetarian

4. Record a thrash metal album

5. Die before zombie apocalypse commences

 

Top 5 things that make a good horror story

 

1. The unknown

2. Total unpredictability

3. Some kind of depth, i.e. ultimately being about something

4. Not having a scene in which the heroes visit a library and discover everything there is to know about the ghostly antagonist that’s terrified them and us for the first two acts.

5. People getting possessed and stuff

Top 5 things you’d like to set on fire

burning_microwave1

1. My microwave, because it just stopped working yesterday

2. Booking.com’s slogan ‘Booking dot com? Booking dot YEAH’

3. People who get their kicks from harming animals

4. All reality survival shows that pretend contestants have to hunt animals to survive

5. The cold virus. Is it even possible to set fire to a virus? I don’t know, but I’m willing to try

 

Top 5 Movies in the Halloween Franchise

1. Halloween – obviously, iconic stuff

2. Halloween II – a pleasingly mean-spirited sequel

3. Halloween III: Season Of The Witch – it’s the only one without Michael Myers, but it’s one of the best!

4. Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers – the sixth film introduced an occult angle, which I really like

5. Halloween: H20 – Jamie Lee Curtis returns! A great, concise sequel with an awesome showdown. It really should have been the last Halloween movie.

About the Author

Jason+Arnopp+photo+-+credit+Amy+Terry%2c+Take+Aim+Photography.jpg

Jason Arnopp is a British author and scriptwriter. His background is in journalism: he has worked on titles such as Heat, Q, The Word, Kerrang!, SFX and Doctor Who Magazine.

He has written comedy for Radio 4 and official tie-in fiction for Doctor Who and Friday The 13th.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks is the first novel which is entirely Jason’s own fault (though some readers will blame Jack himself).

Website // Twitter // Facebook

Thanks to everyone who has taken part in Horror October 2016. It really does get bigger and better with every passing year. I’m not sure how I’m going to top it next year…

10 Films on Netflix UK to watch this Halloween Weekend #HorrorOctober

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It doesn’t have to be Halloween for me to watch horror films – I love them all year round. But there is something about this time of year which makes them more ..tempting. Here is a list of films now available on Netflix, should you wish to have you own Halloween movie night this weekend. Links go to the trailers. All info from IMDB.

White Settlers (2014)

http://www.imdb.com/videoembed/vi2302653209

Director: Simeon Halligan

Writers: Ian Fenton, Ian Fenton

It’s Ed and Sarah’s first night at their new home – an isolated farmhouse on the Scottish borders. This should be a new beginning away from their stressful London lives. And at first it is; come sunset they fall in love all over again on a wander in the woods. But as darkness falls, Sarah suspects they’re not alone, Ed goes to investigate and quickly, the evening becomes a nightmare. It suddenly dawns on them; they do not belong here. And they certainly aren’t welcome either….[15]

Watch it if you like…Home Invasion movies such as Funny Games, The Strangers and You’re Next.

 

Holidays (2016)

http://www.imdb.com/videoembed/vi3322393881

Directors: Anthony Scott Burns, Kevin Kolsch …

Writers: Anthony Scott Burns (segment), Kevin Kolsch (segment) …

HOLIDAYS is an anthology feature film that puts a uniquely dark and original spin on some of the most iconic and beloved holidays of all time by challenging our folklore, traditions and assumptions. [18]

Watch it if you like … anthology films such as The ABC’s of Death, Quicksilver Highway and The Vault of Horror

The Intruders (2015)

http://www.imdb.com/videoembed/vi942648857

Director: Adam Massey

Writer: Jason Juravic

Stars: Miranda Cosgrove, Donal Logue, Austin Butler

After the traumatic loss of her mother, a teenaged girl tries to uncover the dark secrets behind her new home, in spite of her father’s disbelief. [18]

Watch it if you like… films with very unhinged killers such as Black Christmas, and Psycho.

Would you Rather (2012)

http://www.imdb.com/videoembed/vi2877073177

Director: David Guy Levy

Stars: Brittany Snow, June Squibb, Jeffrey Combs

Desperate to help her ailing brother, a young woman unknowingly agrees to compete in a deadly game of “Would You Rather,” hosted by a sadistic aristocrat.[15]

 

Watch if you like… films with deranged puppet masters such as Saw, Nine Dead, and 13 Sins

 

The Babadook (2014)

http://www.imdb.com/videoembed/vi1349234457

Director: Jennifer Kent

Writer: Jennifer Kent

A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her. [15]

Watch it if you like… slow burners such as The Woman in Black, Starry Eyes and The Innkeepers

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

kk

Director: Stephen Chiodo

Stars: Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelso

Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town.

Watch it if you like… so bad it’s good films such as Snarknado, Critters, The Gremlins

 

I am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House (2016)

This Nextflix Original only became available tonight. It may deserve its place on this list or it may not. There’s only one way to find out. Premise: A young nurse takes care of elderly author who lives in a haunted house.

 

The Invitation (2015)

http://www.imdb.com/videoembed/vi2295641369

Director: Karyn Kusama

Writers: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi

Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michiel Huisman

While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests. [15]
Watch it if you like… Trey from the OC looking a lot like Tom Hardy. And also films such as The Gift and You’re Next.

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

http://www.imdb.com/videoembed/vi2259812633

Director: Ryûhei Kitamura

Writers: Jeff Buhler (screenplay), Clive Barker (short story “The Midnight Meat Train”)

Stars: Vinnie Jones, Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb

A photographer’s obsessive pursuit of dark subject matter leads him into the path of a serial killer, Mahogany, the subway murderer who stalks late night commuters, ultimately butchering them in the most gruesome ways imaginable. [18]

Watch it if you like…total gore-fests such as The Green Inferno, The Collector and Hatchet.

Scarecrows (1988)

scarecrows

Director: William Wesley

Writers: William Wesley (story), Richard Jefferies (screenplay)

Stars: Ted Vernon, Michael David Simms, Richard Vidan

Criminals hijack a plane and force the pilot and his daughter to fly them to Mexico. However, an unexpected landing finds them in a cemetery inhabited by killer scarecrows. [18]

 

Watch it if you like… terrible 80’s horror such as Bad Taste, Brain Dead and The Leprechaun

#HorrorOctober 2016: Week 2 Round-Up

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It’s been another busy week of bloody blogging – it’s going so fast – so here’s a handy summary in case you missed anything. Wouldn’t want that would we!? (Titles link to the posts)

Horror October Week 2 (8th – 14th)

 

Review: The Daemoniac

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This Year in Horror (thus far): Part 1

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Top Ten Tuesday: Recommended Horror Reads

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This Week in Books 12.10.16

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This Year in Horror (thus far): Part 2

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Spooky Posts from Around the Blogosphere

 

If you would like a spooky link adding to next week’s wrap-up, drop me an email on lipsyylostnfound[AT]GMAIL [dot] co{DOT}UK

UP NEXT ON HORROR OCTOBER: The Flash Fiction Battle commences. ALL NEXT WEEK