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)

openhouse

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?

 

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…

motherposter.jpg

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.

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***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?

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to the Movies #TTT #90sMovies

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… All about the movies. 

There was quite a few suggestions for the movie theme this week and one of them was 90s movies. I was an 80s baby and a 90s t(w)een so naturally 90s movies are full of childhood nostalgia for me.

So without further ado, here are my top ten 90s movies (that everyone should watch)! In no particular order…

  • The Craft
  • Clueless
  • Scream
  • Home Alone
  • An Interview with a Vampire
  • Speed
  • Pretty Woman
  • 10 Things I Hate about You
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Terminator 2

 

Bonus Round: Not quite the 90s…

These were staples of my childhood, and I still love to watch them now! Let’s face it, 80s films were also pretty awesome. I’ll have to do a separate post for them at the some point.

  • E.T
  • The Goonies
  • Labyrinth
  • The Karate Kid

What would have made your list?

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