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Hereditary (2018)

hereditary-movie-poster-2018-reviewDirector: Ari Aster

Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery

Main Cast: Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne, Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd

Plot: The Grandmother of the Graham family passes away, and the family she has left behind are left to not only grieve but uncover the mysteries and secrets behind their ancestry.

My Thoughts: So, not only did I pluck up the courage to even see Hereditary in the first place, I made it my movie of choice for my first ever solo cinema trip! Dive right in at the deep end, eh? To be honest I was probably better off alone so I could quake in fear without anyone next to me poking fun at me. What I love about seeing a horror at the cinema is the atmosphere, and the nervous laughter people do when they’re scared. It relieves some of the tension!

On to the actual movie though – it was pretty darn good, to say the least. The story itself left me pretty confused, I understood the gist of it but I have a lot of unanswered questions, and trying to explain it all to someone else would give me a headache. It’s one you have to think about and replay in your head for it to all come together if that makes sense.

Oh, boy was it scary though. Scary in the best possible way. I absolutely hate jump scares, but there’s only 1 here. The rest is down to shock tactics and subtlety. It’s so cleverly filmed, or edited I guess, and there are some really scary moments where you question if you’re actually seeing things because nothing else in the movie is telling you that something is going on. I really hope this is the way forward for all horrors because I could really get into the genre.

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Best Bit: The car scene. It was so unexpected, and I never thought it would turn out as badly as it did. Also, the part straight after, because the way this character reacted is honestly the same as I think I would.

Worst Bit: Tongue clicking. Is that what it’s called? Anyone who makes that noise anywhere near me in the foreseeable future is getting punched, and I’m not even sorry.

Fun Trivia: In an interview, Alex Wolff explains that he wanted to actually break his own nose for the scene where his character slams his head into a desk. Director Ari Aster respectfully declined that offer and told Wolff they’d give him a soft, cushioned desk for the scene. When it was time for the scene to be shot, Wolff slams his head into the desk only to discover that it was not soft nor made out of foam, that resulted into Wolff’s actual blood gushing down to his knees.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 chocolate cakes. They may or may not contain nuts…

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Unsane (2018)

unsane-movie-review-2018-posterDirector: Steven Soderbergh

Main Cast: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Zach Cherry, Polly McKie, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Plot: Sawyer is struggling to cope with being the victim of stalking, and visits a mental health centre to see a counsellor. She ends up being forced to stay there against her will, and what’s worse is her stalker is there too.

My Thoughts: I was gutted to have to wait for a home release for this one because I was so excited after seeing the trailer. This is my kind of movie! I love having a mystery to solve, and I was looking forward to finding out whether Sawyer was actually crazy or not, and whether her stalker was really there with her or if she was imagining it all.

There wasn’t as much mystery as I’d hoped as I found the answers out to the questions around the half-way point, but that didn’t matter so much because that’s when the movie turned into more of a thriller. I haven’t seen Claire Foy in anything else other than Wreckers (2011) but she looks so familiar – can anyone think of who I might be confusing her with? Anyway, I thought she was incredible, and I’ll be hunting down some of her other movies very soon.

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Best Bit: The padded room scene. That was all kinds of tense, and a bit gruesome too. I really liked the ending as well though in the diner…

Worst Bit: Finding out why exactly Sawyer was being held against her will. It’s logical (and corrupt) but just a tad boring. I was hoping there would be a different reason.

Fun Trivia: (This will be a few bits of trivia all mashed together because they’re related.) Unsane was shot entirely with an iPhone 7 Plus camera in 4K using the app FiLMiC Pro. It was shot in just 10 days and the budget was a mere $1.2 million, according to The Times.

My Rating: 3 and a half shivs handmade by that creepy girl in the bed next to yours.

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Review: A Quiet Place (2018)

A-Quiet-Place-movie-review-2018I know this isn’t a big deal for most people (or any people actually, other than my Mum) but can you believe I actually went to the cinema to see A Quiet Place? With my blogging buddy Jenna no less? Me, who only even started watching horror movies in recent years, and even then only at home in broad daylight, went to the cinema at nighttime to see A Quiet Place. If life were a video game, I just unlocked an achievement right there. It’s actually all my fellow bloggers’ fault for hyping this movie up so much and getting me excited.

Similar to last year’s Get Out (2017), this movie has been talked about so much now I think everyone knows the plot, but if not I’ll quickly recap it now, seeing as that’s what I do anyway! A Quiet Place is set in the very near future, where most of Earth’s population has been wiped out by an invasion of aliens who are totally blind but with an excellent sense of hearing. Because of this, Lee (John Krasinski), his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and their children are forced to live in near-silence in order to survive.

Because of this, the majority of the movie is extremely quiet, if not silent, with very little or no soundtrack in the background. That alone ramps up the tension to near breaking point in the darkened cinema, so even though the jump scares are mostly such simple things, they scare the absolute pants off of you. Or me at least, anyway. Once you finally get settled and used to the lack of noise, something happens to set you on edge again. The pacing is really clever in that regard.

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Of course, it’s not a horror without someone doing something stupid. Guess what? Evelyn is pregnant. Lady, what on earth were you thinking?! I don’t care if you’ve already had 3 kids, you can’t give birth in silence and raise a baby that way. Could you not have taken some condoms from the supermarket?

All jokes aside though, A Quiet Place is a really, really good movie. It’s tense and scary enough to give you a real fright when you watch it, but for someone with an overactive imagination like me, it won’t give you nightmares afterwards. It’s the only time a horror hasn’t played on my mind actually, but I think that’s because the scare factor is making a sound, and back in reality I know that I’m okay to make noise, so I was quite happy. I’m odd, I know.

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Can we take a moment here to appreciate John Krasinski? Our adorable and hilarious Jim Halpert has only gone and directed and starred in what will probably be hailed as 2018’s greatest horror movie. Michael Scott would be proud.

If you can’t tell, I really enjoyed A Quiet Place. I don’t think I’ll be rushing to see it again anytime soon, but I can highly recommend it as a great horror movie for the wuss’s like me to go and see. I think I saw on Facebook earlier this week that it’s getting a sequel too – although I’m not sure how to feel about that. Anyway, 4 and a half toy rockets from me. Just take out the batteries, please.

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Review: The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

the-cloverfield-paradox-review-2018The Superbowl isn’t a big deal over here in the UK, nor is it watchable at a decent time in the day thanks to the time zones, so I woke up on Monday morning to a lot of exciting news! A Han Solo trailer (I’m holding onto all hope it’s good), some other big movie announcements, and the crazy news that not only is the new Cloverfield movie ready, it’s released right now on Netflix! You’ve got to hand it to everyone responsible for keeping that under wraps so well in days like these.

I’ll admit I’m a little sad it’s not out in the cinema, but it’s such a breath of fresh air to watch a movie you’ve been anticipating for a long time without seeing a single trailer or knowing anything about it! I’d like to say I wish Star Wars Episode 9 could be released like that, but I’ll be scouring the internet for any news on that for the next (almost) 2 years!

So, this new addition to the Cloverfield movie universe is The Cloverfield Paradox, and it’s a story set in space following an international crew aboard a space station who accidentally smash into an alternate dimension whilst using a particle accelerator to try and solve Earth’s energy crisis. Bit different to a creepy guy in a bunker, right?

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What I love about this discovery is how much it opens up possibilities in the Cloverfield universe. There was no energy crisis mentioned in the previous movies – that’s because those movies happened in different dimensions! The team can literally do whatever they like now, and it sounds like they are as the next instalment is set during World War II.

Sadly, one only needs to Google the name of this movie to discover that the internet hates it. Sigh. I can understand their points, the plot is a bit silly in places but for me that’s what makes it so much fun. If I’m watching Sci-Fi I don’t always want it to be ridiculously hard to understand like Interstellar, or terrifying like Alien. Sometimes I just want to be entertained! Besides, as silly as it is I still think it’s better quality than last year’s Life and the previous year’s Passengers.

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I found the crew to be incredibly likeable, and I felt a real connection to Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s character Hamilton. She’s the star here and she’s presented with such a horrible situation that I won’t go into for spoilerific reasons. Perhaps many will disagree but I thought the story took a lot of twists that were unexpected, and I really didn’t have a clue how it would end until the credits themselves. How cool would that final moment have been on the big screen though?!

I realise I’m completely in the majority here on enjoying The Cloverfield Paradox but that’s okay with me. I give it 4 out of 5 severed arms!

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Review: Life (2017)

life-movie-poster-review-2017You know that saying, ‘be careful what you wish for’? Years I’ve been waiting for a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds together. Years! 2 of my ultimate favourite Hollywood hunks in 1 movie. I guess I imagined it would be some kind of romcom, preferably starring myself caught in a love triangle. Alas, it seems only half of my request was eventually heard, and although I got both stars together, it was for a Sci-Fi/Horror. Really, movie gods?!

What makes things even worse is that on paper, and in the trailer in fact, Life (2017) is nothing more than an Alien ripoff. You’ve got a spaceship, a solid crew, a mission to extract and protect a life form found on Mars. Hey presto, turns out the life form is dangerous and hostile! Now it’s a survival game. I sound bitter I know but here’s the shocker, Life is actually a pretty decent movie!

For a start, the crew are all extremely likeable, and they’re smart! Yes, you’ve got one who won’t stop harping on about protocols and rule-breaking, but when protocols are broken they’re for a logical reason, rather than a dumb reason for a jump scare. For a wuss like me, Life was a fairly scary movie, but that’s because this life-form (AKA Calvin) is so small and stealthy, and unpredictable. I’m glad I waited for a home release because some scenes are tense as hell.

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I’ll admit that at the halfway point my interest started to wane slightly. That might be because (highlight for spoiler) Ryan Reynolds got killed off in the first 30 minutes – perhaps I should have seen it coming, but it does drift into far too familiar territory after a while. Yes, Calvin is on the loose, no, we aren’t sure how the crew are going to survive, if they do at all, so just get on with the story so we can find out how it ends!

Life even had it’s emotional moments, mainly centered around a children’s book you may know quite well, Goodnight Moon. You can forget listening to Tom Hardy reading bedtime stories, try watching Jake Gyllenhaal read Goodnight Moon whilst stuck in the situation he’s in and not get misty eyes!

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Finally, and I’ll have to obscure this paragraph mostly for spoiler reasons, I can’t end this post without mentioning the ending. Should I have seen it coming? Maybe? I don’t know, but it caught me completely off guard! That moment when you realise who (and what) is in that capsule that landed in the sea straight up gave me the chills. I’d rather Life stay as a standalone movie but if it had a sequel, heck I’d probably go and see it.

For being surprisingly good as a totally unoriginal movie, Life gets 3 and a half copies of that darn children’s book I’m now never going to be able to buy for my own kiddo.

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