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Showing posts with label film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label film. Show all posts

Film Favourites | Halloween

I don't think I'd call myself a massive fan of the horror genre. I don't really like gore, for instance, and I find it difficult to watch anything too dark. However, I do really love a genuine scare and any film that's able to provide that without too much death or destruction along the way is a winner in my books! So, with Halloween fast approaching, I've decided to compile a list of some of my favourite scary movies that hopefully even the most sensitive souls can enjoy...  

The Others (2001)

Set in the immediate aftermath of WWII, Grace is raising her two young children, Nicholas and Anne alone in a large and secluded Victorian mansion on the Isle of Jersey as the three await the return of Grace's husband from war. When three new servants arrive to replace a series of  staff who have recently disappeared, strange occurrences in the house begin to make Grace question the safety of her home and her family.

This was the first proper "scary film" I'd ever seen. I was probably about 10, and I've loved it ever since, despite the fact it may have given me quite a few nightmares! The film is directed by Spaniard, Alejandro AmenĂ¡bar and if there's one thing I know for sure, the Spanish definitely know how to do horror and suspense right (see: 'El Orfanato' and 'Pans Labyrinth').  Scare factor: 4/5.

The Babadook (2014)

Amelia has been left a single mother following the violent death of her husband six year prior, and has been  finding her situation increasingly challenging as her six-year-old son, Samuel becomes more and more difficult to control. Samuel experiences nightmares in which he is a haunted by a dark figure, the same figure, it appears, that is featured in a storybook which mysteriously appears at their home. 

I watched this film around this time last year and I really enjoyed it, even as just a film in itself. It features some excellent performances and has a really strong and engaging plot. Scare factor: 3.5/5.

The Awakening (2011)

Florence Cathcart is a publish author who makes a living out of exposing supernatural hoaxes. When she is asked by a professor at an all-boys boarding school to investigate the appearance of a ghostly apparition which has been terrorising the boys at the school, a series of unexplainable events leads her to believe that perhaps there are some phenomena which science can't explain.

I watched this film for the first time last night and just had to include it. I was initially attracted by the fact that is stars Rebecca Hall (Vicky Christina Barcelona, Dorian Gray) because she's so talented, as well as the fact that it seemed to combine my love for period drama with supernatural horror, and it definitely didn't disappoint. It reminded me a bit of 'The Turn of the Screw', which is no bad thing. Scare factor: 3/5

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

From the confines of his Gothic mansion, an eccentric inventor gives life to a young man, Edward, he has created synthetically from human body parts, all except for his hands which are made up of scissors, a temporary measure. However, the inventor dies before he can give Edward hands and he is left completely on his own. That is until he is discovered by Avon saleswoman, Pegg Boggs who, taking pity on him, brings him home to stay with her family. 

A Tim Burton classic which was actually the director's first collaboration with Johnny Depp as well as the film which was the beginning of Johnny and Winona. It's a great choice for Halloween for those looking for something a little eerie but not too scary. Scare factor: 1/5.

The Woman in Black (2012)

Still grieving the death of his wife several years before, young lawyer, Arthur Kipps is called to complete the paperwork of a recently deceased woman who lived in a remote mansion in a marsh on the outskirts of a rural town. On arrival at the town he finds the townspeople to be incredibly hostile towards him and his plans visits the house, which is believed to be cursed. Undeterred by the warnings of the locals, however, he continues to make visits to the house where the presence of an angry and malevolent spirit begins to make itself known.

This is another film I just love as a film in itself. l actually wish there were more films like it! I love classic ghost stories, especially ones from the superstitious Victorian era, with its obsession for all things ghostly and ghoulish. When I saw this in the cinema it scared the absolute crap out of me, and I've seen it quite a few times since to similar effect. Scare factor: 5/5

What are your favourite Halloween films?


Film Favourites | A Cosy Christmas Eve

In my family, the run up to Christmas, and especially Christmas Eve, is a time full of cosy movie nights, snuggled up warm on the sofa under duvets and blankets. Over the years we've accumulated quite a number of trusty festive favourites!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)

Perhaps the most "Christmassy" of all the Harry Potter films? Despite the fact I'm a very lucky girl with an 8-disc box set -that gets frequent use all year around- there's normally a Harry Potter marathon spaced out over a few days around Christmas time and for some reason I always feel like films are more exciting to watch when they're on TV so I normally watch them there. The Philosopher's Stone has become such a classic film over the last decade and there's so many beautiful snowy Christmas scenes that make it especially nice, I think, to watch around Christmas time.

In case you'd also like to tune in, I checked and this year the last 3 Harry Potter films will be shown on ITV1:

The Half Blood Prince: Saturday 20th December, 7pm
The Dealthly Hallows Part 1: Saturday 27th December, 7pm
The Deathly Hallows Part 2: Tuesday 30th December, 8pm

Favourite moment: When Harry receives his first ever Christmas presents- a knitted jumper from Mrs Weasley and the Invisibility Cloak!

The Holiday (2006)

English newspaper editor, Iris and Amanda, an LA-based workaholic who produces trailers for Hollywood films, both resolve to escape from their respective romantic ruts by swapping homes over the Christmas period.   

Again, over the last few years, 'The Holiday' has also become a Christmas classic. I think the appeal is much to do with the fact that, despite their own personal problems, the two girls appear to otherwise have the most idyllic lifestyles. Plus, who wouldn't want Jude Law just casually showing up at your door and promptly falling in love with you. This film is basically the epitome of every girl's dream, whether that is to live in a quaint English cottage or live the Hollywood high life.

Favourite moment: 'that' scene with the blanket tent- my heart melts every time!

Meet Me in St Louis (1944)

In the months leading up to the 1904 World Fair, three sisters in St Louis, Missouri try to come to terms with their father's plans to move the family away to New York City.

I come from a family that is pretty obsessed with musicals, especially my little sister who I think is Grade 6 in music theatre now - proud sister!- so a musical is normally also on the cards during Christmastime. 
'Meet Me in St Louis' has been one of my favourites for a long time because it's so sweet and light-hearted and also has some really genuinely funny moments as well. Can you believe how beautiful Judy Garland was? She's an absolute vision of perfection!

Favourite moment: When Esther's getting her flirt on with John after the family Christmas party and he tells her she smells like his granny. Fab.

Love Actually (2003)

Ten different stories exploring the complexities of love become intertwined as Christmas approaches.

'Love Actually' is by far one of my favourite films of all time. The concept is fantastic and gives such a fascinating and beautiful insight into the intricacies of different romantic relationships. I've said it before but I just love films about people and their stories and I think there's something in here that everyone can relate to at some stage in their lives which is what makes it so special.

Favourite moment: Sam running through the airport to say goodbye to Joanna.

Little Women (1994)

Based on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, this film follows the lives of the Marsh family growing up in Concord, Massachusetts during the American Civil War.

This has been one of my favourite films ever since I was very little. My mum actually named me after Beth's character because Little Women was one of her favourite books growing up and Beth was her favourite character.
 I remember this was on TV on Christmas Eve a couple of years ago (after the Made In Chelsea Christmas season finale when Gabriella made her dramatic exit) and I guess those Christmas feels got the better of me because I cried the whole way through.

Favourite moment: I have so many! But probably either when Beth gets her piano for Christmas or else when Jo gets her story published for the first time.

What are some of your favourite Christmas films?

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