The Boy: Review by Holly Bareham

The Boy

I’m long overdue on several reviews including The Other Side of the Door and The Witch but I’m going to write this one first and I’ll explain why in a second. I’m pretty sure I have a book review to write as well… I will get round to all of this, I’m just having a bit of a writer’s block at the moment!

Just so you guys know, I’m thinking of writing a spoiler version of this review soon so be sure to look out for that but I’ll try and get my other reviews out first…

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So I have been driving my friends crazy about this film for the past couple of months. I saw the trailer on Facebook ages ago and I have been counting down the days until its release. You would honestly not believe how mad I was going for this film. When it finally arrived in cinemas I was prepared to be disappointed. That might sound daft but after imagining this film for months and months, the anticipation, the build-up, even if the film was good it surely wouldn’t meet my expectations?

I’m so glad I was wrong.

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For anyone who hasn’t seen the trailer, ‘The Boy’ is about an American woman named Greta who comes to England to be a nanny for a wealthy families eight year old son. When she arrives she’s shocked to find that the eight year old boy is a doll that the family treats as if he’s alive. However, when the parents leave she starts experiencing a supernatural presence and starts to believe that maybe the doll is really alive after all.

I’ve seen a lot of people comparing this film to Annabelle, which I wrote a review about a while ago, and I think the two films are completely different. ‘Annabelle’ barely felt like it was about the actual doll whereas ‘The Boy’ is definitely centred on Brahms (the doll). I wasn’t too impressed with ‘Annabelle’ whereas I found ‘The Boy’ to be everything I love about a horror film: atmospheric, creepy and my personal favourite, an amazing plot twist.

I’m gonna talk more about the plot twist in my spoiler review, assuming I write it, because obviously I don’t want to give anything away but I honestly did not see it coming. I went with two friends, one didn’t see the twist coming, the other kind of guessed it but wasn’t sure. However, when the reveal came, all three of us were honestly terrified – I was holding hands with one of them. I’ve been reading through the iMDB forums as I do and a lot of people have been complaining that the plot twist ruined the entire film but I completely disagree. I think it was the best, most reasonable ending it could’ve possibly had. But again, I’ll talk more about that in my spoiler version.

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One thing I hate in a horror film is when they include random jump scares that aren’t even necessary to the plot. Now, while The Boy did this I feel like their jump scares were almost a foreshadowing of what was going to happen so I can forgive them. There was one jump scare that really terrified me – I admit that I jump a lot in horror films but this one really got me, my heart was pounding for a full five minutes afterwards.

Anyway, I cannot stress to you how good I thought this film was and I urge you not to listen to the negative reviews and just judge the film for yourself. Before watching it I was told by my Mom “It has really bad reviews” to which I replied “I didn’t expect anything more”. It was honestly better than people are saying it is, just trust me!

I almost forgot my fun fact! The cast members used to prank each other with the doll until one cast member got so scared during one prank that they threw the doll out of their trailer window and a replacement had to be made. Hooray for fun facts.

Go and watch the movie!

Snervous: Review by Holly Bareham


Right, so those of you who read my review of Binge [x] know that although I’m not a massive fan of Tyler Oakley I do like him. And I figured since I’d done a review of Binge it might make sense to watch Snervous and write a review of that too. Since it was on Netflix I decided to give it a watch and now here I am writing this review.

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So after reading Binge I’d heard stories of Tyler’s childhood and more stories about his YouTube life etc etc but I didn’t know much about his fan base or the community he’s created because really I don’t see them. I don’t follow any Tyler blogs on Tumblr; I don’t see their tweets… Occasionally I look at the comments section on his videos but to be honest I can’t remember what they said. So yeah, I didn’t know much about his fans other than that girl I once met who told me she’d kill a man for him. That’s where Snervous came in.

The documentary starts off with Tyler going on his UK tour, which I totally would’ve gone to if I’d known it was coming to the UK but as I don’t particularly keep up with what he’s doing I didn’t know so I missed out. I’m gutted because it looks like it was amazing and the atmosphere seemed like it was really friendly and fun. It was interesting to see how the meet and greets and everything backstage was from Tyler’s point of view – although I didn’t attend this show, I did attend Dan and Phil’s so to see what it’s like going on behind the scenes is really interesting.

We don’t just see Tyler’s fans obviously. In Binge Tyler talked about his Father wasn’t accepting of him being gay when he first came out and that’s talked about more in Snervous when we see Tyler meeting up with his Dad and there’s an interview with his Mom. That’s just one of the emotional moments in Snervous that really get to you. I can’t imagine what it’s like to watch it as a die-hard fan because even just as a casual fan I was getting all emotional at certain points.

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Obviously it’s not all doom and gloom, there are some funny moments too! Especially the moments with Korey, he is honestly so funny. As is Tyler’s Mom who is completely fabulous. I think it’s so nice that Tyler has let fans into his life and that he’s so open with them. I also loved his honesty when talking about meeting fans and not cutting out the bits where he got stressed or annoyed. It’s good for us to see that YouTuber’s aren’t superheroes who can just keep going without getting emotional, they’re people too!

Also, can we all draw attention to this please because I think it’s really important?

Tyler Oakley

So Tyler if you’re reading this, don’t like and leave next time! Tell me what you thought! Please?

Anyway, my personal recommendation to anyone reading this is that you should get your butt onto Netflix and start watching. It’s definitely worth it!

Review: How Hard Can Love Be by Holly Bourne

How Hard Can Love Be by Holly Bourne

If you read my review of ‘Am I Normal Yet’ then I said something along the lines of how I enjoyed Holly Bourne’s work but never really considered myself a fan or kept up with what she was writing. I think that’s recently changed as I definitely consider myself a fan and I’m looking forward to seeing what she’s written next. I guess that already sets up the review so you know what’s coming: It’s a positive review!

So this book is told from the point of view of Amber, a character we met in ‘Am I Normal Yet’ who I was a fan of. In ‘How Hard Can Love Be’, Amber gets on a plane and is off to America for a month to help out at a summer camp with her Mum and her infuriating new step-dad. Although she’s going to be working she’s hoping to spend some quality time with her Mum who she hasn’t seen in ages but unfortunately, things don’t quite go to plan…

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Amber is honestly one of the funniest characters I’ve read about. Right from the start when she was getting on the plane while she was drunk right through to the end. I loved reading from her point of view of everything. I loved how angry she got at her Mum and her ‘step-dad’, how sarcastic she was (I can totally relate) and how honest she was. You know when people ask which book character you wish were real? Although I read a lot I never particularly had an answer. But now I know, it’s Amber!

Although I wished I could’ve read about her hanging out with her friends Evie and Lottie I also loved reading about her spending the summer at this American camp – I wanted to be there hanging out with Winnie, bitching about the cheerleaders, gossiping about Kyle, skyping Evie and Lottie… You can’t help but fall in love with Bourne’s characters, especially so in ‘How Hard Can Love Be’.

Now if you’re a regular reader then you know my hatred of romance and you can tell from the title that there will be some romance in this book, but it’s not just about that. It’s about Amber’s relationship with her Mom and her own feeling of self-worth. That’s possibly what I love most about Bourne’s books. There’s the romance there but it’s not all about that, their main characters have other things on their mind and they don’t just concentrate on the romance side of things. It’s a good divide for those who are romance fans and those who aren’t. The only thing I had a problem with was that the characters insisted Snape was a hero – NO!

Overall, I would 100% recommend this book because it’s so funny but also gives you a few important lessons on philosophy and feminism. Order a copy now, don’t miss out!

The Forest: Review by Holly Bareham

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So I saw the trailer for this film and was told one thing by my friend – “Apparently it’s really shit.” To be honest the trailer didn’t look that bad and Natalie Dormer was starring in it so although I hadn’t thought it’d be the best film ever I was kind of surprised to hear that. I’m not one to judge a horror film based on other people’s opinions (ironic, being a reviewer) and I wouldn’t miss out on a brand new horror anyway so I went and saw it.

The basic storyline is that a woman named Sara travels from the US to Japan to look for her twin sister Jess who went into Aokighara forest, a forest in Japan that’s known for the mass amount of people who go in to commit suicide. Sara believes she can ‘feel’ that Jess is still alive so she goes into the forest to look for and is soon taunted by a supernatural presence.

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I’m gonna admit it straightaway, I did find this film scary while I was watching it. There were some good jump scares and a creepy atmosphere. If it had managed to maintain that for the entirety of the film it probably would’ve been good. However, the ending of the film suddenly became rushed and quite frankly completely stupid. Especially the last five seconds which really ruined it for me – there was no need to throw in one last jump scare, it was creepy for a second and then it was just ridiculous.

Because people kept saying the whole film was shit I was actually more impressed with it than I perhaps would’ve been if people hadn’t said anything about it all. I was expecting a complete train wreck of a film but I actually felt it was pretty decent. My only problem was that I kept imagining plot twists in my head so to reach the actual ending was kind of disappointing. I’ve seen whole theories on iMDB that Jess and Sara were actually the same person but personally, I don’t think the filmmakers put that much thought into the film for it to be possible.

Time for my fun fact: Natalie Dormer actually went to visit Aokighara forest and went five meters off the path to take pictures but her Japanese driver refused to step an inch off the path.

Overall, this film is good if you want a few scares. It’s better than Krampus but it’s definitely not the horror film of the year. On the bright side there were some trailers for other horror films and I am so looking forward to ‘The Boy’! Wait for that review!