The Darkness: Review by Holly Bareham

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Okay, I am so late for a ton of reviews I need to write but I seem to have writers block at the moment… Hopefully since I just watched this film it’ll stay fresh in my mind and I can finish this review!

So, for those of you who don’t know, ‘The Darkness’ is about a family who return from a vacation at the Grand Canyon who suddenly find themselves haunted by an ancient supernatural entity they unknowingly awakened and they soon find themselves in a battle for survival.

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Where do I even start with this film? Me and my friend love horror movies and this film only showed for like three days here and we caught it on its last day. Before we went in my friend said “apparently it’s really shit.” With horror movies, you either hear “apparently it’s really shit” or “apparently it’s really scary.” You hear one or the other. More often than not, you hear the first one. Now I am not one to judge a film off other people’s opinions so I always try to go in with an open mind. But oh lord, she was right.

The premise is good and it seemed promising. The first ten minutes or so were pretty decent and I thought we were setting up for a decent film. Then suddenly out of nowhere, it went downhill.

First of all, let’s talk about the thing that annoyed me the most – the characters. They made no sense at all. I don’t even know how to explain it, their personalities just seemed to completely change every few seconds and suddenly they were backtracking and saying things that didn’t make sense to their characters?

This paragraph contains spoilers because I want to give examples: in the opening scene Stephanie seems to be really understanding towards her autistic brother Mikey but the moment they get home from the grand canyon all she does is scream at him, tell her parents he’s ‘weird and creepy’ and generally seems to hate him. Then we have Peter, their Father, who complains that Mikey’s behaviour is getting out of control but Mikey’s Mom, Bronny, sticks up for him. Then about half-an-hour later Bronny tells him that “you didn’t even notice his behaviour deteriorate.” Peter doesn’t even challenge that accusation. Stephanie just generally acted like a bit of a psychopath throughout half the film then suddenly changed into a good mood at the blink of an eye. Also, how many problems did they try and fit into one family? An affair, alcoholism, anorexia, autism… All the A’s in this family.

Okay, spoiler’s end now so you’re safe to keep reading.

I think because of the lack of character continuity it found it hard to find it scary. Yes I did jump a couple of times but the film completely lost the scary atmosphere it created at the beginning. It got to a point where the ‘scary’ parts were just boring. The whole thing was just… Awful.

I’ve looked on iMDB for a fun fact and there is only one piece of trivia and even that isn’t very interesting: This film reunites Kevin Bacon and Jennifer Morrison for the first time since Stir of Echoes in 1999. There you go.

Overall, I don’t recommend this film at all. There is nothing about that saves it and it’s just really, really bad.

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Review: Follow Me Back by Nicci Cloke

Follow Me Back by Nicci Cloke

I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. I have a few reviews to come out but I’ve been suffering from dreadful writer’s block recently. This is the third time I’ve started writing this review and I’m hoping this is the time I’ll finish it.

So, ‘Follow Me Back’ is Nicci Cloke’s most recent novel and it’s about high school boy Aiden Kendrick who hears about his old friend Lizzie Summersall’s disappearance when the police arrive at his front door to question him. According to the police Lizzie met up with someone online and never returned home. Aiden doesn’t know it but Lizzie’s disappearance is about to change his life forever.

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I bought this book a few weeks ago, simply because I wanted to get lunch up town but I’d forgotten to bring a book with me when I’d left the house and I wanted something to read. I’m always in Waterstones and WHSmith but can’t always find a new book that looks interesting. My eye caught ‘Follow Me Back’ and after reading the first page I decided to give it a try.

I started reading on a Friday and had finished the book by Sunday morning. I love a good mystery element and Nicci kept me intrigued enough to want to keep reading whenever I had time… Which turned out to be a lot of the time. You spend the whole book trying to figure out what happened to Lizzie and of course you’re always suspecting different people. I must’ve found the book interesting because I struggled to put it down.

One thing I wasn’t a fan of, but wouldn’t go as far to say I disliked, was the point of view switches. It’s mostly told from Aiden’s point of view then suddenly switches seemingly randomly? No one else’s point of view is particularly long, with Aiden’s view dominating most of the book, so I don’t understand why the book couldn’t have just been told from Aiden’s point of view throughout. Spoiler Alert: Halfway through the book when we’re still unsure of what happened the book dedicates a page to Lizzie’s point of view which seemed a bit pointless other than to tell the audience ‘Hey look, she’s not dead!’

When I spotted the book I expected it to be told through social media and although it did have messaging it wasn’t like I’d been expecting which is fine, but still seems strange considering the title and the front cover. I mean, I understand because the internet is a big theme in the book but it still seems odd.

Also, I didn’t like any of the characters. This could’ve been intentional but they were all pretty dislikeable and fundamentally pretty similar. All the boys seemed to have one personality and all the girl were the same.

To be honest, I’m a bit unsure of what to think about this book. Although I thoroughly enjoyed actually reading it, I don’t feel like it’s mad any lasting impression on me. It wasn’t brilliant but it wasn’t awful either. It just was. Not the type of book I’m likely to read again but I’m not likely to throw my copy away either.

Overall, I guess I would recommend this book to you guys because it did keep me interested from start to finish and it’s nice as a light read. However it’s not particularly groundbreaking or anything.