Midsommar: Review by Hollie Bareham

Midsommar Poster

Just over a month ago I was at the cinema to watch a movie and the trailer for ‘Midsommar’ played during the previews. I was instantly excited – it looked interesting, scary and something a little different which is everything I look for in a horror movie. The fact that it was made by the people who made ‘Hereditary’ didn’t put me off. I didn’t hate ‘Hereditary’ it just wasn’t what I’d been hoping for.

For those who haven’t seen the trailer or heard of the film the basic plot is that Dani and her boyfriend Christian have a very strained relationship. Just as he’s working up the courage to end things a family tragedy occurs leaving him feeling like he should stay with her. When Dani discovers Christian and his friends are planning a trip to Sweden to attend a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival Christian guiltily invites her along with them. However the carefree holiday soon takes a dark turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that become increasingly disturbing.

The moment tickets dropped for this film I messaged my friends Becca and Jess asking if they wanted to go to the 8PM showing on the opening night. They’re both horror fans too so they were up for it and soon we were off. And Jesus wept, I was not prepared.

By that I don’t mean I wasn’t prepared for the scares because really there weren’t many. The film was rated 18 and due to this it was a bit gorier than a 15 rated film would’ve been but in terms of things like jump scares there weren’t really any. Which would’ve been fine because I’m not really a massive fan of films that solely rely on jump scares to make themselves scary but other than the gross and gory scenes it wasn’t particularly scary.

In fact, I found parts of it absolutely hilarious and it wasn’t just me – Becca was weeing herself with laughter and there was one particular scene that had me and most of the audience in absolute tears because it was so bizarre. I won’t go into immense detail but there’s an extremely strange sex scene that I couldn’t for the life of me take seriously. I’m not sure if the director wanted us to laugh or what we were really meant to be feeling in that scene but I was genuinely crying, I couldn’t contain it.

Midsommar Still 2

The things I hadn’t liked about ‘Hereditary’ were that it was quite slow and that I just didn’t fully understand it at the end. I don’t necessarily like everything being wrapped up in a big bow but equally I don’t like feeling completely confused. For example, ‘Us’ was a confusing film but I still feel relatively satisfied with its ending. Unfortunately I think the negatives from ‘Hereditary’ were passed onto ‘Midsommar’.

The film was quite long, it was about two and a half hours and that’s mainly due to it being just so slow. It takes a good while for them to even reach the Swedish commune and takes longer still for anything creepy to begin happening. Then when the disturbing events did begin to occur I just feel like there was too long of a gap between each event to keep up the atmosphere. I wasn’t scared, I was just left waiting.

Then there was the confusion aspect. I just have a lot of questions. Maybe that was the point of the film, I don’t know, but I feel like a few things were thrown in and then not really explored making me wonder what the point was. I feel like the director was just going for shock value which like was definitely delivered, parts of it were quite… Odd, which is putting it mildly. But was there anything beyond that? I’m not sure there was.

Midsommar Still.png

Also this is probably quite nit-picky but I hate the over the top crying that occurs both in this film and in ‘Hereditary’. At the start of the film when the family tragedy occurs Dani cries whilst Christian comforts her and it’s so over-the-top that I don’t really believe it’s genuine. It was how Peter cried during ‘Hereditary’ and it just absolutely drove me up the wall. I know Dani was obviously very distraught but I’ve never heard anyone cry like that in real life and it makes me wonder why they keep putting this in the films as it just feels so out of place.

The rest of my review will contain spoilers so please stop reading if you don’t want to see them!

Some character deaths were just a bit annoying and almost too easy if that makes sense? For example Will Poulter’s character Mark was having dinner with his friends and the rest of the commune when a girl approaches him and says “Come, I will show you” and then… That’s it. He’s dead. We don’t see his death he’s just gone from the rest of the film. Of course we did see his face carved out and placed on top of somebody else but that’s the only indication we have that Mark did die. Similarly Simon and Connie, the British couple who decided to leave as they’re too disturbed to stay, they’re just sort of disposed of. I’m not saying every death had to be on screen but the fact Mark was led off by a Swedish girl and then didn’t go to bed that night or appear at breakfast the next day and his friends were just like ‘ayee I bet he’s having fun’ was just so stupid.

As mentioned, there were tons of things thrown in almost just for the sake of it. For example they have a deformed child (I think it was a child?) who they consider an oracle but there’s not much explanation as to why or what that was even about. This kid just paints pictures and the elders or whatever study them. Why? I don’t understand why.

To be honest I think I’d have enjoyed this movie more if it was shorter. So much of it just felt so unnecessary and like I said, the gaps between anything weird or spooky happening were just too long to keep me interested. I also just got the overall sense that they were like “yeah let’s do a weird folk festival movie” and decided to film it before they actually figured out what they were doing – if that makes any sense?

Midsommar Still 3

Overall I am glad I watched it as it was certainly something different. I’m unlikely to watch it again due to the length and how slow it is but some scenes were interesting and worth the watch. That sex scene alone was hilarious and I’d recommend watching that but scenes like the dance to become the May Queen were interesting as well. So I’d recommend watching it just once but be prepared for a long and slow ride.

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Thoughts on This Year’s Love Island Contestants 2019

Love Island 2019

My Mom finally convinced me to start watching Love Island last year mid-way through the series so Love Island 2019 is the first series I’ve watched from start to finish. I’ve enjoyed this year’s version more than my Mom who kept moaning it wasn’t as interesting and I do agree with her on a few points.

First of all, if the show is starting to get dull, instead of creating drama can’t you show more of the funny moments that are shown in unseen bits or have more regular challenges? The whole drama with Anton and the shopkeeper was just really boring and plain stupid to be honest. Who cared?

Also I think this year lacked in opportunities for the public to vote out single people. It was interesting last year when there were three boys and three girls who were in the bottom three regardless of couple and I think it’s interesting for the islanders to see if one half of the couple is more popular than the other half.

Overall though it was enjoyable and I’m glad I watched it. As I did in last year’s post I’ll only be commenting on the people who left an actual impression on me as some people came and went way too quickly to particularly have an opinion on.

Anton

Love Island Anton

Let’s be real when Anton first walked in and gave his little speech about himself everyone was thinking the same thing. Here comes a massive ‘fuck boy’ who the public will vote out within a couple of days. He didn’t help his case when he coupled up with Amy and then immediately hit on Lucie straight after the coupling. This could may be forgiven but the boy had the first choice and chose Amy! I think he only survived the first dumping because he had more screen time than poor Callum who pretty much didn’t stand a chance.

Due to the amount of times he got pied and his infectious sense of humour and friendly attitude to the other islanders he quickly became more popular with the public, and with me. I think it says a lot that there were a lot of romantic couples yet him and Lucie, as a friend couple, were in the top three most popular couples one week. You couldn’t help feeling bad for him when he finally got with Elma only for her to be dumped not long later. At least he found Belle in the end, she seems like a lovely girl.

By the end of the show I really liked Anton and I’m glad he got to stay in as long as he did. He seems like a top guy.

Amber

Love Island Amber

Our 2019 winner! Like Anton she was another girl that after the first couple of episodes most people disliked, myself included. For the first couple of weeks I do think she was a bit childish and I didn’t like that on a show called ‘Love Island’ she was like “I’m gonna keep the boy I’m coupled up with guessing” but as Michael gradually got her out of her shell her popularity increased and I think everyone saw the real Amber.

She did go through quite a lot but to be fair I think she handled it quite well and maturely considering how she’d been in the first couple of weeks. It clearly paid off for her in the end as she’s gone home with Greg and £25,000!

Maura

Love Island Maura

My absolute favourite person in the villa which was funny as I couldn’t stand her at first. If a boy had come in and spoken about one of the girls in the way Maura spoke about Tommy it would have been world war three. After Tommy chose to couple up with Molly-Mae instead of her she became a lot more likeable and I LOVED the way she handled the Tom situation. Yes Queen, it is 2019 and girls can talk about sex as much as they damn want to without men expecting it from them!

I kept voting to keep her in, even when she coupled up with Curtis which I won’t lie I wasn’t thrilled about. I’m hoping she’ll be offered plenty of opportunities now that she’s left the villa because she was such a character and I’d love to see her in more programmes. Everyone’s hoping she gets invited to go on ‘I’m A Celebrity’ which I’ve never really watched but would do if she went on it.

Also, the iconic quotes this girl came out with. My favourites include ‘WHYAREYAASKINGHERTHAT’ and ‘YOU JUST SED ET!’.

I’m glad she made it to the final because she was just so funny that she rescued what had started off as a bit of a dull series. Go Maura!

Curtis

Love Island Curtis

He came in with a game plan on how to win and it showed very quickly. At first him coupling up with Amy seemed sweet and he came across as genuine but as the weeks went on it was very clear he’d picked Amy so that they could be Dani and Jack from last year. You could see that Amy’s irritation with Lucie, and her being annoyed that another couple went exclusive on the same day as them was getting on his nerves but he bit his tongue and made it up with her quickly in the belief that they were as popular with the public as they were in the villa.

Unfortunately Amy wasn’t as popular with the public as he’d hoped and when they weren’t in the top three couples I guess he began to wonder why because as soon as the girls from Casa Amore came in his head was quickly turned. Before this it was getting a bit obvious that his feelings for Amy probably weren’t genuine – like when he gave Arabella a ten in that snogging challenge because he ‘thought it was Amy’. Arabella is taller than Amy, don’t even give me that, he definitely knew.

After revealing the truth to Amy and her going home heartbroken he was quickly met with a decision on whether to go for Maura or Francesca. Francesca was still relatively new and nobody knew much about her, and I think he must’ve realised Maura was the more popular one so he decided to couple up with her. I don’t think any couple he was in was genuine and it was all a game plan from the start on how he could win the series.

I’m not sure how much I believe of his friendly nature to be honest and how much of it was for the cameras which is a shame as he seemed quite a funny guy. But I definitely don’t trust him at all.

Amy

©ITV

I feel bad for her now as I think her feelings for Curtis were genuine but I wasn’t sorry to see her go. Her bad attitude towards Lucie really got on my nerves and she just seemed extremely negative all the time, going off into a bad mood about the smallest of things. Who cares if Lucie and Joe decided to go exclusive on the same day as you? It’s not like she announced her engagement on your wedding day? Also she’d have been better off laughing off Curtis giving Arabella a ten in that snogging challenge but decided to turn it into a whole drama.

As I said, I do feel bad for her and she definitely didn’t deserve to get used by Curtis the way that she did but she didn’t do herself any favours with her attitude in the villa. The way she was with Lucie honestly bordered on bullying and I’m surprised the other girls were so quick to defend her all the time when Lucie hadn’t done anything wrong? So what if she fancied a moment to herself or preferred hanging around with the boys, it’s not like she was sla*ging off the other girls every twenty seconds the way Amy was about her?

I think Amy has handled herself well since leaving the villa and is definitely setting herself up for a good career but yeah, didn’t particularly like her very much when she was in the villa.

Lucie

Love Island Lucie

At the start Lucie was one of my favourites, she was really pretty, seemed like a genuinely nice girl and I just quite liked her. I thought she was a bit foolish to couple up with Joe but I’ll get to that later I guess.

The only thing I disliked was when later on she suddenly decided that she did like Tommy. Especially when she left and there were headlines saying she was going to wait for him on the outside. She had her chance with him and she chose not to go there, it’s her own fault and after he gently let her down she should’ve let it go. I can’t believe she didn’t speak to Molly-Mae about it first but at least she was honest when Molly-Mae questioned her like I’ll give her that.

Overall I did like her but I think she went home at the right time before she embarrassed herself in the villa any further.

Joe

Love Island Joe

When Joe first came in I would’ve probably said him and Michael were the best looking. Most guys that go into Love Island have the big muscle bodies with short buzz-cut hair whereas I’m a girl who prefers guys with longer or thicker hair so Joe was my type. And then oh God he turned out to be a massive creep.

Okay I know the show is probably manipulated to make situations look worse than they are but Jesus. Tommy decided to couple up with Lucie, affectively taking her away from Joe, and she decided to remain loyal to Joe by sleeping by herself and not flirting with Tommy even though they were in a couple. He then said he ‘couldn’t trust her’ even though she’d done nothing to make herself less trustworthy. To then go off and start flirting with Amber when he’s just told Lucie she’s not allowed to flirt with Tommy was pathetic and disrespectful not just to Lucie but to Amber as well.

Lucie chose to couple back up with him but remained good friends with Tommy and I actually remember thinking ‘oh fair play that he’s not freaking out about their friendship, that’s decent’ but then of course, he did freak out about it. Lucie literally chose him out of him and Tommy, he had no reason to be jealous but he told her to back off and start hanging out with the girls again. This annoyed me enough but when another islander asked what Lucie had said he twisted her words and made it out that she’d said something different to what she’d actually said. Also whenever Lucie cried he was like “don’t cry, you’re way too pretty to cry” – ew, what?

I was relieved when he got dumped from the island because he was just such a creep throughout the entire thing. He can try and defend his actions but I’m not having it. Everyone crying “We should apologise to Joe!” when Lucie did try and hit on Tommy in the end can shut the hell up too. Joe was a creep. End of story.

Anna

Love Island Anna

I won’t lie to you, was never a huge Anna fan but at least she did liven it up a bit. That screaming match between her and Jordan when she found out he liked India was interesting, let’s all be real, and she was very loyal to her friends I can’t fault that. I just felt like though as the one of the oldest girls in the villa she was also one of the most immature and sometimes it did get a bit boring. For example when Jordan didn’t want to tell her the whole truth about what Anton had done in the shop and she went into a sulk – girl last time he told you something you swore you wouldn’t tell then went straight to Maura and half told her anyway. Of course he’s not gonna be keen to tell you everything.

Despite me not particularly liking her I was on her side for the Jordan and Anna argument as the boy had literally asked her to be his girlfriend 48 hours beforehand and was now hitting on another girl right in front of her. And like Jordan it’s fine if you’ve changed your mind but at least have the guts to be honest when she confronts you about it instead of lying to her face.

To tell you the truth I think Anna making it as far as she did was a miracle, purely based on whenever it was time to vote someone out there was always someone who had had less screen time that nobody wanted to vote for, or someone who was slightly more disliked. Also she was clearly popular with the other islanders because if it was down to the islander vote they never chose her to leave.

I don’t doubt that Anna would be a good friend, like she’d have your back 100% and wouldn’t let anyone treat you like shit but yeah, I definitely thought she could’ve handled a lot of situations in the villa better.

Molly-Mae

Love Island Molly-Mae

I won’t lie to you, I didn’t particularly want Tommy and Molly-Mae to win. Not out of spite for either of them, because I liked them both, it was just after Dani and Jack’s obvious win from last year it felt a bit boring and I wanted it to be spiced up a bit more. A bit unfair on Tommy and Molly-Mae but last year’s final was boring, the winners had been cemented about six weeks before it actually happened.

I don’t understand all these ‘Money-Mae’ memes and they’re actually getting a bit pathetic when Molly-Mae didn’t do anything wrong. I think there were a few moments where Tommy did get on her nerves a bit but like they were together all day every day for absolutely weeks and although the boys lovely God he’d get on my nerves if I knew him in real-life too. Everyone has ‘leave me alone’ or ‘Jesus Christ’ moments, it doesn’t mean her feelings weren’t genuine or that she disliked him.

Also considering she was one of the youngest girls she handled a lot of moments with maturity. Maura literally tried to steal the boy she liked and she never said a bad word about her, became friends with her when it had all calmed down and even listened to Maura moaning about Elma trying to steal her man without pointing out the irony in the situation. She was lovely and clearly got on well with everyone in the villa. A lot of people said she tried to drag down the couples that were a ‘threat’ to her and Tommy but I didn’t see that? Okay, she had doubts about Anton and Belle? Anton made it quite clear a while ago that he didn’t like Molly-Mae and his blazing row with Belle did genuinely look like the end of their coupling for a while. She didn’t owe them any loyalty.

Overall I did like Molly-Mae and although it’s probably disappointing for her and Tommy that they didn’t win I think they have a chance now to prove that they were genuine. We’ll see how it goes though!

Danny

Love Island Danny.png

Okay, I wasn’t Yewande’s biggest fan but during the time he was between her and Arabella I did hope he would pick Yewande. Obviously he didn’t and like that’s fine, do what you want but God…

I think my main issue is that when Tommy was between Molly-Mae and Maura he didn’t b*tch about them to each other whereas when Danny was between Yewande and Arabella all him and Arabella talked about was Yewande, basically picking apart all her flaws. It was pathetic.

To be honest until the drama with Arabella I couldn’t understand why everyone was so keen on him. My Mom said ‘it’s because he’s tall’ but like, no offence, he just seemed a bit boring? Sure he was definitely relatively good-looking but there wasn’t much else going on. I was glad when he left, I didn’t like him.

Jourdan

Love Island Jourdan

Running around between Joanna, Amy and Amber spreading gossip like wildfire but neglecting to tell Anna that she slept with Jordan on her first night in the villa when Anna was choosing between him and Ovie? Absolute snake.

Tommy

Love Island Tommy

He seemed like a nice lad but his general inability to do pretty much anything did wind me up a bit. That ‘starter’ he served Maura was just plain embarrassing and when the lads were told to go food shopping and he revealed he’d never been before, I mean… The man didn’t even know how to make a cup of tea. I’m just stressed and confused that he’s managed to make it through life this far. At least he was nice to everyone, he was kind to Lucie when he had to let her down, he told Molly-Mae the truth about the conversation as soon as it happened and reassured her, never said a bad word against Maura after he chose Molly-Mae over her. So yeah, although he needs to wise up a bit he did seem nice.

Michael

Love Island Michael

I wasn’t initially too annoyed that he’d chosen to couple up with Joanna because I do feel like a lot of arguments between him and Amber were handled poorly by her. Everyone compared the situation to the Josh, Kaz and Georgia situation last year but everyone seemed to conveniently forget that Josh and Kaz were definitely a better match than Josh and Georgia? I decided to give Michael the benefit of the doubt and see how it went.

Unfortunately he didn’t handle the situation very well. Let’s be real, Amber had been slightly childish before going into Casa Amore but when she got back I think she handled it quite well. Okay, calling Joanna a ‘dead ting’ wasn’t the best start but of course she was gonna be annoyed. It didn’t stop Michael from screaming ‘CHALDISH’ at her if she dared to express that the situation had upset her.

He chose not to leave with Joanna which like is fine but then to start hitting on Amber again? My Mom reckons the producers asked him to but he should’ve left rather than embarrassing himself like that. Also I’m sorry but Joanna are you seriously going back to Michael after he embarrassed you on national TV? Raise your standards.

It’s a shame because him and Amber definitely would’ve won but no, he decided to go off with the first girl who slightly turned his head. Whoops!

Ovie

Love Island Ovie.png

Absolute legend. There’s not much else to say is there really? He just came in, chilled out and found a girl in his own time. You can’t help but love Ovie. When he went over and took India away from the argument Jordan and Anna were having I think everyone across the nation swooned, let’s be real. What a lad!

I think that’s it really for the contestants I had an opinion on this year? If I missed anybody out it’s probably either because I liked them but didn’t love them or they didn’t get enough screen time to be particularly interesting. So there we go! Let me know your thoughts on this years series.

Weekend in London 8th June – 9th June 2019

London 2

A few months ago my Mom announced she was going on holiday to Spain for a few nights. People that know me know that I don’t get on well with my step-dad and the thought of spending five nights alone with him was not appealing in the slightest. I like going to the theatre so decided to book one of my usual trips to London for one night to escape for a little bit.

On the Saturday I caught the train early-ish, around 10AM and made it to London around 12PM. I don’t normally bother with a suitcase when I go to London for the night as I can fit my things into a backpack but I hadn’t stayed at home for two nights prior to going to London and hadn’t had chance to pop home so I had no choice but to take a suitcase with me. Luckily Euston do store bags for people but Jesus wept at what cost? It was a lot more complicated than it had been when I’d stored my bags in Japan because my bag had to go through a scanner like you get at the airport but I suppose you can’t argue with safety precautions. At least my suitcase was safe and I didn’t have to lug it into the theatre with me (though I think they’d have denied me entry anyway).

My first show was ‘Betrayal’, a show I didn’t know much about and had only booked because Tom Hiddleston was in it. I went straight to the theatre and joined the complicated queue system – luckily there was a member of staff outside who pointed people in the right direction and made sure people were in the correct queue. There were people lurking near the stage door who I guess were there on the off chance they’d meet Tom – me and Becca had been planning to do this the week before when we were in London but unfortunately didn’t have enough time.

Betrayal

Picking up my ticket was easy enough and I went off in search of the bathroom. I ended up at the top of the theatre and stood in a ridiculously long line and when I got to the front I was annoyed to discover there was literally one toilet. Whoever designed that needs to re-evaluate their life.

My seat was good, I was down in the stalls, a few rows back and on the aisle. This ticket hadn’t been cheap and I’d forked out £140 to see this show. There were signs everywhere advising that if you needed the loo mid-show that was a shame because you wouldn’t be allowed back into the auditorium. You literally couldn’t miss them yet it didn’t stop one bloke getting up mid-show – the attendant literally sprinted down the aisle to tell him he couldn’t go back in if he left so he reluctantly went back to his seat.

The show began and it wasn’t a long show, only 90 minutes without an interval and relied heavily on the three main actors which were Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton and Charlie Cox. I’ll be 100% truthful and admit that whilst I was happy to see the show as I would’ve been gutted to miss it, it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. It was just three characters talking, lots of long dialogue and not much action. Which like is fine. Just not particularly my cup of tea. The play was non-linear as the further into the story we got the further back in time we went, and the basic plot was that Zawe was married to Tom Hiddleston but was having an affair with Charlie – I can’t remember the characters names, sorry!

I’m also very ashamed to admit this after how much I spent on the ticket but once or twice I did nearly fall asleep. No disrespect to the actors who did an amazing job, or the story itself, it’s just I’d had a lot of late nights that week and there were a lot of long, dramatic silences in this show. When the show finished I had wanted to try and meet Tom but I was so relieved to walk around and wake up a bit that I decided to just collect my luggage and go find my hotel. A lot of people did try and meet Tom, the girl sitting next to me literally climbed over me to leave the theatre so she could go and join the queue by the stage door outside. I would’ve loved to have met him but I was pretty much a walking zombie by the time the show was over.

In the end it was quite lucky I didn’t join the queue as the trip to my hotel was actually quite long. I’d booked a Premier Inn in Chiswick, an area I’m relatively familiar with as I used to stay regularly in a budget hotel in that area. This meant it was quite out of the way of central London which is a both a pro and a con. A pro because the general area is quieter and a con because it takes longer to get there.  I caught the tube to Turnham Green and then went off on the fifteen minute walk to find the hotel.

I’ve discovered that generally you can’t go wrong with Premier Inn and if you get the right deal they can actually be cheaper than most ‘budget’ hotels. After a few naff hotel rooms I’m comfortable just sticking with Premier Inn for the moment. Check-in was easy and my room was a decent size.

I was then met with a dilemma. I had a ticket for ‘Mamma Mia’ at 7:30 and I’d been hoping to get to the hotel, have a power nap and head back out. Due to how long it had taken me to get to the hotel I literally had ten minutes in the room before I needed to head back out to get to the theatre in time. It was just as well I wasn’t hungry because there definitely wasn’t enough time to get dinner. I was honestly so tired that I wondered about losing my money and just getting an early night. If I’d nearly fallen asleep at ‘Betrayal’ would I last for an evening show?

In the end I knew I’d regret not going so I put my shoes back on and headed out. It did take a while to get to the theatre but I got there in plenty of time to use the loo, grab a drink etc. It was nicer as I’d been able to dump my backpack in the hotel and only had my handbag with me now. My seat was good, I was on the top balcony at the end of the aisle but on the front row and the stage didn’t seem very far away at all. There was a bar to stop people toppling over the edge of the balcony but if I leant forward it didn’t obscure my view.

Mamma Mia

The show began and I’m so happy I decided to just go for it as the energetic music and general atmosphere of the theatre kept me awake and I loved every second of it. At the end the actress playing Donna announced this was the last night for a lot of the cast including herself and it was a bit emotional, and I’m truly glad I didn’t miss out on it. I had seen ‘Mamma Mia’ in London previously with my Mom but at the time I wasn’t a fan of the film. I am now and was glad to see it now that I’m a bigger fan of the story and the songs. I also didn’t remember the atmosphere being as fun as it was but maybe that’s because it was the casts last night or maybe that’s always the atmosphere? I’m not sure!

The journey back was long and unfortunately I believe I picked up a bug on the underground. The journey was convenient actually as I didn’t have to change but I remember sitting in a seat, listening to my iPod and holding onto the bar for some reason and I think that’s where I picked something up. I made it back to the hotel feeling a tiny bit under the weather but I shrugged it off, had a shower and settled down into Premier Inn’s comfortable bed and went to sleep.

One of the most convenient things about Premier Inn is that in the lift they advise what breakfast times are the busiest, which are quieter etc. I’d paid extra for a Premier Inn breakfast so I didn’t have to faff around finding anywhere to eat and when I went down it was a bit busy but they managed to find me a table straightaway. Everyone milling around was doing my head in so I didn’t spend long down there before heading back up to my room.

I’ve been to London so many times now that I feel like I’ve ‘been there and done that’ with all the tourist spots so I chilled in my room until it was time to check out and then headed back to Euston so they could store my suitcase for me again. I don’t understand their prices though because three hours and under is only £6 something, anything between three and twenty-four hours is £12. Where is the logic? Surely between six hours and twenty-four hours would be a bit more fair than three?

I spent some time chilling at Euston before hopping back on the tube to go and see ‘School of Rock’. I’ve seen this show a couple of times and hadn’t intended on going to see it. For Christmas my Dad got me some ‘theatre tokens’ which were a thoughtful gift but unfortunately are only redeemable either over the phone or in person. I hate talking over the phone so had originally been planning to bring them with me then shop around until I found a show. I accidentally left them at home when I set off a couple of days previously so on a whim just paid for a ticket to see ‘School of Rock’ again as I do love that show and it had been a while.

It was when I reached the theatre that I began to feel under the weather again, I could feel my throat was a bit funny so I decided to treat myself to a cookies and cream ice cream which didn’t help very much but did taste really nice. My seat was good, just a few rows from the stage and the view wasn’t blocked. It’s a decent theatre, not massive and quite modern so I enjoy my visits there.

As usual the show was amazing, if you’re a fan of the film then I think you’ll definitely enjoy the stage version. It’s essentially the same storyline as the film but with more songs. My favourites include ‘Stick it to the Man’ and ‘When I Climb to the Top of Mount Rock’. When I first saw the show they were giving out badges but they’ve stopped doing that which is a shame but I’m glad I got one!

School of Rock 2

After that it was back on the tube to Euston, quick dinner at Burger King and then time to catch my train back to Telford. I’m glad I went but gutted I picked that bug up on the tube as it lasted a week and I haven’t felt that ill in a LONG time – it was actually horrendous. But overall it was a good weekend in London and I’m looking forward to my next theatre weekend – I just need to book it!

BTS at Wembley 2019: Review

BTS Wembley

You have no idea the relief I felt when BTS announced they were coming back to Europe and I saw I’d actually be around for their London show. Even better, they were coming on a Saturday (1st June 2019). I wouldn’t need to book any time off work and travelling to London would be much better than travelling back to Paris yet again – I’d seen BTS twice and both times had had no choice but to travel to Paris if I wanted to see them. I wrote a review of their Paris show at their last tour here if you want to read that.

I’d thought buying tickets for the Paris was a nightmare, which it was, but this took it to a whole new level. I was more prepared this time and told work I’d be in two hours late instead of one and sat at my computer ready to battle it out for tickets. Ticketmaster had other plans though and kept being a dick and kicking me, Becca and a ton of other fans on Twitter out of the virtual queue. Fans on Twitter were advising people to use the app so I downloaded it and gave it a go – it showed me some tickets and I swear I clicked straightaway only for it to be like ‘lol, sorry no’. We tried for ages until eventually the website wasn’t even trying anymore and was just telling me it was now sold out.

This was a first for me – no matter how difficult it’s been I’ve always managed to get tickets to a concert I’ve been desperate to go to. As they were only doing one night me and Becca decided we’d try and get some resale tickets. This also turned out to be a nightmare as a couple of times I went through the whole process on getmein only for it to tell me at the last second it was sold out. Luckily eventually Becca secured us two tickets and we both went to work. Our tickets were worth about £70 each and we’d spent £180 each on them. We spent more to sit towards the back than we would’ve had to if we’d sat at the front.

Now I HATE scalpers, I hate the whole principal and a lot of fans on Twitter were like ‘don’t buy them as it just feeds the fire’ and whilst I agree I was just so desperate to go that I had to pay it. My cut off for ticket prices had been £200 each so this was technically still in my budget. To be truthful though I wasn’t like thrilled we were going, just relieved and annoyed that I’d had to spend so much more ‘cos of some asshole trying to make some extra cash.

A few hours later ticketmaster started tweeting some teasing stuff to BTS fans and I just knew they were gonna announce another date and I was fed up by this point. Me and Becca discussed it and because we’re such trash bags we decided if they did announce another date we’d try again for tickets. If we got official ones then great but if not we wouldn’t buy off scalpers this time. And of course the very next morning they announced there was gonna be a Sunday (2nd June 2019) concert too.

I didn’t dare go into work and ask to come in late yet again so I had to try and buy them whilst AT work which proved to be yet another nightmare of ticketmaster not working. After about an hour I decided to try on the app again and it loaded for ages before finally showing me two tickets. I clicked, thinking what would happen before would happen again, but I started entering my info. I was shaking so much and my heart was beating fast but soon I’d hit check out and the tickets were ours! They were better seats than our Saturday ones and they’d cost a little bit less, about £140 each. That was settled, we were going for both nights.

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It came around a lot quicker than I thought it would and before I knew it we were on the train on our way to London. The journey went quite quickly and we went straight to check into our hotel at Kings Cross. Not the best hotel we’ve ever stayed in but we didn’t intend on spending much time in the hotel anyway. Unfortunately it was super hot that weekend in London and our room didn’t have any air con or even a window we could open (just a door leading outside which was stressful) but as mentioned, we weren’t planning on spending much time in the hotel anyway. We dumped our heavy bag in the room before heading to Kings Cross to get some lunch.

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We had a quick lunch at Giraffe, withdrew some cash and then started off on the 30 minute underground journey to Wembley Stadium. It was still quite early at this point but we wanted enough time to arrive, have a look around, find the right entrance, wait in line, get a drink etc. before finding our seat. I’d moaned in the Paris review about having to stand at the back and that I prayed we’d get seated tickets next time so I was relieved when they announced every ticket was seated. It’s honestly just so much easier and more enjoyable.

To be fair if you hadn’t been able to get a ticket online it might be worth just turning up and hoping for the best as a few people were selling tickets right outside the tube station when we arrived. The walk to Wembley Stadium was packed full of people walking and taking photos as there were lots of banners up with the members faces on them. Me and Becca took a couple as well but with so many people around it was hard to get decent ones.

We’d both agreed beforehand that we wanted a light stick each. Neither of us were sure how much they cost but we took out £50 each and hoped that would be enough. The queue for light sticks was long but not too long as luckily there were several different stands to buy light sticks so we joined this straightaway. It was hot out and we were both dying but the queue moved quite quickly. When we got to the front I had no idea what the guy was saying but luckily Becca understood and it turned out to be £94 for two light sticks so about £47 each including batteries. Quite expensive but apparently when Becca looked on Amazon there were some going for about £60 each so in the grand scheme of things not too bad.

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We both sat down to figure them out which is when my phone decided to be an asshole and just wouldn’t connect to any internet so I couldn’t download the bloody app to sync up the light stick even though Becca managed to download it in like twenty seconds. We went off to find the queue whilst I stressed about my phone not connecting for no reason whatsoever. I was probably doing Becca’s head in but I hadn’t just spent £47 for it not to sync up. There were pairing booths dotted around the arena so if worst came to worst I’d have to use one of those.

Finding our entrance was a NIGHTMARE, we were entrance A and the first person we asked told us to go right so we walked up but the signs were telling us to go left so we did, then we got directed downstairs, then we got directed to the back of a long queue which we joined only when we got to the front the guy told us we’d been in the wrong queue all along. We were getting a bit annoyed by this point so Becca was like “but we just waited all that time?” and the guy was like “well yeah but it was the wrong one, you should’ve checked” and she was like “We did? Four times?” After what felt like forever though we finally managed to go through our actual entrance.

By this point my phone had finally gained some signal and I’d been able to download the app. We both grabbed a drink then headed to our seats which weren’t actually as bad as I’d been anticipating. We were quite far up but over to the left instead of right at the back of the arena. Our view was clear and to be honest I appreciate that at K-Pop concerts so you can see the amazing choreography.

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We decided to sync up our light sticks and I dunno what the fuck is wrong with my phone but no matter how hard I try (I’ve even tried at home) it just won’t pick up my light stick. Becca’s connected almost instantly and I didn’t really know what to do until the light stick instructions played on the screen (this happened regularly before the show started) and luckily advised that you can sync up more than one light stick to one phone so Becca kindly synced mine up on her phone so they were both ready. For anyone not sure what I mean by syncing it up – you put in your ticket information and then throughout the concert the light sticks change colours to match the songs and they can change by sections and stuff, like for example during ‘Anpanman’ the whole place was rainbow themed and it looks amazing as someone controls all the light sticks. It does look incredible.

There was a long wait until the start of the show but at least we were sat down so it wasn’t too bad. They played BTS music videos whilst we were waiting, and me and Becca tried to learn the name fan chant. Well we know their names but we wanted to get the order right. We kept fucking it up and it was pretty useless as although we eventually learnt the chant we weren’t sure when they came in. Whenever the crowd started chanting I never picked it up until they got to Kim Taehyung anyway. The one time I did manage to get it on Jung Hoseok and nearly knocked Becca out with my light stick ‘cos I was so excited about it.

After about an hour and forty five minutes I’d guess a video started playing on screen and there had been some cloths on stage which were pulled back so that’s how we knew the concert was starting – they couldn’t dim the lights as it was an open arena so it was quite bright for most of it. We all stood up and the concert began!

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They opened with ‘Dionysus’ which was lit as hell. To be honest I hadn’t been overly keen on ‘Boy with Love’ when I first heard it so I’d sort of put off listening to the album but had listened to it a few days before going to the concert. That’s probably my favourite song off the album as its so much fun and seeing it live was awesome. Then they moved onto ‘Not Today’ which is one of the most motivational songs ever – I listen to it at the gym and it always keeps me moving. They didn’t perform ‘Not Today’ when we saw them in Paris so it was amazing to finally see it live. The next song was ‘Outro: Wings’ before they all went backstage and the first solo stage started.

My favourite solo song off their album is definitely J-Hope’s ‘Just Dance’ as it’s just such a fun song! It was nice to actually be able to see it this time instead of having to look over hundreds of people’s heads in Paris. In the middle of the song we all started up a chant of “J-HOPE! J-HOPE! J-HOPE!” and you could just see how much fun he was having with it. I love that song so much that I was sad when it finished but at least I knew I’d be seeing it again the following night.

Next up was Jungkook with ‘Euphoria’. To be honest ‘Euphoria’ is probably my least favourite solo song but the performance was still good. Before we’d gone Becca had been telling me about clips she’d seen of the tour on Twitter and had told me “Oh yeah and Jungkook swings round the stage, you know like that girl that pretends to be dead? Just like that” then after a pause said “Well you know, not exactly like that”. I’d pissed myself imagining Jungkook pretending to be dead as he swung around the arena singing ‘Euphoria’. He did glide over the crowd but it was much more graceful than Becca had originally described!

The boys came back on stage and performed ‘Best of Me’. I hadn’t listened to that song much before the concert but it was good and as usual the boys were full of energy that it was just impossible to have a bad time. I was really glad me and Becca had the light sticks as to be honest sometimes at concerts I’m not really sure what to do with my arms so at least I had this to wave around.

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It was time for another couple of solo stages and next up were Jimin and RM. Jimin entered the stage from below inside of a bubble and I couldn’t resist quipping to Becca “HE CAME UP IN A BUBBLE DAWG” (if you saw that Wicked Witch of the East meme you’ll know what I was referencing). I wasn’t sure about this song upon first listening to it but it quickly climbed the list and became one of my favourite songs. It’s one of those I listen to when I’m pissed off about something and it calms me down. I love the song so much that if I wasn’t such a J-Hope stan I think Jimin would be my bias. The performance was incredible as usual, Jimin is so talented.

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Next up was RM with ‘Trivia: Love’ which is another song I love. This one was good because towards the end of the song they were adding special effects to the screen to make it look like RM was drawing hearts and stuff like that. It just looked really incredible!

The boys came back out and there was a group performance of ‘Boy with Luv’ which is their new title track. To be honest I wasn’t 100% sure if I liked it when I first heard it – I love the music video, the aesthetic and the choreography but I wasn’t sure about the song itself. Whilst it’s still not of my favourites it has definitely grown on me and it was a fun performance. Next up was a medley of ‘Dope’, ‘Bapsae’ and ‘Fire’. ‘Dope’ and ‘Fire’ are two of my favourite songs and while I wish they’d performed both songs in a full version I appreciate that with all the solo songs there are only so many full songs they can sing. At least they were included although I do wish they’d add ‘Fun Boys’ back to the set list.

Next up was ‘Idol’ which to be honest is probably one of the list lit songs of theirs to see live. They’d opened with it at the Paris show and although I’d appreciated it there was something much more fun about it at the London shows. As I had more energy I was dancing and screaming the lyrics at the top of my lungs, it was just so much fun!

Another solo song next and this time it was V with ‘Singularity’ which again, hadn’t loved originally but had grown on me. I just like the hazy feeling to it, it reminds me of feeling drunk and I love the performance with the masks and everything. In this one V appears on the stage in a bed with his eyes closed then opens them just as he begins to sing. It was an amazing performance before the rest of the boys joined him to perform ‘Fake Love’. ‘Fake Love’ is another song that’s more fun when it’s live, I love doing the ‘FAKE LOVE’ chant during the chorus and I love the choreography for this one too.

It was time for the last solo stages which of course were Suga and Jin’s. Suga was up first with ‘Seesaw’ which has grown on me more since the concert but all I can hear in the chorus is “alright, I want the cheesecake” – I know those aren’t genuinely the lyrics but that’s all my stupid brain can hear. Luckily that’s what Becca hears as well so the two of us just sang that without a care in the world. That’s the one annoying thing about K-Pop concerts, you wanna sing along but you know you’re pronouncing every word incorrectly.

Next up was Jin’s ‘Epiphany’ which is a BEAUTIFUL song. To be honest I didn’t like it at the Paris show. I was exhausted and I’ve never really loved slow songs anyway so although I appreciated the lights in the venue I wasn’t having a good time. Now I LOVE that song, that song makes me feel so many things. It’s such a lovely song and I can’t believe there are people who say Jin can’t sing. Becca turned to me at the end and went “MAN’S GOT PIPES!” She ain’t wrong.

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‘The Truth Untold’ was next which is the vocal line Jin, Jungkook, V and Jimin. Another song I hadn’t appreciated at the Paris show because I was so tired that any slow song sort of sent me drifting off. I was quite sad because it quickly became one of my favourite songs and I hadn’t appreciated it enough so I was glad to see it again. It was a beautiful performance but it did look like Jimin was crying which was proper stressing me out. I think he was sick because he kept holding his throat and did cough a few times the next day but he sounded absolutely amazing so you’d have never guessed.

It was time for the rap lines song next which is ‘Outro: Tear’ performed by J-Hope, Suga and RM. This is another song that I liked at the time but now love more that I’ve left the concert. On the screens they put a black and white filter which gave it an edgy vibe and the three of them were just so energetic. I wish I’d gotten a video of it but I was just enjoying the moment.

Back to group performances it was time for ‘Mic Drop’ which they claimed was their last song of the night but we all knew it wasn’t. We’d been given banners as we’d entered Wembley and were told to get them out when ‘Army Time’ appeared on the screen and it hadn’t appeared yet. They played the remix version of ‘Mic Drop’ and it was LIT, I got a video of me and Becca singing to it and it was another one of those songs that was so much fun to see live.

They went offstage but the lights stayed down so we all knew they were gonna come back for an encore. It was a bit of a wait but it didn’t matter as it gave us all a chance to sit down. There was a lot of chanting and then we all started doing Mexican waves around the arena for some reason. After about maybe ten minutes I wanna say, maybe less, BTS came back out and performed ‘Anpanman’ which was fun as they blew up some inflatable’s in the middle part of the arena including a bouncy slide so the members sang whilst playing around on them which was random but a lot of fun! I feel like there was a lot more going on visually at this concert compared to the Paris one last year but maybe that’s just ‘cos I could actually see this year!

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I can’t remember at what points specifically but the boys did stop to interact with the crowd occasionally. RM drove Becca absolutely up the wall by only speaking in a British accent for some reason. All the members attempted to speak completely in English except for Suga when a translator got involved. I was glad we were at the London show as the translations were made to English but to be honest it didn’t 100% sound like the translator knew what he was doing – a bit like the one at Block B previously, a member would say something really long, there’d be a pause and the translator would be like “He is having a good time”.

I can’t remember everything every member said but I know Jin talked about how he was amazed to be playing at Wembley and talked about the film ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ before the doing the whole ‘AY-O’ bit that Freddie Mercury had done. RM also brought up other groups that he looked up to that had played at Wembley and mentioned ‘Coldplay’ which Becca was outraged by. The boys also got us all doing yet another Mexican wave with our light sticks. They kept thanking us and talking about their disbelief in playing at Wembley and it was really touching, you could tell just how grateful they were for their fans. The only moment that had me shook was when V was making his speech and at the end he said, in the most sincere voice I’ve ever heard, “fuck you” – Becca’s convinced he meant to say ‘thank you’ but I can’t tell. If he’d like shouted it or something then I could maybe think okay but it was said in the sweetest voice! [Disclaimer: I just watched a video and he’s actually saying ‘thank you’ in a British accent – oh dear hun, it definitely sounded like ‘fuck you’!]

Up next was ‘So What’ which like is a good song but personally I’d have preferred ‘I’m Fine’ but never mind, ‘So What’ is still good. Except for the video Becca took where you can hear us both singing along and we sound like overexcited sea lions. This was followed by ‘Make It Right’ before finally ‘Army Time’ appeared on the screen, we took out our banners and the boys performed ‘Mikrokosmos’. And just like that Wembley day one was over!

Getting onto the tube with thousands of other fans who had been at Wembley was a nightmare to be honest but luckily the train was mostly empty so we managed to get on. We were right at the front so we could’ve got a seat but unfortunately I hesitated and we missed out, something Becca was very keen to keep reminding me of on the journey back to our hotel as the train was packed full. Luckily we weren’t that many stops away from the venue so we came off the tube; grabbed some snacks and we were soon back at our hotel.

Last time we’d been to London we’d had a late night and an early morning making us both hate our lives but luckily this time we didn’t need to get up early for anything so we were both looking forward to a lie-in. The lie-in wasn’t as long as I’d been hoping for as neither of us slept well – the beds weren’t very comfy, the slightest noise was so loud and it was boiling hot. Irritatingly there wasn’t a window, just a door that leads to the outside which kept me paranoid all night long.

We’d originally intended to make a plan for the day but as usual neither of us had planned anything. However we’d seen everyone walking around with BT21 headbands at the concert the day before so we decided we’d quite like one. We had a quick breakfast at Pret then for some reason decided to visit the Harry Potter shop in Kings Cross. I had more money than I’d had last time so I bought a couple of necklaces whilst Becca was sensible and didn’t buy anything. After that we headed to Camden to visit the BT21 pop up shop.

Jesus Christ. We joined the queue and after a few minutes were told most things had sold out and we were now about an hour away from the front. I asked if they had any headbands left and they said no which was disappointing but we decided to wait anyway as we’d seen other people coming out with pillows and they looked quite cute. It was absolutely boiling in that queue, neither of us had a drink and we were stuck there for legit almost two hours. It was Hell but eventually it was our turn and we went upstairs into the shop. To be honest I feel like it was difficult to appreciate ‘cos I was hot and tired by this point, and fed up of being surrounded by other people. Me and Becca took a couple of photos, grabbed a pillow each (I got Chimmy and Becca got Koya), grabbed a post card and just checked out. Our next stop was a drink, just something hastily grabbed from Superdrug because I couldn’t be arsed to shop around.

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We went to Primark but neither of us bought anything, had lunch in McDonalds and then we desperately needed some more AAA batteries. Becca had checked the battery on her light stick that morning via the app and it was on low so we’d both need to replace them. Neither of us knew where to get batteries from and after a lot of debate Becca rang WHSmith who said they did sell them. On the way back to the hotel we picked some up, had a ten minute rest in the hotel before heading back to Wembley for night two.

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We’d been considering getting some merch but it was mostly just t-shirts so we decided to give it a miss and headed into the venue. Our entrance was a lot easier to find this time and we quickly found our seats. We were much closer than we’d been the day before, the only issue was that the chairs weren’t the comfiest and were a lot smaller than the ones in the stands are so it was a bit more uncomfortable waiting for the concert to start but it didn’t matter too much as we’d be stood up for most of the concert anyway.

The set list was the same as the day before but there were a couple of differences when they stopped to interact with us. The first was that they added a ‘Harry Potter’ section. Jin used stupefy on Jungkook, I can’t remember all the other spells, someone said ‘lumos’ then all our light sticks lit up. V came forward and said ‘purple’ and all our light sticks turned purple. Becca, being the massive nerd she is, was like “That’s not even a spell!” J-Hope cast a ‘fire spell’ which made fire appear from the stage. I’m glad they did that instead of making the typical fish and chips jokes that many groups make when they come to England.

Also when they left after ‘Mic Drop’ just before their encore a message appeared on the screen advising fans of a secret event we were going to do for BTS. When the words ‘Army Sing’ appeared on the screen we were all going to sing the final chorus of ‘Forever Young’. This was really exciting as I’d never done anything like this at a concert before and I turned to Becca and went “I really hope they cry!” Sounds harsh but like I wanted it to be emotional!

After they’d all made their final speeches they prepared to sing ‘Mikrokosmos’ again but the music for ‘Forever Young’ started. It was quite sweet as they didn’t really know what was happening then turned around and saw the lyrics on the screen and realised. I’m so glad they put up the lyrics as I don’t actually know ‘Forever Young’ all that well (they’d played the music video for that about fifty times in the venue so they were clearly preparing us). I know Jimin, Jungkook and J-Hope definitely cried and the others looked close to it if they weren’t actually crying.

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It was actually really emotional, I didn’t cry but I was extremely close to it. Until of course Becca leaned over and went “Yo Taehyung’s highlighter is popping, I need some of that!” to which I responded “Becca, I’m trying to cry.” After that they each made a speech, Suga said he thought they’d messed up with the music when it started playing. I’m glad we went for both nights in the end as I would’ve hated to have missed that moment.

Before we knew it that was it. No more BTS concerts to look forward to. The comedown was hard when I went back to work I’m not gonna lie. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll come back to Europe again, do two more nights in London and I can get tickets to both again. Going to both nights was definitely better than just the one. It was nice to finally see them at their own concert and have a bit of energy instead of feeling half dead like I did in Paris.

This was quite long, sorry about that! I hope you enjoyed it anyway. If you were at either of the shows let me know your favourite part!

Us (Jordan Peele, 2019): Review by Hollie Bareham

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I can’t remember when I first saw the trailer for ‘Us’ but from the moment I saw it I was excited to see the full movie. There’s nothing I love more than a horror movie and this looked promising. I’d also enjoyed Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ and the whole psychological element, so I was pretty certain I’d enjoy this film too.

CAUTION: This review will contain spoilers.

Once the movie was released I booked me and my friend’s three tickets and before I knew it we were at the cinema ready to watch the movie. All three of us were looking forward to it and hoped it was good – generally horror movies are either amazing or rubbish and we were keen to see which category this film fit into.

When the credits rolled at the end my first thoughts were ‘… What did I just watch?’ It was one of those films that had the three of us talking the entire car ride home because we were all quite confused about what happened. When I got home the first thing I did was pour over the imdb page, Wikipedia page and any articles I could find that explained the plot. Although I’m more with it now I’m still not sure if I 100% understand it.

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Firstly, the film was amazingly done. The cinematography was on point and the acting was phenomenal, especially from Lupita Nyong’o – she played both her parts incredibly well, especially ‘Red’ who was super creepy. When the doppelganger family first enter the house and Red starts telling them a story her voice was really putting me on edge, it was excellent acting.

I love that this movie didn’t 100% rely on jump scares and managed to be creepy in its own way. The shots of all the tethered holding hands across the country was somehow super creepy and superbly done, it’s definitely something that will stick with me for a while. In fact just seeing the tethered go through their clumsy movements in the tunnels had me on edge. It wasn’t entirely ‘terrifying’ as there were some moments of comedy and I feel like these were executed well whilst still keeping the atmosphere.

What bothered me the most when initially watching it was the ending – it’s hard to explain for those who haven’t seen but we are shown that the doppelgangers are called the ‘tethered’ and they were a government experiment to see if US citizens could be controlled with a copied version of their bodies. When the experiment failed the tethered were abandoned underground having to copy the actions of the ‘real life’ versions of themselves – it’s implied these people don’t have a soul, any real emotions or much freewill. We’re sort of taken along this journey of the tethered deciding that it’s their turn now to live and they all come to the surface to kill the other version of themselves in order to replace them.

When Adelaide was a child she met her tethered (Red) and throughout the film Red mentions how she and the rest of the tethered grew up without sunlight and says something along the lines of “I wonder what would have happened if you’d taken me with you” to Adelaide. Except in the final moments of the film we find out Red was the original Adelaide – when they met, Adelaide knocked her out, took her down to the tethered and left her there so she could replace her. It was an interesting twist but unfortunately didn’t seem to fit in with anything we’d heard previously to that.

The thing I find confusing is that part of the deal with the tethered was that they were soulless and were forced to just awkwardly follow their counter-parts movements. Why was Red different? How were her and Adelaide able to meet? Surely once she’d been dragged down to the tethered she could’ve found her way back out – it didn’t seem that complicated and it’s not like the other tethered would’ve tried to stop her considering how lifeless they were. How did the tethered snap out of their copying regime to follow Red’s orders to go to the surface? Why did the government leave millions of people underground without destroying their creations when the experiment failed? It’s an amazing idea but I just don’t fully understand it.

It’s never really clear whether Adelaide or Red remember that they were swapped round until the end when it’s revealed to the audience. Surely they were more than old enough to have remembered and I assume Red must have because she retained her speech whereas none of the other tethered could talk. But neither of them mention it. I suppose the filmmakers wanted to save it until the end as a big reveal but it seemed to contradict everything they’d been talking about. For example it was Red that explained the tethered experiement to Adelaide – as a tethered she should’ve already known what they were and Red would’ve known that she knew.

They did throw in a few hints that Adelaide was a tethered (her savagery when killing other tethered for example), but I just don’t think it was executed as well as it could’ve been. It seemed a little bit thrown in at the end to add shock.

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Regardless of this I did enjoy the film. It held my interest from the start and kept me guessing right until the very end. It was certainly something new – my friend once told me we are living in a generation of remakes and sequels so to see something like this was so refreshing. I love the whole idea of it and wouldn’t mind another movie exploring it a bit more but I doubt that would happen – it could very well just ruin this film anyway.

Overall, this is definitely a film I’d recommend to any horror fans. Regardless of my confusion with the plot, which could probably be explained away, the film has left a lasting impression on me and I’m just really impressed. I’m looking forward to any future horror releases by Jordan Peele.

Time for my piece of trivia which I now include with all my horror movie reviews – Lupita Nyong’o based Red’s voice on Robert F. Kennedy Jr and specifically the spasmodic dysphonia he suffers from. There were quite a few pieces of interesting trivia on the iMDB page to be fair but I went with this one as Red’s voice really did put me on edge.

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on the movie and if you haven’t already seen it then I definitely recommend it.

Harry Potter Films: Worst to Best

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It’s no secret that I’m a massive Harry Potter fan and since watching Cursed Child my love for the Harry Potter universe has only intensified. So I wanted to put the Harry Potter films in order of my least favourite to my most favourite. I won’t be taking into account the books at all because that would be a completely separate list. So, here goes nothing!

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One (David Yates, 2010)

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I used to absolutely despise this film because what actually happens? Not an awful lot. When I went to an eight film Harry Potter marathon over the span of a weekend I was dreading re-watching this film but to be fair, it wasn’t as bad a second time. But it’s still definitely the worst film out of the series because it’s just building up to something that’s not delivered because it all happens in part two. Although I wouldn’t go as far to say I hate the film anymore it’s definitely the worst one in the series.

7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two (David Yates, 2011)

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Part 2 is massively more interesting because there’s the battle of Hogwarts and generally just a lot more going on but it’s still towards the bottom of my list. Probably because although I did like the Deathly Hallows movies I still prefer the films that are set completely at Hogwarts, showing lessons and general student life (and obviously Harry, Ron and Hermione’s adventures). It’s also the end of the series which is just generally quite sad.


6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (David Yates, 2009)

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I know I said I wasn’t going to bring the books into this but actually the book helped me enjoy the film. When I first saw this movie I don’t think I really understood it (I was 12 I think when it was released) and I hadn’t read the books. Years later, when I turned 19 I finally got into reading the Harry Potter series and found myself feeling deflated when I got to the Half Blood Prince book – I was surprised when I ended up really enjoying the book. So I gave the film another chance and ended up enjoying it this time!

It’s still not one of my favourites because I think I enjoyed the book (I keep breaking my own rules) a lot more but I still appreciate this as a film and love it a lot more than I used to. I love that there’s more Luna in this film since she doesn’t enter until the fifth film and she’s one of my favourite characters. I also love the scene where Harry’s taken the liquid luck and goes to Aragog’s funeral with Hagrid and Professor Slughorn. So yes, it’s definitely a film I love more now that I’m older.

5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Chris Columbus, 2001)

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It’s crazy that I was five when this film came out and that for a while this was the only Harry Potter film to exist. I remember owning it on video and I’d rewatch it over and over again. I tried to get into the books but I just couldn’t do it at the time but I was more than happy to sit and watch the film. I think it’s one of those that because it’s been around for so long though that I’ve seen it so many times that I couldn’t say it’s my favourite. I actually haven’t seen this one in a while, I wouldn’t mind rewatching it.

Ultimately, how can you not love the first film? The film where we’re introduced to Hogwarts for the first time and are introduced to all our iconic favourite characters. This film is a classic and I don’t think a day will ever come where I dislike it.

Quick story – I was at work and told my colleague, Sue, who sits next to me that I was going to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the theatre and she told me she’d never seen a Harry Potter film. I was honestly horrified and was even more horrified to find out my other colleague Shirley hadn’t seen any either. I thought this was weird but I was even more horrified when I asked our seventeen year old apprentice Kelsey what her favourite Harry Potter film was and she replied “I actually haven’t seen any of them.” What are you guys doing? These films are absolute gems!

4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Alfonso Cuaron, 2004)

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I remember going to see this at the cinema when it was released and it was probably the first Harry Potter film I’d seen at the cinema. Unfortunately I was probably a little bit too young to appreciate it at the time and I remember getting a bit bored so I ran up and down the aisle pretending I was riding a broom stick like Harry (then came home and borrowed our brush so I could carry on pretending in the garden, haha!). Now that I’m older I love this film and fully appreciate it.

There are so many things to love about this film; Harry riding on Buckbeak just looked absolutely amazing, getting introduced to the marauders, Harry casting his first patronus, time travel… There’s just so much to love! This is another film I really want to rewatch now; I haven’t seen it for ages.

3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Chris Columbus, 2002)

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For a long time this was my favourite film from the Harry Potter franchise but unfortunately I think it’s one that I watched too many times. I do still love it obviously but I don’t know. I’m not even particularly sure what made it my favourite, it just was. Interesting fun fact for you all even though this book was the second shortest it is the longest Harry Potter film. It’s just one of those films that you can’t help but love – until you watch it too many times. But it’s definitely still one of my favourites.

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mike Newell, 2005)

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When I ask people what their favourite Harry Potter movie is most of them say this one and I can see why. It’s packed full of adventure and it’s sort of the last light-hearted one before everything goes to shit and Voldemort comes back and all that jazz. There are so many iconic and funny moments in this one and I never got bored of rewatching it. Also it’s got a lot of Cedric Diggory in it which is always fun – until the inevitable happens and then it’s just sad again.

Every Harry Potter fan always agrees this movie is awesome and it stays pretty true to the book so it’s a good one to watch!

1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (David Yates, 2007)

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Back when I’d only seen the films this one was my favourite. I’m not really sure why, I liked the beef with Umbridge and the secrecy around creating Dumbledore’s Army – it was really exciting! It’s been my favourite for ages and most people argue with me and say it’s boring but I completely disagree. It’s definitely my number one favourite.

Due to it being my favourite film I was looking forward to reading the book and this book is my favourite too. However it’s sort of made the film a bit disappointing. This is the longest book and yet this film I believe is the shortest. I suppose a lot if had to be cut ‘cos it does have a lot of side plots, what with Hermione starting SPEW and Ron joining the Quidditch team but even if they’d given these side plots a little nod that would’ve been enough if they didn’t have time for the entirety of it.

Well there you go; those are my favourite Harry Potter films from worst to best! Feel free to leave a comment of your favourite Harry Potter movies.

Review: Bad Apple by Zoje Stage

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I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m attempting to read at least two books per month this year. I’m doing okay so far considering its early March and I’ve just finished book number 11. Book number 11 happened to be ‘Bad Apple’ by Zoje Stage. I’ve not really read much adult fiction, I prefer to stick to Young Adult but I was staying the night at my brothers and wanted something to read. After scanning the shelves of ASDA this book seemed relatively promising so I picked it up.

WARNING: This review will contain spoilers.

The basic plot of the book is that Suzette and Alex have a daughter named Hanna who puts on an innocent front for Alex but with Suzette acts differently. Suzette starts to worry that her daughter’s bad behaviour will turn into something far more sinister. Is Suzette in danger of harm from her own daughter?

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I don’t even know where to start with this book. Before I bought it I gave the first page a quick read and it sounded okay but as I began reading I started to get increasingly irritated. Although the story was told in third person it flipped between the point of view of Suzette and Hanna and God this just really didn’t work. I know Hanna is supposed to be super sinister but ultimately she is still a child and her chapters didn’t seem like anything a child would think or do. Also it took away a lot of the suspense – knowing what Hanna was doing and why she was doing it didn’t leave any mystery.

Hanna is mute and at one point decides to torment her mother by finally speaking and pretending to be someone called ‘Anne-Marie’, the last woman to be accused of witchcraft in France and burnt at the stake. I feel like this would’ve been interesting but because we can read things from Hanna’s point of view we knew she was only pretending to be Anne-Marie and how she’d found out about her and everything. I don’t know. It just really didn’t work for me.

Also Alex was just fucking ridiculous. His daughter had been kicked out of three schools, cut off Suzette’s hair, MADE A FUCKING COLLAGE OF DEAD CORPSES OF WOMEN WITH A PICTURE OF HIS NAKED WIFE IN THE MIDDLE and was like “Aw my little girl is just misunderstood”. I’m surprised Suzette could stand him by the end of the book to be honest.

To be honest though Suzette started to get on my tits towards the end and I could not figure out her relationship with Hanna for the life of me. One minute she’s giving Hanna the finger, basically calling her a little shit and generally acts like she hates her – then Hanna literally tries to burn her alive and then Suzette gets seriously concerned because Hanna may have sprained her wrist? If someone literally tried to set me on fire, child or not, I would not give two shits about what happened to them. One minute Suzette couldn’t stand Hanna then the next she loved her and was willing to do anything for her; regardless of the fact Hanna literally tried to kill her twice. Her attitude kept flipping and I couldn’t keep up with it.

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The book, thankfully, eventually ends and I imagine it was supposed to be all sinister and creepy but it was just stupid. I don’t even care. I hope Hanna does go home to her parents and finishes the fucking job; they’ve been so stupid throughout that they almost deserve it.

Also maybe I’m thick but I couldn’t get to grips with Suzette’s beef with her own mother? She kept making references to how her mother was really crap and I couldn’t really figure out what was going on, like at all. Maybe I’m just an idiot, I don’t know. I did skim over a lot of bits to be fair ‘cos this was a difficult read – difficult in the sense it was a bit fucking boring.

In terms of storyline, there doesn’t even really appear to be one. Hanna is trying to kill her Mom… That’s the entire basis of the book. There’s no suspense, anything… Hanna doesn’t even creep me out because she just seemed so unrealistic throughout the entire book.

The one redeeming quality was that I did finish this book quite quickly and was eager to see what happened at the end – I was disappointed with what did happen ‘cos it was a bit dull but like… Yeah.

I was hoping this book would be similar to ‘Orphan’ or ‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’ but it wasn’t, it was just dreary. A really dreary read.

Overall, I don’t really recommend this book because the entire plot is written on the blurb. Hanna is evil. It upsets Suzette. That’s the whole plot. Feel free to leave a comment on what you thought of the book!