Review: Slender Man

Slender Man.png

I feel like this movie was released a little too late. Sure, there was a lot of Slender Man hype when I was maybe fifteen or sixteen but since then I personally feel like the hype died downed a bit. Maybe I just wasn’t looking in the right places but he was definitely super popular when I was a teenager. I played the game myself a few times with my friends and although really the game play is arguably a bit boring it used to scare the crap out of me.

For those who never played the game the premise is that you are in a woods being haunted by this figure called ‘Slender Man’. To escape the forest you need to find eight pieces of paper. 90% of the game is walking aimlessly around a forest, going back on yourself and only really gets interesting if you find a piece of paper or bump into Slender Man. Still, me and my friends were teenagers and the game was popular so we played it quite a few times and enjoyed it. There’s probably some old videos lurking around somewhere of us playing it.

I didn’t have high hopes when the film trailer was released. A film about Slender Man released this late is probably not going to be good. The film didn’t really follow the game as the premise of the movie was that four girls summon Slender Man and think nothing of it until their friend Katie goes missing. Soon the other three girls experience a supernatural presence stalking them and need to figure out how to stop it before it’s too late.

Sunny gif 3.gif

First of all, the characters. None of them were particularly likeable. My least favourite had to be Hallie who just seemed so fucking moody all the time and for what? She was rude to her sister Lizzie all the time over the most innocent things and just seemed like a pretty lame person to be around. She was also quick to brush away Wren’s concerns even though she’d been experiencing creepy things herself. She was honestly just super annoying throughout the entire thing.

I think maybe the worst part though is that it just… Wasn’t scary? Slender Man himself didn’t look scary and I think they showed him too much. It would’ve been better if it was a ‘The Blair Witch Project’ style movie where we see creepy things happening but we don’t see much of what’s causing them. Hints of Slender Man would’ve looked better than outright showing him because it just wasn’t scary in the slightest.

Also, it felt like the film kept randomly jumping and leaving things out? For example Hallie had a crush on this boy called Tom and it’s implied that by the end he was experiencing Slender Man related supernatural occurrences too but this wasn’t explored or resolved. There was also a sort of plot twist towards the end but this was just… Left. It’s difficult to explain without giving the plot away but it’s like we were just starting to get somewhere but then we didn’t.

And I’m sorry but the way they ‘summoned’ him was stupid. Spoilers ahead so beware – they summon him by clicking a video link and watching it. That’s literally all they did. I mean I’m no movie maker but I feel like it could’ve been something a bit more creative than that. It just felt really lazy and also stupid because who posted the video on the internet… Slender Man? Slender Man’s choosing his victims by uploading videos to the internet now? Okay then?

RM gif.gif

Maybe it could’ve been saved with a decent ending but nothing happened? I was watching and waiting for something to happen to actually explain the ridiculous events I’d just seen but I didn’t get anything. It just kind of ended with no conclusion whatsoever. The entire movie felt pointless because like really in the grand scheme of things nothing happened.

Overall, this film is pretty much every awful horror cliché rolled into a film and honestly it just sucks. When I went to see the film the cinema was packed and I watched several groups of people leave midway through and honestly I don’t blame them. I didn’t leave because I was hoping it would all piece together at the end but it did not. It was just a mess.

Time for a fun fact about the movie because we know how much I love them – the father of the girl whose life was nearly claimed by the ‘Slender Man stabbings’ spoke out against the movie saying it was a disgrace that Hollywood was making a film about events that led to a tragedy.

My final words for this movie are this – don’t go and watch it. Save your money and go watch a decent film instead.

Advertisements

Unfriended Dark Web Review

Unfriended Dark Web.jpg

Heads up, this review does contain spoilers so please don’t read if you’re not interested in that!

I’m pretty sure I didn’t know that ‘Unfriended’ was getting a sequel until I got a trailer in front of a YouTube video I was watching to advertise this movie. It caught my attention so instead of skipping it like I do with most YouTube ads I watched it and was immediately intrigued. I liked that this time they weren’t going for the supernatural element but for the whole hacker dark web thing instead. I’d say it was more realistic but I’m not sure that’s the right word – it just wasn’t supernatural like the first one.

I’m not really sure what I thought of the first one, I like the idea of it and how it’s done but I think the overall storyline could’ve been a bit better. I watched it at home with Becca once and she hated every character and only really liked Val (the mean one, typical Becca) which made me realise that actually none of the characters were particularly likeable. I think that was part of the point by the end but it was just also a bit pointless.

This wasn’t really the case with ‘Unfriended Dark Web’. I actually liked the characters, especially Serena and Nari. The only character I wasn’t sure about was Matias which was a bit annoying as he was the main character. All he seemed to do was make stupid decisions and I’m just not sure I liked him that much.

I’m getting ahead of myself – for those who haven’t seen the trailer, ‘Unfriended Dark Web’ is about a young man, Matias, who takes a laptop after he notices it’s been sitting in lost and found in his local web café for a few weeks. He manages to log into the laptop and begins skyping his friends but notices the system keeps crashing so his friend advises him the laptop might be full. Matias investigates and finds a series of sinister videos and messages which creeps him and his friends out. Before long the group notices they’re being watched by the original owner of the laptop who warns them that if they disconnect or contact the authorities they will die.

Tiffany scared gif.gif

Some aspects of the film were a little unrealistic. Matias tries to convince the group that the scary videos and messages were part of a game he was developing in the hopes their lives will be spared but the group are sent a video of one of their friends being pushed off the top of a building. Matias finally finds a way to warn the group that the whole thing is real and the group return to their game night in the hopes of convincing the hackers that they’re unaware of the truth. None of them seem too panicked that their friend is now dead at this point.

Also, I liked the ending and I like the idea but it also seems a bit… Coincidental? How did they know he would take the laptop and go home and skype a group of friends? Sure I skype my friends occasionally but only really when we’re planning something and none of us like doing face cam so we only have the mics on. What if a lonely pensioner had taken the laptop instead of Matias, would they just have stolen it back immediately? It was really very dependent on Matias taking it and I just don’t know how they could’ve predicted that he would. This paragraph probably only makes sense if you’ve watched the film but I didn’t want to spoil the ending.

Equally, Matias was given the opportunity to return the laptop but didn’t because he found a message that intrigued him and that’s how he discovered the videos in the first place. What if the message hadn’t caught his attention though and he’d just shut it down and taken it back? Would the events still have happened or not?

While we’re at it I think logic went a bit out the window at some points. The owner’s email address and password is saved for most websites but Matias deletes this and logs into his own Facebook account – yet he gets pop up Facebook messages for the owners account even though he’s not logged in? Everyone has logged into their own Facebook on a friends computer before and that just doesn’t happen. I suppose it could be argued that the hackers did this to trick Matias in the first place but he didn’t even seem surprised that he was getting notifications for an account he wasn’t logged into.

I’m going off on a tangent here. Regardless of the logic and coincidental unfolding of events I did actually enjoy the movie. It made a lot more sense than the first Unfriended and I’m actually glad they made the sequel this way instead of going for another supernatural movie. This one seemed more like a thriller film than a horror and it worked so much better.

My piece of trivia for this horror review is that in the original plotline the movie was set to follow on from the events of the first movie and revolve around Laura Barns targeting college freshman for their role in her suicide. I’m very glad they didn’t go down that route and instead went with this.

Overall, I did like the movie and I would definitely go and see it again. I recommend it for any horror fan and you don’t need to have seen the original to get this one. In fact, don’t watch the original ‘cos that one pretty much sucked anyway. But go and see this one!

Hereditary Review

Hereditary.jpg

I haven’t written a horror or book review in a while because I just don’t have as much motivation anymore – for a while I was churning out posts about my personal life and other interests so I just didn’t have the time anyway. Unfortunately lately I seem to have hit a brick wall and have a bit of writer’s block so I decided to return to my reviews and what better movie to review than one I had been absolutely desperate to see.

I was shocked to get to the cinema and find out my friend had not seen a single trailer for this movie. I have no idea how she managed to avoid it since it’s been everywhere. At the cinema, all over Facebook, it popped up before every YouTube video I watched. And I didn’t mind because it looked really good and I was counting down the days until it was finally released.

As a basic plot overview the main character is Annie whose Mother has just died and the film begins with the family attending her funeral. Before long the family start noticing strange occurrences and Annie believes they are being haunted by something their Mother left behind.

Harry Potter scared gif.gif

I was ready to like this film but unfortunately… I don’t think I did. I don’t particularly want to give away any spoilers but the trailer was extremely misleading and the film was almost completely different. In a way I sort of respect that because it did add shock value and didn’t completely give away the plot of the movie like some trailers do. As my friend hadn’t seen the trailer I advised her to go home and watch it because it shows a completely different movie.

Maybe I would’ve enjoyed it because the first twenty minutes or so were quite interesting and really got the plot going but then it completely slowed down and although things were happening I don’t think it was enough to keep me invested in the plot. I do appreciate that they didn’t rely on cheap jump scares because although those are scary in the moment they don’t particularly leave a lasting impression whereas I must admit some parts of this will stick with me (Annie banging her head manically against the ceiling sticks out as one). It didn’t necessarily have to be full of spooky moments though, I just felt like the story was very slow to get going.

Also I take issue with the ending. Becca swears down that she understands it and I think my issue with it is that I can’t accept it at face value. I have my own theory about what the ending meant but I can’t quite make sense of it in my head. I think I’m so desperate to have this theory because otherwise I just really didn’t like the ending. I’m not sure if it was meant to mean something else or if I was seriously supposed to accept what happened but I don’t know what to think.

2NE1 confused gif.gif

I’ll be honest and say I was a bit disappointed in this film. The start is really good and I won’t fault that but it sort of goes downhill from there with nothing really happening until the final ten minutes when it suddenly all kicks off. I feel quite bad writing this review because I honestly really wanted to enjoy it… But I didn’t.

On the bright side I think the acting was amazing, especially from Toni Collette who played Annie and Milly Shapiro did a good job as Charlie. Alex Wolff was good but he needs to stop with that awful, ugly crying it sounds absolutely horrendous and out of place with the tone of the film.

Time for a fun piece of horror trivia – according to Alex Wolff the original cut of the film could have easily been over three hours with mostly more family dialogue. I feel bad but like thank god, am I right?

Let me know if you saw this film and what you thought, whether you have any theories, whether you loved it or hated it, or whatever you wanna do!

Happy Death Day: Review by Holly Bareham

Happy Death Day.png

Happy Halloween guys! However you’re choosing to celebrate I hope you have a great day. I personally am stuck at work and by the time I thought about having the day off I realised there wouldn’t be enough cover in the office so… I’ll probably watch a horror film later tonight though just to say I’ve done something.

So for those of you who never saw this trailer you’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding it because for a while it was all over Facebook and people were freaking out about it. To be honest I thought it looked interesting but I also thought it looked like one of those films that would just annoy the Hell out of me. I assumed right from the start it would be dreadful but I was still intrigued so I decided to give it a go.

‘Happy Death Day’ is about a college student who is murdered on her birthday but wakes up the next morning on her birthday. She is forced to relive the same day over and over again until she can figure out who her killer is and stop her own death.

Jungkook gif.gif

I actually really enjoyed it. I was intrigued the entire time and I found the whole thing really entertaining. It didn’t take itself too seriously which is just as well because it simply wouldn’t have worked if it had. Although at first most of the characters were unlikeable this was deliberate for the overall message of the film which was essentially ‘don’t be an asshole’. I ended up really liking Tree, the main character, by the end and I liked Carter right from the start.

Maybe I’m an idiot but I didn’t guess who the killer was at all. My friend told me she’d guessed before we even went in and was really bemused that I hadn’t figured it out. Listen, it’s good to be an idiot when watching films – I’m always shocked when the plot twist is revealed. I really liked this one. It was kind of ridiculous but in a good way.

As long as you don’t take it too seriously it’s a really good film. It’s entertaining and I’d really like to see it again before it leaves cinemas but I’m not sure I’ll have the time. I definitely wanna get it on DVD when it’s released though. I just really liked it and I’m quite surprised to say how many positive reviews it has on iMDB. Maybe we all low-key expected it to be trash but because it wasn’t that bad we can’t help by like it.

Compared to other horror films this year it just feels really refreshing. This is what ‘The Bye Bye Man’ should’ve been like because that was dreadful and took itself way too seriously. ‘Happy Death Day’ mocked itself and it worked really well!

Time for my piece of horror film trivia. There was quite a bit on iMDB and it was all pretty interesting but I’ve chosen this one: The scene where Tree walks across campus completely naked had to be done quickly as it was being filmed on an active campus thus presenting the risk of students witnessing the scene being filmed and taking photos. In the end they managed to do it in just 2-3 takes.

I recommend this if you haven’t already seen it and are looking for something interesting to watch this Halloween. I was genuinely really pleasantly surprised by this film so go into it with an open mind and just view it for it is: a bit of fun.

The Darkness: Review by Holly Bareham

The Darkness.jpg

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.

Spooky Scary Skeletons gif

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.