Brahms: The Boy 2 – Review

The Boy 2

This review will contain spoilers because boy do I have some thoughts about this film. It came out months ago but I just need to get this off my chest.

I wrote a review about the original film ‘The Boy’ here and I really enjoyed it. I’d seen the trailer on Facebook a few months before the film actually came out and was immediately hyped to see it. It looked interesting and although I was worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectations I was happy to say that it did. Arguably my favourite thing about it was the plot twist.

For those unfamiliar with the original film a nanny named Greta moves into a large British house to look after a child only to discover the child is actually a doll. Through a series of unexplainable events Greta begins to think the doll is possessed by the spirit of Brahms, a child who passed away in a fire years ago. After her abusive ex-boyfriend breaks the doll it’s revealed that the doll was never possessed, the real Brahms (now an adult) has been living within the walls of the house and making it seem like the doll was alive.

The Boy

That’s a quick overview anyway.

What I enjoyed is that we have a number of creepy doll films and this was one of the most original and well thought out, compared to the likes of films like Annabelle and it was actually genuinely scary. A grown man pretending to be a child scuttling around the walls of an old abandoned house is 100% scarier than a small possessed doll.

When this trailer was released I was instantly worried because it looked like they’d gone back on everything the first film had shown us and I saw many other comments from equally worried people. The trailer made it look like a supernatural horror in which the doll genuinely was possessed but some people advised that the trailer for the original film had looked this way – maybe it was to mask the original plot twist for people who hadn’t seen the first film? I kept an open mind and went to see this film with my friends Becca and Jess a couple of days after it was released.

The Boy 2 still

Jesus. The only good thing I can say for it is that it was short. We went to the 6:45PM showing and we were out by 8:30PM. None of us enjoyed it or could find anything positive to say about the film. A lot of time with horror films we have quite differing opinions – for example Becca loved ‘Hereditary’ whereas Jess and I weren’t that keen. This film was unanimous – we all agreed it was dreadful.

It was like they took everything that I’d enjoyed about the first film and crapped on it. Brahms, the actual child/adult from the first film had supposedly been acting under the influence of the possessed doll which makes literally zero sense. The doll was made to look like the Heelshire’s ‘dead’ child and that was the reason he was called Brahms in the first place. To suddenly decide the doll actually dated back thousands of years before ‘The Boy’ even took place was a weird decision.

My main issue is that we’ve seen this film. A family suffer something traumatic together, decide to move somewhere secluded, child finds ‘possessed’ object, creepy things start to occur. My favourite thing about ‘The Boy’ was that it brought something different to the table whereas this took a decent plot and turned it into ‘Generic Horror Movie #58271’. There was nothing new, nothing interesting, it was a film I’ve seen 100 times before. Which for a standalone film would maybe be forgiven but for a sequel to a good film? Unacceptable. I’m shocked to see it’s written and directed by the same people – absolute sell-outs, clearly more interested with a profit for this movie rather than creating something decent.

The Boy 2 still 2

I read a couple of fan plots on iMDB that would’ve literally been a million times more interesting than this generic mess of a film so you’re honestly telling me that this was the best the professionals could come up with? It also sort of ruined the ending of ‘The Boy’ as in this it looks like Brahms has somehow survived and put the smashed doll back together to continue living alone in the house through the doll which was eerie and worked well. Whereas in ‘The Boy 2’ they’re like ‘nah he died, some creepy random old man found the little pieces of the doll and put him back together – and now he’s gonna spend the rest of the film uselessly hanging around, being a little bit creepy but overall not adding much to the plot.’

Parts of it also just made zero sense compared to the first film. The reason adult Brahms reveals himself is because Greta’s abusive ex-boyfriend smashed the doll which just went into pieces (as it would) whereas in this film the Dad smashes the doll to reveal some burnt up little, I don’t even know, demon I guess sitting inside the doll. I just… What was the point in that, huh? What did that even mean, what did that represent?

And then the ending. I’m gonna spoil it for you. The son chucks the doll into the fire, they all leave, go to a new house, it looks like they’ve had a happy ending and then the son gets up, puts the Brahms mask on and says “I think we’ll be happy here.” Does this mean Brahms won? Because throughout the film Brahms wanted the son to go to the mansion and to live with him there alone so I’m not… How did Brahms win? How is he with the son? It made literally zero sense and it wasn’t even scary. Big deal.

I genuinely don’t have a single good thing to say about ‘Brahms the Boy 2’. I will forever love the first film but this… I can’t accept this, it was just plain awful. I’ve never been so disappointed by a film in my entire life.

So overall, I definitely don’t recommend this film for anyone – if you enjoyed the first film you will hate this film, if you didn’t like the first film you will also hate this film, if you haven’t watched either films then definitely watch ‘The Boy’ ‘cos I really recommend it but don’t watch this. It’s an absolute disgrace, honestly.

What I Miss About ‘Normal’ Life

Shelley's Party

I know I was aiming for more ‘light-hearted’ content but I wanted to write a quick post about the things I’m missing today. Although overall I’m doing okay I am having moments or days where I’m completely fed-up and instead of focusing on what I can do I’m focusing on what I can’t do. I don’t want to take that attitude ‘cos that’ll just make things more difficult but maybe writing a list will help as it’ll show me what I have to look forward to when we eventually get out of lockdown (and I think it’ll be a while before we’re completely out of it). But here we go, some things that in no particular order, I miss about ‘normal life’.

Nights Out

50th Birthday

I literally only went clubbing once for the entirety of last year (although I did go to a few parties) but I weirdly miss it now that I can’t do it. I went earlier this year with my friend Sorcha and we had a good time and we had been planning to go again the week the country went into proper lockdown. I was looking forward to it but if I’d been asked to compile a list of my favourite things to do clubbing wouldn’t have been very high. I prefer parties and getting drunk whilst dancing to cheesy music with friends and their family (who I trust) rather than being surrounded by strangers listening to tunes that I don’t know.

And yet, here I am, wanting to get dressed up and go for a night out on the town with my best friends. When the clubs open up again I think it’ll be one of the first things I do, I already have my outfit picked out so I’m bloody ready for a night out.

Drunk Conversations with my Friends

Girls

After Hirst’s Halloween party last year me, Jess and Becca stumbled back to my house, ordered takeout and just talked until stupid o’clock in the morning. On New Year’s Eve we met up again to get drunk and although we mostly played games my favourite moments were our drunken conversations about life, politics and everything in between. One of my favourite parts of being drunk is the stupid conversations me and my friends have.

Okay, so I could get drunk and FaceTime my friends but God it’s not the same. Alcohol goes one of two ways for me, I’ll either be super happy or super sad so if I end up super sad I don’t think it’ll help my lockdown life at all. So I’d rather wait until I can see them in person. I want a night in at one of their houses playing stupid drinking games or something, or maybe just a drunk conversation and takeout session after our night out at the club. I just miss them so much!

Long Car Rides

Weirdly specific but obviously I haven’t left my hometown since this all kicked off. Once a week me, my Mum and brother would drive to visit my Nan in West Bromwich and the journey would take about 40 minutes in the car to get there and then another 40 minutes to get home and I loved sitting back and listening to music whilst staring out the window. My Mum’s still driving over to my Nan’s, not for a visit but to drop off supplies and I did think about volunteering to go with her as company for the car ride but she generally pops over before work and also maybe she appreciates just having some alone time in the car.

In fact, this doesn’t just apply to cars. I also miss long train journeys. I’m used to visiting London quite regularly and I appreciate the long train journey. It’s just a nice bit of time to sit and relax. Obviously I’m still listening to music and chilling at home but it’s not the same.

Meals Out

Me + Ian

I’ve been lucky enough to not have any specific cravings for fast food or my favourite foods from particular restaurants but that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss them. Having to think what to make myself for dinner every single bloody night is grating on me, I don’t like spending too much time in ASDA anymore so I feel like I can’t go up and down looking for ingredients so I’m grabbing whatever’s convenient. I can’t wait to go back to a restaurant, have someone cook my food for me and then do the washing up for me like yes please.

The places I miss the most are probably Wetherspoons (controversial but it’s cheap and quick) and TGI Friday’s (which is weird ‘cos I never even ate there that often). I’ve not had many cravings for fast food like McDonalds or KFC but no doubt once those open I’ll go and grab some. Weirdly I’m also missing my Boots meal deals that I’d grab at lunchtime which is very irritating as I was getting bored of them when I was still working in the office.

I know we can still get takeout from certain places but my parents are being absolute snakes and keep ordering it without telling me so I haven’t even been able to enjoy that at the moment, I just keep having to cook for myself and it’s stressful. Every time I go to the shop I forget every food I’ve ever enjoyed so I’m finding myself eating a lot of the same lately.

Cinema

Cineworld

I love going to the cinema. I love going to my local Cineworld, ordering myself a large milkshake and then settling into my seat to pay attention to a film for a couple of hours. I can watch films at home but my attention wavers a lot at home whereas at the cinema I’m able to focus solely on the film even if I’m not 100% enjoying it. I’m way fussier about films at home, I don’t know why, I think it’s because I’m surrounded by too much temptation. Plus I’m one of those people who won’t even take their phone out for a split second to check the time in the cinema ‘cos I think it’s really rude so it’s almost impossible to get distracted.

There were some cracking films coming out this year as well that have been pushed back, the one I was looking forward to most was definitely ‘A Quiet Place 2’. I can’t wait for the cinemas to be open again, honestly.

Browsing in Stores

I’ve managed to perfect my food shop so that I only need to go to ASDA once every two weeks now and whilst I used to really enjoy shopping I actually low-key dread it now. Okay, that’s not entirely true – I like getting out of the house to actually do something but God being in the store stresses me out. I feel the first few aisles are okay, everyone’s respectful and I wonder why I got so worried. Then the middle and end aisles are horrendous, people just don’t give a damn about social distancing and can’t follow the arrows on the floor. By the time I’m done I’m absolutely exhausted from shoving round my full trolley whilst trying to avoid getting too close to anybody else.

Before lockdown I was a ‘shop as and when’ girl so I’d put enough food for the next couple of days into a basket and then just go out when I needed. I also liked to take my time, weigh up my options in my mind, did I really fancy that etc. Now it’s basically grab and go. Nowadays I sort out a mental list of everything I need a couple of days before I go and try my best to stick to that. It’s also more annoying now if I forget anything non-essential. Last Monday I forgot to grab custard but obviously won’t be popping out to buy any. I miss being able to take my time and also not worrying that all the other shoppers were gonna infect me with a deadly disease because they don’t understand the concept of bloody social distancing.

It’s not just grocery stores either, I used to pop to my local shopping centre every lunchtime at work and I’d love to have a browse in PRIMARK and other stores but that’s obviously not an option at the moment.

Visiting Family and Friends

Me + Little Nan

This is obvious and I’d imagine probably applies to most people. Obviously I’m still talking to my friends but it’s not the same as when we’re all sat in a room together chatting shit. Or out and about doing something. My Dad’s phoning me once a week but it’s not the same as going to his house for dinner. I used to see my Nan weekly which I obviously can’t anymore so I’ve been writing her letters and putting them in with the food deliveries my Mum takes. But it’s obviously never going to be the same as seeing your loved ones in person.

Unfortunately I think my grandparents will be some of the last people I see because even once the restrictions are lifted we’re still going to be a risk to our elderly relatives. I know my brother’s missing my Nan (he keeps throwing tantrums whenever I look after him the little shit) so it’s a shame it’s going to take so long to get back to ‘normal’. But we’ll all have to be patient.

Having the House to Myself

I love having the house to myself. As many of you may know I really don’t get on well with my step-dad and even if I did I’d still appreciate having some alone time to roam around the house. Sometimes it’s just for an evening or sometimes it’s for a bit longer if my parents are on holiday. I like it because I have full access to the kitchen to make whatever I want without worrying I’m taking too long and I can also sit in the living room which apparently is a privilege in our house.

To be fair I imagined we’d have all reached boiling point by now since none of us can go anywhere but we’re ticking by okay. But I’m still looking forward to when they can go out again so I can have the house to myself again. At the moment I’m sort of just stuck in my room and although it could be worse it could also be better.

Travelling

Tokyo 2

I was due to go to Sweden over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend but that obviously didn’t go ahead. To be fair I already knew before we went into full lockdown that I wouldn’t be able to go but in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t the end of the world. As I’ve pointed out a couple of times I managed to have my big trip to Florida in February so I could give up my weekend in Sweden. I’m due to go to Disneyland Paris for four nights in November but obviously that’s not a certainty anymore but I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I think that since I’ve booked it all through a travel company they’ll be able to rebook for me so it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Last year I did tons of travelling, probably the most I’ve ever done in a year (6 countries) and I really miss it. I think it’s hard not being able to book anything to look forward to because we don’t know when everything’s going to be back to normal. Yeah, I am struggling with the lack of travel. I can’t even explore the UK at the moment let alone other countries.

Theatre

Me + Hirst

I bloody love going to the theatre and to be fair, before we went into lockdown I’d already been a fair few times. Shortly beforehand I managed to see Six two nights in a row, the first with my Mum and then the second time with Hirst. I’d also had a few weekends in London watching various different shows. I am missing it though. In April I was meant to see ‘Friends – The Musical Parody’ which unfortunately was cancelled. Me and Mum were due to see ‘Mary Poppins’ for the first weekend in June but I’m certain that will be postponed which is a shame as it was my Christmas present. I’m definitely missing my theatre trips.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things that I miss if I thought about it for a while longer but these are the main ones. Feel free to let me know what you guys are missing but for now stay home and stay safe.

20 Favourite 2019 Movies

Cineworld

2019 was a fairly good year for movies. Now that I have my Cineworld card back I managed to go and see a fair few – not all of the ones that I wanted to see but most of them! I decided to write a list of my top twenty that I managed to see this year. This is just my opinion and bear in mind I didn’t see every single release in 2019! But here were my top twenty picks.

20. Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

Midsommar Still 3

So… I wrote a pretty scathing review of this film here and I still stand by everything I said. The film was too long, too slow, didn’t keep enough of an atmosphere. Yet I can’t get this film out of my head and I’m actually vaguely irritated because I love the idea, I thought the acting was phenomenal it’s just that it let itself down (in my opinion). Although I sort of disliked it though I can’t stop reading theories about the film and I absolutely love that scene where they all dance to be the May Queen (no idea why, I just think it’s a great scene). I’ve also watched the majority of the deleted scenes. This film just managed to leave the biggest impact on me this year regardless of the fact that I didn’t like it so for that specific reason it’s made it onto the list.

19. Ma (Tate Taylor, 2019)

Film Title: Ma

I don’t think this film was in cinemas for long and the showings were all really awkward, like late night showings. I was staying in a hotel literally a minute walk from a cinema though whilst this was on so decided to go and see it – the trailer didn’t look ground-breaking or anything like that but everyone knows I like a good horror so I decided to give it a chance. As predicted it wasn’t anything to get excited about but it was an okay film. I wouldn’t be upset if anyone wanted to watch it but I also wouldn’t go out of my way to suggest it either.

18. What Men Want (Adam Shankman, 2019)

What Men Want

Apparently this is sort of a reverse on ‘What Women Want’ which was released in 2001 but I’ve never seen it so I can’t comment. I quite like a good chick flick so I decided to give this a go. Again, nothing ground-breaking but it had its funny moments, its heart-warming moments, its sad moments – everything that goes into a good chick flick.

17. Instant Family (Sean Anders, 2019)

Instant Family

I hadn’t really intended to go and see this film as although it looked okay I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy over it. However I was looking after my brother one morning and we both like going to the cinema and he likes anything aimed at children or anything funny so off we both went. And I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would to be fair. I’m not sure how accurate of the fostering system the film is as it certainly wouldn’t work like that in the UK but it is still ultimately a comedy film and it worked well.

16. Toy Story 4 (Josh Cooley, 2019)

Toy Story 4

I absolutely love the Toy Story movies, they might even be my favourite Disney films. I think my favourite is Toy Story 3 even though unfortunately I’ve seen it one too many times – but arguably one of my favourite things about Toy Story 3 was the ending. The three films were solid and had the best possible ending. So why on earth did they make a fourth? I enjoyed it but definitely felt the story would’ve been better to end with three, I wasn’t keen on the ending of the fourth one. However it was still enjoyable and I liked some of the characters – I thought Forky would be really annoying but ended up liking him more than I thought and I liked Gabbie too. So I guess it was still a good film.

15. A Dog’s Journey (Gail Mancusco, 2019)

FILM-JOURNEY-REVIEW

I absolutely loved [first film] so when I saw there was a sequel I dragged my brother along to see it with me. This one was just as heart-warming as the first and I enjoyed it so much that when I spotted the book on my way back from San Francisco I decided to give it a read. The book is sadder and although I loved it I prefer the film because I’m a sucker for happy endings. I really enjoyed it, I need to re-watch both of these films.

14. Booksmart (Olivia Wilde, 2019)

Booksmart.jpg

I actually loved this film. An amazing chick flick with a good feminist twist that still managed to be super funny. The chemistry between Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein was incredible, I truly believed in their friendship! And it was nice to see some LGBT representation just for the sake of it rather than having that be the central point of the story. I’d definitely watch this film again as I just loved it!

13. Shazam! (David Sandberg, 2019)

Shazam

I’m much more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan I won’t lie. But this film looked decent and I decided to give it a go. It was actually much better than I thought it would be, it was really funny, heart-warming and just generally a good film. I’d definitely watch it again and hopefully there’s a sequel in the works because I’d go and watch it in a heartbeat.

12. Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (Rob Letterman, 2019)

Detective Pikachu

When I was a little kid I was absolutely obsessed with Pokémon but irritatingly I think members of my family but me to suppress my love for it because it was ‘for boys’. My brother was allowed to buy Pokémon cards but when I wanted to buy them with my own money I was told no. Still vaguely irritated by that now. Everyone freaked out when this trailer was released and the Pokémon did look a bit weird but it must’ve been difficult to bring them into a live action movie and keep them looking realistic. They did a better job than Sonic though, let’s be real. But yeah, the film was really good and I think I’d watch it again given the opportunity.

11. Happy Death Day 2U (Christopher Landon, 2019)

Happy Death Day 2U.jpg

I low-key enjoyed ‘Happy Death Day’ because like whilst it was ridiculous at least the filmmakers acknowledged it and rolled with it instead of trying to make it too serious (looking at you ‘The Bye Bye Man’). So I was keen to see the sequel. I won’t lie the film almost seemed like an excuse to justify the first one. In ‘Happy Death Day’ it’s never explained why Tree is stuck in a loop reliving the same day and it’s like they made a sequel to say ‘THIS IS HOW SO IT MAKES SENSE OKAY’. Regardless I still enjoyed it because like the first one it definitely didn’t take itself seriously and it was a lot of fun.

10. Escape Room (Adam Robitel, 2019)

Escape Room

I really can’t remember watching any trailers for this movie, it came out so early in 2019. I must’ve seen a trailer at some point and was probably instantly ready to watch it. Unfortunately I watched it just two days before I did my first ever escape room experience myself but you know, it was fine. I loved this film, I thought it was well-thought out and it had good pacing like I was on the edge of my seat for some scenes. My worst room was when the floor kept dropping like my heart was in my mouth for most of that. I loved this film!

9. IT: Chapter Two (Andres Muschietti, 2019)

IT Chapter Two

Although I enjoyed the first film I wouldn’t have said I ‘loved’ it. My friend Becca on the other hand absolutely loved the first film and insisted we had to see Chapter Two the night it was released so off me, her and Jess went to see it. And I actually loved it. We recently rewatched the first one and I see Becca’s point of view now because they are good films. I loved that they’re more realistic in terms of how people would react to being in such a situation and the mix of comedy and horror. It just works really well and I love it!

8. Aladdin (Guy Ritchie, 2019)

Aladdin

This is another Disney film I absolutely loved as a child (and still do love) so when they announced they were turning it into a live action I was nervous – especially when they released the first stills as Will Smith as the Genie because although I love Will Smith it definitely didn’t look good. To be fair to Will though he had some pretty big shoes to fill and he did a fantastic job, it was just the stills that had made it look a bit horrendous. I liked that they gave Jasmine more of a feminist storyline and also ‘Speechless’ is an amazing song. I’m so glad they did a good job with this film as I’d have been gutted if they hadn’t!

7. Little Women (Greta Gerwig, 2019)

Little Women

I’m never sure if films released at the very end of the year are 2019 releases or 2020 but considering I saw it in 2019 and it was released in that year I’m going to count it. From the moment I saw the trailer for this film I was excited to see it. I’d bought the book a few years previously but couldn’t get past the first few pages. I’m not sure I’m keen on classics but I’ve kept hold of the book in case I wanted to read it after watching the film and I think I might do. They got an amazing cast for this film like actually incredible and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d definitely be down to go and watch this film again.

6. Avengers: End Game (Anthony Russo & Joe Russo, 2019)

End Game

I was absolutely crushed by the ending of Infinity War and was low-key furious that I had to wait an entire year to see what happened but God it was worth the wait. There were aspects of the film that I wasn’t keen on but I still loved it. I watched it at midnight in 4DX with my sister Holly, my friend Emma and her boyfriend Alan and it was an amazing night. I was so happy to finally see this film and like I said, it was worth the wait!

5. Captain Marvel (Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, 2019)

Captain Marvel

Ya’ll are trashing this film ‘cos it’s a Marvel film about a woman, I don’t care how you try and defend it, this film was under scrutiny from the moment it was announced and some people were never gonna like it out of principle – but this film was way more interesting and thought out than any Iron Man film I’ve ever seen yet all I see is people moaning about it. It’s actually infuriating. This movie was a gem from start to finish, I love Carol to pieces and the plot was just so interesting! So many twists and turns! Please God give us a sequel because I need more Carol Denvers in my life.

4. Spider-Man: Far From Home (Jon Watts, 2019)

Spider Man

Obviously I wanted to see this film, I loved the first Spider-Man movie, I love Tom Holland, I love Peter Parker, of course I was going to watch it. For some reason, I can’t remember why I was a bit late to go and watch it like it had already been out for a couple of weeks and I saw people raving about this film wherever I went. Luckily it lived up to the hype because I loved it, it was so clever and that ENDING. I’m glad Sony and Marvel have worked things out because we need to see what happens next, I can’t stand not knowing. Give me the next Spider-Man film like now please.

3. Frozen 2 (Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck, 2019)

Frozen 2

Listen, fair play to the people that made the sequel because they could’ve released pretty much anything after Frozen’s success and everybody would’ve gone to watch it anyway. But instead they made a decent sequel with amazing songs (Into the Unknown? Iconic. Show Yourself? Incredible. The Next Right Things? Makes me cry.) and good character development. I’m sick of people trashing Frozen and saying there are other Disney movies with the same values – this one just happened to blow up and still has a good message about following your heart, about sisterhood, about friendship, about not trusting everyone you meet immediately etc. Stop whinging about it for crying out loud!

2. Us (Jordan Peele, 2019)

Us

I was SO hyped when the trailer for this dropped because it looked incredible and of course Jordan Peele absolutely delivered. So did Lupita Nyong’o like I’m sorry but where’s her Oscar for this performance? Absolutely incredible. This was an amazing horror that had me on the edge of my seat and creeped me out for ages. It’s not perfect because when me and my friends were discussing the plot there are a few holes but it’s still an incredible idea and was executed perfectly. The pacing was good, it didn’t go on and on and it was just really creepy! Definitely one of the best films of 2019 without a doubt.

1. Ready or Not (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett, 2019)

Ready or Not

Like my top spot from 2018 I think this film made it to the top simply because it impressed me so much. I was looking forward to watching it because it looked good and I wanted to understand why they needed to hunt her down and kill her. When I saw it at the cinema I thought it was a little slow to get started but once it going it really got going. I thought this was another example of how someone would genuinely react to being stuck in this situation and they didn’t take themselves too seriously. The concept itself is ridiculous but the filmmakers acknowledged that and made the film accordingly. For those reasons alone it takes my top movie for 2019!

There we have it, my top twenty films from 2019. Feel free to leave your favourites in the comments or any that you think I missed!

My Five Comfort Movies

Wild Child

Let’s be real, we all have movies that we put on when we’re sad, worried or just in a bad mood that we watch without really thinking about. I thought I’d write a quick post about five of my comfort movies in no particular order. These are just movies that I can stick on whenever I need to that usually make me feel better.

Rugrats in Paris (Stig Bergqvist, 2000)

Rugrats in Paris gif.gif

My Grandad had been feeling ill for a few months then was admitted to hospital where within just a couple of weeks he deteriorated so badly that he was put on end of life care. He’d been on this care a few days when on Friday night at about 2AM my Mom got a call. I was only just getting into bed so I came out onto the landing and asked what was going on knowing full well what the answer was going to be. She said she wasn’t sure but her and my step-dad had been asked to come to the hospital straightaway.

We both knew what the news was going to be and she asked if she wanted me to wait until the morning or if she should text me. I asked her to text me and she set off. The hospital wasn’t our local one, it was a good forty-five minute drive or longer and I knew it would be a while before I heard off her. So I opened Netflix and put on this movie.

I’ll be honest it didn’t bring me much comfort but it was background noise and it was playing when I received the text that my Grandad had passed away. Once I knew I switched it off and went to bed. There was no point in staying up any later.

But this film has been there for me plenty of other times. It’s one of my favourites to put on if I’ve got the house to myself and I’m feeling a bit creeped out. This is lame but it always makes me cry – the bit where Chuckie’s looking out the window of the plane and missing his Mom, the bit where he runs into the church yelling ‘NO’ ‘cos he doesn’t want his Dad to marry Coco, WHEN HE GETS THE MOM HE WANTED AT THE END OF THE FILM, it’s honestly just nothing but tears from me. I hope Netflix never take this movie off because it’s one of them that I’ll always watch when I’m upset.

Into The Woods (Rob Marshall, 2014)

Into The Woods gif 2.gif

I loved Into The Woods from the moment I first saw it. Interestingly I didn’t see a trailer or anything for this movie but went along because I saw it listed on Chris Pine’s iMDB page and I’m a massive Chris Pine fan. Normally I can’t stand films where there’s not much speaking and it’s mostly singing – I do love musicals but I like at least a 50/50 of singing and talking with preferably more talking than singing. Into The Woods is my exception. I ended up going back to the cinema and seeing it six times.

My brother has severe autism and occasionally I do my Mom a favour and cover annual leave for his carers and look after him. A few times I’ve had to sleep overnight starting when I was about eighteen. At first I was too scared to go up to the carers room and get into bed so I used to put a film on downstairs and try to sleep on the sofa. One night I tried putting this film on as background noise and it worked wonders. It’s just a comforting film despite the dark themes.

I’m older now and not as scared so I do just switch all the lights off and go to bed at my brothers house, and at home when my parents are away but this film does still bring me comfort if I’m home alone and feeling a bit nervous. I don’t particularly like any silence when I’m at home by myself so this is a good film to have on in the background so I can singalong and not feel so worried anymore.

My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)

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I didn’t really like this film when I first saw it because I didn’t see the point of it. I thought it was sweet but it wasn’t a film I particularly wanted to see again. I’m not sure what changed but I’m pretty sure this is now my favourite Ghibli film. I love Totoro so much!

I prefer watching it in English but have seen the Japanese version too – I don’t have an issue with reading subtitles but when you’re floating in and out of the movie it’s better to have it on in a language you actually understand. Most Ghibli films are like this but it’s just a relaxing film with a nice ending.

FUN FACT I got to go to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo which was super fun – unfortunately we went on our last full day in Tokyo so I was exhausted by then but it was still amazing. Which was just as well as you can’t buy tickets at the museum you have to do it a month in advance and the tickets were released at 2AM UK time and buying them was super stressful as the website kept crashing – but in the end I got them and got to go! If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo and you’re a Ghibli fan you definitely have to go to the museum.

Matilda (Danny DeVito, 1996)

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I’ve loved this film ever since I was a little kid. Let’s be real, who didn’t want to have Matilda’s mind powers growing up? It sends a great message about how your parents aren’t always right just because they’re your parents and sometimes family isn’t always the best thing for you. The fact Miss Honey adopts Matilda at the end of the film and there’s no rubbish of ‘she stays with her family because family is important’ is AMAZING.

I also love the stage show because although it’s quite different it keeps the same central message and the songs are really good. I’ve seen it a few times and haven’t got bored of it yet. I just wish the tickets weren’t so expensive, I’ve only seen it from the back and I’d love to spend a bit extra to sit a bit closer.

This is another film that as I’ve seen so many times I can just put it on and it can be comforting background noise, and I can tune back into it wherever I want and I’ll be able to pick up the story. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like this film and would be amazed if I ever did.

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (Gurinder Chadha, 2008)

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I don’t know what it is about this film but I just love it. I don’t think I saw this one at the cinema when I was younger but I remember my friend letting me borrow her DVD and for a while I watched it every day when I returned from school until in the end I had to give it her back. They added it to Netflix and I’m not sure if it’s still on there but if it is and you haven’t seen it yet then you need to, this film is iconic.

Overall I definitely prefer the books, they are the only books that have ever made me genuinely laugh out loud but the movie is still amazing in its own right. It never fails to cheer me up and the song at the end (Ultraviolet) is an absolute bop. It’s got everything that a feel good film needs. I remember watching this in English class and the moment it finished my teacher decided she NEEDED the t-shirt that Robbie wears at the end with a picture of Angus on it so she ordered it straightaway.

So there we have it, my five comfort movies! Feel free to leave a comment with the five movies that always bring you comfort or cheer you up whenever you’re down.

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.

20 Favourite 2018 Movies

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I have an Unlimited card for Cineworld so I visit the cinema quite regularly so managed to see quite a few films this year – unfortunately not all of the ones that I’d wanted to see but I did see a fair few. I figured I’d write a list of my favourite 2018 releases! Here goes nothing.

20. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (David Yates, 2018)

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Although I’m a massive fan of the Harry Potter series I hadn’t initially loved the Fantastic Beasts movie. I’d wanted to because I love everything related to the Harry Potter world but I just didn’t care as much about it as I did Harry Potter. I still went to see the new Fantastic Beasts movie with my friends and ended up low-key enjoying it even though there were some parts that confused me a bit. I remember one guy was making a speech and I was like “Yeah cool” and then I was suddenly like “Wait, what?”

Also, I realised I couldn’t remember pretty much anything from the first movie. My friend Jess kept asking me if certain characters had been in the first film and I literally couldn’t tell her. Plus I’m not 100% certain how the plot twist at the end is going to work but like… We’ll see I guess? Also, parts of it annoyed me because they just weren’t touched upon. Jacob came back and was like “Hey, I have my memories!” and Newt was like “That’s cool!” And then… That was that.

I’ll go and see the new Fantastic Beasts movie when it’s made but I’m not like counting down the days or anything.

19. The Darkest Minds (Jennifer Nelson, 2018)

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When I first saw this movie advertised I wasn’t blown away or anything and truthfully I only went to see it out of boredom. There wasn’t much else on at the time and I didn’t want to go home yet so I went to the cinema and watched this. And I actually ended up rather enjoying it.

Okay, it wasn’t perfect, the movie was definitely seemed like it was setting up for a sequel with much from the trailer not actually happening. We’re made to believe the teens begin to rebel against the adults but that doesn’t really happen in the sense that we thought it would. I don’t know, it was enjoyable and if there was a sequel I’d probably go and see it but like… It wasn’t amazing or anything.

18. Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed, 2018)

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The original Ant-Man movie wasn’t one of my favourite Marvel films ever but I still had to go and watch the sequel. Infinity War had already been released and I wanted to see if it tied in with this movie. And it did in the post credits scene which was interesting.

It was actually pretty decent – funny, full of action, and it held my interest. Ant-Man isn’t my favourite Marvel super hero but I won’t be so reluctant to see any of his standalone movies in the future.

17. Ralph Breaks the Internet (Rich Moore, Phil Johnston, 2018)

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I’ve only seen the first Wreck-it-Ralph a couple of times but was hyped to see the sequel. I love the internet and was looking forward to seeing all of those aspects mixed with retro games. I was practically counting down the days until its release and was disappointed when I couldn’t go see it on the day it came out. But I went a week later and was… A bit disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the overall message and it was still a good movie but they’d pretty much showed the best and funniest bits in the trailer. Also (SPOILER ALERT) that massive Ralph made of all the little Ralphs really had me creeped out. I think I was disappointed because I’d been looking forward to it for so long that I was actually a bit deflated when I did eventually see it. The scenes with the Disney Princesses were always amazing though!

16. The Grinch (Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier, 2018)

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My friends and a lot of adults on the internet are reluctant to see these film because they loved the original so much. I was looking forward to it because hey, a Christmas film! I wish it hadn’t been released in November though, whose bright idea was that? Also people are trashing it because everyone’s decided they hate Benedict Cumberbatch for whatever reason…

The best thing to do is just view them as two different things. It’s the same basic story but it’s being told in a different way now – that doesn’t take away any light from the original. Maybe it helped that I’d only seen the original Grinch film once so I wasn’t as attached to it as some people are but I went into the remake with an open mind and actually really enjoyed it. It was funny, it was Christmassy, it warmed my heart… It was a good film. I’d probably watch it next Christmas if given the option because I really enjoyed it.

15. Christopher Robin (Marc Forster, 2018)

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I feel like this movie rekindled my love for Winnie the Pooh because oh my god, I love Winnie the Pooh and I loved this movie! It was a bit predictable but it didn’t take away any of the enjoyment. It’s a shame I only saw it once whilst it was on at cinemas because I really enjoyed it and would gladly go see it again. I love Winnie the Pooh so much!

14. Deadpool 2 (David Leitch, 2018)

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Deadpool’s a funny one for me because I feel like I do enjoy the films when I sit down to watch them but if you ask me in between movies if I’m a Deadpool fan my answer is usually no. But I did enjoy Deadpool 2, it was funny (as one would expect) and had a pretty good storyline. I didn’t watch the Christmas Deadpool movie (I didn’t actually see it advertised anywhere) but I wouldn’t mind seeing it ‘cos Deadpool’s pretty cool. I did enjoy this movie.

13. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (J. A. Bayona, 2018)

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I actually quite like the Jurassic World movies but maybe that’s because I hadn’t seen the original Jurassic Park films. This movie was really good and had me on the edge of my seat for pretty much the entirety of it and I just overall really enjoyed it, maybe even more than the first one. I hope they release another one because I wouldn’t going to see it!

12. The Meg (Jon Turteltaub, 2018)

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I haven’t seen tons of shark movies and only really went to see this one because my friend suggested it. I think I was so impressed because I wasn’t really expecting much to come out of a movie about a big shark. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and really enjoyed it. However my Mom watched it with my step-dad because he’s a big fan of shark films and she said it had every predictable element of a shark film in it. Maybe because I don’t watch many I was just overly impressed.

11. Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018)

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I was hyped to see this movie ever since Black Panther was introduced to the Marvel universe in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and it didn’t disappoint. I loved pretty much everything about this movie and my favourite character is definitely Shuri, there’s no doubt about it. I can’t wait to see more of Black Panther in the future!

10. The Secret of Marrowbone (Sergio G. Sanchez, 2018)

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Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big horror movie fan and this looked pretty decent so I decided to go and see it. The trailer looked good and I love anything with a big creepy house so I ended up really enjoying it. I would’ve put it a bit higher on the list but parts of it were a bit predictable – not all of it because the bits about the ‘ghost’ were an interesting plot twist but the part with the siblings was quite obvious. This didn’t stop it from being a really good film though, I’d definitely watch it again.

9. Incredibles 2 (Brad Bird, 2018)

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Many people said they were disappointed by this film because the original had been better but I really enjoyed it! I loved how it was about the legalisation of super heroes and picked right off from where the first Incredibles ended. There were so many good elements and it was just really good – it was a bit obvious to see who the bad guy was going to be but I can forgive that. Overall it was a good film.

8. The First Purge (Gerard McMurray, 2018)

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I LOVE The Purge movies. I’d originally loved the first one but realised what was wrong with it when the trailer for the second one had been released – the original Purge movie was just a home invasion movie. We didn’t get to see much of the actual Purge, it was only in more recent movies we’ve actually got to see what it’s like.

I only saw this one at the cinema once and would’ve enjoyed it more if there hadn’t been some idiots on their phones and talking throughout the entirety of the film. Either way, I still enjoyed it. As you can guess from the title this film showed the events from the first ever Purge which was tested in one part of America and it immediately sets up how the poor are immediately put at a disadvantage to the rich. I just love the message that comes from the Purge films and really loved this film.

7. The Maze Runner: Death Cure (Wes Ball, 2018)

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This was one of the first films I saw in 2018 and loved it. I went to see it with three of my friends and when we got in the car we ended up just yelling at each other about the plot and the characters and pretty much everything. It got into a bit of a heated debate. I went to see it a couple more times because I just loved the Maze Runner movies so much. I’m so sad this was the last one and I’m SO SAD about a particular character death even though I was told after watching the first one that this character was going to die. I still loved it though and probably always will.

6. Unfriended Dark Web (Stephen Susco, 2018)

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I’m surprised this movie is so high up on the list because although I thought the trailer looked interesting I wasn’t actually expecting it to be good. I hadn’t disliked ‘Unfriended’ upon first seeing it but after watching it with Becca I realised none of the characters were particularly likeable and it was sort of a stupid movie. This one was better because it got rid of the supernatural element and actually made their characters relatively decent. I’d love to see this film again because I honestly really enjoyed it.

5. Mary Poppins Returns (Rob Marshall, 2018)

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Okay, I didn’t see the original Mary Poppins film. I’d low-key wanted to but everyone that I spoke to about it was like “Oh you don’t want to, it’s boring” – then the moment this film was released everyone I knew suddenly loved the original film and wasn’t sure about watching the remake. I was looking after my brother and wanted something to do so we went to our local Cineworld and saw this film… And I really enjoyed it!

My favourite part was probably the songs, my absolute favourite being ‘Nowhere to Go but Up’ but I also loved ‘Can You Imagine That’ and ‘A Cover is Not the Book’. It also helps that I love Emily Blunt I suppose. It was just a really good movie and as it’s still on at the cinema I want to go and see it again before it leaves. It’s also made me want to watch the original so maybe I will!

4. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Ol Parker, 2018)

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I confess, I’d never really enjoyed Mamma Mia all that much until the release of this film. Well… I’d been with my Mom to see the stage show and thought ‘actually this is okay’ so I stuck on the first film a few months later to see if I liked it. Bad choice because less than halfway through the film I ended up stuck in the bathroom with my head down the toilet as I threw up the entire contents of my stomach. So yeah, that was my association with the first film.

When the second one was released I went because I was invited. We had to sit on the front row because most of the seats were sold out and also my friend is legally blind so had to sit on the front row to be able to see it so it wasn’t ideal but I still ended up really enjoying the film. Now I’m a massive fan of both films – so are my friends Hirst and Becca and at one point every time we hung out there was either a Mamma Mia film on in the background or we were singing one of the songs. They’re such good films, I can’t believe I didn’t enjoy the original one sooner!

3. Avengers: Infinity War (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 2018)

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I’d been so hyped to watch this film, me and my friend booked tickets for the midnight screening and even though I was exhausted from flying home late from Greece the night before I was still ready to watch this movie. And then it tore my heart out of my chest and I’ve been waiting for the sequel ever since. I’m so excited to see the next one, I’m definitely going to the midnight screening again this year I don’t even care.

2. A Quiet Place (John Krasinski, 2018)

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When I first saw the trailer for this movie I knew I had to go because it looked so interesting. I love anything horror related but this film wasn’t really what you’d call a horror, it was more thriller Sci-Fi if that’s a genre. The film is by no means perfect because I feel like surely the easier way to have dealt with these creatures would’ve been to override them with too much noise as opposed to trying to survive by making no noise at all. I’m glad it tackled issues that I wouldn’t have even thought about though, like Emily Blunt’s character being pregnant (and then giving birth remarkably quickly). Then the issues of having a new born baby who wouldn’t understand the importance of being quiet.

It was also interesting that they had a deaf daughter because surely she would’ve been at more risk because she wouldn’t be able to hear if she was being noisy or not. I liked that it explored things that I wouldn’t have even thought about and it was just really interesting. Definitely one of the best films of 2018.

1. Searching (Aneesh Chaganty, 2018)

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I think this made it to number one simply because it impressed me so much. I love films that are told through social media or the internet (like Unfriended) and this one did it so well, and I was honestly on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what had happened. For those not familiar with the film it’s about a man whose daughter goes missing and his efforts to try and find her. It did an amazing job of keeping me guessing, my suspicion kept leaping from person to person until the final reveal and I was blown away. It was such a good movie, I’d been hoping it would be and it really exceeded my expectations.

So there you have it, my favourite movies from 2018! Feel free to leave a comment with your favourites or any of these that you disagree with.

Favourite Movies

Ponyo

I was originally going to write a list of my favourite five films but in the end I had to choose six because I just couldn’t eliminate one from the list and I also made the decision not to include any horror movies because I already wrote about my top ten favourite horror films here [x]. So this is a list of six films I love, in no particular order that I am happy to watch again and again and again.

The Maze Runner (Wes Ball, 2014)

I think this is on here because Death Cure came out not long ago and I’m not over it to be honest but I did love the first film a lot. I’m pretty sure I went back to see it at the cinema about four times. The sequel ‘Scorch Trials’ came out just before I went to university and I remember seeing it with my three best friends the day before I left. Then if I was having a shit day at uni and needed to get away from my flat mates I’d go and watch ‘Scorch Trials’ until it eventually left the cinema. I love this series.

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The Maze Runner is about a boy called Thomas who wakes up to find himself in a community of boys with his memory erased. He soon discovers they’re trapped in the middle of a maze and joins the ‘runners’ to try and find a way out.

To be honest when the original film was released I remember not being all that interested but because Becca had enjoyed the books she dragged us to see it. Immediately I was pulled into the story and a few weeks later I did try to read the book but I couldn’t get interested. I think I donated my copy of the book which I now regret because I want to give it another go so I might need to buy another copy. They’re great films and I could watch them over and over again without getting sick of them.

Into the Woods (Rob Marshall, 2014)

I don’t know if it’s just me but I didn’t see any advertising for this film like at all? I think when I went to see it I hadn’t even seen a trailer for it. I’m going to be completely honest with you and admit that I only knew about this film because at the time I was completely in love with Chris Pine and it was listed on his iMDB page. So when I noticed it was on at my local cinema I invited Jess and off we went.

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Into the Woods is a musical about a baker and his wife who are desperate to have a child but discover they can’t because a witch has placed a curse on their family. They’re tasked with finding items from classic fairytales to reverse the curse.

It’s a musical that has a lot more songs than speaking which I don’t normally like but Into the Woods is an exception. I love the soundtrack so much that I burned all the songs onto a disc so me and Jess could listen to it in her car. It got to a point where me, Jess, Hirst and Becca knew all of the songs and we all had our own parts to sing on long car journeys. This film is amazing with a brilliant cast and it’s definitely my favourite musical. This one I saw at the cinema about six times. I’d love to see the stage version one day even though I’ve heard it’s extremely different.

My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)

I could’ve included a ton more Studio Ghibli films but I had to go for my favourite which will probably always be ‘My Neighbour Totoro’. I didn’t actually like it that much when I first watched it because although I thought it was sweet I didn’t really see the point. But after rewatching it I soon began to love it and it became my favourite.

This film is about two young girls Mei and Satsuki who move to the countryside with their father to live closer to their hospitalised mother and the adventures they have with the forest spirits who live nearby.

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This is a film I love to stick on whenever I’m sad or having a bit of a shit day and it cheers me right up. I love everything about it, especially the soundtrack. I’m going to Japan later this year and if I don’t go to the Studio Ghibli museum I might be sad for the rest of my life. If you haven’t seen a Studio Ghibli film then you’re missing out, they’re truly magical.

Coraline (Henry Selick, 2009)

I feel like the majority of my list are children’s films but this is a film I would think twice about before showing to my children. I must’ve been at least 12 or 13 when I first watched this but I was still creeped out. Even now it gives me the creeps. The book is amazing too and just as scary.

Coraline is about a girl who moves to an old house in the middle of no where and feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door and crawls through to find a parallel world where things are more interesting and everyone has buttons for eyes. When the Other Mother invites Coraline to stay there forever she refuses and soon realises the alternate reality is just a trick to trap her.

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I doubt there are many people who haven’t seen this film and I think it’s honestly really good. Every so often I’ll get a craving to re-watch it and each time it’s just as good as I remembered. I was actually lucky enough to meet Neil Gaiman and now I have a signed hardback copy of Coraline – which I can never read because it’s too pretty so I had to go out and buy a paperback copy too so I could actually enjoy it.

My Sister’s Keeper (Nick Cassavetes, 2009)

I first watched this film in Science because we were learning about designer babies or something and I enjoyed it but it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me or anything. I’m pretty sure we watched it again in Religious Studies, but again not much impact. Then I went out and bought a copy for my Mom because she’d sounded interested when I’d told her about it. The more I’ve watched it the more I’ve fallen in love with it and now it’s one of my favourites.

My Sister’s Keeper is about Anna Fitzgerald who was born with a particular purpose – to save her sister Kate who has been diagnosed with cancer. But when Anna turns eleven she files for medical emancipation so that her parents can’t force her to donate her kidney to her sister. Soon she is caught up in a legal battle against her own mother.

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My description doesn’t do the film justice but it is amazing and I always cry absolute buckets whenever I watch it. The acting is brilliant, especially from Sofia Vassilieva who played Kate. There’s nothing about this film that I don’t love and it’s a must watch.

Room (Lenny Abrahamson, 2015)

I always forget about Room whenever someone asks me what my favourite film is but it’s probably this one. This is another film that makes me cry absolute buckets and I just think it’s so beautifully done. I haven’t seen it that many times because I keep forgetting I own the DVD but I still think it’s my favourite film.

Room is based on the book by Emma Donoghue (which is also amazing) and is about a young boy named Jack who has grown up in the confines of a small shed with his Ma. He has never left Room and knows nothing about the outside world. But as Jack’s curiosity grows and Ma’s resilience reaches breaking point they hatch a risky plan to escape Room.

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I’d actually never heard of the book at the time and I learnt about the film from Jess who wanted to go and see it. I liked the look of the trailer so the two of us went to see it and I loved it. I loved it so much that I saw it two more times at the cinema and then bought a copy of the book. The book is also amazing but different to the film – sadder but more realistic. Overall I think I prefer the movie. This is another where the acting is amazing, Brie Larson 100% deserved her Oscar and Jacob Tremblay did an amazing job of playing Jack. If you haven’t seen Room then I honestly can’t recommend it enough.

So there we go, there are six of my favourite films in no particular order! Feel free to leave a comment with your favourite films, if you have any recommendations then send them my way.

The Bye Bye Man: Review by Holly Bareham

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This film was advertised absolutely ages ago, I remember watching the trailer at the cinema towards the start of last year. I can remember because me and my friend made jokes about how non-threatening something named ‘The Bye Bye Man’ was and how ridiculous the concept seemed. Then another one of my friends popped up saying the trailer looked alright and we should all watch it. In the end none of us could agree on a date so I went and watched it by myself. Oh boy.

For those who haven’t seen this advertised the film is basically about three friends that move into a house who soon learn about something called ‘The Bye Bye Man’. However the moment they think about it or say it they put themselves in more danger. The Bye Bye Man can make them hallucinate and manipulates their sense of reality to kill them off.

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I hadn’t heard anything about this film but I had suspicions that it was going to be shit. I’m sorry but anything with a title like ‘The Bye Bye Man’ is bound to be awful. However I like to keep an open mind when going into films so I put that aside and tried to get into it. And oh boy did I try.

I think I nearly fell asleep. I’d not had much sleep the night before and this film was lulling me to sleep. I don’t like films that only rely on jump scares and it felt like this film was trying to rely on them, the only problem was that they weren’t scary enough. There was no atmosphere and even the jump scares weren’t working. So all we were left with was the plot and that was pretty shocking.

It was bad. I don’t really know what else to say about it. It was just a bunch of nonsense. Where did ‘The Bye Bye Man’ even come from and why is he so angry? What if someone randomly thought ‘a good character name would be The Bye Bye Man’ would they then die as well? Also, pretty big spoiler alert, but Elliot’s brother and niece were relatively calm and chill considering he’d just killed himself.

I don’t know if I was just being an idiot or what but nothing seemed to make sense. It was one of the most pointless films I’ve ever seen in my life and we didn’t get enough time to get to know the characters so it was hard to particularly care about any of them.

Overall I don’t particularly recommend this film to anyone because it was just plain awful. Don’t waste your money.